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Volvo shopping

  #1  
Old 12-20-2012, 12:30 AM
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Default Volvo shopping

I'll be going in a couple of days to look at a '99 S80 T6 for sale on craigslist. The car has 141K miles and looks to be in immaculate condition from the photos, with an asking price of $4500. Does that price sound reasonable?

This would be my first Volvo, so I've been doing a lot of research. Most of the reviews I've found online say that the first year of the new model S80 was loaded with problems, and to look for a 2000 or newer. I'd like to hear about experiences with these cars from the members here, specifically regarding overall reliability and cost of repairs. As with Euro cars in general, I expect parts to be relatively spendy (I'm a professional tech so labor would be free). The Volvos I see at my shop are very few and far between so I'm not familiar with pattern failures; what are some problem areas I should look for during the inspection and test drive?

The EPA fuel economy I found was 16/25 IIRC. What type of mileage can I expect in the real world (I tend to drive gently)? Also, is premium fuel a must with the turbo engine, or will they still run well enough without spark knock on 87?

P.S. I'd also like to hear from owners of the S80 2.9, since I've been looking at other base model S80s for sale as well.
 
  #2  
Old 12-20-2012, 05:51 AM
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Listen to the reviews you have read and stay away from the '99 S80. I have never owned one but from what I have read/heard/seen, that is the worse car Volvo ever made.

The reason you don't see that many Volvo's in your shop is, Volvo owners are taught not to take their cars to general mechanics, only to a dealer or to independent VOLVO mechanics.
 
  #3  
Old 12-20-2012, 08:43 PM
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OUCH..get ready for lot of problems. even if the car is in perfect conditions. You will get more problems. i hope you have lot of extra funds available to be able to fix it on repairs.
PS: you can post link. would like to see pictures on how it looks like
 
  #4  
Old 12-20-2012, 09:51 PM
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akabond: here is a link to the car: ** Volvo S80 ** Very Clean

On Saturday I also plan to look at an '01 S80, similarly equipped. Does that have much better of a track record than the '99? The car looks decent in the photos, but the mileage has me a little worried (245K).

There is also a '00 that I'm interested in (almost identical to the '99 in the link), but it's located 2 hours away and I wouldn't be able to go and see it for a couple of weeks.
 
  #5  
Old 12-21-2012, 09:44 AM
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I wouldn't touch any of the cars you listed. Like rspi said, the reviews don't lie. I may buy that car for half the asking price... Maybe. And unless the 245k motor on the 01 was rebuilt with recent timing belt work, it'll just give you headaches. Why are you looking at volvos? If I had ur skills and tools I would just buy a old civic where parts are literally free sometimes. Saving money
 
  #6  
Old 12-21-2012, 09:54 AM
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And regarding the fuel question, I get almost 29 mpg highway with cruise control at 60 mph. And I put premium in, even if you put 89 in, its normally only 10 cernts more per gallon, with a 16 gallon tank, Its less than 2 bucks more every fill up. Even in my wife's 2.2 cobalt I put either 89 or 92, ur car will run cleaner, but you probably already knew that
 
  #7  
Old 12-21-2012, 11:06 AM
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If you like the s80 so much. Get a 03 non turbo or a 04
To 06 with the 5 cyl turno engine which is
Good. The early s80's are a money taker. Main common problem its the transmission and the electronic throttle module which is a pain and messes up the whole system in the car when its bad, that goes from the years 99 to early 02 then in 03 they change it. Good luck
 
  #8  
Old 12-23-2012, 12:37 AM
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Update: I went and looked at both cars today. The '99 was incredibly clean for its age, ran and drove beautifully. All accessories seemed to work also. The owner had a clean carfax report and a listing of services/repairs done at a Volvo dealer going back several years (including a timing belt 20K miles ago). No current issues with the car, but I'm apprehensive about how many expensive "toys" it has to fail down the road. He was willing to go down to $4200, so I'm going to keep that one in mind and continue looking.

The '01 turned out to be a base 2.9L model. It ran great but was painfully slow compared to the turbo car. 246K miles and several issues, so I quickly lost interest.

Any experiences with the S60? There are a pair of 2002 models I may look at, one a 2.4 turbo (161K miles) and the other a 2.4 naturally aspirated (157K miles). Is there a big performance difference between the 2.4T and 2.4NA engine? I'm interested in the S60 because it's similar to the S80 but seems like a simpler car with less features to go wrong (and lighter with better mileage?). Both cars are in the $4K range.


P.S. The '04+ S80s look good, but are out of my price range at the moment.
 
  #9  
Old 12-23-2012, 03:15 AM
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The S60 is smaller but has the same tranny issues until '03. The turbo is way faster than the NA.
 
  #10  
Old 12-25-2012, 11:28 AM
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If you are into customizing the s60 is a better choice because its a sports sedan while the s80 was volvo's flagship vehicle designed more around luxury and comfort. Once again, why the interest in a volvos all of the sudden? Turboes cars have more tuning issues. When a turbo fails or vacuum lines get leaky, charged cars run like crap. The N/A would be a more reliable and less pricey choice, but its still a volvo, so it'll still be expensive no matter what.
 
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