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Volvo XC90 Maintenance and Repair



  • "there you go again" as my favorite president would say! I know you work for Volvo but regarding thas9469 post about his XC90 my 04 XC90 had every service required by the dealer and the transmission still failed, along with many other things, the 03 and 04 XC90's are just a hunk of junk! I'm just sorry I didn't see this website before I bought the car, I know better now! I still recommend to anybody out there even considering the purchase of a Volvo don't waste your money! Volvo has a huge problem with the 03 and 04 XC90 it is not if the transmission fails, it is when it fails, because IT WILL FAIL. :lemon:
  • Make them replace your transmission while it is still under warranty, if you wait until you are out of warranty you will have at least a $4200 bill! If you need to copy all of these posts about the transmission repairs in these cars and take it with you to the dealership. If you don't get any satisfaction that way, call Anne Belec CEO of Volvo North America in Irvine.
  • As long as Volvo reps "cover" for these very bad, and unsafe cars they will continue to undermine public confidence in the entire Volvo line. Volvo makes some good cars, the XC 90 is not, and has not been one of them. The newer ones are showing themselves very little better than the earlier ones, although the new six may redeem itself, it is still too early to tell, and to early to buy one. If you do buy one, get the Volvo (not after market) extended warranty, and then sell it at the end of coverage with full disclosure to any new buyer.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    My perspective is simply broader than yours.
    It may surpise you, but the vast majority of XC90's never need a transmission.
    Yes, some have, usually after the car is well out of warranty.
    Obviously, it is a shame when any car breaks down,but it does happen.
    Even cars with sterling reputations suffer breakdowns, sometimes catastrophic ones. Recalls by all automakers have gone way up over the last 5 yrs. Even the japanese are not immune to this. Cars are more complicated than ever, and that complication cuts into reliability.
    i have often stated that I would not own any car for a long period of time without an extended warranty. Precisely because the chance of an expensive repair goes up the older a car gets and because of the high cost of components. Even if I owned a Honda or a Lexus, I would get an extended warranty.
    It is foolish to expect a motor company to publish a warranty and then have them honor a claim when the car is 10, 20, 30000 miles over than warranty.If you dropped your car insurance,and then had an accident, why would you expect them to pay? Car makers aren't charities, they are businesses.
  • I have my fingers crossed while I'm typing this post (which makes typing difficult :-) ). I hope I don't jinx myself. My 2005 XC90 has been good to me. For the 3 years I've had it, it has not been to the shop except for the regular maintenance intervals. The only thing I've had to spend on are the tires. I replaced it at around 30K miles. Not that it already needed replacement. There was still enough tread life but by the time the lease ends in July I know it will be just about or less than the 5/32 tread life requirement. I figured might as well replace the tires early and feel safer during the rainy season. I'm returning it because I want to go with a smaller car with a better gas mileage. Although the gas consumption is average for this vehicle, for commuting, I prefer to drive one with somewhere around 35 mpg. That actually more than doubles the value of my gas money because I wouldn't have to use 91 octane.

    I just thought I'd share my experience. I truly feel bad for those who've had so much trouble with theirs.
  • Thank you for your help and advice. Unfortunately, my gut feeling is that my dealership is simply unwilling to make any necessary repairs while the car is under warranty. I am going to contact Ms. Belec's office ASAP.
  • My perspective is broad enough to see the posts on the site and know that the transmissions in the 03 and 04 XC90 will all fail. Your perspective on the other hand is skewed because you work for Volvo. Please.....
    Volvo's "dedication to quality" and "commitment to surpass customer expectations" . . . is a bunch of bull. I for one will make it my mission to tell everybody the truth about their cars and the junk that Volvo is cranking out these days. XC90 :lemon: s! You can try to defend this all you want but the truth about these cars is on this site for all to see. Again... for anybody out there even giving a thought to the purchase of one of these cars . . . DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY!
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,120
    tat, please enlighten us further as to all the 03 & 04 transmissions failing - how many miles, how many years, what sort of usage will wreck the transmission quickest? what's the most miles you've ever seen an 03/04 xc90 transmission go? what is the usual failure mode?
    volvomax perhaps you have some data/viewpoint on the above questions too,.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    You are entitled to your opinion, no matter how erroneus it may be.
    How many XC90's have you personally been around?
    How many XC90 owners post on Edmunds?
    A truthful answer to both is not many.

