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Skurvy_Pirate

Looking At Buying An S60R

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I have been looking at buying a car and my family has had Volvos forever, so naturally I started looking at Volvos. I came across the S60R and I love it. I am mostly looking at 2004 models because that is what fits my budget. I have done a lot of research and have seen that a lot of common problems with these are the master or slave cylinder failing with a manual. Also, that the AWD has some problems. So here are my questions:

  1. How much does it cost to have the master or slave cylinder replaced?
  2. Is this something I can EXPECT to happen? If so, around what mileage?
  3. How frequent is it to have problems with the AWD? I haven't seen much about it, only a few things here and there. And how expensive to repair?
  4. What are some other common issues I should have a mechanic check out before I buy?
  5. I test drove one already, but after test driving I lifted the hood and I could here a clicking noise coming from the engine. I have read this could be from low oil levels or from oil that needs to be changed. The oil did look pretty dirty and it's hard to look inside the engine because there are slats covering the hole, but on the cap it looked like it was possibly sludgy. What could be causing this noise? It seems if it is from bad oil I definitely want to avoid this car.
  6. Any other advice about S60Rs?

Thanks for taking time to read this!

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1. Anywhere from $800-1500, more if the dealer is being silly (but I'd advise any work on these cars done by an independent as Volvo will charge a fortune).

2. I know few people with MTs that have made it beyond 100k w/o master slave failure. Yes, I'd say expect it.

3. Not too common. Depends on how you drive, costs $100-2000 to repair depending on extent of damage.

4. Depends on mileage. Bushings and angle gear leaking.

5. Loots of things haha. If the oil is dirty, though, then I'd stay away from that car. DO NOT buy one of these used with a poor/nonexistent service history.

6. tascaparts.com is your friend. They're a volvo dealer in Rhode Island with brand new OEM volvo parts for half off what you'll pay at your local dealer. Make sure the exhaust bracket on the underside of the car is removed (it can be bent up into the driveshaft causing a pricey repair). Also check the struts...they're pricey at $400-700 a strut.

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Thanks for the reply! I have found a lot of stuff on the exhaust bracket since I posted this. I am looking at another 04 and the dealer said that the middle exhaust was removed (I think the resonator is what he was talking about), and I suspect it was to combat the problem of the exhaust rubbing on the propeller shaft when it got wet. I am hoping they also had the exhaust bracket removed but I am taking it to a Volvo shop to have it checked out during the pre purchase inspection.

I think I am going to see if the slave cylinder has been replaced. I have read that some people got it done under warranty when they came out with an improved one.

One last thing, the car doesn't have service records, but a clean carfax and the dealer had it checked out and serviced and said the previous owner had also serviced it recently. They are very reputable but I am still having it checked out by another Volvo shop.

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Yeah, that's pretty typical to have the resonator removed. As you said, when cold rain/slush etc. hits the underside of the hot exhaust, it deforms upward into an arch shape (colder metal on bottom contracts and hotter metal on top expands) and the resonator rubs against the driveshaft creating a very unpleasant high-pitched squeal. In fact, I have this problem with my car right now and need to get it fixed. Volvo DID make a bracket to keep the resonator from pushing against the driveshaft, but so far I've seen varied results of its functioning. Some people prefer the sound of the exhaust without the resonator anyway, as the difference is minimal with just a hint more of deep exhaust note, and a bit more of a "rough" idle on startup (but this goes away when the RPMs drop down to normal after 20-30sec.). Since the "rain squeal bracket" from Volvo costs $175ish, and cutting off the resonator is anywhere from $50-80, most just opt for the resonator removal.

The exhaust bracket isn't a huge deal, just make sure it's removed ASAP...there are quite a few stories of people who have pulled out of their driveway, for example, and ended up smacking the exhaust bracket and bending their drive shaft (you're probably aware of that by now, though, since it seems you already know a lot about these cars).

Yep, the slave cylinder is done under warranty. They do have a revised design that should work much better. It would actually be a plus if it had already been replaced, as you said.

It's your decision on the service history, of course. If both Volvo dealers find the car to be okay, and you personally feel good about it, then go for it. I'm not sure what car you're coming from, but just be aware that these can be somewhat pricey to maintain. I personally think it's worth it, since it is a safe car (it gives peace of mind knowing that my family and I are safe in this car relative to other cars), and it's such a complete package with having gorgeous understated looks, a fantastic engine, wonderful seats, and practicality, all without carrying the stigma of other competitors like Audi or BMW. Plus it's a super exclusive car. I see maybe 1-2 maximum each month in my area.

If you need further assistance (tutorials, parts, general info), swedespeed,com is an excellent resource. I'm there under the same username. This site just doesn't get that much traffic. :P

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I actually posted over at Swedespeed too! I found it when I was doing research on the car. That is where I have gotten most of the info I know about the car so far. It definitely gets a lot more traffic because I posted around the same time there and has 19 replies as of now.

My family have had Volvos forever so it was a natural choice for me to look at them :). I actually have never owned a car. I just graduated college about 5 months ago. Through college I have used my parent's cars (I got the older Volvo wagon), and my friend gave me an old POS grand prix that I sold because it was falling apart haha. So this will be my first car I actually buy and own.

As long as the mechanic sees no major problems or upcoming problems and thinks the car is in good condition and well maintained there is a good chance that I will get it! I have only been looking at S60R's about 2 and a half weeks and I love them already! Haha.

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