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Volvo V70 Wagon Experience



  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118

    I'm in Seattle and chose touring tires on our V70 because they ride smooth and quiet. They are fine in the rain, but not so good on ice/snow.

    I think the XC leans more towards SUV (crossover) tires, so I'm not sure I'm the one to recommend tires to you. However, 2 great all-season "sport sedan" tires I can recommend are the Pirelli PZero Nero and the Michelin Pilot A/S.
  • fedlawman, I'm just north of you!

    What do you consider a 'touring tire'. I know locals go for Continentals. A specialist told me he liked Pirellis for 'all weather grip' but many choose Michelins for their longevity (brand). Wondering how the AWD turbo eats tires with that beefy steering. The car I offered to buy (still hanging out for an response) had really worn fronts (contientals). I had a more sedate wagon that did OK with Toyos' but it was not a performance vehicle.

    Thank you again for the exchange...I am learning a lot here!
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Well, the tire manufacturers each manufacture dozens of different tires. For example, Continental makes the ContiSportContact, ContiExtremeContact, ContiPremiumContact, ContiProContact, ContiTouringContact...well, you get the idea.

    You should decide what characteristics are important to you.

    For example, rank from top to bottom the importance or dry grip, wet grip, responsiveness (sharp reflexes), quiet ride, smooth ride, snow/ice traction. Let me know and I'll help you decide.

    BTW, my Volvo has Goodyear Assurance ComforTred passenger tires. My BMW has Pirelli PZero Nero ultra-high performance all-season tires.
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 142
    I hope I'm in the right area to ask about a 1999 Volvo V70XC AWD wagon I have an opportunity to buy. The owner(who, by the way, owns an auto repair shop) says the car runs great. I haven't driven it yet or heard it run at this time, and I'm not sure of the mileage on it. I do know that the back drive shaft is out of the car right now as there were issues with it according to what I'm being told, so right now the vehicle is FWD only. It will cost between 3 to 4 hundred dollars to have this resolved and make it AWD once again. Now the car LOOKS good, but while I've heard Volvos are generally very reliable and last a long time, maintenance and repairs can cost big $$$ which I don't have. The owner is asking $3000.00 for the car. Have any of you ever had this model or know of someone who does/did? What are some of the major complaints with this model? Any help you can give me on this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.
  • virtuvirtu Posts: 8
    Great cars. My Volvo friends swear by theirs. I'm also in the market. What is your mileage on this vehicle? I was offered a well maintained '98 with 212K for $2,500 but it needed a timing belt, tires (NOW), brakes (all within 3500K) which added $1500 to the price. The timing belt is $800 but they last 70K
  • shopdog97shopdog97 Posts: 142
    Thanks for responding, Virtu. At this point, I'm not sure what we're going to do about this Volvo V70 XC. I may try to get the owner to come down in price, perhaps. Since he owns an auto repair shop that I use and recommend to others, I don't want to place myself in a position that if I were to buy the car from him and there'd be a lot of problems with it, we could hurt our friendship, because the bottom line is that we need a reliable car that we can depend on. But the thing is just sitting there on his lot doing nothing, so I'm tempted to make a stab at it. I'm not sure of the mileage on this car, but Joe did say that when he bought it a few years ago, it ran well and everything worked until there was a problem with the rear drive shaft. He claims this is a 3 to 4 hundred dollar repair. My problem is I don't even have the 3 grand asking price at the moment and I certainly wouldn't have a reserve for potential problems either. Bottom line is that I may just have to pass on the car. Thanks anyway for your input and have a great day.
  • virtuvirtu Posts: 8
    If the person is a mechanic who is sellling and has the ability to fix the rear drive shaft then why not ask for that repair to be included in the cost? I know several mechanics who resells their own cars (they refurbish) and some offer a guarantee. Worth asking since they know what's likely to be needed.
  • I have a 2000 v70R with 139K and I am experiencing the exact same problem. Dealer said all looks good with awd, recently put close to 1500 miles on roadtrip and no problems but that noise is making me nervous. Also I hear a clicking noise when turning tight at slow speed. The car runs incredibly on the highway as if there is no problem and I'm getting sick of worrying and constantly listening for that or any new sounds. Did you ever find out what the noise was? I am just finding this listing over a year after your post and would appreciate any answers or suggestions.
  • virtuvirtu Posts: 8
    I have driven several 1995-2000 Volvo wagons and like the AWD Cross Country but most have deferred maintenance issues which run up the acquisition cost. Seeking AWD, good clean interior and paint under 200K one owner, good tires and up to date timing belts, etc. Basic sport package with AC and all working electrics. My limit is $3000. Like sandstone and gray colors to match our Pacific NW dirt. If you have this vehicle consider selling it privately rather than a wholesale trade to someone who will appreciate and baby it! I'll send a temporary email if you respond to this message and we can email or skype. Thanks!
  • I just purchased a 1998 v70 xc - 177,000 miles.
    I knew it needed a Heater Blower Resistor per owner and one tire.
    My test drive I knew the right front tire had a bad belt/buldge. I ignored the tire sound when the car steered straight or right. Turning just a bit left the silence was nice.
    I paid $2100.00 for the car.Asking price was $2800.00.
    Went right to the tire store - Insisted I buy four tires due to AWD. $420.00.
    Up on the lift they said it needed one tie rod end and one ball joint.
    I left there with my new mounted tires and went to Auto Parts Store.
    $300.00 worth of parts ( control arms w/ball joints and tie rod ends) I did that myself in my driveway in 1.5 hours with hand tools and pry bar.
    I made an appt for a wheel alignment next week.
    The car steers straight as an arrow but I still have the horrible sound. I assume it might be the left front wheel bearing ?
    Regardless the body is like new - leather interior is like new- it was a Florida car all its life until now ( in NJ) - I think I did alright - see what the shop says during the alignment appointment.
    19.7 mpg I think the only option I dont have is multi disc player.
  • 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: 142
    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: 142
    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: 142
    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 !!!!
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