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Volvo V70 Wagon Experience

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  • Hope you can be some help. My wife and I are looking to replace her 98 Pathfinder. Solid vehicle but thristy on gas. Saw a 2004 Volvo V70 2.4 automatic (base, no SR or power seats). Seems to have been on the lot of a well-know central PA volvo dealer since December or so. Here are the CARFAX details:

    Date: Mileage: Source: Comments:
    11/07/2003 US Customs Vehicle exported from
    Belgium
    and imported to
    Brunswick, GA
    03/17/2004 Florida
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Delray Beach, FL Registered as
    personal vehicle
    03/17/2004 29 Florida
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Delray Beach, FL
    Title #0090208620 Odometer reading reported for title
    or registration
    03/31/2004 Florida
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Delray Beach, FL
    Title #0090208620 Title issued or updated
    First owner reported
    Loan or lien reported
    07/12/2004 Florida
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Delray Beach, FL
    Title #0090208620 Registration issued or renewed
    Registered as
    personal vehicle
    Loan or lien reported
    Vehicle color noted as White
    08/27/2004 Florida
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Delray Beach, FL
    Title #0090208620 Title issued or updated
    07/12/2005 Florida
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Delray Beach, FL
    Title #0090208620 Registration issued or renewed
    Registered as
    personal vehicle
    Vehicle color noted as White
    11/21/2005 20,156 Lehman Motors
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    717-691-8400
    www.lehmanvolvo.com Vehicle serviced
    12/23/2005 20,677 Volvo Certified Retailer
    Mechanicsburg, PA Offered for sale as a Volvo Certified Vehicle
    12/23/2005 Lehman Motors
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    717-691-8400
    www.lehmanvolvo.com Vehicle serviced
    12/26/2005 Dealer Inventory Vehicle offered for sale





    Purchased: 2005
    Where: Pennsylvania
    Est. miles/year: ---
    Est. length owned: 12/30/05 - 4/25/06
    (3 months)




    Date: Mileage: Source: Comments:
    12/30/2005 Pennsylvania
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Mechanicsburg, PA Title issued or updated
    New owner reported
    02/06/2006 20,678 Lehman Motors
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    717-691-8400
    www.lehmanvolvo.com Vehicle serviced
    04/25/2006 Dealer Inventory
    Mechanicsburg, PA Vehicle offered for sale
    05/13/2006 Volvo Certified Retailer
    Mechanicsburg, PA Offered for sale as a Volvo Certified Vehicle
    05/18/2006 Pennsylvania
    Motor Vehicle Dept.
    Mechanicsburg, PA Title issued or updated
    Duplicate title issued
    06/11/2006 Volvo Cars of North America, LLC No recalls open for repair

    No red flags (lemon, accident etc.) according to carfax, but it looks odd that vehicle was put up for sale twice between December 05 and May 06. Am I reading this wrong?

    Just wondering if I should persue this further. Noticed yesterday when (6/10) when I sat inside the wagon that it smelled like it had just been shampooed. Anything to be concerned about? BTW--how would the service costs for this vehicle compare to an 05 camry (our other vehicle). Thanks!
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    My wife's 2004 V70 base model (2.4L non-turbo, cloth, only extra 5-spd auto) bought new was recalled to change two large nuts which hold the front suspension in place. There had been some incidents where these nuts became loose and a front wheel folded back against the side of the car. Make sure this was done on this one, if it was subject to this recall.

    The first offer from the dealer on ours, which was one of two like it on the lot, was $26,400 (8.25% sales tax and title, license fees extra), and we took it. This was lower than I thought I could get to. My wife asked the dealer to add the fixed roof rails and this was about $500 more, but total was less than $27,000 (+TTL). Maybe base models at that time did not move well in Dallas.

    Based on our deal the price for this used one is way too high, it seems to me.

    The probability is that this V70 would cost much more to maintain than a 2005 Camry. Ours has not given any real trouble. The catalytic converter was replaced at 15,000 miles under warranty. An element inside the cat became loose and noisy.

