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Hi there:

I've got a 2004 XC70 with 159k miles on it that I adore. I bought it from a retired Volvo mechanic, and it's been a fantastic driver for the year and a half that I've had it.

In the past few weeks, I've noticed an occasional hesitation when accelerating at highway speeds. I'm not a huge car person when it comes to diagnosing problems -- I leave that to my boyfriend -- but I'd love to hear about any ideas as to what it could be from some of you experts.

Generally speaking, it happens when I'm above 2,000 RPMs, typically in the 2,000-2,500 range, which usually has me going about 60 mph or so. It's intermittent, but if I get my wagon to about that speed and RPMs and lightly try and accelerate, I can usually get it to hesitate. It feels almost like it's not getting gas for a split second. At first, I thought it was the load from the AC condenser, but that's not it.

So far, if I simply take my foot off the gas pedal for a moment and then hit it again, it's fine. It occasionally also happens when I'm accelerating more quickly, trying to reach freeway speed like on an entrance ramp, but I'm able to just push through it. This doesn't happen at lower speeds on regular city streets.

The car did sit for about a month while I was working out of town. I also just got four new tires, which is about when this issue started, but I'm sure that's just coincidence. Oil changes and such are up to date. I have not yet checked the fuel filter, which I know I need to do.

My boyfriend, who has worked on (generally older) Volvos in the past, noted that my motor mounts should be replaced, and he thought perhaps that could contribute to the problem, creating situations where the car could lurch a bit. But I've also read about things like the electronic throttle module (or, god forbid, the transmission), so I figured I'd ask here and see if this piques anyone's memory. (I'm sorry for not being more astute when it comes to specific car terminology, but I can probably answer any questions.)

Thanks for any help!
 

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Definitely check that fuel filter.

Start with the simple stuff
 
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