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Volvo S70



  • stickguystickguy Posts: 26,344
    I think that you have a legitimate beef, but the first response is to (almost) always deny the claim. However, some people who make it a crusade eventually get the problem all or partially paid for.

    In this case, I hope you have it in writing (in the service records) that you complained about the light coming on, which you now know means there is a problem. if you do, then you should be able to argue that this was a preexisting condition that you brought to the attention of the dealer, even though they didn't seem inclined to discover the true source of the problem.

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • Well now I don't know what to do. I was thinking about buying a 2000 S70 (with auto trans) but with all this business with bulbs, squeaks and other gremlins plus a new 5 speed auto....Should I? I'd be purchasing used with 15-18k miles and still paying alot of dough. I looked/tried out a S40 but to small (but sweet) and the 70 is just about right (S60 is small and too pricey) So guys and gals, should I or shouldn't I? Thanks for any help...boatman7...PS my second pick is a 2001 Maxima SE for about the same amount of money....
  • kjc3kjc3 Posts: 2
    Stickguy thanks for the advice. After a number of discussions with the dealership today they (the dealership and Volvo), agreed to cover approximately half of the repair cost. Gung Ho!

    To Boatman 7. In addition to the 1998 Volvo S70 GLT we also own a 1993 Nissan Maxima SE with 112,000 miles. Our Maxima has been very reliable. My opinion is if your priority is reliability and performance, assuming the S70 your looking at has the base 168hp engine, go with the Maxima. If yourlooking for safety and comfort (Seats) buy the Volvo and see if the dealership will throw in an extended warranty.
  • amazonamazon Posts: 293
    I bought a Y2K S70 with 5sp. auto. Love everything about it. No problem with squeeks or bulbs. I would recommend one.
  • I am considering the '01 Acura 3.2TL, Toyota Avalon (wife wants it) and a 2000 S70. I have found three dealerships within 250 miles of NW Arkansas that have a total of about 30 new S70's still on their lots. From initial negotiations they will deal. I can probably pick up a GLT SE pretty loaded with a MSRP of $36.5K for $30K or less. Sounds like the need to clear their lots. Anyone have any similar experience or recommendations? I really want the Volvo but the Acura sure is nice and I have negotiated a dealer down to $26.5 on one. Is the S70 worth about $3,500 more?
  • I owned an S70 (1999 Base) for 18 months. As I've said in previous posts, the car had many fine points, and I will remember it as one of the more interesting and endearing cars I've owned. BUT, it was not reliable, and I consider it crude by today's standards. The S60/V70/S80 are much closer to what people want today. My S70 left me stranded three times, two required tows, one was on this past christmas eve, and there were no rental cars to be found. I had to borrow a friends car. Although I think the dealership was one of the best I've ever been to, they could not identify the problem. I now own a 2001 Toyota Avalon, and, with the exception of the seat comfort (Volvo is unsurpassed) the car is leagues above the S70 in quiet and comfort. Yes it is boring, but requires little muss and fuss, and will be reliable. I also considered the Acura, which I liked very much, and actually ranked above the Avalon, but because you can't get the acura without the sunroof, it was a confining feeling compared to the Volvo and the Avalon. The Infiniti I30 is also an excellent choice, but dealers are few and far between. I have read that the VW Passat has been average or above reliability, and has much of the euro character people seek. The Avalon, by the way, is safe. If safety is your only concern, buy a Ford Crown Vic or Mercury Grand Marquis. As much as I loved my Volvo, I am very glad I got rid of it. After it left me stranded three times, I always had this lingering feeling whenever I got into it as to whether or not it would start. When I went on vacations (twice last year, each two weeks) I rented a car, one a Ford Explorer (new) and one a Grand Marquis (500 miles). Both were superb cars. I won't go back until I start reading that Volvos are at least as reliable as other euro cars, and approaching the reliability of japanese cars. If you do buy the volvo, get the extended'll need it. AND, be prepared to be inconvenienced on a regular basis.
