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How reliable is the Volvo V70? (2004-2007)

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's stylish, distinctive "P2" platform cars.

2001 - 2007 V70
2004 - 2007 V70 R
2001 - 2007 XC-70
2001 - 2009 S60
2003 - 2007 S60 R

JackJohn77
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How reliable is the Volvo V70? (2004-2007)

Post by JackJohn77 » Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:02 am

I've been considering buying one of these but I'm concerned about reliability. I'm looking at getting something like a 2006 T5 with between 100-120k miles. How is the reliability and cost of maintenance for these cars?

Is it like a BMW where it needs religious maintenance and it'll still break down occasionally? Or more like buying an old Toyota Camry that won't die no matter what you do to it?

I understand they are fairly old at this point, but I'm hoping they are still solid even at this age.



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Georgeandkira

Re: How reliable is the Volvo V70? (2004-2007)

Post by Georgeandkira » Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:23 am

They would be solid.
Galvanized steel and other strong alloys of steel, I'm told.
Check brakes, weatherstips, all belts and associated hardware.
Fire up the engine and make sure the check engine light lights up during start-up to see it hasn't been cut, covered or masked.
Bring a code reader and see if any codes are lurking.
Got a "$10" shove-in-any-12v-socket battery tester? Get one.
Look for leaks
Bring a thin rubber glove and after starting the engine, remove the oil filler cap and stretch it across. See if it blows up or sucks in.

Automatic? Get it hot and poop around town.



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oragex
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Re: How reliable is the Volvo V70? (2004-2007)

Post by oragex » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:53 am

JackJohn77 wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:02 am

Is it like a BMW where it needs religious maintenance and it'll still break down occasionally? Or more like buying an old Toyota Camry that won't die no matter what you do to it?

The 'Toyota' quality is actually a myth born about 30 years ago in the 90's when a Corolla would run with very little repairs for a very long time. Then Toyota made the first gen Yaris that was also shockingly trouble free. Toyota also makes the Prius with very high quality standards. But not all Toyota models were made this well. On many years the Camry was far from good, same for more recent Corolla models.

As for the Volvo, if you are looking for a T5 with around 100K miles, these can be cars that are being driven rather hard, plus at 100K that's exactly when all repairs start piling up - suspension, PCV, transmission issues (because Volvo said no need to replace the fluid), and so on. Certainly a car where you will have to DIY most of the repairs, buying the correct part brands online.

That said, it's not like a BMW or a Mercedes. Those are not only sensitive cars, but also cars where repairs are difficult because of the German engineering - I call that a 'piling up design' with difficult access to remove parts. Volvo has a Swedish engineering with much easier access when removing a part - notice that some components are still tricky to remove. Also, Volvo engines are much more solid than the German engines, as long as the PCV and the timing belt components are replaced timely with the right brands.


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Re: How reliable is the Volvo V70? (2004-2007)

Post by EngineeringBloke » Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:47 am

Glove test

GeorgeandKira mention the 'glove test'. If the glove inflates, then the PCV system needs to be cleaned. This is usually quite extensive and requires the intake manifold to be removed - perhaps a couple of hundred for the parts and the same for labor.

However, the real risk is that the increased pressure from the PCV system being blocked results in engine seals being blown out and engine oil leaks occurring. Any seal repair adds to the cost, but if the engine was run on low oil, severe engine damage may have occurred with overheating and wear. Topping up the oil would just hide a symptom.

There is also a ball that is held in a 'banjo' bolt (part of the PCV system). It was held in place by its size, but it can wear and then drop out and destroy the turbo and perhaps part of the engine. There is a replacement banjo bolt with a pin at the bottom to avoid this. Not sure why this was not a Volvo recall, and I do need to address this on my 2006 S60.

Reading stored car failure codes

For about $15 you can get an ELM Bluetooth ODB2 adapter from Amazon, get the Torque app for $5 from the android play store for your cell phone, then plug in the adapter under the dash and read any stored engine codes and check how many miles since codes were cleared (to hide them?).

My experience

Nonetheless, I enjoy my car and would also love a V70. I got mine third hand with 30K in 2009 for $14K when my neighbor moved to Europe. I have spent about $13K in maintenance over the decade I have driven it (now at 110K) - quite a lot on tires as I have not had alignment done frequently enough, and I am somewhat unlucky with curbs and potholes :). Considering the cost of a new car, I think this is quite a deal for a luxurious car, although I have needed to learn quite a lot in order to perform the repairs and maintenance myself thereby reducing labor costs. This web site has been invaluable, as have the contributors and moderators.



