Volvo V50 (2004–2012)

What's good

Useful self-maintenance feature: by pulling out 2 metal slides you can remove the entire front lamp unit to change side, head, main beam bulbs and indicator.

What to watch out for

Complaints of selecting reverse rather than 1st due to narrow gate on diesel's 6-speed manual.

Complaints of worse than 40mpg from 2.0 diesel diesel cruising at 80.

Complaints of dash top reflections in screen by day and instrument reflections at night and that the floating instrument panel is hard to use.

Complaints of poor fuel economy of 5 cylinder petrol automatics, though these owners may not have been aware of the free dealer software update.

2007 facelift better in the metal than in some photos. Does give better pedestrian protection at the front.

Special plastic electronic 'key' gets stuck in dashboard and in January 2006 Volvo was quoting until May 2006 to supply a replacement, offering customers courtesy cars for that period.

Timing belt tensioners of D5s have been failing, so advisable to change belts and tensioners at 4 years or 60k miles whichever comes first. 2.4D and D5 Inlet manifold swirl flaps prone to breaking off at any time from 3 years old.

Problems with 2.0 diesels include: brake problems, wheel bearing failure, EGR valve failure, aircon issues, software problems and electrical gremlins.

End of plastic dipstick of 1.6 diesel engine can break and drop into sump requiring removal of sump to retrieve it.

ESP warning light can indicate Fault Code "Boost Pressure Sensor G201". This is embedded inside Teves Mk 60 ABS systems and requires replacement of ABS control unit/pump. Seems to be age-related, occurring mainly in 3 - 5 year old cars. Does not necessarily lead to an MoT failure. If car has been Volvo maintained, Volvo will usually meet 70% to 100% of replacement cost. Bosch ABS systems do not have the problem. Only affects cars up to 2007 model year.

WARNING: Dodgy dealers and unscrupulous private vendors are now unplugging the ECU as no warning then shows on the dash. Replace the plug and the light 'ECU off' appears permanently whether you switch it on or off.

2010 TSB related to rising sump oil levels in D5 Diesel engines with a DPF which is caused by excess fuel entering the engine sump via cylinders during DPF regeneration cycles. The solution is to reprogram the engine management software to reduce the volume of fuel used during the regeneration cycle and drain the excess oil back to midway between the min/max levels on the dip stick, then keep an eye on it. Really, any engine that has had its lube oil contaminated by diesel needs a lube oil change.

Volvo dealers quote £1,000 for a new Diesel Particulate Filter for the 2.0 diesel.

4-3-2011: Volvo says, "Regarding the D2 diesel engine, the software has been improved so that particle filter regeneration is facilitated. As for all modern diesel engines with particle filter, it is still recommended to do some driving at a bit higher loads once in awhile, to ensure cleaning of the particle filter. However, our experience is that the D2 in V50 is really easy to regerarate, so it should work fine also for mostly city-driving. There is one second point concerning the D2: starting from late 2010 in V50, we do a hardware change from an additive particle filter to a catalyzed one. The additive filter type needed to be replaced or cleaned after 120,000 km, which is a costly repair. The new catalyzed solution does not require this, which is an advantage if the customer intends to keep the car for longer time."

25-10-2011: Timing belt tensioner of 2.5 litre Volvo engine can fail in as little as 50,000 miles, flinging off the belt and wrecking the engine, then landing the owner with a £6,000 bill.

6-1-2012: 'Clunks' reported from the drivetrain of DRIVEe 1.6 D2s, probably from the dual mass flywheel coping with the high gear ratios. Better not to run too low revs in any gear.

16-1-2012: Turbo problem on 1.6TDCI/1.6HDI DV6 appears to be getting worse: Reader reports 1.6TDCI at 56,000 miles: "Car lost power plus growl/whine indicating turbo trouble - drove gently 3 miles to local garage where tech confirmed - pulled inlet rubber pipe and demonstrated wear in turbo bearings. He is quite clued up and knows a lot about this problem. There is a huge amount of evidence of similar cases in the Backroom forum and others, and there is clearly a serious problem affecting this engine. The cure is not just a new turbo, but new oil pipe, pump, pick-up, etc etc. Ford dealer prices for repairs are £1,200 for parts alone. There was a Ford TSB45/2008 about this. Newer engines (2008+) have modified parts. Apparently you can get a new turbo for £350 plus £120 for a "kit" of modified pipes/pick-up unions etc. from Transitpartsuk (International Parts Ltd) to fit next week. eBay supplier TransitpartsUK

7-9-2012: A/C condenser is a leaf trap that collects corrosive road salt leading to failure. Volvo is routinely replacing these FoC on cars up to 5 years old.

