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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

So I'm new to Volvos. I've been a Saab guy for the past few years but it's time to find a wagon or SUV for the wife and she seems to like the XC90's. Coincidentally my parents just picked one up, an '08 3.2, drives pretty nice and is pretty comfortable. If we're going to get one of these what should I look out for? Any years to avoid? I've heard a lot of differing opinions on the different engines so I'm really just looking for some advice on what to look for. If it helps I'm on Long Island. There are definitely more to choose from compared to an AWD Saab which is almost nonexistent besides the 9-7x. We've looked at a few, also looked at some XC70's but haven't found our car yet. Any help is appreciated!

Thanks,

Rob
 

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Just stay away from the t6 because of the tranny issues. And with all volvos make sure to budget a pcv repair if you're buying at 100k or more and it has one, and obviously timing belt if it has one, depending on engine. I think the most reliable is the 2.5 and cheapest to maintain, some say the 3.2, some say the v8... Depends on who you ask obviously. I was talking to the service manager at Smithtown Volvo today actually (I don't just hang out there I was buying a cam seal lol) and he said the 2.5 is the only one to get. They were writing up the bill for a v8 alternator.... Ouch.

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I would personally stay away from the '06 and previous V8's. There was a part in the engine that would sieze if water got in. The fix starting in 2007 was a hole drilled to drain the water. The V8 's alternator is the hardest part to change on the entire car, and typically takes 8-9 hours. The engine actually has to be moved. The only other common issues on the V8 are the angle gear (fixed midway 2007), and the front bushings because the car weighs so much. I agree with Ou2mame that the 2.5 is the most reliable, but so far my V8 has been great! I got the V8 for its power and towing capabilities. Gas mileage is a hair less than the 3.2, and a fraction less than the 2.5. The '07 V8 sport comes standard loaded with options, and Nivomat auto leveling suspension was a standard if you're thinking about towing at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I appreciate the responses! I actually looked at a 2.5 today that's out of Smithtown! I'm thinking of putting in an offer on it tomorrow or sometime this week. Anything I should do when I pick one up besides the PCV repair? I asked about any previous timing belt service and the owner had no idea. Would it be possible to get that info from Volvo with the VIN? Towing isn't really too much of a priority, though I may do some down the line. Just really looking for a reliable/safe daily driver for the wife and something comfortable for long trips.
 

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For your reading pleasure. Probably the most complete arguments for each engine. Weigh what your needs are and what you will be doing.

It's not letting me paste:facepalm: The 3.2 or 2.5 thread on the 1st page is what I was trying to link. If someone could link it, that would be great.

Good luck!
 

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I have to recommend at least test driving a V8 before you buy anything, it's a seriously great engine. Sounds great, plenty of passing power and torque, and fuel economy of 20+ MPG if you're a bit careful (which is only 1 or 2 MPG off of what the 3.2 gets). Definitely check out the service records though before you buy because with the V8 anything that goes wrong with the engine means you need to essentially remove it from the car to fix it. As for XC90s in general, I'd buy 2007 or later, definitely get AWD, and check the condition of the brakes (squeaking) and the front suspension (popping/knocking noises, common problem for all engines, pretty easy fix).

So pretty much what was already said above, although given the choice I will take the V8 every time.
 

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I've got an 04 2.5 with 150k and its still going like new.. Its not the fastest but it's not like too slow to be safe or anything crazy. I pass people fine. I usually do 75 or 80 on the lie to queens and whatnot with no struggle for power. In the snow it's a beast. I couldn't get it stuck this weekend. Literally I tried. I wanted to know what it's limits are. It had no limits!

If you have the vin you can use the car fax app for free on a mobile phone and can check maintenance records. If the car was maintained at volvo you can bring them them vin and ask them nicely... But if you don't have written verification and its at the years or miles, change it. If the owner doesn't know, that's not a good sign that it's been done. The tensioner and roller have to be done. That's what fails. So you have to make sure those were replaced. There's a good volvo indie in deer park, rms is the shop name I believe and the owner is Roger. I can give you his number if you decide to purchase and need repairs done.

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I would personally stay away from the '06 and previous V8's. There was a part in the engine that would sieze if water got in. The fix starting in 2007 was a hole drilled to drain the water. The V8 's alternator is the hardest part to change on the entire car, and typically takes 8-9 hours. The engine actually has to be moved. The only other common issues on the V8 are the angle gear (fixed midway 2007).
This is pretty disturbing, 8 to 9 hours to change an alternator? Just how many of the forum V8 owners have had to do that one? Please chime in! I am getting ready to pull the trigger on a 07 V8 but I need to find out if it has had the angle gear issue fixed, not sure how to verify that one, any ideas?
 

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The list gets longer:
- Alternator
- Power steering pump
- AC compressor
- Serpentine belt, tensioner and pulleys
- Angle Gear
- Rear Differential
- Big One: transmission
- Upper strut bearings
- Lower control arms
- Front axle bearings

What am I missing?

Still, I'm looking for one ... must be 2008 and up.
 

