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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, as my name says, I'm a subaru guy traditionally. However, my current '04 LL Bean H6 is getting to the point where it may make more sense to replace it with something similar rather than dump $2500-$3000 into it to 'restore' it to its original glory. The current car runs fine and has been nothing short of awesome over the past 5 years but over the course of my time with it I wasn't able to maintain it the way I would've liked to. Current ride has 220k and I feel confident that if I did the repairs I could probably drive it to well over 400k as the powertrain is rock solid. Still, I'm American and we love to throw stuff away rather than fix/maintain it. (who has time for that sh*t)

I'm looking at this '05 xc70 and test drove it last night.
http://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/645417643/overview/

The car is really clean and drove well; but I am concerned about cost of ownership and maintenence especially after reading about the common tranny issues on xc70s. I read a thread on here that said the problems are mostly relegated to 03 or earlier, and yet I can definitely find plenty of reviews out there talking about problems with tranny stuff in 05's as well. Then there are the engine block mounts, and the strut issues, etc. I'm worried that my experience with this car will be similar to my experience with an old Audi 20v coupe I used to have. It was a great car for about a year and then the problems started. I love my subie for the fact that I can neglect it and it will keep running and running strong. And if the '05-'09 outbacks didn't have their fair share of problems I'd be looking to replace the ****** with a newer version of itself.

So, what can I expect from a 10 year old XC70 that seems to have been fairly well maintained? I love the finish of the Euro cars, but after that coupe quattro I'm hesitant to go with anything that doesn't burn white rice. They just make solid, reliable, cheap to maintain vehicles in Japan. Any suggestions are more than welcome. Thanks!
 

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AWD working?
It will need a COMPLETE suspension renew
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would assume AWD is working; but I can't say for sure. And f*ck doing a complete suspension renew. Jesus....lol.
 

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What is it that tells you this?
So since I began posting here, I have heard a lot of people say that you should be rebuilding the suspension on these p2 XC70s around 100-120K. JRL is one of those people; and he clearly knows his ****. My mechanic on the other hand (Especially Swedish--Volvos and Saabs only) says that while doing so will obviously refresh the suspension and improve handling, he hasn't found it neccessary in most cases, and that the shocks and struts outlast the rest of the vehicle. I'm at 117K right now and have been contemplating a rebuild, but that's because I want to, not because I need to. No clunks, squeels, pops, or other noise coming from anywhere suspension related on my car yet.

So in conclusion, i don't really know who to believe, but i'm holding off on a rebuild a while longer at least.
 

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Shocks and struts needing replaced at the 100K+ mark is not unique to Volvo, but even if they are fine and could last many more miles it's the other rubber bits that are worn out, degraded, split, whatever. On the P2 cars the spring seats are a common failure point (and to a lesser extent the mounts) and since you have to remove the strut and spring to replace these it just makes no sense to me not to replace the strut. Then there are the sway bar end links with loose swivel bearings or split boots, lower control arm bushings, ball joints. Anything that's made of rubber and/or has a movable bearing goes bad by a certain age and mileage. I've also had Mazda's over the past 15+ years and they were no different.
 

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I'm at 117K right now and have been contemplating a rebuild, but that's because I want to, not because I need to.
Exactly. An "as-needed" basis would be waiting until the parts actually fail. Even if they haven't failed yet, they're definitely worn and you could restore handling with a rebuild.

In addition to peace of mind, doing everything at once also minimizes labor and alignments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Any idea of a rough estimate of cost of doing the rubber bits? The car did seem just the slightest bit clunky over bumps no doubt. No worse than my outback though. Haha. That being said, I really don't want to have to dump a pile of money into this thing if I end up going that route. Really just want to get myself into something relatively hassle free and cheap to repair with AWD, and ideally the back should be big enough to sleep in.
 

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Honestly? It sounds like you should dump 2500-3000 into the Subaru to restore it to its former glory, assuming that is a realistic cost estimate. With the vehicle you already have, your dealing with known knowns, and known unknowns. With a used vehicle in the 100k+ mileage range that you are unfamiliar with, their are a lot of "unknown unknowns"
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QaxqUDd4fiw
 

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I have a shopping list here that amounts to $700: http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthread.php?t=238029

Note that they're for a FWD V70 so it might be different for an AWD. Also, I opted for slightly more expensive brands as I'm not a fan of Meyle stuff. You'd have to evaluate what you need to replace but I'm guessing the upper spring seats and control arm bushings are done if they're original.

Suspension aside, the transmission should be okay but better if the fluid has been serviced. The 2003+ transmissions are much better than the 2001-2002 models. A full flush will cost $60-70 in fluid. Some prefer to do drain and fills on higher mileage transmissions.

