Volvo V70 P2 (Second Gen) Buyer’s Guide & History

The second generation Volvo V70 is instantly recognisable with its unique styling and practical design. All versions of the car are an excellent buy for those looking for something with excellent comfort and safety features from the period.

In this guide we are going to give you all the information you need to know when purchasing a used Mk2 Volvo V70, including any common problems along with the history, specifications and more.

How to use this Volvo V70 Second Gen Buyer’s Guide

This is a long guide, so we recommend that you check out the table of contents below to skip to the section you want to read (or read it all). To begin with we will cover the history and specifications of the second generation V70 and the models underneath it. From then on, we will look at what you need to know about buying one of these cars and then to finish off we have more general car purchasing advice.

Names we will be using in this guide:

  • Volvo V70 Mk2
  • Volvo V70 P2
  • Second generation Volvo V70
  • Volvo V70 II

Note: in this guide we will not be looking at the Bi-Fuel Gas variants of the V70

History of the Volvo V70 Mk2

Credit: Volvo

The first generation V70 was essentially an improved and further developed version of the 850 Estate. Volvo did away with the 850’s square, boxy appearance and gave the V70 a more rounded, yet still familiar look. The interior also received some attention with around 1,800 changes being made to bring the car up to date with its competitors.

Volvo introduced the standard Mk1 V70 in 1996, with the V70 XC (also known as the V70 Cross Country and the V70 AWD Cross Country) being introduced the following year. The Swedish based company also reintroduced the “R” badge with the V70 R in May of the same year. Like its predecessors, the 850 T-5R and the 850 R (you can read our buyer’s guide here), the V70 R was a souped-up, high performance version with as much as 247 bhp (184 kW) and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft) of torque.

The Second Generation Volvo V70

The second generation version of the V70 would follow quite quickly after the first gen car. Volvo would release the Mk2 V70 in most markets in early 2000 with the model being brought to North America the following year.

Volvo based the second gen V70 on their new P2 platform that was also used for the S60 sedan. The new generation car featured an adhesively bonded construction as opposed to a spot welded one. According to Volvo, this meant that the Mk2 V70’s body was 70 percent more rigid than its predecessor.

The width and height were increased by 40 mm (1.6 inches), while the wheelbase was extended by 50 mm (2 inches). Despite the elongation of the wheelbase, the overall length of the new car was actually slightly less.

New But Familiar

Peter Horbury, a British car designer, was put in charge of bringing the V70 range into the 21st century. He had already created the 1992 Volvo ECC concept that would influence the marque’s  designs for years to come and transformed the 850 into the S70 and the first generation V70. Rather than reinventing the wheel, Horbury took an evolutionary design process. The Mk2 V70 was given an even more streamlined body with curvy corners and completely new front and rear lights.

On the inside the new V70 featured raised seating for the rear passengers, and a completely redesigned dashboard and centre console area that brought back some of the sharp angles from Volvo’s older cars. Motoring journalists at the time praised the new interior and loved that Volvo offered light coloured trim in contrast to the off-black shades that were loved by German designers.

Safety was once again at the forefront of Volvo’s design with SIPS side impact protection, WHIPS whiplash protection, head-level side airbags and the DSTC anti-skid system making a return from the previous car. The updated V70 also introduced dual-stage airbag inflation that was determined by the severity of the impact, and Isofix mountings for the optional rear-facing child seat.

Euro NCAP awarded the S60 (the saloon version of the V70) 4 out of 5 starts for adult occupant protection soon after it launched. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also gave the car its highest rating of “good” for front and rear tests, however, side impact tests were one step lower.

The Standard V70

The normal front-wheel drive V70 that was launched in 2000 could come equipped with a range of different engines. Volvo carried over the 138 bhp (103 kW) 2.4-litre unit from the previous V70, along with the 168 bhp (125 kW) version as well. A 2.0T engine was also available with 161 hp (120 kW) and the 2.4T got a bump in power to 197 bhp (147 kW).

For those who needed a bit more oomph from their Swedish station wagon, the T5 model made a return. This car was equipped with a 247 hp (184 kW), 330 Nm (243 lb-ft) of torque 2.3-litre engine with a high-pressure turbo instead of a low-pressure one.

