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Volvo XC90 Maintenance and Repair



  • Run Forrest Run! Forrest Run!
  • Consumer Reports has that particular model on their do not buy list. My independent Volvo mechanic tells me to avoid them.
  • this is exactly our story. Our 2000 Acura had a transmission failure at 78k - Honda paid for the tow,service and put in a brand new trans - apology accepted.

    Volvo 2004 xc90 61k, trans goes- Volvo will not do a thing, we continue to b and moan and they pay for half - which still comes to 3200.00 on our end. The problem is that we had around 4 other major repair issues with the Volvo before the trans went, so they felt they had done enough. Bad business, bad car.
  • I found an 04 still under warranty with 25,000 miles on it and I am going to go with the extended warranty. The car will only be driven 5-10k miles so I am going to take my chances. Thank you all for your advice.

    Has anyone had any experience with a starter in the XC90?
  • Hi- I am new to this board but I am very frustrated and in the midst of waging a battle w/ my dealership- My XC 90 has an extended service plan, I have always changed the oil and pretty much kept it dealer maintained barring occasion oil changes. Well I had it serviced in NOv. and stated that the car was "skipping" I mentioned that it had no pick up and thought something might be wrong w. my transmission. Well the turbo's blew this past week- I needed to document every oil change ( I did) - they now need to take my engine apart $450.00 to look at the Turbo's and see if there is any sludge and they will determine if I am covered under the service plan.. if the insurance person determines that there is sludge then I will pay $ 4100.00 I have never had to fight for my service plan - and from what I have read this car seems to have some serious issues- any suggestions or help on this- It does not make sense to have a service plan, and matain your car and then still fight to have a very major and costly repair- I need help ?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    While you are waiting to hear from the dealer and other members here, check to see if your state has a consumer protection office (often they are run through the state's attorney general). They should be able to give you some suggestions too.
  • If the service plan is affiliated with Volvo and they create a problem for you then you can start moving up the management chain with your issue. Additionally; if you have met all the requirements of the service plan, then you may have a small claims case - most states have provisions for these and they are relatively easy to proceed with - I have brought a few cases.
  • I posted a message last month about my transmission. Well the local dealer told me it was the bevel gear and some other parts. I picked it up on nov 29th with 30,600 miles on it. On Dec 26th with 31,800 miles on it I returned it. When I told them it was skipping last time they did over $4000 thousand dollars worth of work to it. I paid about $1100. out of pocket and Volvo did the rest. When I returned it the day after Christmas it has now been discovered the transmission is gone. This time volvo is paying for it all so I can not complain I even have an 08 Volvo XC90 as a loaner car. I did not get a loaner car last time. Call Volvo customer care when you have major issues especially when the miles are not that high. This website helped me fight a lot of battles early on cause my vehicle was 3 months out of warranty and I was able to show that so many people are having problems with this vehicle. They are taking good care of me this time but I hope to not have to own this vehicle much longer. On a good note I have a Volvo S60 car and it has been problem free but it is a different motor and transmission all together. Hope this info helps anyone else. Remember do not let them treat you like you are stupid. When the vehicle broke the first time a friend of mine diagnosed it first at his shop and told me the transmission was bad. They worked around that issue on the last repairs and gave me another story but in less than a month the transmission failed. It does not hurt to get second opinions on you vehicle as long as they do not dig in it too much and risk losing your warranty or any help you can get from volvo.
  • I purchased a new 2004 XC 90 T6 AWD in September of 2003. I purchased this car with the hope I would have it for several years to come. By buying a brand new car I thought :lemon: that I wouldn't have to deal with any major problems for awhile. LOL!!! While driving home one evening my car wouldn't go out of third gear. At the same time the warning light and message came on that the transmission needs urgent service. The next day, I took it to the dealership to have it looked at. My car has just under 50K miles. The dealer informed me that the transmission needs replacing for a cost of $5300. I was outraged!!! They talked to Volvo and Volvo agreed to pay for the parts since it has such low mileage. I am still stuck with a $1500 labor bill from the dealership. After driving the car several days now waiting for the parts to come in, the message and warning lights have gone off and the car has not shown me any signs that the transmission is bad. I am debating if I should wait longer to repair the transmission. In the mean time I am car shopping for anything other than a volvo.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Consider writing a report in Dealer Ratings and Reviews.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • I had this same problem, the last week of October! I was out of town and my wife called and said she was having the same problem with our 2003 XC90 T6 AWD. We had about 60,000 miles on it. We took it to our local dealer that day, and were told that the transmission would need to be replaced for $5,500 parts and labor. Volvo only agreed to pay for 60% of the parts and we had to suck up the labor. Also Volvo wouldnt even cover a rental car, even though the dealer told us that this was a complete mechanical failure and was not our fault. The dealer gave us a rental car, since Volvo wouldn't. It took a week to get the car back. It is driving fine since, but we are nervous about it, expecially since I travel a lot and my wife visits family while I am away. We are now shopping for a new SUV. We are very disappointed, not only of the mechanical failure, but the fact that Volvo, a company known for customer service and loyal owners wouldnt even pay for the repairs. Until this point we were looking to trade our XC90 in on a new one. Not now. I am looking at the Mazda CX-9 now.
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,120
    hamma6 that is awesome that Volvo picked up 60% of parts cost. they did something similar for me when an out-of-warranty $400 part failed at 51k miles.
    i have total respect for volvo because of stuff like this. also sounds like you have a great volvo dealer!

