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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never done this for any of my Volvos, mainly because I don't normally keep them long enough to warrant a whole thread on their behalf. This one, however, should be in my stable for a long time.

First there was my 2006 S60 2.5T with 165k miles. When you're 16 and driving for the first time, that inline 5 produces all the power you need to have a good time. The car was mechanically sound but physically showing signs of its age. The leather seats suffered from the usual cracks, and the exterior looked like it had seen one too many Walmart parking lots.

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When I hit the 6 month mark on this beauty, I got a new job and started making enough money to buy a car that was not in it's "seen better days" stage. Additionally, browsing Craigslist for Volvos has historically proven to give me dangerous ideas. It's what lead me to my next car, a 2007 XC70 Adventure Series in Willow Green.

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I posted the S60 and it sold in 3 days, so I was able to snatch up this 120k mile 2 owner beauty. It bought it for $5k from the second owner, an engineer, who had bought it from his father in 2010. Daddy was an engineer too - for Volvo! They had all the maintenance records from it's entire life, as well as the window sticker and original sales pamphlets. It was loaded out with RTI, ABLs, the auxiliary seat, backup sensors, and Rear Entertainment. I visited my sister at college once with this car and her girlfriends went nuts over the auxiliary seat, asking to drive around for awhile and taking lots of pics back there. As a gay person it was the first of many times I have been the center or attention in a large group of college gals.

I sold the XC70 when I realized that, despite the previous owner's assurances, the PCV system had not been done. In addition, the shocks were wearing out and my long commute was getting costly at 20 MPG highway. I sold the car for $5k and moved on to something sinister...

My 2013 Prius.

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Cheap, easy to park, and no soul. My year long ownership ended when I attempted to drag race a Ram 1500 at a stoplight. The car was making noise, yes, but still accelerating quite slowly as we pulled away from the intersection. As I pushed my foot down with vigor to unleash all the 1.8 4 cylinder had to offer, I realized that my foot was already all the way to the floor. Being that it's a Toyota I sold it to Carvana for more than I had paid for it a year and 35k miles ago. In spite of my attempt to add another Volvo to the family, my parents convinced me otherwise and gave me their 2011 XC60 3.2.

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It served my family well for 5 years and 100k miles, and I was happy to take it at almost 200k. After all it was free - more $$ in my pocket was always nice and the car was truly in excellent shape. It was just that blasted 3.2 that ruined the whole car for me. My parents country driving included primarily highways, which the 3.2 handles with ease. But for my downtown city commute I found it to be anemic and herky-jerky. It was no T6. If only it had been a T6...

A move to San Francisco dictated that I sell my Volvo and use public transport for a bit. After I got settled in California I quickly realized that taking the bus to do all my errands was costing me a lot of time. Not only that, but I really didn't want to hear the end of the "what is in your trash bags" argument that the 9R driver was having with a homeless lady who took my route home. That's when I got this 2012 C30 for a song.

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Drove like a bat out of hell and had one owner with all the service records. The dealership (Royal Motors) had it priced cheap and it looked like nee inside and out. I had a lot of fun zipping around the bay area in this little speedster. The 101, with it's traffic jams and rolling roadblocks, was no match for this lightning bug. Not to mention, look at that Chameleon Blue? Isn't it pretty?

The C30 was really fun, but being in the city I began to miss more advanced technology. The bluetooth was spotty, and who cares how fast the T5 is when you're gridlocked in San Francisco? I began to hunt for a replacement and even test drove a 2021 XC60 and V60 CC. I was really wanting to do OSD on a V60 CC this summer, but then my career transition happened and I went with a much cheaper car to keep costs low. Cheaper, however, doesn't mean worse.

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From the second I drove it on the PCH at 70, I knew this was my keep-forever car. The night I brought it home I took it out on the Cabrillo highway and put it in sport mode. Going through the tunnel, I punched it around 70 MPH. After what felt like no more than an instant, I looked down and the speedo and I was going 90! I find the visibility, versatility, performance, and look of this car to be an ideal combination for my life. Plus it's a tank!

Now that I've told you all my whole life story, let's get to the point of my thread: The maintenance journey of this 2013 XC70 T6 Premier Plus that I have lovingly named Loona. Thus far on my to-do list is the following:

Transmission Flush (done at 70k, now at 155k)
Angle Gear Flush
Sunroof drain (it leaks, like all the others)
Throttle body cleaning

In addition to these things, the fuel gauge is sporadic, so I'll need to diagnose that. The dealer I bought it from did the auxiliary belt and I have all services completed up to 140k. I plan to take over the maintenance myself from now on.

If anyone has and suggestions of other things to check/do, I absolutely will. Right now I'm monitoring oil consumption (which has been fine) and getting to know the car, but I've hit the stage of ownership where I expect issue to crop up. We shall see.

