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Volvo V70 Wagon Experience



  • Is there anything specific I should watch for? I am getting what I think is a great deal on the car, but I'm still leery-- Maybe I should trust my gut & pass on the car??

    Are the older wagons better for issues, or about the same?

    Thanks in advance.
  • I don't know of any specific issues. I've got an 03 s80, I just know that its expensive. Maybe someone else can chime in. I'd stay away from ANY car with that many miles.
  • I had a weird thing happen to my rear O2 sensor. One of the wires sheared some how, and the dealer is telling me I need to replace the sensor. I guess I'm OK with that, but he wants to charge me $233 for the part, plus two hours labor.

    I am curious to know if this is really a two hour job on this car. In a past life, I had a New Beetle. The O2 sensor would go out every 6 months or so. Took a very short time to replace.

    With tax, the total is supposed to be $445. Am I getting ripped off?
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    I wouldn't be afraid of the car.
    You will have the usual maintenance things to think about, motor mounts, water pump, spark plugs etc.
    Timing belt should have been done already.
  • Thanks volvomax-- I've been reading some really scary things on here about people's experiences with the engine computers and other electrical demons. I figure that it "should" be ok since it was a certified pre-owned unit before & all the stuff was done @ a dealer. maybe I'm nuts though. I do sell cars after all, so I guess I am nuts!
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I wouldn't let the negative posts you read here scare you away. Most people don't pop there head in here just to say, "My 2001 V70 is a great car."

    People come here either looking for advice about buying a car, or to see if someone else has their same problem so they can go to the dealer armed with knowledge.

    Today's cars are very reliable. If a five year old Volvo has been properly maintained, there's no reason to suspect that it won't continue to serve well with continued proper maintenance.

    PS - If it were me, I'd rather pay a little more for a CPO 2001 V70 with under 60K miles.
  • Thank you for your perspective- I don't disagree at all about cars that are properly maintained- my BMW is case-in-point of that. I would gladly take one with less miles, but the lowest I can get them (even from the factory program sales -as I am privy to them thru Ford affiliation-) would be something like 5000-6000 more. This 01 with 120k on it is under $9000! And has new-ish tires. So you can see my conundrum. Maybe I should just buy the car!!!!! ARGH!!!!
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    That's a heck of a deal!

    Assuming no accidents or significant mechanical issues, I can't think of a single reason not to grab it.
  • dfc3dfc3 Posts: 87
    I own a 1998 V70 - actually its my wife's car - but I did the research and bought it. Anyway... she says it the best car she's ever owned. We have 99,000 miles on it and have done nothing other than regular maintenance and a few minor things. The car has been very reliable. I actually like it better than my S60 in that it handles better and has excellent visibility.
  • Today, while driving on I-695 near Baltimore, I experienced six episodes of sudden deceleration and a near stall and was almost rear-ended by a dump truck on one occasion and on another occasion, an 18-wheeler before I could cross slowly through lanes to the side of the road. To make matters worse, due to road construction, during two of these unplanned stops, there was no shoulder and I blocked a lane of traffic. The message on the dashboard read “REDUCED ENGINE PERFORMANCE.” I turned the car off and then on a few times, noted a very rough idle and the same message. I then turned the car off for a few minutes and instead of the “REDUCED ENGINE PERFORMANCE” warning, received a “NEEDS IMMEDIATE REPAIR SERVICE” or some similar message and the check engine light was on. I drove a few miles at 60-65 mph but the engine was running very roughly. This whole episode repeated itself 5 times during my 50 mile drive. I did make it home safely with my three young children in the back seat.

    These symptoms are exactly those documented with the defective ETM module in most (if not all) 1999-2001 Volvos. I have an appointment with our local dealer and suspect I will be charged the usual $1000-$1200 for replacing the ETM module. Unfortunately, the replacement module is no better (the manufacturer is the same and the change made is trivial as is demonstrated on, and second and third replacements have been reported. I have asked the dealer via email to replace and install the ETM at a substantially reduced cost. Volvo is well-aware of this problem. I mentioned to the dealer that like most parents, I would like to see my children grow up. I assume most parents bought Volvos in large part for their reputation for safety.

