Volvo XC90 Maintenance and Repair

hmagerhmager Member Posts: 1
Has anyone encountered a musty / moldy odor right after starting the vehicle? It typically lasts about 5- 10 seconds, then disappears. This has been an on going problem with my new 2004 XC 90. It has been to the dealer several times, and they can't find a problem. I have noticed that it occurs more often during humid or wet days.


  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    You might want to check out this discussion: Musty smell from A/C

    tidester, host
  • xc90grrlxc90grrl Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2003 XC 90 with an inline 6 and Twin Turbo. There's a shudder in the drive train around 50 mph when I'm accelerating. Has anyone else experienced this?

    I have taken it to the dealership and had them check it. They have performed a software upgrade on it but it didn't solve the problem.
  • raymonraymon Member Posts: 1
    from raymon:
    my xc90 came with Pirelli scorpion zero tires and under normal driving conditions I have less than 3/32" of wear left on the wear bars of all four tires at 1200 miles. Is any one else experiencing this problem with their Pirelli's or other tires.
  • schuhcschuhc Member Posts: 333
    Fortunately my XC90 came with Michelins. Ihave a C70 as well and have not heard anything good about the Pirellis. Among those have been flat spots after sitting a while, excessive wear, blow outs on the Chicago streets (but that is more likely do to the streets then the tires).
  • bulbabulba Member Posts: 1
    I have also experienced the excessive tire wear at about 12k miles. I was told that the rating on that particular tire is 20k. My dealer is trying to help out by contacting Pirelli and get some sort of resolution
  • olegozolegoz Member Posts: 1
    My wife's XC90 had the same problem. I had to bring it back to the dealer multiple times. I found that I could replicate the problem in 4th gear every time (except it looked like 51 MPH to me). They finally fixed the problem after (so they say) the flew a Volvo tech out from Phoenix and another from Sweden. The final official fix was that a part was provided by Volvo North America. The claim it was a damper that was installed between the drive shaft and the rear axle.

      Let me know if you need additional info.
  • ling4uling4u Member Posts: 1
    My XC90 has an intemittent exhaust smell in the interior when @ a stop sigh. No other cars around. If I place AC on recirculate, no smell. Dealer can't find the problem. Any thoughts?
  • 1sttimevolvo11sttimevolvo1 Member Posts: 189
    If I place AC on recirculate, no smell. Dealer can't find the problem. Any thoughts?

    That would lead me to believe there is an exhaust leak somewhere. I would persist with the service rep and take them with you on a drive if necessary.
  • 2xvolvo2xvolvo Member Posts: 2
    Has anyone else experienced problems with their 2004 XC90 key? Both my and my wife's keys separated from the flimsy metal key ring within two weeks of use. Apparently, it's not designed to attach to other key rings - we hooked ours onto the key fob for our '94 850, and it was too much for the seam on the plastic housing. Last week, my wife's XC90 key fell out of her pocket as she was taking out a tissue, and it shattered upon impact with the sidewalk. After seeing eBay claims of $110 and up for retail value of our '94 key fobs, I dread to ask the dealer what it will cost me to replace this one! Friends of ours with a 2003 XC90 don't have any problems with the original style key (the 2004 is a spring-loaded blade key that pops out of the side of the plastic case like a jackknife blade).
  • 1sttimevolvo11sttimevolvo1 Member Posts: 189
    My wife nor I have had any significant problems (key on a few occasions has opened in my pocket) with our fob.
    Others have used a `swivel' attachment to connect the fob to the keyring with good results in that the fob stays together and the ring no longer comes off.
  • schuhcschuhc Member Posts: 333
    The key fobs are probably the worst design in the world. I've been told by my salesman that Volvo does in fact understand this and are trying to come up with a new design. The metal rings are not designed to hold any weight whatsoever and once they seaprate from the body, they can never be 'truly' fixed.

    As Volvo understands this, I would suggest that you go into the dealer and raise HAY about this and ask for a replacement.
  • 1sttimevolvo11sttimevolvo1 Member Posts: 189
    From what I've been reading elsewhere it's related to the number of keys we Amurcans keep on our fobs. I only have 4 keys on mine, but most of my co-workers have 10 or more. Evidently Yerpeens don't carry as many keys......