  • I had a 1998 S70 GLT on lease for 3 yrs. In 45,000 miles I did not have any major problems and my cash outlay for maintenance was minimal. I have also had two Maximas, an /89 GXE and a /93 SE -- the best cars I have ever owned in terms of reliability, fit, finish and integrity (read, no squeaks, rattles or other funny noises). The Maximas were both run to in excess of 100,000 miles and were unbelievably reliable. My father also has a /93 GXE with 125,000 miles -- never a problem! I had (and still have) a love/hate relationship with the Volvo. The S70 had much going for it -- incredibly quick, best seats in the business, great brakes and nice handling. Unfortunately, it also had some annoyances hard to forgive in a $30,000+ car -- numerous squeaks and rattles, as Car & Driver said, a Bush (the first one, not W.) era suspension with a pretty punishing ride over lesser quality roads, and other minor mechanical problems including a/c that went out twice, an ignition switch that had to be replaced, the front sway bar bolts breaking, and a couple of others that I now cannot recall. In fairness to Volvo and the dealer, they cheerfully took care of all mechanical ills (however, they never could trace and eliminate the rattles and squeaks which to tell you the truth were the things that bothered me the most). If you want reliability and very few visits to your friendly dealer, go with the Maxima. You won't be sorry. I am hoping that the S60 is an improvement over the S70 since I need to replace my wife's car that is coming off lease in early May. I have driven about 4 examples of the S60 - 3 were tight and solid with no rattles, but the 4th (which the dealer gave me for a weekend) had some. I'll likely lease one, but I will be sure to insist that before I take delivery and sign on the line, I give the car a through drive over the bumpies to make sure there are no rattles and squeaks from the get-go. I have driven the /01 Maxima SE and I could be very happy with one. The only reason I'm considering the Volvo is that we already have one mid-size Japanese car, a 2000 Acura 3.2TL, and we're looking for something a little different. Good luck with your decision.
  • Thank you for everyone's help in my decision (used S70 vs 01 Max). I located a 99 S70 base/auto/loaded with all options, 24k miles, silver/graphite leather. It's a clean auction off lease for $23K (not a Volvo dealer)I drove it a few times (20 miles) and it was rather nice but boring. (loved those heated seats) It was slow off the line and it didn't like 'country roads' all that much. It was very smooth on the highway with low wind and road noise. I live in up state NY (sorry) with alot of hills. Compared to the Max, the S70 didn't like hill climbing at slower speeds (30-40mph)and it feels like it needs more HP or torque. But, when shutting the car off in park the motor didn't quit smoothly, it felt like something was 'going on' under the hood. It's hard to describe, but it was like the engine was moving and taking it's time to shut off for a few seconds...Any idea there? Other then that everything worked fine except for a frozen door handle. It's a nice auto but I still can't decide.
  • The "shudder" when the shutting down the S70 is "normal" (?--this is what I was told by Volvo). It is almost like a dog shaking off water after a bath. It just lasts a second or two. Reminded me of post-ignition problems on some 70s and 80s cars. This is just one of the little quirks that I referred to above that make this model crude by today's standards. Yes, you can live with it, but why? I frequently visit the forums, and still hang out in the Volvo sections. People consistently list the following reasons as to why they were attracted to a Volvo (1) seats--and again, I must say, there a few that equal or exceed the Volvo seats (2) brakes (3) safety, although the S60/S80/V70 have side head bags and multi-stage bags now, plus safer seats and (4) it's just different from anything else on the market, and they get BORED with a reliable, runs all of the time, refrigerator like vehicle (AKA Japanese). Fact is, there are many cars on the market that can meet or exceed most or all of these requirements, with a lot less fuss, and for a lot less money.
  • I have had no problems with my 2000 GLT SE and have been thouroghly enjoying the car. Great seats, styling, and stereo. I had the CD changer installed in the glove box, which has worked well. still room for some small items and the manual can go on the lower shelf. The turbos engine is great, and again I have no complaints. I would recommend the 2000 S70 over the american models, Toyota or Nissan.
  • Hello:

