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Volvo S70

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Comments

  • tiger8tiger8 Posts: 120
    You were interested in the Volvo because of its safety record. It's true they're safe, but many manufacturers have narrowed or closed the safety gap with Volvo. Again, check Consumer Reports, April issue, for the section on safety and which cars have done well in both the govt. and insurance industry tests.

    To repeat, I would not advise buying that car with 125,000 on it. Volvo sales are down recently, I believe, and I think they are being slowly crunched between the reliability of the Japanese cars and the engineering of the German cars. Unless they shape up, they may drift slowly down to insignificance. The Volvo mystique remains its greatest asset, but I believe that is being depleted.
  • bucky11bucky11 Posts: 5
    It looks like the consensus is unanimous. I was hoping to hear from an owner of a high mileage S70 that could recommend the car, but that seems unlikely based on your reports. I am aware of the the problems cited by Consumer Reports and was wondering if some or all were addressed by the three recalls and the Technical Service Bulletins. I could almost live with the high maintenance cost, if I could acquire the car at the right price. But I get the impression everyone would stay away from the car even, if the price were $10,000 or less.

    I'm retiring a 1989 Acura legend with 105,000 miles that I bought new. It's starting to show some rust, the ABS has failed, CV joints needed to be replaced, water pump needs to be replaced, and the valves have been loud since 70,000 miles. However, it has never left me stranded. I only put about 8,000 miles per year on a car which is why I was considering a high mileage car. Historically, my vehicles have been retired with fully functional engines and drive trains but have failed from either corrosion or collisions.

    Ironically, I found out the S70 was a trade in for a new Acura. I suppose that fact alone should tell me the original S70 owner felt the Acura was the better choice.

    The other car I'm looking at is a '99 Camry LE with 20,000 miles for $12,500. Not an exciting drive but reasonably safe and dependable transportation. Thanks again folks for the input.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,432
    I bought a '98 T5 and have not had any problems. Ok, its true, the light bulbs don't last forever. But, I've only had to replace 2 brake light bulbs in the past 9 months, so I don't consider that a major issue. I bought my T5 used and have put 22,000 miles on it since. I absolutely love it. I too had a few people (here on edmunds) speak out against the 98 S70 as the folks here are doing. But, after doing a lot of searching and reading, i found the problems people complained about to be nothing to worry about and certainly not as wide spread as some would have you believe. A few real problem examples can be found with ANY model car you look at.

    Having said that, would I buy a car with 125K miles for $13 grand? No way. I can think of several nice cars for less than that which you can drive for much longer. Look at it this way, if you could get, say, 200K miles out of the volvo, you just spent $13K for a car with only 75,000 miles of life left in it. If you ever decided you did want to sell it, how many people will you find who would want such a high mileage example.

    To put it in perspective, I paid $20K for my T5 with 30K miles. If your example has 75K miles of life left in it, mine has 170K. So I paid roughly one and one-half times the price for a car which has well more than double the life left in it. I know its kinda a strange equation, but that's just how I look at it when I'm car shopping. I want to know many miles I'll have on a car when I'm done paying it off, etc. etc.

    well, good luck.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • I wouldn't pay $13,000 for an S70 T5 -- or any Volvo -- with 125,000 miles on it, even though I've owned three Volvos and been satisfied with them. Last May, I bought a 2000 S70 SE GLT with about 12,200 miles on it. I paid $28,700 for it. I'm happy with the car, although I think I probably paid about $1,500 more than I should have. Four years ago, I bought an 850 (non-turbo) with about 12,500 miles on it for $23,500. My wife drives this car; it now has nearly 80,000 miles on it and has been very reliable. Based on the miles on the Volvos I bought and what I paid for them, I don't think it's a good idea to pay nearly half as much for a car with 10 times as much mileage.
  • Wow, that's an uncommon figure. I car that's only 4 years old with 125K miles, impressive. I wouldn't buy this vehicle either. Even with the warrenty, you'll be eating a lot of repair costs yourself. Maybe for about $9,000 US I'd consider it, but I'd want to get a through list of parts replaced by the seller. I'd also want to get an independant mechanic to look it over. I don't expect the transmission or the pumps (water/fuel) to last much over 150K. Those items are expensive! Even basic stuff like tune ups (spark plugs, new brake fluid, new fuel filter) is important to the value equation when looking at a high mileage late model vehicle. I wouldn't rule it out, but don't pay more than 10K for that vehicle!
  • bucky11bucky11 Posts: 5
    I was able to track down the service records for the past 20K miles. It looks like the previous owner finally decided to trade the car because it was in the shop every month for the last five months he owned it. 8/01 103K Replaced Blower fan for heat/AC, 9/01 108K Replaced two struts, 10/01 110K Replaced battery and vacuum hose, 11/01 115K Replaced Spark Plugs and wiper blades, 12/01 120K Replaced rear brake pads and rotors. He also did an oil change during each service. It's starting to sound like $9000 is closer to the actual value of the car. However, I suspect the dealer will say he could wholesale the car at that price.
  • bucky11bucky11 Posts: 5
    The dealer just called about the car. It turns out he had the car on Ebay 45 days ago. He says the high bid was $9050 and that four people emailed him $10,000 offers after the auction closed. He didn't accept the offers at that time but he now seems receptive to a $9000-$10,000 cash offer for the car, if he deletes the extended warranty.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,432
    well, the only thing on that list that is beyond what should be expected on a car with that many miles is the blower fan. Still, though, I don't consider that to be out of line for repairs on a 125K mile car.