    We use this wagon for carrying gear and dogs. In campgrounds, I have slept in the back of this V70 and in a previous 850 wgn. We get 30 mpg on the highway and 23 to 24 mpg around town.

    Do you need a wagon? You should stick with the Pathfinder, unless you are putting so many miles on it that the fuel bills are truly outrageous. People are trading fuel guzzling SUVs without analyzing the costs of changing. However, the V70 would be safer in most crashes--better structure and side and head curtain air bags. My wife bought a 1996 850 wgn for safety and this '04 V70 for safety, fuel economy and sufficient utility. She also just likes Volvos.
  • lhurlburtlhurlburt Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 v70 wagon.
    I am considering buying a new 2006 because of the following issues. Has anyone had the same problems?

    * left turn signal shorts out all the time.

    * headlights burn out frequently

    * temperature gauge never registers right temperature

    * pvc issues/emissions light on all the time

    * need new AC at 94k

    * had engine pulled because of possible sludge issues. Switched to synthetic oil. There was no oil in the pan. Turns out volvo changed the engine in 2001 which has caused oil buildup I recommend every volvo owner post 2000 switch to synthetic if they have not already.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    We've had none of those problems in our 2004 V70 2.4L 168hp with 5-spd auto (19,000 mi on odo). The cat converter was replaced at no charge under warranty at 17,000 mi when it became noisy--diagnosis was an interior element became loose.

    I had the original oil replaced at 4000 mi with Mobile1 10W-30 and have used Mobile1 10W-30 ever since. The Volvo dealer changes the oil and filter at 7500 mi intervals at no charge (for first 3? years) and would use semi-synthetic Castrol, but I supply 6 qts of Mobile1 10W-30 each time at my expense. Last time I gave them Mobile1 "Extended Sevice" at about $6.30/qt so about $40 incl tax. I thought perhaps using synthetic was an unnecessary expense on my part, but given your experience maybe not.

    Toyota had a big problem with engine oil systems blocked by sludge, apparently due to overheating of conventional oil in the head. Your report is the 1st one I have see of this problem in a Volvo.
  • davidinazdavidinaz Posts: 14
    Hello all.
    I am starting to look around for a new car. I am thinking the V-70 Turbo.
    I would like to know before I walk onto a dealer lot what the owner's manual says about how often the oil needs to be changed in this car?

    Thanks.
    Dave
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    The 2004 manual specifies a 7500 mile oil and filter change interval for the various turbo engines and for the naturally aspirated engine. The manual doesn't specify a standard service schedule and a severe service schedule like on some other cars I have owned. Motor oils are much longer lasting than formerly, especially synthetics.

    We use Mobile1 in our 2004 V70 168 hp 2.4L non-turbo. I take it to the Volvo dealer at 7500 mi intervals to satisfy the warranty requirement and provide a case of Mobile1 10W-30, appropriate for the Dallas TX climate. The oil looks great even after 7500 mi, and the consumption is negligible. However, we don't drive the V70 hard. With Mobile1 "extended interval" oil you could probably go 10,000 mi to 15,000 miles or 1 year, but even full synthetic oil is so cheap compared to the total cost of ownership of a Volvo there is no incentive to stretch the interval.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    Which "turbo"? Volvo offers several turbos: a "light pressure" turbo, a "high pressure" turbo, and the T5 engine which may have the same level of boost as the high pressure turbo but has other features which increase the HP beyond that.

    I'm sure the extra power of these turbos makes a difference in the "driving experience", but the non-turbo is sufficient for me.

    It seems to me that it would be prudent to use full synthetic oil in any Volvo engine especially if it is driven hard, and especially in a turbo charged model, assuming that engine oil is used to lubricate the bearings of the turbocharger.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    The "high pressure" turbo is the T5, although that model is no longer made.
    Currently you have the V70 2.4, V70 2.5T, and the V70R.

