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Volvo V70 / XC70

Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,093
edited March 2014 in Volvo
Please continue discussing the V70XC here.

Below is a link to the past discussion.

Volvo V70XC


Wagons host


  • I have had my new XC V70 for about 3 weeks now. It drives like a dream. I got it for $400 over invoice, which I thought was a pretty good deal. The only problem I have noticed is a terrible noise when the back window is rolled down. It's not as bad if the front window is open at the same time.
  • bigeddybigeddy Posts: 181
    > "The only problem I have noticed is a terrible noise when the back window is rolled down. It's not as bad if the front window is open at the same time."

    Many XC owners have reported a loud, pulsating thump at roughly 7 hertz when one or both rear windows are rolled down. This is the air rushing by the windows and setting up harmonic waves. Call it physics or call it a design defect, it generally stops if another window is cracked. Evidently, some other car and truck brands do this, too. Not a problem for me since I rarely drive around with only the rear windows open, but it seems to have really upset some people. A small plastic wind deflector might help.
  • My wife was driving on I93 today with her 1998 XC when suddenly the ABS light began to flash, then 30 seconds later the SRS light began to flash followed a short time later by the Check Engine light. Then all the gauges began to fluctuate, and the car lost all power. My wife was able to pull the car over onto the break-down lane, but was unable to get the car into neutral. After an hour and a half hour wait for Volvo On-call to pick up the car, it was brought to our dealer, Lovering Volvo in Concord, NH. We have been told that the alternator blew. I do not understand why there was no indication of a problem prior to the loss of all battery power. At no time did the battery light go on. Why would there not be some indication of a problem if the battery is delivering more amperage than it is receiving or if the alternator is not charging? I could get no satisfactory response from either the local dealer or from Volvo Customer Service. Am I expecting too much for there being some light or guage to warn of an imminent total electrical failure?
  • jgranjgran Posts: 9
    That's a scary story, especially since we bought our '98 XC for my wife and kids. We live in the Boston area as well.

    We're happy with our Volvo, but I had to admit that the car is not as refined as the price tag suggests it would be. Your experience as well as some of my own confirm this. And the Volvo Service team is the worse bunch I've ever dealt with. I often feel like if I wanted to deal with this much hassel from a service department, I would've bought a Dodge or something. I hate to say this, but I don't think we'll be repeat buyers. The company has this attitude that keeps it far removed from the needs of the customer.

    Too bad, the XC could easily be the best car on the road if they would just finish the job by adding little things like alternator blow out idiot lights and Service Departments that seem to care. I'd be pretty ripped if my wife and kids were out on I93 for an hour and a half!
  • Driving back from Denver to Colo Spgs last night (saw Three Kings - Great movie BTW IMO) I had one of those moments of "XC love". 75 MPH at 2600rpm, plenty of power to spare if we needed to pass, engine a pleasing hum, seat heaters on, dual zone climate control set just right (I still had my coat on so I needed a cooler setting). Not worried about pending snow storm (it arrived this am) knowing we had the ever present AWD. Airbags and crumple zones if the worst should happen (ie deer).

    It saddens me to read the tales of woe from unhappy XC owners (any Volvo owners for that matter). I wish VCNA and or their local dealers would take the time to make their customers happy and resolve any issues. Volvo is still sort of a boutique car dealer (ie compared to Ford or GM) and it shouldn't be that hard to take care of those unfortunate incidents where the customer isn't happy. One unhappy customer posting/communicating their frustration on Edmunds or Brickboard can "scare away" ten possible Volvo customers. Wake up VCNA!!! Take care of your customers; or someone else will!

    Okay, Im done.
  • bob259bob259 Posts: 280
    Well our experience has been just the opposite here in upstate NY. It is because of our dealer we just purchased our second Volvo (2000 V70XC). Our local dealership goes out of their way to make sure your happy. I know Volvo has a dealer ranking system and takes great interest in it's customers, try sending a letter to Volvo and tell them about your dealer problems and I would not be surprised if you start seeing an improvement.

    Hope you see some difference, but for us we can't say enough about our dealer.
  • Bob259: I agree, Volvo must have some type of Dealer Ranking system. Our dealer's service dept always mentions that VCNA may contact us, and if for any reason we cannot answer "excellent" to any of the questions, to plse let them know so they can make it right (and get an excellent).
  • The 2000 XC is equipped with "high performance Michelin tires". What is the model of these?
  • eds2eds2 Posts: 1
    My wife and I plan on buying a V70 XC sometinme between tomorrow and a year from now - barring any reason to do otherwise, probably in late spring, early summer.

