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Volvo Newbie Here!

I'm very interested in purchasing a 1999 XC70 with 122k miles from a private seller on Craigslist. I'm going to see it and take a test drive today or tomorrow, but wanted to tap into the resources of this board. My current ride is a 1998 Nissan Altima, very low maintenance car that got me through college with zero problems. I live in the Inland Northwest and love to ski/fly-fish/camp so I've been looking for a wagon that will feature all the functionality I desire and also provide safety during the winter. I have two young kids (ages 3 & 1) so the safety of a Volvo is a huge plus for me. I understand the undertaking of purchasing an older Volvo, and don't mind getting my hands dirty to help keep a great car running.

The car does have the check engine and airbag light on, but the owner took it to the local Volvo dealer to get everything checked out and I will be doing the test drive after it has been returned from the dealer. Aside from running a code scan and examining the car during the test drive, what should I lookout for? If this car checks out I would like to get it into the 250K+ mileage range, is that realistic? I've done quite a bit of reading on these forums the last few days but I just thought I would jump in the conversation and hopefully make the right decision.

I look forward to any and all input, thanks!
 

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I bought a 2000 XC a couple months ago. Lots of maintenance issues. Definitely make sure that whatever issues are with the codes are taken care off. I made the mistake of taking the guys word and found a giant headache instead.

Things replaced: crank position sensor, camshaft position sensor, plugs (buy Volvo plugs!), both 02 sensors, spliced together cut wires from wiring harness, spliced together coil plug wires, several fuses replaced (from said wiring issues), intake filter, fuel filter (was really bad), suspension front and rear (nivomats in the rear are crazy expensive), front rotors and pads, transmission fluid replaced, transmission gasket (I think) replaced, top engine mount bushing (was in three pieces).

Upgrades: 16t turbo swap, IPD Swaybars front and rear, JZW tune, wheels and tires.

To do: brake fluid and lines, PVC system, coil packs, TCV, bottom engine mount bushings.

Tentative replacement next year: injectors, full pump, down pipe.

The car has left me stranded twice because of stupid electrical issues. However, since then there have been no stranded issues. I would highly recommend not replacing the turbo until all the basic maintenance stuff is fixed, but it certainly is point out of lot of the issues. Hopefully with a couple more rounds of major maintenance it'll be reliable for another 100k+. Which it better be since my DD beater has now cost more than the damn purchase price...

Basically, get it fully inspected before you buy and know for sure what the issues are. The basic maintenance of a vehicle that hasn't been taken care of adds up very quickly.
 

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If you like the 99 XC, but would prefer fewer possible
maintainence issues, consider a '98. It's the same body
and AWD with a simpler drivetrain and electronics package.
 

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You can't be choosy these days as there are VERY few decent ones left, so you find the best 98-2000 you can.
Do not buy a year or a color, you buy the best XC that's for sale..... anywhere
 
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