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Hello<p>I am looking for a good used car for my daughter. I am interested in the Volvo because of their legendary "Safety" record it seems they are built like tanks.<p>My concern is I don't want to buy a model that was designed and built with above average problems. I'm ok with cars that need regular and special maintainence, since it's always less expensive to do the maintainence than to repair due to lack of maintainence. I own an Audi A4 and a bmw 325i, so I no the maint drill with good cars. <p>Can anyone give me some feedback on S70, from 98-on? Any serious defects? What are the common problem areas for this model. <p>If you know of a web site with this info that would be helpful.<br>thanks
 

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Re: Looking for S70 reliability feedback (thinkeuro)

Hi thinkeuro,<p>The biggest thing to be aware of in the year range your looking at is a finicky electronic throttle system on '99s and '00s. However, Volvo has stepped up to the plate on that, and now covers that system until 200,000 miles or 10 years, whichever comes first. Some people never encounter the problem, some ran into it repeatedly, either way, Volvo now officially takes care of those who do. It's pretty much the hottest topic on this board, I would say.<p>Other than that, I think you'll find a well-treated Volvo will take excellent care of your daughter. All-wheel-drive models are naturally more mechanically complex and have more opportunity for failure (plus have special towing requirements if she ever were to break down by the roadside), so if this is going to be a city car for her, you might want to stick with the FWD models. The only bad mark that Consumer Reports gives the 70 series is the reliability of minor electrical components -- now and then a radio light might burn out (replaceable), or a window switch might stop working (also easily replaced), that sort of thing. Everything else they get good ratings on.<p>I love my 98 S70, it still feels rock solid and is running strong - my personal opinion is that they're the best model year, but I'm sure others who love their cars will say the same about theirs. The best advice I can offer is to try to find one that has obviously been babied.. service records are your friend. Even a great car like a Volvo will develop problems if abused... but I'm sure you knew that, since you said you're used to taking good care of finely engineered cars. <p>Some folks will post on this forum to get the opinion on a specific car or two that they are considering, which you might find helpful -- all us Volvo nuts can point out red flags or things to ask before you plunk down any cash. <p>The 70's came in a handful of trim levels which I'll try to explain in brief here. If I omit any or make an error, I apologize and welcome corrections. (FYI S70 = sedan, V70= wagon)<p>Baseline S or V70's are equipped with a non-turbo 5-cylinder engine. These would be steady, sedate cars if you don't want to get her something with too much power. Usually cloth seats. Good, reliable transportation, but Volvo's are heavy with all that protective steel, so you might think it a bit slow after driving a turbo-equipped A4.<p>S/V70 GLT's are equipped with a light-pressure turbo 5-cylinder. The light pressure turbo does not provide as much horsepower as a high pressure turbo, but keeps the power band of the engine in the lower rev range. This makes for some beautiful acceleration up to freeway speeds-- something I really appreciate on dangerous freeway merges, and something your daughter may appreciate if you feel she is responsible enough and are not worried about speeding. They'll still get up there, but are not as tuned for all-out speed as the following models. I've usually seen these with leather seats.<p>T-5's have the high-pressure turbo 5-cylinder. These are really sporty, with a lower ride height, more aggressive shocks, and sport tires. Lots of get-up-and-go, these are somewhat aimed at the driving enthusiasts of the Volvo crowd.<p>Then there's the R. They have even higher horsepower and a sportier trim level. Some of the R's eventually got AWD.<p>The V70 XC / Cross-country is Volvo's entry into the all-wheel-drive wagon market. Higher ride height, beefier bumpers, softer shocks with longer travel. If you're familiar with the Audi lineup, think of them as being similar to the Allroad series. I believe they are usually equipped with the low pressure turbo of the GLT line. One of these might be nice if she has interest in ski trips to the mountains or that sort of thing -- however, as I mentioned before, there's the possibility for bigger maintenance bills if you're getting into AWD.<p>There are also a few "special edition" S70's out there, as far as I can tell they are based on the GLT line with some additional luxury amenities added in.<p>Gotta run, I hope this gives you something good to start from!
 

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Re: Looking for S70 reliability feedback (thinkeuro)

I sell a lot of these. Are they as reliable as a Japanese car, a big NO.<br>Will they last a very long time, YES, if, a big if they were serviced regularly from early on<br>Service records are importent.<br>They have a bunch of annoying things that will fail in most all of them.<br>Sway bar links, every 40 to 60 K miles<br>Top motor mount also good for 40 to 60K miles.<br>Tie rod end will need replacing every 80 K or so depending on the roads the car travelled on, Northeastern poor roads, every 60K for sure, southern roads maybe over 100K.<br>Window and power seat switches break as do door lock actuators<br>On 98's the air pump will eventually go, 99's and 2000's don't have them.<br>I have no problem with 99's and 2000's especially now that the ETB (throttle body) has a 200K 10yr warranty on it. They run better /smoother and some of the bugs were fixed, (2nd year car)<br>If you find a good car with slightly over 100K on it and well cared for, most of these items should have been already replaced so you would be good to go for at least 50,000 miles.<br>IM or email me if you want me to find you one. As I said I sell these for a living and can find/sell you a decent car for decent money <B>WITH a warranty</B><br>JRL<br>OH the the above poster, T5's (high pressures) do NOT have a lower ride height
 

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Re: Looking for S70 reliability feedback (JRL)

I have a '98 V70 that I am pissed at right now because I can't figure out what is making it run poor.<p>OVERALL I would still recommend it.
 

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Re: Looking for S70 reliability feedback (thinkeuro)

Mine still uses no oil and has the original clutch. I had an oil analysis performed at 150,000 miles and it actually looked better than the results the guys were posting on their new Rs. <p>If you have an A4, it's probably no worse than the A4. I would still have bought mine but I'm considering renting (leasing) my next one.<p>Do go over any purchase candidate carefully including the AC and make sure all the electrical gizmos work. Run away from one without a documented service history.
 

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I have had my S70 for 5 years now. Yeah some repairs have cost me some dough ( head-gasket, heater-core, etc...) but overall I have been satisfied (somewhat). I could buy a Japanese car for reliability but is it worth the tradeoff if [forbid] I should get in a bad wreck?
 
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