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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! Just bought our first Volvo last week... A one owner, off lease, serviced by volvo, 2008 XC90 w/ 50k miles. Its silver metalllic with the charcoal interior. Loving it so far, but have a few questions if any of you guys can point me in the right direction. I have searched on most of this, but I must not be "holding my mouth right" because Im not turning up much that is useful, and perhaps thats because most of it cant or hasnt been done.

1. We feel a noticeable vibration, especially the driver (through the steering wheel) when accellerating with any intensity from a low speed. I think I also mildly feel it when kicking into passing gear at higher speed, but my wife doesnt. Is this normal? Someone told me they thought it may be traction control, but that sounds like BS...

2. I love the design of the body of the XC90 but I really want to do something to the exterior to transform the look to differentiate it. I think Im going to order one of the OEM style step bars from ebay soon (anyone tried those?) but my main thing, is that I would really like some 20" wheels in black (thinking Matte black) that almost look like something that would be a factory option -- much like I have seen on some of the new grand cherokees. I cant stand the "blingy" chromed out look. In fact I prefer as little chrome as possible. Ive done a lot of google image searches and looked at the major online retailers and seen a lot of choices available, but very little in the way of pictures of anything on xc90s. Search here turns up very little other than volvo wheels (the R-design wheels are beautiful but $$$$$$$). I love the look of this Giovanna kilis in matte black but cant visualize it on xc90: http://www.wheelspecialists.com/gallery/detail/1512/1/porsche-cayenne-giovanna-kilis
ANd I like this wheel Giovanna Dalar 5 in ALL black (hate the one with the machined or chrome lip) a lot...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/GIOVANNA-DA...Parts_Accessories&hash=item3f17f56ca1&vxp=mtr
Do you guys know of an xc90 gallery or have some other ideals

3. Has there been any breakthroughs in installing aftermarket double-din nav units? I have the standard 8 speaker sound, which has decent bass response, but the highs and mids are awful. My wife also wants navigation and reverse cams (even though she can do it on her phone, she likes in-dash)... Searches turn up old threads where people have figured out how to prevent the codes and buy these fashia kits from britain. Has anyone figured out steering wheel controls? Reverse detection for cameras? Or has anyone maybe come up with an aftermarket replacement for the factory motorized nav?

4. No heated seats on ours. Anyone aware of xc90 thread with people installing aftermarket seat warmers or even aftermarket leather? Its a pretty simple install on most vehicles, but Id like to be aware of any gotchas specific to the xc90 before I tackled that project.

Thanks in advance everybody!
 

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On the vibration:
It's a relatively common complaint in the 3.2 and apparently is just the way it is on some of them. We have it on startup and occasionally at idle and/or during very low speed acceleration. Ice_white_S60 posted a thread about a new firmware update for his 2012 3.2 that not only addresses vibration issues, but also improves the throttle and gearshift mapping. We asked our dealer about getting it for the 2008 but were told that you have to bring in the car for some problem or pay for the diagnostic before they can tell you whether or not there is a firmware update for your vehicle. So we'll wait until we go in for some warranty service, complain about the vibration then and see if we get lucky. If you bought the car CPO or even just from a Volvo dealer, the dealer should have done that already and if they didn't you can probably use our trick. If you didn't buy the car from a Volvo dealer then you're probably going to have to pay for the diagnostic at the very least.

On the matte black wheels:
Totally sweet. There was a member here (I think) who posted pics of his DIY matte black wheel painting job. Don't know the post, but his results were way cool looking. I think he used some sort of special rubber coating instead of regular paint. Were this my car I would definitely do that, as the XC90 is my wife's car, the wheels will remain standard.
 

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On the aftermarket radio
There isn't really an easy way to do this. If you don't have the other fancy options like nav, reverse sensors, bt phone link and the such, you can just take the display panel out of the dash, wrap it in some foam, and jam it into the back of the dash. You can't unplug it because it will trigger an SRS light in the dash which you can't turn off, only the dealer can.

Then when you install the new DDIN unit, you will need to run the speaker wires from under the passenger seat to the center console and bypass the amplifier completely.

Volvo uses a MOST optical bus in the car that controls almost everything electronic. The "radio" in your center console is only a cd reader and display. The amplifier is under the passenger seat. The radio module is in the rear of the car, I think under the trunk. It's all hooked up with this MOST optical fiber bus. Interrupt anything in this chain, and you will trigger an SRS light.

There are some companies like Grom and Denson that make interface boxes for the optical bus, but they only let you add an aux in and don't let you really add any really additional functions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys. Our low speed vibration feels more driveline related, almost like what I have felt before when a u-joint was worn out (though this being FWD, wouldnt have standard U-joints). However hearing that its common and maybe nothing major would be good news (i guess?)

