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Re: (Mk1Racer)

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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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