V70 XC / XC70 (V70 Cross Country)  

The V70 XC received some major updates that made the car more competitive with other similar vehicles from the likes of Audi and other premium European manufacturers. The ground clearance was increased to 210 mm (8.2 inches) thanks to raised suspension and different bodywork that featured unpainted bumpers, fender extensions and side skirts.

To compliment the increased ground clearance and improve off-road performance, the car was equipped with AWD as standard. Engine options were quite limited when compared to the standard front-wheel drive V70, with only the 197 bhp (147 kW) 2.4-litre low pressure turbo petrol engine and the 161 bhp (120 kW) D5 diesel power unit being available with the car. The transmission options were equally limited, with buyers only getting the choice of either a 5-speed manual or a 5-speed automatic (no 6-speed options here).

After a couple of years on the market, Volvo decided to rename the V70 XC to the XC70 to keep the car more in line with the company’s other models. They also swapped out the old 2.4-litre engine for the 2.5T that bumped power to 207 bhp (154 kW) and torque to 320 Nm (236 lb-ft).

More Performance

Credit: Volvo

After a couple of years on the market, it was time to bring back the “R” badge. Based on the PCC2 concept car from 2001, the V70 R was revealed at the 2002 Paris Motor Show with sales beginning the following year as a 2004 model.

The car featured many firsts for the Swedish manufacturer. It came equipped with a 296 bhp (221 kW), 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine that put the car firmly at the top of the V70 range. This monstrous engine allowed the V70 R to scream its way from 0 – 100 km/h (62 mph) in around 6 seconds and go on to an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).

Volvo’s engineers mated the powerful engine to a Haldex based all-wheel drive system that gave supreme levels of traction. At launch, buyers had the choice of either an M66 six-speed manual or an AW55 five-speed automatic transmission.

Uprated brakes manufactured by Brembo helped tame the increased performance and the car came standard with Volvo’s 4C multi-mode suspension that was developed in conjunction with suspension maestros Öhlins. The V70 R’s special suspension featured three different driver changeable settings that could adjust the car’s handling depending on the driving style and conditions of the road.

2004 Facelift

After four years on the market, it was time for a bit of a facelift. Volvo’s engineers and designers modified the grille and the bumper to be more streamlined with clear front and rear lights being fitted to all models in the range. The interior also received some attention with the centre console and dashboard getting some minor updates.

While the mechanical and electrical bits remained largely the same, there were some changes with more power coming to a few of the models in the range. The V70 T5 now produced 256 bhp (191 kW) and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft) of torque, while the D5 diesel’s power unit got a boost to 182 hp (136 kW) and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque.

The last big change for the year was the addition of a new 6-speed automatic transmission for both all-wheel drive and front-wheel drive variants.

Ocean Race Special Edition

Credit: Volvo

In 2001, the Whitbread Round the World Race was renamed to the Volvo Ocean Race as the Swedish company took up sponsorship of the event. The race is held every 3 to 4 years and consists of yachts racing around the world.

To commemorate the renaming of the event, Volvo launched special edition versions of the V70 and V70 XC. As you can probably guess, these cars were labelled the V70 Ocean Race and the V70 XC Ocean Race. They came finished in a unique shade of blue, with silver exterior trim pieces. There were also special Ocean Race floor mats and badging that distinguished the cars from the normal V70 models.

Volvo produced a limited number of these special edition cars, but brought back the badge for the 2005 – 2006 Ocean Race (with the V70 XC now being badged as the XC70). Like the previous Ocean Race versions of the V70, these cars featured a special blue paintjob and a number of other upgrades over the standard cars.

The End of the Volvo V70 Mk2

By 2007 Volvo was ready for a new version of the V70. The third generation car made its debut on the 2 February 2007 and the Mk2 V70 ended production the same year.

