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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello swedespeed community. I'm new to this forum. I read alot of threads and discussions on this site. I realize 95% of you are professionals when it comes to volvos. So I came to the guys who know best. I only scratch the surface in the car world, but I aspire to be a mechinal engineer specializing in cars. OK!!! HERE'S MY PROBLEM.

About a year ago I bought my first car. It is a 2004 Volvo S60R. I fell in love with it instantly! Paid $6000 for it with only 69,000 miles!!!!! I was sooooo happy even till this day, but... A year later I put the whole car's value back into it with the list of repairs that had to be done. In one year, I spent $6000 in repairs!!! I'm in college, only 20 years old working a minimum wage job!! My wallet is empty. I feel a swift kick to the nuts, whenever I bring it to my mechanic. I actually had to borrow some money from my private college account. So basically stealing from myself. My question to you guys is...

Should I keep it?

Car feels kinda soild now, but I know the front suspension needs work. I have a leaking strut, worn springs, and probably broken spring seats. About another $1500-$2500 dollars I'm guessing. Ride gets rough sometimes. KBB says the car is worth about 9 grand in great condition. So if I put in another 2k in repairs, I would of lost $5000 dollars. WHAT SHOULD I DO?!?!?! I LOVE THE CAR, BUT I CAN'T AFFORD TO LOSE ARMS AND LEGS! I got college to go to. Everyone tells me to sell it. I don't follow the crowd, but I got a bad feeling in the pit of my wallet about keeping it. What you you think?

Thank you everyone
 

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As a fellow twentysomething with a Volvo being merely the latest in a string of unreliable euroboxes, you really need to start doing some of these repairs yourself if you want to keep driving cars like this. Labor is ruinously expensive: front struts and spring seats are around $600 parts-only (after some shopping around) and an afternoon of work, or $1000 of parts and several hours of labor @ $80+/hour if you take it in somewhere.

The plus side to this? It's 2015 and you have The Internet™, a wondrous collection of the sum total of human knowledge. With The Internet™, I've been able to do all manner of repairs with little more than jack stands and a basic, $20-at-Sears toolset, as any repair you can possibly imagine has had someone do it, complain about it online, and document their misery. The folks here on Swedespeed are particularly excellent at both documenting and complaining.

Basically, learn to DIY, make a mechanic friend, or sell the car. I advocate option 1.
 

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I second my complaining. If you want the hurting to slow down, get a Honda or Toyota or do the work yourself


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You won't come close to getting 9K for the car. You paid 6K and its probably worth less on the open market. These cars are very expensive to maintain. Borrowing college money to fix your car is a mistake. When you are 45 and still paying that student loan you'll know why. I would suggest just trying to sell it as is and cut your losses. Repairs on any car can be expensive if you are on minimum wage. You should probably be driving something in your wage bracket such as an old civic. When you consider vehicles, remember if you couldn't afford a high line car new, you may not be able to afford the maintenance of a used one. I see this every day in the repair business. Just because you can afford the payment doesn't mean you can afford the car. Just hold off until you are making a better living and then go for a higher end vehicle.
 

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Unfortunately, this should be a sticky for the new potential generation of owneRs who are seeing the low entry price and figuring these are great starter cars. I don't mean that as a negative or as an uppity statement, but that there are VERY real costs associated with keeping these caRs on the road and they are easily double that of a standard econobox. My youngest brother is in a similar situation to many of the guys like the OP and he's got a hand-me-down car which is on its last leg and will soon need replaced. He asked what he should be looking for and I told him exactly what I'd tell anyone going to college and trying to make ends meet: Cheap, Basic, Reliable, Common. You want something you can afford (to buy and keep running), something without a lot of systems to keep up or things to break, something that should mostly just run and run, and something that's common enough that parts are available, advice is available, and nearly anyone can work on from a dealer to a shade tree mechanic.

Sorry this one hasn't worked out for you, but your best bet is not to leverage your future against yourself. Sell the caR, payoff the loan, finish school, use your degree to get a decent job, and then worry about getting something nice to drive. It's just sorting out your priorities. Good luck!
 

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Echoing what others have said, you won't get $9k for it. Not for a 2004 with almost 100k miles. You're probably looking at more like $7k.

If you can't afford it, just sell it. College and other upcoming life expenses take precedence over owning a swanky European sports sedan. You can always buy another one later on when you've got the money. Or if you really love the car, take that $2500 you were going to spend on suspension repairs and buy some beater-ass car to commute and daily drive. Take the R out for date nights with hot babes or for some spirited driving on the weekends.

To make this car affordable you really need to do most of the work yourself. My car has never been to the dealership since I've owned it over the past 40k miles. So like taloras said, learn to fix this stuff by yourself to save yourself some money, or ditch the R for a Toyota or Honda.
 

