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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I haven't posted on this forum for a long time. Here's my dilemma. I bought the S60R when it was (re)released in 2004. Been happy with it ever since for the most part, but I drove it primarily to the train station and back when I was working (now semi-retired). The care only has 69K on it, but I've rarely driven it since we moved and I don't need it for the commute. A couple months ago it wouldn't start. Turned out to be the ignition coil. No big deal. Repair guy also noted stiffness in the steering, which I had been experiencing as well. He couldn't say for sure whether it's the rack and pinion (ouch) or the power steering pump (smaller ouch, apparently) or perhaps something else. I told him I needed to think about what I wanted to do about it. Took the car home. The steering is very stiff. Put off dealing with it cause I just don't drive the thing. Now the battery is dead and won't hold a charge. I think the norse gods are telling me it's time to move on and sell the car. However, that probably means throwing money at it to figure out what the problem is. If I get it fixed and trade it in, the online quotes I'm seeing for trade value make it seem to be barely worth the effort. I'm not a big fan of private sales, but maybe that's a better way to go. The car's exterior is in decent shape. There's one dent on the passenger side from when I ran over a branch and the damn thing broke and some how popped up and dinged the door. A scrape or two on the bumper. No paint issues (silver), but it's not pristine either. Driver's seat has a split along one of the seams that could probably be sewed back up but otherwise in good shape. In general, it's in average to maybe a little above average shape given it's age and low mileage. So here are my questions:

* Does anyone have experience with stiff steering issues with their R? What was the cause and cost to fix?

* What can I reasonably expect to get for the car on trade (assuming it's been fixed)?

* What can I expect to get for it in a private transaction? Are the R's easy to sell or really hard to get rid of privately?

* What would you do in my shoes?

Thanks!
 

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To find the most educated buyer for the car I'd put it for sale here on swedespeed. Follow the ad posting suggestions, clean the car up and take lots of pictures. Give folks the good, bad, and ugly so there's no surprises for either party. Dig out the service records you have for the car as it's now 15 years old now so any buyer would want to see what's been done to it. As to what to ask, I'd consult few sites like kbb and nada to get a general idea. A one owner R with lower miles is pretty rare. Depending on where you live and the price I'd imagine you'd have some interest. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the input. I'd be more inclined to offer it for sale privately on a site like this. (Give it a good home to one of my own clan, so to speak.) I shutter at the idea of Craig's List or whatever. Any thoughts on the stiff steering or need to bite the bullet on repair?

P.S. I'm in Stamford, Connecticut. Shot in the dark: does anyone have recommendations for a good (non-dealer) mechanic around here?
 

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Yeah - you're in Volvo land! Talk to ScottishBrick.
 

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Thanks for the input. I'd be more inclined to offer it for sale privately on a site like this. (Give it a good home to one of my own clan, so to speak.) I shutter at the idea of Craig's List or whatever. Any thoughts on the stiff steering or need to bite the bullet on repair?

P.S. I'm in Stamford, Connecticut. Shot in the dark: does anyone have recommendations for a good (non-dealer) mechanic around here?
There's a shop up in Watertown called Rolling Motors - not exactly close to you but that's all I know. They have a reputation for doing very good work.
 

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* Does anyone have experience with stiff steering issues with their R? What was the cause and cost to fix?
Thanks!
I had. Pretty much same symptoms and I thought on the steering rack. But it was a join in the steering column, comes with a section of steering column, he said it was a relatively common issue. Here is the part:
https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/volvo-steering-shaft-lower-s60-v70-xc70-s80-30741950


* What would you do in my shoes?
Everyone situation is different. I'm on the fence what to do with R as well. Just ask yourself if 1. do you need a car. 2. if you still like driving R (considering things fixed). 3. does it make sense financially etc.
One thing I'm sure - don't trade it. Private sell is pretty straight forward transaction and you could make someone happy with low l mileage R and get yourself more money that in trade-in along the way.



* What can I expect to get for it in a private transaction? Are the R's easy to sell or really hard to get rid of privately?
Personally, I like to use edmunds.com car value estimator. I've sold probably over 10 cars privately and their estimate for "private sale" was always around $100 up/down from my actual sale price.
 

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I'd replace the battery and the steering shaft and call it a day. Could also be the solenoid that controls the speed sensitive steering or the relay for it.
 

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I would definitely try to sell the car to an actual R/volvo enthusiast. A dealer trade in will give you peanuts towards what the car is worth to the right person. It also allows you to make sure the car goes to someone who will take care of it.

As the 3rd owner of a well taken care higher mileage (some may even say battle scarred) 04 R, I greatly appreciate the care the first owner put into it. But at the end of the day it is your decision, and you have to do whatever makes sense for you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone for the useful replies (and reality check). Looks like I've just gotta bite the bullet and get the repair work done. Still interested in any suggestions for a Stamford/Darien, CT mechanic who knows his stuff about Volvos. The guy I used before seems to be fair and competent, but I didn't get a lot of warm and fuzzys about his Volvo expertise. Curious how much you think that matters for something like a steering stiffness issue like this one. Thanks again.
 

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In my case the dude I use diagnosed the issue before even getting into the car. I described symptoms, he said "it must be that, common issue", then we went for a test drive and he said Yep. But he is running a Volvo shop. few members here use his services.
 

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This

With that low of mileage, i'd shoot the U joint with some good spray oil and see what happens. That puts you in it for like 200 bucks. From there, i'd probably look at that relay down in the drivers footwell. Maybe inspect the rack where the blue colored connector meets it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Turns out that the tie rods were shot. Once those were replaced, steering is back to the sweet, firm but responsive, normal. Not an inexpensive repair but it could have been a lot worse. Drove the car home from the repair shop and started getting sentimental about keeping the car. It really does have a timeless look, inside and out, but I think it's time to move on. I'll be posting some pics and asking for input on what to ask for the car shortly. Already have one person interested locally but not sure what's a fair price for an unusually low mileage R like mine (68,400) with just a few dings and dents and the usual wear and tear. Thanks for the input.

By the way, I reached out to Ben McNally at Rolling Motors as suggested by Hounddogger. Very friendly and certainly knows his stuff about Volvos, but his shop is just a little too far for me to go.
 
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