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Volvo V70 Wagon Experience



  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    So your 2004 V70 came with Volvo 16 inch wheels and with 205/55-16 tires. Do you still have that size on it, or did you change to a larger tire? Did it rub near lock with the OE 205/55-16s?

    I think 215/65-16 would be a great size for an all purpose wagon--one capable of regularly handling rough rural roads--assuming the vehicle was designed for that tire.

    But 215/65-16 tires would not have the right appearance for those who want the low profile look. The 2009 V70 base tire is 225/55-16 (25.7" dia at tread).

    The 2009 XC70 base tire is 215/65-16 (27.0" dia).

    The 2007 XC90 base tire was 235/65-17 (29.0" dia at tread), but evidently for 2009 the base tire for the XC90 is 235/60-18 (29.1" dia at tread), and the 2010 XC60 gets 235/60-18 too. I guess the market demands a lower profile tire for a certain look. I suppose handling in extreme evasive maneuvers (like on a fast and crowed freeway) might be better with 60 or 55 series tires. And probably more Volvo owners face that situation than they do negotiating a rough rural road.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    A 65 profile tire is definitely what I would call an SUV/minivan tire. They just don't look right on normal sedans/wagons. You cannot buy a sporty tire (high performance summer compound) in that size. Of course, for the XC series, the extra sidewall helps cushion the blows from off-road driving. The tires also gives these car with higher ride height a more rugged look.

    Our 2001 had 15's and I don't remember them rubbing. It only had 20,000 miles when my wife totaled it. Our current 2004 is wearing 205/55-16 Goodyear Assurance ComforTred tires (super smooth and quiet!). They could be a smidge wider than the OE Michelin's - I don't know. Maybe the springs have settled over the years/miles and altered the geometry a little.

    I do remember that Volvo added the turn stop bars to the front hubs to limit steering angles. They are "L" shaped. Maybe they fell off while my wife was rallying?

    Hey Jim, have you ever heard any power steering moans? It seems after I turn to the stop at parking lot speeds, I hear the pump complain. Then after I return to neutral steering, the moaning occurs whenever I turn the wheel (though a little quieter). Could be my imagination, but it seems louder sometimes and quieter other times.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    I have not had any P/S noises, but my 2004 V70 has less than 40 kmi on the odo.

    This British Volvo Forums site has a thread on rubbing as related to standards on Ministry of Transportation (MOT) inspection: IMO some of these guys are obsessively and recklessly mounting larger tires than specified.

    It sounds like the lock stops can deform with time. One guy reported the minimalist solution of switching the stops between the two sides. From the pdf below it sounds like there are supposed to be different sized stops (or maybe spacers) depending on the size of wheel.

    This pdf from the Volvo Forums thread ( 07.pdf letters on page 5 indicates that Volvos may have minor rubbing with 16", 17", and 18" wheels.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Good stuff, thanks for the links.
  • Hi Jim, I can confirm the size/spec of my tires for my V70XC is correct factory specs(Australian spec?) as in my original Volvo manual. Also checked the spare tire with THE ORIGINAL tire from new = but there were Pirellis Scorpions. I did speak with the original owner who told me that the reason when he change tires each time and avoided replacing them with the factory spec Pirellis was due to cost and advise from his local Volvo dealer that the Falkens will do the same job as the Pirellis at half the cost.
    I was in Melbourne today and rode in my friend's 2006 XC90 and must say i drives similar to my 2001 V70Xc except bigger and with the 7 seats.
    BTW, when I half floor the gas pedal, there's a "boom" sound from the engine area = is that the turbo at work? It must be as you can certainly feels the speed right after the boom! Cheers mate
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    That's great! That is a good size for a capable rough road vehicle. That means the speedo and odo are calibrated for those tires. They must have the right size stops to keep the tires from rubbing.
  • When I find some time over the next few days or over the weekend, will post my V070Xc pics on the volvo forum site(UK) and let you know. Cheers
  • Well, we did get the OEM hitch on it. I also did do the electrical harness/wiring. That was a million times easier than the hitch. Took the bumper off vs drill holes. The supplied cutout is way bigger than it needs to be, so kept that pretty tight. 2005 appears to be a bit easier than the above. The only drilling was through the metal on the hitch itself to hold the electrical plug in. Now, 1 year later, my bumper was smashed. Being that I have to replace it anyway, I am contemplating doing the rear park assist. Has anyone installed this on their own? In looking at parts, looks like the bumper skin with the park assist prep isn't that much more than one w/o. The absorbers are the same price. I'm thinking about asking the shop if I can pay the difference. My only issue is, I don't know how bad it is to tear out the interior to get the sensor lights in the ceiling and if there's any computer connections/resets that need to happen. If anyone has installed this, I'd love to hear the trials and tribulations!
  • al_2003al_2003 Posts: 26