    i think it somehow feels better to pay thousands for an extended-warranty up front than it does to pay thousands for an out-of-warranty failure. (only if something big does fail, of course!)

    if absolute reliability and avoidance of big-failures is your top goal, driving a 5 year old european vehicle is possibly a nonoptimal choice - so shopping/trade-in for a newer vehicle is probably a wise idea for you. best wishes!

    peppagirl, your vehicle still runs even though the trans needs urgent service? i say drive it until it fails, and be sure to have a cellphone and maybe AAA or whatever. maybe consider trading it - obviously it will bring $5k less on the trade-in, but considering a newer/more-reliable/non-european vehicle may be a good idea for you too. cheers!
  • obxdocobxdoc Posts: 1
    Typically I service my own cars routine maintenance such as engine oil/filter air filter etc,
    I am at a loss on the XC90 2.5 turbo AWD.
    wheredoes the oil filter live? drain plug? do you have to remove a skid plate?s it worth it? Any troubule getting parts from non volvo sources?
    Many thanks!
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    I used to change the oil on on 1996 850 (855) wagon, and I bought the filters and the crushable aluminum drain plug washer from the Volvo dealer. I got out of the habit on my 2004 V70 because this was been done by the dealer at no extra charge for the first 4 years.

    The '04 V70 2.4L non-turbo has no skid plate, and the filter is a paper element which fits in a can accessed from below. The can is sealed with an O-ring. I think the can is unscrewed just like you would remove the old style filter, but the used paper element will remain in place when the can is removed. You then remove the used paper element by pulling down on it with something. Sounds messy! I will probably have it done at the dealer or at an oil change place I have used for my other cars. At that place I supplied the filter and oil and they charged $14 for labor. For the past several years I have used Mobile1 10W-30 Extended Performance (I would give the dealer 6 quarts) and had the dealer change it at 8000 mi which has been about 1 year for me.

    If the filter in your 2.5T 5-cyl is the same type and in the same location, then you may have to remove the skid plate to drain the oil and change the filter. But there may be access holes in the skid plate.

    My wife has an '07 XC90 3.2L 6-cyl and the oil filter is accessed from above. It is a paper element in a container which the lid unscrews from. I have seen this same arrangement on a BMW. I didn't get it exactly straight, but the Volvo service advisor told me that they change the filter first and then drain the crankcase. He said when they unscrew the lid on the filter housing, the check valve releases and allows the contents of the filter housing to drain into the crankcase.

    It seems to me that this arrangement is ideal for changing the oil using one of the commercially available suction devices which removes the oil through the dipstick tube. Then you wouldn't have to remove the skid plate or getunder the car at all.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    See this and this.

    "Hand Pump Oil Extractor
    No more crawling under the car to drain your oil.

