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Hi - My beloved Volvo is having problems!

Old 04-23-2008, 10:58 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Default Hi - My beloved Volvo is having problems!

[X(] My wonderful car is sick after all these years! It's like everything started to go wrong all of a sudden...I have a 1999 S80, the same kind that I'm always hearing bad things about, but I hadn't had any problems until now. The dash is showing me multiple warning lights, none of which appear to be actual problems with the car (ie airbag prob, brake failure, check engine) and I've also noticed that my buttons for STR, floor heating and trunk key are wacky. Today, the speedometer needle got suck on 0 for about 5 city lights for no apparent reason. The trunk is the only other functional problem that actually seems like a real problem. I just had it checked and was told that the problem is MAY BE a certain so-and-so but otherwise the car appears well cared for and is in excellent condition...It will cost $1,200 parts/labor. I'm not concerned about the price...I'm concerned about the MAYBE!!! Has anyone out there had these specific problems? Is this a downward spiral? Do you remember what the diagnosis was, and how to fix it? I would really appreciate some input.
Also, I'd like to replace the console in-between my front seats - is this possible? I was just thinking about that today and I thought I'd ask here before asking a retailer. Thanks for helping me out - in advance I hope you can!!!
Old 04-24-2008, 02:02 AM
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Default RE: Hi - My beloved Volvo is having problems!

Welcome to the forum, and sorry about the problem.

The first thing I would do is to calm down, and tackle each trouble one-by-one. Before I start, please note that I'm an 850 driver and am not privy to the S80s, so consider my advice as temporary reference only, and wait until other S80 drivers come in.

-airbag prob:
Probably something minor has caused the light to turn on. Unfortunately, this one probably requires to be reset at the dealer, but see if disconnecting the negative battery cable for 15 minutes would reset it, but do so only after hearing from other S80 drivers or Moderators.

-brake failure:
Do you mean the ABS warning lamp? If so, it could also be something minor and the computer needs to be reset. Again, this would have to be done at the dealer. This could be as silly as a dirty/loose electrical connections to the wheel speed sensor, or part of the sensor close to the wheels got dirty. In some cases, the computer itself (referred to as "ABS Module") retires.

-check engine:
Again, if your car is running fine, it is something minor (most likely the O2 sensor input out-of-range, misfire, EGR-related, etc...). This one can be done at AutoZone for free. If there is one near you, go there, act like you know what you're doing, and request that you would like to have a "OBD-II diagnostic service". They will hook up a hand-held scanner, connect it to your car's engine control computer and retrieve fault codes. Make sure tolet them show you the code(s) & fault description that appears on the scanner, and write it down on a sheet of paper and let us know what you get. As a courtesy, I usually buy a quart of oil or other consumables after having this service done. If there is no AutoZone near you, see if other franchise parts shops provide the same service.

-buttons for STR, floor heating and trunk key are wacky:
I'm not sure what STR is, and could you be more specific about them rather than wacky?

-the speedometer needle got suck on 0 for about 5 city lights for no apparent reason:
It may be related to the ABS module. The speedometer receives vehicle speed signal from the ABS module (this is the case for the 850, but I'm not sure if the S80 uses the same set-up), and if the ABS module is having problem, it could affect the speedometer. Wait to see if you receive advice from other members, if not it would have to be done at the dealer.

-The trunk is the only other functional problem that actually seems like a real problem:
Do you mean the trunk lid wouldn't stay up? If so, you only need to replace the two piston rods that hold the lid in the upright position. This repair is well within average person's capability but I would get an assistant. I believe the parts are made by Stabilus, German and I got mine at Pep Boys. They are the same parts as those used at the dealer, and the only difference is that Stabilus parts do not have "Volvo" logos. They are called "OEM"-Original Equipment Mfg; the parts suppliers that provided parts to the assembly plant/dealer.

Now, note that once a shop figures that you don't know much about cars, they'll make sure to take advantage of you (of course there are many conscientious shops too, but malicious ones are out there as well). I am not a sexist, but this seems more so for females. Don't just listen to what they say and pay what they ask you to pay; request explanations in the kind of language you can understand, or better yet, let them show you the parts that actually failed. You do not have to be a mechanic to tell if a part is bad; look for signs of failure such as crack, rupture, leak, burn mark, discolourations, excessive play, etc... And conscientious shop would listen to your concerns and descriptions of the trouble, rather than deny what you tell them and insist on changing the engine or transmission for no reasons.

EDIT: Check for possible recalls and if not done yet, have them done at the dealer; recall items are fixed at the dealer for no charges to customers:

Old 04-24-2008, 10:59 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 200
Default RE: Hi - My beloved Volvo is having problems!

I have 2001 S80. I had Check engine Light, brake light, abs light, and traction control light on. It was a bad abs module box. Sent mine to BBA-REMAN they fixed it for 85.00 plus your freight. Real easy to take off and put back on. Google BBA_Reman. Fixed mine one year ago and it still works fine. They give directions on the web site how to remove and you can still drive your car while it is being repaired. The 1200.00 sounds like they are pricing a new abs box which you can have yours fixed and its just as good. Dont know if this will fix airbag, it does effect the speedometer amd the trc. Hope this helps
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