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    1. #1
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      used XC90 purchase advice

      Hello XC90 crew members. Looking for a little advice on an older XC90 model to
      add to my current stable. Looking to keep it under 5K, don't really care about
      options, features all that much. Pretty much going to put a rooftop tent on it
      and take it camping, etc. with the wife and kids. Will very occasionally commute with it,
      but I have an S60 and C30 for that. With my budget I feel I will be in the
      2005-2010 model years for something with around 125-150K on it.
      With that being said, what engines should I avoid or what would you recommend?
      I had an 07 XC70 with the standard 2.5T in it and that was fine once I had an ECU tune.
      From what I gather the T6 is to be avoided?
      The V8 I understand is desirable, though not sure I need/want all that and would
      probably get by with the 3.2 just fine?
      Basically, looking for something with the least headaches as keeping up with 3 cars is
      enough as it is.

      Thank you!
      -Larry
      2013 XC60 T6
      2008 C30 T5 R-Design
      2002 S60 T5M: the daily commuter slayer
      Past: 2007 XC70 Orca, 1999 V70 5sp, 2010 Mazda5, 2000 Audi A4 Avant 5sp, 1990 VW Fox 4sp

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    3. #2
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      Besides the engine/tranny, the rest of the XC90 wear is basically the same across the board, except that the extra torque of the V8 could increase wear for the axles and it is tighter to work around.

      If you know the 2.5t well, then I suggest finding a 2006 2.5t, the last year of the 2.5t in the XC90. It has driveline updates and the latest 2.5t engine/transmission. Easy is relative, but it will be easier to maintain and know what it needs if you are already familiar with the engine and transmission. I would also suggest getting one with good options since the price is basically the same regardless of options, like get seat heaters. Many many people get an XC90 saying it will be the 3rd vehicle, but many start using it more often than they planned.
      2008 XC90 3.2 AWD - 150k miles, Premium, Versatility 7 passenger, Climate, Convenience, retrofit Morimoto D2S HID bi-xenon, iPd swaybars & poly bushing inserts, Powerflex poly control arm bushings, Bilstein Touring Fr struts, Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus 255/55R18, Fr Infinity tweeters & speakers, hardwired cheap $17 Amazon Bluetooth to center console aux & pwr, CQuartz UK 3.0 ceramic coated, no oil consumption using Mobil 1 0W-40 even w/ my lead foot

      About the XC90 3.2 - The good, the bad, and the ugly
      Upgrade front end rebuild with OEM, aftermarket, and original parts
      The better transmission JWS 3309/T-IV fluid for your 5 or 6 speed
      Strut Recommendations based on your specific XC90
      Why it's better to use synthetic oil instead of conventional

    4. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by ChitownV View Post
      Besides the engine/tranny, the rest of the XC90 wear is basically the same across the board, except that the extra torque of the V8 could increase wear for the axles and it is tighter to work around.

      If you know the 2.5t well, then I suggest finding a 2006 2.5t, the last year of the 2.5t in the XC90. It has driveline updates and the latest 2.5t engine/transmission. Easy is relative, but it will be easier to maintain and know what it needs if you are already familiar with the engine and transmission. I would also suggest getting one with good options since the price is basically the same regardless of options, like get seat heaters. Many many people get an XC90 saying it will be the 3rd vehicle, but many start using it more often than they planned.
      I hear ya. We have an XC60 which is the go to family vehicle but I feel like we are growing out of it. Might need to rethink this and get something nicer. Kinda want the V8 now.

      Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
      2013 XC60 T6
      2008 C30 T5 R-Design
      2002 S60 T5M: the daily commuter slayer
      Past: 2007 XC70 Orca, 1999 V70 5sp, 2010 Mazda5, 2000 Audi A4 Avant 5sp, 1990 VW Fox 4sp

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    6. #4
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      Ok, if you had $7500 to spend on one of these would you buy a "loaded" 08 3.2 with 95k on it or a 08 V8 Sport with 145k? Or save $2500 and buy a 2.5T from Wolfe Auto with 165k on it?

      Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
      2013 XC60 T6
      2008 C30 T5 R-Design
      2002 S60 T5M: the daily commuter slayer
      Past: 2007 XC70 Orca, 1999 V70 5sp, 2010 Mazda5, 2000 Audi A4 Avant 5sp, 1990 VW Fox 4sp

    7. #5
      Senior Member ScottishBrick's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by LarryM View Post
      Ok, if you had $7500 to spend on one of these would you buy a "loaded" 08 3.2 with 95k on it or a 08 V8 Sport with 145k? Or save $2500 and buy a 2.5T from Wolfe Auto with 165k on it?

      Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
      Need to see the maintenance records to make any kind of call. V8s are great but it’s pay to play.
      2003 V70 T5 - Mystic/Graphite - M56LK - 206k - K24/Greens/Do88/Quaife/SMF/P2R Clutch/DW300C/H&R/Bilstein TC/316mm & 308mm Brakes - SteveO Tuned
      1999 V70 T5 - Pewter/R Graphite & Alcantara - AW42 - 299k - Daily/Work Wagon
      1999 V70 T5 - Nautic/R Graphite & Alcantara - M56H - 177k - Rescued
      1999 V70 T5 - Emerald/Graphite - M56H - 119k - Garage Queen
      2000 V70 T5 - Mystic/Graphite - AW42 - 243k - Moms Unicorn
      2000 S70 GLT SE- Mystic/Graphite - AW42 - 218k - Sisters

    8. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by LarryM View Post
      I hear ya. We have an XC60 which is the go to family vehicle but I feel like we are growing out of it. Might need to rethink this and get something nicer. Kinda want the V8 now.

      Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
      Get the V8

    9. #7
      Junior Member Magnus Cars's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Thommykent View Post
      Get the V8
      +1
      Now 2011 Volvo XC90 V8 AWD Executive with Luxury Package. Premium Electric Silver Metallic on Soft Beige Soft Sovereign Hide. 123k. 2011-
      2011.5 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD with Technology Package. Premium Electric Silver Metallic on SandSoft Beige. 103K. 2011-

      Then 2005 Volvo S40 2.4i with Sport Package. Black on Dark Beige. (2005-2010)
      2006 Volvo XC90 2.5T AWD with Premium Package. Titanium Gray Metallic on Light Taupe. (2005-2011)
      Both of these I assume are still trotting around Germany.

    10. #8
      The roof bar max capacity is only 75kg, so unless you're a pygmie you'll struggle to use a roof tent.
      2009 XC90 D5 185 R Design Geartronic-6
      Premium, Summer, Winter, Family and Comms packs.

    11. #9
      Junior Member Orange's Avatar
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      The 3.2 had problems with the R.E.A.D unit from around 100k miles, google about it. Early V8 had problems with the balance shaft and it's also more expensive to service (tight access). These are not cheap cars to run at higher miles, especially for long camping trips I'd make sure to buy one thoroughly serviced and have a good local Volvo mechanic. The 2.5T was perhaps the most maintenance free engine IF the pcv was done at time, but it was a weak engine for a car loaded with passengers driving on mountain roads. All these fail at the AWD at some point.
      Last edited by Orange; 07-29-2020 at 08:28 AM.

    12. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Orange View Post
      The 3.2 had problems with the R.E.A.D unit from around 100k miles, google about it. Early V8 had problems with the balance shaft and it's also more expensive to service (tight access). These are not cheap cars to run at higher miles, especially for long camping trips I'd make sure to buy one thoroughly serviced and have a good local Volvo mechanic. The 2.5T was perhaps the most maintenance free engine IF the pcv was done at time, but it was a weak engine for a car loaded with passengers driving on mountain roads. All these fail at the AWD at some point.
      READ system got a design overhaul near the end of model year 2010. So, MY 2011-on should be fine. Prices on late P2 XC90's are dropping like rocks.

      If you're good with a wrench, the 3.2L's are stupid easy to keep up in the XC90. Trans and angle/bevel gear are better with the V8 and 3.2L. The TF-80SC seems to do better than the AW's. AWD does need service at 150K miles. Easy-peasy with 4th gen Haldex. Though, just as expensive.

      They're all spendy beasts, though. DIY and go only half broke.

      -Ryan
      Current fleet:
      1987 Volvo 245
      1989 Volvo 245
      1991 Volvo 745 Dog Waggin' 2.0
      1995 Volvo 945 Turbo
      2011 Volvo XC90 3.2 AWD
      2013 Volvo XC60 3.2 AWD (Wife-mobile)

    13. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by Richard Richard View Post
      The roof bar max capacity is only 75kg, so unless you're a pygmie you'll struggle to use a roof tent.
      I don't know where you're getting that from, but a Thule rack system for the XC90 has a 165lb dynamic load limit.
      2013 XC60 T6
      2008 C30 T5 R-Design
      2002 S60 T5M: the daily commuter slayer
      Past: 2007 XC70 Orca, 1999 V70 5sp, 2010 Mazda5, 2000 Audi A4 Avant 5sp, 1990 VW Fox 4sp

    14. #12
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      Quote Originally Posted by LarryM View Post
      I don't know where you're getting that from, but a Thule rack system for the XC90 has a 165lb dynamic load limit.
      Sorry; I just can't resist:
      75Kg = 165.346697 lb.
      Either way, the small people have it.
      2009 XC90 FWD 3.2, 2013 S60 T5
      In the past: '89 745, '91 940, '82 242, '67 122S, '67 123GT, '71 142E, '62 PV544.

