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Old 03-10-2013, 09:54 AM   #31
bomberdave
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:41 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by scottalot View Post
It would seem the car reviews al acattered all over the place. I really can't decide at this point which is the best way to go. I only need the car/truck/whatever to get me 4 miles twice daily and very rarely an extra ten on the weekend. All I want is something reliable, that isn't broken often, and starts when I turn the key. I would prefer for it to do so for a few years until I get a liittle better off.. I'm so close to being out of debt and getting my Student loans from years back paid off that I can taste it.. So if I can just get something to haul my butt around town when the bike isn't an option I will be so happy.. Heck, I only put 30k miles on the truck I just sold over a period of seven years.. That said, I do not ask much out of my vehivle.. These days, I'll out less miles than that on it since I'm riding the bike most of the time :)

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Old 03-10-2013, 11:54 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by scottalot View Post
While we're talking Station Wagons.. What's the general feeling when it comes to Volkswagen's? Say the 2003 ish models..
My 02 XC 70 has been an absolute awesome car. Low boost turbo as well. 280 000kms now and I have only done four wheel bearings, a couple of springs and bearing caps in the front an a coil. I would highly recommend one to anyone. Oh and I love the all wheel drive system.
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:11 PM   #34
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Mr Canoehead.... " The only issue has been that it eats bulbs - seems like every couple of months, another bulb goes and I have become an expert at replacing them."

you need to get a meter on that soon. I had an '83 242 that had really nice bright lights... then it boiled the battery, and as they say.... the light went on (in my head). there is no over voltage warning on that car & the regulator was shot. long/short... I replaced bulbs left & right.... then the switches. headlight, ignition, etc.... when the car overvolts it also over amps & cooks the contacts in the switches
Thanks for the concern, but it has been doing that since day 1 and the first battery lasted 10 years, so after 12 years I'm pretty sure the problem hasn't gotten worse and isn't doing any real damage.

When it was on warranty, the dealer replaced the bulbs for free, but when the warranty expired and I had them replace one tail light bulb, they charged me $27! After that, I went to NAPA and stocked up on $1.49 bulbs. I just replaced another running light bulb this morning - took about 5 mins.
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:54 PM   #35
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Looking hard, thanks for the Brickboard.com link, looks like a great little forum for Volvo knowledge. Also found a few for sale in the classifieds at that site. Gonna register and see if I can maybe get lucky.. Maybe I should also register at a Subaru Site and see if that returns anything as well. I am very determined to find myself a good little reliable wagon or alike.
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:49 PM   #36
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I've had multiple Volvo wagons (240, 740, V70's), the newest being a '00 XC (turbo,AWD). Hard to go back to a sedan as you get used to all the space.

We recently sold the '00 XC (205,000 mi) & kept the '98 V70 base as it's nice & simple. I'll try to list random snippets of info that I've gathered:

The first generation V70 (98-00) were a make-over of the 850 so there is some part interchangeability there, some less expensive parts.

The '98 was the last year before the "drive-by wire" electronic throttle control which you will undoubtedly read about.

The '98 has a regular distributor & a throttle cable. Individual spark coils after that.

Typical things that fail; ABS controller (can be rebuilt for around $150), lower ball joints, heater core, window switches, front wheel bearings, electronic throttle module (post-'99)

2001's have a high incidence of automatic transmission failures (class-action suit maybe?)

XC's & AWD's have a whole other set of problems related to the overly-complicated AWD system. We loved the car but it HAD to go ($$$), sounds like you don't need that anyway. That one had a turbo & inter-cooler, never any turbo issues.

All that said, I really like my '98 (165,00 mi) & don't plan to get rid of it anytime soon. It's a non-turbo base model with a 5-speed manual (cloth interior, great 4 wheel discs, power windows, locks, cruise) but is still super comfortable & I can also tow a small trailer with it without any problems. No real bodywork issues other than small surface rust spots even up in the rust belt. Solid cars.

