What to watch out for
Standard 1.6 and 2.0 diesels EU III. 2.0 diesel available as EU IV, but emissions and VED go up a VED band.
2.4D and D5 Inlet manifold swirl flaps prone to breaking off at any time from 3 years old.
Complaints of selecting reverse rather than 1st due to narrow gate on diesel's 6-speed manual.
Complaints of worse than 40mpg from 2.0 diesel cruising at 80.
Complaints of dash top reflections in screen by day and instrument reflections at night and that the 'floating' instrument panel is hard to use.
Complaints of poor fuel economy of 5-cylinder petrol automatics, though these owners may not have been aware of free dealer software update to address this (see Recalls).
Special plastic electronic 'key' can get stuck in dashboard and in January 2006 Volvo was quoting until May 2006 to supply a replacement, offering custmers courtesy cars for that period.
Timing belt tensioners of D5s have been failing, so advisable to change belts and tensioners at 4 years or 60k miles whichever comes first.
Problems with 2.0 diesels include: wheel bearing failure, EGR valve failure, aircon issues, software problems and electrical gremlins.
End of plastic dipstick of 1.6 diesel engine can break and drop into sump requiring removal of sump to retrieve it.
ESP warning light can indicate Fault Code "Boost Pressure Sensor G201". This is embedded inside Teves Mk 60 ABS systems and requires replacement of ABS control unit/pump. Seems to be age-related, occurring mainly in 3 - 5 year old cars. Does not necessarily lead to an MoT failure. If car has been Volvo maintained, Volvo will usually meet 70% to 100% of replacement cost. Bosch ABS systems do not have the problem. Only affects cars up to 2007 model year. Does not affect S40s fitted with Bosch ABS units.
WARNING: Dodgy dealers and unscrupulous private vendors are now unplugging the ECU as no warning then shows on the dash. Replace the plug and the light 'ECU off' appears permanently whether you switch it on or off.
Volvo dealers quote £1,000 for a new Diesel Particulate Filter for the 2.0 diesel.
Volvo says, "Regarding the D2 diesel engine, the software has been improved so that particle filter regeneration is facilitated. As for all modern diesel engines with particle filter, it is still recommended to do some driving at a bit higher loads once in awhile, to ensure cleaning of the particle filter. However, our experience is that the D2 in V50 is really easy to regerarate, so it should work fine also for mostly city-driving. There is one second point concerning the D2: starting from late 2010 in V50, we do a hardware change from an additive particle filter to a catalyzed one. The additive filter type needed to be replaced or cleaned after 120,000 km, which is a costly repair. The new catalyzed solution does not require this, which is an advantage if the customer intends to keep the car for longer time."
Timing belt tensioner of 2.5 litre Volvo engine can fail in as little as 50,000 miles, flinging off the belt and wrecking the engine, then landing the owner with a £6,000 bill.
A/C condenser is a leaf trap that collects corrosive road salt leading to failure. Volvo is routinely replacing these FoC on cars up to 5 years old.
Refusal to start at embarrassing moments may be due to a known fault in the steering column lock. When trying to start the car, after a pause in a long journey, the warning lights may come on, the radio may works but the engine refuses to turn over. Common up to 2005, then corrected on later models. Mayb be related to early problems with plastic electronic key getting stuck in the dashboard.
Most common fault with Volvo S40s in Warranty Direct claims data shown to be axles and suspension.
Summer 2005 TSB for 5-cylinder petrol automatics for a free software update to improve mpg and gear changing.
Unknown date: TSB to Volvo dealers over a problem with T5 engines that leads to burning out of the inlet valves. This TSB did not catch all cars. By 2010 Volvo was contributing 30% to the £2,500 repair on early T5s.
July 2006: 'Active Service Action. A56018' "Volvo quality follow-up procedures have identified that on a small number of S40/V50 models the parking brake has not been properly engaged whilst the car is parked, resulting in the car being able to roll away. As a result, Volvo Car Corporation has decided that potentially affected vehicles should have an adjustment carried out to the parking brake mechanism. It has also been decided to update the Owner's Manual, including the provision of a supplementary instruction booklet. This provides clarification on correct use of the parking brake."
