Common Volvo XC70 Problems

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Although discontinued, Volvo XC70 is one of the finest wagons to grace the market. During its active production years, the XC70 was easily ranked among the top best luxury wagons to buy. But, it was based on the Volvo S80 sedan, and as such, it got relegated when Volvo stopped making the S80 sedan.

Are XC70 good rides? Should you buy them – even now? Well, yeah, the XC70 is a sweet, spacious, and comfortable wagon. However, before you go ahead to buy it, it is important you know about the most common Volvo XC70 problems. Gear change issues were the commonest problems and engine components failures follow suit.

The XC70 wagon has continued to win the hearts of many drivers even though it’s been discontinued. You could find one for yourself for less than $8,000 and still enjoy the ride. This article explains everything you should know about the luxury crossover wagon from the Swedish luxury carmaker, Volvo.

Volvo XC70 Wagon Overview

volvo xc70 problems
Photo by nakhon100 via Wikimedia Commons

Volvo XC70 is a spacious crossover wagon you can take through “thick and thin,’ meaning it can take you through any path for all your adventures, travels, and daily driving. It is based on the S80 sedan – basically, the wagon variant of the Volvo S80, and so the XC70 comes with a number of features that are also available on the S80.

The XC70 offers a lot of space for passengers and cargo. During its production years, it offers a wide variety of engine and transmission options. Volvo XC70 is a luxury car to desire, thanks to its well-designed interior and high-tech features.  A lot of people buy the XC70 as a crossover SUV – yeah, it gives you almost the same feeling.

Furthermore, RepairPal gives the XC70 wagon an overall 3.5 out of 5.0 rating, which is above average. Volvo XC70 is one of the least expensive-to-maintain wagons in its category – costing an average of $804 for annual maintenance and repairs – against the industry’s average of $807 for similar cars.

Volvo XC70 Problems

1. Transmission Shift Issues

Not only the XC70 models had transmission problems – it appears more like most Volvo cars have this issue. Transmission shifting issues reported for the XC70 include the gear lever not moving into another gear and the transmission not shifting properly. This can be quite a serious issue if the driver is at top speed on a busy road.

These transmission issues do not have a particular mileage region where/when they occur. If the issue is minor, a simple software update can fix things back up, but if the issue is severe, it’d require buying and replacing the damaged part, which could cost up to $3,000, depending on many factors.

2. Worn Control Arm Bushings

At least 38 complaints were lodged for worn-out front control arm bushing. The reports allege that the front control arm bushings wear out pretty much faster than expected, which causes the wheels to go out of alignment, making the car drive roughly.

The control arm is what connects the car’s frame to the steering knuckles, so if one of the arms fails, steering will become difficult and the car won’t drive smoothly. Fixing this problem is quite technical, and you must replace the worn bushings.

3. Engine Mount Problems

Also, there were reports about bad engine mounts – usually, the upper engine mount. Owners of XC70 allege that their models had failed engine mount at an average of 60,000 miles. Understandably, there are different reasons why an engine mount may fail, but that of the Volvo XC70 (some models) seems to be poorly built, and as such, it breaks down easily.

Once an engine mount is bad, the transmission may not shift smoothly and the car would feel a little bit hard to drive. The only recommended fix for a bad or worn-out engine mount is to get it replaced completely, which costs an average of $1,150.

4. Anti-Lock Brake System

The ABS icon is located on the dashboard of most cars; it illuminates once the system detects there’s a problem with your brakes or the ABS components (the module). Quite a number of complaints were lodged for failed ABS control modules on the Volvo SC70 models, which causes the ABS light to remain permanently on. Replacing the failed module is generally the fix here and it costs around $1,400.

5. AWD System Failures

XC70 is an all-roader; you can drive it through several paths and come back untouched, and that was one of the reasons many people loved it. However, there are complaints regarding the all-wheel drive system; a couple of owners allege that the all-wheel-drive system stopped working abruptly, making it difficult for them to drive the XC70 through “all terrains” as usual. This was a major problem for the 2003/2004 models.

6. Oil Leak from PCV Housing

Another common problem with a high number of reports is engine oil leaks coming from the PCV housing. The PCV plays an important role in the combustion and smooth performance of ICE engines; it re-channels the air and fuel from the crankcase back into the cylinders through the intake manifold instead of allowing them to escape into the atmosphere, which is not eco-friendly.

Basically, the PCV is the least place to expect oil leaks to ensue, but on XC70s, this is one of the commonly reported problems. This problem allegedly occurs between 40,000 and 80,000 miles. The indicated fix is replacing the valve, inspecting the housing, and changing the bad components causing the leaks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Volvo XC70 a Reliable Car?

Yes, it is. Overall, this luxury wagon is one of the sturdiest cars in its category. It also scores above average on RepairPal and JD Power, in terms of reliability and frequency of major repairs. Volvo XC70 is an impressive car from all angles and it’s spacious to contain all your daily stuff.

Is the Volvo XC70 a 4×4?

The Volvo XC70 is an all-roader, which means that it is equipped with a 4×4 drivetrain (All-Wheel Drive). The all-wheel drive is electronically controlled and it is sturdily built to move through any route. Volvo’s AWD system is built in collaboration with Haldex, a Swedish company with high expertise in automobile drivetrain manufacturing.

How Much Does a Volvo XC70 Cost?

The cost will depend on the number of miles on the odometer. Also, the model year, engine type, and other factors can affect the listing price of an XC70. Notwithstanding, expect a Volvo XC70 to list from $4,000 to $30,000.

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