17th Mar 2016, 22:59
Adding another update some 5000 miles later, hoping it may help others to diagnose similar issues.
I had an issue with the air conditioning freezing after about 10 minutes operation; still cold but the air flow gets weaker and weaker, and the piping near the engine gets covered in 'snow' like (looks frozen, like the movie). It seems the issue is with a small sensor called evaporator temperature sensor, that's located inside the cabin, under the dash. Easy to access on the S60, much harder to access on the V70 (but people simply drill a hole in the airbox, reroute the wires and place a new sensor without removing the old one). To replace the sensor on the V70 at the Volvo dealer, it costs over $500 because they remove the whole dash.
The air conditioning compressor pulley is making some noise; the pulley bearing can be replaced with some work, typically around 120K miles.
I had an issue with the intake camshaft actuator, which gets stuck if the engine is never driven over 4000RPM (which happens to many drivers). Replacing this actuator is not a hard job and the part is not too expensive.
One widespread issue with the non turbo engines is the intake air thermostat failure. This is a thermostat (not the same as in the engine cooling system) located just before the engine air filter box, that causes either hot or cold air to get to the engine. This thermostat typically fails after 10 years, causing the engine to suck in only warm air, which is detrimental to mileage. Unfortunately, the thermostat alone is not available, but owners usually block the flap near the thermostat so as to get only cold air from the bumper grille.
The exhaust pipe is usually very durable, I'm still on the original one. However, typically the two rear hangers that keep the pipe to the car will rust and fail (probably they are made of cheap metal). Replacement hanger parts are available off eBay for not much. I also had two connecting bolts rust and fail, between the catalyst and the first muffler.
The radiator fan controller failed, another common issue. The fan assembly is rather expensive at the Volvo dealer, but can be purchased used off eBay.
The car has an alarm siren module, which gives the siren sound in case the alarm goes off. This module has a small battery inside which starts leaking after about 7 years and destroys the module. Module replacement is expensive at the main dealer, and not really necessary for an old car. After disconnecting the module, all electronics will work fine; it just won't have the alarm sound if a door is opened. Most cars will show an 'alarm module check' message, unless the module has been replaced.
The cabin fan blower may rust and start squealing/seize; after market units are available and the replacement job is not that hard.
All other components still work fine on the vehicle. As you can see, after 100K miles there will be repairs here and there. Volvo fans will say this car will run forever, and it's perhaps true. But it does need repairs and the main idea is that having this car repaired at the main Volvo dealer is out of the question for most budgets. Still, after all this time the electric seat works fine, all electrics inside the cabin work, the steering, fuel delivery, braking, ignition, computer systems, moon roof, electric windows and door locks, all work as they should and needed no repairs.