We have also had many Subarus and currently have an Outback wagon sitting in the yard with a probable head-gasket issue. They really go in the snow & are generally reliable but are not cheap to repair. My other gripes with them are lousy seats, worse headlights, expensive exhausts, marginal brakes & they're a good bit smaller inside than a Volvo wagon. They also seem to still suffer from rust more than most cars.

My son & I are just finishing up some work on his '02 Passat 4motion (AWD) wagon (same as Audi A4) that he got from another relative. A nice car to drive but an INSANELY complicated front end which it seems has a high failure rate. The FWD are maybe simpler? Body has held up well & engine runs well too. Transmission itself is fine but for some reason VW put the trans controller under the passenger floor carpet where it gets water-logged (from a leaky sun-roof) and acts up or fails. So he's dealing with that. Don't know if the Jetta is the same.

Hope some of that helps & good luck with your quest.

Is that "Chucktown" as in Charleston, SC?
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:36 PM   #37
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I've had multiple Volvo wagons (240, 740, V70's), the newest being a '00 XC (turbo,AWD). Hard to go back to a sedan as you get used to all the space.

We recently sold the '00 XC (205,000 mi) & kept the '98 V70 base as it's nice & simple. I'll try to list random snippets of info that I've gathered:

The first generation V70 (98-00) were a make-over of the 850 so there is some part interchangeability there, some less expensive parts.

The '98 was the last year before the "drive-by wire" electronic throttle control which you will undoubtedly read about.

The '98 has a regular distributor & a throttle cable. Individual spark coils after that.

Typical things that fail; ABS controller (can be rebuilt for around $150), lower ball joints, heater core, window switches, front wheel bearings, electronic throttle module (post-'99)

2001's have a high incidence of automatic transmission failures (class-action suit maybe?)

XC's & AWD's have a whole other set of problems related to the overly-complicated AWD system. We loved the car but it HAD to go ($$$), sounds like you don't need that anyway. That one had a turbo & inter-cooler, never any turbo issues.

All that said, I really like my '98 (165,00 mi) & don't plan to get rid of it anytime soon. It's a non-turbo base model with a 5-speed manual (cloth interior, great 4 wheel discs, power windows, locks, cruise) but is still super comfortable & I can also tow a small trailer with it without any problems. No real bodywork issues other than small surface rust spots even up in the rust belt. Solid cars.

We have also had many Subarus and currently have an Outback wagon sitting in the yard with a probable head-gasket issue. They really go in the snow & are generally reliable but are not cheap to repair. My other gripes with them are lousy seats, worse headlights, expensive exhausts, marginal brakes & they're a good bit smaller inside than a Volvo wagon. They also seem to still suffer from rust more than most cars.

My son & I are just finishing up some work on his '02 Passat 4motion (AWD) wagon (same as Audi A4) that he got from another relative. A nice car to drive but an INSANELY complicated front end which it seems has a high failure rate. The FWD are maybe simpler? Body has held up well & engine runs well too. Transmission itself is fine but for some reason VW put the trans controller under the passenger floor carpet where it gets water-logged (from a leaky sun-roof) and acts up or fails. So he's dealing with that. Don't know if the Jetta is the same.

Hope some of that helps & good luck with your quest.

Is that "Chucktown" as in Charleston, SC?

Thank you very much for the wealth of knowledge related to me search. I will keep all of this in mind while I continue my search ..

Chucktown = Charleston SC, A good place to live if I don't say so myself. Thankfully, snow, ice, salt and rust are usually not much of a concern around here. Thus, I'm trying to only buy a car that has not live in colder, more corrosion prone climents.

It really is sounding like the 90's model's Volvo's are going to be my best bet. Simplicity of mechanics, low failure rates, affordable repairs, and reliability all seem to fall within this category.

I like the Subaru's but I'm not looking for expensive repairs or bad seats either. At 6'4" I need a good seat and plenty of legroom.

