Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Volvo S60 saloon?
Problems have been reported with the exhaust system on 2.0-litre diesels, along with failures of the heated rear screen and the radar system, which helps cruise control to maintain a set distance from the car in front.
If you’re buying a diesel, ask whether your potential purchase has been used regularly on the motorway, as this will have given the diesel particulate filter (DPF) the opportunity to regenerate and burn off any diesel particulates it has trapped. Another guide might be to work out how many miles it has done each year, as higher-mileage cars are more likely to have spent their lives on these roads.
Some people have complained about the heated rear screen not working properly, so if you are testing the car on a hot day, try parking it in the shade for a while to allow the back window to cool down. This should enable you to judge whether the heated screen works when you switch it on. You should be able to feel a slight temperature change as you lightly run your hand over it. This temperature change should be much more obvious on a cold day.
S60s that are so-equipped can also suffer from problems with the adaptive cruise control. Look out for warning messages in the driver’s information display to that effect, and if you need further clarification, ask the seller if they are willing to let you take the car to a specialist to perform a diagnostic check, as any fault codes should be stored on the vehicle’s internal memory.
What are the most common problems with a used Volvo S60 saloon?
Potential engine fire
Volvo is presently in the process of recalling around 70,000 cars in the UK fitted with a 2.0-litre diesel engine, over potential engine fires. There isn't a fix at the moment, so owners are being told to pay attention to any unusual smells coming into the interior, if the engine warning light illuminates, or if the engine hesitates under acceleration. Read our news story on this for further information or contact Volvo directly on 01628 854 210.
Engine may seize
A small number of early cars could have a radiator hose that may have been installed correctly and this could lead to a loss of coolant. If allowed to drop below the minimum level, it could result in the engine overheating.
Engine may cut out
A small number of S60s from the first year of production could stall at low speeds due to a software fault that drops the idle speed of the engine. Contact your dealer if you think your car might be affected because they can upload some new software to prevent this.
A possible software issue on S60s built between 20 April 2015 and 18 February 2016 could cause electrical problems and the power steering system to stop working. There have also been other issues, including the auxiliary drive belt that powers the power steering pump can fail and affect the power steering system, and a power steering return line that can leak fluid. If it gets too low, steering assistance will be reduced.
Leaking fuel lines
Certain examples fitted with a five-cylinder engine had a problem with the high pressure fuel lines not being installed correctly, which could cause a leak and a potential fire. Contact your local dealer for further information as to whether your car is affected.
It has been identified that there could be a coolant leak during the warm-up process of some S60s built between 5 July 2010 and 17 April 2015 that could result in an engine fire in extreme circumstances. Check with a Volvo dealer to make sure your car isn't affected by this.
Airbags might not deploy correctly in an accident
There have been a few recalls regarding airbags that might not deploy correctly during a collision. The first is for a faulty airbag on S60s made between 28 August 2016 and 11 October 2016, while the second affects examples built in the first two years of production and relates to faulty wiring harness in the front seats. The last one relates to a short circuit with an electrical connector, followed by a warning message driver of 'Airbag system service required). Contact your local Volvo dealer to make sure your car has had the relevant remedial work carried out.
Seat belt may separate from buckle
The front seat belts of examples made between 9 June 2015 and 19 August 2016 may no protect occupants correctly in the event of a collision, and will need to be replaced with modified parts. A Volvo dealer will be able to tell you if your car is affected and if it still needs this recall to be carried out.
Trim panel may cause injury
A trim panel may work loose when the curtain airbag deploys in the event of a collision on a small number of S60s. Speak to you local Volvo dealer to find out if your car is affected, or if it has already had the remedial work carried out.
Front electric seats may not be fitted correctly
It's possible that early examples fitted with electric front seats might not have the correct stops fitted, meaning that the seats may be able to move too far forwards or backwards, increasing the chance of injury in a collision. Any Volvo dealer should be able to inspect the seats if they think your car is affected and install the stops to rectify the issue.
Bonnet may open unintentionally
The bonnet catch may not lock properly on some early examples, meaning it could open when the vehicle is in motion. A Volvo dealer should be able to adjust the lock for you to prevent this problem occurring.
Parking brake may release
On some examples built between 7 June 2011 and 30 January 2015 that have a manual gearbox and start/stop technology fitted, the parking brake may release without warning. This happens with the engine on and when the gear lever is moved, so it shouldn't occur when the car is left unattended. Any Volvo dealer will be able to let you know if your car is affected and apply the updated software required to prevent this from happening if required.
Fuel gauge may show incorrect level
A software update is currently being sought to correct an issue with the fuel gauge showing the wrong level on vehicles constructed between 31 March 2015 and 11 December 2015. The current advice if your car is affected is to keep at the level above a third of a tank to ensure you don't run out of fuel until a fix can be implemented.
Cracked fuel hose
The fuel hose used in some models has been found to be crack up from the inside, which could lead to a fuel leak if not fixed. This applies to cars built between 11 April 2015 and 30 March 2016, and a Volvo dealer will be able to tell you if your car is affected or not.
Is a used Volvo S60 saloon reliable?
Volvo as a brand finished in 11th place out of 31 manufacturers included in our latest reliability survey, which is a vast improvement on pervious years.
If you would like to see the full reliability list, head to the What Car? Reliability Survey pages for more information.
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