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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 2004 XC90 2.5T AWD with 108,000 miles. Its basically been a great car with the exception of having to replace all four wheel bearings when I first bought it, and having to repair leaking angle gear. My wife absolutely loves the car and truthfully I haven't found any SUV I like any better (except maybe a V8 Sport XC90 :) ) , and the styling still looks fresh, a very timeless design. We would like to keep the vehicle for a while, but I would like to go through the car and attend to anything that is likely to become an issue. My goal is for my wife to feel confident in the reliability of the vehicle. I thought it would be best come here for advice based on the experience of others. I have tried to search to the degree I have had time, but would like to get the Reader's Digest Condensed version from owners here. Maintenance called for in owners manual has been done. These are the issues that are on my radar screen:

PCV system. It seems that many have had issues with this, but what are the symptoms that indicate replacement is needed? Is it just best to buy the PCV kit and treat it as a maintenance item? Where is the best place to get the complete kit, or a list of parts that are needed?

TCV valve. What are the symptoms that this might need replacement? Or again is it best to just replace it with the IPD unit as a maintenance item.

Brakes: I am due brake replacement. I currently run the Volvo OEM rear (which dust terribly) and the Akebono on the front (which don't dust very much, but have poor initial bite compared to OEM). Is there any other pad and rotor that would be recommended? I want the initial cold bite of the OEM, but with less dust, and still retain good fade-resistance.

Clunking or popping noise on turns when front end is under load. This is intermittent, so we are having trouble determining the source. What are the most likely culprits?

Timing belt: Owners manual recommends 120k as interval, but other vehicles with same engine recommend 105k. According to some VIN-related data I found, 120k would be the interval for this engine. Is is it wise to just go ahead and change, or ride it out?

General:

Squeaking or chirping noise coming from air ducts in dash, only when the fan is on low, and oddly, only when the brake is depressed. Fan blower going bad, maybe?

Reduced gas mileage. we used to get 17-nearly 19 on overage, but now get about 16-16.5. Also the engine doesn't seem quite as strong as it once did. Perhaps related to PCV or TCV issues? Anything else likely.

When engine is warm after stint on highway, and you sit at a red light, the idle seems to drop a little intermittently, and the car shudders slightly. Sometimes when stopping at a rest stop, the engine can be a little hard to restart. Maybe PCV-related?

I am at a point where I need to commit to the car, and will have to put a little money in it. Your input and advice on helping me to update wisely is appreciated.
 

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About the power, our's lost power and mileage with exhaust leak. It was running rich. I fixed the leaking down pipe today, reset the ECM and it got the pep back.

Also, idle was bouncy and the engine vibrated a lot. It's all gone now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmmm. Sometimes, especially when first driving the car, we hear something that sounds like a heat shield rattling that is directly related to engine speed. I'm wondering if we might have a similar issue. I'll pass this on to the "wrench". I have a good friend who is doing my work on my cars now. He isn't that familiar with Volvo's, but he's a factory trained Porsche, Audi, Jag, etc. tech, with a great work ethic and integrity; and the kind of guy can I trust with my money, my wife, or my life. ;)

Thanks for the useful input.
 

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Fellow '04 XC90 2.5T owner here. Your questions are very very familiar. I have (or are) dealing with almost all of them. Here's my 2 cents on each...

Turbo Control module- my symptom was mainly lack of consistent power when over 1800 rpm and turbo spooling, itermittent power delivery, no code, no other symptom. IPD turbo control module purchase, installed in 20 minutes and recallibrated. Problem gone. I even stumped my mechano who thought it wasn't the issue (thank you fellow swedespeed members..)

Brakes- I went with semi-metallic pads (Wagner semi-metallic Thermoquiet ) and Zimmerman rotors. Great bite in the cold (tested at -40celcius) and little to no brake dust.

Clunking / pop: I have more of a "tick" when the steering wheel is turned from time to time. Not critical, so I haven't really worked at sorting it out. I did have endlinks that were gone last yeat, and they clunked, a lot. Replace them all, best $230 you could spend, maybe new front struts (and spring seats) as well?

Timing belt - I am only at 70k miles, but you should be doing it NOW.

Squeaking or chirping noise coming from air ducts - I have the exact same problem. The fan could be loose, or just needs a shot of some decent lube. I can't recall the fix, but do a search.

Reduced gas mileage- toss in some new spark plugs and maybe new ignition coils, if they are starting to show misfire damage. I replaces one could and it was a night and day difference (no pulsating and idle change when stopped).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. Great feedback. Very helpful. Interesting you are having almost exact same issues with less mileage.

I appreciate the feedback on the Wagner pads and Zimmerman rotors. Haven't hear anything on those. I already about decided on the Zimmerman since they are German made, and have an anti-corrosion coating. How is the pedal feel with the Wagner?
 

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Clunking or popping noise on turns when front end is under load. This is intermittent, so we are having trouble determining the source. What are the most likely culprits?
I'm a new Volvo owner, so not much real world experience on this car. But on my old Nissan, I had the same clunk/pop on turns. When I rebuilt the entire front suspension, I found that my drivers side spring wasn't seated properly on the upper spring mount cup and was causing it to clunk. Once it got seated properly, all noise was gone.

One shop I took it to wanted the entire rack to be replaced...saved myself $1200 by not going to them.
 

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The feel is much firmer than the OEM Volvo pads and rotors. I always thought the OEM had a bit of a mushy feel to it. Perhaps it's the zimmerman rotors? They bite strong, even on -45celcius mornings (as tested this past winter).
 
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