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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long term reliability?

I purchased my first Volvo in 2000...a 2000 V70 GLT. While I love the way the car rides and handles, and I like the safety (obviously) and comfort, I am disappointed with the reliability. The check engine light recently came on (this isn't the first time). I took it to the dealer and they told me the catalytic converter is bad ($1,120 to fix). They also said there are bushings and other things which need to be replaced. All told, they want $3,100 for all repairs. This, on top of other repairs over the 6 years I've owned this car totaling several thousand dollars. I've also replaced the radiator (which actually, I've had to do on a previously owned Acura at about the same mileage).

This car is my wife's, I've owned mostly Honda's. While I don't expect Volvo to have Honda's tier 1 (my term) reliability, I had hoped Volvo was at least tier 2. It seems it is more like tier 3 or even lower.

The car only has 113,000 miles on it. I believe the engine will last a long time, but I'm worried about the rest of the car. I have one child in college and another heading there in 2 years. I'm trying to determine if I should hold on to this car for another 5 years or so or get rid of it now (while its still worth something) and buy something more reliable (albeit less safe). Is the long term reliability of this car just bad? Did I get a lemon? I've been to Sweden, where just about every taxi is a Volvo and I've seen them with over 200,000 and 300,000 Km. Are they just in the shop all the time? Or is this just a point at which the car needs some extra maintenance and after this it won't need repairs for a while?

I know I'm looking at making a trade-off here of safety vs. money. I would rather keep the car, but I cannot afford a money pit. What can I expect from this car reliability-wise over the next few years?

-d
 

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Re: Long term reliability? (dmocek)

These cars are not that reliable, I mean they are expensive to maintain.
I've owned an s70 for about a year now and here is what has happened since...
My AC is not working
My Sunroof is leaking
Power window failure
Power locks failure
Power seat failure
Tune up
Timing Belt
IPD Sway Bars
IPB HD Links
ECU
Exhaust

Now the car is almost perfect I've added some mods, and it handles, and performs much better, then when I first got it.
I've put about $3000 into it since I got it, between mods, and maintenance. Thank God I had side mechanics do the work...
This car is more of a hubby then anything right now...
 

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Re: Long term reliability? (dicostal)

Quote, originally posted by dicostal »

This car is more of a hubby then anything right now...

My car is more like a "wifey," with high maitenance and expensive tastes...
 

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Re: Long term reliability? (MadeInJapan)

MIJ, http://********************/smile/emthup.gif Good one.

Speaking on the subject, I dont think author should expect the high level of reliability in next five years. Your car is already getting to the point you've mentioneed you saw in Sweden (113kMiles is not far from 200kMeters). If you expecting to have the same car for 5 or so years, sell it. It never will be reliable as a new viehicle. True, you never mentioned what you going to get instead, new car or used. Also you haven't mentioned any particular problems you went through. Any car has specific issues, Volvo as well. Some of the problem youv'e experienced could be common..
On another hand I would never went to the dealer with 6years old car, because they always could find something to fix.

I have 149+ kMiles on my car. Bought it less then 3 years ago with 78000 miles. Drive a lot. Maintain (mostly) myself. Upgrade it myself too (when have extra$$). Just bought a house. Planning to keep the car at least 2 more years. This car never let me down.
Good Luck with any decision you going to make.
BTW what gas you getting (or your wife, who ever use this car)?
 

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Re: Long term reliability? (dmocek)

These cars and really any car for that matter can be expensive to maintain at a dealership. Service tends to be the highest margin business at any dealership. I have had very good luck at finding factory trained independent mechanics that will only fix the things that are really broken, and not fix the "nice to have" items. Find yourself a good indie mechanic (ask friends, co-workers, the guy at the gas station filling his Volvo, etc.) for recommendations, go see them, and develop a plan to address the items that need to be addressed, not the "nice to have" items. Having said that, the Volvo will most likely never be as reliable as a Honda, but will be more comfortable and safe. Just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: Long term reliability? (Wayne T5)

I was going to address the issue of "a good mechanic" in a separate post. However, since you brought it up...I have been very unhappy with the service from the dealership. After about 80,000 miles, they suggested my car was getting old and I should buy a new one. Funny, I didn't see them buy a new Volvo every 5 years. I know of a private service shop, but have had first-hand experience with them and know they are no better. So if I decide to keep the car, I definitely need to find a good, honest mechanic (is there such a thing?).

