Common problems with Volvo S60

The Volvo S60 is a premium executive luxury car designed to rival the likes of the Mercedes C-Class, the Audi A4, and the BMW 3-Series. The first generation of the S60 was introduced back in 2000, the 1st gen S60 was in production until 2009. The second generation of the S90 entered production in 2010, was refreshed in 2015, and ceased production in 2018.

The latest, current generation of the S90 has been revealed in 2019 and is a full-on luxury car capable of offering all the contemporary luxury buyer features and gadgets. The S60 has always been a relatively reliable car, even though there are quite a few differences between the early and modern-day generations.

Either way, the most common Volvo S60 problems are MAF sensor failure, suspension bushing issues, drivetrain issues, oil leaks, and engine thumping, especially on older models. Most of these can be resolved without too many issues, but only if you decide to resolve them early enough, if not, they are bound to create all sorts of issues down the line.

All in all, the S60 is indeed a reliable car, yet older S60 generations do spoil the image a little bit. This is rather understandable as the first-gen S60 is now more than 20 years old which means that issues with such an old car are only a matter of time.

Volvo S60 MAF sensor issues

The mass airflow sensor is tasked with regulating the amount of air that enters the combustion chamber in order to always strike the perfect balance in an effort of optimal performance and fuel efficiency. As such, if the MAF sensor fails, it is likely going to cause detrimental decreases in power that can potentially even be accompanied by a more severe fuel economy.

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The easiest way how one can fix this is by simply cleaning the MAF sensor thoroughly. This is a relatively common issue for many Volvo cars for decades now. Some don’t even deem it to be an issue, but rather part of regular maintenance. Either way, you are likely going to face one of these if you own an S60 for a long time.

Volvo S60 suspension bushing issues

The S60 is also known to experience suspension issues, more specifically, issues with the suspension bushings. Many owners have reported knocking sounds coming from the front of the car while driving which typically lead to worn-out control arm bushings which need to be replaced.

The wishbone bushes are also known to be quite soft on the S60 which also means that they are prone to fail after a while. Be sure to pay close attention to the entire suspension system if you are after an S60 as these can be a sore point, especially on older models.

Volvo S60 drivetrain issues

The new Volvo S60 was part of a significant recall that encompasses all Volvo S60 models made in both 2020 and 2021. The issue here was that the hydraulic unit that connects to the engine’s rotor shaft and a small magnet package associated with the braking system might be missing on certain models.

This could potentially lead to issues with the ABS, the ESC, and the brake booster. If you sense your S60 is unable to come to a complete stop in a dignified manner, be sure to check these components to check if the S60 you are looking at truly was part of this recall.

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Volvo S60 oil leak issues

As with many premium European cars, the Volvo S60 also is not completely free from engine leaks, more specifically oil leaks coming from either the rear main oil seal or the turbo drain area. These two are the most common locations from which the oil tends to leak, and are the first two places you ought to check.

The easiest and best way how one can fix this is simply by replacing the part completely. These are also more common on older S60 models, but a few Volvo specialists have reported that even the newest models are prone to these issues occasionally.

 Volvo S60 engine thumping issues

Engine thumping is an issue that is almost exclusively associated with older S60 models. These can be easily spotted whenever you pull away with the car, especially if the car you are using comes with an automatic transmission. This issue has been linked to damaged or completely broken engine mounts.

These can also be replaced, but they do sometimes cost a bit more money, depending on where the mounts are located and how it is to get to them.

FAQ Section

 Which Volvo S60 is best?

The best Volvo S60 model is undoubtedly the very latest one as it is one of the most desirable compact luxury cars on the market right now. The oldest Volvo S60 is not really a worthwhile car any longer as it too old to properly satisfy a modern-day car buyer. It also lacks specialty in any way as it is just an old Volvo sedan.

The second generation of the S60 is somewhere in the middle, but the restyled S60 II is a far more reasonable choice due to much better reliability results. Either way, always look for a car with fewer miles on the clock and one that has all the necessary service history information.

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How long can a Volvo S60 last?

According to online forums and proud owners, many Volvo models including the S60 are able to easily last more than 20 years or 200,000 miles. The most important thing is proper maintenance which means that you need to keep the car in an adequate condition if you plan on relying on it for decades to come.

Volvo cars are not indestructible, at least not anymore. Gone or the days of boxy Volvo estate cars accumulating more than 500k miles on the clock.

Is the Volvo S60 a safe car?

The Volvo brand as a whole is built around the fact that the brand offers some of the safest cars on the market these days. Almost all Volvo models are constantly being placed at the very top end of most reliability charts and surveys, as is the case with the S60.

The current S60 is actually one of the safest current luxury cars out there thanks to Volvo’s brand philosophy. The oldest S60 is not nearly as safe, but it is also a relatively safe car considering its age.

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Marko Mikulic

Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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