    Volvo is supposed to respond to NHTSA’s request for more information regarding this problem tomorrow (091505). If they can extend the warranty on this item in Sweden, they can certainly do the same in the US. This design defect is a MAJOR safety issue; I was genuinely scared today. This experience makes Volvo's claims of being an exceptionally safe car a not very funny joke.
  • Is the rear facing third row seat useful at all? or is it a gimmick? This feature alone sets v70 apart from rest of the wagons out there. It sounds pretty darn good feature for those who might need a third row seat once in a while but not enough to justify buying a minivan. Do any of the folks here on this forum have input on this... such as the regulations and restrictions?
  • I still have not bought that 01 V70 T5 just because of being scared of the miles & these ETM issues. I have researched this a LOT and I've seen what you are talking about RE the replacement ETMs still failing. I wonder if they would still have the problems if a person sent the ETM off to one of those re-program companies that talk up performance and such. Anyone heard of this making any difference?

    Still undecided & cautious--- (especially when I can get a 78k mile Limited Explorer with all svc records and new tires for only $6000)
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    If your children are between the ages of 5 and 8 it is useful.
    Otherwise not so.
    The XC90 is a better choice for transporting 7 people
  • we've had the same problem. dealer told us $1,200. to replace rear propeller shaft. couldn't replace just the bad bearing!!! well, well, well our local little one man volvo shop told us he could replace just the bearing for about $150.. he actually replaced both bearings (center bearing and u-joint) for $173..i wrote him a check for $200.............. he told us the bearings are available but you won't find them at napa. i know who has them.....
  • My sister in-law just bought a 2002 XC70 wagon with the rear-facing seat. It's perfect for her two boys 5 and 6 years. Beyond that..forget it! very small and very shallow. Once someone is belted in..there is no room for anything else in the rear cargo area.
  • I hope that everyone that goes to this site can see this message, not just you. I have always heard how reliable & good Volvos are supposed to be. I really liked the look of the one that I bought used. It's all black, no dents or scrapes, all leather interior, sunroof, power windows, seats, just a really nice looking car. Well, to this day, I regret ever buying the thing. I love the car, IF it wasn't for all the money I've had to pour into it for the same thing to keep happening over & over again & shops keep telling me different things of what it MIGHT be, according to what their computers are telling them THAT day. :mad: I have spent well over $2000 for work done for them to tell me it was the oxygen sensors, which I've had cleaned then replaced. I had some more parts removed & new ones put in. It keeps blowing black smoke out of the exhaust, sometimes it's white, & it's really bad when the car is standing still & the fumes come in the car which I'm sure is not safe. It has now been sitting in my driveway for 2 months & I'm still making my high monthly car payments for a car that can't even be used. I'm really aggravated at this!! I love wagons, like the looks of the car, rides nice except for the loud noise because it sounds like a tank. I do know that it needs a new alternator, which it also seems to have needed when I bought it & wasn't told about. Can someone PLEASE tell me if they have had this experience or heard of this before? I believe I really got a lemon here! :lemon: We went out today & bought a used 1995 Mazda Millenia for $500! The only thing wrong with it is the transmission, which isn't even messed up & doesn't need replaced, just looked at. The car is MUCH quieter than my Volvo, too! I hate to see the Volvo go, but I just got a car that is paid for and I can use.
  • nlm1nlm1 Posts: 1
    Does anyone know what makes the turn signal sound get soft and the light to stop blinking? Hazard lights produce normal sound and blinking.
    My 1998 xc70 has some known electrical problems (ignition switch faulty - car starts but radio and windows do not operate unless I rotate/nudge the key slightly ccw after starting) and data display switch has been replaced once under warranty several years ago but has developed the same annoying problem. Just yesterday the turn signals started to act up. The sound they make is very soft, and once in a while one will stop blinking altogether. When I turn on the hazard flashers, the normal sound occurs and the lights flash normally. The whole day today the turn signals make the soft sound (but blink at the normal rate - NOT the fast rate indicating bulb burn out), so it is not an intermittent problem.

    ALso - my abs/trax light has been coming on and have been told by the dealer I need a new module. I know the brakes will work normally so am in no big hurry to fix it. I fancy myself something of an electrical repair-woman and have no fear of checking the module for obvious circuit board or component issues. That is, if I could find it. All previous maintenance has been by dealer, so I am not very familiar with the insides of the engine compartment. Can someone give me good directions on how to find and remove the module? Can I drive the car/Will the car/brakes function properly with the module removed? Or is the vehicle out of service until it is replaced? This is my only car, so that is kind of important info.

    thanks to all for the help!
  • On my way home from overseas this summer, and looking at the 2006 V70 2.4.

    Deal is (through military sales, so non-standard options available):
    - 3rd row
    - Integrated boosters
    - DSTC
    - Load Leveling
    - Roof Rails
    - "Advance Pkg" - includes
    -- Climate Pkg
    -- Bi-Xenon
    -- DVD Nav

    Quote is $31.5K with leather, Just over $30k without. I'm not sure if I can dicker further or if Mil Sales are concrete prices.

