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I am not too familiar with Volvos, I've been driving Hondas for the past couple decades, but am thinking about buying a used XC. Searching around the internet and seeing problems people talk about concern me. But, I'm not sure how common these problems really are. Is 100k miles too many to expect a few years of mostly problem free driving with one of these? Or, what kind of reliability can I expect?

The one I have looked at is an 08 XC90 with the 3.2 motor. lt was a very clean vehicle and seemed to drive nice. I didn't inspect anything too closely, but when I popped the hood and looked down, it appears to have grease/oil on the frame on the passenger's side. I also pulled the oil dipstick, and it appears to have oil burnt to it around the bend in the dipstick. Should I run away from this otherwise nice vehicle based on these things?

There is another dealer who has an 07 XC90 with the V8. It's got a broken tail light and fogged over headlights, not quite as clean as the other one I looked at, but hey, it's got a V8! I have not driven this one yet, the dealer said it needs a new power steering pump, which they are waiting for.

Both of these have 100k miles on them. Would one of these likely be more reliable? Or should I be looking for an older 2.5T for higher reliability?

Thanks,
Bill
 

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My '05 V8 had 99k-and-change miles on it when I bought it. It's got about 225k on it now. Maintenance (mainly suspension wear on our bomb-cratered Michigan roads) was a bit pricey until I started doing it myself. The only problems I have had are:
- an issue with corrosion on the fuel pump control module (PEM) connector which let to random shutdowns (I'm pretty sure this issue was fixed by the '08 year - they relocated the module to the vehicle interior from its original location in the wheel well)
- lost drive to the rear wheels (been tracing this one down in fits and starts, and I might need to spend $300 or so on a salvaged rear diff)
- valve cover gasket leak (sounds like your 3.2 has a similar issue), which shouldn't be too painful to correct when I get around to it

For the miles I've put on it, I don't think that's too bad...definitely no worse than I've had with other vehicles past and present. I'd do it again with no hesitation.

Edit to add: I had the cloudy headlights too. Treated them with a decent headlight restorer kit (Mother's Heavy Duty, with polishing pads included, for about $30), and a year later they still look fine.
 

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Like any car, if the owner showed some love to the car I feel the XC90 is awesome value. But unlike a Honda or Toyota, you can’t ignore the maintenance and wait for something to break and have a quick cheap fix.

V8 drives great and if you live in hilly areas , well worth it. Engine is super reliable but harder to repair due to available space in the hood to work on it.

Sounds like you have already read about 2.5 and 3.2 engine. Regardless of the engine, I would go with the vehicle that has seen the most love.


2010 xc90 3.2 using Tapatalk
 

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The one I have looked at is an 08 XC90 with the 3.2 motor. lt was a very clean vehicle and seemed to drive nice. I didn't inspect anything too closely, but when I popped the hood and looked down, it appears to have grease/oil on the frame on the passenger's side. I also pulled the oil dipstick, and it appears to have oil burnt to it around the bend in the dipstick. Should I run away from this otherwise nice vehicle based on these things?
Hi Bill, I'm new to Volvos also. I switched from VW and Subaru this past October after our third child was born. We had considered several 3rd row vehicle of different makes as well as mini vans. I've always been partial to European vehicles ( and not mini vans ) and the 2010 xc90 3.2 we bought has worked nicely for us so far. It had 132k on it when we bought it and all I've really had to do so far, mostly because I enjoy maintaining my vehicles more than the car having issues, is rear differential fluid flush/refill, power steering flush/refill and engine oil change. Initially I liked that the 3.2 doesn't have a timing belt and I read less problems with the transmissions over the 2.5 models. I plan to flush and refill the gear oil in the haldex, and angle gear as well as transmission fluid. Despite keeping the tire pressure full, I've noticed that the front tires have shown wear sooner than I was used to with other cars. This is, from what I've read, to be expected with an xc90.
I'd suggest getting a copy of VIDA-DICE on a designated laptop if you plan to do any of your own maintenance, the transmission fluid flush/refill particularly. If you say that the 3.2 xc90 you saw had oil on the passenger side of the bay, it could possibly be due to sloppy maintenance in the car's past due to the oil filter being on that side on the bay (it faces upwards and can make a bit of a mess to a novice removing it).

Good luck finding the right car that suits your needs.
 

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98 S70 Base, 06 S40 T5 M66 FWD, 08 C70 M66, 11 XC90 V8, 13 C70 P*
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Sounds like you have already read about 2.5 and 3.2 engine. Regardless of the engine, I would go with the vehicle that has seen the most love.
+1. I picked up my '11 last summer with 135k on it, but it was obviously well maintained throughout its life. We're likely to put 20k on it before this coming summer is over, and absolutely no issues so far.

BD

'06 S40 M66 T5 FWD, '08 C70 M66 T5 Premier Plus, '11 XC90 V8 AWD, '13 C70 T5 Platinum P* ('94 854T, '05 S60 2.5T FWD, & '04 XC90 2.5T AWD R.I.P.)
 