    I have been checking used car prices on Edmund's site and a few other sites. But strangely, the price for 98 S70 varies a lot. From this site I got the price for dealer retail fro about $17700
    but from Kelly Blue Book it's about $21k. I put in the same milage, same options and same condition, still the price for dealer retail varies greatly. Can anyone tell me why is it so?
    What's the difference between the websites? And which one is more accurate? Actually I bought a used 98 S70 base already, with 35320 miles and a few options like CD/Tape, leather seats. We paid $19100 for it. Does this sounds like a good deal to you? Thank you in advance for any comments that you might have!
  • I know your concerns.. have a current lease on a 1998 S70 and have experienced some of the problems that are listed. I am seriously considering a BMW X5 Or ML320. Though another S70 is in the back of my mind. It is really a good car But with other manufactures stepping up with the first 3-4 years of complete maintenance free it is almost worth the extra cash. Read all of the articles here. These forums help alot on making decisions.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    I, too, had the same prob with my 95 960. It happened 2 yrs after I bought the car. The engine raced up to 3000 rpm like crazy. The dealer stated that was a problem with the engine temperature sensor (!?). The engine had the wrong info and resulted in bad fuel/air mixture.

    I still don't understand how that made the engine rev so high.
  • In response to #139

    The switch for the radio/cd reset is on the right side behind the plastic rail. You need to take the radio out and then remove the rail. There is a small hole there where you can insert a bent paper clip and reset the cd player. I went through 4 radios and numerous resets until this last radio. I have a 98 S70 glt; other than this only bulb replacement has been a huge pain in the A**.
  • eklndeklnd Posts: 4
    I owned a VOLVO S70 for 3 years and it was a piece of garbage!!! I've owned two VOLVO's prior to the S70 and they were perfect. Something has happened to Volvo's over the years and they're totally unreliable. I was stranded many times with bunches of dead right after the other. I bought a 2000 Acura 3.2TL new back in September. I have 7000 miles on it already and it's WONDERFUL. Do yourself a favor and don't by a VOLVO electrical nightmare.
  • Why would you keep a piece of garbage for 3 years? Not me. I have problems similar to yours(bulbs, gauges, AC...electrical). But it's solid (definitely more than the TL) and fun to drive. Hopefully the bugs are out and no more trips to the dealer....
  • eklndeklnd Posts: 4
    Actually Albert123, I had a 36 month lease on the S-70 and I had to keep it (or pay through the nose) It was the smartest move I've ever made, however, because Volvo HAD to take the car back at lease end. I was going to turn it in to the dealer and lease a newer model, but the dealer wouldn't take it back!! (was in perfect shape, interior and exterior and good mileage) They suggested that I make Volvo take it back and then come see them. So what does that tell you....they've had so many problems with the 98's that they don't want them! I agree that the Volvo is a tight ride, but the Volvo power doesn't hold a candle to the Acura and the Acura is much more nimble than the Volvo. To each his own, I suppose.
  • I recently purchased a 1999 S70 GLT w/29K. The couple I bought it from was buying a house and had to get out of their absurd lease payment (500 bucks a month). I paid 22,000 for the car, the original list was over 37K. The only thing I notice is that the CD player seems to skip often at high volume. Is this normal? The car is as comfortable as a recliner and I find it has power to burn. I hope the '99 models don't have the bevy of problems that the 98s seem to. Anyone with a 99 S70 GLT have any input?
  • jkirk22jkirk22 Posts: 1
    I'm new to these discussions. I have the opportunity to buy a 1998 S70 GLT. It is Red/Black leather, auto, moonroof, has a Volvo CD changer in trunk, Cold Weather Pkg, and looks immaculate. Only has 16,500 miles. Asking price is $22,800. I can get it for $22,000 and maybe even for $21,500. I was very excited when I first found this, because of it's history of safety and the low miles. However, as I read the discussions, I'm scared as hell now about all the recalls & problems. How do I find out what recalls were out for this car? If they have all been taken care of, should I definitely be looking to buy an extended waranty, and if so, where? This is an individual, not a dealer. I guess my biggest question is, should I just pass and look elsewhere such as a 98 Lexus ES300. Any help would be appreciated
  • cyberpencyberpen Posts: 2
    I'm contemplating buying a used S70 with 31K miles from Borton Volvo in Delray Beach, Fla. The warranty is built into the price of their certified used cars. What has been people's experience with these warranties and what keys parts and repairs do they not cover? Anyone? They are asking $20,900 for this vehicle, with sun roof, leather, power seats and CD player. Is that a decent price?
  • mrsnomanmrsnoman Posts: 5
    I have the 98, but I can tell you that the CD should not skip just b/c you have it at high volume. When it works it works. Since you just got this car...make sure you get it into the shop for every possible warranty prob you can think of.Most problems are simple, just a pain in the neck. Be careful of creaks and rattles. Good luck.
  • dparesdpares Posts: 29
    Haven't been here in awhile but reading all the posts concering S70 reliability..I've added many posts before but can give a summary here.