    Convince me one way or the other. Will likely be our primary around town car, with our 00 Odyssey continuing to be the long distance road trip machine (3 small kids).

    Other considered vehicles:
    - Mazda5 (thinkng it's too small)
    - Highlander Hybrid (pricey, and wondering about the 5 yr battery replacement point)
    - Passat Diesel or Mazda6 Wagons (5 passengers max)
    - Ford Freestyle Wagon...

    - Room for family of 5 with occasional extras
    - Safety
    - Durability
    - MPG
    - Of course, cost - $35k is probably our ceiling of what we're prepared to pay for a car, but no desire/requirement to pay that much.
  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    For what it's worth, I just started sellind Volvos, and I think the V70 is the jewel of the Volvo line...I think it's the perfect blend of fun-to-drive,utility,and comfort...I'm sure it's the one I'll buy.
  • thrvivthrviv Posts: 3
    I, too, am interested in hearing about owners' experiences w/ the third row seat. I have a 2000 V70 which I absolutely LOVE, but now that my son is in school F/T, we're in a carpool and the family we carpool with has a third child starting school F/T next year. So, I'm at an impasse . . . do I try and find the 3rd row seat for my wagon, or do I go out and buy a new car/SUV w/ 7-pass. seating or, heaven forbid, a MINIVAN! :( I called the dealer this AM to see if I could still get one and the parts guy told me that Volvo doesn't make them for my model year any longer b/c they're not deemed safe and they don't recommend using them at all. I'm torn -- I don't want to put any children at risk, but if they'd only be riding back there for 5 miles . . . HELP!
  • stmssstmss Posts: 206
    We have had the third seat in our 99 V70 since new. We have used it as a 'casual' seat only. What I mean is that we limit the use only to when we occasionaly have the 6th passenger, and then it is only suitable for kids. We don't let the kids in it full time and try to stay out of higher risk areas (ie limit freeway use)

    I don't believe Volvo would concur with the advice of the Volvo parts guy. There have been tests on both these rear seats and mercedes eclass rear seats which are similar. IMO, they are no more dangerous than some third seats in mini vans with the occupants head less than 1 ft from the back glass. And isn't Volvo still selling them in the new V70s?

    You can get a third seat for this but may need to go to auto wrecker or ebay. Maybe switch one out from a Volvo owner who no longer needs theirs (kids have outgrown?). A new seat was about $1k option so that is what you should look at tops. Cheaper than a replacement vehicle but not as useful.

    And, if you go with a new vehicle, there are now many minivan replacements with 3rd seats - much more than in 2000 - ie Freestyle, Pilot, Rendevous, Highlander etc not to mention the truck based SUVs.
  • garandmangarandman Posts: 524
    So, I'm at an impasse . . . do I try and find the 3rd row seat for my wagon, or do I go out and buy a new car/SUV w/ 7-pass. seating or, heaven forbid, a MINIVAN!

    We have an 05 Nissan Quest. It has the 3.5l, 242 hp V6 engine from the Maxima family and a five speed automatic. It has a nice 3 spoke leather steering wheel and handles great. The power sliding doors open nearly 3 feet wide, and it's easy to walk back between the first two rows of seats to the 3rd row. If you don't need the middle row seats they fold flat, and the 3rd row folds into the floor. The stereo system has a second controller so you can listen to one source while the kids in the back can listen to something else with cordless headphones. Average MPG for the first 6,000 miles was 22.3mpg.

    I am always puzzled when some middle-aged parent rebels from buying a minivan. Instead they buy a gigantic, unwieldy SUV. Or try to stuff their kids into the "Wayback" of a Volvo instead.

    And I have a question for those parents. Who do you think you're kidding?Whether you drive an SUV Maru, a station wagon, or a minivan, everyone who sees you is going to know you're a middle-aged parent. So why not buy a minivan, enjoy the creature comforts, convenience features, and operating economy. And have fun blowing the doors off the above when you feel like it? What's not to love?
  • stmssstmss Posts: 206
    There are lots of reasons. Here goes some,

    The wagons are cars and regardless of what the manufacturers try to tell you, minivans are not and do not handle, accelerate or ride like cars - especially like the european wagons. Are they getting better - maybe. Anyone who has owned a turbo Volvo or Saab wagon will have difficulty getting back into a minivan - from a pure driving and comfort point of view.

    The wagons generally get better mileage but may depend on the models.

    Wagons have a bench seat across the second row - which is very useful if you have 3 kids. Up until recently, only GM had a bench across the middle row. As soon as you put the third child in the back row of a minivan - you have lost the storage. I understand there are more manufacturers now that offer bench 2nd row.