As I type this I'm thinking about the rain that is predicted in my are the next couple days. Its getting pretty dark and nasty looking outside at the moment. Makes for a less enjoyable ride to/from work in the elements. On the upside, at least its supposed to rain a lot tonight; I rather hop on the bike after a bunch of rain than after a slight sprinke that leaves the roads slick with residue.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:11 PM   #38
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I'm on my 4th Volvo and my 3rd wagon.

The first was a 95 sedan that was fine but couldn't haul much stuff. At the time the ex didn't want a wagon because she didn't want to look like a soccer mom. The car was fine, a little uninspiring, and I don't remember any major repairs to it.

The next was a 740 wagon that got a 5.0 V8 engine and transmission transplant. Repairs are hard to judge on that car since it was always being worked on. But a hell of a lot of fun though.

I replace that with a 98 v70r, my favorite. My middle daughter was born in it so it has even more importance to me, the ex kept it and it still keeps going with over 150k on it now.

When I moved up to Boston 4 years ago I needed a car that handled snow better than I do, since I'm a wagon whore, I ended up getting a 07 XC70. I bought it with around 20k on it and have over 110k on it now. I've been through a set of wheel bearing all around, I'm on my 2nd set of tires. Apart from regular maintenance it hasn't required anything else. Its been all over the US, carries kayaks, bikes, people and all their crap. Its comfortable, has a stereo good enough for me. I've been very happy with it.

I do look in at volvo XC forums once in while to see whats happening. Early models seem to have had transmission issues, but the 07's don't seem to be an issue there.

I'd get another one if needed. Of course if I wasn't living in this place, meaning somewhere warmer and less crowded, Id might be looking around. But only for the change not to fix a problem.

Good luck with your search.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:08 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by scottalot View Post
Thank you very much for the wealth of knowledge related to me search. I will keep all of this in mind while I continue my search ..

Chucktown = Charleston SC, A good place to live if I don't say so myself. Thankfully, snow, ice, salt and rust are usually not much of a concern around here. Thus, I'm trying to only buy a car that has not live in colder, more corrosion prone climents.

It really is sounding like the 90's model's Volvo's are going to be my best bet. Simplicity of mechanics, low failure rates, affordable repairs, and reliability all seem to fall within this category.

I like the Subaru's but I'm not looking for expensive repairs or bad seats either. At 6'4" I need a good seat and plenty of legroom.

As I type this I'm thinking about the rain that is predicted in my are the next couple days. Its getting pretty dark and nasty looking outside at the moment. Makes for a less enjoyable ride to/from work in the elements. On the upside, at least its supposed to rain a lot tonight; I rather hop on the bike after a bunch of rain than after a slight sprinke that leaves the roads slick with residue.
OK if you've tentatively decided on a Volvo, here's a bit more info:
The RWD 740/940 (essentially the same car, they even made both models for '91 & '92) are simple and rock solid. They have the 4 cylinder bullet proof motor that Volvo had built for decades. They ended production of this line in '95, so they're getting a little long in the tooth -- look for one that's been well cared for. '93 - '95 are the pinnacle years -- the most desirable... especially turbos.
Someone earlier in this thread commented on the Control Arm Stay Bushings being a problem area. That WAS absolutely correct -- two years/20K miles was the life expectancy (ridiculous!). Just replace them with poly bushings from FCP Groton or IPD, and they'll likely last longer than you own the car -- I've had mine on for 7-8 years and well over 100K miles. Oh, and for parts... the aforementioned FCP Groton is a great parts source. They are a bricks and mortar Volvo/BMW/Saab parts supplier located in Groton, CT that has a very robust online business. The nice thing is, you call there and you speak with a parts professional who knows your car. Your buying alternator/AC/PS belts... he asks you if you want the accessory mount bushings that may need replacing too. (It's nice working with pros!) And their service & return policy is fantastic.

The 960 (later rebadged as S90 sedan & V90 Wagon) are wonderful cars, but more luxurious, refined, and thus more complex. IMHO, they don't fit your criteria.

Want even more reading?