    Changing your own oil saves time and money--plus, you know the job is done right. The Hand Pump Extractor is the easiest way to remove your old oil. The unit comes with two different tube sizes, to fit your car’s dipstick tube. After a few pumps to build a vacuum, oil flows from your crankcase into the canister. A safety float shuts off flow if the unit is full.
    And if you’re skeptical about extracting oil through the dipstick tube, consider the fact that this is how Mercedes-Benz factory technicians are trained to change oil.
    Great for lawn mowers and motorcycles, too!
    Capacity: 6.5 Liters (about 7 quarts)."

    This type of oil change pump would be worth it not having to get under the car. Every couple of years you could drain it out through the drain plug if build up of sediment in the bottom of the pan would conceivably be a problem.
  • Volvo has had some sludge problems, so be very sure you have all of the oil out of the pan, which can be a little tricky because of the pan configuration. I have seen some attempts by Volvo to disallow Extended Warranty claims based on "sludge build up" (any excuse will do!)

    Has anyone here vetted the advertisers claims of MB officially doing it this way?
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    I use only Mobile1 "full synthetic". For the 2004 V70 2.4L NA I use M1 10W-30 Extended Performance. Mt wife's 2007 XC90 3.2 just got its first oil change and I suppplied the dealer with 8 qt of Mobile1 0W-40 "European car Formula".

    I assume that this would preclude the formation of sludge so that I could use one of the oil change pumps. Do you agree?
  • You may be right on about synthetics and sludge formation, however I am going to defer to others here who have more experience with Synthetic's than I do. I will be as interested as you in a definitive answer about synthetics and sludge build up.
  • I suggest getting rid of it now. I have a 2003 and my transmission just went out at 73,000. Volvo offered to pay for half the parts but they did not offer to pay for labor. I'm working with a friend of mine who sales cars to trade it in on a new car. This was my first volvo and I'm very disappointed!
  • jrynnjrynn Posts: 162
    Anyone have any experience getting Volvo to replace the brake fluid on a Volvo XC90 as part of the "free" 3 years of maintenance?

    The manual says the "typical" replacement is 37,500 miles OR every two years at owner request OR every one year at owner request if driven in a humid climate.

    I'd think that means they'd AT LEAST cover one brake fluid change, regardless of mileage within the 3 year "free" service window.

    What's been the experience of others on these boards?
  • rou1rou1 Posts: 7
    I just purchased a 2007 XC90 and wondering what prices were paid for extended warranty. They offered $3,300
  • This usually happens in the morning, when engine is cold. More prevelant on colder days. The clicking noise arises when gas pedal is pressed. When foot is off the accelerator, it goes away until pedal is depressed again. Seems to go away after car is good and warmed up.
    I usually use high test fuel, or middle grade octane. It doesn't seem to matter, though.

    Any suggestions before I bring it to the mechanic?

  • I have 42,000 mi. C/S oil leaking .LF axle shaft removed, inner core seal dislodged allowed trans & cv grease to mix.What I first noticed was Black fluid,seal replaced. Drove for 2 days,Still leaking, now red fluid, Axle & seal replaced again. Still leaking red fluid. Returning to dealer for the 3rd time. Any help. Thanks'
  • At 75,000 miles I was advised that my car had an oil leak at the head gasket. Has anyone had this problem with their car. I have taken it to two dealerships both advising of this problem without looking deep, I then took it to an independent Volvo mechanic who by looking deeper advised this was indeed the case.

    We have also had an oil leak at the chain drive / transfer case. Has anyone had this problem. :lemon:

    An independant mechanic said this car at this amount of mileage should not have these problems.
  • I have an '06 XC90 V8 that has been to the dealership on too many occassions to correct a clanking noise in the rear when either coming to a complete stop or a rolling stop. It seems like the breaks are sticking then release with a clunk and the car vibrates. This occured after both rear wheel seals (hubs) were replaced at different times.The following attempts to repair it were performed:

    greasing the E brake cable

    replace the rear drive which was a major repair.

