Nice car, but VERY expensive to maintain
By crispy on Friday, January 20, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000
overall rating 3 of 10rating details
- Overall Rating
Pros: "Roomy, comfortable, powerful for a 1.9L"
Cons: "$$$ Maintanence, bad mechanical"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"So I bought this car in July and it had 123K on it, timing belt done, new cv axles, main seals and top end seals replaced, so I thought I was getting a great deal for $3000. BUT I have put around $2500 into it over the past 6 months. It ran well for a few months, and then it threw a check engine light (CEL) code for the temperature sensor. We cleared the code to see if it would come back on and then the radiator cracked. I figured this was just bad luck and it ended up costing $600 for the temperature sensor, radiator, and thermostat plus labor. A month or so later, I went to start it, turned the key all the way on and nothing happened. It didn't try to turnover, everything was working, so I figured the battery was dead. I tried it one last time, and it started normally but threw another CEL. It threw an ignition CEL. I still haven't fixed this because it only happens once every few weeks. Battery, terminals, and wires are great. The mechanic thinks its the antenna key (recognizes the key for the security system). Next a few months later, I go to warm it up on a cold morning and it starts and idles very rough until it's warm and throws another CEL. Now it's a misfire code, so I replace both coils (luckily still under 1 yr warranty). It runs good for a few weeks, and then I hear a knocking radomly in the suspension but not everytime I go over a bump so it's not a blown shock. It's the anti-roll bar and the the lower part of the bushing is gone so it was knocking on the subframe. Additionally, the right front shock was starting to go (could hear it knock over speed bumps). Well the strut assembly is ridiculous on this car, it needs special "spring seats" with the new shocks. So the total with the anti-roll bar bushings, two new shocks, and the spring seats was around $620 (w/o labor). To avoid labor costs, I changed the struts myself (had pulled my 1989 Nissan 240sx engine apart twice, and made a couple suspension modifications a few years back). The anti-roll bar bushings are in the dumbest locations that it takes 2 hours (quoted by the mechanic) to change, I didn't bother. I just shot some windshield seelant under the anti-roll bar when changing the struts; still working for 2000 miles. My Nissan 240sx anti-roll bar bushings would've taken me 30 minutes to replace at most. The bushings are extremely bad designs as well. My Nissan 240sx and most other cars have a one piece, rubber bushing that have a slit in them to get over the bar. The V40's are two pieces that are held together by little clips and to keep the bottom part from sliding, there are opposing knotches in the rubber bushing; so if those knotches wear down, oops, there goes the bottom part of the bushing (what had happened to me). Just after I finished the struts, the CEL comes on when I'm driving. It's the misfire code again! So now, 6 months after I bought the car @ 130K, I'm replacing the spark plugs ($60 with labor) and hoping it's those. Furthermore, there has been a kind of grinding noise developing. It turns out the bearing on the alternator has gone out and the pulley is grinding into the alternator. So for $400 (with labor), I have to replace the alternator ($175) and the serpentine belt (which is $40!). In conclusion, this car is comfortable, relatively powerful, roomy, and looks good for a Volvo. But, it is a low end Volvo, poorly designed, and from what my Volvo mechanic says, was rushed out the door. It is a nice car, but has many issues that were never worked out and very expensive to maintain."
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