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Volvo V70 Wagon Experience

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  • vovo74vovo74 Posts: 1
    edited December 2010
    We've had Volvo's in our family for the last 15 years - starting with an old 244, then an 850 and now we drive a 2001 V70 (135,000 miles on it and going strong) and my wife has a 2008 XC90.

    My V70 is getting on a bit, although I will probably keep it until something major happens to it, and I like the look of new V60 wagon. However I really want to move over to a diesel for the mileage and unfortunately/fortunately the only thing really on the market in a wagon is a VW Jetta TDI (or something much more expensive).

    Why doesn't Volvo bring the diesels they already use elsewhere in the world? The D5 is popular in Europe so it must be a good engine......
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 159
    Hi, Sonofadocker, it has been a few months since I originally posted my question on this Volvo model. I will not pursue the one I first spoke of- the 99' V70 XC Cross country. I went down to the lot back in early November and asked to see it up close, and it is pretty rough. They must have had a dog inside and it is full of dog hair, the front leather seats would have to be redone if you wanted it to look good, and I couldn't even start it or find out how many miles were on it because of a dead battery. The more I went along the car, the worse I felt about it. I raised the hood to pull the engine dipstick out and the plastic ring just broke in my hand. The car would need 4 new tires, and the front rotors look as though someone jackhammered on them so you know you'd need a brake job off the bat. So THIS one ain't gonna happen.

    Since then, I found another V70 AWD that LOOKS by the pictures to be in pristine shape. It's a 2001 with 133K on it for $5500. It's about 50 miles from me but just because it LOOKS nice, and it does, I would have no way to know how the car was taken care of. I would ask this dealer if there was a Carfax, or if there was any paperwork detailing just how the car was maintained. According to my local Volvo dealer who I called for some advice, he claims Volvo recommends the timing belt be changed at 105K, and this car has 133K on it. Was the belt changed? And if the guy says yes but has no documentation for it, how could I really be sure. The Volvo dealer says that if I couldn't be 100% sure about it, he'd want to replace the belt because if I didn't and it broke, I'd be looking at a major expense since the motor is an interference fit.

    And to fuel more interest in these cars, there is a shop right here in my home town called Integrated Auto Service that has specialized in these cars for over 30 years. I completely forgot about this business that always has this and other model Volvos for sale. They COMPLETELY recondition them and when they leave this lot, they are absolutely great and he backs everything he sells with a warranty. He has a 2002 V70 AWD in stock now but he wants top dollar for it, like 8 grand! But he took the time to go over a lot of issues with these cars and says that while it's nothing for them to reach 200Kand more, you must maintain them properly and that can cost a nice dollar if you don't work on cars yourself. I do consider myself fairly handy at auto repair, but never worked on a Volvo. Are they that much more complicated than other vehicles? This guy's response to me when I told him I had an OBD2 code scanner was that Volvo has proprietary codes and that is what is more likely to be set than a generic code that my scannerr would be capable of reading. He also said that he charges $800 bucks for a timing belt replacement because he not only changes the belt, but the gears, tensioner, and water pump as well, because should I have an issue with the water pump, he has to tear everything apart to get to it.

    I agree proper maintenance is key to any car's longevity. The problem is that I don't have a lot of money to make everything right like this man says is imperative. He charges $400 bucks per axle for brakes! I think that's insanity, I mean, are these parts really expensive, or what? I could see it if you had to replace the rotors and you wanted good ones, but you should NOT have to replace rotors everytime you need pads, do you agree with that? Certainly they could be machined at LEAST once unless you're really hard on brakes. And to boot, he says this model need a steady diet of at least 89 or preferably 93 octane fuel, and needless to say, you know that can be expensive. He says you CAN use 87, but you will not get the performance or mileage out of the car if you do.

