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Tips on Buying a Used First Gen S80 T6

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on the Volvo S80 model. Sometimes called an "executive car", the S80 was and continues to be Volvo's top-of-the-line passenger car.
ByCracky
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Tips on Buying a Used First Gen S80 T6

Post by ByCracky » Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:20 pm

Hi, this is my first post as I'm close to buying a used 2001 S80 T6. I've done quite a bit of research, but seems from experience the best way to get detailed information about technical aspects of a particular car is forums.

I've had some turbo Audis in the past, but this would be my first Volvo. I'm mostly curious about common trouble spots, recommended parts upgrades (diverter valves?) and major maintenance items (timing belt or chain?) to ask the seller about. Any things in particular to check or look out for?

Any tips or advice would be appreciated. The car currently has 110k.

Thanks

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Re: Tips on Buying a Used First Gen S80 T6

Post by JDS60R » Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:32 pm

Not Volvo's best car. Try a 07 or newer S80.
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oragex
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Re: Tips on Buying a Used First Gen S80 T6

Post by oragex » Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:25 pm

It is indeed a risky buy even with 'low miles'. The transmission was weak and the S80 had quite more issues than the S60. The timing belt would be due because of the age. Any particular reason to go with the S80? The S60/V70 are just as powerful (less weight), only not the same front and rear leg room. 2003 and later S60/V70 are a better bet because early ones had issues with the transmission.

ByCracky
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Re: Tips on Buying a Used First Gen S80 T6

Post by ByCracky » Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:27 pm

Honestly, I was looking for a low cost, nice driving, comfortable car for driving to work mostly highway miles. I've always liked Volvos and the S80s were cheap.. maybe I know why. I see that for a few thousand more there are a couple 2005ish S60 T5Rs for sale.

Edit: I was did some research previously on reliability and aggregate data suggests the S80 reliability was average or slightly below average compared to most cars. Of course it could still be that the S80 is not as reliable relative to other Volvos.

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Re: Tips on Buying a Used First Gen S80 T6

Post by Cees Klumper » Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:08 am

We've had our S80 T6 for 6 years and about 80K miles and have been very happy with it. The only issue we've had is with the front suspension making some noises but thtose were solved by replacing the usual suspects, and a vibration under load that was solved by putting in a new driveshaft. Other than that very comfortable and economical driving, I would buy one again in a heartbeat. Zero issues (touch wood) with the transmission. But do check the maintenance records and of course a good long test drive. Good luck on the decision.

SJLucky
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Re: Tips on Buying a Used First Gen S80 T6

Post by SJLucky » Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:55 am

I've just recently purchased a S80 myself, whilst not a T6, my biggest pointer would be make sure everything works, since buying my car I have discovered the following faults:
1. heated seats don't work (seller promised me these were fine, I stupidly didn't test them)
2. rear parking sensors don't work, I initially thought they did as they beeped when you engaged reverse but they don't react to anything
3. the drivers electric window has a failed clip on the runner mechanism that makes it run up squint so you have to guide it with your hand
4. I checked the blower motor during the test drive and thought the feeble output was due to a blocked pollen filter, I've since found it only works on the slowest speed

None of these faults would have stopped me buying the car but I could have used them to haggle off some more money.

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Re: Tips on Buying a Used First Gen S80 T6

Post by Cees Klumper » Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:02 am

@ sjlucky, the window clip is fairly easy to replace (I had that also, forgot already!). Cheap fix, there's youtube videos on how-to. Would be good to have that fan fixed I imagine.

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Re: Tips on Buying a Used First Gen S80 T6

Post by JimBarry » Mon Apr 25, 2016 4:23 pm

I love mine, although I am a tinkerer... AVOID DSTC, if possible... particularly 9496643. Non-DSTC modules can be rebuilt for less than $200. These cannot... and gulp... cost between $700 and $1200 to replace. STC GOOD, DSTC... might cost you.

