Are Volvos Expensive to Maintain (Explained!)

Volvo Car Corporation is a Swedish manufacturer of automobiles, buses, trucks, and construction equipment. The name Volvo is derived from the Latin language word “volvere”, meaning “to roll” since 1936 because that was the year when the company was founded by Assar Gabrielsson and Gustaf Larson

one major complaint about Volvos is that they are expensive to maintain. but if you take the time to do some research, this is not always the case. there are a few things you can do to keep your Volvo running for the long haul without breaking the bank with costly repairs.

Are Volvos expensive to maintain?

Well, it depends on what you have done to the car, and how bad the problem is. For example, if you just changed the oil and filter (and you didn’t get a new filter with a plastic cap on top), then your maintenance cost is probably going to be about $200 for an oil change.

If you need a new water pump, which can be around $400 or more, then that would double the cost of maintenance. If you have just basic maintenances (like changing belts once in a while), it’s probably going to run anywhere from $250 – $400. If you start messing with the engine (like changing head gaskets), it’s going to cost a lot more.

How to Keep Volvo Maintenance Costs Low

1. keep up on regular maintenance

Volvo vehicles do require a little more maintenance than some other vehicles, but no more than any other vehicle if you’re doing regular upkeep on a regular schedule. replacing spark plugs and keeping up on oil changes and fluid flushes can help make sure your vehicle runs smoothly for years to come.

2. Remember, you get what you pay for

Volvos are built to last – there’s no doubt about that. but the quality of the vehicle will mean nothing if you neglect its maintenance or don’t take proper care of it. if something breaks on your Volvo car, make sure you fix it before it becomes a serious problem in the future.

and if possible, try and find a good mechanic who will work with you (compare prices between several shops first) so that you can get the job done right with parts made for your vehicle – not some generic part that may or may not work correctly in your car.

3. know when to replace your timing belt

one of the most important parts of your Volvo engine is the timing belt. this belt ensures that each cylinder fires at just the right time, and it has to be replaced regularly to make sure your car runs correctly. unfortunately, depending on modifications (such as supercharging) you will have to replace your timing belt more often. changing this part is not difficult if you have a few pointers from a registered Volvo mechanic handy, so don’t hesitate to replace it if it’s due for replacement.

4. Get a Volvo-specific repair manual

these manuals are a great resource for any Volvo owner, whether you’re fixing things yourself or taking them to a shop. these books will help you identify issues, and also show the correct way to resolve them.

Are Volvos expensive to repair?

Yes and No. You can find a Volvo repair bill that looks like it is written in another language or that is close to the cost of the vehicle itself, but there are also stories of people who have successfully repaired their Volvos with very few problems.

It can depend on how well you take care of your car, how well you maintain it, and if you use the expertise of a skilled Volvo mechanic. Some vehicles are more costly to repair than others because they have too many electronic systems that can fail or be damaged easily.

Is Volvo high maintenance?

Volvo cars are known to be high maintenance. Their performance, in the long run, is good, but they require a lot of attention.

This also means that they may require more servicing when compared to other brands of cars, but this isn’t always the case. You can find people who have had their vehicles for over five years and still not experienced any major issues. It depends on how well you maintain your Volvo and how good your mechanic is in fixing them.

Volvo Maintenance Schedule

1) Just change the oil every 3,000 miles with synthetic oil or Volvo’s own oil filter. The interval might be longer based on driving conditions (heavy or light driving).

2) At 45,000 miles, change the timing belt. The Volvo dealer will do this for free, but you can be charged anywhere from $350 to over $1000; shop around. The risk of driving with a worn-out timing belt is so great that it may be worth paying the money to get it done by a Volvo technician.

3) At 100k miles change the Serpentine Belt (if you have one). You can do this at home for $15 with an automotive handbook and 30 minutes of your time. Changing the serpentine belt is easy and requires little time to complete. You can also do it with the car still attached to the jack stand, and your wheels still on.

4) At 100k miles (or earlier if your Volvo is in a severe accident), change the timing belt tensioner pulley. You can do this at home for $15 with an automotive handbook and 30 minutes of your time. There are many videos on youtube if you want to see how it’s done.

The “Auto-Tensioner” was incorporated in later models of Volvo engines after the death of a prominent racecar driver who crashed his modified turbo Volvo into a tree back in the late ’80s or early ’90s (an S70R).

The auto-tensioner is a spring-loaded mechanism that has an “auto-pilot” pulley (the tensioner pulley) with an arm that pushes the belt back into place should it come off. The auto-tensioner itself is located near the front of the engine and it’s a bit tricky to get at, but you can do it yourself in under an hour.

5) At 120k miles (or earlier if your Volvo is in a severe accident), change your crankshaft position sensor. This will set off a code, so make sure you know how to clear the codes before driving.

6) After that, just follow the maintenance schedule shown in your owner’s manual and if you bring it to the dealership, make sure you get that printed maintenance schedule from them.

Volvo Maintenance Tips

1) Volvo has started using a new type of oil filter (not an OE filter), which uses a small plastic cap on top. If the original Volvo filter is not available from your Volvo dealer, do not use the after-market oil filters that are out there.

The small plastic cap on top of the filter can easily be broken, and you’ll never know it. The filter still works fine, but you may have oil leaks that are hard to find.

2) Volvo’s do not need transmission fluid changed unless there is a leak or other problem with the transmission. It is extremely expensive to change it with these cars, so just take it easy on your shifts (don’t downshift too hard), and don’t race your car.

If your transmission becomes noisy (not sure which years this is), just put a few drops of automatic transmission fluid in it; leave the cap loose to let the air out. This problem has been reported on the c4 transmissions with some early 2000 models.

3) You should always change your spark plugs at least once every year or so. How do you know if you need new plugs? Well, if your car is idling roughly, it’s a good bet that there are some bad plugs in there. If you check the gap of a plug and it has elongated (it’s too big), or the insulator (the black part) is cracked, get rid of that plug and replace it with a new one.