Another thing I'd look into is the PCV system. They're prone to clogging if the oil wasn't changed frequently enough. Google how to do the "glove test" on the oil filler and dipstick funnel to see if it's clogged. I think replacement kits are $150-200?

Also verify the type of power steering fluid in the system. Seems that a lot are filled with ATF (red) when it should be CHF (green). The proper fluid is around $15-20/L.
 

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Things to look at:
Transmission fluid color (should be red) and not smell burnt
PCV system, glove test. If clogged (inflates glove) system cleaning and replacement required.
Parking brakes delaminate
Timing belt and idlers replaced
change angle gear, Haldex AOC (all wheel drive coupling) and rear differential fluids
Coolant should be Volvo, blue color
 

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I would assume AWD is working; but I can't say for sure. And f*ck doing a complete suspension renew. Jesus....lol.
You don't understand. This isn't a Subaru. I had a Legacy wagon that I drove until 190K with the 100% original suspension, incl struts. These WON'T do that.
 

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Beechnut, your suspension from living in FL probably does not need rebuilding. For the rest of us with normal crappy US and Canada roads, the useful lifetime of a Volvo suspension is between 100 and 125K miles and some parts WILL fail earlier, (spring seats, control arms and tie rods) for instance).
These are all wear items.

I just (two days ago) replaced my struts and shocks on my 07 with 113K miles, the car while it drove "fine" before now drives like a brand new 2007 XC70!
Huge difference, you just don't realize how bad the shocks are until you install new ones.

And don't assume the AWD is working at those miles, most are not!
That one you showed looks real nice, but if the suspension is original, it NEEDS TO BE REPLACED.


Any idea of a rough estimate of cost of doing the rubber bits? The car did seem just the slightest bit clunky over bumps no doubt. No worse than my outback though. Haha. That being said, I really don't want to have to dump a pile of money into this thing if I end up going that route. Really just want to get myself into something relatively hassle free and cheap to repair with AWD, and ideally the back should be big enough to sleep in.
That's not the rubber bits unless it needs control arm bushings.
Broken spring seats clunk
Bad motor mounts can clunk
Worn out struts and rear shocks make noise when going bad (or are bad).

These cars are NOT hassle free, it's a Euro car needing Euro servicing with Euro part and labor prices!
However, and this is the difference, with everything renewed it can feel like it is nearly brand new all over again!
Japanese and American cars can't say that
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So here's what I'm considering: I'm going to see if I can get the car for $6700 out the door but get my loan for 3k over that price to refurbish anything that needs to be done (including a suspension revamp) with the understanding that I would have the work done at the dealership so there's something in it for them. Does this seem like a reasonable idea or no? If no, I will look at other vehicle options. And yes, I love my subie's and their durability, reasonable cost of ownership, etc; but I also love the fit and finish of the euro cars, I just HATE how much they cost to maintain. That being said I'm in a significantly better place financially now than I was when I owned the 20v coupe, but I also don't want to be dumping 2k/yr into a vehicle on 'routine maintenance'.
 

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I'd say a budget of 1500/annual for routine maintenance on a volvo of this vintage would be realistic. There will be years where you'll spend a fraction of that, as well as times you'll drop 1500 into the car in once trip. Ive had mine for about 3 years and in the course of around 40k I've probably put like 2700 into it on routine maintenance (not including mods) which includes recent timing belt service. Not too crazy imo.
 

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Oh and of course the swaybar endlinks can clunk
 

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I just (two days ago) replaced my struts and shocks on my 07 with 113K miles, the car while it drove "fine" before now drives like a brand new 2007 XC70!
Huge difference, you just don't realize how bad the shocks are until you install new ones.
What did you use?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I took the car out for a 2nd, longer test drive today up into the hills west of town. I was hoping to see if I could get the tranny to knock or hesitate, or do anything suspect. There was only one time where there *might* have been a little harder shift and was after coming to a stop sign after climbing up I-70 to lookout mountain. Otherwise as far as the tranny is concerned all seemed normal. The car is really enjoyable to drive and the kick from the turbo is nice from 40-80mph. I paid to have the dealer's service division go over the car and as I suspected it needed a laundry list of things totaling $4600 in repairs. Le sigh. I've attached the itemized estimate for you all to peruse.

Hypothetically, lets say I bite the bullet, give them a low-ball offer (about 5k) since the car has sat on the lot for over a month and no one seems terribly interested even after a 2k price reduction and do the repairs, what can I expect from this vehicle moving forward? That is, what is realistic for me to expect for the life of this car. How many miles do people put on these things? When is putting $1500k/yr into a car ridiculous? That's not meant as an insult to anyone; I just come from a different mindset and feel like if I'm driving something that only costs me $750/yr in maintenance then I have an extra $750/yr to do things like ride Jackson when its dumping or what have you.

