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Good Idea, Bad Idea

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

Starbuck
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Good Idea, Bad Idea

Post by Starbuck » Thu May 28, 2020 9:42 am

Hello Gents and Ladies!

Normally I'd consider what I'm about to ask as part of a submission for the award for "Dumbest Person Alive." ...but we're talking about a VOLVO. So here goes.

I'm looking at a 2007 v70 with 216,000 miles. The car is clean and seems to be well maintained. I have to meet with the owner still and plug my trusty code reader in etc. She says the car "burns a little oil," but that's about it. The timing belt was allegedly replaced 5 years and who knows how many miles ago. The owner isn't a car person and I felt bad asking her more than the ton of questions I already did via the interwebs. It's her get-around/spare car and from that I get the impression it's not driven balls-to-the-wall.

Now that I've said all of that, what are your opinions on taking this boxy but safe vehicle into my stable? I realize I'm asking for the opinions of strangers but you lot seem polite and knowledgeable from the articles I've been reading.

If this car joins my needy Germans, I've already made a list of things I'll be replacing shortly thereafter. Timing belt and water pump, transmission fluid (great write-up, Jan!), Oil change to Motul...

Anything else?

Hoping to join your ranks officially soon,

Beth

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Re: Good Idea, Bad Idea

Post by 93SCMax » Thu May 28, 2020 9:51 am

2007 with 216k that burns oil...pass.
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vtl
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Re: Good Idea, Bad Idea

Post by vtl » Thu May 28, 2020 12:34 pm

Does it have turbo, AWD?
05 XC70 265k, 16 XC60 45k, 19 Tundra 5k

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Re: Good Idea, Bad Idea

Post by vtl » Thu May 28, 2020 12:39 pm

93SCMax wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 9:51 am
2007 with 216k that burns oil...pass.
I recently had B5454T2 w/ 220k on the odo fully disassembled and measured for wear. The only thing that was apparently dead and causing problems is exhaust valve steam seals. I think with the proper oil and coolant changes the engine can make it to 350-400k miles before it looses compression on completely worn piston rings.
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Starbuck
05 XC70 265k, 16 XC60 45k, 19 Tundra 5k

Starbuck
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Re: Good Idea, Bad Idea

Post by Starbuck » Thu May 28, 2020 12:52 pm

It's the turbo but not the R.

I'm keeping in mind the seller isn't a car person so "burns oil" could mean anything. Maybe the turbo seal is leaking and the car marks it's spot that way. I won't know until I can see and goodtouch the car myself. It would probably freak her out if I did a compression test in front of her. It would be funny though. I'm more concerned about PM and whatnot being regularly performed. That and if I buy it I'll need to R and R the timing and serp belts almost immediately and flush the trans like I mentioned before. The coolant system will also see a very critical eye as I've been living with two BMWs that love illustrating how zee Germans still can't manage to build a proper coolant system after all these years.

Also, I don't NEED this car. I have a Mazda that starts every time I ask it to so I'm covered in that department. It would be my mobile mechanic tool box, camping trip thing and occasional road tripper. It's not necessary for me to buy so I'm fortunate there.

Thanks for your thoughts...keep em coming! 😁
Last edited by Starbuck on Thu May 28, 2020 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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abscate
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Re: Good Idea, Bad Idea

Post by abscate » Thu May 28, 2020 12:55 pm

Welcome Beth. Yes, we are the adult Volvo forum indeed.

😀

Oil burning is all in the eye of the beholder. If the engine is not wet with oil after a good inspection, there are a few other places that can need work which are relatively cheap.
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Re: Good Idea, Bad Idea

Post by ljsommar1 » Thu May 28, 2020 1:08 pm

It could be a money pit or a great buy.
Of course all engines burn oil. If they didn't the piston walls would not get lubed. For example, with my 2002 V70 2.4T with 227K miles I add 1+ quarts between 5K oil changes with 0-40 syn. I consider that well within acceptable limits. It is a great DD.
If you can't do a compression check run your finger inside the tail pipe, if it is burning excessively you will see it.
Good luck.
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Re: Good Idea, Bad Idea

Post by oragex » Thu May 28, 2020 1:55 pm

So it consumes oil. As you say may be some turbo hose leaking, v easy to see with a flash light. Or, you may have a well clogged PCV
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Re: Good Idea, Bad Idea

Post by SuperHerman » Thu May 28, 2020 2:54 pm

The big question is how much is she selling it for.

First things I would look at is overall physical condition of the car - if it looks like a beater do you want to drive it (not to mention it reflects maintenance). Next I would look at the tires as replacement is a larger ticket item cost wise. Then inspect transmission fluid - I would drain and fill unless she just had it done - you will know when looking at the oil condition via the dipstick. Next check the suspension, another big ticket item.

Now on items re burning oil - first leaks. Then pull the plugs and look for signs of oil there as it will hint to the condition of the valve stem seals. Observe piston tops. Pull the oil cap and try to gauge how crusty the cams are - there is a baffle which limits view. On Volvos with that engine, the cam gets crustier as it leaves piston one - so it will be crusty on piston five of the cam. (with ideal maintenance maybe not, but my experience that is how they age). A leak down test is ideal, but I agree it would scare a seller - but then you know what you are buying.

You have to service the PCV system unless it was done - that could be the cause of your oil burning.

If you do the work I think for $1k in parts you can redo the valve stem seals, pull the head or not but the cam cover has to come off, do the timing belt and related, change out various hoses and be on the road with a solid car (except the rear main seal which is not a problem point). You can always just do the timing belt and PCV system and leave it until problems develop.

Volvos do not have coolant issues like German cars.
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Starbuck

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Starbuck

Re: Good Idea, Bad Idea

Post by Starbuck » Fri May 29, 2020 7:42 am

Thank you, everyone, for your amazing input. It's so refreshing to be on an adult forum!

I will go and check the car out tomorrow and report back. I have one additional string of questions.

How do Volvos like aftermarket/non-OEM parts? I'm not looking to go the super-cheap route as I do know the value of a quality replacement but more in the interest of saving some money if the part is viable.

As my experience is limited to the two (I'd suddenly remembered an old, old car the owner let me christen Paul Newman) Volvos I've worked on, what parts and manufacturers are respectable, which parts should always be Volvo-branded and which manufacturers should I run screaming from?

Many thanks again!

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