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Re: How reliable is the Volvo V70? (2004-2007)

Post by oragex » Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:56 am

EngineeringBloke wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:47 am

However, the real risk is that the increased pressure from the PCV system being blocked results in engine seals being blown out and engine oil leaks occurring. Any seal repair adds to the cost, but if the engine was run on low oil, severe engine damage may have occurred with overheating and wear. Topping up the oil would just hide a symptom.
Off topic, speaking of the PCV getting clogged, I wonder if this could also cause little by little 'sludge' accumulation inside the piston compression rings grooves, that may ultimately cause the rings to get stuck or move less freely. Especially given the decrease in engine vacuum and even creating positive pressure inside the crankcase.


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Re: How reliable is the Volvo V70? (2004-2007)

Post by jimmy57 » Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:52 pm

There is something fishy with US motor oils. Many issues we see on US operated models of many makes are very rare to occur in EU. Indy shops for VW, Benz, BMW push the Euro sourced oils like Motul due to seeing less sludge with its use. Of course, more frequent oil changes offset most, maybe all, of this except for those who drive slow in cold weather for shorter trips due to where they live and travel to work, shopping, school, etc. I have heard this for a long time and even have heard it about no oil consumption issues over there due to sticking rings on Volvos and other Euro brands. I know a tech that decided to see the world and got a visa and worked in other countries and he said his observations were the same. Crankcase vent system issues were not seen very often below 200,000 Km. I have no good idea about why other than refining process may be different and leads to more "bad" polymers in the oil.



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Re: How reliable is the Volvo V70? (2004-2007)

Post by Rattnalle » Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:24 pm

jimmy57 wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:52 pm
There is something fishy with US motor oils. Many issues we see on US operated models of many makes are very rare to occur in EU. Indy shops for VW, Benz, BMW push the Euro sourced oils like Motul due to seeing less sludge with its use. Of course, more frequent oil changes offset most, maybe all, of this except for those who drive slow in cold weather for shorter trips due to where they live and travel to work, shopping, school, etc. I have heard this for a long time and even have heard it about no oil consumption issues over there due to sticking rings on Volvos and other Euro brands. I know a tech that decided to see the world and got a visa and worked in other countries and he said his observations were the same. Crankcase vent system issues were not seen very often below 200,000 Km. I have no good idea about why other than refining process may be different and leads to more "bad" polymers in the oil.
My thoughts from the other side is that traditionally american cars are (perceived as) rather big, clunky and unrefined compared to their European counterparts. We've had smaller engines with higher power output for a long time. Not to mention pretty much everything has a turbocharger stuck to it. Such engines require higher grade oils. Thus dino oils hasn't been used by anyone for ages and ages except for use in classic cars. Reading the service schedule for the same car here and over there you can really see the service intervals taking into account poor oil since the intervals are cut to half or a third while much lower grade oils are allowed. A -05 euro P2 has a 30' km OCI but is also not approved for use with any other oil than an ACEA A5/B5 oil. Those are exclusively synthetic as far as I know. In the US a lot of other oils are ok but OCIs much shorter. This is probably in part psychology as well. You'd never accept an OCI like that with only one rather expensive oil allowed since it's be a departure from what you're used to.



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Re: How reliable is the Volvo V70? (2004-2007)

Post by dj_v70 » Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:19 pm

I bought a 2003 v70 at 110k and put 50K miles on it. I sold it because it kept requiring more work. I do miss it though. I kept all of my 240 volvos to a minimum of 250k miles.

I bought a 2002 Camry at 85k, it has 185k miles and still own it, minimal work. Just not as fun to drive.

I was given a 2003 sebring convertible a year ago with 90k miles by original owner (family member), it is total junk, but it is fun car when weather is nice.



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Re: How reliable is the Volvo V70? (2004-2007)

Post by oragex » Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:45 pm

jimmy57 wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:52 pm
There is something fishy with US motor oils.
Not hard to believe. Industry standards are not necessarily the same everywhere. Petrol lobbying in the US is very strong, so I wouldn't be surprised to hear they impose some lower standards to save money, or just because some old industry culture. I hear over the internet the gas sold in the US (and Canada) is inferior to what's being sold in Western Europe. So perhaps there is some truth to it.


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Re: How reliable is the Volvo V70? (2004-2007)

Post by abscate » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:01 pm

Any 15 year old car experience will depend on how it has been driven and maintained much more than the brand,

I ca trash a Toyota in 3 months without doing anything ridiculous, the brand is driven by bland people who think Olive Garden is a good restaurant .

Ouch, I’m snarky today,


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