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Thinking about buying a 2002 S80 2.9

  #1  
Old 05-21-2014, 12:17 PM
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Default Thinking about buying a 2002 S80 2.9

Hello everyone, I'm new to these forums and to the Volvo brand and I just need some insight on these cars. Recently my partner's friend will be moving out of the country and he is needing to sell his car buy the end of the month. He was originally asking like 5500 for it, but my partner was able to get him down to 3500.
From what I know it is a 2002 S80 2.9(non turbo) and it has about 75000, which seemed kind of nice for a car of its age. Now, I haven't seen the car yet in person and not having any experience with Volvo cars, I don't really know what to look for. Is there anything I need to look out for when I go to check it out? And what major service the car needs around its mileage(I do understand it has a rubber timing belt). Also, is that a reasonable price?
Thank you for any help that anyone may have.
 
  #2  
Old 05-24-2014, 07:55 AM
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$3500 seems OK but check Kelley blue book. At 75kmi the timing belt will be due soon. Check the condition of the belt. (after 12 years, it may be starting to crack). Look for oil leaks, especially the cam seals. Check the suspension. Check the transmission fluid. If the check engine light is on, get the codes read. If the driver info display says "transmission urgent service" then walk away!
 
  #3  
Old 05-24-2014, 12:46 PM
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I have a 2001 S80 2.9. Nice car. Regardless of price or condition, $3500 might be high. These cars are expensive to maintain. Check Edmunds for pricing (car research). KBB is usually high.

  • Timing belt is 7 years - so find out when (if) it was done. ~$1400 at my independent to do belt, water pump, cam seals, etc.
  • Control arms go bad - around $800 (90k on mine)
  • Power door locks will fail (door not closed, or car will just unlock itself 5 or 10 mins after you leave the car) - $300 each lock (I have done 2)
  • Flame trap/breather box - start car and pull oil dipstick and if smoke comes out, you need it to be replaced. Unsure of cost, but not cheap. Calls for manifold removal to access.
  • Radiator - look at each hose connection for coolant crust, including the small hose on the drivers side on the top of the radiator.
  • AC compressor clutch fails (common in all Volvos) - runs fine for 15-30 minutes on a hot day, then will only blow hot air for 15-30 minutes then cool again. Over $1000 for replacement compressor.
  • Did 02s have the electronic throttle module issue (ETM?) Look at front center of engine opposite radiator. Yellow label (replacement ETM) , or white label (original)?
  • Brakes - at 75k, mine just had front pads and rotors replaced. Rear pads were replaced in mid 60k mileage (rotors at 120). $475 for pads and rotors (not all wheels, just two!)
  • Make sure you drive it for a good period of time - maybe 30 minutes, for AC or other issues to emerge. Check engine lights can be turned off, so driving enough to make them come back on is important, and you really need a Volvo mechanic with VIDA to accurately determine what the check engine light code is, not just the handheld OBDII readers.
  • Am told trans less likely to fail on 2.9 than turbo.

I could go on and on... The best advice is find out exactly what he had done, when and at what mileage. Then post and get advice. Well maintained, you will spend a lot on these cars. Not well maintained and you could spend $5k in the next year. 2002 is better than 2001, but I can tell you many of the issues (control arms, ac compressor - exist in most Volvos even in 2008 and newer models).
 

Last edited by VolvoGoodAndBad; 05-24-2014 at 12:55 PM.
  #4  
Old 05-24-2014, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by VolvoGoodAndBad View Post
I have a 2001 S80 2.9. Nice car. Regardless of price or condition, $3500 might be high. These cars are expensive to maintain. Check Edmunds for pricing (car research). KBB is usually high.