    Many do not like the styling or sliding doors of the current minivans or prefer to have AWD (not always available in minivans) hence the increased popularity of wagons and crossover vehicles.

    Many don't need the space of a minivan - only when on holidays or going to Home Depot. Normally get around this with cargo boxes or trailers for the times they need extra space.

    Is there an image issue? Maybe in part, but please don't assume that a minivan fits the bill for everyone. For many, it just doesn't suit them - never will.
  • xc70xc70 Posts: 2
    I have spent over $3k on the car to correct a check engine light that is continually connected to the oxygen sensors. Finally went out and bought my own computer ($130) to turn off light when it comes on. No one knows why the light comes on or where the problem is. Like the car enough to keep it. BTW have been told by some old timers that the 98 V70 XC had a fuel tank recall and I almost got one until the district manager stepped in.
  • xc70xc70 Posts: 2
    Many of you may have heard of Victor Rocha, the guru of Volvo ABS control modules. Do you have an intermittant ABS light come on...getting worse? Volvo wants $600-800 to replace these. Victor can fix it (and beef it up where it will most likely last the life of your car) and he only charges $125 plus shipping. Mine acted up for awhile until it started coming on every day. So, this past monday, I took it out and sent it to him. He repaired it and it arrived today (Saturday) and I was able to put it in in about 15 minutes. My ABS system works now and no more ABS light. I don't have stock in his business...I'm just delighted with this guy...very professional, great communication/explanations on how to take it out, put it back in, etc. I would highly recommend him to you if you need your Volvo ABS unit repaired. I found him on Ebay or you can find his website here:
  • matzmatz Posts: 1
    Klaz, I noticed your post in the brickyard also.

    I have a 98 XC that is making a similar noise. Today I got a pal to hoist the car and we listened to the noise from beneath (not something you want to do in the driveway?).

    Anyway, we're in Canada and our bearing supplier didn't have any idea which bearing it might be.
    Do you happen to have a record of the bearing you bought to replace it?
    Any major bearing manufacturer will do.

    Thanks for your post(s). By the way, is this a job I can do in the driveway? If the car is only up a foot (i.e. on jackstands) do you recall there being enough room beneath to remove the drive shaft?
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    I have a Freestyle with the 2nd row bench, tri-level climate, curtain airbags, etc and paid $23K. It gets about 24mpg (20city/26hwy) from calculating manually and I have 18K miles since buying in Feb. Zero problems. Really roomy in all three rows. Not as luxurious as some cars, but it was only $23K.
  • thrvivthrviv Posts: 3
    First of all, thanks for responding to my original post re: the third-row seat. I was wondering why the parts guy would say they're not safe, too, especially since they still sell them in the newer wagons. Maybe it's a model year thing?? At any rate, I appreciate your feedback and candor.

    Thanks, too, for responding so eloquently about reasons why some families DON'T want minivans. You are exactly right when you state that minivans don't handle nearly as well as Volvo wagons -- I've driven one and couldn't wait to get back into my wagon.

    One thing "Garandman" has failed to realize is that his Nissan Quest is more of a crossover vehicle than a minivan. Oh well, that's his problem, not mine.

    Again, thanks for your feedback on the third row seat. I greatly appreciate it!
  • garandmangarandman Posts: 524
    One thing "Garandman" has failed to realize is that his Nissan Quest is more of a crossover vehicle than a minivan.

    I have driven all the new generation of minivans and almost all of the currently available wagons. I own a Subaru Outback - the original "crossover" - and a '98 V70.

    My suggestion is that anyone go and drive the vehicles themselves and draw their own conclusions rather than take the assertions of someone who has not driven any of them.

    If calling a Quest a "crossover" [it is built on the Altima chassis but no AWD version is available] relieves your social anxiety about minivans, it's worth taking a drive to see what the 3.5l V6 that powers them is all about. The foldaway seats; sound systems; and multi-piece sunroof is also entertaining.

    There is nothing mini about the new crop of minivans: they are physically much larger than the Volvo wagons, a significant selection difference. Otherwise, the Ford Freestyle is a much more direct, and formidable marketplace competitor.
  • Thriv,

    Surfing for other things, I found that sells the seat for your year. Not cheap - $975 for the whole kit (new) - not sure on the shipping, and that doesn't include installation (probably time consuming but not difficult to do yourself). I have no experience with this site.

    Another option would be to check the local wrecking yards - if you do that, inspect the mounting hardware carefully to make sure it's not damaged, and install NEW safety belts.

    Hope this helps,
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