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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

I've recently been wanting to upgrade from my '97 850 into something a little newer, and a little faster. I've come across a decently priced 2001 Volvo S60 2.4T with reasonable miles, and supposed maintenance records. From the pictures in the listing, it appears pretty clean. My main concern is, with it being an early year S60, were there any critical issues in those early years that may want me to steer clear of this particular car? I can provide the link if anyone is interested.

Thanks!
 

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Between the auto box and the ETM, unless you are mechanically inclined or its free, you've been warned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the reply, I'll have to research the ETM problems, and I assume by 'auto box' you mean the automatic transmission? Were they known for failure?
 

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Yes the '01s and some '02s had serious gearbox problems and a lot of failures. If you have a record of the transmission being replaced, then it might be worth looking at, otherwise it is better to pass.

Most of the ETMs should have been replaced at this point. Mine was replaced under a recall many years ago. It never gave me problems though and the replacement has been fine as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the advice, I plan on checking the car out tomorrow, I'll definitely ask if the transmission has been replaced in the past. The car is priced a little under what I would expect, so I expect not..

Here's the link to the posting if you're interested: minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/cto/5190802626.html
 

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Well just the fact that it has done those kind of miles is a good sign. None of the original faulty transmissions would last that long. So either it was replaced or this car didn't have the neutral stop software installed or installed long enough to cause damage.
 

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One thing I look for nowadays when checking out cars on craigslist is the age of the title/and or when the plates were tagged. Anything less than a few months ago and you have either a flipper who doesn't care what condition it REALLY is in, just the condition it appears to be in, or you have someone who is trying to recover from buying a lemon. Just be aware that replacing the tranny doesn't always fix the problem. Many owners have been through more than 1 tranny.
Secondly, records, records, records. If the buyer can prove the work, you have knowledge (and the seller has bargaining power - expect to pay for a car with proof)
Third, I think $3K is a bit high for a 14 year old Volvo without maintenance records, but that's just IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
From the pictures, it does have tabs from the current year in MN, and the add does mention maintenance records to back up work done on it. I think I'll check it out regardless, and report back. If this falls though, I may just start searching for either a newer S60, or a S70 T5 or something.
 

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I totally agree with thaxman. 3k seems really high. There are deals out there. Keep looking and one will be there that's just for you.
 

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I did quite a bit of research with independent Volvo mechanics before I bought a P2 model. I settled on an 06, after searching for an 05 to 07, which are in my opinion the best years for a variety of reasons, including the exterior and interior updates over the 01-04 models.

The 2001 models have the electronic throttle issue but as long as the ETM has been replaced its OK. If the ETM still has the Volvo sticker on it, it probably hasn't. If it has a Xemodex or other brand sticker, it's been replaced.

The automatic transmission issues get better with each year - 2001 is worst. I wouldn't buy any P2 with an auto unless I had documented transmission fluid changes at least every 50k, ideally every 35k, and I wouldn't buy an 01-02 if it hadn't had the transmission replaced yet. For 03-04, it should have had early computer upgrades as well as the B4 servo cover upgrade. 05-07 automatic transmissions are usually much less problematic but still should get software updates and regular fluid changes.

Of course this doesn't apply to the manual cars. The m56 five speed transmission is one of the best transmissions Volvo put in their cars in terms of reliability.

Still the mechanics I surveyed all recommended avoiding the 2001 models entirely. They were the first year and seem to be 'more needy' than the later years. One commented that he believed they just didn't have the assembly line down as well in the first year, and regaled me wih stories of 2001 nightmares. Their words not mine but you might want to talk to some mechanics if you're really considering a 2001 model.
 

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Still the mechanics I surveyed all recommended avoiding the 2001 models entirely. They were the first year and seem to be 'more needy' than the later years. One commented that he believed they just didn't have the assembly line down as well in the first year, and regaled me wih stories of 2001 nightmares. Their words not mine but you might want to talk to some mechanics if you're really considering a 2001 model.
To add to the above a bit, I have an auto broker friend and when I told him I was interested in having him look for a used Volvo, he wouldn't. This was in 2009, and the 00-02 P2 failures were numerous. The first-run S80s, the S60, V70, XC70. All of them have problems before 2003 - so bad he put a blanket "Don't Buy" on the whole brand.
 

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Now obviously there are still a lot of 01 V70s and S60s out there, so many have escaped the first-year-production curse, but to be truthful, any car that is 30 miles outside the city center and only has an average of less than 10K/yr on it to me hints that it spent some time sitting dead.
 

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My 01' T5 has 180K on the original bottom end. Rebuilt head, reman trans, and xemodex etm. Has more power than the day i got it, and gets 30+mpg rolling down the highway. In 05' it was $10K with 60,000 miles, i've easily put $20K into it in performance mods and maintenance in the last 10 years and 120K miles, at a cost of roughly $167/month, which is less than a car payment by a longshot.
 

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To be fair, any Volvo or other car for that matter will likely have to have a trans or engine rebuild/replace by 300k miles. A few might not need it but most will. Even the famous P1800 with 2 million miles on it had its first engine rebuild at 300k miles IIRC.
 
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