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volvos expensive to work on??

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.
1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
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volvos expensive to work on??

Postby Gidish » 31 Jul 2004, 00:21

I'm looking to purchase a volvo c70 '98 and have heard rumors about maintenance. Are they reliable? What is the avg lifespan of the car before it becomes a lemon? And of course, how pricey are parts? Any info regarding volvo is appreciated and will aid in my decision to go with volvo or another company. Thanks in advance.
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Postby csbrianp » 12 Aug 2004, 00:00

I have a 98 Volvo S90. I bought it used a couple of years ago for my wife, and worried about the same thing at that time. Now two years later, I have replaced a serpentine belt, a seat heater switch and a couple of the instrument lights that were burned out. I find doing the little things like that easier than on the Honda I had before. We drive this car to and from California on once a month, and have had no problems. It's been so dependable I bought a 94 850 turbo last year, and have experienced the same reliability.
Also, taking any car to a dealer can be a costly decision, so I would suggest finding a local mechanic that you trust to do your work.

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Postby Stormin Norman » 12 Aug 2004, 20:06

With the exception of dog cars like a 99 S80, which was bad from the git go, well maintained Volvos don't ever become lemons. Instead they last for a real long time. Pro-active maintenance, preferably with a Volvo experienced IM, is essential to keep these cars running for a long time.

Exspensive? A Volvo water pump (as an example) costs twice what a Ford or Chevy does. It also lasts 3 to 5 times as long! Seems like the Volvo is cheaper to me in the long run. Volvo parts are usually far cheaper than BMW or Mercedes parts. A Volvo has a lot more in common with a Benz than a Dodge.

Buying parts at the dealer is usually a big rip. Local dealer wanted 62.00 for a radio power antenna mast (minus my 10% club discount) IPD charged 22.00 for the same part.

I think these cars are very good for the money. But I also believe that


"Quality is the only bargain". (Benjamin Frankin).
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Postby potroast » 12 Aug 2004, 20:38

buy your parts online.

do the work yourself.


If you do that, you'll have a fine time. If you take it to a shop, I hope you're rich.

I'm at 164k miles, and I'd be VERY disappointed if I got any less than 250 out of it!
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Postby Tsquared » 12 Aug 2004, 21:58

potroast wrote:buy your parts online.

do the work yourself.


If you do that, you'll have a fine time. If you take it to a shop, I hope you're rich.

I'm at 164k miles, and I'd be VERY disappointed if I got any less than 250 out of it!


What he said...

Good Advice. I would also recomed getting a Hanes Manual. Also change your trans fluid every 30 K miles.

Good Luck,
T
2011 C30 T5
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Postby TAFinley » 17 Aug 2004, 05:39

I agree with potroast. Buy your parts online and do the work yourself.

My 1985 245GL has 162K (US miles) with the original engine, starter, alternator, fuel pumps, power steering pump, and air conditioning components. It consumes about a quart of oil every 3K and doesn't leak at all (no drips on the garage floor).

Automatic transmission was rebuilt at 127K. New, "late-model", engine wiring harness (1/2 paid for by Volvo!) installed at 116K. Steering rack (ZF) was replaced at 95K.

So, what hasn't been so good? It needs a water pump every 40K or so and it seems to burn up the overdrive relay about every 4 years. Also, the wiring going through the tailgate (station wagon) has always been a pain. The body has had some issues with rust (but I live in the Northeast US where they spray salt solution everywhere if the weather people even hint that there might be snow).

But... It's been 100% reliable (has never broken down in 19 years) and I routinely drive it on long trips (>300 miles) without fear of breaking down.
Tom Finley

'97 854 T-5

'85 245 GL
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Postby Guest » 17 Aug 2004, 15:03

I also have a '7 854 T-5.

It has 52K miles and the only unexpected repair has been a new alternator (covered under warranty) at 1200 miles. The car has never broken down.

Now that it's seven years old, I'm doing a good bit of maintenance on it to get me through the next seven or so years. This summer, I've recharged the air conditioner, replaced the front rotors, brake pads all around, serpentine belt, and timing belt. Within the next week or so, I'll be replacing the upper engine mount bushing (it cracked). It's now on its second battery and second set of tires. I've not had to do any exhaust work yet.

The maintenance I've performed was recommended by the Volvo dealer at a cost of about $1500. For about $300 in parts and some of my time, I've taken care of all this maintenance myself.
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Re: volvos expensive to work on??