    You are emotionally invovled, which is understandable, but it hardly makes you a credible source on all of Volvo.
  • If you read my post my 03 xc90 t6 only had 30 thousand miles back in november and it was babied like a dream. we only used it for the weekends and did not commute to work in it. although volvo has helped us just out of warranty they have spent over 12 thousand dollars in it and guess what? my transmission they just put in it that does not yet have 1 thousand miles on it is now skipping also. there are way too many posts on this website to deny this is a problem in this vehicle and two different volvo dealers in this area are admittting the tranny is no good but put it off on gm since they made it. there should have been a mass notice to folks or a recall regardless of the loss to the company for many folks have many friends and neighbors such as myself and it has been embarrassing explaining why mine is in the dealer more than it is home now and having them look at me like i am stupid for the kinda money i paid for it the vehicle to have these problems now. fact is for the cost of a volvo you can buy other brands for half the money and save if you have these many problems. I saw three other xc90s getting transmissions at the dealer at the same times i was dealing with mine. so in one small city i know of four vehicles in three months. this website helped me get another transmission for i printed over 50 people in the last year with bad transmission in this vehicle. my dealer approached the situation and it could not be denied it was not my fault.
  • Thank you!! Our dealership replaced our Transmission (twice) and now it slips/skips it NEVER did that before we took it to them when the "urgent transmission service" message came up. We took it back after they replaced the transmission the first time for the slip/skip and they could feel it doing the same thing. They kept it until they could get it to "throw a code" which it did for the transmission. So they replace it a second time and we have the same problem only now the dealership is now trying to get us to authorize (at our expense) for them to tear apart the Turbo, because they "think" it may be the Turbo. I will be printing out your transmission problem and putting it right under thier nose. By the way has the slip/skip in your XC90 been fixed ?? If so did they replace the transmission again?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Let's keep the discussion about the XC90 and not about each other.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • Consumer Reports has ranked the Volvo XC at the bottom of its rankings ("Bad Bets") for sometime. The independent Volvo repair shops say stay away from them unless you like driving them enough to absorb the triple costs of owning them. The Consumer Reports owner satisfaction rating is average for this car; about the same as for the Ford Freestyle. That is a lot of people speaking out about the EX over many years. Their will always be people enamored of their particular car no matter how badly the numbers are, I had a Ford Pinto that I drove to over 100K without a single significant problem - I still know the pinto was a pretty bad car for most everyone who had one. Also: There is, amazingly, a Yugo owners club still operating somewhere on the West coast - it is still not a good car.
  • Check out the Extended Warranty site on Edmunds Car Space for some cautions and suggestions.
  • We are still working on that issue. We are going back on thursday to try to work on the new transmission problem because i think they may be getting ready to work with us on a trade. we are done. i have a volvo s60 also with no problems at all. i think if we can get a fair trade we are gonna get out of it.
  • Thanks, let me know how it goes. I have asked the dealership for high BB for my car but I don't think they are taking me seriously. Thanks again for your post, it sounds like your car is doing exactly the same thing mine is doing after the transmission was replaced (twice)
  • Does your make a whistling noise after you give it gas and let off the pedal? This is another noise that keeps coming back along with the skipping we can not figure out. Also when we put it in gear sometimes when it is parked it makes a clunk. Just wondering after thinking about it if they are doing the same thing since they seem to have similar issues.
  • I haven't noticed any whistling noise, but I have noticed that "clunk" when putting it in gear. We are not the only ones that have this slipping issue, I have been e-mailing with someone else on this forum that has the same exact issue. I think this is bigger than Volvo would like to admit and think they are trying to sweep it under the carpet... or sweep it under the volvo!
  • I have a 2003 with 75,000 miles transmission just went - Volvo says too bad - if you cannot prove that this vehicle was serviced completely by Volvo at every single visit - how do we know somebody didn't do something to it. Anne Belec's assistant tells me that any Volvo bought at an auction is a fixer upper - his exact words. Think twice about getting a Volvo. I will never have another one after I dump this one.
  • Hi,

    At the end of December, we purchased from a local dealer a certified pre-owned 2006 XC-90 with 24,000 miles. We’ve had a number of odd problems with it and I’m wondering if anybody thinks they are a bad omen or are simply part of buying a pre-owned vehicle.

