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Discussion in 'The Garage' started by scottalot, Mar 7, 2013.
You can stuff motorcycles in an XC70! I love mine!
I don't want to be negative about any automaker but I am not too found of 4WD because my friend who has a subary legacy wagon had to replace the four tires because one went bad on him, it has something to do with the diameter of the tire and the computer sychronization of the wheels, or something like that, and he also had to replace a radio but somehow he could not use the same wire connector to the new radio and he had to wait for good while to have a COMPLETE wire harness to be sent to the dealer from Japan.
I have not needed a 4WD since I got my drivers license in 1974 it also has to do with no snow or muddy roads where I am.
My two wheel drive car seen to be just perfect for my needs.
I don't really need an all AWD myself. However, if I find a good car for the money I'm not to discouraged by it. Its weird to have to replace all tires if one goes out.. I do not know much about this situation but it sounds like a service station pulled some BS on him. . . As for the radio thing that's odd. I would've just cut off the old factory connection and wired a new radio in myself. We used to do that all the time growing up. That is only if there wasn't a factory plug made that would tie into the cars plug that was a direct fit for the new deck.. Just my .02 ..
Well, back on the hunt today. Seeing some decent deals out there but man alive there are folks in the market with high miles on their cars. I just can't see paying 7G's for a 12 yr. old Sub/Volvo with 250K miles on it.. I found one 97' Subaru Wagon w/ 130,000 miles on it for around 3K.. Thought great- as I read the add it had been sitting for a year and a half and looked like it had taken a beating. Flat tire, paint coming off, old fuel gumming things up??
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
I learned to drive in a 1961 122... it was later to be my first car (in 1967). over the next 2 decades I owned half a dozen Volvos. the 242 was the last of the line... I bought it new (demo) in 84.
Are you going to maintain it yourself, or will you be bringing it to a shop?
If you're going to maintain it yourself, consider an early 90's RWD Volvo. There is simply not an easier car to maintain than a 740/940, period. Front engine, rear drive, solid rear axle, simple Bosch fuel injection. I own a '93 940 Turbo. We owners lovingly refer to them as Swedish Pickup Trucks.
I have 300K miles on mine. Doesn't burn a drop of oil. It's a magnificent trailering vehicle. I pull a 3000 lb camper with mine. Excellent rust resistance too: a rusted out 940 is unheard of.
I'm not crazy about Volvo's FWD format. I suppose it's no worse than anyone else's -- and probably better than some. But when my 940 needs to be replaced, I'll likely be switching brands. Probably to a Toyota Pickup.
First off, Funny you mention Toyota Pickups as that is something else I have on my list but have failed to mention. I really like the late 90's-early 00 models w/ extended cab. I know they run forever and the 22r motor last's forever. Issue is they seem to be extremely over priced.. I don't mind paying 5-6k for a good shape truck with a little age. However, one that has been off road most of its life with a big ol' lift on it and 300k miles isn't happening.
As for maintaining myself - Yes - when at all possible. I don't mind general work and some a that's a little more involved. I don't want to go through an engine from top to bottom, but that's hopefully not on the table with the next vehicle I buy.
I agree, the older RWD Volvos are really, REALLY well built and last well into the hundreds of thousands of miles. Years back, I had a neighbor that got one for their daughtersfirst car. As you can imagine she drove it non stop constantly. Was very hard on it and then some. Ten years later, her parents still had the car and decided to move. I was then offered some pay to use that car and move the massive pile of red bricks piled up on the side of the house from years back, to another location about ten miles away. Let me tell you what - that car took load after load of bricks piles from the floor of the trunk to the roof and just kept on ticking.. Sure it sagged in the rear - quite a bit. But dang it did well and ran great afterwards, like it hadn't done a thing.. I was sold at that point :)
No extra amount of 'care' would have made that thing a better vehicle, it was a turd. Would I buy another super low mile TDI VW? Yes.
The wife got a rock between her rotor/caliper on a road trip with her Volvo and the dealership went on and on over the 'care' that her car recieves...I do nothing extra, just maintain it.
I've never seen extra 'care' make a vehicle better than it is to begin with.
They source the parts and sub assembly build to the lowest bidder. Then build the car in a third world country. Humm, does that sound bad?
I had two rear wheel drive Volvos, a 940 and a 960/S90. Love the driving but got tired of the schedueled parts failures. It was to the point the guy mopping the floor at the drealership knew the part numbers for the front lower control arm bushings.
PS: the A/C compressors on both my Volvos were a pure bitch to change. It's way down at the bottom of the motor. Keeping the weight low was great for handling but bad for service. Here in Teaxs we worship cold A/C systems.
My wife has an 01 S40 which she bought new. It's needed a few things in the last year, but heck it's a 12 year old car. At about 110k it needed ball joints and control arm bushings, also I've cleaned the vvt unit a few times and if the thermostat isn't perfect, it sets off the CEL. We will be replacing it within the next year or so with a V50, so yea, we've been happy with the Volvo ownership.
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 :)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.