XC90 Advice on Purchase Needed

Buying a Volvo XC90 takes patience and knowledge. Here are some tips.

Volvo XC90

MVS Forums member dosbricks gets great advice on buying a Volvo XC90:

The P80 forum is my hangout, but I’m posting here seeking guidance from those experienced with these SUVs because my wife and I are starting to peruse them as we consider something newer.

This one has very low miles, but accordingly is a bit pricy for an ’04. It is 2.5T but doesn’t say if it is AWD–something we neither want or need in our climate, so FWD is the first criteria. We plan to look at it tomorrow morning just to see if the entrance/egress is good for our senior selves.

As a side note, I still do the upkeep and repair on our 850 and S70–both of which we’ve owned for 16 years, so the 2.4 is very familiar to me. I do realize the newer 2.5T is a more complicated engine than our NAs.

’04 XC90 Advice regarding purchase of this vehicle

Volvo XC90: The Next Generation

photos of the 2016 Volvo XC90

Car & Driver writes about the upcoming 2016 XC90, which is the long-awaited, all-new Volvo SUV. My comments on C&D’s points:

Based on the design language introduced by a gorgeous trio of recent concept cars, the next-gen model is slick and smooth…

Bravo. After the concept cars, this is really not a surprise.

the XC90 has a central LCD screen above a single knob flanked by three buttons on each side—plus the start button adjacent to the steering column. It’s very much in the Bang & Olufsen “less is more” control philosophy, and it looks clean, elegant, and attractive.

Fewer buttons and simple design promote safety because the driver spends less time looking down at controls while driving,

You can pinch, expand, and swipe the screen to do various tasks, and these gestures deliver responses that are slick and smooth, just as they are on the best tablets

NICE. This means many drivers will know how to use the system before ever sitting in this SUV. Again, safety.

the XC90 will be among the first vehicles to offer Apple’s iOS CarPlay integration.

CarPlay is a way to use your iPhone through your car’s screen. I’m guilty of having looked at my phone while driving once or twice. There’s probably no need to let you know that text size seems even smaller while moving, so doubling or tripling it will make a big difference. Also, there’s the physical aspect of using a phone in a car, even if it’s only voice commands: you don’t need an extra hand to hold the phone. Just keep it in your pocket while driving and you have essentially a virtual phone on the car’s infotainment screen.

As an admirer of Apple tech and iPhone owner — albeit an ancient, original 2007 iPhone that I’m certain won’t work with CarPlay because of its age — this is great news.
Continue reading “Volvo XC90: The Next Generation”

Best Year & Model XC90?

How to buy a used Volvo XC90:

I’ve been looking at used XC90 for a little over a year. I’ve read some ratings and reviews and find them – mixed. Also when looking at a dozen or so by owner ads, they mention “new transmissions”. I’ve run my 2 Volvos (96 850 and old wagon) up to almost 200k miles and never had to replace transmissions or any thing major. Is there a problem with this model or particular years I should stay away from? I will only be using to tow a pop up once a year or so.

In addition to the information in the MVS Volvo Forums post (link below), I suggest browsing the Volvo Buyer’s Guide. It contains dozens of helpful do’s and don’ts for all used Volvos.

Best Year & Model XC90?

The Prancing Moose Story

Prancing moose stickersWe Volvo owners don’t take ourselves as seriously as some other makes’ owners. Proof? How about the famous Prancing Moose stickers? If you’re not a car enthusiast you might not get it. Here’s a hint.

MVS Sponsor MySwedishParts sells them. I’ve seen a few on Volvos around town, and to the casual observer, I’m thinking the design leaves at least bewilderment in its wake. Honey, that looked like the Ferrari logo on that V70… but… something wasn’t quite right about it

Continue reading “The Prancing Moose Story”

XC90 Transfer Box & Rear Diff Fluid Change

MVS Forum user Tiny Tim 077 has some maintenance questions about his XC90‘s AWD system. Forum members happily provided some answers. An excerpt:


  • Angle Gear Chain Drive Fluid: Volvo P/N: 1161745 [API GL-4 75W-80]
  • Bevel Gear Fluid (Front Angle Gear): Volvo P/N: 31259380 [API GL-5 75W-90]
  • Haldex Fluid (Contraption In Front of Rear Axle): [unsure on P/N]
  • Rear Differential (Rear Axle Housing): Volvo P/N: 1161620 [API GL-5 80W]

XC90 transfer box & rear diff fluid change

Angle Gear & Transfer Case Terminology, Explanation

Angle gear = bevel gear = transfer case. It bends the power 90 degrees so the driveshaft points to the rear axle.

