2004 Volvo S60 SE 2.4 D5 from UK and Ireland


Flawed suspension design and expensive to fix, but a lovable rogue


The car was bought for £2400 with 82,000 miles.

In chronological order over two years:

- Intercooler & clutch switch, £750.

- Slave cylinder & clutch switch (oil leaking out of the slave killed it), £275.

- Suspension top mount (driver), £28.

- Drop links x 2, £40.

- Arm bushes front and back, SRS light reset, headlight adjust, £70.

- Cracked alloy, £88.

- Suspension top mount (driver), £28.

- Drop link, £20.

- Track rod end, £20.

- 4 Michelin Pilot tyres, £340.

- Tracking, full set of new correct wheel nuts, £75.

- Full set of discs and pads including handbrake shoes, £220.

- Bottom arms x 2, one tyre, tracking, £399.

TOTAL: £2353 (!)

General Comments:

Great to drive when it's working - never had a problem with it starting on the key, but the front suspension reliability is absolutely dreadful.

The car has basically fallen apart since the week I bought it; I regretted selling my Mondeo it replaced.

The appallingly small boot entrance means you can hardly get anything in the back of it unless you fold the seats forward and insert it through the back doors.

All in all, if it weren't for the constant trouble with it, I'd adore this car as it's comfortable, fast, characterful and handsome in appearance.

I'd love to buy another, but I don't think I could risk ending up with a lemon like this again!

Any small clunk from the suspension or play in the steering - WALK AWAY!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th April, 2015

28th Apr 2015, 21:43

To be fair to the car, you spent less than £150 on suspension parts, and judging by the fact you have listed the same parts twice, that suggests that cheap aftermarket parts were used, which always prove expensive in the long run...

Also the tracking, new tyres and cracked alloy are hardly the car's fault!

To be fair, it looks like it has proved to be reliable.

Yes, the D5s are heavy on front suspension parts generally, but otherwise, they're very reliable cars and are SO comfortable!!!! It's not trying to be as practical as a Mondeo, as it has more important things to do, such as look good, sound good, and look after you in an accident.

These S60s are just fantastic value for money second hand.

10th May 2015, 02:53

The suspension components last only 60000 miles (100000km) on this car. What's more, many non Volvo components don't last at all.

Typically, the shock absorbers, the control arm bushings, the upper strut mount and spring seat will fail at 100000km.

9th Mar 2016, 16:56

I would slow down on the corners. The suspension may last a tad longer correct.

4th Aug 2016, 11:30

It is interesting to understand that the original reviewer only posted parts cost, not labor cost. Which adds to the equation.

Manual transmissions 2004-2007, both on regular and R engines, are plagued with a very costly slave cylinder failure: the transmission has to be dropped, and normally it's the slave cylinder seal that gives up (brake fluid gets low in the reservoir), the clutch pedal drops suddenly on the floor (you can still pick it up with the tip of your foot), fluid will spill on the clutch and pressure plate which will need replaced. It happens between 40K and 100K miles depending if the car is driven mostly city or highway. A $2000-$3000 repair including parts. If you buy a manual, check the brake fluid level inside the reservoir, although the guy selling it might be aware that the fluid is getting lower and might have topped it up before the sale. Check the level before testing the car, and after testing it with plenty of gear shifting to see if the level has dropped inside the reservoir.


2004 Volvo S60 from North America


Is it reliable? Expensive to run?


The following things happen to most Volvo vehicles, as the same issues can be found in Volvo owners' discussions on forums.

This issues will probably happen to every Volvo; check whether the previous owner has done these repairs or not.

The following prices include parts and labor.

Steering pump leaking - around $1000.

Steering rack leaking inside the dust boots - $1500 to $2000.

A/C compressor wear and failure - $1500.

PCV system replacement (every 50K miles) - $700.

CV joints (axle) - $600 each (two of them).

Transmission repairs - about 1 in 3 vehicles will need a transmission rebuild. If your transmission 'slips' between the gears, it will probably need to be rebuilt - $5000.

Engine rebuild - not replacing in time the PCV system, will create sludge inside the engine, causing oil pressure loss and permanent engine damage - $6000.

Instrument cluster panel (the indicators panel behind the steering wheel) - $1500.

Timing belt and several belt pulleys need to be replaced at 100k miles intervals - $1000.

All other components are very durable in this vehicle.

General Comments:

All interior electric accessories are very durable and don't require repairs, except for the instrument cluster panel.

Shock absorbers don't last. They will cause a very rough ride over street imperfections. Comfort is lost, but replacement is not mandatory. Replacing the shocks is around $2000.

The car is very resistant to rust.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 10th December, 2013

11th Dec 2013, 13:08

I can't comment on the rest of your costs, but $2000 for four new shock absorbers is larcenous.

11th Dec 2013, 16:31

I'm confused by this review. Did all of this actually happen to your car, or are you just saying these things 'might' happen to other people's Volvo's? It doesn't appear to be a review of your own car.