I do really like this car. The irrational side of me that is a driver really likes this car. It's comfortable, performs better than my outback and makes me want to spend time behind the wheel. The more reasonable side of me is concerned with longevity of the vehicle compared to something like say a honda pilot, a subaru h6, or even, yes, I'm considering one, an Chevy Astro Van with AWD. I want to use the car as an 'adventure mobile' that I can use to chase storms in the winter, and get to trailheads in the summer. But I also want to like driving it (which with the astro I already know I won't dig that aspect).

Thank you all for your input. I've come to rely on forums like this since owning my 20v coupe quattro. They are an amazing resource and y'all should give yourselves a pat on the back. Thanks!:thumbup:

 

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I don't wanna sound like a hater... But just don't buy it. Trust your gut. I was in the same boat just a few months ago. I had owned nothing but Japanese, but when my gem of a Mazda was totaled by a red light runner I scoured Craigs and found my current '01 V70 manual wagon. The price was right, and I purchased it for $2,400. Two weeks later I took it in for its first checkup and was handed a repair bill totaling over $3,000. To be fair, the timing belt and brake pads were about $1k of the $3k, but still. After this list, I took my business elsewhere to see if I could find a cheaper repair estimate. I ended up at a privately owned garage that specialized in Volvo with an $1,800 list. I had them do the repairs, but currently it still needs the brake pads, an alignment (from all the front-end work done on it), and the computer is throwing codes for VVT control solenoids and it'll need a new catalytic converter (repair estimates not included in the $3k above). Do I regret my buy? I'm not sure. I have always wanted a wagon, the unique sound of the inline 5 is sweet (it'll be better once I get an aftermarket exhaust on it), it has SO much cargo space (esp. with the seats folded flat, great for camping and hauling cargo/dogs), it has THE MOST comfortable seats, EXCELLENT stock stereo, and it'll be safe if/when I crash it into a wall. But, as a 19-year-old college student, I just don't know if that list of pros makes up for the estimated $1k+ I'll supposedly be spending yearly for "maintenance". Plus, being a car enthusiast, I feel I could find something much more fun to drive for that kind of money (I picked up my 2.5 KL-DE V6 5-spd Mazda four years ago for $3,500 and it only had 45,000 miles on the odo!). Someone tell me I'm wrong about this. I'd like to hear that I have bought a nice car... But right now I'm just not so sure. Sorry for indirectly taking over this thread...
 

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I took the car out for a 2nd, longer test drive today up into the hills west of town. I was hoping to see if I could get the tranny to knock or hesitate, or do anything suspect. There was only one time where there *might* have been a little harder shift and was after coming to a stop sign after climbing up I-70 to lookout mountain. Otherwise as far as the tranny is concerned all seemed normal. The car is really enjoyable to drive and the kick from the turbo is nice from 40-80mph. I paid to have the dealer's service division go over the car and as I suspected it needed a laundry list of things totaling $4600 in repairs. Le sigh. I've attached the itemized estimate for you all to peruse.
Glad the transmission seems fine. You can also have the dealer check that all of the software is up to date.

Hypothetically, lets say I bite the bullet, give them a low-ball offer (about 5k) since the car has sat on the lot for over a month and no one seems terribly interested even after a 2k price reduction and do the repairs, what can I expect from this vehicle moving forward? That is, what is realistic for me to expect for the life of this car. How many miles do people put on these things? When is putting $1500k/yr into a car ridiculous? That's not meant as an insult to anyone; I just come from a different mindset and feel like if I'm driving something that only costs me $750/yr in maintenance then I have an extra $750/yr to do things like ride Jackson when its dumping or what have you.
I think $1500/yr is a bit high. It depends on the age of the car and how long you intend to keep it. You'll be spending more upfront given the mileage of the car but use quality parts and whatever you replace will last a long time.

Most of that cost is labor and over-priced OEM parts. If you buy your own parts (from IPD, FCP, etc) and get an independent mechanic, you'll save a lot of money.

C: Was the timing belt already replaced by the previous owner? If so, you can hold off on this for a while. Timing belt kits range from $100-$140.
E: XC90 spring seats are $34 each. If you replace the front struts while you're at it, Sachs (OEM) are $135 each and Bilstein TC are $120 each.
F: Get control arms with bushings installed and you'll save on labor. Meyle HD control arms are $140 each.

Someone with more knowledge can comment on G and I...
 
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