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Volvo V70 Wagon Experience



  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Volvomax and others, my wife's 2001 XC runs well at 62K after a series of problems that I've posted about earlier. As a research-oriented kind of guy, I am looking ahead to the next vehicle for her. I've got a couple of questions that maybe you can help me with.

    1) Now that we have replaced the electronic thottle module at 50,000 miles, what is the probablility that it will fail again, and this time out of warranty?

    2) We like the looks of the 70 but could be tempted to investigate a 2.5 AWD XC90 (sorry, don't need a V8). But in reading the XC90 posts I notice a lot of teething problems (and a lot of whining about some not so significant things). Can we expect to have more problems with an XC90 than a XC70?

    3) After you get past the more upright and higher seating and the additonal passenger room in the 90, doesn't the XC70 have more ground clearance, probably corners better and holds about as much cargo? In other words it does the same job for a lot less money. Am I missing something? I know that the XC90 is the New Best Thing from Volvo with an incredible resale. But what does it do better or more comfortably (besides hauling 7 people around) than an XC70? Frankly, the now NLA optional dual turbo engine seems a crazy choice (DUAL turbos on a Volvo?) that is destined for some expensive maintenance at 65K just after the warranty expires. (Anyone want to guess what it will cost in parts and labor to replace two turbos that croaked because stop and go driving to the local mall coked the oil on them?). Even the Yamaha V8 seems a bit much.

    The XC90 boards read a lot like the LR3 boards. They are full of posters who are quite proud of themselves, their achievments in this world, and seem happy to have paid a lot of money, money that was darn close to list price, to own and carp about the latest thing from Volvo. I don't get it. Then again I can recall growing up in New England when no one had a TV. Am I just not with it?
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    1 Failure is always a possibility. It is after all a mechanical part.
    The newer throttle designs are much less prone to failure however.

    2 The XC90 teething issues were minor, mostly software issues, wind noise and a few squeaks and rattles. XC90 reliability has actually been quite good on the 04 and 05 models.

    3 XC70 ground clearance 8.2", XC90 clearance 8.6"
    XC70 cargo capacity w/ back seat down 71.4 cubic feet.
    XC90 cargo capacity w/ 2nd and 3rd rows down, 85.1 cu/ft.
    The XC90 is simply bigger than the XC70. Otherwise, ride and handling are almost identical. XC70 does a little better in fuel economy, 1 mpg better city, @ 3 mpg better highway.
    As for the turbo's, contrary to popular belief it is almost unheard of to replace a turbo. We have had the twin turbo engine since 99 in the S80, and I can't remember us having to replace a turbo. The last turbo we replaced was on a 2000 V40 w/ 85k that the owner simply never changed the oil in.
    The V8 will get better highway mileage than the 5 cyl and probably better highway mileage than the XC70. It turns alot fewer rpms than the 5 cyl does.

    Xc90 owners tend to be type A personalities. XC70 owners tend to be the more traditional Volvo owner. More analytical and less likely to give in to fads.
    I'd go w/ the XC90. The price of a 5 cyl isn't that far off from the XC70, resale will be better and you can do more w/ the XC90.
  • I recently bought a 1999 v70 xc wagon with ~70 K miles. It runs great, but my mechanic claims that I shuld routinely replace the electronic throttle at ~80 K miles because it is known to die by ~90 K miles. He wants $600 for the part and $400 labor to replace it. Is he right?
    Does anyone know where I can get a full factory manual for this car?
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Thanks VolvoMax for filling me in. I appreciate it.
  • Anybody ever receive "good will" from Volvo after the warranty expires?
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    It does happen.
    Alot depends on your maintenence history and your relationship w/ your dealer.
    Also, if the problem is a known one.

    Keep in mind that it is "goodwill" and not a right.
    Volvo only has to warranty the car for 4 yrs or 50,000 miles.(some parts/systems longer)
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,120
    yes re goodwill re warranty. air pump failed after warranty expired (aux air injection). without me asking, the dealer asked volvo if they would cover it and they did. i think it saved me about $350.
    we've had great experiences with our volvos, 96 855, 01 v70 2.4t, 04 xc90 2.5t/awd. there's little doubt we'll end up buying another volvo some year.
  • camydogcamydog Posts: 64
    A friend just traded his '00 XC for a 4-motion Passat wagon because he had the viscous coupling replaced twice in 79k miles. He was done with their Volvo and huge repair costs. Doesn't help that our closest dealer is almost 2 hours away. I'm wondering what the difference is between the AWD system in the '00 and that of the '01 and later cars.