    I have a 2006 V70 with about 60k miles on it. I now have a job where I will be driving 110 miles/day, and I have to decide whether this car is reliable enough to put 30k miles/year for the next 3 - 4 years or to sell it now and find something else (at significant initial cash outlay).

    So far the car has been perfect; it's comfortable, safe, and not a bad ride. Does anyone have any experience with running up high mileage on this car? If I decide to keep it I will probably run it to 200k miles oro more. The only concern I have so far is some unusual interior wear.

  • merlin1merlin1 Posts: 5
    If you have kept your maintenance up on the car, there should be no problems getting 200K out of this car. I have an '02 V70 that just turned 125K miles. Other than normal wear and tear items (brakes, etc) it runs as good as the day that I drove it off the lot. I religiously change the oil at no more than 5K intervals and have the scheduled maintenance done at a reliable shop. No quickly oil change places.

  • ronsteveronsteve LooavulPosts: 437
    I've now had my V70 for 2 years, and I'm getting close to 47K (bought it with 11k) and have my first electrical gremlin.

    As my fuel gage was going down on the last tank of gas, sometimes I'd randomly see it up to 3/4 for a few minutes (when it was really a half) or other such inaccuracies. I was somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 tank the other day, and I noticed the gage showed over 1/2 tank, and then a split second later, it had gone all the way to the left. Not just empty, but like when you turn the car off.

    Until I filled up, it would read as high as 1/2 tank, and sometimes be dead... haven't seen anything weird since I filled up, but are there any good ideas on what could be doing this?

    I guess I'll be paying a visit to the dealer service dept. next time I'm below a half tank.
  • As of May 31, 2009 there is a rebuild procedure that replaces the potentiometer type throttle position sensor with a non-contacting digital angle sensor. The whole ETM is checked, potential internal problems fixed and the TPS replaced.
    Full details of the problem can be found at VEXEDvolvo and the sequel containing the solution at FixYourETM."
  • My 2001 v70 turbo wagon has been clunking since mile 59557. I have been faithfully getting service on this unit every 7500 miles. Each time I have told the service dept about the clunking noise and they have tried the various areas of changing the motor mounts,upgrade the throttle problems, tried test driving and found nothing. It's like a tooth ache. when going to a doctor, it disappears for many different times prior to going to the dentist. Well, finally at 150000 mile service the transmission light, "transmission needs service" came on.
    So the tech roadtested the vehicle and felt the tranny was shifting hard into drive when taking off from a stop.Horrah! The tech suggested that the transmission needed to be updated with a software package that would eliminate the tranny from going into netrual when stopping. (this was designed to save gas) The part (software) cost $24.86 and the labor $98.00 or a total of $122.86. The tech also found the upper engine mount was broken. Since having this done the engine/transmission is behaving themselves and at this point I am a happy camper.
    Hope this info will help some of you owners who have been experiencing similar problems.
  • k7hpk7hp Posts: 29
    I was just told my 2003 V70 needs upper strut mounts (seperating) $473 and all lower control arm bushings cracking. $650.

