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AboveAndBeyond

Advice on buying High Mileage 04-06 V70R

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Hi V70R.com! Have been on the site a couple times in the past for research purposes, but now my research has been getting more serious as I am hoping to buy a used 04-06 V70R in the near future. New to the site and Volvo's. Awesome cars! Hope I can get some wisdom/advice on what you top gurus think about purchasing high mileage V70R's?? 100,000 miles plus. Good idea -- bad? If I do commit I would keep it at least for 5 plus years. Or at least that would be the plan. I know the major work like timing belt/water pump etc. come around 100,000 but is it even worth looking into buying a car that might only be 4 or 5 years old, but has such high mileage?

Thats kind of my "short" version of many questions I have for this car. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!! :P

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Any car over 100,000 miles is a crap shoot in my opinion. If you can get one for really cheap (less than $10,000) then the money you save will go a long way to paying for whatever starts to nickel and dime you to death. That would be the only reason I can think of to get a car with that many miles on it (regardless of Volvo's reputation). And that's for ANY car, not just a Volvo.

Don't forget that these wagons don't get great mileage from the get go and you might be better off buying a smaller hotter hatch wagon with way better mileage estimates especially when you start factoring in 100k + service requirements. Also, these cars are treated like luxury cars which, in my opinion, they are not. So there's a premium placed on service, parts, etc. If you are willing to pay that, then by all means go for it. However, any car with 100k + miles is likely to start costing you some coin.

My '95 Camaro has about 110,000 on it, it's a one-owner car and I've taken really good care of it but it's starting to go no matter what I do. Sure it's an American car, not a luxury model, and all that. Still, it's showing its age - all 15 years of it. An '04-'06 V70R is much much newer but 100k miles is a lot to accept.

My opinion is it's not a good idea unless you are willing to pay for more upkeep than you might otherwise expect with a lower mileage car. Volvo or otherwise. Just remember that these cars seem to command a premium on service which is tough to bear in this economy.

Don't forget to check Kelley Blue Book values. MY '06 with 11k on it as is would go for roughly $26k but the same car with 110k only gets $13k. Just a reference point worth noting.

Kevin

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Kevin raises a lot of good points. As a from-new 2004 owner, it has been really interesting to me to see how the clientele that is attracted to the R has changed over the last 6 years. Many of the orginal R owners have moved on, to who knows what. I happen to still have mine, with 101K on it now, and I have to say it has been far more trouble-free and reliable than any of the 3 VW-Audis I have owned. Both of my children have '04 S60s, and my wife just bought a C30.

I think that a lot of the more recent buyers are looking for a great value on a great performance vehicle, and the R is certainly that, especially at $10-$15K. But any car with 100K on it that you start thrashing the gears, taking the motor to the readline, etc, sooner or later is going to require some maintenance. Why someone would think that a Volvo would be any different than a Bimmer or an Audi or a Benz or a Subie is beyond me.

If you want a great performance value and you need room and are willing to live with some ride harshness, take a look at the R. Otherwise, find some Bimmer or Tojo that costs twice as much, and hope that their reputation for bullet-proof reliability and low ownership cost is true.

Me? My replacement for the R is going to be some Bimmer diesel, down the road.

bill

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Thanks Kevin/Bill! I figured that would be the general concensus given the amount of mileage. Obviously 100k no matter what make or model something will give. Yes -- every R is different with different owners and you cant put your finger on it. I just wasnt sure if anyone has encountered a BIG maintenance problem beyond 100k. And if it was worth taking the risk. Or even if someone has babied their V70R for 150k or 200k with success....

Although I am interested in the car because of its performance capabilities and how fast the car can go even in the snow Im pulling more for the looks rather than speed. Does that make me less of an enthusiast because I want a car that has 100k+ not for the speed, but the slick look?? ....no that sounds more irresponsible I guess.

Anyway -- I guess Im still trying to come up with an excuse for myself after finding many V70R's with high mileage, but cheap price. Very tempting....

I appreciate the input guys and if anyone else reading has a story about their high mileage V70R...by all means!!