    Full synthetic isn't required, even by the R engine.
    Volvo mandates a synthetic blend which is more than sufficent to protect the engine.
    If you really want to use a full synthetic, go ahead but it really isn't necessary.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    I know that, except for certain towing, Volvo doesn't specify the use of synthetic engine oil, and my Volvo dealer uses Castrol synthetic blend which I would get for no charge under the free scheduled maintenance deal. The words "Volvo Recommends Castrol" is even molded into the oil filler cap.

    But I nevertheless spend an extra $40 on each oil change to provide the dealer with Mobile1. I got concerned when Toyota had a sludging problem with conventional oil in some of its engines, and we hope to keep this car for a long time. I'm willing to spend the extra money for full synthetic when it almost certainly isn't necessary. We are only putting about 8000 mi per year on the car, and I have the oil changed annually at the dealer.

    I put a trailer hitch on this V70 and do some towing (so far about 1000 lb gross trailer wt) in hot weather. Under the section "Towing a trailer" (pg 102 of 2004 Manual for V70 and V70R) the manual states: Volvo recommends the use of a synthetic engine oil when towing a trailer over long distances or in mountainous areas.
  • oiloil Posts: 3
    read with interest your info on sludge in V70 T5. have 53000 mi on 2001 car -1st owner -changed oil every 4-5000 mi and now have majjor sludge problem --are you aware of others with similar problems and any successful resolution with volvo in accepting responsibilty?
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    What are the signs of sludging?

    Would changing to thin synthetic (say Mobile1 5W-30) dissolve the sludge, or would some engine oil flush be in order, one of the commercial products or kerosene?
  • oiloil Posts: 3
    read with interest your comment eg "volvo changed the engine in 2001 which has caused oil buildup". I would be very interested in any documentation you have that supports that conclusion.

    I'm trying to collect more evidence on this subject. I'm aware of others who have had to replace their engines at relatively low mileage having followed the recommended oil changes. did this happen to you?
  • oiloil Posts: 3
    the valve cover was removed --the engine is full of thick sludge coating the engine that will require thousands $ to fix or replace engine.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    What is the power-train warranty on the 2001 V70 T5? Would sludging be covered by Volvo. When Toyota had a sludging problem they reportedly first attributed it to owners' failure to change the oil as specified, but gave way under persistent pressure.

    It's been many years since I've looked under a valve cover, and that was a Chrysler slant-six. Does the presence of visible sludge there indicate that oil passages in the head are plugged, or are there other indications as well? Does the visible sludge itself interfere with lubrication of the the cam shafts or valves? Is there detectable wear of the cam bearings?

    Who is it that is proposing replacing the engine? Would it be possible to use one the engine flush products? I could imagine that some of these products would detach adhering sludge and have it plug up smaller oil passages, but this is jsut what I imagine without any experience in desludging an engine.
  • davidinazdavidinaz Posts: 14
    Hey all. Still looking at the Volvo wagon.
    One more question. I read that the Volvo V70 takes premium gas. If I get this car, I do not plan on doing any hard driving that requires performance, exceptional acceleration, etc.
    Can I get by on unleaded gas or is premium a must?

    Please advise.
    Thanks.
    Dave
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    The 2004 Volvo manual says the the minimum octane requirement for all Volvo engines is 87 octane AKI, but that Volvo engines are designed for optimal performance with 91 AKI or above. So you can get by with regular 87 AKI, but why would you want to? The savings would be minimal.

    What is available in Dallas where I live are AKI 87, 89 and 93. I use 93 because it only costs 10 cents more per gal than 87. I could save a little by mixing equal parts of 89 and 93 to give 91 exactly, or 1 part 87 plus 3 parts 93 which would do the same, but the savings is minimal. The way I drive, 89 would work fine and even 87, but just on the off-chance that the knock sensor would fail I use what the manual recommends. Recommends, not requires.