    This car is in Phoenix , but stays in our garage and seldom is just sitting out in the sun - it seems hard to buy that the rubber is all shot .

    There is a small space between the rubber bushing at the top and the mount - BUT you cannot turn the nut - the attachment to the rubber is still solid both sides. The top rubber is still firm and no signs of any cracking.

    BTW the same trip , I was told I needed cabin air filter and engine air filter and oil /filter changed (this was all done 30 days ago in a 30K service) so I am having a hard time accepting .

    Comments ??? (Especially Volvomax who I see is local. )
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    "I was just told my 2003 V70 needs . . . "

    Told by whom?
  • k7hpk7hp Posts: 29
    By a Volvo dealer in Phoenix
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Problem isn't sitting in the sun, it is the hellish temps the engine bay reaches in normal operation. I'm not surprised that a 6 yr old car needs these done. Not in Phoenix.

    As for the rest, did this dealer know you did the 30k somewhere else?
    Or did they just assume that you hadn't done the 30k?
  • k7hpk7hp Posts: 29
    Thanks for reply - I agree about the hellish temps - I even always lift the hood in the garge after a trip but thats only part of the soak.

    I guess I was fishing for other exeperience in Phoenix area on bushing life.

    Yes , today they told me they assumed I did not do a 30K since I had it done at an independent Volvo garage and it does not get into the Volvo system.

    Rgds -- Hank
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    We took our annual family trek down and up the west coast in July and passed the 90,000 mile mark. We managed a solid 29 MPG over the course of our 4000 mile vacation, which included a lot of flat and mountain highway driving, and a good amount of urban traffic. I can't emphasize enough how great a touring car the V70 is. It drives like a sedan, but swallows all of our luggage (family of 4) with ease. When we're at our destination, we pile in with family/friends and it turns into a minivan. It transports 7 people (if at least 2 are kids) to the beach, movies, Sea World, etc.

    I knew I'd hit 90,000 miles during the trip, so I stocked up on parts for the service before we left. I ordered the following parts over the internet: Ate front rotors, Zimmerman rear rotors, Mintex pads (front & rear), Mahle air filter, Mann oil filter, and NPN charcoal cabin filter. I bought 6 qts of Mobil 1 0W-40 oil locally.

    The brake pads were in great shape all around (these Mintex pads last a lot longer than the OE pads, and stop/feel the same), but since the rotors were ready to be replaced, I did new pads anyways. It took me all day Saturday in my garage to do the brakes (it's easy but tedious work - the worst part is removing the paint off the rear rotors with brake cleaner), then I did the oil/filters in the driveway this morning.

    The suspension (bushings, links, joints, etc.) and driveshafts are in fine shape. Exhaust looks fine too. Transmission fluid is still clean and red and brake fluid is still clean and blue (both flushed at 60,000 miles).

    My front tires (Goodyear Assurance ComforTred installed at 45,000 miles) will need replacing in the next 5000 miles or so but the rears still look very good (I never rotated them). I plan on paying a mechanic to replace the timing belt (and water pump, idler pulley, accessory belts) at 100,000 miles.

    Except for a knack for eating a random light bulb every 6 months or so, our V70 has been completely trouble free. It still runs and drives like new. I test drove the Mercedes E350 wagon and Acura MDX in July just to toy with the idea of trading to a new car, but I honestly can't justify getting rid of our paid-for Volvo and being saddled with a car payment again. Except for some missing modern amenities (bluetooth, iPod interface, etc.), our V70 continues to be a joy to own and drive and there's no reason not to keep it for at least another few years.