    I know this is long winded, folks, and I do apologize. But I just needed to make an informed decision on this model and to those of you who have them and love them, I wish you a good day.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 159
    That 2001 V70 AWD is STILL available at this time. I did pay a visit yesterday to the business here in my hometown and speak with the owner and I could sense how much pride he has in his business. He has 2 salespeople there who do NOT work on commission. He took me out on the lot and showed me what he has to offer. He has about 5 V70's, ranging from the 2002 I saw and sat in yesterday up to a 2008 that he wants top buck for. I started and ran, but didn't drive this 2002 and it purred like a kitten and was very clean. Those leather seats are just about the most comfortable automobile seats I've ever sat on. He's asking 9K for this one with 92K on it. He assures me that there are no defects in this vehicle and even explained a transmission complaint that some of these(not all, apparently)have had and what Volvo did to solve it. It seems that sometimes when downshifting, the tranny "hunts" so to speak, for the right gear. Part of the solution was to install a shift kit, as per factory instructions. He also says it may be a software problems as well, but that this transmission was solid and told me that if I bought this or any Volvo on his lot, he'd stand by the transmission(in writing as well) for at least 2 years!

    Half of me wants either the 2001 50 miles away or this 2002, and the other half is wondering if I can(or should) take on the expense of owning a Volvo. I asked him if I buy this 2001, can I bring it to you for a complete, unbiased and honest evaluation? He said of course. He said that if I bought his 2002, he would only be seeing me for oil changes(if I took it back to him), because ALL the other work is done: New brakes all around, anything found wrong was fixed, etc. He'd probably make more money off me if I bought something elsewhere and if it wasn't right, well, I guess I'd better have a big wallet. And his '02 has 40K LESS miles than the 2001, but the 2001 is 4000 bucks less. I'll tell ya, folks, decisions, DECISIONS!!!!! Thanks for putting up with my whining!!!!
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited January 2011
    2001 was the first model year of the new body style and new Aisin 5-speed transmission. I believe most of the transmission problems you've read about are the result of either a lack of service (fluid flush) or improper flush (incorrect fluid used). This transmission required a new fluid (Mobil 3309) that is not compatible with the old Dextron III used by 90% of cars on the road. If the transmission was ever serviced with Dextron III (and I bet more than a few were), failure is inevitable.

    Some reasons why I'm keeping my 2004 V70 is because it's such a nice car, I've maintained it religiously and never had a problem, and it has depreciated so much that it's all but worthless!

    Yes $9000 is a lot for a 2002 V70, but based on your comments, your not going to find a nicer one with so much assurance of it's maintenance condition/history and a warranty. I would pass if you're not looking to keep it for a while, but if you want it for the long haul, then it might be worth it.

    By the way, when you do test drive, check the rebound dampening. My original shocks were all but dead at around 70,000 miles (and we milked them over 90,000). You're probably going to need new ones (and tower mounts too) with either of these cars so factor in another $500 - $1000.

    I can't think of anything else. These cars are basically German under the skin, so if you're used to working on BMW's (Ate, Mahle, Bosch parts), you'll be right at home.

    Happy hunting!
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 159
    Thanks, Fedlawman, I do appreciate your advice. Thanks for the tip on the correct trans fluid. This shop in my hometown uses a full synthetic fluid, I wonder if that is the Mobil 3309 you speak of? My biggest issue is trying to convince my wife, who would be driving this car since it'd be for her anyway, that it may be good to look at something noted for it's longevity. And she/I would NOT be putting a lot of miles on this or any other vehicle per year. To give you an example, we turned in our 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee in just before Thanksgiving last year as the lease was up and we couldn't buy it out. The Jeep had only 16,600 miles on it in 3 1/2 years! From what I've heard about these Volvos, if we DO buy one, it'd be likely to ROT rather than have any mechanical issues. If we bought the one at this man's shop with 92K on it and used it just like we used the Jeep, the thing wouldn't have 110K on it in 3 years!

    But I'm not sure I can convince her that the Volvo is the way to go, so I may have to change plans. But I do believe that they are really good, reliable vehicles, and I thank those of you who have responded to me. Take care and God Bless!
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    If it's synthetic, it's not 3309. But there are a few synthetics that are compatible. If you do decide on the V70, be very careful about that or you could be buying a ticking time bomb.

    There's plenty of info on the web about it.
  • There is a noise/buzzing coming from the back door. Does anybody know what this is and how to make it stop? Also is it common to have cabin air problems with volvos? This is the second volvo I have owned and I keep having the same problem with contaminate air coming in, ie exhaust from stinky trucks. Any solutions to this?
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Interior rattles can be challenging, but check all the interior panels around the tailgate by tapping on them and listening for noise. Also check the two "doors" on the side are secure. Sometimes stuffing an old rag behind a panel can solve these noises.