Angle Gear, Diff & Transfer Case

Angle gear is a bevel gear is a transfer case. Different names for the same 90 degree gearbox that bolts to the sideways oriented transmission and turns the power flow 90 degrees so the driveshaft points to the rear axle with the AWD control system on the front of rear differential.

Volvo AWD

The angle gear units do not have gear parts available from Volvo as spare parts. The bearings and seals are serviced but not the actual gears. One of the gears is mounted to a spindle using a specialized adhesive and is pressed on. The press fit makes that spindle not usable to properly retain a new gear pressed onto it.

Angle Gear & Transfer Case Terminology, Explanation

You Just Bought an XC90. Now What?

Bought a used XC90 and wondering what to do now? MVS forum user XVTer performed a stage 0 tune-up on his 2004 XC90 for better performance and efficiency.




Bought a used XC90 and wondering what to do now?

Maybe you already own an XC90 and want to perform a stage 0 (a thorough tune-up to return a car to like-new performance) for better performance and efficiency.

MVS Forum user XVTer spent a good deal of time and money baselining his new (to him) 2004 XC90 T6. It’s a really interesting read, as this is one of the broadest Stage 0 tune-ups I’ve seen of the XC90 model. Here’s a quick clip from the post:

In fall 2010, my wife fell in love with a 2004 XC90 and we had to get it. It was a huge step up from the ’01 Civic she had at the time and, since I’ve always had good luck with Volvos, I saw no problem with it. It had a full dealer maintenance history and had around 85k miles.

Unfortunately, I didn’t do very much research on it to determine that the T6 is the least favored due to transmission problems. My wife likes the car enough, though, that I think it would be worth rebuilding the transmission when it comes time for it.

Since I do most of the work on my cars myself, I figured I would start a thread for this car listing some of the things I have done and lessons learned along the way (and future lessons). I will continue to update/edit these posts as I go along (and as I find more of the old pictures).

XVTer runs through all the replacement parts, liquids, and other equipment you need and describes the entire process step by step, so you’re never lost. Here’s the rundown on everything replaced:

  • Signature Synthetic 0W-30 Engine Oil (AMSOIL)
  • Synthetic Multi-Vehicle ATF (AMSOIL)
  • Synthetic Power Steering Fluid (AMSOIL)
  • Synthetic DOT4 Brake Fluid (AMSOIL)
  • Powerstop Rotors (Drilled/Slotted/Zinc Plated)
  • Brake Pads (Volvo)
  • Parking Brake Shoes (Volvo)
  • All-Weather Floor Mats (Volvo)
  • All-Weather Cargo Mat (Volvo)
  • Cargo Cover (Volvo)
  • Roof Cross-Bars (Thule)

Obviously cargo mats and cross-bars don’t apply to everyone, but this is a great start if you’re looking to clean up your engine, transmission, and interior to maximize performance and efficiency. If you’ve got an XC90 that could use a tune-up, consider this a step above the general tune-up!

XVTer’s 2004 XC90 T6 AWD

XC90 T6 Transmission Lawsuit

A341E transmission

XC90 shifter

Owners past and present of model year 2003, 2004, and 2005 Volvo XC90 T6 vehicles equipped with a General Motors transmission may see money this October. Almost two years ago a law firm filed a class-action suit against Volvo.

According to that link,

The final approval hearing will take place on October 4, 2012 in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Here at MVS we’ve been railing against buying a XC90 T6 for a good long while, and we continue to shout warnings about the GM transmission in the T6 model from every rooftop we can.

A341E transmission

Change Brake Pads, Rotors XC90

A wealth of information on changing brake pads and rotors on your XC90

XC90 Rotor Change-Install Instructions“So I am going to replace the pads/rotors on my XC90, I am pretty excited that they are original and I have 56K on the car. With that success rate I am REALLY leaning towards full OEM this go around, I usually buy from FCP and IPD and found something interesting, FCP seems to sell OEM pads and aftermarket rotors, and IPD sells OEM rotos and aftermarket pads.

So I am wondering what you all think and if the aftermarket on each of those sites are actually made by the OEM supplier, is this Volvo’s way of controlling inventory, only offering parts for a job to be sourced from multiple stores?

Also does anyont have experience with the MOTIVE brake bleeder, and which brake fluid do you recommend?

Continue reading “Change Brake Pads, Rotors XC90”

XC90 Buyer’s Guide: Tips

Q: What to look for when buying a 5-cylinder XC90?

A: I still haven’t really heard of any to speak of, I have an 2005 5cyl and it’s been great. There will always be something that could come up, but people have been asking about known issues for a while and nobody really comes up with any recurring problems. Obviously the XC90 T6 is another story.

Known problems with 2005 XC90?