    I have a 2000 S70 SE bought new. Black/Black

    Reliability seems ok but have some small problems ..
    **blinkers.(fixed under warranty),
    **trunk that opens when it wants to... not yet fixed as it cant be duplicated by the dealer.. **strange noise under the car..sounds like grinding or a shield rattling.. happens between 35 and 60 MPH it seems, but the day I took it to the didnt happen!!!!! BTW..still is VERY loud! . I just play the radio louder! ..
    -when driving when its raining hard or recently when it was snowing and slush wa son the road, the breaks barely worked!... pretty scary..really had to press hard..felt like they got wet .. doesnt happen on my 2000 CivicEX coup...
    ****seats are great..acceleration is acceptible.. ride is hard but I like that.. handling isnt too good but I drive slower.. was in an accident a few months after I got it..was rearended while sitting at a light..VERY hard... me and my wife walked away without any injury's and car looked real good considering the impact..(it cost $4,000 to repair it).
    *******So therein lies the main issue ..after that accident, I'm sworn to these cars..and I'll put up with the problems...

    I recommend a 2000 S70 with no reservations!
  • msievemsieve Posts: 9
    I've owned/leased four Volvos in the last 20 years, a '75 240 wagon that never cost us a dime over four years, an '86 240 sedan we drove for ten years and never had a serious problem with, a '92 turbo wagon that saved my life when a guy ran a light and hit me in the driver's side, nearly totaled the car but I didn't have a scratch, and now the '98 S70 GLT that has been absolutely perfect accept for replacing two bulbs. I've got 35000 miles on it, it's coming off lease, I've driven every other car out there in the past month and today decided to buy it off lease for $18,650-- it stickered at $36,000 new and I'm getting a helluva deal, I know the owner and he's babied it. At 35000, this baby is barely broken in. I'll drive it two more years and it'll still be worth 14-15 grand. I think these threads often attract the people who have had irritating problems with their cars and justifiably have something to complain about-- those of us who've been lucky enough to have great experiences with the same brand often don't have anything to say. Just want you folks to hear from a Volvo believer, this S70 is still as liquid smooth as the day we got it, the power is there when I need it, the seats are still the best in the business, the sound system is wonderful, and with the new Sumimoto tires even the ride has softened a bit, less chatter over these busted up Minnesota winter streets. Performance, safety, good looks, comfort, great engineering. We love these cars, if you can find a good used S70, get it and drive it forever.
  • andrew47andrew47 Posts: 14
    Thanks for the info on the 00 S70. This is exactly what I was looking for. Whoever can add to this subject, please do, including, of course, "dpares." I really want an S70 00, but I just can't handle it if it needs a lot of little, or big for that matter, repairs and replacements. Thanks for the help.
  • lauriejlauriej Posts: 3
    I purchased a Volvo S70 and had the same ignition problem three separate times. Each time I returned it to the dealer for repair, they told me it was something else causing the problem. The car left me stranded on two separate occassions. I contacted Volvo (re: lemon law) and they would not even return my calls. I was forced to trade the vehicle in, or risk being stranded in the middle of nowhere. I reported Volvo's non-responsiveness to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) - they followed up and received a letter from Volvo stating "after numerous attempts to repair the vehicle, it was determined the best course was to replace the vehicle". Volvo did not replace the vehicle - far from it. Trading in and replacing are two very different things. Replacement implies a new car at no additional expense. I took a huge loss when I was forced to trade the car in. I informed the BBB that Volvo had not replaced the vehicle - and they could not get any more information / answers out of Volvo. I wrote Volvo a letter telling them they had lied to the BBB, and I was told to go see the dealer. VOLVO IS BAD NEWS!!!!!