    Don't know if I'd give up that 2 year warranty.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • chop420chop420 Posts: 7
    I just completed a deal with my Volvo/Toyota dealer where I traded in my 2000 Volvo S70 GLT for a 2002 Toyota Solara. The Volvo had only 22K miles on it and was in perfect condition and they gave me $20,500. I talked them down on the Solara and got a straight up trade for the Volvo. I really enjoyed the S70, but the final straw was a rear tailight failure that melted the interior plastic housing of the light. I've replaced the headlights 3 times and also had a batter that leaked battery acid twice all over the inside of the engine compartment. I think the Solara is much smoother and quieter than the more expensive S70 and I'm hoping more reliable.
  • sjazsjaz Posts: 7
    I've been having a problem with the rear brakes of my 1998 S70 GLT. When I apply the brakes there is a really bad vibration from the rear of the car - it feels like the car is going to break apart. I had it to my dealer and they told me that the shims were missing and that I needed new rear brakes (less than 30% remaining). I ended up changing the brakes myself (did not use Volvo brakes) and discovered that the shims were still there and that I had about 50% pad remaining. I've waited several months after installing the new brakes to see if the problem would go away - it hasn't. I have an appointment at the dealer to get this problem rechecked but I'm afraid they are going to give me their standard, "It's probably because you didn't use Volvo parts". When I set the appointment I made them aware that this problem was occuring even when I had Volvo brakes. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what might be the problem? Also, I was told that the timing belt should be changed because I am at 70,000 miles - is this necessary? (Note: I have new tires since the problem originally began)

    Thanks.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,432
    could be a warped rotor.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • sjazsjaz Posts: 7
    At first I thought it might be a warped rotor but the problem doesn't occur all the time. If when I apply the brakes, I get the bad vibration, I let up on the brakes a little bit and then reapply them and the vibration goes away. This problem originally began when the ABS light came on for no apparent reason (going down the interstate and not had not been applying my brakes). I took the car to the dealership and they replaced the computer that controls the ABS. When I asked about whether the ABS could have caused the vibration they told me no and that the vibration was because I needed new brakes and was missing the brake shims. I want to go to the dealership this time with as much information as possible so I don't get told I need new brakes again. Has anyone ever experienced this problem or heard of it?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,890
    One major daily newspaper is looking for folks who drive 2002 or 2003 yellow or orange cars, and another major daily newspaper is looking for folks who successfully or unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate the purchase prices of their vehicles at the end of their lease terms. If you care to share your stories on either or both of these topics, please send an e-mail containing a short summary of your experience and your contact information to jfallon@edmunds.com no later than Tuesday, May 14.

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  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,890
    A television reporter is interested in hearing from folks who have driven long distances to get good prices when buying new cars or trucks. If you have a story to tell, please drop a line including your contact info and city/state of residence to jfallon@edmunds.com.

    Thanks,

    Jeannine Fallon
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    Edmunds.com

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  • andymsnandymsn Posts: 14
    I bought a used S70 T5 from a dealer in central Wisconsin at the end of March for $15,000.00. No s---. The car wasn't perfect, certainly (it was a lease out of the Chicago area so it had a few minor scratches and it needs tires), but overall how can you go wrong for $15k for a car that was $30k new with 33,100 miles on it? DON'T buy that high mileage T5. Patience, Grasshopper. Look around. :)
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,432
    What year is it?
    If its loaded, try closer to $40K new! (at least that's what the window sticker I found in the glovebox of my '98 said - $38K and change, actually). :)

    Good deal, by the way. I'm sure being in central Wisconsin helps keep the prices down, no?

