Volvo V70 TDi classic - opinions ? - Surrey_Scientist
I am considering buying an old shape volvo V70 with a TDi engine - I understand it is an Audi 5 cylinder design.

Can anyone give me their experiences with these cars, both good and bad ?

I have noticed that most of these cars for sale have very high mileages ~100K+

Do these cars still have plenty of life left in them, or will they become complete money-pits.....?

A lot of them also seem to be automatics - I quite like driving an auto, but have only had japanese ones so far (with no problems)- What is the reliability of the V70 auto-box like, especially at these sort of mileages. Is it a "good" box to drive (I know some autos are not great)

I have read HJs backroom article and note the cambelt/water pump change, but are there any other issues on these vehicles that needs to be considered when buying.

Lastly what are they like to maintain ?? I have a good mechanic who comes to my house with his equipment packed in avan, and has had no problems maintaing my older japanese cars over the years, but will this V70 TDi be something he can service ? For diesel specific problems I imagine one could take the vehicle to an independent diesel specialist (Do these exist I am in SW London/Surrey) and he could do the servicing/nuts & bolts jobs.

Thanks for any pearls of wisdom about these cars
Volvo V70 TDi classic - opinions ? - adverse camber
I have a 1999 V70 tdi manual.

Front drop links go ~ £60 for the bit from volvo, £30 elsewhere

One point to watch is the engine management system on the last of these cars changed from the earlier system. Im told that the early cars can be diagnosed (on the engine side) with vag com. The later cars (BOSCH MSA 15.9 I think) need to go to volvo. - there isnt so far as I can tell any cheap system available.
You can tell the late cars because the volvo badge on the front has a blue rather than black background and the windscreen washers are the fan ones rather than pinpoints.

it is the vag 5 cylinder engine (AEE?) and has the usual issues
EGR problems - lots of smoke on hard acceleration. Many people blank off the egr.
MAFs fail (£300 at volvo , £100 elsewhere)
timing belt to be done at 80K intervals do the water pump at the same time and use a genuine part not a cheapie - lots of problems reported with aftermarket pumps,
fuel pump belt at 40K intervals
fuel pump timing at 20K
get through headlamp bulbs at a rate of knots.
a/c is a common failure and can be VERY expensive (>£1K) to fix so be sure you know the problem if it doesnt work.

Handling is like a barge - you can get a 'chassis kit' that upgrades - I havent bothered mainly because my insurers would have a wobbly about suspension mods.

Check the electrics - the drivers side window switch is a common failure and comes in at £90 for a new one.

Tailgate trim isnt as robust as it should be and the inside comes off - easy / cheap fix though.
seatbelts seem to be easily trapped in doors breaking the courtesy lights in the door.
Ours is doing mainly short runs at the moment and does about 600miles on a tank of diesel (£55)

lots of very overpriced cars at specialists.
Volvo V70 TDi classic - opinions ? - Surrey_Scientist

thanks for that advice.

I don't know if anyone else has anything to add, but I just test-drove one at a specialist, it was an automatic.

Goes very well, excellent performance, and very comfortable.

BUT....... Car had done only 80,000 miles and was lots of suspension knocks, CV joint s knocked on full-lock, and loads of trim rattles inside.

Also noticed lots of black smoke when cold, and under hard acceleration couldn't see the car behind in the rear-view mirror - Are they all like this ?

How does one blank off the EGR ? Is it complicated ? Surely this will affect the emissions (Isn't the EGF supposed to reduce them ? )

The condition of the car felt more like 180,000 miles to me, and dealer was asking what I thought was a ridiculous sum of money. They were a specialist that sells solely volvo estates in SW London (I won't mention any names but you can probably guess)

Nice car, but very overpriced for the condition. To be honest my old Toyota Corolla has done 110,000 miles and hasn't had any problems, and no creaks/rattles/knocks, so I am now not so sure whether the build quality of these volvos is what urban legend has it to be.

Volvo V70 TDi classic - opinions ? - Screwloose
>> had done only 80,000 miles and there were lots of suspension knocks, CV joints knocked on full-lock and loads of
trim rattles inside. The condition of the car felt more like 180,000 miles to me.

Funnily enough; that's just what I was wondering. Full set of previous MOT's/service records/dealer printout produced?

