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Reliable or not?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, im looking to get myself a 2004 s60 T5 5 speed manual and was wondering what to expect in terms of repairs and reliability. I was planning to get a s70 earlier but decided to go with a more recent s60 t5. I found one for sale in my area from 2004 with 120000 KMS (im in Canada) which im going to check out this weekend. From what i have heard, nothing is safer and more reliable then a volvo but others seem to think otherwise, such as unreliable, in constant need of COSTLY repairs. Whos right? Will this be a car i can depend on or one that will eat more parts then gas? And are the parts and repairs on them really that expensive compared to other cars and what parts are generally the ones that go (slave cylinder for example?)?

thanks for your help
 

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You're going to get a very biased sample since you're on a Volvo forum but..

In my experience most volvos are very reliable, but when it comes to buying a used car they are generally only as good as their previous owner was at performing the regular maintenance. I have had my 05 S60 T5 for less than a year and have had to do no repairs, that said I did do a complete "stage 0" and timing belt. With the s60 in general most problems were sorted out by 04 and definitely with the refresh in 05. If you're looking for a T5 and highly recommend holding out and finding an 05+ because of the redesign and the engine is essientially a detuned R.

Another thing to note is that like most European cars replacement parts tend to be more expensive than their Japanese and American competitors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well the woman selling it has all the maintainance records so that's a good sign plus it's not like it's got too high kms either. I would get a more recent one but volvo are sooo hard to find with manual transmissions and that is something I really want. I think the 2.3l turbo is a good engine as well, it's been in many previous cars so i imagine that they would have sorted out most problems... And is it the labour or parts that kills you when something needs to be replaced? And how much worse will a 2004 be then a 2005? As for the bias, i figured a volvo forum would be most knowledgeable :p
 

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The most important thing is you like the car. The idea that one is worse than another is up to you. I was initially in the market for an 05-07 R but decided that those particular models required too much upkeep so I went for an 05+ T5 since it is similar but lacked the costly to repair awd, and 4c suspension but had a similar engine, interior, and I like the painted side molding.

Records are a huge plus. With repairs it depends on the repair, some parts are simply more expensive than others but i wouldn't say dramatically more than other cars. I suggest finding a good indy (independent) shop and find out their labor rate. I would also have them look over the car prior to purchasing the car. I had my indy do my timing belt when i purchased my car for less than 500 parts and labor. Also if you're a diyer I highly recommend buying a knock off vida/dice unit this way you have a diagnostic tool and factory repair manual, which will pay for itself.

So if you like the car I'd say go for it.
 

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I just dropped $2700 on a new slave/clutch/flywheel on tuesday...slave cylinder started leaking after my friend stalled my car hard a few times.

It's not a matter of IF the slave cylinder will fail, it's a matter of WHEN. The slave cylinder and slave cylinder air vent are a faulty design from the factory, Volvo fixed the design in the later cars (08+ manuals I think, which of course were only sold outside the US) so once you replace the slave it won't go bad again.

If the car has a good service history and clean title I'd give it a shot, I love my car to death and the new clutch and lightweight flywheel only make me love it even more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I like the body colour side molding too but its not something that would stop me from getting from buying the car haha. And ya i see why an s60R would be more expensive, its got more complicated and high performance parts on it. There are a few shops in the area but i should look around and see which one is best, the seller said we can meet at her local mechanic and he can inspect the car with me there and tell me about any concerns with the vehicle. It makes me believe that the car is in good shape and what not if she is willing to do that. I would like to do work on it myself since it is something i would enjoy but how complex is the car put together, or is it fairly straight forward and common sense? the car is 9g and comes etested and certified along with 2 sets of tires and rims, I think that its a pretty good deal. What do you think? here is the link to the ad too: http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-cars-veh...dan-w-snow-tires-only-120K-W0QQAdIdZ413767736

as for the slave cylinder, i believe it is the factory one since it doesnt say it was replaced or anything and if it does go, will the good 08+ one fit on the 04 and is that what will be used as the replacement?

I have also heard, the ecu likes to break on this model since it is a ford one, is that true? I plan on getting an autotech or similar chip in the future anyways. Will that include a new ecu or just reflash the factory one? Also are they alright to get or does it increase the power to the point that more and more parts start to go?
 

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The slave cyl in the m56 cars isn't the same flawed design that Rs had, but mine still failed @ 60k miles. I knew it was going to fail sooner or later because i was having to add brake fluid.

The 04 should be about as reliable as s60s can get. It doesn't come with the added power or interior refinements that the 05+ had, but if the price is right and you like it... then by all means buy it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I am happy to hear that I may not have the slave cyl problem then :). Do the brakes and slave cyl both use brake fluid tho :O? As for the right price, would you consider 9g good?
 

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The they both use the brake fluid in the master cylinder reservoir, so yes. Given that you are in Canada and all cars seem to cost more there; that sounds like a fair price.

Look underneath the car and you will see the transmission mount that bolts to the subframe, slightly behind that will be the lowest point on the bellhousing/transmission, if there is no fluid drippage you are good to go for the slave. Mine lasted around ~5-7k miles before it went completely dead and stranded me somewhere. Other than that, the past 5 years i've had the car haven't been bad at all.
 