Volvo V70 Second Generation Specifications

Below we have listed the specifications of the Mk2 V70. We have included the engine options in a different set of tables as there were quite a few available:

ModelVolvo V70 Mk2V70 XC / XC70V70 R
Country/LocationSwedenSwedenSweden
Year of production2000 to 20072000 to 20072000 to 2007
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel driveFront-engine, all-wheel driveFront-engine, all-wheel drive
Transmission Options5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic6-speed manual, 5-speed auto and 6-speed auto (2005)
Brakes Front287 – 305 mm (11.3 – 12 inch) discs287 mm (11.3 inch) discs330 mm (13 inch) discs
Brakes Rear287 mm (11.3 inch) discs287 mm (11.3 inch) discs330 mm (13 inch) discs
Wheel Size Front15 x 6.5
16 x 7.0
16 x 7.017
Wheel Size Rear15 x 6.5
16 x 7.0
16 x 7.017
Tyres Front195/65HR15
195/60 R15
215/55 R16
215/65 HR16
205/55 R16
235/45/17
Tyres Rear195/65HR15
195/60 R15
215/55 R16
215/65 HR16
205/55 R16
235/45/17
Suspension FrontIndependent, MacPherson strut, Asymmetrical SpringsIndependent, MacPherson strut, Asymmetrical SpringsIndependent, MacPherson strut, Asymmetrical Springs
Suspension RearMulti-link, coil springsMulti-link, coil springsMulti-link, coil springs
Weight1,528 – 1,571 kg (3,369 – 3,463 lbs)1,636 kg (3,606 lbs)1,673 kg (3,689 lbs)

 

Petrol Engines & Models

All engines feature an inline 5 cylinder arrangement.

Car ModelEngine 

Power

 

Torque

0 – 100km/h (62 mph) 

Top Speed

V70 2.0T (until 2004)2.0-litre B5204T161 bhp (120 kW)240 Nm (177 lb-ft)9.5s210 km/h (130 mph)
V70 2.0T2.0-litre B5204T5178 bhp (132 kW)240 Nm (177 lb-ft)9.1s210 km/h (130 mph)
V70 2.42.4-litre B5244S2138 bhp (103 kW)220 Nm (162 lb-ft)10.5s205 km/h (127 mph)
V70 2.4 (170)2.4-litre B5244S168 bhp (125 kW)230 Nm (170 lb-ft)
225 Nm (166 lb-ft) – From 2003
8.8s210 km/h (130 mph)
V70 2.4T & 2.4T AWD2.4-litre B5244T3197 bhp (147 kW)285 Nm (210 lb-ft)7.9 – 8.2s225 km/h (140 mph)
V70 2.5T & 2.5T AWD2.5-litre B5254T2207 bhp (154 kW)320 Nm (236 lb-ft)7.5 – 7.6s225 – 230 km/h (140 – 143 mph)
V70 T52.3-litre B5234T5
2.4-litre B5244T5 (from 2005)
247 – 256 bhp (184 – 191 kW)330 – 350 Nm (243 – 258 lb-ft)7.1s250 km/h (155 mph)
V70 R2.5-litre B5264T4296 bhp (221 kW)400 Nm (295 lb-ft) – manual & automatic from 2006
350 Nm (258 lb-ft) – 2004 to 2006 automatic
5.9s250 km/h (155 mph)

 

Diesel Engines & Models

Car ModelEngine 

Power

 

Torque

0 – 100km/h (62 mph) 

Top Speed

V70 2.5D (TDI)2.5-litre D5252T138 bhp (103 kW)290 Nm (214 lb-ft)10.2s200 km/h (124 mph)
V70 2.4D 1302.4-litre D5244T2128 bhp (96 kW)280 Nm (207 lb-ft)11.3s200 km/h (124 mph)
V70 2.4D 126 (2005)2.4-litre D5244T7124 bhp (93 kW)300 Nm (221 lb-ft)11.9s200 km/h (124 mph)
V70 2.4D 163 (2005)2.4-litre D5244T5161 bhp (120 kW)340 Nm (251 lb-ft)9.5s210 km/h (130 mph)
D5 & D5 AWD2.4-litre D5244T161 bhp (120 kW)340 Nm (251 lb-ft)9.5 – 9.8s210 km/h (130 mph)
D5 & D5 AWD (2005)2.4-litre D5244T4182 bhp (136 kW)400 Nm (295 lb-ft)8.5s225 km/h (140 mph)

 

Volvo V70 II Buyer’s Guide

Credit: Volvo

With the history and that long list of specifications out of the way, lets take a look at what you really came here for, the buyer’s guide. As we mentioned at the start of this guide we will not be covering the Bi-Fuel versions of the V70 in this article.