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I've noticed that the front tires have shown wear sooner than I was used to with other cars. This is, from what I've read, to be expected with an xc90.
I'm hoping this is not true. If it hasn't ever been done, I can pretty much guaranty you need ball joints and lower control arms, and probably upper spring seats and struts. Now that I've done all that, I'm hoping for at least 40K miles out of my new tires.
 

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I am not too familiar with Volvos, I've been driving Hondas for the past couple decades, but am thinking about buying a used XC. Searching around the internet and seeing problems people talk about concern me. But, I'm not sure how common these problems really are. Is 100k miles too many to expect a few years of mostly problem free driving with one of these? Or, what kind of reliability can I expect?.....
You're going to want the V8, but go with a newer model 3.2 instead, it's a better choice over the long haul. Don't try to work a "deal" car (there will be something wrong with the car or some big service item coming up), and find one as folks have articulated above. For the 3.2, ask the seller specifically if the car burns much oil and/or if there ever was an engine problem that the dealer resolved. After 100k miles, front end will need something done, pay the money forward as you can to keep the car working well and you'll be glad you did. Neglect the car and things will add up. And read the How-To, why it's there.

Advice on the VIDA DICE, for sure do it if you're serious about keeping this car. Link here- https://forums.swedespeed.com/showthread.php?481385-VIDA-Dice-2014D-VM-Image-Download-Link if you can get it loaded on a machine (instructions as well in link and general forum one level up). It's a whole bunch of interesting if you're technically minded, can see in detail what you would be expecting. Can also grab a user guide if you're thinking about a model year here- https://volvo.custhelp.com/app/homeV3

Good luck in your search.
 

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Why would you switch from Honda? Don't expect something more reliable here. But if your interest is in owning the safest SUV ever produced then you'll need to accept some aggravation and cost with respect to maintenance vs Honda.

100k miles isn't terribly high, but how the car was cared for is going to weigh heavily.
 

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Like people have said, as long as there are good maintenance and records, it may be worth it. I know that Hondas can be a bear in maintenance because all fluids have to be changed between 15-25k miles and they can rust easily. This is not the case with Volvos, albeit for engine oil, Haldex fluid, and transmission fluid. If you have the indications of poor maintenance and oil changes, then it may be a good idea to move to the next vehicle. A V8 is a good option as long as you also have good maintenance records and trust your instincts on the maintenance.

When I buy a used car, I always change all fluids and filters when I get the vehicle. I suggest factoring that into your price.

You will find almost all XC90s of this generation are all well past 100k miles and can reach 200k miles. They are also safer than Hondas. Not a difficult choice in my opinion. Having to maintain a family member's 2008 Honda Pilot, what I can say the difference is with Volvo is it can feel almost new with good maintenance, not the same with Honda.
 

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I am not too familiar with Volvos, I've been driving Hondas for the past couple decades, but am thinking about buying a used XC. Searching around the internet and seeing problems people talk about concern me. But, I'm not sure how common these problems really are. Is 100k miles too many to expect a few years of mostly problem free driving with one of these? Or, what kind of reliability can I expect?

The one I have looked at is an 08 XC90 with the 3.2 motor. lt was a very clean vehicle and seemed to drive nice. I didn't inspect anything too closely, but when I popped the hood and looked down, it appears to have grease/oil on the frame on the passenger's side. I also pulled the oil dipstick, and it appears to have oil burnt to it around the bend in the dipstick. Should I run away from this otherwise nice vehicle based on these things?

There is another dealer who has an 07 XC90 with the V8. It's got a broken tail light and fogged over headlights, not quite as clean as the other one I looked at, but hey, it's got a V8! I have not driven this one yet, the dealer said it needs a new power steering pump, which they are waiting for.

Both of these have 100k miles on them. Would one of these likely be more reliable? Or should I be looking for an older 2.5T for higher reliability?

Thanks,
Bill
I bought an '07 3.2 with 120k on it and am now five years in at 200k without any real maintenance or service costs until very recently (failed ignition coil pack).

-- DavidV :D
 

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2009 R Design 3.2 here! 172k drives like new

Bought it used from a side dealership with 164k December 2018
 

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We just picked up a '14 with 50k for a little over 20k. Had a full service history and is loaded. Great vehicle for the money. I drove every engine permutation except the t6 and I liked them all. It came down to buying the newest, lowest mile example in the best shape we could find. I shopped for almost a year until we found "the one".

Service history is key, make sure whatever you buy has one. I wouldn't shy away from a higher mileage XC as long as the wear and tear was low (good bellweather for overall condition) and the service was documented.

Sent from my VS987 using Tapatalk
 

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You will find almost all XC90s of this generation are all well past 100k miles and can reach 200k miles. They are also safer than Hondas. Not a difficult choice in my opinion. Having to maintain a family member's 2008 Honda Pilot, what I can say the difference is with Volvo is it can feel almost new with good maintenance, not the same with Honda.
I agree, and am also maintaining my wife's 2007 Honda Pilot as well (good vehicle but not exactly the XC). I purchased my 2008 XC90 V8 Executive with 65k on the odometer and have been throwing miles at it with another 120k added over the last 3 and 1/2 years (at 185k currently). With me it's almost a necessity that I keep this thing going well into 200k and beyond, simply for a decent return on investment with the original used vehicle price. This particular XC90 never having seen a winter prior to 2015-2016 also helps, due to it being a West Coast/California vehicle. At this point the only "big" problem is the angle gear collar sleeve that I am debating on fixing now or later, and the eventual need for replacing most of the hoses in the engine bay due to the excessive heat and likely deterioration over the years.