If I don't keep the car, I'm considering buy a new Toyota Camry (after looking at several options).

-d
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: Long term reliability? (Papa_Kirlo)

I'd like to get more information on how you maintain it yourself. I've been working on cars since my age was in the single digits and have no problems doing repairs myself. In fact, I replaced the radiator on this car not too long ago. However, I cannot find a manual on this car, Haynes or Chilton, anywhere...they don't have one. And I've been told the manuals from Volvo run in the hundreds of dollars. Do you use OEM parts or are aftermarket parts OK?

I put only 91 Octane in the tank, usually from ARCO, which we've never had a problem with.

-d
 

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Re: Long term reliability? (dmocek)

I use Haynes manual for 850(you know these are sisters). Also you could buy UK manual for S/V70( $23 here -http://ipdusa.com/ProductsCat....D=629). I use mostly OEM parts, as I had some negative experience with automarket parts. I have a good discount from my dealer, but you could buy the same OEM parts from several dealers with almost the same discount online or over the phone . For instance http://fcpgroton.com/ .
This car is mostly friendly to work with, and if you have some skills and metric instrument from AutoZone you shouldn't have any problem. Only once I had to buy a socket from Snap-On tools.

There are lot of online sources describing repair steps for lot of common issues. One of the great source I've used several times would be this page
http://volvospeed.com/bay13.htm on Volvospeed forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Long term reliability? (Papa_Kirlo)

Papa,

thanks for the information. This will help me a lot if I decide to keep the car. Another question, what tool do you recommend for retrieving the codes from the vehicle? One problem with these new cars is how to diagnose a problem or a CEL.

-d
 

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I personally use the Equus Innova 3100. If you look on eBay sometimes you can find these at a great price. I paid about $75 for mine including shipping.
 

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Re: (dicostal)

LOW maintenence HOT wife,
HIGH maintenance, HOT car
 

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Re: (JRL)

Quote, originally posted by JRL »
LOW maintenence HOT wife,
HIGH maintenance, HOT car

A 2000 V70 GLT is a hot car??


just kidding Jim


If I had researched the reliability issues of these cars a bit more BEFORE I bought my '98 V70 XC, I probably wouldn't have bought it. Don't get me wrong, I love the car, it's great to drive, it's very comfortable, and it's got a fair amount of room in it, but they seem way too fragile and fraught w/ some serious issues. Knock on wood, mine hasn't really had anything go wrong w/ it in the 13k miles I've put on it, but I know the ABS box is going, and I'm not sure what will be next. My idea of an ideal car? Acura TL wagon w/ AWD. Don't really want an MDX, I like the wagon look and feel.
 

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Re: (Mk1Racer)

I am wondering about the bad catalytic converter. My mechanic said those are very rarely replaced. That would take a big chunk off that bill.
You absolutely need to find a reliable person to do the work you don't feel comfortable performing yourself.
 

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Re: (Mk1Racer)

Quote, originally posted by Mk1Racer »


A 2000 V70 GLT is a hot car??


just kidding Jim


.
I was referring to the desired combo in general
 

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Re: (rogeej)

Quote, originally posted by rogeej »
I am wondering about the bad catalytic converter. My mechanic said those are very rarely replaced. That would take a big chunk off that bill.
You absolutely need to find a reliable person to do the work you don't feel comfortable performing yourself.
Not true, they DO go.
Not as common as, say the ABS or an evaporator but after 100K, definitely possible. I've replaced a couple
 

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Bear in mind that Volvo has the record for the most number of cars still on the road in the UK taking over from Land Rover and that the world record milage on a car is on a volvo. Bear in mind what many cars (other brands) will look like after 100,000 miles, a lot will not even make it to this figure. Also bear in mind that we are on the forum because we own(support) Volvo's and that we bitch about them on forums as that is what they are there for.
 

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Re: (Mk1Racer)

Original post:

I purchased my first Volvo in 2000...a 2000 V70 GLT. While I love the way the car rides and handles, and I like the safety (obviously) and comfort, I am disappointed with the reliability. The check engine light recently came on (this isn't the first time). I took it to the dealer and they told me the catalytic converter is bad ($1,120 to fix). They also said there are bushings and other things which need to be replaced. All told, they want $3,100 for all repairs. This, on top of other repairs over the 6 years I've owned this car totaling several thousand dollars. I've also replaced the radiator (which actually, I've had to do on a previously owned Acura at about the same mileage).
This car is my wife's, I've owned mostly Honda's. While I don't expect Volvo to have Honda's tier 1 (my term) reliability, I had hoped Volvo was at least tier 2. It seems it is more like tier 3 or even lower.

