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littlefish

looking at volvo v70

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driving a rotted-out legacy wagon that won't pass next year.  found a 2000 v70 wagon, 260k, no rust, 5speed.  drives nice, leather, electric driver's seat/windows/sunroof.  seller runs a shop, bought it at auction, did all work required for inspection and will replace a bad rear rotor on purchase.  asking $1995.  seems fair.  like a safe car for the teen driver. opinions from my most trusted usmb acquaintances?

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Could be a Techno-Nightmare. 

 

Coworker has a 1999 (?) S80, and she can barely afford to keep it running.  For her model year, they had just introduced throttle-by-wire, and the first few years used mechanical position sensors (resistive film with wiper contact), which failed with alarming frequency and regularity (MTBF App.70K miles, IIRC).  Cost to replace with newer electronic unit was around a couple thousand dollars.

 

The car's computer controls everything, including turn signals, electric windows, sunroof and doorlocks.  The computer loses its mind with alarming regularity and predictablility:  If you haven't used your driver's key to unlock the driver's door a certain number of times in a certain period of time (like 3 times in a week or a month), the computer program degrades and things stop functioning... things like turn signals just quit working.  You can usually get most of the functions back by disconnecting the battery for a period of time and reconnecting it, but this isn't so convenient in the S80 as the battery is hidden in the trunk.

 

Any fault has to be diagnosed by a Volvo diagnostic program:  Dealer charges around $200 JUST to connect you to their machine.  Independent garages can buy the program, but it costs somewhere around $350-400, covers only a few models, and if you are the only person to use it guess who pays.  She was trying to get a recall software patch applied but the Dealer said that he couldn't do it until all of her faults were resolved., requiring a re-hook (and another fee) in order to read the next error.  Ad Nauseum.

 

My coworker's car, when her throttle-by-wire's program stumbled into a bit of bad code and got stuck, showed over 200 faults.

 

Currently, her OIL light comes on, her fuel gauge reads zero, her turn signals don't work and she is scared to drive it the 3 miles to work each day.

 

Just saying that you might look at the Volvo Forums to see if this gem has similar issues.

 

High Tech, and built to stay that way.

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If the car is awd be aware that the angle drive (essentially center diff) assemblies are a dealer only item @$3500 and apparently non-servicable. If your gear set is good still there is a company on the east coast that will replace bearings and seals.

 

Good luck

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ok ok ok... thanks a bunch!  already pased on the v70.  went to the [non-dealer] volvo geek nearby, looked at a 97 850 5sp wagon/188k.  much simpler. he said the same things bout the v70 and cars from 99+.  i like the ride and lack of gadgets in the 850, but heard from another garage that 97 - 98 have engine problems....  i'll find a volvo forum and get up to speed.  reading deeper meanings in to mr. tractor pole's comment, i would stay with a 5sp subaru for awd, had enough of torque bind with a 98 impreza, but that would have been an $800 dollar bushing - worth the price if i had kept the car...

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