    15. #13
      Junior Member Leto Atreides II's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by RyanR View Post
      The TF-80SC seems to do better than the AW's.
      I think I know what you mean (vs the AW55-50/51), but the TF-80SC is also an Aisin AW transmission.
      Toby
      2008 S80 T6 AWD Black Stone / Anthracite Black 95k miles
      2008 XC90 V8 Executive Ember Black / Offblack 120k miles
      SOLD: 2005 XC70 Lava Sand / Taupe 176k miles
      Sammamish, Washington

    16. #14
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      Quote Originally Posted by Capndirk View Post
      Sorry; I just can't resist:
      75Kg = 165.346697 lb.
      Either way, the small people have it.
      I took issue with the pygmie comment. And there's a big difference between dynamic and static load.
      2013 XC60 T6
      2008 C30 T5 R-Design
      2002 S60 T5M: the daily commuter slayer
      Past: 2007 XC70 Orca, 1999 V70 5sp, 2010 Mazda5, 2000 Audi A4 Avant 5sp, 1990 VW Fox 4sp

    17. #15
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      I read all of these comments and there are definite cons to all choices. Get the XC90 that you want then come here how to keep it healthy for the length of your ownership. Keep a good $1k budget for more immediate maintenance on any XC90 variants. If it has service history, that's good. If it comes in the colors you like, that's great. You will be spending countless hours driving it plus live in it day in and day out.

      All variants will have its own set of work. All have been known to reach 200k+ miles with proper maintenance.

      2.5t: PCV, oil pan o-rings, coils, timing belt, oil leaks
      3.2: serpentine belt/water pump, PCV, (READ I personally haven't heard it happening to any 3.2s, so bad ones could have filtered out by now)
      V8: alternator, valve cover gaskets, (early balance shaft), axles
      T6: the only one I say not to get due to the trans and age

      I don't like to look at a vehicle on paper. Drive them, smell if any have been smoked in, see the condition of the leather, look for indicators of rust from road salt, if the exhaust has any hint of black or white smoke, etc. Missing or broken interior pieces might become annoyances over time. Choose what you want and assess as the least risky. Then maintain and enjoy. There are plenty of write-ups and people that can help. Stay realistic and don't expect a 175k mile XC90 with no known service history to be a gem.
      2008 XC90 3.2 AWD - 150k miles, Premium, Versatility 7 passenger, Climate, Convenience, retrofit Morimoto D2S HID bi-xenon, iPd swaybars & poly bushing inserts, Powerflex poly control arm bushings, Bilstein Touring Fr struts, Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus 255/55R18, Fr Infinity tweeters & speakers, hardwired cheap $17 Amazon Bluetooth to center console aux & pwr, CQuartz UK 3.0 ceramic coated, no oil consumption using Mobil 1 0W-40 even w/ my lead foot

      About the XC90 3.2 - The good, the bad, and the ugly
      Upgrade front end rebuild with OEM, aftermarket, and original parts
      The better transmission JWS 3309/T-IV fluid for your 5 or 6 speed
      Strut Recommendations based on your specific XC90
      Why it's better to use synthetic oil instead of conventional

    18. #16
      Quote Originally Posted by LarryM View Post
      I don't know where you're getting that from, but a Thule rack system for the XC90 has a 165lb dynamic load limit.
      I'm getting that from the handbook. The OE roof bars to which the Thule system attach have only a 75kg load rating. That is what Volvo themselves tell us XC90 pilots is the maximum load we should be placing upon them. Now, Volvo could be lying, but I don't see why they would want to do so.

      I've never met you, so you may be very light and have a very light roof tent, in which case it's not a problem. However, if you're anything approaching regular weight and are using a typical weight roof tent then you'll exceed the roof bars quoted capacity by some margin. I'm 6'5" and 285 myself so sadly have to stick to the drivers seat.
      Last edited by Richard Richard; 07-29-2020 at 04:11 PM.
      2009 XC90 D5 185 R Design Geartronic-6
      Premium, Summer, Winter, Family and Comms packs.

    19. #17
      Junior Member Leto Atreides II's Avatar
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      The point is that a static load limit is much different than a dynamic load limit. Yes, when driving it should be kept below the 75kg dynamic load limit. But when stationary, you can safely put much more weight on it since it generally only has to deal with the weight pushing down, not turning and bumping along down the freeway at 70 miles per hour.

      https://www.tent-box.com/learn/how-d...d-limits-work/
      Toby
      2008 S80 T6 AWD Black Stone / Anthracite Black 95k miles
      2008 XC90 V8 Executive Ember Black / Offblack 120k miles
      SOLD: 2005 XC70 Lava Sand / Taupe 176k miles
      Sammamish, Washington

    20. #18
      My point is that is irrelevant. A rooftent and an adult occupant won't weigh any less when stationary. A 40-50kg rooftent, plus the mass of an adult (or more than one) is getting on for double or more the official load limit and will exceed that which those roof bars can handle when static - when in motion is an irrelevance, because no sane adult will sleep up there while the car is being driven (although these days you never know...). Load the parked car with rooftent, one or more adults, and you're very likely looking at a failure.

