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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
This is my first post, hello everyone.
I've been a Saab guy my whole life, but always had a kinship warm feeling towards Volvos.
Now with Saab gone, and my '02 9-5 with 200K on the clock getting a little rough around the edges I'm looking for a slightly newer car as a daily drive.
I'm quite handy with DIY jobs, as long as it doesn't require heavy lifting tools/ engine harness etc I'm usually good.
I also don't have a lot of money to spend at the moment so I want to get a car that's fairly reliable after I do all the proper maintenance/ preventative measures on it.
I have been looking at a '05 S60 2.5T AWD with 130K on the clock - the highish milage does not faze me, after all I got my Saabs to run to 250K+ previously.
Priced at $3500 Aussie dollars, if I can run that car for another 5 years it's be worth it.
I'm about to go inspect the car on Tuesday 19th.
Love to hear some inside tips on what to look out for/ a check list of common faults/ hidden problems from you guys.
So far, from reading the forum I got these:
- PCV/ sludge issues (funny enough the Saab 9-5 was also notorious for sludge deaths)
- Engine mount/ age deteriorate
- Check if timing belt has been replaced/ replace
- Auto tranny/ a high failure item?
Plus the usual car stuff: turbo seal/ oil leaks/ uneven wear etc.

What else should I watch out for? Any age related items that I need to replace soon? alternator/ starter?/ fuel pump?
How DIY is the car considered to be?
And would this age/ km car considered as still worth it, or a big no no?
Thanks much in advance. Cheers
 

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Greetings Down Under!

I think 05 isn't bad. Are you talking miles or km? 250-300K miles can be done with the usual care, as long as the maintenance items get attended to on time.
Volvo's AWD isn't the best in the business, but I think its much better by 05. The biggest way to get a great car is to buy one with a stack of receipts. Mine didn't (dealer), but I believe that it was very well taken care of, because only my old little Subie FWD has been better with its lack of maintenance costs. I've had my 04 for 6 years and its been in the shop 3X. The Honda's were semi-annual ordeals. These turbos like synthetic oil btw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
11805

Greetings Down Under!

I think 05 isn't bad. Are you talking miles or km? 250-300K miles can be done with the usual care, as long as the maintenance items get attended to on time.
Volvo's AWD isn't the best in the business, but I think its much better by 05. The biggest way to get a great car is to buy one with a stack of receipts. Mine didn't (dealer), but I believe that it was very well taken care of, because only my old little Subie FWD has been better with its lack of maintenance costs. I've had my 04 for 6 years and its been in the shop 3X. The Honda's were semi-annual ordeals. These turbos like synthetic oil btw.
Thanks man,
I quoted miles - the car is 210K km on the clock. And thumbs up for full synth oil, I won't touch anything else.
 

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Another SAAB high mileage rider aboard! Welcome to this great community!!!

I had exactly the same issue last April: my 290K mileaged 9-5 had been rusting some points after 17 years. A lot of money spent to keep it in good shape: and it was. But it's over: I gave to my niece for her weekends ride as a beginner driver.

So, let me allowed to compare 9-5 and S60 - from my point of view:
- age: the same like 9-5: high mileage doesn't mean it's a crap; my one has 217K miles and 15 years
- surprisingly, maintenance is much easier like 9-5: only exception is the throttle body (its under the intake manifold)
- much less maintenance sensitive, e.g. turbo, oil pick-up tube vs. sludge, timing belt (and not chain) and no balance shaft chain (!)
- the 5 cylinder works like a dream, don't be afraid of auto tranny, just replace the oil by Mobil 3309 regurarly (I was advised at every 50K miles in case of severe condition)
- the only bad thing for me: the cabin is smaller like 9-5; I'm quite tall, so very difficult sitting behind me even for my 12 years old tall son; I can't sit at the back, because of lack enough headspace
- the PCV system could be an issue - but not for us, old SAABers: a full investigation and maybe a replacement needed; if you find a well maintened one and it passed the glove-test: you are OK. Even not everybody using full synthetic oil, this case the throttle body could be cleaned sometimes, if the rev not steady at idling

I have a photo series here (what did I do in the past 1 year):
https://picasaweb.google.com/110516400465012658607/Ludwick

Enjoy Swedespeed! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Another SAAB high mileage rider aboard! Welcome to this great community!!!

I had exactly the same issue last April: my 290K mileaged 9-5 had been rusting some points after 17 years. A lot of money spent to keep it in good shape: and it was. But it's over: I gave to my niece for her weekends ride as a beginner driver.

