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Volvo V70 Wagon Experience



  • Just curious if you or anyone else had attempted the electric wiring? Getting ready to purchase this hitch, but will be wiring it as we have a large motorcycle to tow along with using it for bikes, etc. Is the wiring plug and play or do you have to cut into the lines to wire it? Just curious as I know you need the Volvo OE wiring harness on this thing.

    This will go on a 2005 base V70 wagon. Haven't looked at bike racks as of yet but looked at the 2" hitch due to hauling a trailer with an RT1150 sitting on it.

    Also....angle of the car...would you scrape bottom front if you backed the thing up on ramps? Have ramps and haven't tried yet. Was tire removal necessary to get the bumper off?

    Just wondering if this is one of those "Volvo makes it impossible for the guy to do it at home" deals? We had someone crack the rear passenger side tail light (bottom) and it turns out that the top interlocks with the bottom so you had to tear all that out to replace it (which was not fun).

    Curious as to how ugly this is going to get when I do this. I definitely don't want to drop $450 for the dealer to do it either.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    I installed the Volvo wiring harness and hitch on a 2004 V70 base model. I don't know if the 2005 is the same installation. I bought the hitch and harmess before reading the instructions. IMO if you follow their instructions, it is a professional job. But I did it without following the Volvo instructions after a lot of thinking and then a lot of effort to put the hitch in. The wiring and hitch work fine. Before you think you can do it, see if you can get the installation instructions from the dealer.

    If I had it to do over, I would try to get an aftermarket 2" receiver hitch from one of the big manufacturers, like Hidden Hitch. You could just buy the Volvo harness if you wanted to use that rather than the aftermarket one. The Volvo hitch fits higher and so you'd no significant loss of clearance on a ramp.

    1. Wiring harmess

    For the 2004 V70, the wiring harness simply plugged into an open plug in the spare tire/battery compartment. Contrary to the instructions I did not move or disconnect the battery. I just pushed out the old oval rubber plug in the floor pan and pressed in the new wire and grommet combination.

    However, the type of wiring harness used in 2004 has no circuit breaker. As best I can determine protection from short circuits in the trailer wiring is from fuses in one or more of the several fuse boxes. To make things more confusing I expected to be instructed to add a new fuse that was not present in this base model V70, but there was no such instruction. Yet the thing works! How can this be?! I was not able to figure out which fuses protect from shorts in trailer wiring. I'll have to see what fuse or fuses are blown if and when this happens.

    The wiring harness from Volvo for their newer models may be like the aftermarket arrangement where the power comes directly the battery to the breaker protected controller. Only signals come from V70 wiring to the various light circuits.

    2. Hitch itself

    The bar/receiver for the 2004 was in three main pieces which bolt together, rather than the usual welded single piece hitch!

    For the 2004 V70 the instructions are to totally remove the rear bumper facia so as to gain access to install the hitch behind the facia. To do this you must support the body and remove both rear wheels to drill out the light rivets holding the facia in the back inside of the wheel wells . . . I had no tools or skills to do this, so I did some surgery on the plastic bumper facia which allowed me to insert the three pieces (some force required) separately and assemble them in place behind the bumper facia. If you want more info, email me and I'll give more detail.

    My wife bought a 2007 XC90 and I plan to get an aftermarket hitch and either have it put on or do it myself. I haven't decided on the wiring harness. The procedure for the 2007 Volvo XC90 hitch is even more complicated that for the V70.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Jim's advice is good. I didn't install the wiring harness so I can't comment on that.

    I will say that I could not find any aftermarket 2" receivers - that's why I bought the Volvo part. And I'm glad I did - a "Hidden Hitch" or "U-Haul" product would not have the flush factory appearance I wanted.

    The Volvo hitch hangs about 3" below the bottom of the fascia, so I guess it depends on how steep an incline the ramps are.

    Here are some photos of my installation...



  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    I also was unable to find a 2" receiver hitch aftermarket. I really do think that the procedure followed by "fedlawman" is very much to be preferred.