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- Alternator
- Power steering pump
- AC compressor
- Serpentine belt, tensioner and pulleys
- Angle Gear
- Rear Differential
- Big One: transmission
- Upper strut bearings
- Lower control arms
- Front axle bearings


You din't mention if you do your own work or use a dealer or Indy, if the latter you're looking at thousands of dollars in parts and labor for the list you provided. if you're looking at a documented well-maintained 2008 and newer xc90's you'll only likely be looking at routine or scheduled maintenance. If the transmission is an issue, walk away. This is true for any used car 2008 and newer IMO. I have heard of very few issues with the trans on the V8 unless there had been a random radiator failure where the coolant and transmission fluid mixed over time and destroyed the transmission I do a periodic flush on any of my automatic vehicles 50-60k regardless of make. Power steering pump is easy just a PITA, new pump is about $300 you need to remove the belt and the Intake manifold and a few bolts easy but time consuming. Most of the time the lack of cold air performance in the V8 and I6 is due to a $100 solenoid on the compressor body which can be replaced on the V8 inside of an hour. U&L Control arms and front end bushings are common wear issues on any heavy car -the car will drive and feel much better after you replace them depending upon your milage, usually 70-90k miles - The strut bearing and upper rubber seat if worn will make creaking and groaning nosies when turning the wheel at full lock. Serpentine belt and idlers and tensioner are common maintenance items, every engine will need them sooner or later in the 80-100k area unless you have full maintenance records that say otherwise this would be one of the first items I'd do oem parts are about 350 for the tensioner belt and idler and it's not difficult with the right tools. On the buying side - I wasn't looking or shopping for an SUV but decided we needed one for high school football and misc family stuff after a near hit after practice on my M5. I saw a Q7 4.2 on a dealer lot nice car but it had numerous sloppy maintenance issues I could see and what sounded like a stretched timing chain I happen to know what an audi 4.2 v8 is supposed to sound like :) - next to it was this triple black 08 volvo V8 xc90 - had no idea they even made a v8 I drove it and loved the intake and exhaust sounds, power and overall feel I looked it over and bought it on the spot. I've found it like any car has its quirks but the engine so far is easy to work on- I havn't done an alternator but having seen the location it's not as bad as folks make it out. If I were to look for another xc90 the only one I'd look for is the last possible vin of the 2010-2011 xc90 V8 run I could find R would be nice but any trim would do 80-110k miles and probably $18,000 -22,00 range though. In reading these boards in comparison to the Audi Porsche or BMW boards most folks that own an xc90 V8 aren't DIY experienced mechanics, so I'd guess that a 2008-2010 xc90 V8 would either be well maintained by an dealer or indy or owed by someone without the means to take care of it, so if you find a car that has multiple issues and "oh that's" even small ones it's likely that it will fit in the latter category.
 

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This is pretty disturbing, 8 to 9 hours to change an alternator? Just how many of the forum V8 owners have had to do that one? Please chime in! I am getting ready to pull the trigger on a 07 V8 but I need to find out if it has had the angle gear issue fixed, not sure how to verify that one, any ideas?
9 hours is possible if you don't have much mechanical expertise or tools, but engine removal? where did you hear that? You need to remove the pass side front axel and other suspension components to drop tie alternator out which is held in place by three bolts but that's it. The only SUV I know of that requires and engine be hoisted off the mounts for an alternator is the twin turbo diesel Toureg
 

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yeah looks pretty straight forward to me .... oh yeah beer breaks :beer: actually this is the kind of job if you don't have a well equipped garage and experience and unless you absolutely need the car back on the road the next day is to have the parts on hand then review the process on Friday evening print out some reference pages with a glass of wine or beverage of your choice, then start on a sat morning get everything prepped and the parts off and cleaned, then set it aside and do something else with your life and finish it on sunday. Probably the three best things you could buy for this job are a cordless impact wrench, a couple of high-intensity work lights and a long handles torque wrench
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you for the responses. I have a lift and proper tools plus the experience from rebuilding my Viggen, so I'm not afraid of doing the proper maintenance. We're leaning towards a local '06 2.5 with a hair over 100k miles. I guess I'll be doing the PCV and belt shortly after we purchase!
 

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Lots more space in a 2.5T and it's a tried and true Volvo engine so super easy to find job descriptions and user stories. Matched with the AW 5-speed, it's a proven platform in a number of other models over many years. V8 is a lot more fun to drive but they're not as common and historically have a touch few more engine accessory issues (likely due to heat and location). Plus packed in tight into the bay. PCV, belt, change ALL fluids when you get it just to have a good baseline. And if you're going to do much work on it over time, get a copy of VIDA at a minimum and a DICE if you can swing it. Will pay off 10x in the end.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you! I assume VIDA is the repair service software and a DICE is an engine management scanner? Where can I find the software? And how much do each usually run?
 

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If you check the forum there are so many threads in Vida and dice, with recommendations on which Chinese clones are worthwhile. I have an icarsoft scanner and that interfaces with individual modules and let's you reset them and its well worth the 80 bucks I spent on it. I also have Vida, which I downloaded off a torrent site, and I use that to get specific procedural information and part numbers, as well as look up the dtc codes the icarsoft gives me. It's very helpful.

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