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    Thread: 1st XC90 newbie

    1. #1
      Junior Member rjosep01's Avatar
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      Smile 1st XC90 newbie

      I have always admired the XC90 Since 2003. I remember driving my 2000 S80 to Albany and watching a beautiful black XC90 pass thinking that I can't wait to get of my very own. Well a wife and 2 kids later I finally got one of my own. Let me start by saying that I purchased this car at a used car dealer. It has 165K miles and it rides a tad rough and noisy. Meaning it sounds a bit bangy under the hood when driving over potholes or bumps and the East Coast roads have plenty of both. The engine sounds loud turbo like but in the cabin. I took it to get an oil change. The mechanic stated that the rear differential had a leak. He asked if I had a warranty and that I should take it to a dealer. Right after purchasing the car I took to this forum and have seen good and bad things about the car. Especially about the tranny I'm afraid that I bought this with my heart and not my head. Should I be worried about getting it looked at sooner than later. I ask because I rarely use it as I commute to NJ about 160 miles daily with my wife in her 4 cylinder GMC Terrain. The car looks great which is why I bought it. Didn't need it per Se but now that I have it I don't want to find out I bought a headache... well really I don't want the wife to find out. LOL. She loves it but can't wait to lecture me about one more toy I've purchased. I've done some cosmetic mods. So far tint to front windows and painted calipers red and center of rotors chrome. Any suggestions would be great. I'll try to post some pics so you can judge for yourself if I should get a heart transplant to avoid trauma to the head if this buy turns out to be a bust! So I'll never decide with my heart again.

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    3. #2
      Junior Member rjosep01's Avatar
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      Anyone know how to link pics from a Samsung S4?

    4. #3
      Junior Member RedGeminiPA's Avatar
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      Welcome aboard! First and foremost, what year and engine?
      2004 XC90 2.5T AWD 7-Passenger w/ Climate, Premium and Versatility packages and Xenon headlights.
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    6. #4
      Junior Member robtr8's Avatar
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      1st, What exactly did you buy? Model year and engine choice need to be stated.
      2nd, No pre-buy inspection?
      3rd, Given enough resources, this can be a fine family vehicle. WAAAY safer than the Terrain.
      2006 XC90 V8, AVH-4000NEX, PDX-F4 & M12, L1v2, GZUF60SQ, GB12D4, PWK designed box, custom exhaust, Scorpion Verde summer/Ronal RT's, IPD bars.
      2008 328xi, AVH-X7800BT, GM-D8604 & D9605, MT-230, GB40, XE 200, Primo 12", Musicar NW box, Sottozero 3/185's, S-04/Ventoso's.
      2011 XC60 T6 RD, DWS 06, 1980 TR8​, NT05

    7. #5
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      I was trying to find a general post explaining linking images. However I can't at the moment.

      This forum does not support inline images. As you have to upload them somewhere else (flickr, your own web site, ...) and then add an image link (url).

      Sorry to hear you might have dramas with the XC90. Hopefully they don't turn out to be major. Good luck!

    8. #6
      Senior Member JRL's Avatar
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      If this is a XC90T6 yes you should be worried a bit.
      It's probably already had one new transmission and will be due for another soon enough. They're good for only about 60-80K miles.

      Noise in front?
      Probably needs spring seats, maybe control arms and/or sway bar links.
      Better check to see if your AWD is working.

      Pictures?
      You have to download them to a photo host first then copy the [img] link
      http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthr...es-in-a-thread


      Why would you do ANY cosmetic stuff before you got the mechanicals straightened out first and know what you bought?
      If I was your wife, I too would be pissed off
      Email: jrl1194(at)aol.com
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    9. #7
      Junior Member RedGeminiPA's Avatar
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      I just installed Tapatalk on my iPhone. You can add pics using it. You should be able to find it in the Play store.


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      2004 XC90 2.5T AWD 7-Passenger w/ Climate, Premium and Versatility packages and Xenon headlights.
      GROM Bluetooth audio adapter for the High Performance Sound system.