Arranging an Inspection of a Second Gen Volvo V70

Here are some things to consider when setting up an inspection of a Mk2 V70 (or any used car for that matter):

  • Look at the V70 II yourself or get a reliable third party to do so for you – Purchasing a used car without physically inspecting it first is almost always a bad idea. On some occasions it can work out, especially if you purchase the vehicle from a website or service that curates their cars first. However, in most circumstances, physical inspection is the best way to go, and if you can’t do it try to get a reliable third person to do so for you.
  • Arrange the inspection of the second gen V70 at the seller’s house or place of business – This is generally a good idea as it should let you see where and how the V70 II is stored – is it always garaged or parked on the road? Another benefit of doing this is that it will let you test out the roads the car is regularly driven on. If they are very rough and full of potholes, the suspension, steering, wheels, tyres and more may have taken a bit of a beating.
  • Try to look at the car in the morning as opposed to later in the day – This will give the seller less time to clean up any potential issues with their V70 Mk2 such as a big oil leak. Additionally, let the seller/owner know that you don’t want the car and engine warmed before you arrive as this can hide issues.
  • Take a friend or helper – Bring along somebody who can give you a second opinion on the vehicle. While they don’t need to be mechanically inclined, it is better if they are. A second person can also help with things like checking for smoke while you test drive the V70 II.
  • Try to avoid inspections in the rain – Water can hide numerous different issues with the bodywork and paint on a car, so try to go back for a second viewing if this is the case when you go to inspect a Volvo V70 Mk2.
  • Be cautious if freshly washed cars – There’s nothing wrong with a car that has been washed before an inspection as this is fairly normal. However, be cautious of cars that are still wet (for the reasons above) or if the engine bay and underside has been washed.
  • Ask the seller to move the V70 II outside if it is in a showroom or garage – The lighting in garages and showrooms can often hide issues with the bodywork and/or paint. Direct sunlight will highlight any potential issues.

What’s A Good Price for a Second Generation V70

The price that a second gen V70 P2 can command will largely depend on its condition, mileage, specs, etc. As this is the case, we can’t really give you an exact price. For example, a low mileage V70 R like this one that sold in 2019 will command a much higher price than a base spec diesel that has travelled to the moon and back.

To find out what sort of money you need, we recommend that you jump on your local auction/classifieds or dealers’ websites and search for second gen V70s for sale. Check the prices for the specific models you are interested in and go from there (we usually recommend adding at least 10% for any unforeseen expenses).

Is the Volvo V70 Mk2 Expensive to Maintain and Run?

Maintenance is almost certainly going to be more expensive than a base Ford or Toyota, but Volvos really aren’t too bad (I should know I own one). Avoiding dealers for maintenance work is going to bring down the cost of ownership, so we suggest that you find a competent Volvo mechanic or specialist who is familiar with the V70. You can also do some work yourself if you feel mechanically competent, which will reduce the cost of ownership even further.

Parts can be expensive, especially unique trim pieces, etc., but Volvo sold plenty of these cars so components are still fairly easy to source (although that will change with time).

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that a car that has been poorly maintained will be more expensive to run. Like with pretty much any car on the road, more than a few second generation Volvo V70s have got into the hands of people who simply can’t afford (or can’t be bothered) to maintain them, which makes running costs worse for future owners.

Where is the Best Place to Find a Volvo V70 II for Sale?

If you are looking for the cream of the crop, the best place to start your hunt for a second generation V70 is usually Volvo owners’ clubs or specialist classifieds websites such as bringatrailer.com or carandclassic.co.uk. Owners’ clubs are good because the people in them tend to be more enthusiastic about their cars and maintain them better. Below we have listed a couple of examples of some popular Volvo owners’ clubs:

Volvo Owners ClubUK based club dedicated to all Volvo cars including the V70. This club also has a forum with some really knowledgeable owners, so its definitely worth checking out.

