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My mother's 2004 S80 has had a strut replaced twice now and the third one is bad.

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My mother's 2004 S80 has had a strut replaced twice now and the third one is bad.

  #1  
Old 05-20-2014, 08:29 AM
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Default My mother's 2004 S80 has had a strut replaced twice now and the third one is bad.

Is there some reason for this? The shop has put on OEM stuff. This time I'm going to fix it but do I need to buy a different strut?

I'm going to be putting it on a lift and checking out any loose suspension first but this strut rattle is rediculous. (its the same sound as when the last 2 struts have gone bad)
 
  #2  
Old 05-21-2014, 10:26 AM
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Are you sure its the strut, and not the strut bearing or strut bushing making the noise?

How many miles between replacements is this happening?
 
  #3  
Old 05-22-2014, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by lonestar245 View Post
Are you sure its the strut, and not the strut bearing or strut bushing making the noise?

How many miles between replacements is this happening?
I'd say about 20k. No I'm not sure and you are absolutely right I need get the car off the ground and start hitting things with a hammer.

I'm not sure how the strut is supposed to look at the top but when you lift the hood one strut looks different than the other.

How can I check if it's the strut bushing/or bearing.
 
  #4  
Old 05-22-2014, 11:12 AM
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If there is a bent suspension/chassis part, it can affect the strut. Otherwise front end rattle are caused by strut top end bearing (different part, not the strut itself), sway bar end link bushings, loose tie rod ends, etc.
 
  #5  
Old 05-23-2014, 10:00 AM
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You usually need a couple of people, one to listen and feel in the area of the noise and the other to create the noise by either pressing down on a fender repeatedly, or sitting behind the wheel and turning it back and forth.

Dont place your fingers where they can be pinched- or worse. But for example, placing them in the area of the strut bearing while someone turns the wheel back and forth and/or bounces the fender up and down- and listening closely- can reveal a bearing that is binding or a bushing that is popping.

I sometimes use a long metal rod I have as a makeshift stethescope. I place the end on the part I want to listen to, and the other end against my thumb, with my thumb tightly against my ear. Any noise will be amplified and easier to isolate by moving the end to various components as they are moved. They do make actual stethoscopes just for working on cars too.

A strut bushing is the rubber cushion at the top of the strut that insulates the strut from the bearing. It will usually rattle when going over bumps, and sometimes pop when turning. Struts themselves dont usually make noises, they just wear out and no longer stop the car from bouncing when going over bumps. Still, its possible I suppose for one to fail in a way that it becomes noisy.

It is also possible that whomever worked on your car did not use thread lock on various assemblies, and they have worked loose. I recently found the nuts holding my lower control arm had worked loose and caused a really bad popping noise. I guess I forgot to thread lock them!

If you suspect any of these components, you will need to drop the strut (and possibly disassemble the whole assembly) for closer examination. You will need a spring compressor to disassemble it. Typically, worn out bushings are easy to see- the center steel sleeve will usually be detached from the rest of the bushing. Worn out bearings will not turn in your hand smoothly. They should be very smooth and quiet.

There is one other part- the lower spring seat- a plastic ring that insulates the spring from the strut where they meet at the bottom. If this was not replaced, a squeak or pop could develop there. You should be able to see it easily.

This web page has a pretty good breakdown of the various parts involved and how they fit together:
VOLVO S80 SUSPENSION FRONT 1999-2013 at Swedish Auto Parts

Remember to exercise caution working on your car. Read everything- shop manuals, online forums, etc... and become familiar with the assembly and how it comes apart before starting in on something. If your not confident in your abilities, or lack the proper tools, this is best left to a professional. Working with springs mounted on struts can be very dangerous.
 
  #6  
Old 05-23-2014, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by lonestar245 View Post
You usually need a couple of people, one to listen and feel in the area of the noise and the other to create the noise by either pressing down on a fender repeatedly, or sitting behind the wheel and turning it back and forth.

Dont place your fingers where they can be pinched- or worse. But for example, placing them in the area of the strut bearing while someone turns the wheel back and forth and/or bounces the fender up and down- and listening closely- can reveal a bearing that is binding or a bushing that is popping.

I sometimes use a long metal rod I have as a makeshift stethescope. I place the end on the part I want to listen to, and the other end against my thumb, with my thumb tightly against my ear. Any noise will be amplified and easier to isolate by moving the end to various components as they are moved. They do make actual stethoscopes just for working on cars too.

A strut bushing is the rubber cushion at the top of the strut that insulates the strut from the bearing. It will usually rattle when going over bumps, and sometimes pop when turning. Struts themselves dont usually make noises, they just wear out and no longer stop the car from bouncing when going over bumps. Still, its possible I suppose for one to fail in a way that it becomes noisy.

