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There is a lot of context needed here. I got this car from a previous owner four years ago and have only really put like maybe 8k miles on it in that time because it was at like 172k to begin with. They’d lovingly maintained the thing but then gave it to their teenaged daughter when she went to college and by the time she graduated it was well worn with torn seats, broken plastic electrical covers, etc. Otherwise okay, or so I thought. The reason I got it for 1500 registered was bc the ECU is bad and the previous owner had been quoted $2500 to replace it and so the SRS airbag system is disabled, so the car constantly flashes warnings about that, if it’s not flashing warnings about brake failure, which of course is false both due to the observed capability of this vehicle to brake effectively but also measurement that the brakes are at 4mm, which is dicey, but I’ve got a little left until I need to replace them. Especially given that since the pandemic, the maximum I will drive the thing is maybe 10 miles around town a day on a weekend, usually just the 6 mile round trip between home and work. So I’ve just been keeping it topped up with fluids after its recent repair and it’s gone okay. The thing is I had to pay $350 plus use up a roadside assistance occurrence for the tow because my fuel line started leaking, because my shocks are so worn that I’ve bottomed out on speed bumps and the like so many times that the fuel line was actually ruptured and needed repair. The part was like $80, the rest of the charge was all labor they did without me asking lol, not going back there again.
The shop charged me like $200 to recommend this $3000 of maintenance that they didn’t do, to replace the shocks and the struts and Do a transmission fluid flush and a power steering fluid flush, because both supposedly looked contaminated and in need of replacement. I believe them that my shocks and struts need replacing. But can it be done on my basic as heck base model volvo v70 2002 without me spending a whole $3000, twice what I paid for the car? The folks at that shop didn’t even recommend I have the services they were offering done, their receptionist told me to buy a used Subaru Forester instead. & while I appreciate that they are the Japanese volvo or whatever I am one of those Volvo Wagon Guys even though my wagon looks like garbage. I do too though, we look like trash together and could both use a paint job and sunroof cleaning.

Another important point of context is that I am very poor. I work 40 hours a week 52 weeks a year for an hourly wage that amounts to about $32k a year after taxes, on which me & my spouse both depend. I live in one of the most expensive states in the union, WA state, and have terrible credit. However bad you think my credit must be it’s worse.
This is why I bought such a problematic volvo, because rarely can I afford more than a $200 car repair bill, let alone buy a new car. But I love this awful thing and I want it to be truly road worthy. I have always driven it in the slow lane on the freeway because the shocks are so bad, but the shop that wanted $3k said even that was risky. I do want the steering wheel to stop shaking at low speeds, it evens out once you get going, but it still worries me for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I must say I am
A Certified Noob at car repair and diagnostics, I have been told by any mechanic that sees my car that the only place that can see the Special Volvo OBD Codes is a dealership, but the nearest one is Jim fisher 50 miles away in Portland. The car has made the trip down I5 and back many a time but I am wary of doing it with the shocks so bad just to go get a quote for electronics work and suspension work. Anyone more experienced out here with Portland, Oregon area volvo dealers and shops? I feel like Jim Fisher and Herzog-Meier can’t be the only ones with those dealership code readers, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I also have barely maintained the thing since I got it so cheap but now I’m realizing I need to put a lot more into it to keep it going, is it worth it or am I chasing the sunk cost fallacy, because maybe I could find another v70 out there with that distinctive grille, headlight and taillight setup that was better maintained? There is only one other V70 like mine in town and it is pristine, the owner is probably on this forum, TBQH and I’ve always wanted to meet them and be like “same car!!!” Their license plate is USWEDE as in Do U Even Swede Bro and I am happy to say that I do! This imaginary parasocial car camaraderie is why I want to restore my v70, also because I think it looks cool, which is good because I can’t afford another car.
 

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I also have barely maintained the thing since I got it so cheap but now I’m realizing I need to put a lot more into it to keep it going, is it worth it or am I chasing the sunk cost fallacy, because maybe I could find another v70 out there with that distinctive grille, headlight and taillight setup that was better maintained? There is only one other V70 like mine in town and it is pristine, the owner is probably on this forum, TBQH and I’ve always wanted to meet them and be like “same car!!!” Their license plate is USWEDE as in Do U Even Swede Bro and I am happy to say that I do! This imaginary parasocial car camaraderie is why I want to restore my v70, also because I think it looks cool, which is good because I can’t afford another car.
Since owning it I have bought:
Gas ($ I don’t want to know)

oil changes, and and an engine and cabin air filter, duh, sometimes getting the chump ones that replace other fluids as well for too much money because I was in a rush justa guess at $500 over 4 years?

A new OEM alternator, $600 with parts and labor bc the old one didn’t work apparently, still think that mechanic might have scammed me lol but the car did start again after that **** so he did something good. No service record though

Some detergent fuel additives and oil to top up maybe $50

“Diagnostic” on video $200 by arts automotive and something plus fuel line replacement= $362

i have already spent well over $1550 on this car over four years of owning it, and I don’t want it to be a money pit but I also want to have a safe car to drive anywhere I want to go and not just be restricted to carefully limping it along the slow lane of the freeway at 60mph with everyone passing bc I don’t want to run off the road due to oversteering messed with by bad shocks.
 

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"My mechanic wants $3k to replace the shocks and struts on my 2002 v70 that I bought for $1200 plus registration fee, with 180k miles do I do it."