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • DelreybirdDelreybird Posts: 14
    The Michelin XGT V4 tires on my 2000 S70 have 21,000 miles on them (the same as on the car). Given the way they are wearing, I seriously doubt that I can get 40,000 miles out of them. I bought the car slightly used; it had been in Enterprise's rental fleet for its first 12,100 miles, and I suspect that the tires were driven "soft" for most of this distance. I keep the tires at 36 psi (cold), the maximum recommended pressure -- which I've always understood is the way to go to prolong tread life. (Please correct me if I'm wrong on this.)

    Looking ahead to my next set of tires for this car, I would like to know what other brands other S70 owners have used, and what their experience has been. Thanks in advance for your input.
  • sjazsjaz Posts: 7
    Does anyone know where I can purchase new flip down sun visors for a 1998 Volvo S70? Mine (both driver and passenger side) don't stay all the way up when not in use and tend to fall right about eye level. I would rather not get them through the local Volvo dealership since they want about $100 a piece for them.

    Thanks.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    Is it safe to say that Volvo cheapened the build quality of its vehicles after 1997, when the 70 Series came out?
  • godeacsgodeacs Posts: 481
    Yes!!!!!!!!!! Hopefully, they're starting to turn it around but the last few years have not been good for Volvo's rep....
  • tiger8tiger8 Posts: 120
    Volvo is being squeezed between the reliability of the Japanese cars and the engineering of the German cars. S70 is basically the same car as the 850. Why after all these years they can't solve the electrical problems is beyond me--either lazy, indifferent or incompetent. The S80 is racking up a poor repair record also. Their sales are falling. They can't compete with BMW or even Audi, and even the Japanese compacts have them beat in terms of refinement.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    I agree with you. I am very upset at Volvo because they basically sold the same car platform in the U.S. for eight years (850/S70) and all of them had electrical troubles. I've been lucky so far with my '93 850; after nine years, it's only gone through one headlight and one heated seat switch. Also, the a/c evaporators are a problem with Volvos of this vintage; mine went out at 68k miles and had to be replaced. But I agree that the S70 has not had a good reliability record; I've talked to many owners of these cars and they cite many problems.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    Might I add that just this morning, my friend called me to say that her father traded in his '98 V70 for a new Lexus? He was tired of all the electrical and transmission problems that were plaguing his Volvo.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,432
    Have you looked into just bulking up the rubber gaskets which hold the visors up? maybe just wrap a bit of tape around the piece that snaps into the hook will hold it tight enough. Just a thought.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • susanmhermsusanmherm Posts: 1
    We are having persistent difficulty re-fueling our S70. Despite attempting holding the gas hose at multiple angles and innumerable local gas stations, the putting more gas in this car is a nightmare as the gas hose clicks off (as if the tank were full) approximately every one quarter gallon. Any ideas????? Thanks.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,432
    I'm sorry to say, I have no idea. Just didn't want to leave you hanging like nobody is paying attention here (this is an awfully slow board - does that bode well or poorly for this car?). Anyway, I haven't had that problem. As a matter of fact, my S70 seems to trigger that pump response less than any other car I've had.

    So you say you've tried different gas stations. I don't know if this makes a difference, but have they been different companies, too? Maybe one company uses the same type pump.... I'm really reaching....

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • jay44jay44 Posts: 7
    Try pulling the gas nozzle out a few inches. This has always worked for me. I believe the pump is sensing the gas fumes and thinks the tank is full.
  • tiger8tiger8 Posts: 120
    Strange. We have a 2000 S70 GLT, and that's one problem we've never had. I filled up yesterday all the way from empty and nary a cutoff. Never had one. Check with the dealer or call the car guys on Saturday morning. As someone above said, try another gas station. Maybe it's their pumps.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    The Town Hall is about to take on a new look in an effort to make content more easily searchable and accessible.

    Have you seen the Letter from the Town Hall Manager on the Town Hall Welcome page? If not, you might want to follow that link to have a look.

    And hang on to your seats. Change is never easy - for any of us - but resolving the Search problems we've had will be worth the pain.

    Pat
    Sedans Host


    (YIKES -- I b'lieve I'll be posting this message in my dreams all night long!!)
  • jeff190jeff190 Posts: 1
    I am looking at buying a 1998 S70, with 47K miles on it. It is a certified pre-owned from a Volvo Dealer and they are asking 17,990 for it. Is this a fair price, and what kind of reliability problems should I be aware of (if any) for this model?
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