If you're coming down from a Toyota; these will be a real shock. Whatever the urban legend; despite their excellent steel and paint, Volvo build-quality has always been truly awful. I've seen kit-cars that are better made.
Volvo V70 TDi classic - opinions ? - Surrey_Scientist

You are right ht eToyota has amazing build quality..... 110,000 miles and I've inly had to repalce brake discs, and the water pump when I had the camblet done. No creaks/knocks/rattles, and hardly uses any oil/water between services.

I now need a large estate to tow a 4 berth caravan...

Avensis does not have te towing cpacity I need, and Camry estates weren't built from about 95 onwards, and there are none coming up for sale at the moment.

Would also prefer something fuel efficient. Most of these jap cars seem to be petrol engined... only the newer ones are diesel and they are still too expensive.

I hanker after a Subaru Legacy, but the fuel consumption would be a problem I hink... but would tow wonderfully I'm told..

Volvo V70 TDi classic - opinions ? - Screwloose

Hmm... Tough one. What's the budget and how many miles a year? If you actually need the space and not just the towing capacity, Ford's Scorpio Est comes to mind - not a VM diesel fan though...

Jap diesels are too refined to be economical; but if you must, a Toyota 4-Runner? Or stick with the Legacy idea and hang the fuel bills. If they're too dear and load-space isn't vital, a Trooper SWB V6 would be my choice. I can get around 28mpg on a run - just don't touch a diesel one.
Volvo V70 TDi classic - opinions ? - local yokel
Immaculate, W124 Mercedes (1996 was the last, I think), in diesel estate form? 35-40 mpg, still a great looking car, and able to take the miles. Ask any German taxi-driver.
Volvo V70 TDi classic - opinions ? - local yokel for the above - and budget for £6,000 to £7,000 for a really nice one. You know you want one.
Volvo V70 TDi classic - opinions ? - NowWheels for the above might be a better bet :)
Volvo V70 TDi classic - opinions ? - local yokel
Volvo V70 TDi classic - opinions ? - adverse camber
his cars might be good but his prices !

If you are looking at w124 I would try speaking to auction buyers first. You can afford to bin 3 or 4 cheap ones for the asking price at w124
Volvo V70 TDi classic - opinions ? - Surrey_Scientist

I have seen the w124 website before

I agree the prices are 2 or 3 times the price of most similar cars on Autotrader.

Do quite like the look of the W124 E300 diesel, but they seem to be extremely rare.

Also these engines don't have a turbo - I imagine they would be quite sluggish ?

What is the fuel consumption of these likely to be ? An old-tech diesel engine I imagine so nowhere near the econmoy of a modern engine ?
Volvo V70 TDi classic - opinions ? - MGspannerman
I have a W124 E300 diesel automatic. Not the quickest away from the lights but more than capable once running, and if booted nips along nicely and will cruise all day and very quietly at 80. Of course it is not a car that you would drive whilst wearing a reversed baseball cap, and sedate progress becomes a lifestyle choice with these especially with leather and auto. Sitting on the M40 yesterday for 20 minutes waiting to exit at junction 4 I found I was doing the same speed as everybody else :-) .The 24 valve engine (with the louvres in the offside wing) gives much better performance than the earlier model, you will find these in the later models from about 1993 onwards. My view is that you would not buy one of these due to lack of performance. With regard to mpg I get 36 mpg around town and about 40 on a run. Yes it is an old tech diesel engine. That's why they have a dirty great chain driving the camshaft that doesnt need replacing every 40-60k miles at a cost of £500, it doenst have common rail technology either, see what Aprilia has to say about that. It could help to explain why these engines are regarded as one of the most long lived and reliable diesels. Being old fashioned and low technology they were built by engineers and not accountants and are immensely solid. I have done 20k in mine now and apart from regular servicing I had to have a fuel valve fitted where the filter is attached which cost me all of £30. Of course they are not without problems as any 10+year old car will be and history and condition are as important as ever. They also suffer electrical problems with things like sunroof and windows being problematic and the rear suspension can get troublesome. After my strong recommendation my brother bought a 93 manual model for regular towing work, it has the clunky 12 valve engine. He got it off EBay with 170,000 miles on the clock, just nicely run in then, and paid all of £900 for it. He gets 40mpg+ and cannot speak highly enough of it. If you can find a nice one, and thats the problem now, then it is likely to be a very astute buy.

Cheers, MGs

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