    As for the air problem, I don't think Volvo's are any different than any other car. Change the cabin filter and use "recirculate" when you're in traffic.
  • I'm looking at purchasing a 98 V70, and I would love some insight on the car. Is this a "good" car? How long do they usually last? I'm familiar with the older Volvos, and think they are GREAT. I can't tell you how many of them I have seen with 300k miles plus. Is this Volvo part of that group? How are the turbos on these cars? any insight would be much appreciated!
  • k7hpk7hp Posts: 29
    I cannot speak for 98 V70 - I owned a 2003 V70 wagon with turbo (2.4T) - we traded a 95 960 sedan and a 95 960 wagon - big mistake. By June of 08 at 28974 miles - its started failing apart faster than I could get it fixed.
    June 08 - $716 - replaced fuel pump assy and o rings - gas odor so bad afraid to park it in garage . Volvo Factory man said Tough - but about two years later there was a recall and I got most of that back. Then June 09 $1232 right front power door lock , radiator replaced -leaking at plastic seam , at that point they also said I needed upper strut mounts $473 and all lower control arm bushings $650. Aug 09 34717 miles Check engine light came on - ECM upgraded - said need transmission pan reseal $900 and if did transmission flush at same time another $300 - also said CV boots , half shafts , control arms , shocks/rear struts "may require attention".

    Had independent Volvo/Saab garage look at it and got almost same responses . His comment was I should have kept the 960 but even then should figure on $1500 a year repairs/maintenance. Both 960's did have steering rack failures and both had vacuum A/C controls fail and replaced - The wagon also had a radiator and power seat control go bad . So his $1500 a year not too far off.

    This V70 car was never off city streets - never hot rodded - so faced with $2323 repairs "needed" and already $2489 since June of 08 - I started looking .

    When I traded it at end of 09 - the struts were absolutely shot and almost scary to drive - especially bad when cold - not as noisy when hot !

    I could go on about the stumbling on right turns ,hesitation , and drive line "clunk" -(which dealer said was normal ) torque steer etc etc - My wife is/was a Volvo lover for the safety and even she at about 3500 miles said she wished we had just kept one of the 960's.

    Thats my experience with a 2003 V70 2.4T

    Maybe I just got a lemon , maybe its because I live in the hell heat of Phoenix -- but we are retired and the car is always garaged and not sitting in sun all day everyday.

    Yep I have a friend with a 240 sedan and it runs forever !!!!
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Why is it that almost everyone who posts here with a horror story either bought their car second-hand or doesn't know / won't reveal the preventative maintenance history of their V70?

    I bought my 2004 V70 new in July 2004. I have changed the engine oil every 5000 - 7500 miles, flushed the transmission fluid, brake fluid, and coolant every 50,000 miles, changed the spark plugs at 60,000, replaced the timing belt (and tensioner, idler pulley, etc.) at 100,000 and installed new shocks at 110,000 (way overdue).

    Except for some small nits early on (a rattle in the cargo area, trip odometer resetting at random, broken rear seat cupholder (kids), and a separated fuel filler neck) that were fixed under warranty, we have enjoyed 120,000 trouble free miles.

    My V70 has proven to be more comfortable and reliable than any of the 4 Honda's I've owned over the years. I plan on keeping it for many years to come.
  • Well, I'm sitting here reading the reviews and starting to panic a little. To start off, I began this week all set to buy a 2001 Volvo V40. 104,000 miles. $5100. The owner could not produce documentation that the timing belt has been replaced and the struts needed to be replaced on the front after having a mechanic do a full car inspection. So, I walked. I went to another dealership and he had (4) 2001 V70s. One of them was black with the T5. I fell in love with the power and comfort of this car. I fear my emotions got the best of me since I put down a $500 down payment and I'm taking a hardship loan from my 401K to pay the balance on Friday. It's a 2001, 87,000 miles. Out the door price is $7800.
    My husband and I separated and since both cars were in his name, until we settle, I need a car immediately. I have always driven either a Honda or Toyota, but I wanted something different.
    Now, I'm a little (OK, maybe REALLY) scared. I'm on a very limited income and have 4 children that I'm sharing custody with. I cannot afford to buy a car that will have constant repair issues. Should I walk away and just eat the $500 deposit. PLEASE HELP! ????
  • k7hpk7hp Posts: 29
    Fedlawman - these are my records with my 2003 V70 2.4T

    This car was bought new from Volvo Feb 2003 and was maintained at or better than Volvo recommendations .