    Since we signed the papers, we’ve been into the dealer nearly every week with irritating, non-engine related repairs. First, the radio was randomly (and constantly) cycling through its preset stations and adjusting the volume itself. They replaced the unit entirely and declared it fixed, but it wasn’t at all. We brought it back the next day and they determined the problem was with the buttons on the steering column and replaced those. Since that repair, the radio has worked fine. Next there was a problem with the passenger side mirror not adjusting properly. Again, it took two trips to the service center before they actually fixed the problem (replaced some internal springs). Now the mirror is working fine. Last week, I rolled down the rear window on the driver’s side (in 17 below weather) and it got stuck in the down position. It’s currently in the shop waiting for a new window control mechanism.

    I know that part of the problem is the dealer, who has not sufficiently tested their “fixes” before declaring the car fixed that is making me feel like I’m practically living at the dealer with my new car, but I’m also wondering whether these little problems might be foretelling a poorly assembled vehicle with more problems to come. I’m also not sure whether I should be demanding anything “special” from the dealer at this point. All the work has been covered under warranty, but do they “owe” me anything for selling me a car that has incurred this many problems and caused so much inconvenience in such a short time? A free loaner car? A coffee mug? I dunno. I’m not sure what I should be doing to properly advocate for my rights. Also, should I be concerned about the future of this car or is it still too soon to tell? Any input would be appreciated.

    Thank you!

  • I get the that whistling noise. I don't think it is the transmission as I took it to a tranny specialist, and he said my transmission was fine.
  • I just had my 2004 XC-90 transmission replaced at 75,000 miles too. Let me know if you need any help. I think this may be a problem. Lucky for me I had bought insurance, but I don't see why it went out.
  • Yup, it's a huge problem and Volvo knows about it as you can see from the numerous posts about it on this forum. But what do you expect from a GM Transmission, if I wanted a GM Transmission I would have bought a Tahoe. So unfortunately for all of us that purchased the XC90, especially the 03 or 04, the transmission will fail . . . they will all fail. The car is to heavy for the transmission Volvo put in them and now they don't even stand behind their product. As soon as the dealership has mine in working again, I'll be getting rid of it. :lemon:
  • Picked up my XC90 3.2 FWD last week with 9 miles on it. Exactly one week later (today), it has 485 miles, and a message warning: "LOW OIL LEVEL" and the red triangle sign is lit. Checked the oil, barely made it to the dip stick bottom. It blows white/bluish smoke upon starting, but goes away after a little bit. Also blows bluish/wite smoke when accelerating. No visible leaks in the engine compartment and underbody. The car is currently being driven normally mostly in city driving. Where did the oil go? Is this normal for a 7-day old car? I know engines consume oil, but this is a brand new car with less than 500 miles on it. Thanks in advance for your insights.
  • Ouch. I would recommend you start taking very detailed notes with special detail to time and date. I had a friend who went through this with a Jeep and had to fight for a lemon law. They just couldn't figure out where the oil was going. Good luck.
  • The combination you discussed is not a very good one. As the other poster stated keep good notes; and it would not hurt to put a call into your dealer about your observations and log it into your notes. Put in exactly the oil that Volvo recommends - I would actually go to the dealer and buy their oil over the counter and save the receipts. The worst that can happen is you will never need the notes or the receipts.

    Good luck, and please keep us posted.
  • Thank you very much. I have started keeping notes about this. They still have my XC90 and is replicating the smoke issue. I really do think that there something went wrong during the assembly process of this vehicle that need to be corrected. Will keep you all posted.
  • Is this a blown headgasket?
  • Could be more than that, not exactly sure. I don't think I'll have my XC90 back, it's that bad. I should get a new one soon, of course, if Volvo decides to go that route. I'll let you all know.
  • I'm driving a 2006 XC90 V-8 AWD and love it except for one thing. My headlights go on and off spasmodically. I get a message...bulb failure low beam...but since they are on a lot it's not the bulb. My dealership (under warranty) performed a computer update to try and resolve the issue...did not help. When I kill my engine and restart they come on again. Sometimes if I simply turn the light switch they come back. Has anyone else had this isse?
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