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I'm 20 and in college too man. Trust me you have to do nearly everything yourself to keep this car affordable. I bought mine with 150k for $5500 and thankfully the PO took excellent care of her as he was an enthusiast as well. I'm going for electrical engineering so I feel you in terms of sometimes having to spare time to work on the car. Trust me though, unless you want to drive around some 4 cylinder honda and keep expenses cheap, you have to do the work yourself. I've worked on cars with my dad since I was 14 so thankfully he has shown me plenty of stuff as well as sometimes still helping. If you can do brakes, oil, suspension, fluid changes, etc. by yourself then this car is honestly not that bad to maintain. FCPeuro has videos on how to change things as well as all the people on the forums. I've asked plenty of what might appear to be stupid ass questions to those who are experienced on here but hey, everyone's here to help. Our caRs are the definition of niche so we all have to stick together to keep these swedish masterpieces on the road. Get vida, fix that suspension, and ask whatever questions you have on here. The suspension and spring seats will run you about $600 but can easily be done if you set aside an afternoon. Mechanic bills add up but if you avoid that as much as possible then you'll be fine. Good luck on your car man.
 

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Dear me... As a college student with an R if I couldn't fix it I wouldn't own it. The only 2 things I'd consider having a shop do are LCAs and install a clutch. (And that's because LCAs on a P2 are horrible to do...). And given the labor for a clutch to mess it up isn't worth it. My R sees the dealership for 1 thing--alignments.
 

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I bought my 1st R when I was a sophomore in college back in fall 2011....I did pay $12500 out the door for 65k miles, and I didn't really have issues (I was lucky) until later on like passed 100k but I did the work my self. That's a must or you are going to go broke. Like my collar sleeve took me like 8 hours but it saved me probably like a grand, it sucked but was worth it. Join the car club or something...ppl are always willing to help if you want to learn.
Long story short....don't sell your R and drive a civic that would be embarrassing. You are only in your 20's once and in college for a short time. I miss ripping through uconn turning heads. Lol lol
 

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I bought my fist R at the age of 18 for 4500 with 164k on it and a sophomore in college. I spent more time working on my car and spending all my money on my R then focusing on school, and still I couldn't afford to fix everything I wanted. I sold it 2 years later and got another volvo, s40 t5 r-design and after about 8 months I sold that to get back into an R. A v70r for 9k with 113k, nothing is like an R. If you sell it you will miss it. You should learn to work on this car yourself. And prioritize on the things that must be fixed first and learn yourself. These cars are not that hard to work on. I quit school for a year to work as a Volvo mechanic to learn how to fix my R. I did everything myself before but when it came to complex jobs I often made novice mistakes. Sell it if you Dont want to work on it yourself but you'll often be thinking about your old R when you are cruising in a 4 banger. I'm 21 now and I love my R and I regret no decisions I've made. 🍺🍺

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I couldn't afford 3 cars if I didn't work on them myself. Just remember that every dollar you spend on tools is saving at least 5 at the shop.

Especially if you're ME with an automotove focus, you should be elbow deep in your car.

Where are you located? I can do struts and spring seats in about an hour. If you're in the Denver area I'd be willing to show you how.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow! This got alot more responses than I thought :) Thanks everyone for the input! I do have a huge metric tool set from last Christmas, and tons of handy car tools. So I think the answer is starting me straight in the face! And Btw, I live in North New Jersey :/ so thanks for the offer though guy who lives in Denver! I do have a good friend who specializes in automobiles so changing out those struts and whatnot might not be as hard as I thought! Thanks ya'll! Keep on posting, I'm all ears!!!
 

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I have owned 3 used Hondas now, 1 used Subaru, the V70 T5M, a Mazda and some American vehicles and by far I spent the most maintaining the Hondas. With the Mazda, plastic and stupid electronic stuff break. The American cars are designed to need constant attention before they hit 100K. The V70 doesn't have a lot of the finessed parts on an R, and I can only assume its was VERY well taken care of for its first 90K miles, because only the Subaru was less needy in the decade I owned it. The Hondas went back to the shop at least 2X/year. They were like girlfriends who didn't think they were getting enough attention. I am convinced the only reason you see 30 year old Accords on the road still is b/c the owners DON'T have girlfriends: that the car is the surregate.
 

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I bought my 1st R when I was a sophomore in college back in fall 2011....I did pay $12500 out the door for 65k miles, and I didn't really have issues (I was lucky) until later on like passed 100k but I did the work my self. That's a must or you are going to go broke. Like my collar sleeve took me like 8 hours but it saved me probably like a grand, it sucked but was worth it. Join the car club or something...ppl are always willing to help if you want to learn.
Long story short....don't sell your R and drive a civic that would be embarrassing. You are only in your 20's once and in college for a short time. I miss ripping through uconn turning heads. Lol lol
ayy I'm a senior at UConn. I live in Celeron and absolutely hate the speed bumps in the VR.
 

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Let's put it this way, I have been daily driving 2 different V70R's for about 4 1/2 years, and I haven't spent $6,000 fixing both of them.
 
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