  • joel2468joel2468 Posts: 75
    your Volvo S70 for? You can see from previous posts that I had almost the exact same problem with startting/ignition, and was left stranded three times (two required tows, one of the tows took 6 hours through the Volvo response number). Although the dealership really tried to help, they could not diagnose the problem...all I got was that "there are no computer codes". They quit trying each time after the car magically started. I traded mine in January for a Toyota Avalon, and although the Volvo is better in some respects (brakes, steering, seats), the Avalon isn't all that bad, and certainly has been reliable. I asked for information on, and was answered by many people that what I was experienceing was "lawnmower syndrome", something that happens when a Volvo engine is started and allowed to run only for short periods of time (as if to move the car to get a lawnmower out of the garage). This causes a loss of compression. Too bad, the Volvo only had 22K miles, and I too lost money on the trade in. By the way, the dealer didn't want the trade in. I offered to buy another car from the dealer if the price was right, and the only car they could offer below 30K was an S40 sedan, with little or no options. Maybe the S60 will be better, and I'll take another look...but, once burned, twice shy.
  • lauriejlauriej Posts: 3
    The car is terrific - but the payments are terrible. The only way I could get out of the Volvo was to go into a lease - now I am stuck for the next 3 years - and there is no way I can get out of it. I have to return the Lincoln to the original dealer under the terms of the lease. This dealer really "stuck it" to me, and I have zero desire to do any additional business with them. Ford Motor Credit is adamant about returning the leased vehicle to the original dealer under any circumstance (early termination or end of lease). I have told everyone I know about Volvo and this particular dealership. If Volvo was the only car manufactured - I would ride a bicycle or walk!!!! I told Volvo the biggest reason I purchased a Volvo was because in all the years I have been driving (over 20) I have never seen a Volvo broken down on the side of the road - they actually laughed at me and said "well this is the new generation of Volvo's". Once burned is correct, but I would not even bother looking at another Volvo - their reliability and customer satisfaction has become non-existent. I only hope that anyone considering ANY Volvo will see this write-up and stay away.
  • bakefly1bakefly1 Posts: 5
    I have a 98 s70 t-5. No problems so far. 33k miles. The car rides a little tight. Has anyone out there done anything to soften the ride? Tires? Aftermarket accessories?

    Overall, pretty happy with the car. It is far more solid than the other cars I consired when I bought this used last year (looked at 300M, TL, Passat, and A-4).
  • Bakefly1,

    There's not really much you can do to soften it up because that's just the way the car was designed to handle. Plus being a T5 model, you have 16" wheels, as to 15" on everything the base and GET. Therefore you must use a lower profile tire and they simply don't give as much. You might check into seeing what tire sizes will fit what you have, but the difference probably won't be substantial. Best of luck.

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