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Volvos - an historical view

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Old 07-29-2018, 04:31 PM
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Default Volvos - an historical view

I'm now on my 5th Volvo in 58 years and thought a brief recap might be interesting

#1 1960 122s (Ruddspeed conversion) Plain as pudding white sedan but, with the hard to detect conversion a real Q ship on the back roads of New England. One learned to treat the modest drum brakes with respect. It eventually succumbed to terminal rust

#2 1976 265 wagon Beautifully built - great road car but for the unfortunate Renault-Peugeot-Volvo V-6 Sold at 48,000 miles at the onset of camshaft death and after at least 8 injector cleaning services

#3 2003 V70 Turbo - one of my favorite cars - bought as a "Certified used car" in 2006 with 27,000 on the clock and, over 11 years added another 125,000 miles. It expired with engine problems (no compression on #3 - broken ring or holed piston) - not worth the cost of repair vs value at that point

#4 2009 V70 3.2 - Quick buy to replace #3 for little more than it would have cost to repair #3 - 140,000 miles and, to all appearances, in excellent shape. Very comfortable and luxurious but not as quick and responsive as the '03. Started the "nickel and dime" routine with "small" repairs (e.g. fuel rail pressure sensor - $350) and a few odd noises from the tranny - recently replaced with:

#5 2015.5 V60 - Another "Certified" buy with 42,000 miles - smaller than the V70s (really closer to a 4 door hatchback) but now a solo apartment dweller (no weekend Home Depot runs for mulch, lumber, etc) fine for my needs. Extremely responsive with outstanding road manners and fuel economy - Overall, the best pure driver of the bunch and one of the best cars I have ever owned. My biggest annoyance - the dumb idea to replace the crankcase dipstick with an electronic read-out!

Hoping (at 82) that this is my "lifetime" car
 
  #2  
Old 07-29-2018, 05:02 PM
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I really enjoyed reading your perspective. As a dealer, my "first Volvo" was a 1991 240 sedan bought in 2000. It sold quickly and that was the start of what we continue to do today.

Impressed that you went from 1976 to 2003 on the same Volvo!
 
  #3  
Old 07-29-2018, 07:19 PM
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Oh no, sorry I gave that impression. The '76 was sold in '81 and replaced by a 300D Mercedes that was subsequently replaced by a '94 E300 Mercedes wagon. I had a love-hate relationship with that car. It was an outstanding road car with disastrous electrics. Between '94 and '03, it ran up $17,000 in repairs - repairs, not maintenance! The last straw was being advised in '03 that, at 110,000 miles, it needed a transmission. It was traded for an '03 Toyota Sequoia - beautifully built, very capable but a bit of a handful at high speeds and an overall fuel consumption of about 13 mpg. In '06 I traded it for the '03 Volvo when fuel prices were heading towards $5/gal.

I ran the 122s until 1967. When the rust became overwhelming, it was replaced by the '67 Chrysler wagon that was the predecessor of the 265.

My relationship with Volvo has been enduring but not exclusive
 
  #4  
Old 07-29-2018, 07:29 PM
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Those early to mid 90s Mercedes had an engine wiring harness that would degrade. The replacement which costs about $1,000 would outlast the car. I changed a few of those to make the car perfect. 1995 and later never had those issues.

I suspect that the transmission issue on the 03 was only a control board on the valve body. I've never had one of those transmissions go bad but I have changed a few control boards.
 
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Old 07-29-2018, 08:26 PM
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Wish you had been looking after my car! The wiring harness replacement cost me about $1700. It was predicated on a nearly disastrous malfunction of the (non-defeatable) ASR system which decided, on a bright, sunny summer day, that I was on ice and, accordingly, radically reduced the power available - just as I was in the middle of a high speed merge onto a busy expressway in front of a large truck! The tranny diagnosis was based on a failure to engage from a stop and badly burnt fluid. And then there was the engine control module - $1900 - A/C evaporator leak $3500 instrument read-out failure etc, etc.

I will give Mercedes one thing - based on my '81 300D, '94 E300 and my wife's '99 ML 320, there have been all kinds of problems but never any suspension or steering issues. The chassis are rock solid.
 
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