Everything you ever wanted to know about RWD Volvos -- including what to look for when purchasing one:

http://www.brickboard.com/FAQ/700-900/

Good luck!
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:32 PM   #40
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Chucktown = Charleston SC, A good place to live if I don't say so myself. Thankfully, snow, ice, salt and rust are usually not much of a concern around here. Thus, I'm trying to only buy a car that has not live in colder, more corrosion prone climents.
The reason I asked is that I lived in Charleston for 14 years. There is a long history of Volvo's there & as you say, in that climate you really don't need AWD.

Back in the 70's/80's for Volvo, there was Rumph's off of Archdale St downtown. They moved uptown & it changed hands a few times since. I think it has morphed into Reputable Volvo but I left there in '01 so I can't really comment on their service.

I never had one but several people I knew with a 760/960 had issues, I'd stick with the 4cylinders.

I wouldn't mind finding a nice southern car myself.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:38 AM   #41
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[QUOTE=tdvt;20924120]The reason I asked is that I lived in Charleston for 14 years. There is a long history of Volvo's there & as you say, in that climate you really don't need AWD.

Yes, no AWD needed and I will take note of the 4-Cyl motor mentioning.. Four is really good for me, less fuel consumption :)

Love Charleston - Born and Raised here.. Traveled around, but I always come back and never stay gone for to long..

Can't recall exact dates, but almost sounds like you were involved in the Base before it shut down.. Think that was more 80's ish though..
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:30 AM   #42
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Looking at buying a new to me used car or truch since I sold my truck. Really don't care to much which one I get.

I do have some draw towards the Volvo Station Wagons, my age is showing lol..

I'm a little nervous about getting one though, esp with turbo. I hear the turbo's go out and are very expensive to fix..

So, are my sources right? Should I run from a volvo, esp one with turbo.. How are the $'s on general repairs?

One I'm looking at is a 2002 Volvo V70 Turbo with 86,000 miles on it.. Thanks in advance for any info..
YOU sir should be burned at the stake for even asking this, do you realise that here in blighty volvo drivers are the skerg of bikers and must be avoided at all costs, volvo drivers love nothing more than to daydream that that they are rolling over the step in there panzerwagons when in fact they are rolling iover the great ones choosen people(motorcyclists), nay sir do your karma some good and avoid these obscene contraptions.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:50 AM   #43
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:27 AM   #44
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YOU sir should be burned at the stake for even asking this, do you realise that here in blighty volvo drivers are the skerg of bikers and must be avoided at all costs, volvo drivers love nothing more than to daydream that that they are rolling over the step in there panzerwagons when in fact they are rolling iover the great ones choosen people(motorcyclists), nay sir do your karma some good and avoid these obscene contraptions.
mountaincadre, Here in Vermont we used to believe that all the very worst drivers (especially in winter) drove Volvos because they were always going to be safe in accidents, leading to total inattention to what they were doing!
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:50 AM   #45
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I've owned a lot of Volvo's inmy time and currently own 3, an amazon wagon, a 2003 S60 (same everything as the wagon you are considering) and a 2010 XC70. The 2010 is too new and the 68 is too old to compare, but the 2003 is just right. We've had no major problems at 170k. There was a neutral downshift issue and a turbo control module that needed replacing, but both took no time and almost no money (<$100 each). The suspension has sucked, but we drive in Houston which is hell. I've done new shocks and struts three times in 10yrs. Finally going up to the highest level stuff on the last rebuild (not OEM).

My folks have a 2001 s70 which has had almost no problems.

I think they are great cars and I think they last forever. I don't think it is fair to say anyone of them has some dark horse waiting to come and claim it at XX,ooo miles. I think there are bad cars in every brand and model, but a universally bad issue in any of the 9 volvo's I've owned, I've not seen.

If you do buy it, go ahead and have the T-Belt replaced (110K service) At this age it will die from age before miles. Also look at flushing the trans fluid, other than that drive it into the ground.

Also, don't take mechanic advice from folks that are not Volvo mechanics. Use Swedespeed.com to find a good non-dealer near you.
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