    10. #8
      Junior Member RedGeminiPA's Avatar
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      Test pic.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

      It appears the pics are hosted on the Tapatalk server. They're not the greatest, but it's easy to do and gets the job done.
      2004 XC90 2.5T AWD 7-Passenger w/ Climate, Premium and Versatility packages and Xenon headlights.
      GROM Bluetooth audio adapter for the High Performance Sound system.

    11. #9
      Junior Member rjosep01's Avatar
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      Wow... you guys are serious about this site. Thank you for all your replys. OK let's see if I can answer all of your inquiries directed to no one imparticular. It's a 2003 XC90 T6 I believe it's the 2.9L twin turbo. I got the carfax info and it read well. The transmission was replaced at 92,589 miles prior to that the stabilizer bar links were replaced twice once at 11K miles and again at 22K miles. As for the cosmetic changes the brake calipers had a lot of what looked like corrosion/ rust but the guy I brought the car to said they were fine and just needed to be cleaned. So for $140 I got them cleaned up painted and tinted the front windows to match the backs.
      I won't even pretend to know anything about the mechanics of a car. Again I purchased this with my heart and not my head. But perhaps this may help you to further understand my decision. I have a 15 year old daughter who will be driving soon. I much rather have her in a safe vehicle. Additionally I got the car for $6K so as far as I'm concerned, I got a lot of car for my dollars. But back to the mechanics... I think you maybe right JR about the spring seats. I recall a similar problem with my S80 now that you mention it. So folks I hope this sheds some light as to why I bought it and besides... it's a XC90!

    12. #10
      Junior Member rjosep01's Avatar
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      Pics of my 2003 XC90 T6 still on the lot.



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    13. #11
      Junior Member rjosep01's Avatar
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      Pics after slight cosmetic changes



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    14. #12
      Junior Member rjosep01's Avatar
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      Thank you Tapatalk worked out just fine.

    15. #13
      Junior Member RedGeminiPA's Avatar
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      That's a nice looking XC90! I love the wheels. It appears someone put newer taillights and V O L V O script on the back, and the new style grille on the front. Hopefully the problems are easily resolved without being overly expensive.
      Last edited by RedGeminiPA; 02-03-2014 at 04:56 PM.
      2004 XC90 2.5T AWD 7-Passenger w/ Climate, Premium and Versatility packages and Xenon headlights.
      GROM Bluetooth audio adapter for the High Performance Sound system.

    16. #14
      Junior Member rjosep01's Avatar
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      Yeah Thank you. I want to say based on some of the threads I'm reading there seems to be a few mods that may have already been completed. I can't tell because I am just getting into this. The steering wheel says it's a R - design. The quad exhaust looks like the 2009 R - design mentioned in another thread. The wheels definitely caught my eye. Which is why I wanted to clean up the calipers. Hard to see them it was getting dark out. Took this shot this morning.

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    17. #15
      Junior Member rjosep01's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by JRL View Post
      If this is a XC90T6 yes you should be worried a bit.
      It's probably already had one new transmission and will be due for another soon enough. They're good for only about 60-80K miles.

      Noise in front?
      Probably needs spring seats, maybe control arms and/or sway bar links.
      Better check to see if your AWD is working.

      Pictures?
      You have to download them to a photo host first then copy the [img] link
      http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthr...es-in-a-thread


      Why would you do ANY cosmetic stuff before you got the mechanicals straightened out first and know what you bought?
      If I was your wife, I too would be pissed off
      I think I mentioned that I purchased an extended warranty so I'll take your advice JRL and take it to a dealer to look and see if the AWD is working properly. Curious to know what should I expect to be covered under warranty and what might be out of pocket expenses?

    18. #16
      Junior Member rjosep01's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by JRL View Post
      If this is a XC90T6 yes you should be worried a bit.
      It's probably already had one new transmission and will be due for another soon enough. They're good for only about 60-80K miles.

      Noise in front?
      Probably needs spring seats, maybe control arms and/or sway bar links.
      Better check to see if your AWD is working.

