VOLVOS! are they expensive to maintain?

smiliesmilie Member Posts: 1
edited May 2015 in Volvo
Help! I would love to purchase a new or like-new
Volvo, but I hear parts and maint'. are a bit
costly. I make around $30,000 a year. Is this
enough? I want to go back to school in a few
years, just about when I may need some maint' on a
car bought today. Could someone please tell me of
his/her experience with Volvo vehicles. I am
looking at the wagon model, specifically. I know
that they are excellent cars, but could I afford

See Also: Volvo Tech Talks About Maintenance Costs


  • bernard1bernard1 Member Posts: 58
    My wife has an 85 850 turbo. Her car requires servicing every 5K. I think that it is too costly. the car requires rotors at every other brake change. She has 47K on her car and has had two sets of brakes and one rotor change. The GLT models require serviec every 10K mi. so cost are approx. half. I would opt for a Toyota/Honda if you are looking for lower maintenance cost.
  • gusgus Member Posts: 254
    The GLT models require service every 10K mi. so cost are approx. half.

    This is misleading. Every other service at 5000 miles on the 850 is simply a small service--oil change, brake check, fluid check. Some services are going to cost more, and it's likely that the services at every 10k are going to involve a few more things--safety inspection, spark plugs, other stuff. Don't be mislead simply because the mileage services are different. My guess is that the costs are about 1/4-1/3 less on a car on a 10,000 mile service schedule. But this is only on service stuff--oil, filter, etc. Timing belts, fuel filters, plugs, and other "major" tune-up items are going to be done at similar intervals. Brakes are unpredictable, you could do several sets of brakes in the course of a year or not, depending upon your driving habits.

    Furthermore, consider this. If your car has a brake inspection at every 5000 miles, rather than at every 10,000 miles, you're more likely to catch them before they wear all the way out, and do damage to the rotors! Imagine if you had to replace rotors with every brake replacement, instead of every other one!!
  • viper118viper118 Member Posts: 2
    Smilie, A good friend and auto mechanic worked at a Volvo dealer said that Volvo's are very expensive to own. I own two Saturns and a Nissan. These cars have been easy on gas and easy on repair cost. Stick with Saturn, Nissan, Toyota or Honda for easy on the wallet ownership. As far as safety goes I can only talk about the 93 Saturn which has been in four accidents. Two were serious and in all cases there were no injuries and the Saturn was repairable. Bigger cars hit the Saturn and came out in worse shape. That 93 Saturn has over 102,000 miles logged in all kinds of weather, drives like new and looks very very good inside and out. One last note. I can afford any Mercedes I want, but you will only find that I own Saturns, Nissans, Hondas, and Toyotas only. Okay, I have a Ford Ranger also, I got it for such a good price that I could not refuse it. Good Luck .
  • gusgus Member Posts: 254
    Nissans, over the longer run, tend to be a bit less reliable than the Hondas or the Toyotas. Older Nissans can end up costing more than what some people are comfortable spending on a car. Toyotas seem to hold up well over time, especially those Toyotas in warm-weather climates, where rust isn't a problem.
  • avs007avs007 Member Posts: 100
    My friend has a 95 Volvo T5-R... When he got it, I took his @ss to the dealer like every week for a recurring "Service Engine" light... They must have replaced every single sensor in that car... I know they replaced the knock sensors, and the crank position sensor....

