Volvo S40 common problems

Volvo S40Want a combination of luxury and solid motoring? You could do a whole lot worse than looking at the Volvo S40. This strong and very solid vehicle gives you a professional edge, loads of space and a cool profile that is available in a whole range of different models.

There’s nothing quite like a Volvo when it comes to safety, but this doesn’t mean it’s immune to problems and issues. If you’re considering purchasing a used S40 then you should be aware of the following widely known faults.

Instrument Panel

If there are problems with the instrument panel, chances are that this is not actually down to a failure in the part, but rather a faulty connection with the ECU. If you come across a second hand Volvo S40 suffering from this issue then you should be able to repair it relatively cheaply without having to look for a whole new panel.


If the Volvo S40 you are thinking of purchasing has a sunroof then be aware of the following fault. There are two drainage channels on either side of the part. These can become easily blocked over time causing water to run into the vehicle during heavy rain. Tell-tale signs include a musty smell in the car and signs of water damage in the rear foot-wells and on the interior pillars. Whilst this won’t ruin the car, it does depreciate the value.

Water and Fuel Pumps

Thinking of buying a 1.6 litre S40? This version of the popular Volvo is known to require a large and constant supply of engine oil or it tends to sludge up. Weak points in the system are known to be the fuel and water pumps, which can cause overheating and poor running of the vehicle. Be on the lookout for any kinds of engine difficulties or idling issues when considering buying this model.


Check the brakes are fully operational when taking your Volvo S40 out on the road. You’ll want to make sure that the stopping distances are all as expected because there is a well-known problem with the brake rotors, which could spell problems when bringing the vehicle to a stop. With no easy remedy for this issue, you’ll be looking at replacing the part.

Rear Wheel Studs

Be especially vigilant when considering purchasing a Volvo S40 that was manufactured in 2008. Cars from this period are known to suffer from a fault with the rear wheel studs. There was a large recall performed by Volvo and this should be listed in the service history of the car.

Suspension Issues

Thinking of buying an S40 T5? If you have one of these cars in your spotlight then it’s definitely worth noting a widely reported issue with the front suspension. Premature wear can easily start to impede the workings of the rear bushes in this system effecting the vehicle’s ability to provide a smooth and stable ride. The old bushes will need replacement with newer polystyrene versions.

Ultimately the S40 is a top-quality car and one that will hold its value quite well even after you have had it for several years. It’s good on the road, offering a high degree of comfort and great handling. Simply go through the checks and you could end up with a car that will last, giving you a great return on your money.

For affordable replacement engines, gearboxes and more, check out our new and used Volvo S40 parts page.

This entry was posted in Cars and tagged , on by Justin Smith.

About Justin Smith

As the man at the helm of BreakerLink, it is no surprise that its Director, Justin Smith, has always had a keen interest in cars, bikes and most things wheeled. Having spent over two decades in the car parts industry, Justin combines his passion that since 2002, has successfully united those looking for new and used car parts with the breaker that supplies them. Follow Justin on LinkedIn.

Disclaimer: These articles are for guidance purposes only. If you have any questions regarding any matter relating to your vehicle we would recommend that you seek the advice of an appropriate professional. We accept no responsibility or liability should you suffer financial or personal damages in relation to the advice stated on this website.