    Of course, my daughter will be driving in 3 years - it would make a very nice (safe) 1st car for her... :shades:
  • k7hpk7hp Posts: 29
    Well ,most of you folks have had much better experience that I have . Guess I got a lemon. This vehicle has been maintained per Volvo specs and in addition runs Mobil One approx every 6 months (do it on time rather than miles since it is so low mileage) .In the last year I replaced fuel pump assembly (gas odors so bad scared to put it in garage), $716 plus $250 to analyze. , Engine torque mount bushing $75 , Right front power door lock and radiator $1232. It now needs upper strut mounts $473 and lower control arm bushings $650.

    Then check engine light came on , $225 to put in new software that "probably will correct the emission system leak readout" but if not then we will have to do a leak pump. . At that visit told that transmisssion pan seal is leaking and will be $900 to replace. In addition now told CV boots, half shafts, control arms "may require attention" and highlighted Shocks /rear struts may require attention.

    Now it may be I am getting scammed but I have dealt with this same service adviser since 1995 at several different Volvo places so unless this new place is not allowing him to still be an honest man ......I have not gone to get a second opinion yet on all these things.

    But like fedlawman - otherwise I REALLY like this car - comfort , performance , appearance , 21mpg in town with A/C on - and NOBODY makes anything that compares to it in terms of what you can get in the back because of the way they are angling the back doors for styling. I have looked at Acura, Honda Pilot , Lincoln MDX, Ford Edge ,Toyota Highlander. (that one will load as high a box as the Volvo), Toyota Venza . None of them really grab me - the Venza seems to be as close as anything - and when I walk back to my Volvo I think to myself why not just go spend the money to do all the stuff they say is needed to the tune of probably $3K or $4K. BUT if I do all that and then more stuff keeps failing it would have been a bad idea. The guy at the local independent Volvo place told me one day - Just figure on $1500 a year for a Volvo - so far that is about right for mine. (I cannot any longer do the work myself so I cannot buy parts and do the work)

    Just my experience - maybe its just living in the hellish temperatures we have in Phoenix that just kills things ?
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Fuel pump issue is common to Volvo and other cars.

    The other issues you have are related to living in Phx. The heat just kills the rubber bushings in the torque mounts and suspension parts.
    It is a little odd that the radiator and door lock went out.
    Shocks are probably a time issue, they don't last forever. Especially if you routinely carry heavy loads in the cargo area.
  • k7hpk7hp Posts: 29
    I do not "routinely carry heavy loads " unless you count a weeks groceries for two people. About every month I bring home about 105 lbs of cat litter in a 3 mile trip . I once carried a 80 lb dishwasher (thats why I like the Volvo back door - most "crossover SUV's " are arranged so you cant get a 27 by 32 inch box in )

    I had two 95 960's one a wagon ,one a sedan - The sedan was my Wife's car and was very easily driven- The wagon was my go to work car but I did have covered parking. I traded them both for the 2003 so I had both for 8 years and neither had this sort of rubber failures/degradation. They both had the classis A/C air control valve crap out and both had steering racks replaced. The wagon did have the radiator replaced.

    I also had a 1983 Toyota Camry with about 85000 miles which we traded for my wifes 95 960 Sedan . That Camry had nothing but normal maintenance and none of these sort of failures. The CV joints were getting noisy when we traded it. I had an 87 turbo 4 and a 91 SR5 V6 Toyota pickup and neither had rubber /suspension issues . At that point I was able to do all my own maintenance ,oil changes etc and could watch for anything going wrong under the truck. I traded the 91 for a 96 Tacoma which was a semi lemon - recall for front suspension strengthening and leaking head gasket on the V6 - both taken care of by Toyota under warranty - it drummed at about 65 mph even after bed coating to dampen the noise and was just not very nice - Based on how we liked the wife's 960 Sedan , I traded for the 95 960 Wagon .

    So I have still have a problem with all these failures in the 2003 after two less years .Maybe its global warming ?