  • Timing belt is 7 years - so find out when (if) it was done. ~$1400 at my independent to do belt, water pump, cam seals, etc.
  • Control arms go bad - around $800 (90k on mine)
  • Power door locks will fail (door not closed, or car will just unlock itself 5 or 10 mins after you leave the car) - $300 each lock (I have done 2)
  • Flame trap/breather box - start car and pull oil dipstick and if smoke comes out, you need it to be replaced. Unsure of cost, but not cheap. Calls for manifold removal to access.
  • Radiator - look at each hose connection for coolant crust, including the small hose on the drivers side on the top of the radiator.
  • AC compressor clutch fails (common in all Volvos) - runs fine for 15-30 minutes on a hot day, then will only blow hot air for 15-30 minutes then cool again. Over $1000 for replacement compressor.
  • Did 02s have the electronic throttle module issue (ETM?) Look at front center of engine opposite radiator. Yellow label (replacement ETM) , or white label (original)?
  • Brakes - at 75k, mine just had front pads and rotors replaced. Rear pads were replaced in mid 60k mileage (rotors at 120). $475 for pads and rotors (not all wheels, just two!)
  • Make sure you drive it for a good period of time - maybe 30 minutes, for AC or other issues to emerge. Check engine lights can be turned off, so driving enough to make them come back on is important, and you really need a Volvo mechanic with VIDA to accurately determine what the check engine light code is, not just the handheld OBDII readers.
  • Am told trans less likely to fail on 2.9 than turbo.

I could go on and on... The best advice is find out exactly what he had done, when and at what mileage. Then post and get advice. Well maintained, you will spend a lot on these cars. Not well maintained and you could spend $5k in the next year. 2002 is better than 2001, but I can tell you many of the issues (control arms, ac compressor - exist in most Volvos even in 2008 and newer models).
If the OP can do his own wrenching then he can knock 70% off those repair bills. (Seeing those prices makes me want to open my own S80 repair shop! )
The A/C issue is the shims wearing out. I fixed mine last year and still working. If the compressor is shot, Rock Auto has re-man units for $300 with a 2 year warranty.
 
  #5  
Old 05-24-2014, 05:57 PM
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Absolutely you can save money doing your own wrenching. 70% may be an exaggeration for some repairs - Volvo parts are pretty pricey, some are not available aftermarket and some aftermarket parts fail quickly or create other problems. The AC shim fix? Often it is a temporary repair.

But the OP said he is new to Volvo's so I will add a bit more color to the discussion.

I do some light wrenching, have on 3 Volvos and on other brands. Lot easier and less expensive on the other brands. But they are not as nice or as safe as Volvo.

Volvo S80 - you have to drill out window regulators, not so on my other brands. Door problem? On other makes you replace the $15 plunger that says the door is closed. Two screws, 10 minutes. Volvo - expensive door lock assembly, and yes, I believe you have to drill out rivets.

I may have a radiator problem currently. On one of my cars, pretty quick and easy replacement. On the S80, one thread said plan on it taking an entire day and you really need two people.

Oh, and if you want a service manual...they do not make them. (Yes, there is a UK one.)

The list of things I made is short - add the brake booster, the bubble in the rear view mirror, the power steering pump, the upper torque mount (more than once), the fuel sensor, the ABS control module, and more. Fortunately, my mechanic advised me to buy an extended warranty early on and it paid off nicely.

I like Volvo's, but the early S80s range from disaster, to okay but more expensive many mainstream (non European) brands. The 2002 is no doubt better than earlier, but it will still be a 12 year old car.
 
  #6  
Old 05-24-2014, 08:15 PM
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But the S80 does have some easy repairs: Fuel pump and filter don't require dropping the tank like most other makes. Starter is easy to replace compared to a Cadillac (Northstar engine) where it's located BENEATH the intake manifold. Washer bottle isn't hard to remove. (On my Land Rover, I have to remove the grille and bumper to get at it.) All cars have things that make you ask, "what were they thinking?" Just have to weigh the pros & cons.
I'll agree on lack of a service manual. I have a subscription to AllData and on some procedures it's terrific but there's a few that seem to be incomplete. It's more like a refresher for a Volvo tech.
 
  #7  
Old 05-25-2014, 02:56 PM
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Posts: 5
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True dat. And spark plugs are easy too. Owned one car where the engine had to be removed (well, jacked up) in order to change the rear spark plugs.
 
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