    Does anyone have any opinions as to when would be the best time to buy a 2000? When will the 2001s come out? Will it pay to go for a 2000 when the dealers are trying to clear space for the new model? Does Volvo offer any incentives on a regularly recurring basis?

    Thanks much for any info.
  • Hi folks. Well, I recently purchased a used 1998 and so far we really like it a lot. Safety, comfort and all. I bought the car through a private sale. It was a salvaged vehicle and it's not under warranty.

    I have several questions I would like to post to the group and hope that I can get some questions answered.

    The car has 22,000 miles

    1. The rear brake pads a completely worn down. The fronts are about 50% worn. Usually the fronts go first because they take the brunt of stopping weight. Has anyone seen this or know about this? Manufacture defect?

    2. I also had to replace the tires. They weren't completely useless, but with winter coming I wanted something more reliable. Again, kind of strange that the tires worn so quickly. Anyone have a similar situation?

    3. What are folks getting for MPG? I'm getting like 24MPG highway and 19MPG city.

    TIA for the responses,
    Peter (Boston Area)
  • At 31,000 miles my wife's XC suddenly developed a grinding noise in the front end when applyhing the brakes. This was after the car had sat unused for a week while we were on vacation. She called the dealer and was told it probably was some dirt in the brakes. The noise got rapidly worse and when the car was taken in, she was told that the front pads were worn out and the brake disks were damaged. There apparently is no built-in indicator build into the Volvo brake pads to give an audible warning when they are almost worn out. I was surprised that the pads went so early. The moral of this story is that, if you hear any strange noise when applying the brakes, see your dealer at once!
  • Peter,

    Your problems are certainly not unique and addressed in Part I of this conference (#466-468)as well as on Brickboard, the Volvo Club of North America's web based chat board. My '98 XC needed new brakes at 30K and I just replaced the tires with the OE Contis at 32K. I get about 22 MPG, mostly rural driving.

    To my knowledge, Volvo does not consider these early brake pad requirements a "defect" but only one of the many quirks of owning such a "durable" car.

    After needing two jumpstarts in today's cold weather, I think a new battery is next. This may still be under warranty but I haven't heard of this problem yet.

    I get 22 MPG, mostly rural driving.
  • The Volvo XC (and other V70's) have electronic brake proportioning which distributes brake pressure depending on how much pressure is applied, and other variables. Most likely rear brakes get more pressure than most vehicles in routine stops. Probably this is why rear brakes are wearing faster than fronts.

    The function of brake pads is to wear out! Mileage is NOT a good indicator of brake pad wear, so pad thickness should be checked on every tire rotation (5-8K miles). The pads are plainly visibile and it takes about 10 seconds per wheel.

    Brake pad compound is complicated - I would guess that Volvo compounds are designed for very cold weather, and may be softer than those on many other makes.

  • If I could offer some advice on Conti tires my response would be replace them with any other brand of tire you can find. I have purchased two brand new VW that came with OE Conti tires and was very dissappointed with both of them. My last experience was with a Passat, after 20k all four tires were starting to seperate on the inner sidewall bead. One actually blew out while cruising at around 70mph. Not good if you ask me. No wonder VW started using Goodyear as OE the next year.

    My recommendation would fall towards Dunlop or Michelin. The V70XC SE I am looking at has the Michelin tires as an option. Go to and see the choices available.

    Good Luck.
  • elkskielkski Posts: 1
    i only have 5k miles on my v70xc 2000. I get about 22 mph according to the trip meter.. will check actual after 10 k miles..I would expect to replace the brake pads sooner than my non volvo vehicles... this red brick stops on a dime!!!
  • bob259bob259 Posts: 280
    Well winter finally arrived here in the NE and I'm sad to say our new 2000 Volvo XC has taken all the fun out of winter driving. Gone are the slip sliding to work mornings and edge of your seat trips home. Now it's just sure footed and uneventful, except for the people who don't own a XC.

    What a car....
  • jgranjgran Posts: 9
    Well, after almost 3 years and 36,000 miles, our '98 XC finally produced the dreaded "Check Engine" light. I know several have run into this on their XC's. I'm taking it to the dealer tomorrow. Any suggestions or advice as to what the problem might be?

    BTW, as stated in previous messages:
    - all brake pads were replaced at 30k
    - our original Conti-Touring tires are in very good shape (my wife drives the car, not me).


