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Volvo XC70 Suspension/Steering Problems

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,287
edited August 2014 in Volvo
Discuss XC70 suspension and steering issues here.

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  • I was wondering If anyone knew any easy way to raise my 2000 xc70. Not alot of lift just enough to handle a little off-road.
  • Hey All
    I have owned a 91 740 Volvo and a 96 960. I now am the second owner of a 2001 V70 XC with approximately 54k miles. I am trying to do the right thing and bring the car in for routine maintenance checks (3k) and oil changes at Boston Volvo. Last time it was about $700 for Bearing problems on the front left wheel. This time the mechanic wants $500 for Wheel Bearings on the right front, $355 for Upper Strut Mounts and $600 Front Control Arm Bushings. I know they are in the business of selling their service but a car with 54k miles should not need 2k a year in preventative maintenance, whether I live in New England or not. Can anyone comment on what they think a cars preventative maintenance, fixing things like bushings and suspension and all that crap when nothing appears wrong when driving should cost a year??? Any help would be greatly appreciated. New to this site and chatting about my car, was use to driving 10 yr old volvos with 100k miles that needed 500 bucks a year and a couple oil changes. Trying to be an adult here but this is ridiculous imho.
  • I own a V70 XC 2003 model Volvo. Current odo meter 87 000 km. I purchased it pre owned last year (2005). I have always felt the road holding of the vehicle not to be as it should as I always had to steer the vehicle even if the road condition was good. It felt as though the car itself was causing deviations which I had to continuously correct. Recently I discovered that if I was traveling on a level road at constant speed and I depressed the accelerator suddenly, the car would veer of to the right and I had to counter by turning the steering left, if i lifted my foot from the accelerator pedal the opposite would happen. I then discovered that while I am accelerating and the automatic gearbox would go through the gears the difference in torque would cause a different steering angle. This motion is normally slight in unloaded conditions but became worse during loaded conditions. I have checked tire conditions and have had the back shock absorbers replaced. The Volvo workshop does not seem to be able to find this fault. Would anyone be able to suggest a cause of the problem?
  • gedafegedafe Posts: 8
    In the V70, the volvo's engine is set cross-wise in the front of the car, it spins two half-shafts controlling acceleration through the front wheels. This causes a natural occurrance of torque-steer, pulling more towards one direction or the other. It is not highly noticible, but can be more apparent if alignment or suspension complications exist. However, you would see evidence of the latter with a brief look at the tire wear. I'm not sure how volvo's 4wd works in the CX though, nor which direction the engine is loaded. I've been well advised from independent volvo mechanics (former volvo master techs who left volvo for various reasons) to not ever buy a volvo used after 2000; far inferior products and specs, and all maintenance must be done through expensive diagnostics which often misdiagnoses problems with your car (for a mere $85 just to hook up the blasted computer). Today's volvos are not worth the money: they need to go back to the day when volvo produced a quality product that didn't try to compete with the luxury cars divisions. Don't worry though, I got suckered with a 2001 v70 2.4T lemon "certified used" that broke down a year out totaling over $4000.00 in replacements that never fixed a darn thing.
  • I was waiting to see if I got more comments before responding. As far as I understand the XC 70 up to 2004 has a viscous coupling between the front and rear wheel drives. The drive control system normally sends 90% of the power to the front wheels and 10% to the rear. When the system detects a slip on a wheel it would automatically direct more power to other wheels. This particular design is very sensitive to the size of the tires and I have been warned that more wear on a front set vs the rear set, or vice versa, would cause this viscous coupling to heat and eventually damage it. I assume that the engine output would probably arrive at one single differential from where it would be directed to the front and rear to two further differentials. The rear differential would be receive its power through this viscous coupling. I am wondering whether a worn universal joint on a wheel could result in this steering problem.
  • jomotojomoto Posts: 12
    I have noted that my XC70 2002 has not much torque steer, maybe because the car itself is very heavy and the engine seems somewhat limited. I think that driving the car normally will not create a noticeable wear on one of the tires.