    Anyways, what was worse, was one time, they said they needed to drive for 5 minutes to see if the problem was solved... Well... We watched them drive off, and not return for 45 minutes.... And the trip odometer showed like 37 miles accumulated since we brought it in... Joyriders....
  • avs007avs007 Member Posts: 100
    I've never seen any brand new car, needing to go to the dealer so many times so early in its life... Oh yeah... One year later, he had to bring it in, because the entire speaker wiring on the right side went kaput... Was replaced with an obnoxiously expensive aftermarket system... Neon lights and all... Looks cool, but stupid at the same time... But I LOVE how he mounted the 18 disk changer... Pull down the rear-seats, and its mounted flush, with carpeting and everything... Too bad he used up all the trunk space...
  • avs007avs007 Member Posts: 100
    Definately the most expensive setup I've seen... (until my senior year in college)... He spent 7k on that system... My senior year, while at CEC MotorSports, I saw a Ferrarri 512M with all sorts of stuff.. Including hidden strobe lights, McIntosh amps, Sony Playstation, VHS VCR, rear-license plate mounted night-vision cam, GPS Navigation System, etc etc.... The most bad@ss ferarri I've ever seen
  • gusgus Member Posts: 254
    Which model is the T5-R?
  • avs007avs007 Member Posts: 100
    850 T5-R, only available in 1995, only 2000 made, only 500 imported into the US, (I think), and of those only 225 were black like his, the other 225 were yellow..

    Anyways, its basically an 850-Turbo with EVERY option, plus 17 inch TITANIUM wheels... The wheels on the T5-R look better than the ones on the 850-R... Same color, just 17", and 5 spoke, which look better than the 6 or 7 spoke on the 850-R...

    Though the tire size was a wierd one... 205 45 ZR-17, with Pirelli P-Zeros... He got a flat, and they said they had to "import" the tire from europe, so it would cost $400, but he went to a dealer in LA, and had them swap tires from a T5-R they happened to have inthe showroom for$300...
  • gusgus Member Posts: 254
    Interesting. This was actually partially clarified for me the other day. I was checking out the Volvo brochure in the bathroom at our shop (sad but true), and there was a V70 model that was listed as the T-5. Turbocharged, 5-cylinder 2.3L engine with all sorts of options.
  • bernard1bernard1 Member Posts: 58
    avs007 is right about expenses. Every other brake replacement requires a new set of rotors. First set of brakes wear pretty good. Second set doesn't seem to last as long. My wife had a blow out with her Michelins, 205x50x16 replacements were $300 a piece. Tires last approx 16K. Not an economical auto.
  • lweisslweiss Member Posts: 342
    I have a 98 Volvo S-70 with only 10K mileage- my first Volvo. The 10K dealer maintenance set me back about $200, but it included an oil change and my dealer I think detailed the car- even the tires were shining. I really think that the dealer (Fairfax Volvo in Northern Virginia) really did more than a cursory check. Summary: yes, Volvo's are expensive to maintain (like almost every European make), but to their target market, it probably doesn't make much difference-they are planning on keeping them forever.
  • ext_7174ext_7174 Member Posts: 3
    I'm into my second Volvo, a 1988 DL. This one's got 135K on the odometer and the only reason I'm considering a VW or Honda is the up front cost of a new car.

    Yes, it seems every third brake pad replacement requires a new set of rotors, but other than that I've been very lucky with my two Volvos. The extra cost for maintenance is worth having the cars last 150K miles and 10+ years before they START showing signs of wear.

    P.S. My cars are parked outside 24/7/365. They're not babied, but I do maintain them as you would any "tool."
  • ext_7174ext_7174 Member Posts: 3
    I'm into my second Volvo, a 1988 DL. This one's got 135K on the odometer and the only reason I'm considering a VW or Honda is the up front cost of a new car.

    Yes, it seems every third brake pad replacement requires a new set of rotors, but other than that I've been very lucky with my two Volvos. The extra cost for maintenance is worth having the cars last 150K miles and 10+ years before they START showing signs of wear.

    P.S. My cars are parked outside 24/7/365. They're not babied, but I do maintain them as you would any "tool."
  • drivesalotdrivesalot Member Posts: 3
    It is true a Volvo is a higher maintenance vehicle than some of the vehicles mentioned on these postings...I have a 92 740 Turbo wagon w/85,300 miles. I am a BIG believer in ipd for replacement parts to keep my Volvo safe and healthy. I just completed 3 months of research on replacing my slowly dying turbo, and I am having mine rebuilt for $275.00 instead of buying a rebuilt for $750 or a new one from a dealer for a whopping $1100. Hope this helps with your decision.
  • guitarzanguitarzan Member Posts: 873
    I see many Volvo owners talking about the frequency of brake replacements. People considering a Volvo should realize that the parts wear quicker because they provide superior braking.