    I've seen some women with at least 8 or more keys on their fobs. They keep their keys in crammed purses and when they reach in to get them, they tug at them by the fob or by whatever key they can grab. I can see this causing the small ring to come out on the Volvo key fob.
  • rollierollie Member Posts: 337
    The bigger issue in the long run is that having a lot of keys on the fob actually ruins the ignition switch. The weight that is tossed around when driving actually causes one half of the ignition channel to wear prematurely and eventually causes keys that do not make proper contact and lead to starting issues.

    I found this out the hard way in a GM car several years back and have found it is much more prevalent in domestic cars than my Volvos (which I think are aided by their design with one very deep groove in the middle of the key which MIGHT hold things in place a little better even with excess weight from too many keys.

    Worse still is that industry is doing all they can to make our keychains heavier. I have miniature scan cards for grocery stores, movie rental, etc. in addition to things like an ExxonMobil Speedpass on my rings. Credit card companies like Discover are now coming up with miniature credit cards that go on key rings. Add keys for office, desk, mailbox, home, etc. and you have a real problem real quick.


    [email protected]
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    I don't have anything on my fobs but one car key. Read too many stories on Town Hall about excess weight messing up the ignition and causing strange problems.

    Steve, Host
  • kentalikentali Member Posts: 1
    Both the driver and passenger doors of the xc 90 have popped open while driving down the highway.My wife told the service manager @ the dealer. He tried to make it do it and couldn't.Nothing else was done about it.Since then I experienced the same thing myself.HAS ANYONE ELSE HAD THIS PROBLEM?
  • rhenrhen Member Posts: 2
    My Driver door opened once while driving... but I think it happened because I wasn't able to close the door all the way... If I just read the message on the dashboard before I go.. I should be able to see that my the driver door is open...

    Now, I always checked that all doors are closed before i take off... and I never had the same problem...
  • rjsmomrjsmom Member Posts: 8
    I have a new 04' T5 with 1300 miles. I've noticed a knock when applying the brakes which I thought was a problem with brake pads. I have even noticed the same or similar knock when I press the accelerator. Anyone else with a similar problem? I'm getting ready to go to the dealer for service.
  • jameskackjameskack Member Posts: 1
    Sounds like the engine mount.
  • mdandgmdandg Member Posts: 11

    I picked up my new 2.5T on Dec 31, washed it a few days later, and a few days after that we went into a super deep freeze in New England. I developed a similar noise which I called grinding. I took it to the dealer the next day, and because of this deep freeze the dealer had been informed the previous day by Volvo of the problem. They ended up finding ice in the subframe bushings that had frozen since my car wash a few days earlier. The solution was to "remove all 4 subframe mounting bolts and plates, clean out the ice, and lube the plates and washers." Hope this helps.
  • nicordnicord Member Posts: 1
    Our XC90 had original Continental Contact H-rated tires. We had a puncture on one tire at 12,000 miles and we told by the dealer that all 4 had to be scrapped because of excessive wear. Also, the dealer only had 1 tire in stock, and had difficulty finding tires anywhere. Volvo claims there is no problem across the board with tires on this vehicle, but that may be just a standard response. Has any one else experienced this problem with the Continentals?
  • adp3adp3 Member Posts: 446
    I just read that the March Consumer Report shows the dreaded black dot for the XC90 on reliability.
  • 1sttimevolvo11sttimevolvo1 Member Posts: 189
    Hey, did you just read that March Consumer Reports shows the dreaded black dot for the XC90 on reliability?

