Question about 2001 Volvo S60

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Bulbs frequently burning out.

2004 S60 2.5T AWD, owned for about 14 months, 66k miles, CPO car. We've had at least 6, and probably more like 8 - 10 bulbs replaced in the short time we've owned the car, including one of the bi-xenon headlamps (approx. $125!). Seems like every 6 weeks or so we get the warning on the dash about a position bulb failure. Occasionally, the warning disappears on its own. But we usually have to take car to the dealer for bulb replacement. I've asked service mgr why so many bulb failures, and he tries to assure me that it's just the age of the car, and we're going through a cycle of replacing all bulbs, one by one. Once we have all new bulbs, the problem should disappear. I'm not buying it, and think it might have something to do with the voltage regulator or wiring harness, or some other problem with the car's electrical system. What do you think? Are there any technical bulletins on the subject?

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  • miax1000 Jan 07, 2009

    I have an 2001 S60 and every week it calls for a bulb replacement. It is real issue. I have replaced every bulb 5 times or more and it still looks for a new one. I thought I was the only one.

  • T3rryB Mar 25, 2009

    I bought a pre-owned 2004 Volvo S60 less than a year ago.  Less than a month after I got the car I had to replace the low beam bulb.  A couple of months later I had to replace the other one.  Last month I had to replace the first one again.  I've also had to replace a position light and another tail light.  At $20 a bulb these are not bulbs you want to be replacing this often.  A friend of mine who is a mechanic at Volvo says when one fails, it will often be the start of a string of failures because by replacing the failed bulb the others will be "disturbed" enough to cause their filaments to break and thus the bulb will fail.  I too suspect that overvoltage may be the problem.  Maybe the voltage regulator is letting a higher than normal voltage through to the car's electrical components causing them to fail. 

  • 240cpa May 11, 2010

    I have owned my 240 for 21 years and have never only replaced two bulbs in that time. You're intuition is right, you've got an electrical problem that is unresolved and your mechanic just wants to keep selling you bulbs. I have lived with my bulb failure light coming on for much of that time and no problems. I would have the charging system checked for free at a parts store, to begin the diagnosis. I would also look at the fuse block and verify that there are no issues there.



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The bulbs last forever on my 240s, but they don't last on my '94 850 and '98 XC70. The dash bulbs are hard to fix and the radio bulbs are soldered in. One solution is to always keep the dash lights dimmed about 30% from full brightness, and don't leave the headlights on during daylight. I keep them on but need to replace at least one headlight bulb each year. You could also check the battery voltage with a simple voltmeter just to be sure the voltage regulator is within spec. If the charging voltage is too high, the battery life might also be shortened.

Posted on Jan 09, 2009


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