    4 year 50,000 mile warranty - goes to Feb 2007 2003 V70 2.4 T

    Date Mileage Cost Notes

    27-Mar-03 1164 59.53 Mobil 1 synthetic $5.95 a qt for 6 qts ($4.99 at Checker)


    11-Jun-03 2312 0.00 Rear hatch seal loose - misaligned - Done under warranty ..

    18-Nov-03 4366 19.35 Oil change with my own Mobil 1 Oil .. also fixed power steering leak from bottom of reservoir NC. Note: A few weeks later , fluid was so low it would not touch dipstick, took it in and they said it was full. That was patent BS ... I checked it before I left for dealer. Anyhow they filled it and it has been OK since ... probably an air bubble from when they did the original repair but don't lie to me!.

    12-May-04 7271 136.38 They did not check spare tire , it was at 48 lbs instead of 60 lbs.Left one of the battery cover bolts loose.
    Bill was with using my own Mobil 1 oil for oil change
    9-Dec-04 10569 21.89 Oil change with my own Mobile 1

    4-May-05 12923 973.34 4 Michelin 235/45-17 Pilot XGT H4 at Discount

    5-Oct-05 15089 340.52 15000 mile service using oil and filter with ( my Mobil 1 ??? )they did not check battery - had to take it back - also they tried to charge me for oil. Big discussion of what oil they really used !!!! Service adviser brought out empty Mobil 1 containers ???? 4 wheel alignment


    3-Oct-06 20515 59.69 Oil change with my own Mobile 1- Replaced front wiper blades Also tweaked front end for pull - 22500 mile service

    26-Sep-07 25000 324.00 new set of Yokohama 235/45-R17 - Michelins shot - Discount credited $89 a tire for poor mileage against the 40K warranty

    26-Sep-07 25026 49.99 Front end aligned - rear wheel alignment was "perfect". Network Alignment

    2-Oct-07 25129 16.24 Oil and Filter - my own Mobil 1 - Swedish Auto Works -

    27-Jun-08 28974 540.33 OIl and Filter - my Mobile One - Front brake Pucks , engine torque mount bushing , diagnose gas leak from fuel pump.

    30-Jun-08 29046 715.83 Replace fuel pump assembly- two new o ring seals also

    19-Mar-09 32692 39.90 Oil and Filter - my own Mobil 1 - Swedish Auto Works -front brake squeal - deglaze and graphite

    20-Mar-09 32721 276.57 Changed coolant , cabin air filter, engine air filter , all rest 30K Re-did front brakes for squeal

    12-Jun-09 33874 1232.04 Replaced right front power door lock , replaced radiator leaking at right lower seam put in all new coolant
    say need upper strut mounts $473 say need all lower control arm bushings $650

    10-Aug-09 34717 225.68 Check Engine light - ECM upgraded - ECM0431D fault code - say if comes back will need to do leak pump. say now Transmission pan re-seal - beginning to leak - $900
    if do transmission flush at same time about another $300. also highlight CV boots ,half shafts,control arms as "may require atten" ????? and highlighted Shocks/Rear Struts as "may require atten" ?????

    total of $2323 repairs "need" to be done as of 10 August 09
    have done $2489 since 27 June 08

    Like I say , maybe I got a lemon --- maybe lousy dealer service - (I went through three different organizations , each dealer went out of business and became something else . I even looked at a new 2009 V70 at the last dealer , Sanderson Volvo - but it got sold while we were thinking - that was the end of V70 at Sanderson - and the Ford/Volvo change was scary .

    And one crowning thing was how I was treated by local Volvo Factory rep and my letter to Volvo Customer service was replied to with a basic tough . (But as I said they did refund about $1000 a year or so later through a recall letter they sent saying that if you had already had the work done send in receipts) .
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited February 2011
    That's really useful (and enlightening) information, thanks for posting it k7.