The car only has 113,000 miles on it. I believe the engine will last a long time, but I'm worried about the rest of the car. I have one child in college and another heading there in 2 years. I'm trying to determine if I should hold on to this car for another 5 years or so or get rid of it now (while its still worth something) and buy something more reliable (albeit less safe). Is the long term reliability of this car just bad? Did I get a lemon? I've been to Sweden, where just about every taxi is a Volvo and I've seen them with over 200,000 and 300,000 Km. Are they just in the shop all the time? Or is this just a point at which the car needs some extra maintenance and after this it won't need repairs for a while?

I know I'm looking at making a trade-off here of safety vs. money. I would rather keep the car, but I cannot afford a money pit. What can I expect from this car reliability-wise over the next few years?

Quote, originally posted by Mk1Racer »
If I had researched the reliability issues of these cars a bit more BEFORE I bought my '98 V70 XC, I probably wouldn't have bought it. Don't get me wrong, I love the car, it's great to drive, it's very comfortable, and it's got a fair amount of room in it, but they seem way too fragile and fraught w/ some serious issues. Knock on wood, mine hasn't really had anything go wrong w/ it in the 13k miles I've put on it, but I know the ABS box is going, and I'm not sure what will be next. My idea of an ideal car? Acura TL wagon w/ AWD. Don't really want an MDX, I like the wagon look and feel.

I have to go with Mk1 on this. I bought a 98 V70R with 72, expecting to get 100k from it. I probably could, but at this point I have invested

~$400 - air pump
~$150 - ABS module
~$500 - spring seats
~$200 - motor mount
~$200 - torque engine bushing
~$500 - transaxle u-joint
~$2800 - valve job on account of broken tensioner pulley and slipped timing belt

But for the last one, these are standard 60k-100k maintenance issues. Why do you think they don't offer a 7/70 warranty? They are also expensive cars to care for. Maybe it's high maintenance, or maybe it's just that it costs more to care for something that is better made.

On the positive side, when I took mine to an indie mechanic for some work and told him the mileage (85k), he said, "Oh, so it's pretty much brand new. Most of the ones I see have 200-300k miles on them." They will last. But like almost anything, if you want that much wear out of it, you will have to invest in maintenance. Maintenance that will probably always cost less than a new car payment. (My dad has spent $45 every two years for the last 12 years having his $250 shoes resoled. Go figure.) I have a friend who only buys used volvos with MORE THAN 100k on them, because by that point everything that likely will go wrong after warranty has and has been repaired. Then he drives them for another 80-90k. Only other ones you hear about that from are Honda and Lexus. I think those are pretty vanilla, but I will admit they are the best vanilla out there.

All this said, even though I have now done most of the work on mine that one can expect to do, there has been too much bad in the time we have been together for me to ever have a good feeling about it.
So she's going back on the market for someone else to enjoy the good years with her.

MK1 - if you find that TL wagon, let me know if there's a two for one and I'll go halvsies with ya'.
 

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Re: (pktojd)

pk,

I think it would be a great car. However, I think Honda, as well as most marques, figure that the 'family' car orientation is towards an SUV rather than a true wagon. Honda made an Accord wagon several years ago, but I don't believe they've offered one in quite some time. I believe the same goes for Toyota and the Camary. I can't think of a Nissan wagon. It seems that true wagons are now in the realm of the European marques (Volvo of course has one, as does BMW, M-B, and VW). I believe the only Japanese wagon is the Subaru.

I think an Acura TL wagon would be great, but it would probably chew into their MDX sales. I really like the current TL styling, and think it would extend nicely into a wagon.

What happened to the Volvo of old? They were never known for cutting-edge styling, although the P1800 is pretty cool, but they were known for running for ever. I have a friend that had an '82 240 DL that he put over 350k miles on. It would probably still be on the road today, had his kid not wrecked it. How do the late 80's / early 90's 240's stack up to the older ones, in terms of reliability?

I gotta admit though, I wonder how people can drop low to mid teens on a 7 or 8 year old V70R w/ 100k+ miles on it. The regular V70s seem to have enough issues, but the R's seem to be on a whole other level.
 
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