    The Volvo engines have a knock sensor (which I think retards spark timing if knocking is detected) which allows it to run without damage on any fuel above its minimum cutoff of 87 octane AKI. AKI is AntiKnockIndex = (research octane number + motor octane number)/2.

    The extra cost of premium fuel is negligible compared to the total cost of ownership of a Volvo, and our V70 is a base model 2.4L, 168 hp, non-turbo, cloth, no sunroof, with auto trans as the only option. I am tight with a dollar and I use premium fuel. I used to use regular in our 1996 850 wagon and never had any knocking.

    I also use full synthetic Mobile1 10W-30 (Dallas climate)and have the dealer change at 7500 miles like the manual says. This costs me an extra $40 per change, but some modern engines (like some Toyotas) were cooking conventional oil in the heads, and I don't want to take a chance on that.

    I put a trailer hitch on it and have done some towing. I plan to do more towing, and I want optimum lubrication and fuel.
  • crissmancrissman Posts: 145
    We've had our V70 non-turbo for six months now and never used anything but regular gas. I don't believe there would be enough of an improvement in mileage or power to justify premium fuel.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    It is possible that you would get slightly better fuel economy with premium, but that might only be detectable if you were driving it hard.

    Why don't you alternate regular and premium and see if you can detect any difference? Be sure the tires are inflated to some standard pressure above the minimum. The 2004 V70 base tire was 195/65-15 with OE on ours Michelin tires that have 51 psi max infl pressure.

    I inflate ours to 35 to 38 psi (38 psi is maximum recommended on the V70 tire sticker) and we get the EPA mileage estimates (22 city/30 hwy for the 2004 base V70 with 168 hp non-turbo engine).
  • shieattshieatt Posts: 75
    I have a 2001 V70 T5 with 62,000 miles, and luckily I bought the full VIP extended warranty... a little before I hit 60,000 miles I noticed two problems with the car: 1. it was leaking oil at a pretty good pace; 2. there was a knocking sound coming from the front suspension.

    Took it in for the $700 60K service and mentioned these problems. They did the service, told me the knocking was the result of broken connectors for the anti-sway bars and a broken anti-vibration something or other on the engine, which they fixed under my warranty minus $100 deductible. Said they could not identify source of oil leak and I should bring it back if it persisted (i.e., we did the gravy maintenance work and don't feel like searching for an oil leak).

    Took it back 2 weeks later - thing was leaking like an old Camaro. This time, they used die, and service rep called and told me it was coming from the engine block itself, and was result of either a bad anerobic seal inside engine or a defect in the block. Either way, the only fix was an entirely new engine!!! Almost 1 week later VIP warranty company is still arguing with the dealer and factory rep regarding this diagnosis. It all seems ridiculous that a $40K car that is only 5 years old with 60K would require a whole new engine. FYI, I have had all factory scheduled maintenence done at the dealer, and have had oil changed every 5K miles. Dealer assures me that factory will insist on replacement. I guess I'm happy to have a new engine at no cost, but it certainly makes me think twice about keeping this car for another 5 years like I had planned. Wife thinks I should quit while I'm ahead and trade in for a Camry. She also thinks I should insist on a refund for the $700 service they did on an engine that is going to be replaced because they didn't feel like diagnosing the problem at the start.

    I'm thinking this is just some freak thing and that I should be happy to have an essentially new car. Thoughts anyone???
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    A bad block is as freakish a thing as you can have.

    With a new engine that car should be good for a long time to come.

    BTW, alot of people are unhappy w/ the new Camry, so changing cars doesn't always mean more reliability.

    Dealer should have caught the leak, so getting a refund on the 60K service is justified.
  • shieattshieatt Posts: 75
    Volvomax... thanks for confirming my feelings on the matter... I love my T5 and am guessing I would be less happy driving a brand new Camry every day than my 5 year old Volvo. I definitely will ask for some compensation on the very expensive service on this engine that will be scrapped, recognizing that some of the maintenance was on other components of the car (transmission, cabin filter, etc.)... won't settle for less than half.