    I am scared to hear so many adverse comments to Volvos after 2000.... I understand Ford must have wanted to earn more money from the recently acquired brand,,,,but making trash cars out of them???? maybe is too hard to say. (well sure the older models were better.....were for ever... and these may not last that long, but few miles more than a Chrysler Stratus or a Neon, that is for sure...
  • gedafegedafe Posts: 8
    You may be right about the universal joint (I assume that's the CV joint that connects the wheel to the drive shaft), but I've had one of those repaired, and usually when they need replacing, you'll notice a lump/bump sound when turning the steering wheel to the extreme left or right. Also, you may notice the sound when starting from a dead-stop. Likewise, if you roll your window down, (assuming the CV joint is broken) you can hear a clicking with the rotation of the wheels: the louder, the more damaged the joint is. If you can jack up the car, check the rubber boots that house the joint for wear. It's seldom seen when a boot is intact and the joint is broken; usually, a split or cut boot allows water/dirt/dust in the joint, and then it breaks. Another symptom is wobbly handling at speed.
  • Let me confuse the issue some more. Volvo switched from one AWD system to a Haldex (Haldex is the new name for Lipe Clutch, so beloved by class 8 truckers) sourced AWD system in '02 or 03. I don't think '04 or later. Perhaps, just perhaps, the amount of torque steer differs from one system to the other.

    HOST, incidentally, what happened to the marvelous V70R board? It seems to have disappeared just when used V70Rs are now getting inexpensive. I had wanted to check the board out because I remembe reading that you would have a hard time finding snow tires to mount on those wheels. The thought of driving in winter with lo profile tires , AWD or not, is scary.
  • I bought a used 2002 xc70 in 2005 with 50,000 miles (Mint condition)My car does the same thing. The lower control arm bushings seem to go out prematurely. they were cracked and moving about freely causing the car to "drift" on its own left to right.any car that needs control arm bushings after 50,000 should be considered a inferior product.I have a toyota with 200,000 miles and the bushings are as good as new. I have had numerous problems with my volvo.power steering resivour was leaking, cooling line to turbo was leaking. power steering hose leaking.lower balljoint nut came loose (seems they dont use cotter pins for safety). It is my first and last volvo.Maybe some sucker like me will buy it.
  • Purchased this car earlier in the year. Dealer seems to be unable to fix the front end alignment as the car has a tendency to drift to the right. Volvo regional people came out to see it too and had no real answers for me.

    I test drove a 2007 Cross Country and it also seems to pull to the right.

    Is this a problem endemic to this car?

    To me, it's a lemon because it's the worst new car I've ever purchased in that they can't seem to fix it.
  • My Wife and several other people who have '05 & '06's Have the same problem. If you come up with a good answer for this. Let me know.
  • xcownerxcowner Posts: 2
    :sick: I just joined and this is my first posting. I have a 2001 XC70, have had nothing but issues with it since I got the thing a little over a year and half ago with just over 46000 miles. It was towed 3 times in the first 6 months due to shifting into "reduced mode". And in the shop for various things a grand total of 9 times in 8 months. The latest was the rack and pinion severed and caused me to lose control, final out come $6000.00 in damage. It was a good thing it was starting to snow and I was only traveling at 15-20mph. Contacted Volvo numerous times, same response, take it up with the dealer we only make the cars. I would recommend to everyone with issues file a complaint with the NHTSA at so they can also start tracking all these issues. I looked and there are not many listed for Volvo, but every other site has numerous issues listed.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    Welcome to the Carspace Forums, sorry your experience with your vehicle has been bad. Your suggestion for owners to file their complaints is a great one.
  • Please, HELP!
    There isn’t first time with this kind of problem so I have to fix it definitely. My power steering fluid is leaking. When I saw this problem first time I just refilled the fluid and there wasn’t problem during couple weeks. Today I realized the big fluid patch under my car and I also noticed that the tank of it was wet on his top. Does somebody have any idea what kind of problem it can be? I’ve read some forums with similar topic but maybe some has a more details explanation. Thanks.
  • Hi All,

    I am here searching for issues reported by current 2008 XC70 owners. I see allot of postings about price so I will provide that info.