      Pictures?
      You have to download them to a photo host first then copy the [img] link
      http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthr...es-in-a-thread


      Why would you do ANY cosmetic stuff before you got the mechanicals straightened out first and know what you bought?
      If I was your wife, I too would be pissed off
      I think I mentioned that I purchased an extended warranty so I'll take your advice JRL and take it to a dealer to look and see if the AWD is working properly. Curious to know what should I expect to be covered under warranty and what might be out of pocket expenses? I also have to mention how impressed I am at how you picked right up on the model I had with very little input from me and no pics at the time no less!

    19. #17
      Member Tommm's Avatar
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      So you want to put your daughter in a safe car, and the first thing you did was tint the front windows. Bravo!!
      Sincerely,
      Tom
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    20. #18
      Junior Member RedGeminiPA's Avatar
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      My grandmother gets her windows tinted for safety. It's not unheard of.


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      GROM Bluetooth audio adapter for the High Performance Sound system.

    21. #19
      Junior Member rjosep01's Avatar
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      Ha! Appreciate the backup there RedGeminiPA. Tommm no need to worry I've got time to decide if tint will hinder her ability to drive carefully. Besides the law prohibits young drivers to drive alone beyond evening hours. So fret little... at least as little as the tone of sarcasm has effected me. I intend to enjoy the vehicle myself. And for the record Tommm my friend, the first thing I did was get an oil change.

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    22. #20
      I love that somebody put the newer style R design exhaust on it! I would love to get that eventually. It's good that your transmission was already replaced. JRL was dead on when it comes to the interval that they usually last. Be prepared to replace it at about 80k beyond when it was installed (at the very most). I wouldn't worry too much about the rear diff leaking unless it's a huge leak. That's just my opinion. Others will probably disagree with me, but don't forget that it is an 11 year old car so it doesn't need to be flawless in any way. If you could find an aftermarket warranty which would cover the drivetrain (transmission mostly), it will probably pay for itself eventually. If you can't, one of the bonuses is that the transmission is a fairly common GM transmission and most transmission shops should be quite familiar with it, and it should be fairly cheap to rebuild compared to some of the other Volvo transmissions. Basically though, you are right to be concerned about the transmission. It WILL fail.
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    23. #21
      Junior Member rjosep01's Avatar
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      Itwontstopsnowin you seem to believe that I may have gotten a fair deal? I did purchase an extended warranty and it covers the drivetrain. What you say makes a bit of sense to me (a non-expert) that it has too much power for the engine. It really moves. I've read that the T6 was commonly loud. Would you say that is true? Meaning it sounds "throaty" when I take off. Even at 10 mph. When I said that it rides a tad rough and noisy I don't mean to say that it rides terrible at all. Not like other SUVs that drive like a truck. Weren't these built on the S80 car platform? So my expectations are for a much smoother more quiet ride. As you stated it is 11 years old.

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    24. #22
      Quote Originally Posted by rjosep01 View Post
      Itwontstopsnowin you seem to believe that I may have gotten a fair deal? I did purchase an extended warranty and it covers the drivetrain. What you say makes a bit of sense to me (a non-expert) that it has too much power for the engine. It really moves. I've read that the T6 was commonly loud. Would you say that is true? Meaning it sounds "throaty" when I take off. Even at 10 mph. When I said that it rides a tad rough and noisy I don't mean to say that it rides terrible at all. Not like other SUVs that drive like a truck. Weren't these built on the S80 car platform? So my expectations are for a much smoother more quiet ride. As you stated it is 11 years old.

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      In general, Volvo's engines are a tad on the loud side. Sometimes though it can be worse because of vibration being transferred to the chassis through failing or failed motor mounts. Try changing the upper torque mount, as well as the transmission torque mount and see if it makes any difference. If they haven't been replaced recently, it can't hurt to do them no matter what. They're common failure points, and they are very cheap. They're the number one source of vibration being transferred to the chassis which makes the engine seem louder.