    Can anyone explain how CR or JDP derive their info for these ratings? Do they mail forms to verified owners asking for their opinions? Do they solicit info via email? How do they gather their data?
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Try this topic:

    JD Powers vs Consumer Reports:

    Steve, Host
  • carlericcarleric Member Posts: 7
    I intend to buy an XC90 via the OSB program and would like to add a reliable dashboard compass that doesn't have to be hard wired and isn't obtrusive.
      Also, sure would like to add am arm res that's usable.
      Solutions anyone?
  • carlericcarleric Member Posts: 7
    I intend to buy an XC90 via the OSB program and would like to add a reliable dashboard compass that doesn't have to be hard wired and isn't obtrusive.
      Also, sure would like to add an arm rest that's usable.
      Solutions anyone?
  • docrogerdocroger Member Posts: 29
    My wife's XC90 did a strange thing on our snowy driveway in New Hampshire; as I was trying to drive up the steep snowy grade, the vehicle started to slip and then all of the wheels "siezed" and the engine almost stalled; we then smelled a funny odor from under the vehicle. I wonder if this was the spin control kicking in. Interestingly, my VW Phaeton and my friend's BMW 325XI both made it up the driveway with absolutely no difficulty.

    We've had a lot of problems with this XC90, an '03 with 25K miles on it.

    Any thoughts about the above issue? Thanks!
  • rollierollie Member Posts: 337
    Do you have proper snow tires on your XC90? If not, it's quite possible that the traction control kicked in and if your stock tires can't get enough traction there's really nothing wrong with the truck - just your tires.

    If you had this problem with snow tires I would be VERY surprised and would suspect a problem of sorts. There are MANY online reports of XC90's snow prowess and it does very well from the owner reviews (mine has been out in the sand in the desert but not the snow so I can't compare directly.)


    [email protected]
  • armdarmd Member Posts: 33
    Agree that it could be the lube thing. Also, have them check the strut mounting plates.

    IMHO, these vehicles are poorly constructed and my XC-90 has over 8 significant defects in 6 months. Have been discussing with an attorney about filing a Class Action based on their misleading advertising claims.
  • docroger2docroger2 Member Posts: 5
    Have to agree about these being poorly constructed. Defects thus far on my XC-90:

    Trunk won't open (unable to repair thus far)

    Dead Battery at 15 K Miles

    Suspension "clunks" front and rear; New shocks and struts required

    Power steering pump defective

    ABS Unit defective

    "Whooping" sound at cruising speed from Drivetrain (Possibly the turbo gate).

    Radio switches off by itself.

    Weatherstripping fell off in engine compartment.

    My '76 AMC Pacer was better built! Really disappointing for a $45K car! I think we may trade it in for a Honda Pilot, Acura MDX or Lexus GX.

    Dealer doesn't seem to care. Does anyone know who to call at Volvo headquarters to lodge complaints?
  • 1sttimevolvo11sttimevolvo1 Member Posts: 189
    Do you have an owners manual? There should be contact info in there for VCNA. Volvo's website has info as well. You can swing a dead cat on the internet and hit the contact info!

    You must have the sorriest dealership I've ever seen! Where are you located?
    My dealership in Louisville has been excellent to deal with, though I have heard horror stories from others.
  • armdarmd Member Posts: 33
    Doubt you'll get much of a response. Volvo NA has yet to respond to my letters. Suspect that legal action will be necessary. Either Sven was drinking when these cars were assembled or the designers were out to lunch.

    As far as the dealer goes, my dealer has been friendly and has fixed the problems to date though they seem really nonplused about the whole affair.
  • laputchkalaputchka Member Posts: 8
    I normally dont write, but felt compelled to when I read this text. I had an XC 90 T6, 2004 and LOVED IT! Well, loved it when it worked. I had my car for three months and in the three months I owned it, it was in the shop 9 times for various things, including transmission, breaks, knocking noise when accelerating or breaking, tail lights popped off, wood steering wheel chipped, rotors, steering column (the list continues) in any case, the dealership was wonderful, not plused seeing me every week, but non the less were polite and always helpful. Volvo accepted my car back after having all of the problems I had. After contacting cooperate, and emailing customer service and keeping a log of every problem I had (and how long it was in the shop) I went and met with the owner of the dealership, he agreed to help me. I am not a lawyer, just had straight facts and I now know the lemon law like the back of my hand. I was an informed consumer and knew my rights. If you feel your car is a lemon dont let them push you around and tell you they will fix it. Each state has its own lemon laws, find our what yours are and make some phone calls. I now own an RX 330 (Lexus) and LOVE it!!! Good luck to you!
  • gardencargardencar Member Posts: 293

