Volvo S40 The S40 is Volvo's most affordable sedan with all the amenities of a luxury sports car.

Introduction:2001 S40 project

Old 07-11-2019, 08:23 AM
Junior Member
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 1
Default Introduction:2001 S40 project

Morning all. Last evening we picked up a 2001 S40 with 268,000 miles on it. My son's first car. He's only 15 so hopefully we have time to go through and make this vehicle safe and reliable. I KNOW it needs suspension, brakes, timing belt, all fluids/filters changed (my opinion...I know nothing about this car's maintenance history) and some miscellaneous annoying electrical issues (sunroof won't close electrically...must crank it closed, and the driver's window only goes down half way.)

The price of entry was the deciding factor We did drive it 50 miles home with the AC keeping us nice and cool and no real issues so we have that going for us.

Be patient, I'm sure to have lots of questions if I can't find it through a search. Any immediate warnings about trouble spots are welcome.

Old 07-11-2019, 12:00 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 502

Congratulations on finding a good way to teach your son some "car values". That high-mileage Volvo will mean more to him than a much newer car that his involvement was just catching the keys you toss him.

Most things aren't horribly expensive to repair on a V40 (though I'm more familiar with the next generation). What I always do with one of my "road trip cars" is to replace the control arms, struts, shocks tie rods, and if necessary, the axles. That way all the "wear parts" that make an old car feel like an old car are brand new, so the car drives a lot more like a new one.

Yes, yes ,yes to the new fluids, particularly the transmission fluid (the weak point in pretty much any modern car). Same with the timing belt - if there's ANY doubt about its history, swap it out.

The sunroof is easy - just crank it closed and tell him to forget about it. ;-) Window regulators are generally not too difficult, though the access on my '05 V50 (same as the S40 but sexier) window regulators is suspect because of the solid metal panels Volvo builds into their doors. Brakes are cheap and easy, too.

He'll learn a LOT about cars in this process, and will have some skin in the game (which will mean he'll probably take care of it). It's borderline shocking how the last couple generations knows so little about their cars. Yes, they've gotten more complicated in some ways, but I cringe every time I see the insurance commercial with the proud mother beaming about how their insurance "rescued" her (apparently fully able) son after he - gasp - had a flat tire. Oh, the humanity!!!
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