26th Nov 2009, 12:32

Hello everybody. I also own a 99 XC Volvo, and I can't deny that it is a classy and powerful car that my family and I love, but at the same time, I have to admit that every morning while driving I'm scared about what could happen next. All this after almost spending about $3500 in only 4 months, and now having coolant leaks plus 8 visits to the shop.

Think about it fellows, it hurts.

5th Dec 2009, 16:07

I purchased a 1999 V 70 XC 3 years ago, used with 108,000 miles on it. In the past six months I have spent $3000 on repairs. The straw that broke the camel's back happened the day after Thanksgiving when I got into my car to go on an errand. When I drove over 10 miles an hour it whined and then clunked. Had it towed to the dealer (thank you AAA) - for $1000 (all wheel drive) plus $500 (ABS Module) I could have my car repaired. I said no thanks and am now looking for a new car - but not a Volvo.

I miss my Volvo, but they don't make 'em like they use to!

4th Jan 2010, 19:19

My '99 V70XC has had many of the same issues mentioned here over the years, most notably the ETM and ABS modules. My new ETM was installed at 70K (under warranty) and just recently cleaned at 110K. I've also recently had the spark plug coils replaced (cracked and causing mis-fires) and then the fuel pump relay died the following week. Recent issues since turning over 100K miles have included temperature and other sensors, wheel bearings, front strut tower/mount, engine mount, thermostat, alternator, cracked coolant reservoir, and more. I still need to replace the leaking radiator and do a bunch of minor repairs such as liftgate latch, panel clips, and struts, driver side visor, headlamp wiper motor, and various other things. I'm burning about $2K/year in repairs on this car, which doesn't include the usual items such as timing belt, tires, brakes, fluids, and filters.

The costs hurt but the loss of use hurts even more. I never imagined a car could be so unreliable and expensive to own. I've only owned Honda and Toyota until I bought this POS Volvo. My Toyota Sienna is now 6 1/2 yrs old and has had no issues. All we've done is filters, oil, tires and front brake pads in 70K miles.

Think I'll ever buy another Volvo? Never! I know Ford is trying to sell Volvo but I don't think they will find a buyer. Ford should do us all a favor and let this company die.

Oh, to be fair, I should also add that when this car is operational it is nice to drive. Very comfortable for long trips. I'm just afraid to take it out of town, I don't know if I'll make it home. I stay local so I'm within towing distance of my Volvo repair shop.

27th Jan 2010, 22:24

I bought my wife her 98 V70 wagon. She loves it, although I'm the one maintaining it! It was driven by a Mom, so it was and still is in pretty good shape with 147000 miles or so. All the dash lights lit up as well. The codes said mass air, cat and a few others. After some research, I found a bad ignition coil!! Replaced it and it runs better then when I bought it!

My advice is do your own research and fix it yourself! STAY AWAY FROM DEALERS! These cars are very easy to work on, so just get a little dirt under your nails and enjoy!

20th Feb 2010, 18:32

We are considering purchasing a 1999 V70XC from an older man who bought a friend's lease. Looks to be in excellent condition with 100000 miles, and all the belts just changed. Not sure if I can handle going from a Toyota Corolla wagon, which had surprisingly inexpensive repairs and parts.

Any recommendations?

20th Feb 2010, 23:59

The rules for buying used are pretty cut & dry.

1. Pay an independent inspection shop (one with a history & good rep) to look the car over and give you a report.

2. Check reporting services (Consumer Reports,... etc.) for reliability record for the brand, model, year.

3. Make sure you can get the service history for the vehicle.

If all are in order then the vehicle should be OK for brand/model/year. But cost of parts reflect the quality, prestige, and scarcity of the particular vehicle.

Good Luck.

19th Apr 2010, 10:44

I have a New Zealand new (we have a lot of imported second hand cars) 2000 Volvo V70 T5 2.4 series II. I purchased it 6 months ago from a dealer in Wellington and drove it 800km back to Auckland. The car had not been maintained well as it was low on oil, which I topped up before the drive and dutifully replaced that, the interior cabin filter and the spark plugs, the car being 140,000km old (87,000 miles).

Then the fun began, the engine check light came on, took it to Volvo, they said ETM required replacing at $2600 NZD ($1850USD). I went to an auto electrician who said he could "fix" it for half the amount. I found the website http://vexedvolvo.org/ and used the information from there to force the importer and distributor to repair the car for free. I never let them know where my "source" was, but I threatened them with appearing on TV (we have a consumer program called "Fair Go") and also parking the car in the public parking outside with the windows stickered up "Volvo for Life, because you'll never get it out of the garage"

After 3 months of serious letter writing and phone calls, using the info off the website to quote memo's and dates etc (but never mentioning the site) I had success! I got charged $220 NZD to clean the breather system, which is commonly clogged up in these cars for some reason, and a regular service item, they did the rest. I must admit that did impress me.

So if you are a New Zealander, it would be wise to buy a NZ new car, not an import; as the support would not be the same I am sure. Over here we have a LOT of problems with ALL imported Euro cars as they are NOT made to the same specs as NZ new. For example the Malaysian BMW's are designed like the Japan cars to last only 5 years, so they do not put enough plasticisers in the plastic sheathing of the wiring loom. After a while it cracks, shorts, and blows electronics up! Also Toyota 2.8 diesels and BMW's from Japan are both known to overheat and blow head gaskets easily.

In any case, soon after that the "ABS Service Required" would light up when starting. Research showed YouTube videos on how to remove the electronic module and it is repairable. I took it to an INDEPENDENT mechanic, who sent me to their local auto electrician who used a Bosch tester, found no errors. Tested the battery, was 7 years old and in bad condition due to going flat several times recently. He said that sometimes people forget the basics.

I asked how often do Volvo's have no error codes, "For the Motronic engine computer, very, very rare!" So I am selling it with new battery, and report. I love the car to drive, it really is a dream, however I am concerned of on going costs. The genuine dealer charges $120/hr and the parts costs are out of this World.

So if you are a NZ-er buy NZ new, they are cars imported from Sweden I believe (mine is). The independents said the quality of car depends on the manufacturing plant, and the Malaysian ones are a POS. Most imported NZ ones are the pussy 2.0 low blow turbos with no surround sound, winter pack, cruise control or anything exciting. They also have more troubles apparently.

One of two things needs to happen with Volvo, now owned by Geely of China, but still managed and manufactured mostly in Sweden, is to either build a car where the electronics are robust, or slash the costs of ALL replacement parts by at least 50%.

And Geely, if you are monitoring this, please go back to producing "new" models every 10 years, those were the days when cars were re-engineered until they actually worked well. People knew when you bought the "new" shape that initially it would have a few problems, which kept up the price of the last of the "old" shape. And maybe get rid of the petrol engine altogether and have a plug in electric so you can get rid of all the emission rubbish. The US and oil companies have been pretending it can't be done, but we know it can, and China is really the only country big enough to say "stuff you, we will do it". We know that batteries could be designed to make a car travel 200km and cars could travel upto 160km/h etc... c'mon DO IT!