    I don't have his problems, no AWD on my '01 T5. It sure is a nice car to drive but I dread the visits to the dealer for services. I am shallow pocketed like most V70 owners.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    VW is no service picnic either. In fact they are horrible!

    The 2000 V70 XC used a different coupling than the 2001-2003 models.
    Haldex was used starting in 2004.

    Contrary to popular belief, Volvo's maintenance costs are pretty close to average.
    Since you own a V70 T5 your pockets can't be that shallow.
  • 105,000 miles and Volvo dealer serviced since new. Never had a trailer hitch. About 1,000 miles ago, started hearing a howling noise at low speeds and now it's a bad vibration at high sppeds. We're told that the rear drive shaft center bearing is junk. $1K to fix! Shouldn't this bearing last longer?

    First ?: Can a good drive line shop replace this bearing?

    2nd?: Since vibration started the tranny shifts with a 'BANG". Is this caused by the bad bearing?
  • klazklaz Posts: 3
    The bearing can be replaced by a driveline shop. Cost me about $45 dollars but I removed and reinstalled the driveshaft myself. Good luck. The rear bearing at the front of the viscous coupler housing will go next. Same story, take it someplace that specializes in driveshafts, or for that matter, have both done at the same time.

    Ditto on the good luck.

    Somewhere here and also the the brickboard are my previous posts regarding this money pig of a car (master window switch, door locks, sway bar links, radiator, water pump, rear hatch trim, front wheel bearings, Center bearing and VC bearing, top and side motor mounts. . .) The best part is it makes the parts for my other car, the 5-series bmw, seem cheap. . .and I've always wanted to think of a bmw as affordable.

  • volvoctvolvoct Posts: 1
    My wife and kids were driving on the interstate and the ETM failed. An 18 wheeler just missed rear-ending the car. Volvo needs to admit they have a serious problem on their hands. Spent $1200 to get it fixed and sold it the next week.
  • I'm writing this to ask any and everyone that has experienced an ETM (electronic throttle module) failure report it to the NHTSA as a complaint so that Volvo can be forced to recall/repair these dangerous vehicles. Just search on the NHTS website and log in a complaint with the description "Vehicle Speed Control" so that it will be considered in the current NHTSA investigation PE05041. Please hurry as complaints will probably be taken only until Volvo submits its response due 15 September 2005.

    July 18, 2005, my 24 year old daughter was killed while driving my Volvo 2001 V70 XC. It was bright, sunny, dry afternoon with normal, moderate traffic. She was changing lanes when the car unexpectedly accelerated from the farmost right lane to the farmost left lane, lost control, hit the leftmost guardrail, crossed back into the center lane, collided with another car, crashed through a the rightmost guardrail, sailed through a treetop, dropped 30 feet, landed upside down, and rolled repeatedly until it came to rest in a concrete creek bank below the bridge on which she'd been driving. The other car was left teetering on the same rightmost guardrail but its driver was thankfully not seriously injured. My daughter was wearing her seatbelt but of course killed upon impact after the drop.

    I have had an accident reconstruction expert investigate the accident and he believes mechanical failure, most likely the ETM module, caused the crash. Unfortunately, since very few complaints have alleged acceleration due to ETM failure (either as a direct result of the failure or in overcompensation for reduced performance caused by the failure), this is a hard case to prove. However, we've been unable to come up with any other reasonable explanation, and the ETM had failed and been replaced on my car before.

    In the meantime, many drivers, passengers, and other vehicles are at risk because these cars are on the road in this condition. Please don't assume the problem will be fixed given the current complaints and investigation -- if you had problems with the ETM in your car, please file a complaint so that it can be investigated with the others and action can be taken to force Volvo to react. At present, there are only 131 complaints filed alleging problems; if there are more problems out there, the NHTSC needs to know about them ASAP so that they can protect us all. No one else should be injured or killed due to Volvo's negligence in refusing to correct a known defect.
  • The site is
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • We have had numerous problems with stopping at a stop sign after highway driving and then once starting again, the engine revs at very high rpms and does not get into gear. If one were in a hurry to get out into traffic, you could easily be broadsided because of lack of acceleration. We have had it looked at several times by dealership, and they always say "the computer doesn't find anything."
  • I just bought a new 2005 V70 and the dealer tried to sell me and extended warranty for $1,400 that would make the warranty 7 years/100,000. Is this something I should do? I was reading other peoples posts about lots of expensive repairs and $1,400 seems like a better price than all of the repairs.