    I leased my 08 XC70 back in October for $520 per month for 30 months with 10K miles per year. It had an MSRP of $45095. I only paid Tax, tags and $500 deposit. This was the best deal I could find in my area. My friend leased one just after me with an MSRP of 42K and some change and he is paying $700.00 per month...OUCH.

    I love the car, it is very luxurious and has some cool features like the Personal Car Communicator, and Blind Spot Warning System. The down sides have been poor gas mileage that is usually around 17-18 mpg in mixed driving but mostly highway and a problems with rattles and steering issues.

    The rattles for the most part have been toned down by the service departments efforts but are still present to a certain degree. The steering issues have remained unresolved to date after 4 repair attempts. The car makes a popping or clunking sound the subframe is flexed during turning such as leaving a parking lot. I have put in a complaint and hope the car gets replaced under the lemon law. :lemon:

    Currently we are having our first winter storm and instead of driving the in the safety of our AWD Volvo we are commuting in a Prius. Our Volvo remains in a million peices at the dealer with the front end torn apart. I am affraid of what new issues will come up once it is "thrown" back together.

    On a better note, my friend has not yet had any issues with his XC70 so it may be that I just got a bad apple. Good luck to those of you getting ready to purchase a new one. You may need it!!! :sick:
  • 2001 V70XC with 122,000 nearly trouble free miles. Now I experience an intermittent violent shuddering of the steering wheel upon deceleration after a few miles of highway speed. Steering wheel will literally jerk 1-2 inches - you'd think wheels were ready to fly off car. Car also will pull to the left. Seems like everything beneath is tight. Car drives fine at highway speed but begins to shake upon deceleration and then continues after at low speeds turning or straight.
  • v70xcv70xc Posts: 1
    Hello, I'm new here. I have noticed that you were having problems with the XC70. I own a prototype 98 V70XC and it has 84K miles on it. My car has been great, and has never had any problems until last year. The problem is, every time I make a sharp turn, the front right hand side of the car makes a shuttering vibration noise. In order to avoid it, I cut the corners no problem, but for my parents, it's not so easy, and they want this problem fixed. I have replaced the engine mount, replaced the front right wheel bearing, the front right axle, both the inner & outer tied rod ends, and the rear viscus coupler, but it's still got the problem. I know for sure that it is not a warped hub, I had rotated the tires in several patterns, but that does not solve the problem. I sort of think it's the anti-roll bar, but I am not 100 percent sure. I love my car, the old girl has been nothing but good to me, but this shuttering noise has turned her into a :lemon: and I'm worried about losing it. If anybody can tell me what this shuttering noise is, I would highly appreciate it, so I can get the problem fixed.
  • I can only tell you my experience.
    I had a 98 AWD that was wonderfull! except it developed a drive shaft vibration. After nearly a year someone suggested something in the back of the tranny where the drive shaft enters - some type bearing that wears out. Might check into it - can't remember the name. Drove it to 177K and next owner has over 200K and he jjust replaced the tranny.

    I have an '01 XC with 123K now and the shuddering I worte about above we found to be the inner CV joint on the right side - really trashed. All fixed - except I also bought a new set of tires about the same time the CV joint was going - now the car wanders unlike before. Not usre if its tires or ?

    I also have heard of the type noise lyou are talking about having something to do with rear engine mount - but it could be the anti-sway bar as you suggested or the long pins and connectors that attach it to struts.
  • kat1600kat1600 Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Volvo XC and have started to develop an annoying squeaking noise when I turn the wheel either way. This happens regardless of turning a corner or sitting in the drive. There's steering fluid and its new. I've had the car for a couple of years, do a great deal of commuting so the '02 has about 125k miles on it. I've already replaced tie rods in the front. Thanks for thoughts!
  • I bought this seemingly beautiful used '01 XC at Audi of NYC (68,000 miles) - they "guaranteed" that the entire car was gone through and check out to be perfect. I stupidly believed them. Before I bought the care I sent them a 10point checklist that included transmission performance. Everything was "ok'd" by the salesman at Audi Manhattan. The day that I picked it up - the next day I noticed that the engine would surge at about 20mph with light pressure on the gas. The car seemed like it was going into a false neutral between gears, revving the engine up past 3,000rpm and then dropping it into gear.

