The Volvo S80 was the Swedish manufacturer’s flagship model between 1998 and 2016 during which time the S80 spawned two different generations. The S80 I was in production between 1998 and 2006 and was later succeeded by the S80 II that was in production until 2016.
The S80 was later replaced by the Volvo S90 which is now the range-topping Volvo sedan flagship. The Volvo S80 is now a fairly popular used sedan, especially the second generation as it is an above-average reliable car. In this article, we will discuss the most common S80 problems, so be sure to read on.
As such, the most common S80 problems are associated with the electrical systems, the engine, the pressure regulating systems, vehicle speed control systems, and the suspension. Most of these are indeed related to the mechanics which is never a good thing as far as most common problems are concerned.
However, most of these, especially the last two are almost completely associated with the earliest S80 models. All in all, the newer the S80, the fewer problems it tends to experience. As such, if you are interested in one, be sure to check out the later models.
Volvo S80 – Electrical system issues
The most common electrical issue associated with the S80 is the fuel pump control module not being able to properly regulate correct fuel pressure and thus hampers the vehicle’s performance. This tends to result in the car experiencing hesitation while accelerating or even stalling shortly after being started.
These are more common on earlier S80 models and Volvo even issued a full recall for all the 2008 models as they are the ones that are most commonly experiencing these issues. Other electrical issues are mostly associated with the in-car electronics failing to do their job, the power windows, and the power trunk lid.
Volvo S80 – Engine issues
It seems like the 2008 and 2009 Volvo S80 is the most troubled S80 model out there as it was also part of a recall issued due to a problem with the car’s cooling system. More specifically, the engine cooling fan was known to come to a halt because of a software issue. These are indeed problematic as they can lead to engine overheating if not noticed immediately.
If you sense your engine temperature starts soaring for no apparent reason, be sure to stop the car and turn it off. Issues such as these can not be ignored as they can cause permanent engine damages as the engine is not designed to operate at extremely high temperatures.
Volvo S80 – Pressure regulating system issues
The Volvo S80 is also known to experience issues with the tire air pressure regulating systems in which the car is unable to portray the correct information to the driver. The bad news is that this issue goes against the government’s safety regulations associated with tire safety, but the good news is that a simple software update can rectify the issue.
As such, be sure to check the S80 you are looking at and if the TPMS systems were addressed adequately. These can also pose lots of safety risks if they are not operating correctly as your tires are the most important part of on-road safety.
Volvo S80 – Vehicle speed control system issues
The first-gen Volvo S80 suffers from peculiar gas-pedal and power delivery issues in which the car is unable to provide consistent acceleration, stalls, goes into limp mode, or simply reduces the power. These tend to be associated with a failing potentiometer, but some Volvo specialists believe that the issue is even more complicated than that.
There are many owners online complaining about their S80 becoming possessed in a manner that they are almost completely unable to control. This is obviously a really dangerous issue and if you do come across it, turn the car off immediately and call for assistance.
Volvo S80 – Suspension issues
The Volvo S80 suspension system is not an issue for the newer model. There are some reported issues even with the newest S80 models, but the vast majority of suspension issues are associated with the 1st gen S80. The front upper ball joints are known to fail fairly often and need replacing.
Even the lower ball joints are known to fail as well. Some owners have reported issues with the lower control arms as well. If you hear clunking noises coming from the front wheel well, chances are that your suspension components are acting up.
Should I buy the 1st gen Volvo S80?
If you are in the market for the 1st gen Volvo S80 you need to keep in mind a few essential factors. Firstly, focus your attention on the post-facelift models as they are a lot better when it comes to reliability, equipment, and design even though the price differences are not all that different.
Secondly, always pay close attention to service records, mileage, all the components listed here, and the overall condition of the car. It is a well-known fact that large European sedans tend to cost exorbitant amounts of money if they do indeed fail badly, but if you buy a decently maintained model, you are not likely going to experience these issues.
Should I buy the 2nd generation Volvo S80?
The second generation of the Volvo S80 is better than the 1st gen in almost every regard. However, you should also focus mainly on newer models as these are typically maintained a lot better and are offered with better equipment levels.
The S80 is a flagship Volvo sedan which means that it is a perfect car for those who tend to drive a lot, especially on the highway. The S80 is large, comfortable, and effortless, just like any other true luxury sedan.
How much does a Volvo S80 cost to maintain?
According to a few online sources, the average yearly Volvo S80 maintenance costs are around the $700 mark. It may seem to some that these numbers are a bit high, but the reality of owning and living with a flagship luxury sedan tends to say otherwise.
However, these maintenance costs can be swayed either way depending on the specific car you are looking at.