Volvo ForumUnited States based forum. Doesn’t seem as active as the forum/club above, but still plenty of activity.

Dealers and more generic auction/classifieds websites and services are also great places to find these cars for sale. However, you will probably come across a few more “dogs”, so watch out.

Should I Get a Mechanic to Inspect the V70 P2 Prior to Purchase?

While this isn’t completely necessary (and to be honest we don’t often do it), it can be a very good idea. A good mechanic or specialist who is familiar with Volvos will be able to do more checks and they may be able to spot something you missed. They can give you a second opinion and may be able to steer you away from a bad purchase, saving you money.

Even if you do not plan to take the car to a mechanic before buying it, we recommend that you ask the seller if you can. If they seem funny or hesitant about it, it suggests there may be a hidden problem.

Checking the VIN

It is always a good idea to check the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) or chassis number. The VIN can tell you quite a bit of information about a specific Volvo V70 Mk2 and its history. VINs and chassis numbers usually consist of a series of characters and numbers, and they are assigned by manufacturers to a vehicle at the factory. The VIN on a second generation V70 can be found in the following locations (it should be a 17 digit series of characters and numbers):

  • Offside wing on a metal plate
  • Stamped into the centre of the bulkhead facing up (rear of engine bay)
  • Rear offside door pillar on a plastic sticker

Around mid-2005 Volvo no longer fitted the rivetted metal plate, so don’t be worried if 2006 onwards cars don’t have it.

If you can’t find the VIN in the correct locations it may be a sign that the vehicle has been in an accident and body panels have been replaced (remember to check that the VINs you find match as well).

Engine

Credit: Volvo

The biggest thing to watch out for when it comes to the different engines fitted to a second generation V70 is maintenance. If these cars are maintained well, they can easily hit 320,000 km (200,000 miles) and more.

To begin your inspection of the power unit, move to the front of the car and lift the bonnet/hood – does it open smoothly? How’s the catch? If the catch/release doesn’t work as intended or the bonnet doesn’t open smoothly it may be a sign of accident damage or some other sort of issue.

Take a good general look at the engine bay, keeping an eye out for any obvious issues such as oil leaks, broken or missing parts, etc. A completely spotless engine bay is usually a sign of a good owner, however, it may also be a sign of somebody who is trying to cover up and issue with their V70 Mk2.

Inspecting the Fluids on a V70 P2

Checking the fluids is often overlooked by many people when inspecting a used car, but it is something we always recommend that you do. The condition of the fluids can tell you a lot about the current condition of a particular second gen V70 and how it has been maintained. Fluid levels that are too low or high, old fluids, and those that are incompatible with the car can cause serious issues and possibly damage to the power unit and other components.

Make sure you check the dipstick and if you see any metallic particles or grit it is probably best to pass on the vehicle. Foam is another thing to watch out for, but we will talk about that in more detail later in this section.

Ask the owner/seller about the car’s service history and don’t forget to have a good look at the service book and any accompanying receipts. If the seller can’t tell you much and/or can’t produce the service book on request, you should proceed with caution. Talk to the seller about what oil and oil filter have been used in the car. Depending on the model (2.4, T5, R, etc.) and the ambient temperature of the location the car is in, the recommended engine oil could be anything from a 0W-30 or 5W-30 to something like a 10W-40 for hotter climates.

Volvo recommends services every 12,000 – 16,000 km (7,500 – 10,000 miles) depending on where you live in the world (North America on the lower end). More enthusiastic owners tend to service their V70 IIs a bit more frequent than this, with some going as low as the 5,000 km (3,000 mile mark). If the car hasn’t been driven that regularly it should have been serviced every 12 months.

Do Volvo V70 Mk2s Leak Oil?