    If you do it my way you have to cut three holes in the facia in addition to the one over the receiver, but only one is visible standing behind the vehicle. (The purpose of these 3 additional holes to gain access to the two large bolts and nuts which fasten the bar to the brackets which attach to the frame.)

    I cut all of these holes with a 1.5" dia keyhole saw on my electric drill.

    The visible hole is in the rear on the driver side opposite the hole on the passenger side for access to the tow hook. I pressed a 1.5" black plastic plug into the hole and it looks OK. A better idea might be to buy another square plastic plug like the one on the passenger side and cut a square hole. This would allow more room for wrenching. If you use a 1.5" dia hole it has to be in exactly the right spot, which I achieved by multiple measurings.

    The other two holes are in the underside corners to allow wrenching on the bolts. Then I had to cut from the holes to the edge to make the bottom back of the facia flexible enough to work the bar under the facia.
  • Hey all.
    My wife & I are considering the 2008 V-70 Wagon.

    The big question is should we go with Tricotec or Leather?

    I stopped by a dealership yesterday to check out the cars in person and see the difference. From the photos on the website, it is hard to tell. In person, almost as hard to tell. The one T-tec upholstery car I saw, there was a bit of a sheen to the T-tec kind of like leather. Felt pretty comfortable, or I should say, as comfortable as possible for 110 degrees in Phoenix. Also seemed pretty durable and easy to maintain. Not a cloth however.

    What is everyones opinion on this?

  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    You must have seen our base V70 :)

    I'm not a fan of the T-Tec in the S40 because it uses a cloth insert that is REALLY hard to clean.
    However, the full T-Tec in the C70 and V70 should be easy to care for and quite durable.
  • camydogcamydog Posts: 64
    Thanks all for your posts. Unfortunately, having the closest dealer two hours away is not a good thing for me. I will have to do more research on the temp. sensor. I spoke with A/C technicians I work with (Airplane mechanics) and since the driver's side blows ice cold they ruled out freon but I may ask them to check the pressure to see where it is. I'll let you all know.

    fedlawman, the hitch looks great. Run into any problems with airbag sensors in the bumper area? What's your best advice to someone wanting to install a 2" receiver themselves?
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    My opinion (admittedly based on dated facts) is that there are no airbag sensors in the back bumper. The front impact airbags do not deploy with rear impacts where the principle direction of force is front to rear.

    There may not even be any crash sensors in the front bumper. The detector and integral computer for frontal impacts is a module bolted to the floor pan in the front row, in some cars under one of the front row seats and in others under the center console. This detects a collision with an onboard accelerometer.

    The side impact torso airbags (front row only) probably have a detector in the front door or in the B-pillar. There is so little side crush distance that extremely rapid deployment is required. The side head impact bags (both rows) may be triggered by the side impact detector or the central detector or both, I don't know.
  • camydogcamydog Posts: 64
    I'm finding more things out about my AC. I had the system evacuated today, vacuum tested for 15 minutes, then recharged...

    The machine shut off at .8 pounds, about twice as much as was taken out but nowhere near the 2.17 pounds required. The driver's side is still cool and the passenger side ambient air temp. The technician didn't know why it didn't take the full charge. Any ideas?
  • jontyreesjontyrees Posts: 159
    Just got back from 2 weeks in England with my wife and 2 boys. We put about 1000 miles on a rented 2008 V70 2.4 D and found it to be a fine ride. It was a base rental model, with full pleather upholstery, which actually turned out to be very comfortable. The whole experience was comfortable in fact - the seats were good, the driving position, the ride. I didn't really care for the "insert key fob, push button" start procedure - it seemed pointless, and I kept leaving the fob in the car, then having to go back and retrieve it. I didn't calculate the mpg, but I only filled up twice
    (the second time just to have enough to comfortably get back to the airport), so it had to be good, Websites list it at 41.5 mixed, which sounds about right, and is excellent for the way it drove. The stereo was really good, with an aux port in the console between the seats. That was a life saver - have you ever listened to UK radio? Endless crappy techno/disco. Anyway, for anyone looking for a good mid-size wagon, I have to say this one was very competent in all areas. For perspective, I just switched from 4 years in a 2004 GTO to a 2008 Taurus Limited (same platform as the Volvo). Does Volvo offer the diesel in the US? They should given the 40+ mpg.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Volvo should offer a diesel in about a year.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    The V70 is the ideal platform for a diesel. It's laid back touring performance would be perfectly complemented by a small, torquey, economical powerplant.