    If you think I should get an extended warranty, is this the right price? Does Volvo have an extended warranty program or are they all through other companies? My dealers slimy finance guy is who presented the warranty idea to me and while I like my dealer I didn't trust this guy. He told me that this price is only valid for the first year I own the car and then the price will go up.

    Does anyone know if the warranty is transferable to a new owner if I don't keep the car 7 years.
  • My 2001 V70 has been a great car, but about a month ago the key lock cylindar would not recognize my key and had to be replaced. Since then I have been having elcetric problems that drain the battery. The trouble screen on the dash does not recognize a problem, but as the battery weakons the systems appear to begin to shut down and the car begins to run uneven and shudder. The dealer has checked it out, replaced the battery and says there are no electric problems. They did say that when the battery gets low the car goes into a default limp home mode and will loose power and shudder. I am thinking there is a short or a bad ground connected to the cylindar replacement in the steering column. I just shortened a labor day weekend and limped home. Any thoughts.

  • I'm having a strange issue as well. After I turn off the ignition and go inside my house, the air conditioner will come back on and will run off the battery. Any thoughts? Thanks!
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,770
    Whoa... that's no fun! It's possible that it's as simple as the ignition switch not getting into the off position. I had a similar incident many years ago where I had turned the car off (or so I thought) only to come back a few hours later to find out that the battery was dead because the fans were still running. Turned out that somehow the key was able to be removed without the ignition switch having fuly been turned to Off. To this day I make sure that I've turned off everything in the car that can run with the key in the Accessory postion when I stop.

    Think back on it. Are you leaving the A/C controls in the On position?

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  • I am so very sorry about the loss of your daughter in the car accident you describe.Thank you for posting this information for others--it is very helpful to me.I have experienced throttle control problems with my 2003 V-70. In mid-August, my car stalled in low speed, very light traffic. To address that problem the Volvo dealer here replaced 2 oxygen sensors and cleaned the throttle. Believing the problem was solved, I drove my car out of state and was driving at 65 mph on a highway at 10pm when my car suddenly lost power. I was stranded, alone at night in a not-very-safe circumstance.As it turned out, the car was towed to a dealer 200 miles from my home and my husband picked me up a couple hours later. I intend to file a report with the NHTSA and to take every other step possible to confront Volvo.I don't intend to drive the car again. Thank you for your warning and I offer you my heart felt condolences.
  • I agree; I wouldn't drive it again, either. Volvo has a history of knowing but ignoring or trying to fix quietly dangerous defects so that recalls don't damage their reputation. I have spent $6k in repairs on my car this year alone, but I was foolish enough to believe the service dept. was competent and trust them when they said the car was safe to drive. Having bought my car primarily because of Volvo's safety record, it never occurred to me that the car could actually be dangerous. Please pass your experience on so that others can be spared repeating it. THANKS ~
  • When my ETM initially failed, it took 3 months and the car becoming almost completely undrivable (stopping, stalling, jerking, and surging uncontrollably) before Volvo decided it was a failing ETM. The computer at first listed air flow fault codes, but the dealer just kept erasing them and telling me nothing was wrong. By the time the performance was poor (and dangerous) enough to register a fault code, the car was nearly impossible to drive as the performance was completely unpredictable.
  • lbwlbw Posts: 1
    i have a 1998 v70 xc wagon. i'm not a mechanic, but after months of trying to figure this out in conjunction with various service people, it seems clear that the problem with the clunking noise underneath the car when you turn tightly (especially when the car is warm) has to do with the awd driveshaft, either the bearing that holds it in place or the viscous coupling or both.
    as you no doubt know, the only solution appears to be to replace the whole driveshaft, which is very expensive. I had it replaced about 25k ks ago and now it sounds like it needs replacing again.
    any idea how common this problem is? and any thoughts on how it could wear out so fast? (we drive it a normal amount and nothing unusual or off-road). also, is there some way to fix it so it won't keep reoccuring or should i just get rid of it? (I like the car and it's great in the snow in our northern region but i can't spend $1,200 a year on this one problem). any help would be appreciated. thanks.
  • I recently bought a 1999 v70 xc wagon and am having the same problem. The dealer told me that it was due to the AWD. He told us that with AWD you can’t turn the vehicle hard to one side or the other without this knocking occurring. I love to hear from anyone that can tell me if this is the case or if we have a problem on our hands.