Oil leaks are always something to watch out for on a used internal combustion engined car, and the V70 II is no different. Leaks can occur in various different places, so make sure you inspect the engine bay and underside of the vehicle thoroughly. Here are some things to watch out for:

  • Cam seals and VVT gear – rear seals are on the drivers side top front, while the VVT gear is under the timing belt cover.
  • Main seals – front main seal problems will cause a leak that drips out the bottom of the timing belt cover. Issues with the rear main seal will cause a leak that goes onto the transmission housing (major issue to fix).
  • Turbo return line seals – usually very messy and the turbo heat shield will have to come off to get a proper look
  • Oil cooler lines
  • PCV system – under the intake manifold. The system should be checked whenever there is an oil leak as a clogged PCV will build crankcase pressure and even push out good seals. Below we have embedded a video that shows you how to check PCV pressure.
  • Core Plug (Early versions of the D5) – Located behind the flywheel and causes an oil leak into the bellhousing to the gearbox – see if the core plug has been replaced by a steel version if you are looking at one of these cars.

Remember to check for oil leaks both before and after a test drive as that spotless engine bay may not be so spotless after a trip around the block.

More on the PCV System

If the PCV system becomes blocked (more of an issue on petrol V70s) it will lead to an increase in crankcase pressure. This can usually be seen when the engine is running. Remove the dipstick and if you see smoke puffin out then the system will need to be replaced, as it will lead to the seals failing (as we mentioned above). It is also a good idea to try the glove trick in the video above as well.

Essentially, if the glove is barely sucked in, you have no pressure/a slight vacuum. This is a good thing. If the glove inflates there is pressure, which means that the PCV system needs some attention. Some owners recommend that you drive with the dipstick slightly out while you arrange to get the problem sorted.

The parts to replace the PCV system aren’t too bad, however, the labour can be a quite expensive, so keep that in mind if you notice the issue.

Ask the Owner About Oil Consumption

You aren’t going to be able to tell if the V70 Mk2 you are looking at consumes an excessive amount of oil during a short drive (unless it has a serious problem), so talk to the owner/seller about the problem. Most of the time the majority of sellers will say it doesn’t use a drop between changes, but it is still worth asking just in case you get an honest one.

Does the Volvo V70 Mk2 Have a Timing Belt or a Chain?

All the engines in the second generation V70 range use a timing belt instead of a chain, so you need to make sure that the belt and other timing components have been replaced at or before the correct interval (around 170,000 km or 105,000 miles, or every 8 years). If the timing belt/camblet fails it can destroy the engine, so make sure this work has been done. Many owners like to get the belt and other components changed much earlier than Volvo’s recommended service interval, which shows that they probably care about their car quite a lot.

If the timing belt has not been changed it brings it to question the maintenance on the rest of the car as well.

Don’t just take the owners word for it that they have changed the belt. Remember to check the service history and any accompanying receipts relating to timing belt work. There is often a sticker as well that indicates when the belt was last changed.

Checking the Cooling System on a Volvo V70 P2

The cooling system is integral to correct engine operation, so take your time here and make sure everything is in good condition and working correctly. Below we have listed the main components of the cooling system:

  • Radiator – removes heat from the water/coolant
  • Thermostat – sends water/coolant that is hotter than the target temperature to the radiator to be cooled
  • Water Pump – belt that is driven from a pulley. Pushes water/coolant through the engine
  • Overflow or Expansion bottle – removes air from the system and provides a filling point
  • Coolant Lines – hoses that allow water/coolant to remain contained as it moves through the engine/cooling system

Volvo’s coolant is pretty good and doesn’t have a recommended service interval. However, it is probably not a bad idea to replace the coolant at some point, so check to see if this has been done (we aren’t really believers in a “lifetime” fill). Aftermarket coolants are fine, just make sure they haven’t been mixed with the old stuff and that they have been replaced according to the manufacturer’s recommend service interval.

Remember to check the coolant lines for any leaks or crusted coolant. Do the same around the coolant tank and if the tank itself looks in a bad way it may need to be replaced.

It is important to check for coolant leaks both before and after a test drive, along with the coolant level. Once you have gone for a test drive, turn the car off and wait for a bit (around 10 – 15 minutes or so). Check for any fresh puddles of coolant under the car and do a smell test. If you don’t see any puddles of oil but smell a sweet aroma the car could still be leaking coolant.

