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How do I test AWD on a XC

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.

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1997 - 2000 V70-XC
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How do I test AWD on a XC

Post by volvomadness »

Look to test drive a 2000 XC70. Like to make sure AWD is functioning. Is there a road test I can do? Also will check for leaKage at angle gear. Is there any other part I should check.

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Re: How do I test AWD on a XC

Post by abscate »

It should drive from 0-60 mph showing no codes, and shift smoothly and flawlessly.

If it doesn’t pass these tests, you need a 3-4 hour professional evaluation with a Volvo independent. That’s going to be a decent fraction of the purchase price of a 2000 model year car, but you can’t become a evaluation expert from the internet.

Most important test for me is asking seller the car history, and why the are selling. Then, compare to car fax.

Car flippers will lie about the history, and then you know all you need to know.
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Re: How do I test AWD on a XC

Post by ecbsykes »

As a 2000 XC dude, spoiler alert: depending on miles and if it's all original parts, the AWD is probably already dead or has limited life left.

Putting it on a lift with all 4 wheels off the ground and accelerating a bit should kick the rear wheels into motion. I'm really not too sure of any road tests other than getting the front wheels stuck in snow or something.

There should be no noise, grinding or metallic clanking while driving the car. The main driveshafts usually fail over 100K miles, and depending on care and abuse, the angle gears on these cars fail regularly as well.

I've been happily FWD (driveshaft & angle gear delete) for 9+ years now. To be fair, I only do very rare snowy driving though. This car is still capable as FWD in snow with proper technique and tires, especially due to its weight.
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Re: How do I test AWD on a XC

Post by scot850 »

The proper way to test the system, involves having all 4 wheels off the ground and using a torque wrench on a rear (front?) wheel and seeing if the rears turn. dangerous process at best and should be left to a pro who knows about that sort of thing.

The main issues for the system for basic checks are:

1) Is the front to rear prop-shaft still in place? If not why was it removed? Usual failures with the prop-shaft are:
a) the center support rubber donut support failing with age.
b) the front UJ bearing failing due to heat from the catalytic converter.

Both are repairable but best left to a pro like Colorado Driveshaft in Denver. Cost is around $4-500. If it has been removed, be aware there
are 3 variations almost but not aligned with the 3-4 years of that AWD system.

2) The angle gear gear stripping or the connecting collar. This happens with excessive right foot use, lack of maintenance (oil changes).
The connecting collar between the transmission and the angle gear is designed to be a weak link and fail first if the system is abused. If
caught immediately the angle gear is usually ok to re-use. If someone continues t drive on it it will strip and damage the angle gear
teeth as well and that is then junk. Then your only option is full replacement of the gear and collar or go FWD like ebsykes.

3) Failure of the front bearing of the Viscous coupling (VC). Usually can be heard when turning and gives a rubbing sound.

4) Bush failure on the front of the VC. Easiest of all the repairs.

5) Rear diff failure. Usually caused by lack of oil changes/abuse. or leaking rear axle seals. Again major issue as replacing the diff requires
the whole rear sub-frame to be removed. Diff seals can be done in place but requires a lot of labor.

Final issue to know is many of the parts at the rear from suspension to brakes are specific to the AWD and many are now obsolete like brake back-plates, rear bushes in about 50% of the places they are used.

Finally, depending on where you like, if there is a lot of salt used or de-icing agents on the roads in that area where the car is sold, you need to check the rear sub-frame mounts and the where the bolts pass through to the main car frame. Volvo in their stupidity used mild steel bolts through the aluminum sub-frame with nothing to separate them. This allows the salt to set up a nice reaction between the 2 metals causing the aluminum to turn to crumbs and crack the frame right through. Check both sides behind the rear wheels.

I eventually got to love my 98 V70 XC but it took a lot of work and time including a prop re-build. Now I will not go into my 2000 'R'....

Good luck.

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Re: How do I test AWD on a XC

Post by Ozark Lee »

The first thing I do is crawl underneath and see if the drive shaft is still hooked up.

The other test is on the road. If the AWD is working you get very little if any torque steer. If the AWD is disabled then it torque steer just like a FWD.

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