In closing, see my family's Volvos. Thanks for reading!

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There is a guy who posts as "pgill" and who has the most complete maintenance list. I just found it as a .pdf:


Suggest signing up at Matthews Volvo Site. Also, have you seen "VolvoSweden" You Tube channel?

Unfortunately, the fuel tank sensors. I have the same 2013 XC70, and the tank often reports 50% when just filled. The
level sensors (2 of 'em) are not reparable, as they are plastic-welded into the tank at the factory -- and then the tank is not easily replaceable bc of its location above the AWD propeller shaft. We're resigned to living with the problem.

It's a fantastic ride. Well worth going over pgill's file, and prioritizing. Did u get any documentation of maintenance history? Was the READ pulley replaced? The water pump? How old are spark plugs?

Oil changes are important, using an A5/B5 oil and a quality filter (Mann or Volvo).

I like the suction pump oil change technique. Here's a related piece:

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There is a guy who posts as "pgill" and who has the most complete maintenance list. I just found it as a .pdf:


Suggest signing up at Matthews Volvo Site. Also, have you seen "VolvoSweden" You Tube channel?

Unfortunately, the fuel tank sensors. I have the same 2013 XC70, and the tank often reports 50% when just filled. The
level sensors (2 of 'em) are not reparable, as they are plastic-welded into the tank at the factory -- and then the tank is not easily replaceable bc of its location above the AWD propeller shaft. We're resigned to living with the problem.

It's a fantastic ride. Well worth going over pgill's file, and prioritizing. Did u get any documentation of maintenance history? Was the READ pulley replaced? The water pump? How old are spark plugs?

Oil changes are important, using an A5/B5 oil and a quality filter (Mann or Volvo).

I like the suction pump oil change technique. Here's a related piece:

Thanks so much for this - I checked out that list. I believe most of those items were already completed by the previous owner. I did get documentation for it and all Volvo rec. maintenance was done until 140k. Not sure on the READ pulley and water pump. I believe the spark plugs were done at the 140k interval as they looked new when I removed one.

I'm planning on doing 7500 mile oil changes and using Castrol full synthetic - using Volvo filters.

I had heard that about the fuel tank sensors - sad to have it confirmed but glad to know! I don't find it to be too much of an issue. Once the tank is low it reads accurately (at this point anyway...).

Also will check out that forum and channel. I've spent only a small amount of time of Matthew's but I have definitely learned a lot on there. If I want this XC to last for the long haul I'll need all the help I can get.
 

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Love the 2013 XC70 T6 you bought!

How do you like the transmission? Do you think it shifts up and down smoothly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Love the 2013 XC70 T6 you bought!

How do you like the transmission? Do you think it shifts up and down smoothly?
Thanks! I just gave her a wash and boy does she clean up nice, even with 155k miles. In terms of the transmission, I find that it’s a bit rough at times like all P3s (my 2011 XC60 and my sister’s S60 are no exception). If I drive it like a grandma it’s fine, but put it in sport mode and you really have to feather the pedal to avoid excessive acceleration + rough up-shift. I’ve heard it has to do with the transmission programming in certain gears. Quite frankly, the T6 always has power in reserve but this design will save wear over time. Additionally, I have seen a 2-3 MPG drop if I throttle it more or put it in sport mode.

I’m curious - did your XC70 have Polestar when you purchased it, and if not, how has it affected the transmission shifting? I’ve thought of getting it on my XC but with 155k I definitely need to do a stage zero first.
 

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Thanks! I just gave her a wash and boy does she clean up nice, even with 155k miles. In terms of the transmission, I find that it’s a bit rough at times like all P3s (my 2011 XC60 and my sister’s S60 are no exception). If I drive it like a grandma it’s fine, but put it in sport mode and you really have to feather the pedal to avoid excessive acceleration + rough up-shift. I’ve heard it has to do with the transmission programming in certain gears. Quite frankly, the T6 always has power in reserve but this design will save wear over time. Additionally, I have seen a 2-3 MPG drop if I throttle it more or put it in sport mode.

I’m curious - did your XC70 have Polestar when you purchased it, and if not, how has it affected the transmission shifting? I’ve thought of getting it on my XC but with 155k I definitely need to do a stage zero first.

Gotcha! Thanks for that description.

My XC70 did not come with Polestar, that's something I purchased after about 2 years of owning the car. Having the Drive-E 4-cylinder engine, it's not exactly a thrill to drive. It's an 8-speed transmission that's fairly quick to shift...but to be completely honest, it's the engine that is just absolutely terrible. It has terrible engine droning, always trying to put the car in a higher gear than it should be to conserve gas, and annoying crap like that.

The Polestar only improved the mid-range pick-up and whatnot, meaning the transmission characteristics in the low gears and easily accelerating were pretty much unchanged---which is very disappointing.