Gurgling sounds are another sign to watch out for that may indicate that a leak is present or that something like the water pump is failing or has failed.

What Are Some Signs of an Overheating Second Gen V70?

Below we have listed some things that could indicate that the Volvo V70 Mk2 you are looking at is overheating and/or is suffering from something like a blown head gasket.

  • Temperature gauge on that is on the high side
  • Bubbles in the radiator or coolant overflow tank
  • White and milky oil
  • Spark plugs that are fouled
  • Low cooling system integrity
  • Smell of coolant from the oil
  • Sweet smelling exhaust
  • Leaking or crusted coolant
  • White smoke from the exhaust pipe (especially if you see lots of it)

The above issues are very serious, so if you happen to notice one or more of them, don’t purchase the V70 until you can find out what the problem is (or simply move onto another car).

Making Sure the Exhaust is in Good Condition

Check as much of the exhaust system as you can get a look at. There really shouldn’t be any problems here but it is worth doing. Here are some things to watch out for:

  • Damage – Keep an eye out for any dings, dents, etc. Also make sure the exhaust system is straight and that the hangers are in good condition (they can rust, but the exhaust system should be fine).
  • Black sooty stains – These sorts of stains are usually a sign of a leak. The problem may be a simple fix, but don’t count on it. Pay particular attention around the joins/welds.
  • Bad repairs – Shouldn’t be too much of a problem, but it is always a good idea to watch out for any bodge jobs that have been done for a quick sale.
  • Low rumbling, scraping and rattling noises – May indicate an issue with the exhaust or could be caused by some other problem.

Catalytic Converter Issues

If you notice the following symptoms the catalytic converter may be on its way out (will be quite expensive to fix):

  • Smell of sulphur or rotten eggs from the exhaust
  • Reduced acceleration and sluggish engine performance
  • Excessive heat under the V70
  • Dark smoke from the V70 Mk2’s exhaust
  • CEL (Check Engine Light)

Aftermarket Exhausts

Some owners like to fit aftermarket exhaust to their V70s, with it being a relatively common modification for V70 R and T5 models. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, just make sure the exhaust is from a good brand/builder – note the manufacturer down and check reviews.  If the aftermarket exhaust is a cheap one from a badly reviewed brand, the seller/owner may have got it fitted for a quick sale.

Turning a V70 P2 on for the First Time

Get the seller/owner to start the V70 Mk2 for you for the first time (but make sure you do it yourself a couple of times later during the inspection/test drive). We recommend that you get the seller to start the car for the following two reasons:

  • So, you can have a look at what comes out the back of the exhaust
  • If the seller gives it a load of throttle when the car is cold you know to walk away

When you start the V70 Mk2 yourself, remember to make sure that the warning lights come up on the dashboard. If no warning lights appear it may be a sign that they have been disconnected to hide an issue. Talk to the seller about this and do not purchase the car without getting the codes read. Below we have embedded a video of a V70 R being started and the warning lights that come up.

What Should the Idle Speed Be on a P2 V70?

This largely depends on the model, but expect the idle speed to be in the 700 to 900 rpm range (a V70 D5 should be around 750 rpm for example). It is perfectly normal for the idle speed to increase when the air conditioning is switched on (check that this is the case). The idle speed will also be higher when the engine is cold, but should drop to the stated level once warm.

Finding the cause of idle issues can be difficult as it could be anything from bad spark plugs, dirty intake components and much more. If the problem was a simple fix the seller probably would have got it sorted before putting their Volvo V70 Mk2 on the market. Alternatively, they may not care or may have not noticed.

During a Test Drive

When you head out for a test drive, wait until the car is up to temperature before giving it a boot full. Take the car through the rev range, checking for any issues as you are doing so. It is best to leave the window open so you can listen to what’s going on outside the cabin. If you notice lots of vibrations and/or you hear clunking noises it may be a sign that one or more of the engine mounts have failed.