Happy hunting.
Jim Barry
1999 S80 T6
2005 S60 2.5T (Owner of the Confirmed Barry Land Speed Record... Certified by Monroe Co. (Fl.) Sheriff... Thanks to my son, Rob) :)


First Volvo -1993 960 (in 1993)
Then 1994 940 Wagon
Then 2001 V70 T5

SJLucky
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Re: Tips on Buying a Used First Gen S80 T6

Post by SJLucky » Wed Apr 27, 2016 4:38 am

Cees Klumper wrote:@ sjlucky, the window clip is fairly easy to replace (I had that also, forgot already!). Cheap fix, there's youtube videos on how-to. Would be good to have that fan fixed I imagine.

Thanks I did follow one of the guides off youtube, I took off the door card and discovered someone had either been there before me or Volvo had started wrapping things in red electrical tape in the factory

I had bought new blue plastic sliders to go in the runners. It was then I discovered that the original slider hadn't broken up instead it looked like part of the slider mechanism had seared off. As I live in windy Scotland whilst I was wondering if the S60 uses the same mechanism as these are more common in the breakers, a gust of wind blew the door card over and against a handy small wall which nicely scuffed the top of it. To say I was incredibly annoyed at this would be putting it mildly.

Nevertheless I carried on, I felt inside the door and I could feel that there was still something sticking out of the slider that the blue part could click onto, in fact it felt remarkably intact. With a lot of jiggling the window up and down I managed to slip the new blue slider in and clip the window mech arm into it. I can only assume that the blue bit I removed was part of another failed window mech that someone had replaced. I smothered the lot in grease and put it back together, it worked beautifully smooth.

The only problem I have is the trim surround round the door handle that you pull to unlock the door keeps falling off. It had a ton of glue round it from the previous person who had been in the door but all the clips are intact. If you clip it in and then pull the door shut using the sort of handle cubby hole towards the front of the car from the electric window switches it pops off. The handle towards the rear of the car from the electric window switches is fine as this has a screw going threw it to the door frame.

It looks like the whole interior panel flexes when you pull the forward cubby hole/handle and this causes the trim to pop off. I’m not sure what do about this at the moment.
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June
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Re: Tips on Buying a Used First Gen S80 T6

Post by June » Wed May 04, 2016 12:49 pm

I previously had a 2002 S80 T6 and never had one repair, just maintenance and wear items. I was in a highway accident which launched the car airborne ending rolling side over side. Both me and my five pound dog literally stepped out without a bruise or a scratch. The transmission was always flawless and in the twelve years of driving never had been touched never even low on fluid, nothing. I quite often drove using the manual mode to enjoy the power. I love the twin charged engine so replaced the car with a 2004 S80 T6 which has also been flawless. I did not like when Volvo redesigned the S80 drive train to the 3.2. The newer transmissions shift too soon, quickly, and often for me. The command of the road feeling just is not there like the T6. Before the 2002 I had a 1998 V70 which had two repairs during my ownership and on hot summer days here in Florida would blow transmission fluid out a vent on extended highway drives making a mess. Volvo could never stop the problem just clean up the mess and fill it back up as they could not reproduce the problem. I don't see anyone mentioning the poorly build transmission my V70 had and at the time I was told the V70 for 2002 was worse and used fluid not obtainable outside of the dealer back then and use of any other would destroy the transmission. All I could think is what would I do in the middle of nowhere if it also did the same thing? So I have no worries owning my Volvo with it's General Motors transmission. Oh the T6 gets quite good gas mileage for the size and power and most importantly quite safe. If you buy one 3000 miles per oil change is all I push it as the oil keeps the two turbo chargers from having trouble and is the life of the engine otherwise Volvo maintenance schedule has always been fine for the rest. I have always had good luck with Volvo cars. Sincerely, June
My Volvo cars owned
1989 740 GLT ordered
1994 850 4door standard shift ordered
1996 960 ordered
1998 S90 ordered totalled after 3 weeks
1998 V70 GT dealer stock car
2002 S80 T6 ordered totalled
2004 S80 T6 dealer stock car and current car owned

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