If I keep the vehicle to 300k it makes sense and is worth it to me - I love everything about it and wish I had an unlimited supply of them to drive. :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Unfortunately, there aren't much for service records available for the 08 3.2, beyond what is in CARFAX. Here is a picture of the grease/oil that I saw looking down in the engine compartment on the passenger's side of the vehicle.

https://pbase.com/billhuegerich/image/169175037

It looks like they had a leak checked, but then got rid of the vehicle shortly afterwards...
11/30/2018
96,162
Engine oil/fluid leak checked
Oil and filter changed
Engine oil filter adapter replaced
04/30/2019
100,401
Dealer Inventory
Vehicle offered for sale
05/07/2019
Pre-delivery inspection completed
Headlights serviced
Vehicle washed/detailed
Oil and filter changed
Four tires balanced
Four tires mounted
Front brake pads replaced
Rear brake pads replaced

So, I'm not sure if that should be a red flag that they had an oil leak checked, and then got rid of the car. But, new tires and brakes look good.

I went and looked at the 07 v8 again, and they let me drive it around town, even though they haven't replaced the power steering pump yet. Wow, that power was really impressive... But, it's clearly had a rougher life than the 08 3.2. And there are oil spots on various areas under the hood, not sure how much of that is related to the power steering pump leak. I want that v8 to be a good car, but my gut feeling is telling me that the 08 3.2 looks so much better taken care of...
 

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That picture is of the oil filter housing and from the carfax it appears that it was replaced - pretty easy and nothing to be concerned with if that was the issue.

Regarding these particular cars you are looking at, sometimes it's best to go with your gut or continue the search if you feel you'd want the V8 but aren't quite comfortable with this one.
 

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The 07 may have the valve body issue in the transmission, can check the SN and see if it starts with 06J or less as a point of reference. The I6 might be a leak by the oil filter, can't really see from your photo. More than a few cars show up around the 100k range as they get traded in and if the V8 is running a little wet, it's probably valve covers and maybe a seeping PS pump. Pump is $450 just for the part, the valve cover gasket work with parts and labor will set you back around $800.

For the person with the V8 and the "angle gear collar sleeve" problem, it's probably not just the sleeve. One major reason NOT to consider the V8 if you don't know the history.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Here are some pics from the V8, which jumped out to me as potentially bad...

https://pbase.com/billhuegerich/image/169175898
https://pbase.com/billhuegerich/image/169175897
https://pbase.com/billhuegerich/image/169175896
https://pbase.com/billhuegerich/image/169175895
https://pbase.com/billhuegerich/image/169175894
https://pbase.com/billhuegerich/image/169175893
https://pbase.com/billhuegerich/image/169175892
https://pbase.com/billhuegerich/image/169175891
https://pbase.com/billhuegerich/image/169175890

The V8 also had a skid system warning message. The dealer said that is a sensor under the passenger's seat, which they will fix along with the power steering pump and that plastic piece on the side of the seat in the last pic.
 

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That plastic piece on the seat seems to break on all of them - some multiple times.
 

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Unfortunately, there aren't much for service records available for the 08 3.2, beyond what is in CARFAX. Here is a picture of the grease/oil that I saw looking down in the engine compartment on the passenger's side of the vehicle.

https://pbase.com/billhuegerich/image/169175037

It looks like they had a leak checked, but then got rid of the vehicle shortly afterwards...
11/30/2018
96,162
Engine oil/fluid leak checked
Oil and filter changed
Engine oil filter adapter replaced
Agree, it looks like the oil filter housing gasket or housing cover leaked and was fixed. The oil on the frame also looks old. If that is all you can see, then it might be worth it.

Depending on the previous maintenance, in the next 10-30k miles, you might have to do suspension work regardless of which XC90 powerplant you get. It is the same with Hondas with the control arm bushing wear and ball joints. Also factor in the cost of changing all the fluids (rear diff, center diff angle gear, transmission), the AOC (Haldex) AWD fluid and filter (Honda suggests their AWD fluid ~20k miles) every 30-40k miles for Volvo, fuel filter, 0W-40 Mobil 1 engine oil, maybe spark plugs, and you should be good to go.

There are many many high mileage success stories for the 3.2, V8, and 2.5t. With good engine oil selection and maintenance, the 3.2 engine shouldn't burn oil, unlike the known oil consumption issues of Honda V6s because of the cylinder deactivation VCM.

Lastly, go check FCP Euro for your Volvo parts. They have a lifetime warranty on all their parts and oil. Plus, you can usually get original Volvo parts for cheaper from them. I typically have to pay more for Honda parts than comparable Volvo because I have to order from one of the dealerships, like Bernardi.
 
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