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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

So I brought my 2011 S60 into the local tire shop to get an alignment done (the second one in less than a year) as the steering angle is off. The shop called and said there was no point in doing the alignment as both the front lower ball joints need replacement. As they are integral to the lower control arm they quoted my $750 to replace both control arms. The car has 80,000 km (50,000 miles). Has anyone else had to replace theirs? This seems early to me. I have noticed a clunk when going up the curb to my driveway so I kind of knew this was coming.

Volvo quoted my $280 CAD each, and IPD has them for $125 USD ($175 CAD) each plus $110 CAD shipping. I tried calling a few parts stores around town and no one can get a hold of the control arms. That's what happens when they only sell about 1500 units of your car/year in the entire country.

On a side note I am heading to Detroit late next week to check out the Detroit auto show and will likely have IPD ship the items to my hotel (free shipping in the States) and do the work myself. I will get to see the S90 in person which will be nice.
 

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I had read on here that there was an updated design for the ball joints, I wonder if this is why. Sorry to hear this happened.
 

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I had read on here that there was an updated design for the ball joints, I wonder if this is why. Sorry to hear this happened.
I checked alldatadiy.com tech bulletins and could not find anything on this.
It does show the two different parts under part numbers. Only affected
2011s as later model years would have the newer part.

OP: alldatadiy.com procedure says 1.4 hours for the dealers to remove and
replace both using specific tools for this job. 0.9 hours for one. Dealer labor might
be cheaper then independent in this case (assuming the dealer has the specific
tools -- I bet that depends on the size of the dealer). I bet a dealer would
also charge the list price for the control arms ($200).

The steps were:

Remove the plastic cowl at the top of the engine around the wipers (to gain access to top of strut).
Remove wheel.
Use special tool that looks like a big c-clamp to compress the spring. One end sits on top of strut and
other below on the spring.
Remove axle bolt. Allows the assembly to move around a bit, I assume.
Remove bolt/nut (not clear) on the ball joint.
Remove rear bolt on the brake bracket and attach special tool to that. Tool is positioned
such that it can press out the ball joint (the part I hate about this job).
Remove three bolts on frame for control arm. Control arm is then released.

Take pictures if you do it :)
 

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^come to think of it, that may have been on the XC60. Sorry for the confusion OP.
 

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Very early for ball joints. I am getting ready to replace them on my '95 850.
 

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Take it to another party for evaluation before doing anything. Alignment shops make their only money by up selling suspension / brakes etc services often quoting parts not needed - other wise they'd go broke. 80,000 km on lower ball joints is not reasonable for any brand. Even try the Volvo dealer re cluncking simply an alignment
 

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When did you purchase it? If it was mid to late 2011, your only a few months out of warranty, you maybe able to get some goodwill from Volvo for this early failure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the responses. I got a quote from the Volvo dealer in Detroit (just to get a feel for what it would cost in the US) and it was $850 USD. I haven't tried here in Calgary at the dealer. I was also thinking of taking it to the dealer as White T6 suggested to get a second opinion. This tire shop did the same thing when I took my last vehicle there for an alignment. They were correct though and i ended up doing quite a bit of work on a 110,000 mi SUV myself (those parts were original though, I'm sure).

The dealer asks for the VIN when requesting the control arms as the units are different after chasis number 6848 (if memory serves). Mine is 9801 and IDP sells OEM control arms for units after 6848 for $125 plus their ridiculous shipping costs to Canada.

I do wish suspension parts nowadays were greasable as in the past.
 

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Repairs done after warranty by dealers now includes a lifetime warranty. I believe that
applies to Canada, too.

My 2011 is still under warranty which was 5 year, 60K for 2011s (changed to
50,000 miles at some point depending on sales date, as I recall). Not sure if cars sold
in Canada had the same warranty. Summary here:

https://www.edmunds.com/volvo/s60/2011/road-test-specs.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the info. I forgot about their lifetime warranty on repairs.

Unfortunately, my warranty expired May 2015.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Quick update:

I took the car in to the only Volvo dealer in town (Valentine here in Calgary) and asked for an alignment and to specifically check the ball joints for play. I got it back about an hour and a half later. They completed the alignment and told me there is no play in the ball joints. Looks like the tire shop is hungry for work.

Thanks for the advice!
 

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Quick update:

I took the car in to the only Volvo dealer in town (Valentine here in Calgary) and asked for an alignment and to specifically check the ball joints for play. I got it back about an hour and a half later. They completed the alignment and told me there is no play in the ball joints. Looks like the tire shop is hungry for work.

Thanks for the advice!
Great news! What about the clunking noise?

You should make a complaint to AMVIC about that alignment shop. I'll bet they have a 40% +/- capture rate (with people who have funds on hand) re unnecessary repairs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The clunk was intermittent but suddenly (after a 7,500 km road trip) came back over the last few days. It turns out it is mostly when turning the wheel. After an exhaustive search under the car I could not identify the source of the clunk/vibration. I scoured the site today and found a post about a similar noise that turned out to be the upper strut mount bearing. I started the car up, put my hand on the coil (passenger side) and had my wife turn the wheel. I could feel a pronounced vibration/sticking through the coil. I felt the other side and it was smooth. I will be ordering a part from tascaparts.com as per krn's advice above. Thanks!
 
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