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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last year at about this time, I had an issue where my windshield wipers came on and wouldn't turn off. After some research I took the CEM out from under the glove box and cleaned everything. Every relay, fuse, etc came out and got the electrical contact cleaner bath. Put it back together, and FIXED!

Well, fast forward about 11 months and it's happened again. I DON'T F**KING GET IT. Is there some higher power in control of this car? I'm starting to have serious trust issues with it. A much more minor, but annoying, issue is the "rear bulb failure light that comes and goes whenever it pleases. I've gone back there and done the same cleaning. It goes away, then comes back at random.

So I'm thinking I'll give this CEM cleaning one more try. Or should I be thinking the CEM needs replacement? How am I supposed to feel about taking this car on long road trips, etc? I'm very seriously considering trading this thing in for something Japanese. Not many manual AWD wagons around other than outbacks. And I'm not ready to retire to wool cardigans and stop eating meat. DAMN YOU VOLVO!

Any help would be appreciated.
 

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I rid myself of mine for this excact reason, ZERO trust in the car.
Gremlins all over the place, and it all started well before 60k miles. A true POS courtesy of Volvo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not to start a Volvo bashing thread, but I'm really feeling the same way. I hate the idea of spending more money on this car, or on buying another car. But I just don't know if I can trust the car any longer even if I'm able to make the problem go away again.
 

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Volvo has Friday cars. Some are great others are endless problems. My V50 is great at 100k miles my S60R was horrible at just 40k. It was still covered for parts and labor. Even so, I was driving the dealer loaner so much I decided to trade it in on another car.

I really think its the day of the week the car was made. Either Monday morning after everyone was out drinking sin night or Friday when they all say f-it and leave for the weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I feel like I can trust the powertrain, and it handles well enough for what I need this car for. I can get over the little quirks, squeaks, rattles, and cheap-feeling plastics, etc. But if I feel like at any moment the electronics are going to **** a brick I can't imagine how to proceed with this car in the long run. Then again, it fits what I want out of a car and nothing else seems to. What to do?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My volvo stealership wants $125 minimum to see if there are any codes showing a problem at a particular point in the electrical system. Worth taking in? I have an independent place I could take it, but it's less convenient.
 

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If you want to keep the car, put the same money into a DiCE / VIDA setup. There is a steep learning curve, but it's worth it.
 

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The VIDA set up tells you exactly where the electrical issue is and what may be the problem. I do have my fair share of unknown electrical issue too. The car doesn't turn once every blue moon, just enough to remind me that there's an issue every time I started to forget about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I might do that. Does it matter which version of the VIDA you get? I'm sure this has been discussed to death. Not sure how useful that would be to me though, as I have no confidence in doing electrical repair on a car. I could replace a relay, etc, but I don't know if that's the kind of specific information to expect from a VIDA.
 

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just wanted chime in-- because for the last few years and 30k miles things have generally been good. im now at 121k. i took the car on a "trip" out of town for 4-5 weeks- and i absolutely need it to function for the next few weeks. of course when you need it most, something happens. Im getting the "key error, try again" thing now... the car will only start when it wants to haha. making me potentially late for something I CANNOT be late for. so it will start eventually, sometimes first try, other times 50th try. and then i turned it off and took the key out and it sputtered for 10 seconds then stalled out. So reliability is up in the air for me right now--

as for you murc, I feel your pain... if my family is going somewhere together, we cant take my car because i fear we may get stranded with some crazy electrical bullcrap- like the ignition switch, immobilizer, key fob, or who knows.
is there a higher power involved?? i was gunna say FORD. haha, but im joking... if i got rid of this car it'd be for a focus st anyway so i wouldnt want to jynx myself.
our cars are getting old but i dont think thats the problem. My pre-ford volvo had many issues as well,,,, namely ignition switch.
i think all cars go through this crap to some extent. goodluck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am quite torn. I spend all day searching online for a suitable alternative, only to find zero sporty wagons with AWD and a manual transmission. Audi avant's are pretty rare in that combo, and reliability would easily be just as questionable. BMW 328 xDrive in a manual, same deal. Then I come home and see the V50 sitting pretty and my mind is made up, I'm going to stick with it. But this is seriously ridiculous.

I can't possibly blame Ford, as three of my other four cars I've owned have been Fords, and absolutely zero issues like this. My SVT Contour is refreshingly simple and reliable in comparison.

Still torn!
 

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Legacy GT's were available with a 6MT I think. Kinda older but the interior was decent.

My 06 T5 V50 6MT has been great! I have had the regular issues, FPS, TCV, CBV and front end bushings. Really though it has been WAY better than my 04 S60R! For the amount of miles I have put on the V50, I have really been shocked by how well it has done with brake pads, tires, CV's. I did blow my front struts but that was my fault.

My only real complaint would be the dammmmed ignition switch. I would say replace them every 60k!!

Stick with it buddy. Its a unique car and not much else is available at the same price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah, the Legacy GT's had serious issues with turbo failure due to oil starvation. I looked at one before buying the Volvo. I did find a BMW 328i xDrive wagon about four hours from me that I could go check out, but not sure how serious I am about that yet.

I'm hoping if I can get the VIDA or have a shop scan for the codes and find the exact point of the problem, that maybe I'll get lucky and not have more problems. A big part of me thinks that's naive. I'm sure it is.

EDIT: What part of the VIDA has a steep learning curve? Is the software difficult to use and understand?
 

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Take it in to an independent shop and have them search for stored major/minor codes via VIDA.

You will be surprised at what shows up. It'll be worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm going to do that. It's $85/hr there vs $125/hr at the Volvo dealership. Honestly I know the guy at the dealership better, and the guy I knew at the indi shop is no longer there, but I think I still trust them.
 

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EDIT: What part of the VIDA has a steep learning curve? Is the software difficult to use and understand?
The software is very complex, functioning as parts catalog, shop manual (including tech updates), job control, code reader, electronic monitor (including history), and software ordering and installation device. For non-shop users, the tech updates, job control, and software ordering and installation are non-functional, but there is a tremendous amount still available.

There is documentation. For DiCE:
http://www.obd2be.com/download/volvo vida dice User Manual.pdf

For VIDA:
http://workshopsupportguide.volvocars.biz/media/6339/VIDA_Help_All-in-one_50EN25.pdf

I also found a 30 minute You Tube overview.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks, I actually planned on checking for a youtube video too. If it's legitimately complex, I'm going to pass. I don't have that much time in my life to be honest. Best to leave it to someone who knows what they're doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Got an appointment with my indie shop early next week, so I guess we'll see what codes are behind the curtain. And to give myself something to be excited about, I'm having them put my lowering springs on too. Fingers and toes crossed this is a simple and permanent fix. My gut says otherwise.
 

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^goodluck- i say keep the volvo... itll be worth it, they arent that unreliable. mines been really good.... has not yet left me stuck despite the last few days being nerve racking.
the bmw or audi will likely be as much trouble. my last volvo ran forever without me really even repairing anything besides the ignition switch.
 
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