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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, My wife owns a 2018 Volvo V40 D3, it has 40,000 miles on clock, full history and sailed through Two Mots in her time of ownership. The ride over country lanes is dreadfull and the only thing to dislike the car for.
She plans to keep the car but we wondered if there are sensible changes we can make to the car to improve the ride quality,. Often we feel the suspension bottom out over even shallow pot holes, the ride is superb on motorways etc but so harsh on lanes. We have no desire to boy racer it, the car is we believe fully standard set up,
So larger wheels? uprated suspension? dampers? different air pressure? we'd be grateful for any practical suggestions whilst keeping the car within safe and legal limits.
Many thanks in advance of any replies, regards to all,
Motty
 

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Hi all, My wife owns a 2018 Volvo V40 D3, it has 40,000 miles on clock, full history and sailed through Two Mots in her time of ownership. The ride over country lanes is dreadfull and the only thing to dislike the car for.
She plans to keep the car but we wondered if there are sensible changes we can make to the car to improve the ride quality,. Often we feel the suspension bottom out over even shallow pot holes, the ride is superb on motorways etc but so harsh on lanes. We have no desire to boy racer it, the car is we believe fully standard set up,
So larger wheels? uprated suspension? dampers? different air pressure? we'd be grateful for any practical suggestions whilst keeping the car within safe and legal limits.
Many thanks in advance of any replies, regards to all,
Motty
Smaller diameter wheels and higher profile tyres are probably the best option to start with. I'm guessing the car is on 17 - 18 inch wheels as standard. Reducing the wheel size and using a tyre with a correspondingly higher sidewall to keep the overall diameter and rolling circumference the same will give a much more compliant ride with less harshness. The Momentum model is on 16 inch rims as standard and the ride as far as I'm concerned is firm but comfortable, with handling that still exceeds what is safe on public roads. Larger wheels and low profile tyres are a current fashion item. It's what car buyers want for appearance rather than comfort, so manufacturers fit them to attract sales.

The only caveat is, depending on the size of the brake discs fitted to your wife's car (some models with larger wheels have correspondingly larger diameter discs) reducing the wheel diameter may not be possible - at least without also changing the brake components which will become a lot more costly.

Acceptable wheel and corresponding tyre sizes should be shown in your vehicle handbook.
 

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Just to echo what RS3100 has said above.
When buying I particularly went for a Momentum model because of it having the 16inch wheels and higher profile tyres. I must say that with Michelin Primacy4 tyres on it mine corners as though it's on rails!...and the ride is just fine.
Pre-purchase I demo'd a couple of R-Design models on low profile 17inch wheels and tyres with stiffer suspension etc. and decided the ride was too just too harsh for me especially on the uk's awful roads.
I think unfortunately you are stuck with what you have. To modify the suspension and a wheel/tyre swap would be very costly!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just to echo what RS3100 has said above.
When buying I particularly went for a Momentum model because of it having the 16inch wheels and higher profile tyres. I must say that with Michelin Primacy4 tyres on it mine corners as though it's on rails!
Pre-purchase I demo'd a couple of R-Design models on low profile 17inch wheels and tyres and decided the ride was too just too harsh for me especially on the uk's awful roads.
T
Just to echo what RS3100 has said above.
When buying I particularly went for a Momentum model because of it having the 16inch wheels and higher profile tyres. I must say that with Michelin Primacy4 tyres on it mine corners as though it's on rails!
Pre-purchase I demo'd a couple of R-Design models on low profile 17inch wheels and tyres and decided the ride was too just too harsh for me especially on the uk's awful roads.
Thanks guys, much appreciated, only concern I have then is how would i know in advance if a 16 inch rim would fit over discs etc. It is running 17 inches as standard.
 

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T

Thanks guys, much appreciated, only concern I have then is how would i know in advance if a 16 inch rim would fit over discs etc. It is running 17 inches as standard.
I'm not at home at the moment, so no access to documents etc. But I'd suggest measuring the diameter of the front brake discs. Do an online search for V40 pads and/or discs and you should find the various sizes documented. If your wife's car is already on the smallest brake disc size, definitely no problem with 16 inch wheels.

Searching on the model D3, trim level and year should also help. I can't imagine the brakes on a D3 are going to be the largest size ;)
 

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I wonder if it's worth checking it's on standard set up. I used to have an R Design Pro (so 18 inch wheels) and I'd say the ride was fairly firm but not uncomfortable and the country roads near me are borderline unacceptable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks again for your replies, all sounds like sound advice, tho not sure how I would check if its on standard set up or not, I understand 16 or 17 are available as options from new, would that imply that either is standard?
I can check disc sizes but not just yet as im recovering from major surgery and she wont let me near a car at the moment, lol. She is right of course but dont we hate that. lol.
 