    The problem still exists and it seems like it happens more often in warmer weather. The dealer has run out of options. Any thoughts?
  • I am very unhappy with Volvo right now. I purchased a 2003 XC90 11 months ago and once my used car warranty was up things started to go wrong. I t was found that this vehicle (which was owned by Volvo fleet) still had the original spark plugs in it, never changed, the original air filter, never changed (63,000 miles). The wheel bearings on the right rear went, some inter cooler piping was causing a loud whistle and then the final straw was the transmission went on Christmas Eve, with 75,000 miles. I have since learned that the cause was a faulty plug in the front axle (which also had to be replaced) and this christmas gift cost me $4,400.00 after alread $1,500 worth of repairs prior). I have tried the dealership - nothing and I have written Volvo - sorry, we don't back our cars after 50,000 miles. Anybody out there that can share a story where volvo backed their vehicles after the warranty? Any info would be very helpful. I am writing more letters to volvo and I am hoping that I will get them to help with some of the repairs. I just hope there are no more repairs for at least a year so I can afford them. Thanks for listening and this will be my only post about my one really bad vehicle!!! Any info can be sent to Thanks again.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    First of all, did you buy the car as a CPO from a Volvo dealer?

    If not, it isn't Volvo's fault how the car was cared for or re-conditioned.

    Next, NOBODY warranties a car after the warranty is over.
    What is the point of having an end date for a warranty then?
    Volvo has been known to goodwill a repair IF you are the original owner and if the car has a good maintenance history.
  • 1) The 2003 XC 90 is listed on Consumer Reports as a "Do not buy" car. There is no reason why the average buyer would know that - but it is a very bad vehicle and has been for several years. My local independent Volvo repair center (30 years in the business) just says "Don't touch them unless you are willing to pay triple the average costs of keeping them running".
    2) "CPO" or not, the dealer has at least a moral obligation to sell the car in at least a condition that does not require immediate service to bring it up to everyday standards - those are not "CPO" standards which are far higher.
    3) The car is known to be a problem model; the dealer sold it in less than "honest condition"; Volvo has an obligation to see that its dealers operate at some minimum level of responsibility, which they did not; known defects in the car that were never repaired by Volvo or any dealer should be Volvo's responsibility, not the unknowing and trusting buyer's.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    1) The 2003 XC 90 is listed on Consumer Reports as a "Do not buy" car. There is no reason why the average buyer would know that - but it is a very bad vehicle and has been for several years. My local independent Volvo repair center (30 years in the business) just says "Don't touch them unless you are willing to pay triple the average costs of keeping them running".

    The only 03 that really had any issues was the T6.
    The 2.5T's were by and large fine cars.
    However, there are plenty of resources available to car shoppers before they buy.
    Being an informed buyer is the best defense.

    3) The car is known to be a problem model; the dealer sold it in less than "honest condition"; Volvo has an obligation to see that its dealers operate at some minimum level of responsibility, which they did not; known defects in the car that were never repaired by Volvo or any dealer should be Volvo's responsibility, not the unknowing and trusting buyer's.

    First of all, it has not been established that a Volvo dealer sold the car used.
    Judging by the post, I tend to doubt that it was a Volvo dealer.
    A non Volvo dealer wouldn't be aware of the XC90's service or repair needs.
    If anything, the lesson here is that it is best to pay a little more and get a CPO car.
    What is also clear is that the previous owner didn't maintain the car.
    That isn't the responsibility of Volvo Cars either.
  • Please help! I have 36,000 miles on my 2004 XC90, and have maintenance issues that cannot seem to be resolved. I have had problems with my door speakers since day 1 of owning my XC90. The speaker will not stay tight against the door, and because it's loose the whole door rattles. Dealer has replaced the speaker numerous times, but this doesn't help at all.
    The car clunks when I turn right at low speed with the brakes pressed. Dealer has seen the car for this on more than one occasion and has replaced bearings, which helps for a short time and then the clunking starts again.
    I'm also having problems with the transmission. The car clucks when I shift from Park to Reverse, and it revs too high before it changes gears when I'm driving (auto trans). Dealer updated software, but I have a lack of confidence in their ability to fix my car.
    To add insult to injury, I'm on my 3rd set of tires. Can anyone out there get more than 10,000 miles from their tires?
    I love the way my XC90 drives, but if I had know then what I know now, I'd never have bought this car...this is my last Volvo.
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