On the T6 tough, i imagine the changes being dramatic and more fun. I'm considering purchasing a 2013 T6 with 13k miles but i'm just not sure if it's a fool's errand since my car is already paid off and the dealer (dealer being Carvana--so no price haggling) wants $25.9k for the 2013...so they would give me $21.6k for mine essentially making me come out of pocket $4600 for a 2 year older car.

I am stuck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Gotcha! Thanks for that description.

My XC70 did not come with Polestar, that's something I purchased after about 2 years of owning the car. Having the Drive-E 4-cylinder engine, it's not exactly a thrill to drive. It's an 8-speed transmission that's fairly quick to shift...but to be completely honest, it's the engine that is just absolutely terrible. It has terrible engine droning, always trying to put the car in a higher gear than it should be to conserve gas, and annoying crap like that.

The Polestar only improved the mid-range pick-up and whatnot, meaning the transmission characteristics in the low gears and easily accelerating were pretty much unchanged---which is very disappointing.

On the T6 tough, i imagine the changes being dramatic and more fun. I'm considering purchasing a 2013 T6 with 13k miles but i'm just not sure if it's a fool's errand since my car is already paid off and the dealer (dealer being Carvana--so no price haggling) wants $25.9k for the 2013...so they would give me $21.6k for mine essentially making me come out of pocket $4600 for a 2 year older car.

I am stuck!
No problem - I'm always down to talk XC70s.

I'm sorry to hear your Polestar experience! I'll have to report back when I get it on my T6 to see how much different it feels.

If you have the chance to go for a 2013 T6 with 13k miles I'd do it. I did the whole "it's paid off" dance with my XC60 3.2 before I finally bit the bullet and upgraded. If I'm not mistaken, haven't I seen you posting about getting rid of your 15.5 in favor of a T6 for a little while now? For $4600 I'd say end this experiment and get yourself some extra horsepower yesterday :p then again, other people are always really great at telling you how to spend your money.
 

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No problem - I'm always down to talk XC70s.

I'm sorry to hear your Polestar experience! I'll have to report back when I get it on my T6 to see how much different it feels.

If you have the chance to go for a 2013 T6 with 13k miles I'd do it. I did the whole "it's paid off" dance with my XC60 3.2 before I finally bit the bullet and upgraded. If I'm not mistaken, haven't I seen you posting about getting rid of your 15.5 in favor of a T6 for a little while now? For $4600 I'd say end this experiment and get yourself some extra horsepower yesterday :p then again, other people are always really great at telling you how to spend your money.
haha this is very true--I've played this song for a long time now. My fear is buying the T6 with low mileage but then regretting the purchase and wanting a V90 since it's a bit newer. My wife can't take any more talk of Volvo's and may kick me out if i make the wrong move here....no pressure :p
 

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haha this is very true--I've played this song for a long time now. My fear is buying the T6 with low mileage but then regretting the purchase and wanting a V90 since it's a bit newer. My wife can't take any more talk of Volvo's and may kick me out if i make the wrong move here....no pressure :p
I've debated this, trading in my 110k mile T6 and getting one with more options and half the miles but in the end I'll probably end up going the new V90CC or V60CC route or just do nothing and go straight to a BEV in five years or so.

I don't mean to dissuade you but you'll be way upside down on that '13 T6 in a year or two when used car prices normalize a bit.
 

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I've debated this, trading in my 110k mile T6 and getting one with more options and half the miles but in the end I'll probably end up going the new V90CC or V60CC route or just do nothing and go straight to a BEV in five years or so.

I don't mean to dissuade you but you'll be way upside down on that '13 T6 in a year or two when used car prices normalize a bit.
This is exactly my thinking as well! Hold off and wait for an EV, go ahead and get a V90, or just 'settle' for a '13 T6...albeit with extremely low mileage. Not too worried about value since mine will sell for $21600 and i'll end up paying $4600...but that's just more, in my opinion, than it's worth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
UPDATE - 9/12/2021

Funds have been obtained for a full stage zero! And maybe more... But at least the stage zero.

The list has grown, shrank, and changed a lot since my first post:

  • Full fluid flush (Coolant, Haldex, Transmission, Angle Gear, Diff)
  • READ Assembly (I've got the growl, not always but occasionally)
  • Upper torque mount (it's torn)
  • Vacuum brake reseal
  • Water pump

Initially I was concerned about the suspension, but I think my suspension is just fine. Hopefully taking care of these things now will get me to 200k without much fuss.

On the more fun side, I'm thinking of throwing on an IPD anti-sway bar, replacing the bottom lip of the rear bumper (it's ugly cuz I bumped a Mercedes), and plasti-dipping my interior wood trim (not my taste at ALL). I should also fix my leaky sunroof at some point... Can't do it all in a day I suppose.
 
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