    Right now , I think I am going back to try Toyota again . Its probably my next to last car anyhow. I certainly would not buy a 2010 V70 unless I also bought an extended warranty. They had some great deals on the 2009 V70's with the 5/50 warranty program but only two in town and not what we wanted.
  • I have a 2000 volvo v70 awd with 137K miles. It has just begun making a "thud" sound when going up or down a slight grade upon takeoff. The noise is in the area between the front and back seats under the car. The transmission is shifting smoothly through all gears. I only hear the thud at very low speeds. Any one have any similar experience or idea what this might be? We do most of our own mechanical work, but this is something we haven't been able to figure out! Thanks.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I haven't experienced this, but I have some thoughts. There could be some "play" at the input of one of the driveshafts or differentials. It could also be a suspension noise. Maybe a loose end link or shock mount that moves when weight is transferred? Maybe something rolling around on the floor?
  • Thanks for your response. It does sound like something rolling around on the floor; we removed everything loose from the car, and were able to replicate the sound by rolling slowly on our paved driveway. We still get the noise even with the engine off, and the car rolling in neutral (down a slight grade). We put the car up on jack stands to do a visual inspection.There is nothing loose and no play anywhere on the drive shaft. Sounds crazy, but my husband looked under the car with his head hanging down as I drove slowly to see if he could see anything, and we again heard the noise under the center of the car, seems to be in the area just in front of the rear wheel wells, but in the center. Again, we hear this noise only at very low speeds, forward and backward both. Incidentally, it is an automatic transmission.
  • Hi, it could be the differential = have you check the fluids? Or the exhaust rubbing against the upper body? That's where I would look. Failing that put the car on a hoist and check the drive shaft, uni joint and check for side movement of the rear wheels.
    Good luck.
    p.s. My 2001 V70XC has just turned 180000kms and only issue with it now is the core plug(like the common distributor but our series has one for each spark plug and they are $200 each = DOH!!)
  • My V70 is 2002, but problems almost identical, plus right front axle, door locks go up and down as they please, right turn signal stop cooperating, cigarette outlets don't work (yes, I did check fuse), car is shaking at 60 miles per hour (nobody can find problem) and finaly I can't get more then 15000 to18000 miles on top line tires, tire shop keep telling me it is VOLVO vag, they known for this problem????? I had 2 Suburbans before, I drove them in to the ground, 200000 miles each, never a problem, tires were used for minimum of 60000miles, and that car is much heavier... Please, can anybody tell me any thing???? :lemon:
  • My problem was diagnosed today. My indie mechanic says I have a bad rear torque tube bushing. Cost $100 inc part. Imagine what the dealer 'might' have said my problem was. Bad differential? The sky's the limit. Whew was I relieved.(Same mech welded a leaking tube on the tranny of my 1994 940 yesterday, $150 inc a fluid/filter change) Did you get an alignment at a good shop, check the wheel balance? Bent rim? Bad front end parts? Sounds like the tire problem and shaking could be related. Are the tires wearing unevenly? Not sure about the electrical problems, those are tricky. Good luck.
  • woodywwwoodyww Posts: 1,803
    I know I'm late in responding, but IMO that's a whole of stuff to be going wrong on an '03 w/35000 miles. I can't believe that AZ heat is causing it all, like: fuel pump assembly for $1000. And transmission pan seal is leaking and will be $900 to replace????

    If you told me it was a Land Rover, or old M-B or Audi, I'd understand. But I'm thinking your Lemon thesis may be correct--personally I'd sell it before you go broke......
  • k7hpk7hp Posts: 29
    Think you are right - if consumers reports mean anything , the 2002 and 2003 V70 are solid black for suspension related issues among others . Its pretty much a Toyota Venza , or Highlander . Gut tells me to buy American like a Ford but they are essentially the people who tell me to go to hell. GM has nothing I like . OK maybe a rear wheel drive Cadillac CTS wagon but the stylists have screwed up the rear opening height and reliability is not reported that hot+ they are pretty dear. But it looks like I am going to have to order to get anything close to what I want - hope the Volvo will last 10 -12 weeks. Today the ignition switch started binding. Cripes -
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