    I brought the car back to Audi and they looked at it and again assured me that this was a minor issue and would clear up at the scheduled service. I stupidly believed them. I was very concerned and even told them that I didn't want the car, but they said that they would need another $9,000 to put me into another used car. They gave me a $400 check to help with the dealer service, again assuring me that this was a minor issue.

    The problem continued...and got worse. I contacted Audi again and they did not want to help with the issue - saying that they don't to the full 100 point inspection for non-Audi vehicles and that it was a used car sold AS IS...which is ridiculous.

    I've taken the car to the Volvo dealer - who also diagnosed the problem wrong initially - saying it was a transmission filter screen. They refunded me my $900 for this mistake since the problem has not gone away. I cannot tell if it's the transmission that is the problem or that the ECU is faulty and causing the the "false neutral" engine surge and drop into gear situation.

    Volvo cannot tell me what is wrong with the transmission, but they can tell me straight out that it just needs to be replaced. They can't tell me if the solenoids inside are bad or what's exactly going on - only that a new one will cost $4,000.

    I've been trying to go back to Audi over the months to get them to do something about this since I mentioned this issue from the very beginning. And now, the car is sitting in my parking space with the transmission and engine lights on and stuck in 2nd gear. Sorry for the incredibly long saga - I'm just not sure how to get Audi to own up to their mistake and make good on this incredibly unsafe vehicle they sold me. Any insights or recommendation will be completely appreciated.

    Thank you.
  • It sounds like I have the same problem. I have had it at the dealers 3x and they have never been able to reproduce the problem. I had it at a local shop today to rpleace some hoses etc that the dealer said were bad and they changed the transmission fluid, when I got in the vehicle to drive it home it revved up to 6,000 revs and wouldn't go into 3rd gear.
    I went straight back and they spoke with a transmission guy and discussed it needing a "soft build " approx cost $3,400-$3,600
    Very disapointed that volvo couldn't diagnose a problem with transmission.
    I am able to drive it using the mannual part of the gear box and just avoiding 3rd gear.
    Was there any other response to your post? :mad:
  • There weren't any other responses, but I've done a good amount of research and it turns out to be a very common problem with these models from 2001-2004. There are a good number of reports on the NHTSA at site as well (which is the government site for reporting vehicle related problems). Volvo will not help you unless your car is almost new. It's surprising that a recall has not been executed by the gov., since this is a potentially dangerous condition. I'm not sure what it takes for the US gov. to enact a federal, national recall. Perhaps there needs to be a fatality or two...which is ridiculous. "Soft" rebuild means replacement. The problem with newer cars as well as "newer" car mechanics is that they don't know the internals of a vehicle and only go by the codes spit out of the VIDA system when your car is hooked up. However, I also suspect that there is an issue with the transmission control unit in the ECU brain that controls the entire car's operation. It maybe one or two bad solenoids in the transmission that are not operating correctly, but I think there is also a fault in the electronic communication between what the transmission is telling the ECU and what the ECU is then putting into action. It almost seems like there is a small brain tumor in there that is impeding accurate and timely execution of electronic shift, disengage, engage, etc... Perhaps there needs to be a software update that needs to be downloaded into these cars...
  • Our 2000 XC makes a thunking, shuddering noise, seemingly coming from the wheels, when we make sharp turns at very low speeds. Problem may be similar to message 18 in this thread.

    A garage suggested that we need new struts, front & back.

    Any comments?

