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Volvo n00b

  #1  
Old 11-29-2018, 02:10 PM
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Greetings. I am a member of other car forums, this is my first foray into the Volvo arena. I have decided for safety reasons a Volvo will be my daughters first car. I am just starting the investigation of what different models and major options were available. Budget $3-5k (balla) Goal. Safest, newest, most reliable model we can locate over the next six months. Where should I start, what models or options / major components are to be avoided if possible. I appreciate any and all direction. Couple links of local CL ads that I thought might be worth exploring. Thank you for your time. Cheers. -Steve

https://fortcollins.craigslist.org/c...755548675.html
 
  #2  
Old 12-01-2018, 02:30 PM
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Steve,
My children both learned on a Volvo. Got them both through high school and one all the way through college and med school - always felt comfortable. Along the way I've owned few others too. Love Volvos. But they have their eccentricities.
Some generalities;
1) They are almost all roomy comfortable cars - but heavy. Don't expect great gas mileage.
2) like all European cars, they are not "buy and drive until they disintegrate" like Japanese cars. Volvo's must be maintained - and properly and with high milage cars, frequently..
3) most are very well equipped. And frequently with "cold weather" option - heated seats,
4) 2 wheel drive cars are not the best on snow but tolerable. teach her well and long.$ wheel drive Volvos problematic at that price point
5) With used Volvos history is everything. Ask for records, take it to an independent Volvo mechanic for a through check BEFORE purchase.
6) Volvos run up to about 100k then the fun starts. Timing belt/water pump at 100k. Sometime after, 130k or so the PVC system needs cleaned out. Brakes every 70,00 or less in the mountains. Alternator 180k. If done by a knowledgeable mechanic with genuine parts those systems will last along time again. Cheap parts or just some guy twisting wrenches is an invitation for problems.
7) Cars run on synthetic since new are definitely better. and will age better.
8) Advance on safety, archaic on 'convenience' items (cupholders etc)
9) IN MY PERSONAL OPINION - I don't recommend you do the all work yourself unless you are reallly knowledgeable. You will become so! tune ups and simple stuff are fine and even more difficult things but take it in once a year to a pro and let him know what you did - don't be hurt if he says something like " You did replace xxx at the same time didn't you?" You will need a code reader. Volvos throw codes faster than Aroldis Chapman on speed! (But don't read a code and think you have it all figured out. They may be, they may not be)
10) NO s80s before 2005 and then NO 6 cyllinder S80s. Volvo 5 cylinder engines may seem odd but are fantastic.
Turbos can surprise you with thier power, twin turbos not for a girls first car. Or a boys first car. Now if YOU want one..........

CL? Maybe, again RECORDS are king. Don't listen to "I've taken it for years to Jake at the Mobil station down the road and he's great.. Works on anything and nobody has a problem". thing is, a good Volvo mechanic knows what to check and replace as well as when to do it. I had an S70 that literally ran like new with well over 200K - only people that ever touched it were the dealer a Volvo specialist, and me. A lot of parts were replaced over the years but my son was driving cross country in it!
 
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:37 PM
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Hello donf. Thank you for the detailed information and sorry for taking so long to reply. I'll trade gas mileage for weight / safety any day for my kiddos. I have a feeling that my wife is not going to be as happy with her Subaru when we have a Volvo in the driveway. I have a local reputable and recommended Volvo repair center to complete a pre-purchase inspection. Yes, I agree with your point 9. Ongoing preventive maintenence by qualified and knowegleble mechanic is key to expect long life out of any vehicle. Easier to spend a little along the way and keep it reliable than have major systems fail and then it's not worth the money to fix.



Best. -Steve
 
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:04 PM
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Taught both my kids on an 850 Turbo wagon and a Gen 1 S40. The 2000 S40 is still my son's daily driver the 1995 855T was retired last year at 250K miles when my daughter was gifted a 2008 Mazda 3 by her aunt :-)

For $5K, I'd look at a 2005 to 2008 S40 2.4i (non-turbo - less power, less complex for repairs, better mileage). Still a stout body and shares many parts with the S60s.
 
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:19 PM
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I have driven about five different cars over the past few days, couple S40 and XC90's. None have grabbed my attention either due to price or condition or a combination of both. There is a 2007 S60 2.5t with less 90k miles and priced at $5k that i will to test drive tomorrow. This one has my interest and with current service records on carfax and a pre-inspection with my local Volvo mechanic has a high probability of coming home. Anything specific I should look for on the test drive ? Service items like timing belt / water pump at 100 or 125? I'll get specifics with the PPI but appreciate the input here. Thanks again. -Steve
 
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:49 PM
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Unless you find a decent Red Block Volvo (pre 1995), I'd seriously look at Toyota or better yet Lexus. FWD Volvos are nothing like real Volvos used to be. Look at the used prices S40, S60, S80, bring, as compared to used Toyota and Lexus from the same year! I hang onto my 5 940s and how I wish it wasn't so!
 
  #7  
Old 01-25-2019, 03:46 PM
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Steve - the S60's seems popular, they are a nice car. 100k is the interval for timing belts, because of the way everything is put together it is best to 'bundle' in the water pump at the same time. might as well through some plugs at her too. My kids never had a sway bar end link fail them but I did over the Christmas holiday. While my car did not exhibit the wild gyrations reported with this occurrence my handling was affected rather markedly. i wouldn't want an inexperienced driver dealing with it. I would replace them (yourself! Quite simple and cheap)
For grins, you might want to fiddle under the hood and replace vacuum lines, they develop leaksand it gives you some get "familiar time" as well. The car may have more horses that she is used to if she has been learning, My first Volvo dealer strongly impressed on me to let the car idle for a minute if you were doing much high RPM driving for several minutes before parking the car. To let the turbo wind down and maintain oil pressure. not sure if it's really as important as he made it seem but it's a practice we have always maintained and we've never cooked a turbo.

Lev - I understand your love for the 900's. Great cars (heck, I loved the 740 dearly) and regretted for years not buying the "last S90 on the lot" that the dealer was giving a significant discount on (that was when Volvo dealers felt it would insult the buyer AND cause the salesman a cardiac to reduce the price). I still stop and look at one when i see it in a parking lot and think "What if....". But then i remember it was Emerald Green and how ugly it was in that color.
But, things change, otherwise we'd all be driving horses!. The periodic modernization of cars leaves behind it a few folks who failed to get on the bus with the new innovations. While older cars may very well be still a fine vehicle, I would (and did) put my kids in the most modern, and safest, car within my means. For example, I know that early 900's didn't have side airbag and I'm not sure they ever did except in the final versions. how important is that really? Well, should my child get hit and bruise his little head because I refused to buy him a car without airbags everywhere my wife would ...... well, I won't go into details but I'd never walk right again.
 
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