I bet the one who did the DIY black wheels used Plastidip spray. I have done that to my Nissan Titan 4x4 truck wheels, and it looks great. Its a bit hard to clean because its not 'slick' but makes a factory wheel look much more 'aftermarket'. I dont like the OEM wheels on the XC90 though, as they seem too narrow and small for the wheel well, and I think making that all black would exacerbate that look, however the plastidip is super easy to apply and remove, and cheap, so I may spray some on one side and see how it looks.

About the radio, we have the standard system that doesnt have bluetooth or anything, but I do like steering wheel controls. I guess could use the remote that comes with the aftermarket unit if I can keep up with it. PS. where are people installing the antenna since you cant use factory... Is it just something inside the car and is the reception decent?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
By the way, The dealer said they could CPO the car as part of the buying process (I guess it was 'ready' for it) but they said they let the buyer choose on most of their used volvos, which allows them to sell them cheap ($17,200, which was the best deal I found anywhere for one anywhere near this clean with a good history) and basically just add CPO like an extended warranty (and it was very pricey so I chose to 'self insure' i guess). I would have been skeptical of this, but I was also told the exact same thing by the local volvo dealer.
 

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$17,200 is EXTREMELY CHEAP for a 2008 3.2 with 50k, even if it's a 5-seat FWD model. But if the guy wasn't a Volvo dealer, he couldn't have CPOed the car so that was a lie.
 

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Congratulations on your good taste.
I also have a 2008 XC90 silver exterior, and black interior.
I also had vibration at idle - took it to the dealer who replaced the lower control arm bushings under warranty (suspension had a clunking or popping noise at times) and he performed a software update. Vibration markedly diminished, also noticed the throttle to be more responsive but with possibly lower mpg.
Mine also did not come with navigation - so I added an aftermarket Necvox pop up touch screen, back up camera, and front view camera. It has a stock OEM look and Navi box will run various GPS programs - totally happy with it so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My vibration isnt really noticeable at idle, only at accelleration, but still I need to check this software update out (and have the suspension bushings checked out as well). Do independent volvo mechanics do this as well, or only the stealerships?

Also, That Necvox screen sounds perfect for what the wife wants! Was it pricey?

Mine is 08, 7 seat and it did indeed come from a Volvo dealership in Weston FL. It was purchased new there and I got all the service records. Believe me, I know it was a great deal...( cheap.) It took me about a month of looking all over craigslist, autotrader, and cars.com for any 07+ low mileage cars... I had a business trip to miami, it happened to turn up on the internet (for 18,995). So I went and checked it out, had it inspected by an independent mechanic (who said it was one of the cleanest one that age he had seen in a while, and bought it on the spot after some haggling (it needed tires and rear brakes) I walked out for 17,200... 18,800 out the door tax, tag, title, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OK Im googling for this necvox unit, and I found necvox in taiwan, but I cant find anyone actually selling them in the US? Mind sharing where you purchased this unit?
 

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Bought mine directly from Necvox in Taiwan. My cost was about $600 - $700 for parts (Pop up touch screen, navi box, bracket, grille, two cameras, extra long GPS antenna to mount in rear under black panel). I believe the monitor has been updated for a higher resolution - cost is also higher. You can look at Aliexpress or sometimes Ebay - for other distributors/manufacturers from Asia.
 

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I also had vibration at idle - took it to the dealer who replaced the lower control arm bushings under warranty (suspension had a clunking or popping noise at times) and he performed a software update. Vibration markedly diminished, also noticed the throttle to be more responsive but with possibly lower mpg.
Sounds like you got the same update as Ice_white_S60. When did you get that done? We've don't have any clunking, but maybe I just complain about the vibration at idle and get them to look under warranty anyway.

Thanks.
 

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My update was last month July 2012. Dealer performed alignment after bushings were replaced - definitely a better ride with decreased vibration and better steering/handling.
 

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I have a 2007. I've had the vibration-on-acceleration issue twice. Both times, the dealer replaced the front axles which fixed it.
 

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I also have the vibration issue like you said:

"1. We feel a noticeable vibration, especially the driver (through the steering wheel) when accellerating with any intensity from a low speed. I think I also mildly feel it when kicking into passing gear at higher speed, but my wife doesnt. Is this normal? Someone told me they thought it may be traction control, but that sounds like BS..."

Had it since 2007, and dealer was never able to fix it though they said at one time it may be a bad axle, but they never replaced, based on matamoris post above, it sounds like they should have
 
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