SwedeSpeed - Volvo Performance Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am posting this write up as I am most active in this particular forum and I am finding people are starting to pick up used XC90s. I will post in the C70 forum as well.

I decided to purchase a used Volvo for my daughter as she is starting to drive. I found what looked to be a nice 2006 C70 about 6/7 hours from here. The pics looked good, CARFAX had noted that a vibration had been investigated in the past year or so, but, otherwise no issues and maintenance was being performed. As I was not close by I wanted to have a mechanic review the car before committing to the drive down.

As the car was in a small town with few mechanics and I wanted to ensure that a relationship between the seller and servicer did not create a conflict for me I decided to look to the internet for the answer. I found a few companies and although none were perfect, Lemon Squad had reasonably good reviews. I booked an inspection and asked specifically that the mechanic look into the vibration issue and that he also note any damage to the paint/body with photos. This was in addition to their maybe 150 point inspection.

Report came back. Found nothing abnormal in terms of vibration and said he did not photograph the scratches to the car as they were typical for the age of the vehicle - stating that the only scratches were under the front bumper of the car and that you needed to bend down to see them. I decided that things were good enough for the drive down.

When I arrived the car looked good as it had in the pictures. However, there were numbers very small scratches in the front bumper - not rock chips - more like the car had repeatedly hit something sharp. Was a bit disappointed, but, not a showstopper but the issue should have been documented in the inspection report.

Did a quick check of the car and things looked good - top worked as expected and everything was in working order. Took the car for a drive and noticed some vibration. As I had driven a number of these cars prior to purchasing this one it was not overly concerning (although a bit more pronounced in this car than I had seen before).

I decided to make my deal and head home.

After driving the car for a couple of weeks I had a nagging feeling that I should check out the vibration. I took the car to a respected Volvo mechanic in the area and these are the things he found:

1. The vibration was coming from the CV axles. At some point the originals had been replaced with aftermarket axles and they were not balanced.
2. The top engine mount was bad - leaking hydraulic fluid
3. A control arm had a bad bushing and a ball joint was failing
4. Original timing belt was still in the car - I had purchased the car from the second owner who had not replaced the belt, so, not totally unexpected.

I would have expected that Lemon Squad would have found these issues and at least mentioned the the timing belt was overdue for a change.

Contacted Lemon Squad and they basically said:

1. I should have asked the seller about the timing belt (I did) - fair enough, but a through report should point out the potential expense.
2. I took too long to get back to them (about 3 weeks) and insinuated that the problems had probably occurred in that time and that everything was fine when the inspector did his inspection. Um...no...
3. They can't find all of the problems and are not a warranty service.

So, my feeling is this. The value of the inspection comes down to who actually does the inspection. There appears to be considerable inconsistency in their service based on my experience and the reviews I have read. In addition, the company does not stand behind their inspections. They missed some obvious stuff and I have zero recourse. As such you are best avoiding them and going with someone else (another service or trying to find someone more local).

I am out 200 dollars for the inspection and I have a good size bill to boot. Experience is a 1 out of 10 for me (setting up the appointment was easy).

Thanks

https://lemonsquad.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,013 Posts
Not surprising. Was there a Volvo dealer anywhere nearby? The motor mount and control arms are very common failures for that car- a dealer tech would certainly have caught that. A dealer tech would also be familiar with the timing belt interval and would likely have caught the aftermarket axles. I think for a pre-purchase inspection, having someone who sees that particular brand every day inspect it is much better than some company like Lemon Squad. Costs may vary, but my dealer charges 1 hour for a PPI, so that would be under $200 in most cases.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would have loved to have taken it to Volvo for the inspection but the nearest dealership was a few hours away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Here are some pictures. Report indicated that the scratches on the bumper were on the underside of the bumper and could not been seen from the front. Indicated that the rest of the scratches were too small to see and could not be photographed...really:

MVjVFWR.jpg
4jQG56f.jpg
MSsZOac.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Got a response back from Lemon Squad:

"We do our best to catch all the scratches, but we can’t get them all.".

This is apparently typical of their work - and again, no mention of a refund.

Steer clear of these guys.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,013 Posts
Yeah that's pretty bad. They can just say "we can't catch everything" to anything someone finds after purchase.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top