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    1. #1
      Junior Member Northeast's Avatar
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      What would you do?

      Here's a "what if" for you guys...tell me what you would have done in my place!

      We've owned 4 Volvos at this point, and we do love them - this is not a rant. My wife loves them irrationally, I still like to think I retain some objectivity. I found this forum a few years ago and have put some of the simpler maintenance tips to good use, but I'm not mechanically inclined enough to do much myself.

      Our first was a 98 s70 NA with 98k (suspect) on the odo. Paid $4k, put in another $2k (timing belt, exhaust, tires, strut seats, brakes, ABS module, ball joints, can't quite remember what else) and 30k miles over 2 years before a $4k estimate to make it pass inspection ended our relationship. It got us through a couple of rough years and didn't owe us anything.

      Second one is a 2004 XC70 bought with 104k and now has 130k. We bought it 1 year after acquiring the s70 because we had become Volvo People. Over the past 2 years it's spent a lot of time in the shop (brakes, end links, radiator fan, rear wheel bearings, AC service, alternator, engine mounts, half axle (1), and this past July a water pump, cam seals, and timing belt). Still looking great and running great until just before Christmas, more on that in a bit.

      Third was a 2002 v70 bought from the independent mechanic who was taking care of our 98 s70 with 99k. We ran it for a year with what we've come to expect as normal repairs (rear brake spindle, tires, something deep in the breather system which cost $550 to fix, some front suspension parts, some impending AC work, and a $500 deductible on an at-fault accident when my son got a little distracted and rear ended a Prius).

      So, here's the sitch just before Christmas. On a lunchtime trip to the local deli the XC stops dead in its tracks and eventually I find out that an improperly torqued cam nut caused the valve train and the pistons to do that thing that I've been worried about since the day I first logged onto this forum.

      The water pump had been done at Pep Boys (they promised me they could do it right) and the manager couldn't figure out what was wrong with it when I had it towed back to his shop. After a few days we agreed to let the Volvo dealer diagnose and abide by his assessment. The volvo dealer inspected it and quoted us about $3k to replace the cylinder head (with a used one) and rebuild the rest, and Pep Boys had an insurance policy that would cover this, so that's what we did. After the first attempt to fix it the dealer found that the splines on the crank shaft had broken, and it needed a new engine. A used one with 90K miles on it was located, the insurance claim increased to about $5k, and they want back to work.

      In the interim, during the weeks the XC was at the Volvo dealer waiting for parts/repair from a flu-ravaged staff, I looked back and figured out just what the 2 cars were costing us to keep on the road. It turns out that 2 ten year old Volvos, no matter how much you like them, require a lot of repairs, and for me that meant a lot of trips to the repair shop which was expensive and inconvenient. If we had one newer, warranted car then life would be much better even if the expense was the same. So I pitched a lease on a new '13 s60, and my wife gave me the thumbs up. I get a new car and finally get to forget the first names of the mechanics around here. She gets to keep driving a 10 year old wagon that she (irrationally) loves.

      So here, finally, is the key question: which car to trade in on the new one? The trade in value of the two cars is about the same, but at the time we had to decide the 03 XC70 was in the dealer's repair bay with it's valve train spread around on 2 benches. The v70 is older, has fewer miles, and hasn't had nearly the repair problems of the XC70...yet.

      What would you do?

      Here's what we decided to do....(if you didn't peek at my sig and already find out)

      We traded in the 02 v70 on the new s60. Our rationalization was that once repaired with a new engine, new seals, gaskets, hoses, etc. the XC70 would have a lot of miles left in it, and the v70 was likely to need all of the things that we had done on the XC70 in its next couple of years.

