1998 Volvo V70 SE 2.5 10V from UK and Ireland

Summary:

No one makes cars like this anymore

Faults:

Water temperature sender unit failed, £34 genuine part.

N/S drive shaft gaitor (CV boot) replaced.

Rear tailgate struts became lazy, £28 for a new pair.

Main window switch in driver's door (rear windows stuck down). Removed and turned upside down, then filled with electrical cleaner, allowed to dry and re fitted, no problem since.

Rough running in damp rainy conditions, new distributor cap and rotor arm, £80 genuine parts (the inside of the old one was a shocking state). New lead set, coil (pattern) and NGK spark plugs, total cost £160. Also fitted a new starter motor and battery at the same time (old starter was getting lazy and the battery was 10 years old). Has run beautifully since.

Exhaust started blowing in January this year so took it 70 miles to Tony Banks in Leeds for a complete full S/S system including down pipe & cat, £600 fitted, now has more torque and power, getting around 5 MPG more, oh, and a glorious noise, not loud, just a deeper, more satisfying type of bass (no baffles, just 2 Resonator silencers). Fantastic quality job, highly recommended with a lifetime guarantee.

Sometimes the indicators don't work, so you just simply turn the key anticlockwise just a fraction after starting.

Micro switch in the driver's door has played up a little, copious amounts of electrical cleaner and close the door firmly, always checking that the interior light goes out as you lock the door.

Most of the steel clips that hold the roof channel strip in place have rotted away; just bought 16 genuine ones to replace them at £4.25 each.

Had new front discs and pads in March, and new rear pads.

General Comments:

This is our 5th Volvo in the past 20 years: '88 740 saloon, '86 740 estate, '91 940 estate, '95 850 estate, and now this one, all automatics.

It is a fantastic car which my wife loves driving; she does less than 4000 miles a year. I only drive the car now and again as I commute on 2 wheels.

Last autumn when the car was playing up in the damp weather, I had an 18 month old Honda Civic estate lined up for her; I took pictures and a video of the car to show her, but my wife would not have any of it, she was not interested in the slightest.

We have been to Scotland twice on holiday in this car and it simply eats miles in comfort, doing well over 1500 miles each time, a very well made car which is now 20 years old with a genuine 74000 miles.

My wife found this car and I drove 130 miles to buy it for £1850 with a full service history. We had a Gates cambelt and genuine water pump fitted as soon as we got it home; the last one had only done 17000 miles, but was 7 years old.

It gets a service every year at a garage 20 miles away by a guy we have used for 20 years who we know and trust; he is the only person allowed to touch our cars. We are its 4th home and she will never part with it as long as she can buy petrol. People sometimes say to us, "when are you going to get a newer more economical car". My wife says, "why"?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd July, 2018

24th Jul 2018, 13:49

Agree with your review, and this is something of a pattern I've noticed with reviews of older cars - that the 1990s were the sweet spot for reliability and durability.

Myself I've had many cars and in the 80s and 90s had a few Volvos as well - great cars. Currently drive a 2010 Volvo S40 - a nice modern car in many ways and obviously more advanced than cars in decades gone by, however reliability and running costs have only been average at best, and certainly not better than the older cars.

14th Aug 2018, 19:30

Thanks for the comment.

Fitted the new roof trim clips last week and had a poke around in the scuttle panel as water was getting into the O/S front and rear footwells after a heavy downpour. I noticed that the well containing the fuses and relays had around 2" of water in it; the drain hole in the bottom of it was blocked solid with grime; spent around half an hour with a thin pipe while blowing through it and it eventually cleared, now running free. Check this if water is getting into your car.

Also treated it to 4 new wheel centre caps, 'tis a cracking car.

1998 Volvo V70 Base 2.4 from North America

Summary:

Solid and long lasting. Always little things wrong with it. Great road tripping vehicle

Faults:

I've had it for exactly 100k miles. Did one or two basic tuneups and generally kept up on the basic maintenance schedule.

Starting to need a major tuneup. Need to replace the shocks and struts etc badly. They probably needed to be replaced before 200k.

It is starting to burn a lot of oil. Close to 2 quarts per 4k oil change cycle. The previous owner was a senile old man who died and did not take great care of the car. I doubt he kept up on maintenance that well. It burnt a little oil when I first bought it, but it is getting worse.

There were a lot of touched up scrapes on the car from where the previous owner hit things. The driver's door and possible the driver side passenger door as well as the driver side fender had been replaced. The whole car might have been in a major accident, because I could never get the doors on the driver's side to line up just right and water would drip, drip in in a big rain storm. The center console also weirdly is impossible to line up and was pressed hard against the driver's seat.

The check engine light is on and there is something wrong with the charcoal canister, or maybe the gas cap is not sealing correctly.

The fake leather liner on the inside of the doors has lifted away from the foam it was glued to in a small spot on all doors. It was like that when I bought the thing. The interior hard plastic is very dry and brittle. Plastic things break easy.

The driver's heated seat went around 200k. Have a replacement switch from the junkyard. Still haven't actually installed it. Maybe I'll do it tonight!

Replaced the inner and outer tie rods at 200k.

Replaced control arm and ball joint assembly around 200k.

Around 190k replaced a couple of small, cracked, dried out rubber hoses leading into the intake manifold. The car went from getting 20 MPG to 25 MPG! Average mixed driving with canoes on the roof.

A/C went at 180k. Still haven't fixed it. Tried charging it, but it lost the charge overnight. It is most likely the heat exchanger/radiator evaporator thing under the dash, but it would cost around $700 to have someone to replace it. I haven't had the time to attempt it myself. A non OEM replacement part is around $250.

Replaced exhaust manifold, catalytic converter and entire exhaust at 175k. Also replaced rear oxygen sensor.

Rear wiper motor went at 170k.

Replaced front oxygen sensor at 160k.

Replaced interior plastic bits here and there over the years.

The shifter button broke at 150k.

There is something electrical wrong when taking the car out of park, so I have to use the manual shift override button. I think it has something to do with the shift position sensor. The reverse lights sometimes don't work, because somehow the computer doesn't know what position the shifter is in. Still haven't fixed it. It started to slowly go wrong around ~150k miles.

General Comments:

Nice car. Has heated leather seats and is fairly comfortable to drive long distances for being such a small car. The back seats are pretty much useless for adults.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th March, 2017

20th Mar 2017, 19:46

The bizarre thing is that the V70 is classed as a large family car over here in the UK!

26th Mar 2017, 03:38

Close to 2 quarts of oil in 4,000 miles isn't too shabby for any vehicle - especially an older vehicle.

27th Mar 2017, 12:14

2 quarts in 4000 miles is serious oil consumption or leaking. My car with 152,000 miles uses less than half a quart between 5000 mile oil changes.

Your experience must be limited to worn out beaters?