28-1-2013: Over-revving of low mileage Feb 2009 reg V50 D5 SE LUX caused by fraying of cables in the engine compartment that eventually blew the EMU. Quoted £3,500 to repair and a month's wait for parts.

3-6-2013: Refusal to start at embarrassing moments may be due to a known fault in the steering column lock. When trying to start the car, after a pause in a long journey, the warning lights may come on, the radio may works but the engine refuses to turn over. Common up to 2005, then corrected on later models. Mayb be related to early problems with plastic electronic key getting stuck in the dashboard.

2-2-2014: Powershift transmission problems on 2009/59 Volvo V50 2.0D at 54,500 miles. Last serviced by independent at 49k miles. Transmission fluid and microfilter had not been changed. First symptom delay in engaging drive. Second symptom lost reverse and would on go into 2nd forwards. Happily, changing the fluid and microfilter solved the problem, so this confirms the need for a 40,000 mile ATF and microfilter change on Powershifts.

6-11-2014: 3 failed injectors on 35k mile 2011 Volvo V50 D3 R-Design.

2-6-2015: Powershift transmission of 2012 Volvo V502.0D failed at 20,000 miles and was replaced under warranty.

18-1-2016: Many faults reported on 2011 Volvo V-50 DriveE 1.6, bought 2012, by 60,000 miles: S ound system replaced, clutch and mass balance flywheel replaced, alarm system replaced, leaking front suspension replaced, all resolved under warranty. Then filled up with diesel at a well known supermarket and within a mile or two the 'Reduced Engine Performance' light flashed on and the car went into limp mode. Volvo dealer advise that all four injectors needed replacing at a cost of £2,500.

24-1-2016: Report that local garage maintained 2009 Volvo 1.6d Drive SE now with 90,000 miles has needed repeated replacement turbos (most likely because the tubo bearing oil feed and oil retuen pipes were not replaced at the same time).

11-2-2016: 'Engine System Service Required' kept appearing on dash of Volvo V50 D2 115PS and car would be hesitant and splutter past 3000 rpm. At one point, the car came to a halt but with the engine running normally. Pressing the throttle made no difference to the revs - there was no connection between throttle pedal and engine. Switching off, then back on again reset things. Volvo independent cleaned the connections on the central electronic control unit and this seemed to cure the problem. (Also had also had a new turbo actuator and a new throttle pedal but believe the ECU was the root of the problem.)

24-2-2016: Report of injector failure on 2010 Volvo V50 D2 at 108k miles. Needs three new injectors and dealer suggests a fourth as well. Had been run on Shell V-Power and BP Ultimate diesel. Same problem that afflicts Fords, Peugeots and Citroens with this engine.

16-7-2016: Report of 2009 Volvo V50 D5 Sport indicating steering lock service required. Although the steering lock is not activating with the key removed and the steering is moving freely, the car will not start.

8-11-2017: Volvo S40 2.0D vehicle failed to start and and showed error message: TURN STEERING WHEEL and ATTEMPT RESTART. Owner thinks this is a sympton of a common ECU problem. Volvo dealer replaced steering column lock that was not covered by owners's aftermarket warranty, but an ECU problem would have been. Unable to comment further on owner's speculation. See: 3-6-2013.

1-4-2018: Report of 2011 Volvo V50 SE Lux DrivE 1.6 diesel failing completely at about 120,000 miles. The engine seized and could not be restarted, and had to be transported to the local Volvo dealer in Havant (Cambridge Garage). They advised that here was oil all over the outside of the engine and little in the sump, and their first suggestion was that it may have been a pipe from the sump to the turbo that had failed, but a visual inspection identified it as intact. The service manager later suggested a turbo failure might have occurred which can cause it to eject all the contents of the sump very quickly - apparently these engines only have a capacity of about 3.5 litres of oil.


Summer 2005 TSB for 5-cylinder petrol automatics for a free software update to improve mpg and gear changing. July 2006: 'Active Service Action. A56018'
"Volvo quality follow-up procedures have identified that on a small number of S40/V50 models the parking brake has not been properly engaged whilst the car is parked, resulting in the car being able to roll away. As a result, Volvo Car Corporation has decided that potentially affected vehicles should have an adjustment carried out to the parking brake mechanism. It has also been decided to update the Owner's Manual, including the provision of a supplementary instruction booklet. This provides clarification on correct use of the parking brake." Early 2007 TSB to modify the brake vacuum pump/servo on pre 2007MY 2.0 diesels to same spec as 2007MY.