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Hey everyone, im looking to get myself a 2004 s60 T5 5 speed manual and was wondering what to expect in terms of repairs and reliability. I was planning to get a s70 earlier but decided to go with a more recent s60 t5. I found one for sale in my area from 2004 with 120000 KMS (im in Canada) which im going to check out this weekend. From what i have heard, nothing is safer and more reliable then a volvo but others seem to think otherwise, such as unreliable, in constant need of COSTLY repairs. Whos right? Will this be a car i can depend on or one that will eat more parts then gas? And are the parts and repairs on them really that expensive compared to other cars and what parts are generally the ones that go (slave cylinder for example?)?

thanks for your help
At that odometer it will soon need the following, if they've not already been done:
PCV system overhaul
Front strut bearings and spring seats
Timing belt next year ( due to age of belt )
Front control arms
Power steering reservoir replacement

After that the midlife crisis is over and you are good for the next 120000 kms, apart from spark plug replacement and brakes.

Given her location, her local Mechanic is probably Thomas at the Volvo Dr on hwy 6. I take my car to him for service. Ask him about the list of items I gave you and he'll let you know what to expect. He is very direct and won't BS you. Maybe you'll get lucky and most of the above have already been done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well a timing belt I was planning on doing since I really dont want to go and break everything else in the head. Will these parts be that much money or will it be more because of labor? And thanks for the heads up Impulse, I will be sure to check that tomorrow
 

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Well a timing belt I was planning on doing since I really dont want to go and break everything else in the head. Will these parts be that much money or will it be more because of labor? And thanks for the heads up Impulse, I will be sure to check that tomorrow
The suspension components seems to run on par with other cars, for example a strut mount from ipd is 26 dollars the bearings are 71, and according to my mechanic labor wasn't more than 2.5 hours.

The pcv system is one of the more costly repairs and it seems to vary greatly where you go because the intake needs to be removed. IPD sells a complete kit of all the necessary parts for 378, and then you can attempt to do it yourself since there is a great write up in the R forum or see what your mechanic charges. I have seen a few people say it was around 5-600 in labor.

Like I said before parts are no more expensive than any other European cars.
 

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The bigger part of the bill is usually labour - 60-70%
The parts can be obtained online for pretty reasonable prices.
I've used a few of the excellent DIY videos on fcpeuro.com to tackle fluid reservoir, spark plugs, brakes, etc. I'll be following the timing belt one next summer myself (have an 04 with 148k).

i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IK_zH8g8Fow
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOUElRbsuQE&feature=channel&list=UL

If the car was maintained at AAPCO (the Volvo Dr) there in Milgrove, I'd get it in a heart beat confident that it was serviced properly. Personally, I drive out of my way to get serviced there.
 

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I have also heard, the ecu likes to break on this model since it is a ford one, is that true? I plan on getting an autotech or similar chip in the future anyways. Will that include a new ecu or just reflash the factory one? Also are they alright to get or does it increase the power to the point that more and more parts start to go?
The ecu is Volvo, not Ford - that's bad info you got there. Ford owned Volvo for a few years but did not infuse the brand with their designers or parts. Plus this car was designed before the Ford ownership period anyways.

That said, there were problems with 99, 00, and 01 ecus. Since this car is an 04 that does not apply though, ecu should be fine.

Most of the common tunes available for this car simply re-program the ecu via the OBD port (i.e. RICA, iPD/TME). Despite many people running them for years and years related premature failures are relatively unheard of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I went and saw the car today, and i liked it. The interior is probably the worst part and by that i mean the leather is slightly dirty and scuffed in some areas and the cup holder cover has a broken hinge and some paint chips on it. Other then that, it has a few scratches here and there and faded exterior trims as well as a small dent in the rear driver side door about 2" in size (not bad for an 04). I checked the under side of the car where the bell housing is for a leaking slave cyl but it was clean. She said she hasnt had to add any brake fluid either :). I took it for a little drive and it seems to run great, started quick, shifts well and sharp and so on. And someone had told me that the ecu were made by ford, my bad, i dont know too much about volvos. Im not sure if it was serviced at the volvo dealer but i can sure ask her. And that good to hear about the tune as well, i will probably look into one of those later on if i end up buying this car.
 

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The slave cyl in the m56 cars isn't the same flawed design that Rs had, but mine still failed @ 60k miles. I knew it was going to fail sooner or later because i was having to add brake fluid.

The 04 should be about as reliable as s60s can get. It doesn't come with the added power or interior refinements that the 05+ had, but if the price is right and you like it... then by all means buy it.
Is it really? I know 2 guys with the M56 who have had the slave fail before the clutch/flywheel, so I just assumed it was the same flawed design. I do know for a fact though that the part number changed throughout the years, so maybe the later years saw improvements to the design that made it more durable?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If the car was maintained at AAPCO (the Volvo Dr) there in Milgrove, I'd get it in a heart beat confident that it was serviced properly. Personally, I drive out of my way to get serviced there.
The seller said it was maintained at AAPCO every now and then but then, her and her husband thought they were being to pushy on certain things that they just did not think were necessary so they took it more often to their local shop/mechanic. At least the car went to AAPCO every now and then.
 

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The seller said it was maintained at AAPCO every now and then but then, her and her husband thought they were being to pushy on certain things that they just did not think were necessary so they took it more often to their local shop/mechanic. At least the car went to AAPCO every now and then.
They would have identified any problems, to be sure. They are a Volvo specific shop, so the know all the regular weak points.

Take it with a grain of salt, I've seen a lady who thought replacing her eleven year old timing belt wasn't really necessary, lol.
 

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just make a normal inspection on the car and you will be Fine, T5 engines are simple amazing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The seller offered to meet at the mechanic if i want to so he can tell me if there are any concerns with the vehicle just to assure me its ok. I will probably do that when i do go to buy it
 
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