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Yes, I did a bit of googling on my phone and various sites do suggest that the D3 was available with 16 or 17 inch wheels, which does suggest that the brakes would be compatible, although I would want to be absolutely sure before ordering new wheels and tyres.

Good luck with your recovery. I hope you get better quickly and are soon back to full health.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, I did a bit of googling on my phone and various sites do suggest that the D3 was available with 16 or 17 inch wheels, which does suggest that the brakes would be compatible, although I would want to be absolutely sure before ordering new wheels and tyres.

Good luck with your recovery. I hope you get better quickly and are soon back to full health.
Hi,thank you, very kind of you. Thanks for your kind advice as well, regards
Motty
 

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I had a Momentum Nav Plus on 205/55 R16 tyres (Michelin Primacy 4). I found it decent and rather cushony. Now have an Audi A3 on 225/45 R17 (Pirelli P7 C2) and I find them equally as cushiony. Both do NOT have sports suspension. Prior to the V40 had a Seat Ibiza on 215/40 R17 (Bridgestone Potenza RE050A), now that was a bouncy/harsh ride!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I had a Momentum Nav Plus on 205/55 R16 tyres (Michelin Primacy 4). I found it decent and rather cushony. Now have an Audi A3 on 225/45 R17 (Pirelli P7 C2) and I find them equally as cushiony. Both do NOT have sports suspension. Prior to the V40 had a Seat Ibiza on 215/40 R17 (Bridgestone Potenza RE050A), now that was a bouncy/harsh ride!
HI, thats interesting. The ride we have is quite harsh and you can feel it bottom out on potholes, it is so jarring. I mentioned I had been ill recently, ( now forever cured following major surgery ) every bump seemed to transmit to my head and made it very uncomfortable for me to be in the car. hopefully now the wife can keep it as due to surgery I seem well again. Just seems an apt time to improve it. I have 3 other cars, 2005 subaru forester with 2.5 boxer engine, a quite beautiful ride, an Astra estate on a 2005 plate which also handles and drives so much more comfortable than the volvo and an 18 plate vauxhall grandland which is delightful to drive despite its simplicity of build quality, the volvo really stands out as the uncomfortable one, we are volvo lovers having had several marques before and loved every one. this one looks a delight, seems very reliable with normal Volvo reliabilty, such a shame they seem to have comprimised on ride quality. So we would love cushiony and swap it for bumpy all day long. Thanks for taking the time to reply, regards
Motty.
 

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I had a 2004 Astra "H", handled the bumps in our UK roads much better than the V40, but I recall it had 55 profile 16 inch tyres, versus 45 profile 17 inch on the V40
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Check out adjustable Koni shocks for your car.
Or the Volvo dealers would love you to upgrade.
How about a nice emission free
XC40 electric
Yes I wondered about shocks, as for electric, no ta, I'll keep putting it off unitl I cant any longer. I'm going to try the 16 inch rims with higher profile first, see how that goes then maybe after that. .
 

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I have driven hundreds of different cars, vans and trucks over the course of my career. I would describe the V40's ride as on the firm side of neutral, but not unduly so. Running the tyres at recommended Eco pressures also gives a noticeably harsher ride than the comfort pressures, as would be expected. Lower profile tyres will exacerbate that, as the tyre either has to have stiffer sidewalls or run at a higher pressure (or a combination of the two) to resist the greater risk of tyre and rim damage due to decreased volume and clearance between the road surface and the wheel rim.

The ride is firmer than many standard saloon cars or family hatchbacks without sporty pretensions, and the chassis and suspension are shared to an extent with the Ford Focus, which was much praised for its chassis and suspension tuning.

There are if course cars with much firmer suspension, just as there are those that have a much softer ride. Everything is a balance and must also accommodate driver preference. Many drivers have absolutely no interest in the ultimate handling abilities of their cars. They just want to get from A to B sedately and in as much comfort as possible, with no concern about cornering capabilities when driving enthusiastically etc.

At the other extreme, we once had a Mitsubishi Evo on evaluation as a police car. In many ways a fantastic car, and undoubtedly very capable on a race track or roads that could be guaranteed to be perfectly smooth and free of debris. But driven anywhere near its limits on public roads any pothole or deviation in the road surface could easily result in the driver finding him or herself on the wrong side of the road or even off it altogether before having the chance to take any remedial action. It was also very tiring to drive at the kind of level expected during emergency response driving, and half a shift would leave the driver feeling physically and mentally drained.