    Not to play devil's advocate, but...

    I don't think you got a lemon. It looks like many of your problems are plastic and rubber failure (bushings, hoses, seals, CV boots, etc.). I suspect that a lot of this is caused by your cars duty cycle exacerbated by the desert climate.

    5000 miles/year means that your car either sits unused for long periods and/or makes many short trips. Both cycles wreak havok on your car. It could certainly explain your fluid leaks, brake squeal, and check engine light (intake/ignition/exhaust/emissions?).

    Today, your car is 8 years old and it appears you have never changed the transmission or brake fluid. You kept the original coolant for 6 years. If your CV boots are shot (which after 8 years they may very well be), then you will most likely need new driveshafts too. Other things that could be at the end of their useful life (in my humble opinion) are the catalytic converter, O2 sensors and muffler.

    My opinion: You may have had some questionable dealer service too, I don't know. But if you did, who knows what they did or didn't do to your car? Finally, I used to use Mobil 1 in my cars too, but I recently switched back to high quality dino oil because I've been told (by very knowledgeable sources) that real oil is thicker (I'm paraphrasing) and lubricates seals better than synthetic oil, thus it is less likely to leak/seep.

    Finally, I'll just add that I don't claim to be an expert. I'm not a mechanic. I'm just a car enthusiast and shade-tree wrench turner who works on my own cars. I wish you the best of luck with your car!
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited September 2011
    We just had our first unscheduled maintenance with our V70 so I thought I would post an update. My wife got a CEL illumination a few weeks ago and also had the car stall. It started right up again and ran fine, but I brought it to my usual independent shop to have it looked at.

    OBC reader said fault code ECM-261A Fuel pressure system, which indicated either the fuel pump or fuel pressure sensor was faulty. Since our problem was intermittent and the car ran fine, we replaced the sensor. It was also only $200 and an easy fix so worth trying first.

    Well I'm happy to report that all seems fine again. No CEL illuminations and no stalls.

    I also replaced all 4 tires as the old Goodyears were getting low on tread and winter is approaching (here in Seattle, that means more rain than snow). I chose Goodyear Assurance TripleTreds to replace the ComfortTreds we had because I liked the ride but wanted to improve wet traction. We haven't had any rain yet, but so far the TripleTreds have a very nice smooth and quiet ride - easily a match for the ComfortTreds that I really liked.

    With the new tires and struts, our 123,000 V70 rides as good as the day we bought it. I have test driven a few cars lately (Land Rover LR4, Mercedes E350 wagon, Jeep Grand Cherokee) thinking about getting a new car and giving the V70 to our daughter when she starts driving next year. None of these cars offer a significant improvement over the comfort, ride, or safety of our V70. I do like the more modern telematics they offer (Bluetooth, iPod connectivity, nav, etc.) so we'll see...
  • rmo3rmo3 Posts: 2
    Isn't it a shame they didn't bring the v60 to the states. I really like that car. I have 2005 V70, you probably went on line and saw those green diesels getting over 50 mpg. I think there is some gentleman's agreement to give Europe all the diesels. Maybe to keep price of diesel low but who knows? but seems odd that technology continues to be kept from the US. Not helpful as information just my 2 cents, does 2 make it a petition drive? For a v60 diesel!
  • hi wanted to see if you ever figured out how to put the upholder back in and attach the spring thing.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Since I last posted here.

    Car's running strong with 135,000 on the odometer. No issues - it's still a pleasure to own and drive.

    We did get another car to join the V70 in the stable. A lovely old BMW 3 series convertible. Yes, my daughter will be driving the Volvo... :)
  • anlyrosanlyros Posts: 1

    2002 V70 T5 advice needed on purchase Not having such good luck with my 98 T5, I would like an opinion on the 2002 model. The car I am looking at is priced at top retail with a dealer and the carfax report shows regular maintenance has been performed. I love the turbo engine and have been looking for a replacement for awhile now. It is a 2 owner Florida car that looks (from the photos) great inside and out. Opinions...please. I had hoped to find a later model car but the market is slim and all I am finding on the T5 is older cars. What might be some of the repairs I might expect on a 12 year old car with 100K? Thanks!

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