Early 2007 TSB to modify the brake vacuum pump/servo on pre 2007MY 2.0 diesels to same spec as 2007MY.
11/12/2006 R/2007/006 VOLVO CAR S40 engine may fail YV1MS765262177211 to YV1MS765262177211
29/11/2007 R/2007/176 VOLVO CAR C30, S40 & V50braking performance may be affected 0000000000016378000000000000193791
29/11/2007 R/2007/176 VOLVO CAR C30, S40 & V50braking performance may be affected 0000000000016200300000000000295267
21/01/2008 R/2008/013 VOLVO CAR S40 and V50 engine fuel pump may fail000001168553
05/03/2008 R/2008/040 VOLVO CAR C30, S40, V50 AND C70 reduced braking performance 297302305575
25/04/2008 R/2008/066 VOLVO CAR S40, V50 AND C30r ear wheels may loosen 391077391907
17/07/2008 R/2008/112 VOLVO CAR C30, S40, V50, C70. power steering pipe may leak. S40 403368-432659S40 403368-432659
22/07/2008 R/2008/116 VOLVO CAR C30, S40 & V50accelerator pedal may not return to resting position 363521442033
06/03/2009 R/2009/024 VOLVO CAR S40, V50, C30 possible engine bay fire
22-4-2009: Volvo Cars is to recall over 20,000 2007 build C30s, S40s and V50 diesels across Europe to check for faulty cooling fans. The company will install a plastic cover over the fan, spokeswoman Maria Bohlin told AFP. "There is a control module in the cooling system and because there was a manufacturing problem with this module... water might get into it and in the worse case scenario lead to short circuits," she added. Letters had already been sent out to owners.
08/05/2009 R/2009/052 VOLVO CAR S80, V70, C30, C70, S40 & V50. Brakes may not perform adequately. VIN 478233 to 494177
21/12/2009 R/2009/155 VOLVO CAR C30, C70, S40, V50 & V70. Gearbox may not engage or shift gears as intended. VIN 539517 to 549194
2010 TSB related to rising sump oil levels in D5 Diesel engines with a DPF which is caused by excess fuel entering the engine sump via cylinders during DPF regeneration cycles. The solution is to reprogram the engine management software to reduce the volume of fuel used during the regeneration cycle and drain the excess oil back to midway between the min/max levels on the dip stick, then keep an eye on it. Really, any engine that has had its lube oil contaminated by diesel needs a lube oil change.
12/05/2010 R/2010/051 VOLVO CAR C30, S40, V50, C70, XC60, V70, XC70 & S80. Engine speed may not decrease. VIN 180043 to 569282
11/06/2010 R/2010/071 VOLVO CAR XC70, V70, S80, XC90, C30, S40, V50, C70, XC60. Gearbox may jam. VIN 543653 to 579597
21/09/2010 R/2010/144 VOLVO CAR C30, S40 and V50. Engine may overheat. VIN 590038 to 592370
03/12/2010 R/2010/224 VOLVO CAR C30, S40, V50, S60, V60, XC60, V70, XC70 & S80. Fire may occur. VIN 610264 to 613753
22/12/2010 R/2010/233 VOLVO CAR S40, V50 S60, XC60 Passenger seat may not be fitted correctly. VIN 488548 to 609751
18/02/2011 R/2011/019 VOLVO CAR C30, S40 & V50. Fire may occur. VIN 270042 to 313561
23/03/2011 R/2011/031 VOLVO CAR C30, S40 & V50. Support member may crack. VIN 617057 to 619500
28/06/2011 R/2011/075 VOLVO CAR C30, V50 and S40. Brakes may not perform as expected. VIN 419200 tp 614323
07/09/2011 R/2011/127 VOLVO CAR C30, S40, V50 and C70. Clutch pedal mechanism may fail. VIN 395420 to 627723
01/12/2011 R/2011/163 VOLVO CAR C30, S40, V50 and C70. Fluid may leak into wiring harness which may cause fire. VIN 396179 to 572324