So, let me allowed to compare 9-5 and S60 - from my point of view:
- age: the same like 9-5: high mileage doesn't mean it's a crap; my one has 217K miles and 15 years
- surprisingly, maintenance is much easier like 9-5: only exception is the throttle body (its under the intake manifold)
- much less maintenance sensitive, e.g. turbo, oil pick-up tube vs. sludge, timing belt (and not chain) and no balance shaft chain (!)
- the 5 cylinder works like a dream, don't be afraid of auto tranny, just replace the oil by Mobil 3309 regurarly (I was advised at every 50K miles in case of severe condition)
- the only bad thing for me: the cabin is smaller like 9-5; I'm quite tall, so very difficult sitting behind me even for my 12 years old tall son; I can't sit at the back, because of lack enough headspace
- the PCV system could be an issue - but not for us, old SAABers: a full investigation and maybe a replacement needed; if you find a well maintened one and it passed the glove-test: you are OK. Even not everybody using full synthetic oil, this case the throttle body could be cleaned sometimes, if the rev not steady at idling

I have a photo series here (what did I do in the past 1 year):
https://picasaweb.google.com/110516400465012658607/Ludwick

Enjoy Swedespeed! :)
Thanks for the welcome Zoli!
It sounds like the S60 is an easier car to look after than 9-5 (Although I never found the 5 that hard to work on - compared to C900 etc yeah it's cramped in there and the alternator is a stupid design decision but that bad).
I have to say I really rather prefer the timing chain on the 9-5 though, on my current Aero, it's the original chain and has 300K KM on it and I reckon it can go another 50K before replacement (of course replacing it would cost more than a belt, but for most people it's a life time item).
Having aid that not all timing chain is so durable - on our 2003 Merc C180 the chain is an item every 100K km - how did Merc factor that??!
Your gallery will be really useful - much appreciated!
I think the S60 is a size between the 9-3SS and 9-5, the S80 is bigger but S60 slightly smaller, I'm only 5'10 so I'm sure I will fit :).
Coming from Saab the Volvos are really familiar! I checked out an S80 and S40 and the dash and seats feel rather honly - and all the switches and dials are pretty much where I expect them to be. There's Swedish design DNA in the blood.
I'm sure I'd be happy switching to another Swede.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Greetings Down Under!

I think 05 isn't bad. Are you talking miles or km? 250-300K miles can be done with the usual care, as long as the maintenance items get attended to on time.
Volvo's AWD isn't the best in the business, but I think its much better by 05. The biggest way to get a great car is to buy one with a stack of receipts. Mine didn't (dealer), but I believe that it was very well taken care of, because only my old little Subie FWD has been better with its lack of maintenance costs. I've had my 04 for 6 years and its been in the shop 3X. The Honda's were semi-annual ordeals. These turbos like synthetic oil btw.
Thanks for the tips! It's in miles - I live down under but also a Semi-Californian.
 

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Do you have photos uploaded?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No, not yet, I'm heading out to see her tomorrow - excited.
I'm also viewing a 2001 pre-facelift 9-5 Aero wagon, it's a toss up between the 2.

I have another question - are there different degrees of severeness of PCV block issue? ie, if I do the glove test and it blows, should I just walk away? Or does it make difference how hard it blows? (haha).
The car has a full log book of service history btw.
 

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There are some pro and contra's in this topic.
I think the 100% sure way: only sucked one accepted - not blowing! :)

Remark from my side: the blowing glove could be a reason of worn engine (piston rings do not hold the pressure in the cylinder).
 

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...
I'm also viewing a 2001 pre-facelift 9-5 Aero wagon, it's a toss up between the 2...
I would look for a proper maintenance history - you know what I mean, 'sludge prone' B235E friend! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I missed it!
I tried the glove test, maybe I did it wrong but it neither blow nor sucked.
Rest of the car looked amazing, with full service log, 2 belt change per 100k, clean.
I hesitated and did a walk, when I got back to the car, ready to offer a slightly lower price, an old couple turned up and ought it right before I had the chance.
Not sure if I should kick myself- looking around d similar age and condition cars cost 2x more here in Australia.
Damn it.
The only good thING came out if this is that I really liked the S60 and will now actively hunt for one. Just need to be lucky to find one good value!
 

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Never mind! There are a lot of S60's on the market - much more like 9-5's.
 

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I missed it!
I tried the glove test, maybe I did it wrong but it neither blow nor sucked.
Rest of the car looked amazing, with full service log, 2 belt change per 100k, clean.
I hesitated and did a walk, when I got back to the car, ready to offer a slightly lower price, an old couple turned up and ought it right before I had the chance.
Not sure if I should kick myself- looking around d similar age and condition cars cost 2x more here in Australia.
Damn it.
The only good thING came out if this is that I really liked the S60 and will now actively hunt for one. Just need to be lucky to find one good value!
I told you to look for receipts. There will be more out there, but dang, if the belts are being changed xtra-frequently, that might have been a real cherry!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I saw another one today - full log book, but there's white smoke from the dipstick. Would this be a "WARNING" no go? or is it worth the risk and do a PCV DIY myself?
Again, the glove on oil filler hole neither blow nor sucked - it just sat there flabby. (if it's a good engine, should the glove really suck? haha)
 

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Mine do the same: no sucking / blowing the glove and some gases come out from the dipstick tube. But no oil leakage andthe deepstick doesn't pop-up at higher rev. I will check the PCV system after winter.

Buying used car always risky for me - and takes money for the potential failure improvements.
 
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