Postby dan_burdock » 19 Aug 2004, 13:53

I'd look else where my 850t5r has been the most unreliable car I have ever owned. Bought with 50 thousand on clock from reputable main dealer. 1 owner from new, full volvo service history. Had it for one year. New ABS tracs pump + ecu over a grand, air con faults totaling 500 gbp, scuffed tyres 2 sets after 10,000. 2 wheel bearngs, famous PNP switch, new lamda, failed CAT and now after 1 year I am sick of it, it has never been right since first purchase, I have had loads of time off work. I have owned 2 alfas which I thrashed the hell out of, tyres were the only real cost,
I have never thrashed the volvo, I can't for fear of some costly bill, When they say Volvo for life, they mean once you have bought it you can't get rid of it.
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Re: volvos expensive to work on??

Postby Guest » 16 Sep 2004, 21:44

I have an 850Turbo, '95. Bought with 112k miles. Now it has about 150k. I've abused it quite a bit - almost 40k in 2 years. Few problems, other than PNP and now the evaporator is leaking. Everything else is regular maintenace/consumables. I have a mechanic (non dealer) do all of the work - 1/2 price vs. the dealer.
I did have the coolant hose attached to the turbo break a year ago. I think that the quick-oil-change people broke it.

Expensive? More than my Chevy, but the parts last longer. I like the Chevy and the Volvo, both are good. I've never had to do an alignment on the volvo. Chevy needs it annually. ]
dan_burdock wrote:sts less to fix each time. Volvo doesn't break much but costs more to fix each time. My time is valuable, so the Volvo is better value. And, it is damn fast too.

You got a dud here. Sorry for the luck.

dan_burdock wrote:I'd look else where my 850t5r has been the most unreliable car I have ever owned. Bought with 50 thousand on clock from reputable main dealer. 1 owner from new, full volvo service history. Had it for one year. New ABS tracs pump + ecu over a grand, air con faults totaling 500 gbp, scuffed tyres 2 sets after 10,000. 2 wheel bearngs, famous PNP switch, new lamda, failed CAT and now after 1 year I am sick of it, it has never been right since first purchase, I have had loads of time off work. I have owned 2 alfas which I thrashed the hell out of, tyres were the only real cost,
I have never thrashed the volvo, I can't for fear of some costly bill, When they say Volvo for life, they mean once you have bought it you can't get rid of it.
Dan
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Volvo 96 850R

Postby bigc » 21 Apr 2005, 22:25

:cry: Avoid the Swedish (Now Ford) Monster. I have a '96 R wagon and the car has a very bad electrical system. It has been through two traction control computers ($400 each) and the ignition has had to be replaced. These electric problems are well documented in various forums. Don't be fooled - these are expensive cars that have lots of expensive problems. If you aren't mechanically inclined and don't have access to recyled parts (a yard specializing in Volvo's)stay away from these cars ...
bigc
 

Postby tina » 22 Apr 2005, 23:09

I've owned Ford, Pontiac (unfortunately), Renault, and Volvo, and I will never buy another car after owning Volvos. I can do so much work myself with minimal tools that I save lots of money.

Also, my 1987 740 wagon was totalled by a speeding drunk driver running a stop sign, and neither my boyfriend (who was a passenger - near the impact) or I was at all hurt - not even a twisted ankle or sore neck. That is when it was brought home to me that a serious accident can happen at any time without it being in any way your fault. I won't trust my life to anything less than a 5 star safety rating. I've checked out the stats in independent tests (not the insurance ones that include the cost of repairing low speed impact damage - I'm talking injury and fatility data) and all the Volvo cars by far exceed any other at least up until 1999... I have not check data for the 2000+ since I can't afford cars that new!

As for cost of maintenance, if you get a car that is well maintained you'll have a keeper. There are little things whcih can lead to expensive problems if neglected, such as flame trap cleaning, transmission flushing etc. These things are very very easy to do yourself - I am a nonmechanical person with minimal tools (rachet set, screwdrivers and that's about it). All you will need is a copy of the Haynes manual, torx driver set, and a pair of ramps!
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Reliability

Postby dosbricks » 23 Apr 2005, 02:48

After owning Volvos we will never go back to american cars. If something happened to one of ours we would replace with a pre '99 Volvo.
`96 850 GLT wagon
`98 S70
Best cars we ever owned.
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Postby Jaxx » 23 Apr 2005, 05:38

when my parents bought our first volvo, it was a '85 740 GLE estate... with 110k miles.(my dad said it was like 30k on an american car) It had a few problems that were an easy fix. that was in 1992/3. We kept it for a long time, logging lots of miles. when we donated it, it had 285k miles on it. still ran great, good air conditioning, even now, we see it around town, with a few different owners since 3 years ago.

we did PM well, which you should with any car, and my dad would clean the valves from a light every once and a while, the german way, when it had 260k+ miles on it.

the longest lasting car is what car you ask? It is a volvo, with over 2 MILLION miles.
1995 850 T5

...K&N airfilter...upped boost...Joy Life Alarm...

143,000 and some.
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Postby daves1800 » 26 Apr 2005, 17:31

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