Thanks,

Artie

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Hey :) I have a 98 v70r. my parents are the original owners and they babied that thing to 130k miles before handing it over to me (the next Danica Patrick) :P I destroyed that car as best i could and its still purring at 160k miles. of course there have been some minor bumps in the road (i.e. needing a new propshaft, powersteering rack, turbo rebuild) but only because i drove it so rough. The engine mounts of course needed to be replaced and same with the struts and thats just from the 12 years of being in the snow and salt of new hampshire. it also very rarely gets housed in the garage which definitely plays a factor in keeping parts free of corrosion. Tory :)

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I think there are lots of Rs that are well beyond 100K

but I can't tell you that I have any sense of problem areas. My front struts are new, new rear brakes (1st set lasted 100K), I did timing belt & water pump early.

By this point, every VW-Audi I owned had lost cruise control, and had other electrical gremlins. The R thus far has just been rock-solid.

Bill

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Thanks Tory! From the sound of it you'll be holding on to your R for a while. Thats awesome! Make sure you give "her" a breather though...phew

I hear you on that one Bill! If I ever were to come across the electrical engineer that designed the electrical components for my VW....I would be pissed!

The small annoying crap that you think should last for a while. Head light and rear brake light bulbs burning out all the time. Interior lights twitching. Every single part that Ive ordered for this car -- brakes, water pump, timing belt, rims, fuel pump, headlight assembly. Everything is stamped with an Audi logo. What the heck?! I might as well bought an A4! Stupid. At first I was in love with my VW, all right mpg, reasonable traction in snow, decent interior leather seats, got a ski/bike rack to get around and put 140k on it so far but Im SO OVER this "Audi VW" crap. After 6yrs of ownership these A4's and Passat's are way overrated in my opinion.

I guess you learn some.

Thanks guys!

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The only problem with the R as it ages are the parts are nasty expensive. First off you have the catastrophic items like a clutch slave failures and the bevel gear collar failure, perhaps if you have a auto you may get coolant in your transmission fluid.

The wear items are expensive: struts are at least triple of a "standard" strut, the xenon ballasts/bulbs arn't cheap, they are motorized and the fronts are glass, lots of potential expenses here.

Other than that just a plain jane ol V70 whose parts are just mildly pricey.

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Did you ever purchase this car?

I'm looking at a 2004 (MT) with.. wait for it... 175k miles on the clock! Price is an issue but the test drive was fun :-) and got me hooked. Now, I can't stop thinking about it.

However, I smelled something funny when I exited the car and now I'm thinking it may be the bevel gear or clutch slave leaking, given what I have read on this board. The smell was a bit funky but not really like burning oil, more like something rubbing, maybe even rubber.

I'm torn over what to do. I can probably get the car for about $8500 but don't want to sink $3000 into it to replace this item.

Hi V70R.com! Have been on the site a couple times in the past for research purposes, but now my research has been getting more serious as I am hoping to buy a used 04-06 V70R in the near future. New to the site and Volvo's. Awesome cars! Hope I can get some wisdom/advice on what you top gurus think about purchasing high mileage V70R's?? 100,000 miles plus. Good idea -- bad? If I do commit I would keep it at least for 5 plus years. Or at least that would be the plan. I know the major work like timing belt/water pump etc. come around 100,000 but is it even worth looking into buying a car that might only be 4 or 5 years old, but has such high mileage?

Thats kind of my "short" version of many questions I have for this car. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!! :P

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I'm looking at a 2004 (MT) with.. wait for it... 175k miles on the clock! Price is an issue but the test drive was fun :-) and got me hooked. Now, I can't stop thinking about it.

However, I smelled something funny when I exited the car and now I'm thinking it may be the bevel gear or clutch slave leaking, given what I have read on this board. The smell was a bit funky but not really like burning oil, more like something rubbing, maybe even rubber.

I'm torn over what to do. I can probably get the car for about $8500 but don't want to sink $3000 into it to replace this item.