    I remember your post on the RX330 board but did not know you were a former XC90 owner. I found your post here very helpful as I was at one time considering a Volvo as well (I still think it is beautiful.) I think your experiences would be welcome at the RX330 board. I mentioned your post there on the RX330 Problems board. Hope you don't mind. Would love to hear more of your interesting posts. Thanks.
  • leongleong Member Posts: 1
    My XC90 is less then 7K only for 6 months, but I have few time experience for oil leaking under driver's side. Brown color and brought back to dealer for few times and each time they told me the problem is fixed but the problem still there.
    My break also start have noisy like squeeze sound when I hitting the break. Does anyone have the same problems?
    MY VW has same problem for the break like XC90. I am so disappointed.
  • shadowchasershadowchaser Member Posts: 94
    When the car gets up to a certain speed...about 40, there is a low level whine that I can hear and I can feel it vibrating in the accelerator pedal. This is new...I have had the car about 10 months and I have only noticed this over the past month.

    you can bet that if I take it to the dealer they will never find this. Has anyone else had this experience?
  • 4trout4trout Member Posts: 1
    I have only owned my XC90 for 2 months (1,200 miles) but have already had quite a few problems. I am extremely disappointed since I previously owned the Cross Country for 5 years without a single problem. However, in the first week I owned it the brakes developed a serious squeaking sound. Then the cruise control starting malfunctioning intermittently (Volvo has since told me that they are aware of this problem). Next the cup holder cover between the front seats refused to open when I pressed on it. And then the car started leaking in lots of places. Has anyone else experienced the leaking problem? I am taking it in tomorrow to be fixed but am concerned that leaks will be on ongoing issue. I am beginning to think we should have gone with our second choice of a Land Cruiser....
  • armdarmd Member Posts: 33
    Cross posted in Volvo thread.

    Two new problems have emerged:

    1) Crunching sound at low speeds from rear - shocks had to be replaced (14K miles?). Never hauled or towed.

    2) Clicking sound eminating from driver's seatbelt pillar - tensioner/belt need to be replaced.

    What a reliable car! Since delivery in June:

    1) Plastic adherant to paint upon delivery - req. repainting of door.
    2) Clunking noise in tranny - required adhesive.
    3) Crunching noise from front end - required replacement of strut plate.
    4) Suspension squeak in cold weather - unresolved.
    5) Intermittent reset of seat settings.
    6) Brake squeal in cold weather - unresolved.
    7) Rear shocks - replaced.
    8) Driver seatbelt - requires replacement.
    9) Driver/Passenger windows drop spontaneously an 1/4" resulting in windnoise - unresolved.
    10) Headlight wipers kept blowing out - required a dealer installed breaker.

    Have I forgotten anything - 10 defects in 10 months? What's next?
  • armdarmd Member Posts: 33
    Picked up the vehicle today and discovered the following:

    Over the last week Volvo has released over a "dozen" service bulletins related to the XC-90 including 1) Installation of a new fuse/breaker for the headlight washers, 2) some sort of strap device for the tailgate, 3) A new key system so the ring doesn't fall off. There are others as well and if one is having problems he/she should ask their dealer.

    The dealer replaced the rear shocks (as in another service bulletin), put in for a new driver's side seat belt assembly, and updated the software.

    One of the software fixes which is immediately apparent is that at the conclusion of raising the power windows, there is a brief "power burst" which occurs bilaterally and seems to cinch the windows in tightly - hopefully alleviating the dreaded window drop.
  • lev_berkovichlev_berkovich Member Posts: 858
    Here is a perfect example why the message boards (like this one) and the CR reviews are strongly negatively skewed.
    One car, one sincerely unsatisfied customer - and what, a dozen or so postings...
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    One car, one sincerely unsatisfied customer - and what, a dozen or so postings...