    The only other problem we have with the vehicle is that it idles rough. When the car is running but stopped the throttle goes up and down not a lot but enough to be very annoying.

    We love the vehicle and it has all of the bells and whistle but I just hope we didn’t buy a "money pit".

    Thanks for any help that you may be able to provide. :confuse:
  • Like many others, I was happy with my 2000 XC until the the revving and jerking started after 70,000 miles. Not knowing about the ETM problems, I took it to the dealer. They mentioned something about the throttle, but preceded to replace everything else including the O2 sensor! I began to suspect it was in fact the ETM, but the part was just out of warranty(naturally) and they stopped short of asking Volvo to good-will it. This was after having the car brought to them 3 times in a week(including once on a flat bed tow truck) and spending thousands. I didn't know if they were greedy or simply incompetent. I was so disgusted I took it to an independent shop which cleaned the throttle for fraction of what I paid the dealer. I'm certainly filing a NHTSA report.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I drove a 2002 Chrysler LHS company car that I picked up new from the dealer and drove for two years. That car had the revving/engine quiting problem. It would be fine for days, then all of a sudden, the car would just die.

    I took it to the dealer 3 times, and they never could figure it out or fix it - until the 4th visit. They said that the ECU was being fooled by the O2 sensor to somehow think the car was at high altitude. The computer was adjusting the A/F ratio to compensate, and this caused the problem.

    They replaced the O2 sensor (as a precaution) and re-flashed the ECU. The problem never came back.

    I think so many modern cars rely on computers to run everything from fuel flow to the door locks. Many so-called "lemons" are only lemons because the dealerships just aren't equipped to service the black boxes (which were never designed to be "serviced." All a shop can do is plug in the code reader, reflash the ECU, and pray for the best.

    I had a Buick that GM bought back because of this very problem (manifested by 5 or 6 different "glitches"). I had a 2001 V70 and currently own a 2004 V70 - neither one has had so much as a hiccup.
  • I just found this forum and thought I'd check in for some input from real people driving Volvos.

    I have had a 1995 850Turbo (totalled in a rear-end collision last year) and a 1998 S70 Turbo. I loved the '95; not crazy about the '98. Anyway, we are down-sizing from a mini-van to the V70. My mechanic said absolutely not to get a XC---way too many electrical problems. From a quick glance at the forum, I'd say he's right. Reading the messages I've had time to read, I now am wondering about the T5. Any input would be greatly appreciated. I'm maybe only a few days away from purchase. It is not from a dealer so it's not certified. It is loaded and has 55,000 miles and very reasonably priced. Clean Carfax report as well.

    Thanks in advance for the help.
  • I'm new (obviously) & new to Volvos in general. I like the looks and some of what I've read about the new generation of V70s, esp T5s. I am in the car sales biz (new Fords actually), so I know a bit about that part of cars & am generally a car NUT.

    Getting down to "brass tax", my wife & I are expecting our first child and I need a 4-dr (pref wagon) as a daily driver but don't want to spend a ton of money-- cash purchase. I've found a 2001 V70 T5 with 124k on it that looks to be in great shape- it was actually a Volvo Certified car earlier in its life and had all the usual maint & repairs done at a Volvo store because of that.

    Should I be afraid of this car as a daily driver? It will likely almost never make "long" trips as my wife's X-type Jag serves duty for that. The only reason I'm even considering a car like this with these miles is that I currently drive a 00 BMW 323Ci with 80k that had all of it's svc & repairs done at a BMW store & I have had ZERO probs with it (knock on wood).

    I know I should expect SOME things to go wrong through ownership, but am I way off base thinking of buying this car? You guys seem to be really knowledgable & experienced-- I appreciate any insights as I would be going to pick up the car next week if I get it.

  • The fan will turn on 50 minutes after shut down and run for a extended period of time. This is to make sure mold does to grow in the ducts. It is explained in the manual. The AC will not run it is the fan/blower motor running.
  • Volvo's are great cars, however they are extremely expensive to fix. Unless the car came with some kind of extended warantee I would stay away from it.
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