Seems very, very, very, very (last one) steep for just shocks and struts. Price out parts at FCP Euro (lifetime warranty), 1A Auto (many parts lifetime warranty), Rockauto and Carid. Then call other shops for installation pricing. I think you might consider another mechanic after that. Good providence.

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"My mechanic wants $3k to replace the shocks and struts on my 2002 v70 that I bought for $1200 plus registration fee, with 180k miles do I do it."

Seems very, very, very, very (last one) steep for just shocks and struts. Price out parts at FCP Euro (lifetime warranty), 1A Auto (many parts lifetime warranty), Rockauto and Carid. Then call other shops for installation pricing. I think you might consider another mechanic after that. Good providence.

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I agree, I’m seeing like $2300 for parts to completely replace the front and rear suspension of a FWD 2002 volvo v70 base 2.4l model like I’ve got and I’m wondering if I misinterpreted their recommendations. I truly hope so, or else I hope I can find some place to actually replace the whole suspension system because I suspect that’s what it really needs, but if I had the money to do that then I would probably try to upgrade the base suspension to more of a rally car type ride for fast and safe cornering on the highway plus the ability to safely navigate country roads without bottoming out the springs repeatedly and causing damage like I did to the stock model by driving it rough on rural roads with sheer ditches on either side on the small island I grew up on and moved back to briefly after college, I order to get to work on time I was working those then 14 year old springs tougher than they could handle and now the thing bottoms out on speed bumps.


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I agree, I’m seeing like $2300 for parts to completely replace the front and rear suspension of a FWD 2002 volvo v70 base 2.4l model like I’ve got and I’m wondering if I misinterpreted their recommendations. I truly hope so, or else I hope I can find some place to actually replace the whole suspension system because I suspect that’s what it really needs, but if I had the money to do that then I would probably try to upgrade the base suspension to more of a rally car type ride for fast and safe cornering on the highway plus the ability to safely navigate country roads without bottoming out the springs repeatedly and causing damage like I did to the stock model by driving it rough on rural roads with sheer ditches on either side on the small island I grew up on and moved back to briefly after college, I order to get to work on time I was working those then 14 year old springs tougher than they could handle and now the thing bottoms out on speed bumps.


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Complete suspension vs shocks and struts are two very different quotes. As for upgrades, don't waste so much money, time, effort and brain cells with that much mileage, besides you described it as pretty beat up. Those transmissions are known to be problematic also if it has not been taken care of. Get it to Stage O and use it as a daily and save your money for another car more suitable for your optimum driving environment, the one you need or likely to encounter.

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Junk yards and used parts are your friend here, if there are any local it will give you a chance to prepare the job ahead. Invest in tools, second hand tools if you need, and you-tube tutorials. Suspension/breaks on this vehicle is not rocket surgery. A little know how goes a long way and will serve you well with this or any other vehicle in the future. Also, it's already broke, fastest way to learn something is to do it wrong. It's a cheap car, don't put good money into it. Sell it for what it's worth now or get wrenching.
 

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I would invest that little cash that you set aside for parts and that little free time you have for investing in the future and securing your income. Learning the basics of software Quality Engineering is not hard, it is not a prestigious work for some reason, while the demand is very high, so finding a job is easy. You can work from home, too. Your first full-time QE job will pay at least twice of what you do now, and that will be only the beginning.

Then, in 2-3 years, you can afford overhauling pretty much any car, not chipping resources from life's basics.
 

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Unfortunately, older Volvos aren't much of a bargain, unless they have a well documented maintenance history, or you can work on them yourself, or you can pay someone to do the job for you. They tend to get needy around 125k-150k miles. Now, once the problem areas are addressed, you're good for awhile.

To address the immediate suspension issues, you can get a set of FCS strut assemblies and shocks from Rock Auto for under $200. Then, find a mechanic on Craigslist that'll do it for you. Two hours should do it. Not my preferred solution, but in a bind it should work. It's basic wrench turning. The Craigslist route can be sketchy, so ask questions.

Are there other things that might need to be done? Probably. Lower control arms, ball joints, tie rod ends, sway bar endlinks all probably need attention, if they are still original. But, that'll be the next round.

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I'm sure I paid under $700 for Sachs struts and shocks, mount/seats from FCP Euro for my 06 V70 2.5t. I paid $250 for Vogtland lowering springs off eBay. I don't know how much book time for labor, but I'd imagine around 5 hours for all four corners, so yes I think $3k is overpriced.

If you are handy but don't want to mess with compressing the springs, there are quick struts out there already assembled that you can just mount on the car, rears are not bad to do.
 

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"My mechanic wants $3k to replace the shocks and struts on my 2002 v70 that I bought for $1200 plus registration fee, with 180k miles do I do it."

Seems very, very, very, very (last one) steep for just shocks and struts. Price out parts at FCP Euro (lifetime warranty), 1A Auto (many parts lifetime warranty), Rockauto and Carid. Then call other shops for installation pricing. I think you might consider another mechanic after that. Good providence.

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Do this. I bought a quick strut kit for both front assemblies (oem components only) that came preassembled for $600 and the shop quoted an install at $350. $950 is nowhere near $3k.

Also just do yourself a favor and drop $100 on the volvo vida tool and run your own diagnostics. I think you would be surprised at how many issues you can resolve yourself with minimal effort.


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T-scandia in Tigard is a good shop. I have used them a time or two when I didn't want to do the work myself, they are Volvo specialists. You might also contact MPH Specialties in N Portland. Google will supply details.
 
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