      I've been enjoying the s60 for 2 weeks, and we just got the XC70 back last Friday. There are a few issues still but that is to be expected after the magnitude of the job, I guess. I expect the dealer will happily address them when I take it back for a follow-up.
      2007 C70 T5 Magic Blue
      Previous:
      2016 S60I, 2013 S60, 2003 XC70, 2002 V70, 1998 S70

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    3. #2
      Senior Member Wayne T5's Avatar
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      That's quite a story, thanks for sharing. Congrats on the new S60 - they are great cars. I got mine a year ago when I seemed to have several months of $400 a month repair bills on my prior '99 S70 which was essentially what my car payment is on the new car so that seemed like an easy decision. I do try and do a lot of the work myself on the cars (because I like working on them) but it's always good to have one newer car that all you do is drive. My indy mechanic does a great job but haven't been back in a year now.
      Past: '94 854, '99 S70 T5 SE, '99 S70 GLT, '04 S60R M, '12 S60 T5, '13 S60 T5, '15 S60 RD, '05 V70R GT
      Present: '95 854 T-5R, '06 XC70, '15.5 XC60 T6, '16 V60 P*

    4. #3
      BTW, never take a Volvo to PEP boys.

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    6. #4
      Junior Member MarkBevans's Avatar
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      Sounds like you made the right decision, but I'm jaded and love the XC70's. A dealer installed 90k motor properly done will last a long time, glad Pep Boys had good insurance!!

      I owned a 1998 S70 NA also and know that they can have "their" little issues, yet I ran mine for 8 years and 144,000 miles, really was a nice solid ride. And a friend of mine now has it and it has 260,000 miles, still running strong!

      But a new S60, yeah! That's what we're talking about! Nice change, great upgrade. Sounds like you know how to throw down when the time is right, and retain the correct vehicle!



      But I'm jaded, see below;

      I've done a 544 for 5 years (out of college)
      I've done a S70 for 8 years
      I've got a 2007 XC90 V8 that's super loaded and a tank of a ride (bought new) still have, 5+ years now (glad I bought the 100k warranty)
      I totaled a 2007 XC70 3 months back, semi-truck wanted it more than I (loved that wagon) 2 years, now decreased
      I just got a 2006 V70R loaded and love it!
      Most recent Moose in the stable; 2006 V70R Magic Blue/Atacama fully optioned

    7. #5
      Junior Member Northeast's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Stormin Norman View Post
      BTW, never take a Volvo to PEP boys.
      Yes, especially for a water pump. But they did quite a few other things without incident, were really convenient, and the car was on their lift with the rear wheel bearings off when it happened. If I had it to do over again I would have taken it to my independent shop 45 mins away. But they did admit their mistake and try to make good. I'll go back for other things.

      Update on the XC70:

      The engine was running on 3 cylinders today so back it went. I'm more frustrated with the dealers service dept now...they should be able to fix this.
      2007 C70 T5 Magic Blue
      Previous:
      2016 S60I, 2013 S60, 2003 XC70, 2002 V70, 1998 S70

    8. #6
      Member dhorvath's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Stormin Norman View Post
      BTW, never take a Volvo to PEP boys.
      Not that I would, but why not?
      2012 S60 T5 Vibrant Copper/Beechwood, Premium, heated seats, front/rear park assist. Via OSD (April 2012). All-Weather Mats and Mud Guards added at delivery, LED License plate lights once at home.

      3,000 miles in 6 countries over 21 days during OSD.

    9. #7
      Member thaxman's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Stormin Norman View Post
      BTW, never take ANYTHING to PEP boys.
      Fixed it for ya.
      2004 V70 T5M: Platinum Green Bob Villa mod | boost gauge | poly mounts | Snabb intake | IPD sways | Koni yellow struts | KYB monotube shocks http://imgur.com/a/0MRgX
      2005 Mazda6 Sportwagon in progress...
      2012 Ford Flex Limited

      2001 Subaru Outback H6 L.L.Bean/2000 Honda Odyssey EX recently passed (together!)

    10. #8
      Member thaxman's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by dhorvath View Post
      Not that I would, but why not?


      Well, would you trust a McDonald's employee to be competent to make an 8-course meal for the President and 150 guests?

