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Buying guide

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.
aahmes57
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Year and Model: V70 1999
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Buying guide

Post by aahmes57 » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:11 am

Hello again,
I'd normally be in the 98 S70 forum but I've been away from the volvos for awhile. Went the Mercedes route. That's not working out for me. I'd rather a later model 98, 99 00 but they are far and few where I'm at. NEPA.
Looking at a 2004 S80. Automatic 125 k miles $2800.
I don't know that much about the car yet as I requested the vin number but haven't received it yet.
I did some internet research on the transmissions AW XX XXXX and the 4T XXX.
Basically they contradict each other.
So I figured I'd ask the people that know because they drive them.
Anything I should absolutely stay away from or look out for would be greatly appreciated. Service history I know.
Thank you for you time.
1991 740 (saved a life)
1998 S70 Turbo caught fire, very sad day
1995 850 sold
1999 V70 Base daily driver

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June
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Year and Model: 2004 S80 T6
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June

Re: Buying guide

Post by June » Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:46 pm

If the P80 platform is the Volvo for you, don't consider a P2 S80. You won't like it. I am frankly surprised you have not received 20 responses telling you what a awful car it is unless it's 5 cylinder equipped, and if it is it's a dog to drive. The 2.9 NA drives ok, and the T6 has the power if it is running correctly and is burning Premium fuel.

The 2.9 and the T6 have the 4T transmission and the 5 cylinder has the AW. The bad reputation the 4T transmission has is in the XC90 T6 AWD, not the S80 T6.

I think of the 1998-2005 S80 T6 as Volvo's only attempt to woo luxury American car buyers over. Also good reason Asian car enthusiasts give such poor reviews weather they ever owned one or not. So forget reviews on this car as they will be pretty much bad.

You are thinking of buying a 16 year old car with 125K, expect trouble and set aside lots of money for repairs. It seems the majority of owners including most on here think that yearly oil changes or 10-15 K miles is ok... Nothing can be farther from the truth if said car is a T6. So service records are a must to show the oil was changed with Synthetic regularly. The extra heat the oil endures being pumped through two hot turbos cooks dealer Castrol Synthetic black by 2K miles so 3K pushes the limit in my opinion and experience owning my 04 S80 T6.

If you are looking for that good Volvo experience, buy CPO with it's free extended warranty from Volvo. Say something within 5 years old and no miles. Remember Volvo has been recommending 10K oil change interval for many years now and the used car you buy likely will not have been kept serviced. There are some owners who have kept their car serviced, so look closely at service records.
Or just hold out for that 1998 S or V70. They do still exist though personally I much prefer a 740 turbo or a 960 if I was to want a Volvo built in the 1990s. 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

aahmes57
Posts: 247
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:36 am
Year and Model: V70 1999
Location: Taylor, Pennsylvania
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aahmes57

Re: Buying guide

Post by aahmes57 » Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:11 am

Thanks June for the reply I would prefer the later 98 model too.
So from your e-mail, I gather first generation 5 cyl.S80
I usually buy older models and throw some money at them I have to keep looking for something decent.
Most I see in the 90's have had very hard lives and there are little if any maintenance records.
Thanks for your time and advice.
.
1991 740 (saved a life)
1998 S70 Turbo caught fire, very sad day
1995 850 sold
1999 V70 Base daily driver

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June
Posts: 1645
Joined: Wed May 04, 2016 11:18 am
Year and Model: 2004 S80 T6
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Has thanked: 256 times
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June

Re: Buying guide

Post by June » Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:45 pm

No, not 5 cylinder first generation S80 as they are dogs to drive and a afterthought on Volvo's part to sell a cheaper version. At least here in North America. If you look at the original literature and films by Volvo on the 1998 S80, the car was built for a 6 cylinder particularly the twin charged T6. Personally I would only own the T6. They drive excellent with all the power you will ever need and came standard with extras like DTSC. Dynamic Traction Stability Control and it works well. Also the T6 comes standard with Electric Brake Assist as well. The 1998 S80 is the original P2 car. Also the first production car with WIPPS, and AIR CURTAINS both standard on all S80 cars.

The 5 cylinder came later like in 03 or 04. The price was $12,000 cheaper than the T6. The big problem is 4000+ pounds of large car feels sluggish to drive where as the T6 engine feels effortless, especially on the interstate where the power seems endless. The T6 is electronically limited to 250 Kilometers per hour which translates to 155.XX mph. It was made to be Volvo's most comfortable car weather stuck in traffic or running 150 mph down the highway.

Now these cars are old and likely few taken care of properly. I'll never part with my 2004 S80 T6 ever! I love to drive the car that much.

At 125K it likely needs control arms, axles, end links, timing belt service, and a radiator minimal. Those are common P2 failures at that mileage. 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

Volvo S80
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Volvo S80

Re: Buying guide

Post by Volvo S80 » Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:19 pm

Things that need attention on S80 are:

1.Control arms,
2. Wheel bearings,
3. Subframe bushes,
4. Engine and transmission mounts,
5. Front and rear stabilizer links,
6. Headlight moisture,
7. Engine cooling fan module,
8. Abs module,
9. Siren Alarm module which disables speedometer and sunroof,
10. Leaking power steering pump,
11. Leaking power steering reservoir during winter,
12. Etm,
13.Gearboxes you should service regularly(not as book says never),
14. PCV,
15. Turn signal switches,
16. Sagging fabric from headliners and a,b,c pillars,
17. Problems with evaporating systems,
18. Exterior black plastics hazing.
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June

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