    So, now I am wondering, will I get the identical engine that was in my 2001, or will I get the current T5 engine, which I understand has been tweaked since 2001 to produce a bit more horsepower and torque? Obviously hoping for the latter :)
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    All you are actually getting is a new engine block. The intake and exhaust manifolds, turbo, head, air box and ECU's will be re-used from the old engine.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Just spent a long weekend in our 2001 XC70 and loved it. Loved it so much that despite some maintenance issues (see earlier posts) we might re-up for a 2007. Up in Maine seemingly every fourth vehicle was either a Suburu or a Volvo. One thing about a V70 is that even our relatively "older" one is quite comfortable, no rattles, and still stylish. Sure, it would be nice to have DSTC and Zenons but seemingly little else has changed.

    A note to those who use Mobil1 10-30. Reading the oils forum here on Edmunds has me convinced to use 0-40 Mobil1 year round for three reasons. The "base stock" in this grade is superior to that in the 10-30, it is afterall the same price, and , finally, on a hot day the extended range up to 40W will give you more protection.

    Speaking of hot days, even here in New England I find that after a brisk drive in July when I shut down the engine, the auxilliary fan comes on to blow hot air out of the engine compartment. Is my aux fan overly sensitive or is this standard all year long in such climates as Houston? To help out, I raise the hood. No other car that I've owned has done this (or had such high under hood temps).
  • shieattshieatt Posts: 75
    Okay, now the extended warranty company (which is the Volvo VIP warranty) is refusing to pay for the new engine block, insisting instead that the dealer take it apart and attempt to repair/replace the anaerobic seal. Volvo factory rep insists that this will not fix the problem. Service advisor tells me that if this were under the "real" warranty, they would be replacing the block. I am not pleased, as the reason I sprung for the Volvo authorized extended warranty was so that my warranty coverage would be seamless. The separate company that administers the extended warranty is wholly-owned by Ford, which of course owns Volvo as well - I am furious that they are arguing with each other.

    In any event, I am not given comfort by my service advisor's mention to me that they have never attempted such a repair, that the standard labor hours for this repair are 20, but that it will take much longer. This, of course, means that the technicians will avoid this job like the plague since they are paid a flat rate.

    I am calling VIP warranty today to unleash a little frustration... more updates later.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    A team leader mechanic at my Volvo dealership in Dallas told me that Volvo has directed a small amount of a/c from the passenger compartment into the engine compartment to cool a computer module. This may be the small fan you are hearing. Or it could be something to do with the emissions--the carbon cannister. I hear this on our V70.

    Raising the hood to cool the engine compartment is something that some people think is beneficial. I can't believe it is worth the trouble and extra wear on the hood mechanism. A hot day in New England? Get real.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    most modern cars will run the aux cooling fan after shut down if conditions warrant it.

    Here in AZ we have hot days(don't consider any day in NE hot!)
    Even when it is 115 degrees outside we never have overheating problems. Hewck, my S60's temp gauge never goes over mid way.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,033
    ...don't consider any day in NE hot!

    Trust me - 94 degrees and a dew point of 75 is hot. "It's jungle hot."
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    I don't think this is the radiator fan running. It's some small, hidden fan which is barely audible.

    Temperature humidity index is important to animals and for the performance of evaporative coolers (water fans) but is irrelevant to the cooling of an auto engine. It's the actual air temperature. Wind chill is similiarly irrelevant to the level of antifreeze protection required.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Well, there are 2 fans that can run.
    One is the radiator fan.
    The other is the interior climate control fan.
    This runs approx one hour after engine shutdown, it is designed to clear water out of the evaporator.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    Thanks for that info. I had been trying to get into the habit of switching off the a/c compressor, but not the fan, a mile or so from home to clear out the evaporator. This is just one more hassle and a distraction. I'll stop doing it.
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