Sanfelice: it's great that you've been bitten by the bug -- but those are high miles. Up here in Canada, we tend to think in kilometers (KM) -- and what you're looking at works out to have 280,000KM!! In all seriousness, that is quite a bit -- even if it is the case that some happy Volvo owners have (older) and very dependable rigs with very high miles!

Personally, I would seriously ask myself if an R that has been driven on average at least 30,000 miles (50,000KM) per year (which is about 2X the national average in the US as well as Canada, as I understand it) could really be all right. Granted, the previous owner could have been a little old lady who only drove it to church on Sundays (but she must have lived a long way from church, or else she got lost a lot! Does this R have navigation? :P ).

Seriously, see if the rational side of your brain can keep the "passion of 'R'" held off to the side for just a little while. Then, after some serious second thought, if you still want to drop your hard-earned money on what you've found, I recommend that you have an independent mechanical inspection done immediately by somebody who really knows what they're doing, and who you can trust -- honest, reputable, experienced, etc. The dollar cost will be well worth it. That should tell you right away whether there is something wrong that needs serious attention. And you will find out about the smell.

But the most important thing is: don't forget that even if they don't turn up every day, there are other fish in the sea. For example, after searching for a good number of years (and learning as much as I could about the R), just about three weeks ago I finally found and bought a 2004 V70R 6-speed manual (with much lower mileage), and at a great price. It was well worth waiting for. It's beautiful, and of course I fell in love with this particular R right away -- but I would not have purchased it if the independent mechanical inspection had found anything that was a serious problem. In my case, the inspection came back clear, 100% positive (except for one potential cautionary flag, something to monitor, not yet serious).

I don't mean to sound too paternalistic, but ... maybe it's worth your $8500 to wait for a bit, and keep on looking? Those are my two bits' worth ...

Cheers / Blueleezard

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I wouldn't touch a high mileage R unless you can do much of your own repairs. There is no good manual for the car, they aren't that common, and the parts are overpriced. If you have space and $, do what I did: buy a real sports car as a toy/project and keep a daily driver.

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My 06 VR had 108 on the clock trade in @ Audi dealer in Mendham New Jersey I bought it for wholesale . The book was stamped from the car having 7K all the way to 105K from a Volvo dealer in New Jersey RED BANK VOLVO . So farI have done tbelt water pump rollers etc and CBV and charge hose. Car runs great and it has suprised most of my friends with the performance this car has and they own BUILT S4's M3's etc. I am a Volvo tech so the part prices I can live with. If I have the chance to buy another higher mileage R @ wholesale I would do it in a minute!!

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I just bought a 04R with 96k, the interior is mint and the body is extremely clean with only a couple of small door dings. Mech. it needs struts and front pads but I knew this at purchase time, of course I wanted to pay less than I did but I really needed a car and wanted the R. It really is a beautiful car, rides and handles to my liking. I am sure it will be expensive to maintain but am used to it as I owned a 97 850R. I try to do as much work myself to try and supplement the cost of expensive parts, of course when I have the time to work on her. Over all I am happy with her, I think any used car is a big risk especially if you are dropping 10k. My appoligies for the poor spelling.

Mike

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Perspective is everything...I consider 100k to be low mileage. My '98 V70 has 210,000 on it right now and still feels tight. If you do your own work your probably better off taking the discount that a higher mileage car brings.

A t-belt kit is only ~$100 @fcpgroton, for example.

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First, the pay to play axiom is in place here - somewhat. I've got a '07GT with 119K on it - of course have done the timing belt, brakes, and had an odd run with the wheel bearings (lost 3 in the space of 2 months, and the parts I have had to purchase were a bit more than a toyota celica...but:

1) You wouldn't know my car from new - interior is perfect, exterior (exception of lower front end) is awesome.. This car rocks!

2) I just gave up my '91 940 turbo - with 330K miles on it. Never had a service call over $1K, the car never let me down. Same car that drove my kids home from the hospital took them to HS graduation. I don't hear many Audi owners claiming that.

3) So far, so good with the new (07) one. No service calls over $1K, it's never let me down. Tires are expensive, but everything has held together well, and it is as fun to drive as the very first day.

4) Anyone that wants to drop off their 100K R around here - I'm interested.

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