On HDIs, rubber cushioned timing belt pulley needs replacing at same time as timing belt (60k - 70k miles) otherwise can separate.

11/12/2006 R/2007/006 VOLVO CAR S40 engine may fail YV1MS765262177211 to YV1MS765262177211

29/11/2007 R/2007/176 VOLVO CAR C30, S40 & V50braking performance may be affected 0000000000016378000000000000193791

29/11/2007 R/2007/176 VOLVO CAR C30, S40 & V50braking performance may be affected 0000000000016200300000000000295267

21/01/2008 R/2008/013 VOLVO CAR S40 and V50 engine fuel pump may fail000001168553

05/03/2008 R/2008/040 VOLVO CAR C30, S40, V50 AND C70 reduced braking performance 297302305575

25/04/2008 R/2008/066 VOLVO CAR S40, V50 AND C30r ear wheels may loosen 391077391907

17/07/2008 R/2008/112 VOLVO CAR C30, S40, V50, C70. power steering pipe may leak. S40 403368-432659S40 403368-432659

22/07/2008 R/2008/116 VOLVO CAR C30, S40 & V50accelerator pedal may not return to resting position 363521442033

06/03/2009 R/2009/024 VOLVO CAR S40, V50, C30 possible engine bay fire

22-4-2009: Volvo Cars is to recall over 20,000 2007 build C30s, S40s and V50 diesels across Europe to check for faulty cooling fans. The company will install a plastic cover over the fan, spokeswoman Maria Bohlin told AFP. "There is a control module in the cooling system and because there was a manufacturing problem with this module... water might get into it and in the worse case scenario lead to short circuits," she added. Letters had already been sent out to owners.

08/05/2009 R/2009/052 VOLVO CAR S80, V70, C30, C70, S40 & V50. Brakes may not perform adequately. VIN 478233 to 494177

21/12/2009 R/2009/155 VOLVO CAR C30, C70, S40, V50 & V70. Gearbox may not engage or shift gears as intended. VIN 539517 to 549194

2010 TSB related to rising sump oil levels in D5 Diesel engines with a DPF which is caused by excess fuel entering the engine sump via cylinders during DPF regeneration cycles. The solution is to reprogram the engine management software to reduce the volume of fuel used during the regeneration cycle and drain the excess oil back to midway between the min/max levels on the dip stick, then keep an eye on it. Really, any engine that has had its lube oil contaminated by diesel needs a lube oil change.

12/05/2010 R/2010/051 VOLVO CAR C30, S40, V50, C70, XC60, V70, XC70 & S80. Engine speed may not decrease. VIN 180043 to 569282

11/06/2010 R/2010/071 VOLVO CAR XC70, V70, S80, XC90, C30, S40, V50, C70, XC60. Gearbox may jam. VIN 543653 to 579597

21/09/2010 R/2010/144 VOLVO CAR C30, S40 and V50. Engine may overheat. VIN 590038 to 592370

03/12/2010 R/2010/224 VOLVO CAR C30, S40, V50, S60, V60, XC60, V70, XC70 & S80. Fire may occur. VIN 610264 to 613753

22/12/2010 R/2010/233 VOLVO CAR S40, V50 S60, XC60 Passenger seat may not be fitted correctly. VIN 488548 to 609751

18/02/2011 R/2011/019 VOLVO CAR C30, S40 & V50. Fire may occur. VIN 270042 to 313561

23/03/2011 R/2011/031 VOLVO CAR C30, S40 & V50. Support member may crack. VIN 617057 to 619500

28/06/2011 R/2011/075 VOLVO CAR C30, V50 and S40. Brakes may not perform as expected. VIN 419200 tp 614323

07/09/2011 R/2011/127 VOLVO CAR C30, S40, V50 and C70. Clutch pedal mechanism may fail. VIN 395420 to 627723

01/12/2011 R/2011/163 VOLVO CAR C30, S40, V50 and C70. Fluid may leak into wiring harness which may cause fire. VIN 396179 to 572324

8-4-2013: R/2013/046 VOLVO CAR C30, S40, V50: LOSS OF DRIVE: It is possible that the right hand driveshaft may not have been manufactured to the correct specification. This can ultimately, result in the failure of the drive shaft. This will be identified to the driver by noise and the loss of drive. FIX: Recall all affected vehicles and replace the right hand driveshaft. Build dates: 26-4-2011 to 28-05-2012. VINs S40: 550114 to 565675; V50: 635615 to 651965; C30: 246534 to 266198

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