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Seeking wisdom here, and sorry for the long post but I want to give as much relevant information as possible. Basically, I'm hoping to prolong engine life without being so overeager to "fix" my V70R that I make a stupid mistake.

2005 V70R. I bought it from a dealer last year. It had 138,000 miles on it from 1 previous owner. After changing the oil, I immediately embarked on a long road trip across the U.S.A. It ran well, and I loved driving it especially since I hadn't driven a car for about 10 years while I was living/working in Asia. However, after putting on about 3000 miles, I got a yellow ! warning Low Oil Level. No big deal: I read on another post on this site that the V70R normally goes through some oil. But a bit later the low coolant warning appeared. The only solution at hand (some gas station in the middle of nowhere) was to buy some random 50/50 coolant and after the car cooled, fill the reservoir. That seemed to work.

At one point (sorry if I can't recall the order in which these things happened), I pushed the vehicle too hard going uphill on an interstate highway in Colorado. Stupid, foolish move, I know. The temperature gauge spiked, with a red warning flashing that the engine was overheating. I immediately eased up and coasted downhill and let the engine cool. That problem did not resurface and we made it back to California without another high temperature warning.

A few months later, after a red warning message CHECK ENGINE came on, the car was shakey-shakey and barely operational. I brought the car into the Volvo dealership/service place and they told me that diagnostics showed I needed to replace the Mass Airflow Sensor. That fixed the problem: $900 parts/labor.

No big issues after that. The car has been running great except for the fact that it runs hot. Every month or so I need to put in the 50/50 coolant to fill the reservoir between the Min/Max lines. Still, I decided to keep the car and added 4 Pirelli tires. I also added front brakes.

To be clear: after that one time, the temperature gauge never shows higher than normal once the car warms up. But even after a 5 mile drive, the hood feels hotter than it should. Then, when trying to figure out if the car running hot would be foolish to ignore, I brought it into Volvo service again and they did a multi-point inspection. The technician came back saying the car indeed runs hot and had news that at higher RPMs (over 3000), a tube near the engine swells up because the engine is not being cooled properly. He said it had a cracked head gasket and the repairs would be expensive due to the many hours labor cost: $5500.

I decided to wait on that and get a second opinion. That was about 10,000 miles ago and I still just occasionally top off the coolant reservoir. I drove to New Mexico and back, 1600 miles, and then Arizona and back, and all around town here and the problem doesn't seem to get worse.

My question: I'm thinking of taking the car into a Jiffy Lube for their coolant flush service (drain and replace coolant), should I do it? I've read that people warn against it. Something about creating more problems than it solves. The Volvo Manual says (p. 148): "Normally, the coolant does not need to be replaced. If the system must be drained, consult your Volvo dealer."

I worry that I've now added a couple different kinds of coolant to the system over the past 15,000 miles. (Odometer now reads 157,500). I want to have it drained and replaced but can't/won't do it myself. And I'm not really in a trusting mood with the Volvo dealer in town. Would you trust Jiffy Lube with the job?

Thanks in advance for your advice!

Mo.
 
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