The Volvo S60 is a compact luxury sedan with good features. It is designed to compete with the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C-Class. This car could also present a series of faults, so it is good that you know the common faults of the Volvo S60 .
Luxury vehicles tend to depreciate more than their non-luxury counterparts. Hence, the Volvo S60 is expected to lose 56% of its value after five years. While this may be bad news for existing Volvo owners, it makes buying a used Volvo quite attractive.
That being said, buying any vehicle carries its share of risk. In this article, we will talk about the most common failures of the Volvo S60 and we will review its reliability throughout its 21-year history.
How good is the Volvo S60?
That’s a clear yes, given RepairPal’s above-average reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5.0. It sits comfortably in 11th place out of 31 vehicles in its class. The S60 has average repair costs for most minor recurring issues, with major issues rarely showing up.
The main attraction of the Volvo S60 is its elegant design and suite of driver assistance technology. MotorTrend tested a 2020 Volvo S60 for 20,000 miles and concluded that the S60 is truly trustworthy. However, they ran into a hiccup with their emergency braking system, which randomly comes on at times.
They also had to replace an evaporative emissions tube that was covered by warranty. On the other hand, older Volvo S60 models may tell a different story.
Common faults of the Volvo S60
The Volvo S60 may have earned an above-average reliability score, but some owners still found several lingering issues. Some of the common faults of the Volvo S60 are:
1- Various transmission problems
The Volvo S60 provides a generally comfortable drive, but some owners have reported that their transmission would cause their car to shake constantly between gears.
Several owners of Volvo S60 models built between 2001 and 2014 said they typically experience the jerking in the lower gears, particularly between first and second gear. This problem makes it annoying to be in stop-start traffic.
While some drivers describe the problem as jerking, others said the transmission was slipping between gears because the engine was revving. There were even cases where the entire transmission failed, leading to a breakdown. Although the cause of the problem has been attributed to either an internal component failure or a software glitch, owners have regularly encountered the problem again even after the supposed fix.
This is the most common problem with the Volvo S60, with nearly 500 reports.
It is recommended that the latest software be installed in the transmission control module whenever the transmission is serviced. The problem should be checked as soon as your sedan shows symptoms such as jerkiness, transmission noises, and an illuminating check engine light, because letting the problem linger could further damage the transmission and lead to repairs that are expensive and long.
2- Strut assembly failures
Another persistent problem that appears on the Volvo S60 is the failure of the front strut mount. The strut mount is the top of the strut assembly and the vehicle body is intended to rest the majority of its weight on it.
Owners have reported hearing a loud noise coming from the front of their sedan whenever they hit a pothole. Several owners have also reported noise when traveling at high speed or even just turning the steering wheel. This problem persists on Volvo S60 models from 2001 to 2009.
One owner found that replacing the strut assembly fixed the problem. Volvo S60 shock and strut assemblies typically cost between $30 and $200 to replace.
3- Problems with the headlight bulbs
Volvo S60 headlight bulbs tend to burn out prematurely. Owners have reported having to replace their headlight bulbs every six months or so. One owner has reported that he has had his Volvo S60 for 13 years and this problem has always persisted.
A solution to the problem has not been found. One cause could be that the S60’s electrical system is pumping excess voltage into the bulb, causing it to burn out faster. This problem occurs on S60 models from 2001 to 2012.
Volvo S60 replacement bulbs typically cost between $10 and $40.
4- ABS control module failures
About 87 owners have reported that their anti-lock brake system (ABS) warning light comes on. The warning light normally comes on when there is something wrong with the vehicle’s braking system or ABS , which may make the vehicle unsafe to drive. A faulty ABS control module causes the warning light, and replacing it will fix the problem.
You can get replacement ABS control modules for the Volvo S60 for around $250 to $420.
5- Electronic fuel module problems
Some owners have reported that the performance of their Volvo S60 drops significantly, while others are experiencing a hard to start, a check engine light or a performance degrading message on their dashboard.
The Electronic Throttle Module (ETM), which is the electronic connection between the accelerator pedal and the throttle assembly, is to blame for all of these problems. Because Volvo is aware that their ETMs are prone to failure, they have extended the warranty on some of their ETMs to 10 years or 200,000 miles. This problem affects Volvo S60 models manufactured between 2001 and 2008.
If you’re not sure if a Volvo S60 is the right vehicle for you, knowing these common problems can help you make a decision. Most cars have common problems, but learning about other drivers’ experiences can help you decide if a certain car is right for you. Knowing these common problems can also help you keep an eye out for them to avoid costly repairs down the road.