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Volvo XC90 brakes and rotors replaced much too often!

mamaagmamaag Posts: 1
I've been in some version of a Volvo since I inherited my parents brick-colored sedan in high school. It was a tank, ran forever and kept me safe and protected. Years later I bought a new black Volvo sedan. In 2006 with a hubby and two kids, I decided that I could graduate to the SUV. Feeling like I'd made a fantastically safe and practical decision, I drive my silver XC90 to work and on road trips. It's not the fanciest nor sexiest vehicle, but I feel my family is safe.

Hard working folks should not have huge budget surprises like my Volvo SUV has turned into. Little did I know what I was getting myself into when I made this purchase. When I took it into the Culver City dealer for my 30,000 mile service yesterday, I found out that my Volvo XC90 needed it's second replacement rotors and brake pads. I'd already been through this expense at 17,000 miles, much to my surprise. I'd never heard of needing to replace brake pads and rotors at 17,000.

Now, at 30,000 miles the local dealer's service department told me I needed another set at a cost of $1,000. CRAZY!

I have friends driving a Toyota or a Honda that rarely require maintenance or repairs. Volvo is an expensive vehicle to buy and it gets you every time you visit the service department and all repairs are expensive. It's disappointing to say the least.


  • abvbyndabvbynd Posts: 10
    Hi...we have a 2005 XC90 V8 (fully loaded) and haven't had any of the problems you have with your rotors or brakes. Our only brake replacement so far was at 45,000 miles (only pads no rotor problems). We've owned it since 2005 , bought it new. Maybe the V8 with the 18" wheels has a different size brake and rotor. Not sure. Hope things work out better for you. I do know that Volvo has always had softer brake pads so that it helps stopping distance for safety reasons...AS far as other maintenance, we havne't had to do anything out of the ordinary, our services up to 36,000 miles were free and we now have nearly 60k on the vehicle with no major problems. We also run pure synthetic oil in the engine and have since the fiorst 500 miles.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 28,142
    We're both late in answering, but I'm with the above poster. We are at around 34k miles and have not had to replace the pads yet, let alone the rotors. I just replaced the tires a few weeks ago and the pads look to still have at least half their life left.

    If I were you, I'd be sure the dealer is telling the truth. Check them yourself. If they are telling the truth, check your driving habits.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 52-car history and counting!

  • chombis3chombis3 Posts: 2
    We bought our first Volvo in 2005 a fully loaded xc90 because of the safety factor, especially now that the grandkids are almost always with us. about two months ago I had the front pads and rotors replace at Midas at a cost of 600.00 + dollars I was told that the rears were still not needed I have done many a brake job in my 64 + years, but a little hesitant because I have not been able to locate a repair manual for this year and model I will probably come out next year after the vehicle is 5 yrs old. Do I need any especial tools would appreciate any and all advice, thanks chombis3
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,238
    Brake longevity is directly proportional to the frequency with which they are used. If you do a lot of stop and go driving you will wear the brakes out sooner.
    Volvo's use soft pads that dissapate heat very well in order to retain excellent braking ability. XC90 weighs 4500lbs but brakes like a 3500lb car.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Brake longevity is directly proportional to the frequency with which they are used.

    I think you meant "inversely proportional." :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • yurkoyurko Posts: 24
    I own a 2003 Volvo XC90 T6, purchased new in March, 2003. It has about 56,500 miles. As you may know, 2003 was the first year for the Volvo XC90.

    I have my Volvo serviced regularly and have had minimal problems with it. There were a couple of recall repairs, which seems to be the norm for just about any new vehicle nowadays. I have had absolutely no brake-related problems. While my mileage is on the low side for a 6 1/2 year old vehicle, I would consider myself a "mildly aggressive" driver.

    In short, no brake-related problems on my original vintage XC90.
  • dznjdznj Posts: 7
    The dealer replaced the fronts pads on our '04 T6 at 30K-ish. I just did pad/rotors all around at 60K. I don't think that is excessive, given the weight of the car.