Something that many drivers don't seem to appreciate when they fit stiffened and lowered suspension and wider wheels and tyres to their cars. It may increase the "handling capabilities" beyond the original design, but it often also removes the driver feedback built into the original chassis tuning, resulting in a point at which the car may suddenly lose adhesion with no prior warning, often catastrophically on public roads with other vehicles, buildings, trees and street furniture unprotected by barriers and tyre walls!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have driven hundreds of different cars, vans and trucks over the course of my career. I would describe the V40's ride as on the firm side of neutral, but not unduly so. Running the tyres at recommended Eco pressures also gives a noticeably harsher ride than the comfort pressures, as would be expected. Lower profile tyres will exacerbate that, as the tyre either has to have stiffer sidewalls or run at a higher pressure (or a combination of the two) to resist the greater risk of tyre and rim damage due to decreased volume and clearance between the road surface and the wheel rim.

The ride is firmer than many standard saloon cars or family hatchbacks without sporty pretensions, and the chassis and suspension are shared to an extent with the Ford Focus, which was much praised for its chassis and suspension tuning.

There are if course cars with much firmer suspension, just as there are those that have a much softer ride. Everything is a balance and must also accommodate driver preference. Many drivers have absolutely no interest in the ultimate handling abilities of their cars. They just want to get from A to B sedately and in as much comfort as possible, with no concern about cornering capabilities when driving enthusiastically etc.

At the other extreme, we once had a Mitsubishi Evo on evaluation as a police car. In many ways a fantastic car, and undoubtedly very capable on a race track or roads that could be guaranteed to be perfectly smooth and free of debris. But driven anywhere near its limits on public roads any pothole or deviation in the road surface could easily result in the driver finding him or herself on the wrong side of the road or even off it altogether before having the chance to take any remedial action. It was also very tiring to drive at the kind of level expected during emergency response driving, and half a shift would leave the driver feeling physically and mentally drained.

Something that many drivers don't seem to appreciate when they fit stiffened and lowered suspension and wider wheels and tyres to their cars. It may increase the "handling capabilities" beyond the original design, but it often also removes the driver feedback built into the original chassis tuning, resulting in a point at which the car may suddenly lose adhesion with no prior warning, often catastrophically on public roads with other vehicles, buildings, trees and street furniture unprotected by barriers and tyre walls!
Hi, Fascinating stuff and I bow to your knowledge and experience, i will however take issue with only one thing. The Volvo V40 ride quality. Firstly my wife adores the car, I love the look of it and appreciate the build quality of what is for us the 6th Volvo we have had. I am now 68 and whilst I cannot compete with your numbers of car driven I have driven quite a few over the years and even dabbled in the car industry for a time. Buying and selling a few cars as a sideline to my engineering business. The engineering business allowed me to service and repair many cars to a very high standard. The Volvo V40 in my opinion is the second worse comfot drive, second only to a Mazda MX5 ( 1993 ) we owned. Another car my wife and I much loved and kept for several years. We do love the Volvo, I sit mainly as a pasenger as the wife hates me driving her cars, ( cant think why ).
As I sit kerb side, the potholes do as well, the bumps resonate through the suspension, into the floor and transfer into a teeth chattering ride. By some way the worse Volvo ride. I mentioned I have been ill, I had suffered until very recently with a life changing condition called trigeminal neuralgia, it involves a nerve in my face sending false messages to the brain and leaving me with excruciating pain on one side of my face, rendering it near impossible to eat or even talk. Dont take my word for it, look it up. Anyway, it has been for me impossibe to be in the car, the vibrations setting off this tri geminal nerve, luckily I own 3 cars and always have so have kept mobile throughout the last 5 yrs of torment, now following recent surgery I apear to be totally cured, Quite incredible. So now I can be in her cherished car once more, now the bumps dont set me off and I can be judgemental impartially. It still is the second worse car for ride comfort I have ever experienced. I'd like to know which modern car rides worse. Please dont jump down my throat, I am a Volvo lover, always have been always will be but just call a spade a spade. I still love the car but have to find a way to keep my teeth in my mouth when Im in it, lol
 

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Motty01 I'm glad your surgery has gone well. I agree with the ride quality, it handles fine, stops really well and does give confidence on a decent twisty road. But show it the edge of a country lane above 20MPH, or brake late for a speed bump and its on the phone to a chiropractor. My '88 mk2 Cavalier with factory lowered suspension is more forgiving than my V40o_O
 

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Ride quality is to an extent subjective. I find my V40 on 16 inch wheels perfectly acceptable and one of the most comfortable cars I have owned, but if I inflate the tyres to the recommended Eco pressures the ride becomes slightly on the too firm side for my taste. Larger wheels and lower profile tyres would make the ride even firmer and was the primary reason that I chose the Momentum over other models.