      The car is really cool, and whomever had it before you really did a lot of upgrades to it. It resembles a newer model R design and it even has the front bumper bar which you rarely see on prefacelift models. The dual outlet exhaust wasnt even available for the prefacelift ones, but someone fitted a rear bumper off of a 2007 or newer XC90 to make it work. Someone put a lot of time and money into that car.
      2010 Volvo XC60 T6 R-Design | Passion Red | Polestar + Snabb | 95,000 Miles
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    25. #23
      Junior Member RedGeminiPA's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by itwontstopsnowin View Post
      In general, Volvo's engines are a tad on the loud side. Sometimes though it can be worse because of vibration being transferred to the chassis through failing or failed motor mounts. Try changing the upper torque mount, as well as the transmission torque mount and see if it makes any difference. If they haven't been replaced recently, it can't hurt to do them no matter what. They're common failure points, and they are very cheap. They're the number one source of vibration being transferred to the chassis which makes the engine seem louder.

      The car is really cool, and whomever had it before you really did a lot of upgrades to it. It resembles a newer model R design and it even has the front bumper bar which you rarely see on prefacelift models. The dual outlet exhaust wasnt even available for the prefacelift ones, but someone fitted a rear bumper off of a 2007 or newer XC90 to make it work. Someone put a lot of time and money into that car.
      Agreed. It's quite a looker, especially for a 2003. The only thing I'd change, cosmetically, is remove what appears to be Ferrari decals on the front fenders.
      2004 XC90 2.5T AWD 7-Passenger w/ Climate, Premium and Versatility packages and Xenon headlights.
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    26. #24
      Junior Member rjosep01's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by itwontstopsnowin View Post
      In general, Volvo's engines are a tad on the loud side. Sometimes though it can be worse because of vibration being transferred to the chassis through failing or failed motor mounts. Try changing the upper torque mount, as well as the transmission torque mount and see if it makes any difference. If they haven't been replaced recently, it can't hurt to do them no matter what. They're common failure points, and they are very cheap. They're the number one source of vibration being transferred to the chassis which makes the engine seem louder.

      The car is really cool, and whomever had it before you really did a lot of upgrades to it. It resembles a newer model R design and it even has the front bumper bar which you rarely see on prefacelift models. The dual outlet exhaust wasnt even available for the prefacelift ones, but someone fitted a rear bumper off of a 2007 or newer XC90 to make it work. Someone put a lot of time and money into that car.
      Very cool. I feel much better about the purchase. The wife does too oddly enough. I share the posts with her and though there may be some mechanical repairs, they appear to be things down the road a bit and likely to be covered by the 2 year extended warranty I purchased. Now that was done with my head and not my heart.

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    27. #25
      Junior Member rjosep01's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by RedGeminiPA View Post
      Agreed. It's quite a looker, especially for a 2003. The only thing I'd change, cosmetically, is remove what appears to be Ferrari decals on the front fenders.
      Thanks buddy. I'd say that I have an eye for cosmetically upgrading vehicles. Or at least finds that are older then making them look new. I did it with my car and my motorcycle. I just happened to luck out with this find. The decal is very similar to that of the Ferrari but instead of a prancing horse this is a moose. I've seen them on other Volvo cars but larger. I'm actually on the fence about it. It gives the vehicle an air of elegance I think.

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    28. #26
      Junior Member RedGeminiPA's Avatar
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      My XC90 was formally owned by a couple from East Stroudsburg, now that I think about it! You wouldn't happen to know Robert & Kelly McKenzie, would you? I think one of them worked at the college there, since there's a parking permit sticker in the windshield. I'd love to find them to see if they might happen to have another key for it... LOL.

      I think I might've just found their phone number on whitepages.com. I'll try giving them a call later today to see if they're the former owners of mine and ask some questions.
      Last edited by RedGeminiPA; 02-05-2014 at 06:30 AM. Reason: Additional comments.
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    29. #27
      Junior Member robtr8's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by RedGeminiPA View Post
      Agreed. It's quite a looker, especially for a 2003. The only thing I'd change, cosmetically, is remove what appears to be Ferrari decals on the front fenders.
      Remove a moose badge? That's sacrilege!!! It is possible to moose your ride a little more subtly.

      http://www.davebarton.com/VolvoPrancingMoose.html
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    30. #28
      Junior Member rjosep01's Avatar
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      Couldn't resist showing off the toys I've worked on cosmetically.