    Brake wear is dependant on driving style, weight, and type of driving. If you do a lot of stop/start/local driving with a heavy foot, you are going to have to do brakes more often than someone who does 100 miles on the highway each day.
  • We have a 2009 xc90 that we bought just over a year ago. We are running into many problems already, but most recently our brakes are making a horrible sound. When we apply the brakes we hear a loud screeching sound, similar to when the emergency brake is left on and you're trying to back out of the garage. We've checked to make sure the e-brake is not on, it wasn't. We've taken it to the dealership and of course it didn't make the sound when we brought it in. It seems to happen when the car has been running for a while and is warmed up.
  • I am having the same issue with my 2009 XC90. It's at the shop right now getting new front brake pads. Something tells me that replacing brake pads isn't going to do a thing. I've got 18,000 miles now. How about you?
  • I live in DC - lots of stopping and starting. we have a 2007 XC90 that is leased - 2.5 years old. just got new brakes - $700 and two front tires, another $450. I'm really pissed!! Is it the care, my wife (primary driver) or dealership screwing me?
  • jmmommyjmmommy Posts: 6
    I needed new brakes on my 2008 XC90 V8 at around 18k. I was less then happy. Especially because the car is a lease. The noise was the noise that jazmeena describes. Screaming brakes. I also have smell when it is moist out and my seat cracked (and I am under 150lbs so I am thinking that should not have happened). I have random lights that come on in the car. What is crazy though, I think I might get another one because they have the 5 yr maintenance deal right now.
  • adam38adam38 Posts: 1
    I am on my second set of brakes and rotors in 60k of driving. ugh!!
    Wife drives the car on country roads in curvey hilly PA. I think it is a combo of the driving style and the higher braking power = faster wear.
  • We've got a 2009 XC90, and the problem has almost been constant. First they cleaned the brake dust. That worked for about a week. My wife has become so frustrated that we're considering "lemon law"ing this car... it sounds like it's only one brake that's making all this noise. Only at low speeds, like rolling up to a light etc...
    Just got back from a trip and screamed, well had a very terse, discussion with the service manager this morning so we'll see...otherwise we love the car.
  • mpin1977mpin1977 Posts: 1
    I bought a 2009 XC90 new. Had brake squealing on and off after 28k then had to replace the front rotors and brake pads at 41k. Squeal on the brakes started again around 52k. Got progressively worst and had them cleaned a few times, which helped. Had to replace the front rotors and pads again at 62k. Noise is gone for now. Strange that the back brakes and rotors have been fine thru all this and still don't need to be replaced. We live in the hills of Connecticut with alot of braking and in the hills, which was a main reason why I bot the XC90. I saw a video on youtube of a XC90 squealing, which was exactly what I had and it was in the San Francisco area. It seems that steep hills + a heavy car wear these Volvo front rotors and brakes pads down quickly. Still love the car however and bought it off lease. Its like an annoying uncle that you have to deal with every few years at a wonderful family gathering.
  • I paid just over $800.00 for Rotors and Pads for my XC90, (2011) today- at Huntington Volvo on Long Island.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Four wheels? How many miles? First time to replace 'em?

    Pricey, but with maintenance and repair these days, it doesn't sound too awful.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 167,650

    I paid just over $800.00 for Rotors and Pads for my XC90, (2011) today- at Huntington Volvo on Long Island.

    The dealer replaced them? That actually sounds cheap. How many miles?

    For reference, just paid $425 to have my front brakes (rotors/pads/sensor) done at my independent mechanic ('06 BMW). And, he's cheap!

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • We purchased a Volvo XC90 1 year ago and at 17,000 miles were told we needed to replace the "rear" brakes to the tune of $800. I'm floored a car with only this amount of mileage would need new brakes (pads and rotors). Every car I've owned, with the exception of a few sports cars went to at least 30K miles before just pads were needed.

    Volvo has lost their credibility if this is the norm as the best cars built on the road. No way will we buy another one if we are going to be hit with bills this high for simple things every year.
  • Alright i will chime in on this brake issue. one of the contributing factors is the 2008 xc90 slightly accelerates when slowing from speed this means you need to brake harder then necessary. ( And yes foot completely off the accelerator ) . Given the weight of the xc90 it adds to the braking effort. This is very noticeable when on down ramps and occurs at 40 to 34 mph. this seems to be at or near the transmission down shift point. It maybe that a computer program could remedy this flaw. But good luck on it. Talk to your service representative and see.
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