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Buying a 2000 S80, nervous....

Old 06-20-2009, 08:31 PM
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Default Buying a 2000 S80, nervous....

Hey guys,

So, the last few years, I've been driving around in a 2006 Pontiac Solstice. My wife and I are trading out our non-child raising cars, and swapping them out for something more feasible. She just got an SUV, and I'm looking to trade my Solstice for a Volvo S80. With what I owe, VS what I have in equity, I've got about $8,000 to spend. I found a 2000 Volvo S80 with under 60,000 miles. I'm going to take a look at it in the next couple of days, but the car (from it's pictures) look absolutely immaculate. It was obviously garaged it's entire life. The interior is pristine, and the engine looks cleaner than mine which has 1/3rd the number of miles.

The only thing I'm worried about is reliability.

I know GM builds crappy cars, but the one thing I am never worried about is them actually breaking down. I've heard some bad things about Volvo S80s, and I just want to know exactly what I'm getting into. If anyone can help me, give me advice as to what I should be looking at when I go to take a look at the car, I would really appreciate it.

Couple of other questions, I heard rumors that these cars use GM transmissions??? Is it the 4T65E automatic or the 4T60E? I know that from 1996-2001 the 4T60E transmissions from GM were really sketchy. You either got a really good one, or one that was total crap and wouldn't last much past 70k miles. But i know the 4T65Es were pretty heavy duty... (basically just sturdier versions of the 4T60.

I really like the look of this Volvo, and I realize that I'm getting a 6 year older car, but when looking for something to just beat around in, all the crappy cheap cars were around $6,500-$7,000 to get anything decent... and then on a whim I checked Volvos (my parents ONLY bought Volvos groing up) and I see that i can basically buy a "BMW" quality car, with all the luxury, none of the obnoxious stigma, and cheap car prices...

Anyway, would appreciate any responses.

The one I'm looking to get by the way is a 2000 S80 with an automatic (non turbo). Built 11/99.

Old 06-20-2009, 10:20 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 452

for 8000 you shuold be able to find a 2002 model year which is great

run the vin, call volvo and get them to do it for free, if all the recalls are done and it drives good then go for it , its low km so you might be alright
Old 06-21-2009, 07:28 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 283

It uses the 4T65E. It also has the poorly-designed Magneti Marelli ETM if it hasn't been changed. Look for a yellow sticker on the front of the ETM. If the sticker is white, you have the original and only have until 10 years or 100,000 miles from date of first use to get it replaced under warranty. After that you're on your own and it costs about $1,000.

These cars are also known for failures of the strut mounts and subframe bushings. I'd check the maintenance records to see if they have been changed.

The oil separator tends to get clogged if non-synthetic oil is used. That's about $600 to fix.

If you buy it, change the transmission fluid and filter right away to preserve the trans and switch over to synthetic oil to help prevent the oil separator from clogging.

The 2000 MY still has the single-stage airbags for the driver and passenger front seats, so make sure the kids ride in the back (they should anyway).

Other than that, you will be buying one of the safest (if not THE safest) cars on the road. Good luck.
Old 06-22-2009, 07:59 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Nissequogue NY
Posts: 39

I have a 2001 S80 that a purchased used several years ago, and at around 84,000MIs the transmission failed. Everything else has been maintenance/wear and tear work. Averaged out over the nearly four years Ive had the car and it figures to be around $2,500/year to run, including everything from the massive transmission job and scheduled maintenances down to oil changes and tires.
Old 06-26-2009, 12:59 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Los Angeles,CA
Posts: 53
Thumbs up buying the s80

Hi there
just want to put in my 2cents on the s80.The neighbours are going to be jealous...mine are....have 2003 s80 and everyone compliments on the great looks.So far nothing major to complain about except for the dealer messed it up couple of times but they fixed it and went out of business.Oxygen sensor,a/c problem,trunk hatch ,light bulbs go out a lot and front brake rotors had to be replaced,that's about all that's gone wrong with ours..has only 52k miles,get around 23mpg,greatest seats..very comfortable !!
Hope that this has helped with your decision..good luck
Old 06-26-2009, 01:59 AM
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Location: Burlington, ma
Posts: 1,129

Sounds like the car your looking at is a non turbo, I think the transmissions hold up better in the non turbo'd model. I think you should be fine, sounds like that car is well taken care. One thing I'd make sure is the timing belt is in good shape. Around that mileage I needed new struts so I'd check those components as well.
Old 06-26-2009, 04:36 PM
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actually the S80 99-01 uses the 4T60E tranny
Old 06-27-2009, 10:00 AM
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Location: Bremen, IN
Posts: 538

I honestly would not buy an S80 as a daily driven car.

The one we have for my girlfriend's brother wasn't maintained very well, and it shows.

I am scared to drive it for fear something will blow up.

The S60 seems like they were better built.

I wouldn't trust ANYTHING with a major mechanical component manufactured by GM. I've had too much bad luck with GM cars to give them the benefit of the doubt.

This S80 we have is nothing like the bullet-proof attitude my 850 has. They are nearly indestructible.
Old 06-28-2009, 02:06 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Brooklyn NYC
Posts: 34
Talking 99 S80 owner

Well I have had mine for a year brought it with 115,528 and have driven from NYC to Honesdale PA & to Lowell MA. All I have done is changed the timing belt which my mechanic said was still in good condition & I recently replaced the cerpentine belt which was was on it's way out I had also changed the ABS module because although I know some good mechanic's they kept getting the wrong reading on the diagnostic check & wanted to replace abs sensors, Speed sensors & etc but Tech gave me the run down & I ordered from BBS remanufacturing, I think is the name of the ABS module remanufacturers & im doing great, had a tune up oil changed struts & strut components changed & will do the body bushings when I come back from PA other wise I think it's a great car better then My previous Ford Taurus & Mercury Sable Gran Prix & other less reliable junk I've had lol. Good maintenance leads to a good car, It's not a teenagers Honda Civic ricer so if you treat it like one then you get the brunt of the cost from much you abuse it. Luxury isnt meant to be sports tunner or ricer lol. I you want to race I'd say get a Mazda RX7 if you want a unique motor & get speed with less money. Zoom Zoom Zoom
Old 06-28-2009, 05:37 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 58

I have a 2000 s80 T6, I would never buy another, even for half what I paid. Many problem, fortunately most was covered under an extended warranty.
Old 06-28-2009, 09:34 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 84

I have 96k miles on my 2002 T6. No major components have failed prematurely, unless you consider new shocks & misc associated parts an issue at 82k (I do not). The transmission is fine (I did change the fluid & filter @ 83k contra to Volvo's its good for ever view). The dealer did replace motor mounts and a few items along the way (not one would have been a big DIY job if it was not under warranty). I messed up and replaced the PS pump which was fine, the noise was a spring seat bearing gone bad on a cheap China made after market part, which I replaced with OEMs and have not had a problem.

My view is if it is a 2002 or later, has run synthetic oil and the trans fluid & filter has been changed in the 75k + or - miles, it will be a better car than the noise on this forum suggests. 1999-2001 MYs seem to generate a lot of complaints here and on other forums, so I would stay clear of these MYs. If you want dependable never worry transportation, buy a Honda or some other toaster with wheels. I love this car and its issues seem about average from my experience and it has way more style and FPG (fun per gallon) than your average car.
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