I generally find older Vauxhalls to have a softer and less reactive ride. That said I owned two Carlton estates, one a 1983 model and the other the later shape 1993 model, and really liked them both, and there has never been a police car as good and unbreakable as the late Vauxhall Senator - a sad day when that was replaced by the Omega.

Smaller diameter wheels and higher profile tyres would definitely help your wife's car. In view of your comments I wonder if you should also check for the possibility of a broken spring or worn suspension bushes. Broken springs are not uncommon on modern cars due in part to the fashion for large wheels and low profile tyres, but also the way in which they are now mass produced. A broken spring or worn bush should in theory be picked up at an MOT test, but unless the spring has actually moved and the break is visually obvious, that may not always be the case.

There are plenty of cars with a firmer or harsher ride than the V40. I would not want to own any of them. One that immediately springs to mind owing to my son owning one, is the BMW 3 series M-Sport. On 35 profile tyres I believe one of the motoring press road tests described the ride as precise, but not harsh, with an occasional jolt over pot holes that is not uncomfortable.

That brings me back to subjectivity, as for me traversing any pothole in my son's car feels like driving head on up a kerb at over 30 mph. I couldn't be paid to own one!

Perhaps you have an even lower tolerance of firmness than me, and in view of the condition that you have suffered I wouldn't blame you one bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi again, I think your right about subjectivity, Im one of those people that listen to every knock or whine and then want to forensically drill down to find the cause,drives the wife mad. I have considered a broken spring but we've had two Mot's with the car, both main dealers and different ones at that so whilst I dont like leaving it to " professionals" I've had to of late.
I might mention it next time it goes in for servicing.
Funny you should mention 3 series Bmw's, one of my favourite cars that I've owned was a 320d auto touring estate, not "m sport" It was on 2003 plate when i acquired it around 2014 with 130k on clock, had full main dealer service from new and I looked after it, it drove like new still, never let me down in 5 years until I ( must have been the wifes fault somehow ) filled it with £50.00 worth of petrol and didn't realise it. started running lumpy, swapped injectors, swapped everything, tried everything and eventualy took it a specialist BMW guy, he swapped injectors again, I went to see him and found him with his foot to the floor gunning it like crazy to try and clear the misfire, all to no avail. I got it back again and found a petrol receipt in the car!!!!! Friend of mine owned a garage a long way from home, he drained the tank, refulled it with diesel. still lumpy as ****, we switched the fuel pumps there are two on some 3 series models, I spent a fortune trying to get it right but eventually gave up the ghost and weighed it in.All down to my own stupidity, still hurts to this day. Recently I considered a much newer 320d, drove one and didnt like it, ride was harsher than mine, everything seemed less quality than my older mark and it seemed very low, strange as I've got older, cars have got more difficult to get in and out, must be the design, eh?
Which brings me to the best cars I've owned or driven,Mitsubishi Pajero, ( had 3 ) absolutely beautiful bit of kit, the 2.8 would go through a brick wall, a good one is so reliable, so comfortable, the drive position elevated as it is allows such a view from the drivers seat. Subaru Forester ( I stil have ) 2.5 Boxer engine on board, ugliest car I've ever owned, mines on a 2005 plate and drives without paralell in my opinion. such comfort and quality, very difficult to find in newer cars. Put your foot down and your head hits the head restraint, probably the fastest throttle response to any car Ive ever owned and that includes a porshe. lastly would be my old Jaguar xj6 4.2l auto. pulled it from a scrap yard where it had sat for over two years, I had my own engineering workshop, so I or one of the lads would jump on it if thiings went quiet. Replaced and repaired everything, it had been rolled with remarkable light damage, the fuel pumps drain and are a bugger to bleed but came the day when we turned the key and second spin of the key she burst into life with that twin exhaust roar and purred like a kitten within seconds, what a feeling that was. Drove superbly and never missed a beat, kept for several years without any faults, sold it to a friend of mine who bought it for his wife and from the start had nothing but grief, breakdown after breakdown. He almost gave it away in the end, so back to subjectivity, everyone sees things differently as their experineces differ dont they. to me one of the best ever, to him one of the worse ever and we are both right really.
Anyway, thanks for all the advice, all taken on board, I have a list of things to try now, just have to convince "er indoors " to let me do it. Motty
 
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