      They're not that strong, the feet on each end attached to the actual bar with a single M6 screw, and IMHO the official 75kg is genuinely right at the edge of what would be considered pushing your luck.

      I mean, go for it if you like, it's your car. But 75kg is 75kg, and a rooftent and one or more adults is a lot more than that whether the car is in motion or parked, and it was safe to load more than that static then I would question why Volvo didn't say so.

      I don't know how insurance works over there, but over here you get stiffed if you ignored manufacturers limits and something went wrong.
      2009 XC90 D5 185 R Design Geartronic-6
      Premium, Summer, Winter, Family and Comms packs.

    21. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by Richard Richard View Post
      My point is that is irrelevant. A rooftent and an adult occupant won't weigh any less when stationary. A 40-50kg rooftent, plus the mass of an adult (or more than one) is getting on for double or more the official load limit and will exceed that which those roof bars can handle when static - when in motion is an irrelevance, because no sane adult will sleep up there while the car is being driven (although these days you never know...). Load the parked car with rooftent, one or more adults, and you're very likely looking at a failure.

      They're not that strong, the feet on each end attached to the actual bar with a single M6 screw, and IMHO the official 75kg is genuinely right at the edge of what would be considered pushing your luck.

      I mean, go for it if you like, it's your car. But 75kg is 75kg, and a rooftent and one or more adults is a lot more than that whether the car is in motion or parked, and it was safe to load more than that static then I would question why Volvo didn't say so.

      I don't know how insurance works over there, but over here you get stiffed if you ignored manufacturers limits and something went wrong.
      Ok, it's not irrelevant. There's a big difference between static and dynamic loads. That 75kg (165lb) load limit you see listed by Volvo and Thule is a dynamic load limit (driving around). The static load limit is not listed but is much higher.
      It's not listed in the manual, but the general industry guidelines are 3X the dynamic load. I work at Thule and was just having a conversation with our testing department about this topic as it's something I deal with when
      talking to consumers. Once I do buy one of these damn XC90's I'll be sure to post some pics of the tent up on there with me and the kiddos hanging out lol. And thanks to ChitownV for the recommendations.
      2013 XC60 T6
      2008 C30 T5 R-Design
      2002 S60 T5M: the daily commuter slayer
      Past: 2007 XC70 Orca, 1999 V70 5sp, 2010 Mazda5, 2000 Audi A4 Avant 5sp, 1990 VW Fox 4sp

    22. #20
      Junior Member Leto Atreides II's Avatar
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      Here's a URL where Thule mentions the 3x dynamic load rating:

      https://support.thule.com/hc/en-us/a...-rooftop-tent-

      The weight capacity of the tent in use (static weight) can exceed the driving weight capacity of the rack/vehicle because the loads are dispersed throughout the tent and partially supported by the ladder. As a guideline, the static roof rack capacity is approximately three times the dynamic weight capacity (roof rack and tent included)
      Toby
      2008 S80 T6 AWD Black Stone / Anthracite Black 95k miles
      2008 XC90 V8 Executive Ember Black / Offblack 120k miles
      SOLD: 2005 XC70 Lava Sand / Taupe 176k miles
      Sammamish, Washington

    23. #21
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      Quote Originally Posted by Leto Atreides II View Post
      I think I know what you mean (vs the AW55-50/51), but the TF-80SC is also an Aisin AW transmission.
      You Pedant!

      Well said. Honestly, having jumped from the AW70's to the TF-80SC, I simply don't have the AW55-50/51 model designation committed to memory.... so I lazily call it the "AW".

      Thanks for adding the clarity to the thread!

      -Ryan
      Current fleet:
      1987 Volvo 245
      1989 Volvo 245
      1991 Volvo 745 Dog Waggin' 2.0
      1995 Volvo 945 Turbo
      2011 Volvo XC90 3.2 AWD
      2013 Volvo XC60 3.2 AWD (Wife-mobile)

    24. #22
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      I wanted a V8 as well, but couldn't find one with the right combo or price, mileage, and quality. 3.2s were dime a dozen in the range we were looking. I wouldn't fret too much about engine choice. I'm happy to DIY a lot and it felt like the 3.2 was going to be easier to work on.

      Regarding Thule racks. Dynamic and Static weight are definitely important to pay attention to. Every bar manufacturer will tell you the static load rating is higher. If it wasn't enough to support a tent then you wouldn't see Thule and Yakima trying to make their own tents.

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