  • What did you do regarding your transmission? Just yesterday I drained my trans fluid (2002 XC70 96,000 miles) and replaced about a gallon with fresh fluid purchased from the dealer (at $15.00 a liter). Now the car won't shift into third. Same exact symptoms that you described. I'm sick to my stomach. I thought I was doing a good thing and now the car is a colossal pain in the [non-permissible content removed] to drive; and DANGEROUS!
  • nibsnibs Posts: 65
    Just wondering how you've made out with the rattles etc and clunking? I hear those same sounds when cornering and going over rough roads. Has Volvo bought it back? I would really appreciated any info you can provide as I am going to a adjudicator this week with the same problems and more. Also if you have a case # I could refer to it would be great. Hang in and don't give up.
  • 231sally231sally Posts: 2
    I had to have a soft rebuild of my transmission costing $3400
    Not at all happy as I felt that the dealer should have found the problem when I complained of the problem, of course when it went it was no longer under warranty
  • lt316lt316 Posts: 1
    With four passengers or full car there is a clunk noise when starting from stop position. Also appears when slow moving into a "bumpy" parking lot (especially after traveling for a while). It does not show up in lightly loaded or short drives. Any suggestions where to look? Car is under warrenty but have feeling that it something that is just on the cusp and if I buy it off lease then it will surely show up. Thanks
  • what was the solution to your problem you posted in 2006 about steering wandering, i'm having the same problem on my 2002 xc70
  • New Volvo XC70 AWD purchased and 1 week later had to have a new power steering rack assembly and hose replace the factory installed one - whining noise while driving and turning steering wheel and leaking power steering fluid.

    Our questions are:

    Anyone else with these problems?

    Shouldn't the dealer replace our car with a similar one?

    Assuming we have no further issues, how does this affect the resale value of this car. Currently has 1000+ miles on it. Bought it at around 100 miles (?).

    Is this car safe to drive?
  • I bought this car new & experienced 'wondering' on the hi-way at around 10k mi. happy driving. I brought it back to the dealer & they gave me a free wheel balance - it kind of make it a little better. But the 'wondering' exists. I brought it back the 2nd time, they did the same thing except this time they charged me $70 for it.
    few months passed, I start hearing loose metal noise under the fron of the car. I brought it back & they decided its the control arm loose & replaced it under warranty....the 'wondering' is FIXED after that....hmmm, I was thinking of getting them to re-paid me on the $75 alignment but didn't. Now the car is almost at 100,000 mi. and going strong.

  • I have similar issue on a XC70 T6 (2009) with 6k miles. Only difference is that the issue also shows with just driver onboard. But main parameter is that the car only does it when warm (i.e. after driving a while) and only when going slowly ove bumpy roads. Also, the noise is combined with heavy reduction in suspension compensation leaving a "wooden" feeling in tackling potholes, bumps etc. Did you ever resolve your issue?
  • The dealer replaced the whole power steering system and we have been driving the car everyday since the replacement. The steering squeaks when we first start the car to drive and we hear a clunk when put into gear. I will be making a complaint at as suggested by earlier post. Please do the same. Very upsetting to have these major issues with a new expensive car. Hope to have a safe driving with my kids through the winter in the midwest.
  • I've 2002 XC70 with almost 100,000mi - after I read [cranky2] msg on transmission oil change nightmare, I'm hessitate to change my now. I've just also purchase the fluid from Volvo.

    I know this was posted since Jan'09, have you done anything else since then? I like to know the outcome.

  • thurnockthurnock Posts: 1
    Please check out for this problem! It is well-documented that many people are improperly refilling their ATF. Their is a large nut on the top that appears to be the refill line that is actually holding part of the third gear together, which is indicative of the symptoms people are posting. It HAS to be refilled via the dipstick line.

    Please check that website; they go into a lot more technical background.
  • I have an 01 V70XC. I'm experiencing a hum/whine when driving down the road and much louder when veering or turning to the left. As the speed gets higher, the sound gets higher pitched. When turning right the noise goes away. Any ideas?
  • jrlun78jrlun78 Posts: 9
    i had the same problem with my steering wheel ....and it went on for about 6 months ...when i took it to my mechanic and remembered to tell them of the problem..they looked at the steering column and saw that one of the bolts came loose the replaced and put bolt lock on it and all is well (30$) amen ;)
  • Hi -

    Same thing just happened to me. 2010 Volvo XC70. About 1,000 miles and now it's in the shop. What did you end up doing - is your car ok? Did the dealer replace it? Did you get any answers?

  • Re: Power Steering on new Volvo XC70:

    The dealer replaced the whole power steering system and rack and I have not had any related problems since that time. No answers, just one of those things! It was very upsetting to buy an expensive new car and have to have repairs within the week.
  • Yes, It's definitely upsetting. Thanks for your reply. I hope mine turns out as well as yours.
This discussion has been closed.