In Feb. 2004, the AC condenser went bad at 148,000 miles. This was a $625 fix, and was retrofitted. The retrofitted unit blows 38 degrees. It can pull a lot of power on the lowest setting, cycling on and off, so I run it for shorter times on a higher setting.
The crank seal, cam seal, and timing belt were replaced at the same time as the AC unit because the car was smoking. $250 for mostly labor. No more smoking. Also, the hood latch became impossible. New parts and labor were only only $10 (done at the same time that the AC condenser). At the same time, I replaced a headlight and turn signal light myself because the lense had suffered considerable sun damage. $170 for parts. The handle for the driver's door had come loose. I fixed it myself for free. Also, oiled the door hinges, which had become sticky. Now very smooth.
At 130,622 miles I had to replace a lug nut. $26.00 The original hub caps kept flying off, so I got aftermarket ones, for $60 and have had no problems ever since.
I also have replaced the timing belt at 116,831, and I had a tuneup at 108,617 miles. $142.
I live two blocks from the ocean and have some rust issues. Especially the windshield seal on the driver's side. I keep this maintained with putty and paint. It's right above many electrical parts. I've had four volvos, and they all rusted in the same spot!
I had brake rotors and calipers replaced at 121713 miles. No problems ever since. $524.
Electrical issues that are more annoying than expensive. The overdrive began to stick on at $145,000 miles. The repair was $60.
You have to maintain any car. I've had this car for 10 years and have been driving Volvos for the last 20 years. Repairs are less expensive today than ever, due to availability of aftermarket parts. Don't let anyone tell you getting an old Volvo repaired is expensive. It isn't. It's worth every cent.
You can greatly improve the look of the car with a little effort. Paste wax once a month, and apply a cleaner/lubricant to all the black accents, (side mirrors, seals, etc.) If the accents look gray or old, apply a lubricant once a week for a month to build it up. It will come back! I clean the interior and carpet with dish detergent, and it all looks new. Wear has not been a problem.
I drive this car mainly to work. The speed limit is 45 or less the whole way, so I rarely go much faster. Performance is not an issue.
My insurance is $240 a year!