Car Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

Valve cover gasket leaks are common after 60,000 miles. Symptoms will include oil drips under the vehicle and burning oil smell from the engine compartment.

The electronic throttle module (ETM) has a higher than normal failure rate. There is a possible extended warranty and/or a software upgrade offered by Volvo for this problem.

Many complaints have been reported regarding Volvo S80 transmission shifting issues. Long shift times between gear shifts, hard shifting, hard downshifting and a loss of transmission operation all together to name a few.

If the issue is minor, a transmission software update may address this issue so if available, the software should be updated before any repairs are made. After a software update or repair, the shift adaptation needs to be reset. A good quality Volvo repair shop will know how to perform this task.

There are several technical service bulletins (TSB's) available from Volvo that address these shifting issues and they should be consulted by the repair shop during the automatic transmission diagnostic process.

Regular servicing of the transmission fluid can help with preventing transmission failure, but not in all cases. Follow the suggested fluid replacement interval recommended by Volvo. You will find this in your owners manual, or find it here: http://bit.ly/Volvo_Owners_Manuals

The Check Engine Light may illuminate because of low catalytic converter efficiency. This same issue may cause the car to fail the State Smog Test if one is required.

Hyundai issued a recall on the airbag computer; it needs to be reprogrammed to prevent the airbags from deploying incorrectly during an accident when a child car seat has been placed in the passenger front seat.

Toyota issued a recall on the lower ball joint due to the possibility of premature wear from improper finishing in production. The ball joints will be replaced under the recall. This recall applies to 2001-2004 models only. Please contact you local Toyota dealer to see if your vehicle is included.

Shifting issues due to internal problems in high mileage automatic transmissions can be difficult to resolve without transmission replacement.

The distributor shaft bearing can become rusty, and seize causing the engine to stall or not start. The failed distributor will commonly require replacement.

An abnormal noise may develop from the transfer case. At this time parts are not available to repair internal damage to this type of transfer case, replacement is the only option. It is not uncommon for irregular tire wear to cause a similar noise. Diagnoses should be performed to confirm the actual cause of the driveline noise. Tire noise can be reduced by rotating the tires at least every 5000 miles.

A rattling noise from the engine may indicate that the timing chain cassette is worn. Our technicians tell us that installing an updated cassette and timing chain tensioner should correct this concern.

The 30amp high speed cooling fan fuse may blow due to high start up loads associated with the high speed cooling fan motor. Our technicians tell us the high speed cooling fan wiring and fuse should be upgraded to a 40amp circuit to correct this concern. The fan wiring MUST be upgraded along with the fuse to handle the increased current flow.

Various issues with the electric power steering system may develop and could require replacement of steering column assembly.

The transmission pressure control solenoid may fail causing erratic shifting. Our technicians tell us that partial dis-assembly of the transmission is necessary to replace a failed pressure control solenoid.

The transmission pressure control solenoid may fail causing erratic shifting. Our technicians tell us that partial dis-assembly of the transmission is necessary to replace a failed pressure control solenoid.

If you experience rough shift and/or shuddering during gear shifting, software updates to the powertrain control and transmission control modules (PCM and TCM) are available which may address these problems. On higher mileage vehicles, a mechanical failure may exhibit similar symptoms. Proper diagnoses should be performed before any repairs or software upgrades are attempted.

The engine may stall at times due to a failed crankshaft position sensor and/or camshaft position sensor, These sensors can fail intermittently as they warm with the engine. Sensors on certain models have been recalled by Nissan and will be replaced as necessary. Please visit our recall section for this model to see if your vehicle is covered by this recall.

Various issues with the electric power steering system may develop and could require replacement of steering column assembly.

Our technicians tell us that various dirveability and Check Engine Light issues can be corrected by updating the powertrain control module (PCM) software.

A damaged cam position sensor (or its wires and connector) can cause intermittent stalling, stumbles, or hard starting.

If the vehicle will not shift into, or out of four wheel drive, and the "Serv 4WD" warning light is illuminated, the front axle disconnect actuator may need replacement and a power module (TIPM) may need a software update.

The daytime running lights are prone to burning out. Our technicians tell us that the light sockets may show signs of heat damage but usually are OK. Always be sure to use the correct replacement bulb for the best life expectancy. The new bulb recommendation for 1999-2003 models is #4114K (trade number).

Ignition switch failure may cause the car to stall or fail to start. Honda issued a recall to replace the ignition switch. For more information on this recall please click here»

Excessive oil consumption can cause a low oil level condition, which can result in illumination of the Check Engine Light.

The 4WD transfer case encoder motor position sensor or the selector switch may fail causing the service 4WD message to be displayed. Fault code(s) stored in the transfer case control module will be of assistance in determining the exact fault causing the message to be displayed.