    I'm 3 days into our 2-week family vacation from Seattle to San Diego. So far I'm averaging 30 MPG with a fully loaded (people & cargo) V70 2.4. I get more economy on the interstate but passing slow traffic in the Siskyous, a detour to the Oregon Caves, and San Francisco city traffic has brought my mileage down a few MPG.

    I stopped at a Volvo dealer in Medford for an oil/filter change and service was terrific. They knew I'm from out of town and will likely never return, yet they bent over backwards to fit me in and get me back on the road with little delay. I checked out the new V70 while I was there and, though it's very nice, it has nothing to offer that would tempt me to trade in my '04.
  • camydogcamydog Posts: 64
    OK, my AC is fixed...

    I took it back to the same technician, actually three of them this time. They were all in front of the car while it was serviced. They used the same machine as last time but it had be serviced/recharged since the last time they worked on the car. They put 2.1 pounds in my system and the AC now works... both sides.

    I no longer have the passenger side ambient air issue. This is what someone posted to one of my posts; that if the freon was low, the pass. side would not get conditioned air. That was the case with my car. Glad it was not a diverter door motor.

    Hope this helps someone in the future since our '01 cars are getting older and needing more service. Oh, for those of you that think the Volvo dealer is the only place you can take your car, please seek out someone in the local area that is smart on the system to be worked on ie brakes, AC, suspension...
  • merlin1merlin1 Posts: 5
    I have an '01 v70 non-turbo wagon. Religiously have the oil changed. Last time it was in the repair shop (90K) they advised that I need a new oil pan as the drain plug stripped out. They want $750 to do the change out. He advised a dissimilar metals issue (iron plug and aluminum pan) and I suspect the wrench was in the wrong direction. Ever had this problem?
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    The drain plug in my '04 V70 non-turbo is stuck due to it's being put in too tight or without the aluminum crush washer at an oil change place. I then rounded it off trying to remove it in my driveway. I used my 12-point socket which I got before I knew the difference.

    Bad idea! I will never do that again, only use a 6-point socket for these critical applications. Then I escalated to a set of vice-grips and completed the destruction of the wrenching surfaces of the plug. I'll take it to a competent place next. I hope the pan is OK. A $750 charge for a new oil pan is sickening. These aluminum engines have their downsides.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    These aluminum engines have their downsides.

    Umm, not the engine's fault.
    Operator error.
  • jgb2000jgb2000 Posts: 2
    Do your homework. The 2000-2001 Volvo XC70 was completely redesigned. I bought a 2001 and it has been a nightmare. Every possible electrical problem you can imagine. Steering/suspension problems. Don't do it or if you do, do your homework. It's too bad because it is one of the most useful, comfortable cars I've ever owned. I hope they shaked the bugs out by now.
  • merlin1merlin1 Posts: 5
    Yep, been through all the front end problems. Hammered Volvo Cares enough that they did the first set of repairs under warranty even thought is was just over the mileage limit. The dealership was no help in resolving the issue and were in fact a hindrance to resolving the issue.

    What do you mean by "do your homework"?
  • Just bought a 2001 V70 with 69,000 miles on it. Today after having been out of the car for 1/2 hour, upon returning to the car I fund the ventfan running. Car was locked, no key in the ignition. Is this a common gremlin in this model?

    One more question, the black plastic wire covers in the engine compartment are brittle and coming off. What is the best solution to this? I saw a similar probelm in my '83 240 turbo, but not until after 150,000 miles.
  • merlin1merlin1 Posts: 5
    The vent fan running all by itself is a cabin ventilation system feature that controls the humidity level in the car. Not to worry, the gremlins have not taken over the car. :)
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