It is also possible that whomever worked on your car did not use thread lock on various assemblies, and they have worked loose. I recently found the nuts holding my lower control arm had worked loose and caused a really bad popping noise. I guess I forgot to thread lock them!

If you suspect any of these components, you will need to drop the strut (and possibly disassemble the whole assembly) for closer examination. You will need a spring compressor to disassemble it. Typically, worn out bushings are easy to see- the center steel sleeve will usually be detached from the rest of the bushing. Worn out bearings will not turn in your hand smoothly. They should be very smooth and quiet.

There is one other part- the lower spring seat- a plastic ring that insulates the spring from the strut where they meet at the bottom. If this was not replaced, a squeak or pop could develop there. You should be able to see it easily.

This web page has a pretty good breakdown of the various parts involved and how they fit together:
VOLVO S80 SUSPENSION FRONT 1999-2013 at Swedish Auto Parts

Remember to exercise caution working on your car. Read everything- shop manuals, online forums, etc... and become familiar with the assembly and how it comes apart before starting in on something. If your not confident in your abilities, or lack the proper tools, this is best left to a professional. Working with springs mounted on struts can be very dangerous.
Thanks for the great information and response. Just got a picture from under the hood. There is def. something wrong but because I've never taken one of these things apart I wouldn't know what part. Maybe one of you guys could tell me what you think the issue is from the photo. It's pretty obvious there is something wrong.

Click to make bigger.



This is the drivers side strut (below). It is not making noise but does look a lot different than the picture above.

 
  #7  
Old 05-24-2014, 10:27 AM
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I would guess this is the strut bushing going out- part #9 on the above referenced illustration. It is the rubber cushion between the strut and the strut bearing (which lets the strut rotate when you turn the steering wheel). Probably the center of the strut bushing is blown out, letting the strut rise up as pictured.

I have tried a couple of different aftermarket strut bushings. One was from Moog- a trusted US based multinational firm with a solid reputation. It lasted 10k miles. Pathetic. It is probably just a re-branded cheap Chinese part. I then tried an aftermarket part from FCP euro, because it had a lifetime warranty. I think I got 10k on that too. fortunatly, FCP honored the warranty, less 10%, and I applied the refund toward new OEM Volvo Bushings. So far, so good- I have probably 20k on them now.

It should be noted that a Volvo dealer should be using genuine Volvo parts and they should fall under a warranty. If this is the case, go back and have them fix it. If it is an independent shop, your subject to whatever warranty they offer. Regardless, I would not let them put in aftermarket parts, with one exception- IPD's heavy duty bushing.

IPD offers a heavy duty bushing for this application. Reviews are good. But like OEM Volvo, they are expensive.

I should mention some say the bushing for a Volvo XC90 will fit, but is more heavy duty. It makes sense since the XC is supposed to be for mild off-road use.

I ahve also read in these forums from a longtime mechanic that this front end is basically a holdover from the days of the 240- a rear driver with a 4 cylinder engine, and that the components were simply not engineered for the weight of the big S80 and its larger 6 cylinder. Being as they only get about 100k miles out of the front end components, I would heve to agree it is weak.
 
  #8  
Old 05-24-2014, 12:15 PM
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Now that I look at the photo again, I believe I can actually see the steel sleeve that is supposed to be attached to the center of the hard rubber bushing.

If all parts are OEM, they should last 100k under normal driving conditions. If you drive on dirt roads, hop curbs regularly, your city is riddled with potholes, etc... all bets are off- you need a Jeep.

If your drive is fairly smooth- none of the above issues- I'm guessing the shop is not using genuine Volvo parts. Often they will say they use "OEM" just to avoid you taking the car somewhere else- and because the parts house they use has the cheap stuff in stock that will fit. In most cases, the cheap stuff works long enough for other cars they work on, so that it is not an issue. Thumb through these Volvo forums and you will find this is not true with S80's. They need real Volvo parts under the front end- or better.
 
  #9  
Old 05-24-2014, 01:09 PM
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It looks like the spring seat has come apart. The strut can be removed and the spring seat replaced. Mine seem to last 30k miles. I'm not real big on compressing springs so I take the strut to Midas and they do it for 30-40 dollars. No need to replace the strut.
 
  #10  
Old 06-25-2014, 09:45 PM
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I want to thank everyone who helped me with this. It was the spring seat. I got the new part from volvo for 49$ ( they took 15$ off b/c I had to wait 20 min ) and paid 45$ to have it pressed on at a shop.

The install is stupid easy. I don't know why a person wouldn't do this themselves. You need an 18mm socket an 18mm wrench, a 12mm socket and (I think) a 17mm socket to do the job.

The hardest part of this whole job was putting the wheel back on... I'm not even lying.


Thanks everyone.
 
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