      GIGO. Thats all.
      2004 V70 T5M: Platinum Green Bob Villa mod | boost gauge | poly mounts | Snabb intake | IPD sways | Koni yellow struts | KYB monotube shocks http://imgur.com/a/0MRgX
      2005 Mazda6 Sportwagon in progress...
      2012 Ford Flex Limited

      2001 Subaru Outback H6 L.L.Bean/2000 Honda Odyssey EX recently passed (together!)

    11. #9
      Member thaxman's Avatar
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      What a story. My 112K T5 has been more reliable than the Accord but time will tell if it will be the "silver-bullet"slayer of repair-shop visits that the Subaru Legacy was.
      2004 V70 T5M: Platinum Green Bob Villa mod | boost gauge | poly mounts | Snabb intake | IPD sways | Koni yellow struts | KYB monotube shocks http://imgur.com/a/0MRgX
      2005 Mazda6 Sportwagon in progress...
      2012 Ford Flex Limited

      2001 Subaru Outback H6 L.L.Bean/2000 Honda Odyssey EX recently passed (together!)

    12. #10
      Junior Member Northeast's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by nicenickz View Post
      Not sure what would I do if I were in your place, but one thing I can assure you, you can always have the kind of car you really want. Many people do not have enough money sitting around to pay cash on an expensive automobile. This is why a website I came across can help you get an auto loan for your brand new vehicle. It is also good to have a car loan because it will help your credit rating look a lot better. To read more of the details, go here.
      Really? First post? *ignore*
      2007 C70 T5 Magic Blue
      Previous:
      2016 S60I, 2013 S60, 2003 XC70, 2002 V70, 1998 S70

    13. #11
      Junior Member Northeast's Avatar
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      Update: 1 year later

      After 3 trips back to the dealer the XC70 was back on the road but never sounded right. The engine they put in had something going on, but the dealer couldn't/wouldn't address it so we lived with it. The car was pretty good until it died on my wife 2 weeks before Christmas (again!). I had a feeling of deja vue and, sure enough, it was another disaster. This time a tensioner on the serpentine belt broke, causing the serpentine belt to WRAP AROUND THE TIMING BELT and jam it...

      The engine was still under warranty and the dealer's repair shop offered to do the repair for $15/hour labor ($2,100 total) after some heated discussion. But, we were unwilling to trust them in another repair of this sort and wanted to replace the car. The problem of course was that it was scrap at the moment. With some persistence I managed to convince the dealership to fix it themselves and give me a decent trade allowance toward another car, and my patient and lovely wife is now the proud owner of an '07 c70 with 70k that was on the lot for $15k.

      The only decision I regret making was to let Pep Boys tackle that water pump in the first place. Lesson learned.

      If you are in central NY and thinking of buying an '03 Silver XC70 with 140k, roof racks and brand new winter tires, no matter how good the deal is you probably want to think twice. It is cursed.
      2007 C70 T5 Magic Blue
      Previous:
      2016 S60I, 2013 S60, 2003 XC70, 2002 V70, 1998 S70

    14. #12
      Senior Member JRL's Avatar
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      The problem with Volvos is more than they being a bit labor/maintenance intensive, it's that there are not many good Volvo mechanics out there.
      It takes them YEARS to find all the little tricks and how to fix them right the first time.
      Most dealers have unknowledgable animals working on them.

      If you have the right guy like I do, the cost is more like owning a Chevy, if not, more like a Ferrari!
      Email: jrl1194 ( at ) AOL (dot) com
      2007 V70 2.5T White/Oak/Tan/Arena, 114K miles. My DD with no plans to sell it anytime soon
      2000 V70R, Wife's, she won't sell. Now she hit 150,000 miles and still near perfect!

    15. #13
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      Wow, what an awesome story.
      I have to admit that whenever anybody asks me if they should buy a Volvo, my standard answer is yes, but I have to caveat it with IF they are mechanically inclined to work on themselves OR they have a lot of money to spend.
      Listen, I'm the first to admit that these cars need some TLC to keep running but I'm also the first to admit that I find them extremely easy to work on and I just love driving them.
      My 98 S70 just turned 373K miles yesterday and I'm absolutely positive I'm gonna see 500K+ with it but I put plenty of time into it to keep it running like it does. I can't imagine paying a dealer or even an indy shop to keep these cars running well. No diserespect to anyone who has to do that, but I have a lot of other things that I can spend my money on. Not having a car payment of any kind for well over a decade is a pretty sweet reward for doing all the work myself.

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