  • Loose gas caps or overfill can cause it. In any event, the light can only be reset at the dealer.
  • jgranjgran Posts: 9
    Thanks for the tip.

    BTW, did I say 3 years? This car is not quite 2 years old yet. My wife really racks up the milage. About 20k/year!

  • jgranjgran Posts: 9
    Thanks for the tip.

    BTW, did I say 3 years? This car is not quite 2 years old yet. My wife really racks up the milage. About 20k/year!

  • I'm also happy at 22K on my '99 x/c. One problem we ran into was that twice we've had a window control button which stopped working. The most recent was the control from the drivers door, to the back passenger worked going down, but not going up....that's a bummer in NH! Has anyone else run into something like this?

    Also, this message board seems to have died down since the x/c II file was formed. Is there another message board on some other web site with more participation?
  • Can anyone help me? I believe that I have settled
    on a new 2000 XC and have done my homework. I
    just found out that there is a $1,500 incentive
    being offered. Volvo offered a $2,500 incentive on
    99's some time ago and I was hoping that someone
    might be able to confirm the current amount for me?
    It looks like there is a $300 holdback as well.
    Any feedback on the 2000 XC would be appreciated as
    well. I'm planning to try and buy tomorrow
    (1/29/00). Thank you!!

  • jgranjgran Posts: 9

    interesting. The passenger window control button on the *drivers control panel* is dead on our '98 XC with 36k miles. Next trip to the dealer it will be fixed, but it seems like this is a weakness on the XC. The window can be operated using the passenger control panel.

    I also have to have my drive train examined. When shifting into and out of overdrive the car makes a very low volume "boom" noise. I hope there's nothing wrong down there.

  • jgran,

    Please share your findings about the "boom" in your drive train. I'm hesitant to buy my bother-in-law's otherwise fine '98 XC w/40+k after hearing him mention similar noise.

  • oloboolobo Posts: 1
    This past weekend, my wife and I were looking at a '00 XC Wagon and while driving it, when we turned around to our left to see if there was anyone in our blind spot, there was zero visibility. The driver's headrest was so large, we could not see out the side window. Has anyone else experienced this?

    Thank you.
  • juanelljuanell Posts: 1
    As a first time volvo owner, I am basically very satisfied with my selection. However, with just 3000 miles I have also begun having problems with clicking noises in the front passenger side of the window switch when starting the car. Dealer replaced switch but returned it with same noise on starting and now on turning the car off. Also, would like to hear of anyone elses experience especially in solution. thanks, memphis
  • jgranjgran Posts: 9
    scott535is and all,

    looks like the overdrive boom was solved rather easily, which is a great relief to me. The mechanic simply changed the transmission fluid and that seems to have solved the problem. I really leaned on the gas pedal when I picked up the XC, with effort I could replicate the problem, but in anything resembling normal driving the problem is pretty much gone.

    I think that the transmission is not as "tight" as it should be when pushed. It is now obvious to me that the problem springs from a mechanism in the tranny logic that at times has trouble deciding which gear to use. When you push it (floor the gas pedal about half way) the xmission "hunts" for the proper gear. During this hunting time the engine is spinning faster, so when the tranny finally decides on a gear you hear the "boom" as the drive train is lurched into harmony with the engine. Of couse, the original problem I was experiencing is that this "hunting" effect was taking place during normal driving conditions and not when I was stressing the drive train. That is the problem that is now pretty much history.

    In any case, the problem is solved to my satisfaction. I'd much rather they change the tranny fluid than change the tranny -- if you know what I mean. If they perform major surgery on the thing it would no-doubt perform worse than it did in the first place.

    BTW, I read somewhere (owners manual?) that the tranny fluid is changed every 15K. The dealer told me that in reality they only change it every 60K. Interesting...

  • jgranjgran Posts: 9
    OK, after driving the car for a couple of days, any traces of the X-mission problem are now gone. The drivetrain now performs just like new.

    A word to the wise, FORCE your dealer to change your fluid at least every 30K miles (our problem showed up at around 34K).

  • medmdmdmedmdmd Posts: 41
    For the second time in 14 months, my front left turn signal bulb is out. Is there a TSB for 98 XC related to the turn signal base?
  • jgranjgran Posts: 9
    We've had to replace our front right turn signal bulb already in our '98 XC. Something fishy is going on here I suspect.

This discussion has been closed.