    I just checked out the S70 Sedan at Edmund's: 60-0 at 135 feet. Compare that to the Integra GSR: sedan 140 ft, coupe 128 ft. Volvo can tout their safety, nothing is better than brakes that perform like this. And in a sedan? Wow.
  • gusgus Member Posts: 254
    Not all brake pads for Volvos wear quickly. OE Volvo pads will wear very quickly. You'll go through a set in less than a year, no problem. They don't necessarily provide superior braking, either. Repco (or that company's current incarnation) makes Metal Master pads for the Volvo that provide good braking and last a while (25-30K, with reasonable braking).

    Rear brake rotors should be resurfaced to reduce brake noise after the pads are replaced. Volvo front wheels ought to be torqued properly after a brake replacement, otherwise you run the risk of having warped rotors.
  • guitarzanguitarzan Member Posts: 873
    I see what you're saying gus. Volvos have good braking, possibly because of the design and size of brakes. But they can have the same effectiveness with an aftermarket pad, right?

    I would expect a harder pad to eat the rotors quicker though. Is that not necessarily true?

    Why is it so important to check the torque of the wheels on the Volvo? For some reason they are extra sensitive to the tightness of the wheels?
  • gchernya1gchernya1 Member Posts: 43
    Do you gays realising that there are cars out there that NEVER required replacing rotors and hardly even needed to resurfaced them? By the way most of the resurfacing jobs are hoax. Keep scratched rotor go on, and pads will do the resurfacing on the go for modest 20 - 30 % percent of the pads life.
  • gusgus Member Posts: 254
    Sure, there are many cars that don't require resurfacing or replacing the rotors. Volvos are some of them. If Volvo front rotors don't warp (guitarzan, this is what you're trying to avoid by correct, uniform torquing), they'll last a good, long time. Where I work, we don't bother resurfacing the fronts because they're not prone to noise. We don't resurface front (or rear, when applicable) Toyota or Mazda brake discs, either. Volvo rear brakes, however, are prone to noise. Resurfacing them removes any surface glazing that has occurred, and it reduces the rotor run-out (caused by heat warping, mostly).

    Guitarzan, to clarify--torque is important for two reasons. First, uniform torque on the lug nuts is important so that the wheel/rotor is tight on one side and not another. If the tension on the nuts is not uniform, then as the brake rotors heat up and cool off, the uneven tension adds to the warp of the rotors. Second, correct torque is important so that the wheel rims don't get damaged. Aluminum wheels take a lighter torque than steel wheels.
  • dranoeldranoel Member Posts: 79
    Volvo C 70 GLT estimated service costs are $4656 for 5 years.(per Kiplingers) Compare that to Lexus ES 300 at $3467, BMW 328i at $2917, Mercedes-Benz 230K at $3122. Expensive ?, Yes, but the Saab 9-5 is more at $4901 and the Pontiac Bonneville SSE at $4121 and the Chrysler Concorde LXi at $4251 are close. Therefore, Volvo service costs do not seem extreme--be thankful you're not considering a Jaguar XJR, whose costs are $7186
  • loonetteloonette Member Posts: 1
    I think it all depends on the model. I own a 760, (which I now know is my first mistake) and I put at least $1000 per year into it. It is always something, and just when you think you've got it ready to rock and roll, something else goes out. I bought the Volvo because it is one of the safest cars on the road, but now I know why. If it is always in the shop, you can't have an accident.
  • bowfingerbowfinger Member Posts: 1
    I'm planning on buy a 2000 s80 can anybody tell me what maintenance cost for the new s80/v70 are like. Are these cars considereded reliable
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