    A dozen or so postings ... out of almost 2.5 MILLION on the Town Hall boards? Let's keep it in perspective! :-)

    tidester, host
  • lev_berkovichlev_berkovich Member Posts: 858
    Look, please, do not give me that cheap pep talk.

    I have, I believe, a decent perspective.

    Yes, 2.5 millions - but, skewed anyway.

    My point was - one unhappy reader has posted a dozen negative messages about one car.

    I will withdraw my point if you show me a dozen or so positive messages from the same person about the same car (excluding myself).

    I have jumped into the discussion mainly because I have seen a strong negative disbalance on the Volvo related boards, and I am trying to tip the balance toward the center.
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    I will withdraw my point if...

    Yes, you are right. There are a dozen or so negative posts.

    Let's move on.

    tidester, host
  • lev_berkovichlev_berkovich Member Posts: 858
    My apologies for rather harsh response.

    Thanks, and have a nice day.
  • zeenzeen Member Posts: 401
    OK. I have read most of the messages on this board. I am going to look at one today because of this great lease deal. Am I crazy? Is it likely that a vehicle delivered this month will have the same problems that are reported here over the past year? I am replacing a GMC Envoy with NO problems. It was trouble free for 36 months.
  • lev_berkovichlev_berkovich Member Posts: 858
    I do not think that you are crazy.
    Is it likely that you would have all that problems? No, of course not.

    Is it guaranteed that you do not have any problems at all. No, too.

    There is no such thing as a trouble free car "in general". Some of the brands are statistically more trouble prone, other less, but there are problems with any existing brand on a market.

    Statistically, all the cars became more reliable lately, and the average bar is raised very high. It is very unlikely, that the car with the average reliability will manifest any major problems, and Volvo XC90 has an average reliability, even by the most conservative estimates.

    Strictly as a personal opinion, I would not even worry about the reliability for the 3 years lease, and will base my decisions on other factors - price/lease terms, style, versatility (we are talking SUV), safety, etc.

    And remember, that the Volvo XC90 is totally different in the area of the "driving feel" from the Envoy.

    P.S.: Mind your own interests, when reading the boards. There is unproportional number of the negative messages here. I have mentioned recently that armd posted many-many messages on the different boards about one car
  • guyfguyf Member Posts: 456
    No, you're not crazy at all. I think that most of the negative comments concerns early 03 vehicles. Most (if not all)of what is being mentioned in early posts is fixed now.

    I'm sure you'll enjoy the XC90.

  • zeenzeen Member Posts: 401
    Lev and Guy
    Thanks. We test drove the vehicle today and were very impressed. I listened for all the noises that were reported and heard none. It was rock solid, quiet and smooth. I am now probably going to sign a lease.
  • lev_berkovichlev_berkovich Member Posts: 858
    Your are welcome.
    Tell us when you get a car. I am counting days to my trip to Gothenburg...
  • armdarmd Member Posts: 33
    Since I am being besmearched, I feel compelled to respond:

    1) I have not posted "many-many messages on the different boards" - perhaps less than a dozen on the XC-90 and Problems and solutions boards re: my XC-90.

    2) The information I've provided is accurate and objective and affects a T5-AWD '04 vehicle purchased in June '03.

    3) I have no vendetta with Volvo and have over 30 years experience with vehicles including U.S., European, and Asian brands.

    4) These boards are not representative samplings - thus responses tend to reflect significant positive or negative experiences. My experience may/may not be representative. J.D. Power surveys are perhaps a better gauge of true customer experience.

    5) Greater than 10 significant problems in less than 10 months of ownership is out of the ordinary by any measure. Before one writes this off as a "lemon", they'd better have the data to back this assertion up. I have inquired about each and every problem I have experienced with this vehicle ( to Volvo and the dealership) and in the majority of the cases these are "known" issues or have "TSB's" associated with them. Therefore, it is less likely that the problems are "freak" issues. Docroger2 and others have posted similar experiences with their XC-90's so perhaps you want to bash them as well?

    6) IMHO an informed consumer is a wise consumer, and trying to censor information is counterproductive and un-American.

    'nuff said :-))
Sign In or Register to comment.