1999 Volvo S80 t6 from North America


An expensive lesson


Constant electronic/mechanical problems.

Struts replaced @ 73,000 miles

Throttle body replaced @ 74,000 miles

Alternator replaced @ 75,000 miles

Oxygen sensor on the horizon.

General Comments:

This vehicle was suppose to be our "reliable" car. We both own cars from the 60's & 80's & bought this modern luxury based on the reputation of Volvo & their "high mileage" club thinking it could be our "road trip" car . As it turns out, it is the least reliable car I've ever owned & fits better into a "high cost of owning" club. We have spent more on this car in the last 10 month than both the other cars we own in the last 2 years! There is constantly a warning light of some sort on in the vehicle regardless of whether or not we have it serviced at the dealer or specialist.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th December, 2003

24th Jan 2004, 09:59

We purchased a brand new Volvo S80 from a Volvo dealer in May, 1999. We have had the following problems with the car.

1. At about 10,000 miles, the right front wheel bearing failed. It was replaced under warranty.

2. Just before the conclusion of the warranty (30,000 miles) the engine started to miss fire and run rough. The car was serviced under warranty, (a coil was replaced) but the car had to be returned for further service because the problem reoccurred. The service performed was the replacement of an injector.. The problem resurfaced a few hundred miles later and the warranty had expired. Because the problem was a preexisting one, the dealer agreed to continue working to solve the problem. After about three days, the car was returned to us and the engine has been performing well. The repair was to move the cables in the ignition harness. The car was in the shop a total of 5 days to resolve this problem.

3. At about 40,000 miles, a severe thumping sound developed when the car was riding on a bumpy surface. Various suspension parts had failed and replaced at a cost of over $800.

4. An ABS warning light comes on occasionally. The service manager advised us that this indication was for a failure in the ABS system and would not affect normal braking. He suggested that, unless the warning appeared frequently, we should not undertake any repair because the replacement of the ABS unit would be very expensive.

5. At about 50,800 miles the turn signals stopped operating. The steering wheel module had to be replaced at a cost of $340.

1999 Volvo S80 from North America


A high price, seductive service nightmare!


My throttle body went out at 60,000 miles.

The check engine light started appearing at 6,000 miles and still makes periodic appearances.

The ABS system is gone. It conked out at about 100 thousand miles. It is joined by the STC system. This leads to loud screeching sounds that leave the car shaking as if it's having some sort of automotive seizuer.

My transmission went out at 85 thousand miles.

The electrical door locks and automatic windows fail occasionally without warning.

The air conditioning system has an annual freon letting. I just have it recharged rather than get the expensive leak fixed.

General Comments:

I committed the car buyers cardinal sin... I feel in love with the model before I ever made it to the car lot. When I finally got there, it was like Volvo heaven, a paradise of Swedish wonders for the taking.

But that honeymoon quickly ended, as the list of service nightmares grew longer and longer.

I had always said I would never buy anything but a Volvo. Now I can honestly say I will never, ever, ever buy another Volvo. Like most folks, I can't afford a monthly car service bill that is larger than the car payment!

I'm now in a race against time to find a Toyota or Lexus before I suffer another major S-80 malfunction. At this point, I think a Saturn might be a great alternative!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th September, 2003

23rd Jun 2004, 08:12

This marriage started like many, great looking body, lots of oomf and a sophisticated, stylish sex-appeal. Couple that with a good family name and it looked like Paris Hilton and I were getting hitched.

My '99 Volvo S80 was the second sold in SE Michigan. What a joy to be with, cornering, handling, speed and a great sound system.

Then the honeymoon ended. I started out simple with the halogen headlights burning out after 2,000 miles (both burned out at the same time having to drive over 200 miles with the high-beams) then it got ugly:

Check Engine Light on and off - 6K (No problems detected - Software reload)

Rear Passenger Door Lock sticking - 7K

Front Passenger Door Electrical Failure - 10K

Moon Roof Rattle - 10K

Steering Column Tree Failure - 10K

Melted front turn-signal bezel (twice) - 7K & 10K

AM Radio Ground - 7K (repaired five times and still not working)

Rotary Information Switch Failure - 12K (Failed again at 35K)

Ball Joints Recalled - 12K

Lower Control Arm - 25K

Cooling Fan Replacement Recall - 25K

Check Engine Light on and off - 35K - Replaced O2 Sensor and ECM

ABS Light - 35K - Replace ABS ECM

Front End Rattle and Squeak - 40K - Replace Strut Bushings

Front End Rattle and Squeak - 60K - Replace all Front Suspension Bushings & Struts.

It now has 100K and is falling apart. I've put more than $6K into it and feel trapped at dealer prices for any electronics issues since Volvo won't release the software. I bought a Volvo for longevity and reliability (got neither). I never figured it to be a High Maintenance Wife. This marriage will end in a bitter divorce. Next time, I think I will pick a resident spouse and forget about looking to the European gold-diggers.