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    31. #29
      Junior Member RedGeminiPA's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by robtr8 View Post
      Remove a moose badge? That's sacrilege!!! It is possible to moose your ride a little more subtly.

      http://www.davebarton.com/VolvoPrancingMoose.html
      My apologies! I didn't know what it was. It makes sense now.
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    32. #30
      Junior Member rjosep01's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by RedGeminiPA View Post
      My XC90 was formally owned by a couple from East Stroudsburg, now that I think about it! You wouldn't happen to know Robert & Kelly McKenzie, would you? I think one of them worked at the college there, since there's a parking permit sticker in the windshield. I'd love to find them to see if they might happen to have another key for it... LOL.

      I think I might've just found their phone number on whitepages.com. I'll try giving them a call later today to see if they're the former owners of mine and ask some questions.
      Sorry, I am not familiar with the McKenzie's. And what appears to be a parking permit is actually the NJ inspection sticker. I purchased the car in NJ and hadn't received my plates then. Man you've got a detailed eye. How the heck did you see that!?!
      Funny you mentioned the previous owner. My car had a brand new part (I think it was a switch connector) that was ordered from a dealer and all of his contact info is on the packing slip. Maybe I should call and ask about any upgrades he may have done.

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    33. #31
      Junior Member rjosep01's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by robtr8 View Post
      Remove a moose badge? That's sacrilege!!! It is possible to moose your ride a little more subtly.

      http://www.davebarton.com/VolvoPrancingMoose.html
      Thanks for the link Robtr8. I think you've just helped me to get off the fence. I like the story of how the emblem came to be. I actually want to put something on the calipers. I've seen the word VOLVO on painted calipers. Maybe the Moose might be a little different. Just an idea.

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    34. #32
      Junior Member RedGeminiPA's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by rjosep01 View Post
      Sorry, I am not familiar with the McKenzie's. And what appears to be a parking permit is actually the NJ inspection sticker. I purchased the car in NJ and hadn't received my plates then. Man you've got a detailed eye. How the heck did you see that!?!
      Funny you mentioned the previous owner. My car had a brand new part (I think it was a switch connector) that was ordered from a dealer and all of his contact info is on the packing slip. Maybe I should call and ask about any upgrades he may have done.

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      I didn't see it on yours. I was referring to a sticker on mine, LOL.
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    35. #33
      Junior Member robtr8's Avatar
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      This is like Where's Waldo!

      In addition to the things mentioned, I see updated CC/stereo trim rings and center console panels.
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    36. #34
      My guess with the history of the transmission being replaced and all those nice updated parts added is that the previous owner took care of this car. As for the transmission if you change the fluid regularly it should be fine, my specialists have t6's come in with 150k on their original transmissions just because people took a little time out to change the fluid and do basic maintenance. However if/when it does fail (depending on what you do maintenance wise and how you drive it) their is a guy who will reinforce and rebuild your transmission beyond factory specs. Nice looking car and from the pics seems to be a great purchase!
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    37. #35
      Junior Member rjosep01's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Swagger XC View Post
      My guess with the history of the transmission being replaced and all those nice updated parts added is that the previous owner took care of this car. As for the transmission if you change the fluid regularly it should be fine, my specialists have t6's come in with 150k on their original transmissions just because people took a little time out to change the fluid and do basic maintenance. However if/when it does fail (depending on what you do maintenance wise and how you drive it) their is a guy who will reinforce and rebuild your transmission beyond factory specs. Nice looking car and from the pics seems to be a great purchase!
      Xc Swagger I'm feeling much better about my purchase. With all of you guys posting your experiences with your vehicles it gives me the mindset of what I need to do or not do. So far I think a transmission flush, replacing the boot seats and engine mounts I may have her running like she's brand new. I am curious to hear about other issues and fixes. Perhaps you can share what is going on with your XC90?

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