Electronic Throttle Modules

During a test drive, make sure the throttle is responsive and the car is not jumpy and doesn’t stutter. If you do notice these problems it could be a sign that the electronic throttle module is gunked up or has failed. While the throttle module may simply need to be cleaned, most of the time they need to be completely replaced (sometimes they can be repaired as well). Check for this problem by revving to around 4,000 rpm and watching the needle fall. It should be completely smooth, along with the idle as well. This is a common issue, so watch out for it.

The problem seems to be that the potentiometer tracks wear out/short out with carbon build up which leads to the response issues. There are some aftermarket contactless repairs that solve this issue, so it may be worth checking with the owner to see if they have got this sort of repair done. We wouldn’t let this issue put you off an otherwise good V70 Mk2, but make sure you get a nice discount.

Smoke from a Second Generation Volvo V70

As we mentioned early, get the seller to start the V70 P2 for you for the first time. Move to the rear of the vehicle and if you have a white piece of paper or cloth, hold it up in front of the exhaust. If you notice lots of soot on the paper/cloth it is a sign that there is an issue.

Don’t worry about a small amount of vapour on start-up as this is completely normal, especially when the ambient temperature outside is low. This sort of vapour should disappear relatively quickly, however, if it doesn’t or you notice lots of smoke alarm bells you be going off in your head. Here are what the different colours of smoke usually indicate:

White smoke – Lots of white smoke from the V70 P2’s tailpipes indicates that water has made its way into the cylinders due to a blown/leaking head gasket. Give the exhaust a good whiff and if it smells sweet, it is probably coolant.

Blue/Grey smoke – This colour smoke could be caused by a whole range of things including warn pistons rings, valve seals, turbocharger seals and possibly even a knackered turbo itself. To test for this colour smoke during a drive, get somebody to follow you while you are in the V70 P2. Take the engine through its rev range and see what comes out the back. If you don’t have a helper, get the owner to drive for a bit while you look out the back.

Black smoke – This sort of smoke is usually a sign that the engine is running too rich and burning too much fuel. There are quite a few things that could be causing this issue from something like dirty intake components to incorrect spark timing and more. If the exhaust smells of fuel, the engine is almost certainly running too rich.

Diesel Particulate Filter

If you are looking at a diesel model, black fumes may also be indicative of a bad diesel particulate filter. This part should be replaced every 120,000 km (75,000 miles), so check to see when it was last changed. Other symptoms you may come across are poor idle and repeated stalls.

What are the Signs of a Failing Turbocharger

Keep an ear out for any strange rumbling, whistling or high-pitched metallic sounds when the turbocharger is at full boost (drive at a slow speed and then accelerate moderately up to high rpms). If you do hear any such sounds, the turbo is on its last legs. Below we have listed some other signs of a failing turbo:

  • Distinctive blue/grey smoke– This happens when the turbocharger housing cracks or if the internal seals become worn. The smoke will become more apparent when the turbocharger is in use, so get somebody to follow you and check while you are test driving a Volvo V70 P2
  • Burning lots of oil– It will be hard to get an accurate picture of this during a test drive, but try to glean some information from the owner.
  • Slow acceleration– If the V70 you ate test driving feels particularly slow it is a good indication that the turbo has failed or is failing. This is why it is important to drive a few different V70 P2s, so that you know how fast a particular model should go.
  • If the boost pressure comes on late– Boost pressure that comes at higher than normal rpms could indicate either a worn or unbalanced turbocharger.
  • Check Engine Warning Light– The check engine light (CEL) can be displayed for a number of reasons, from major to minor. One of these reasons may be due to a failing/failed turbocharger. If the light is on and you notice some of the other symptoms we have listed above, then it is a good sign that the turbo has failed.

Premature Injector Failure on Diesel Cars

Diesel Volvos from around 2002 – 2003 seem to have an issue with injector failure. The first sign of this problem is trouble starting, so be cautious if you notice this with the V70 P2 you are inspecting.

Buying a V70 P2 with a Rebuilt or Replaced Engine?

You may come across a second generation Volvo V70 with a rebuilt or replaced engine. This is perfectly fine as long as the work was carried out by a competent Volvo specialist or mechanic. Move on if the work was done by somebody with poor reviews and be cautious of home rebuilds or engine swaps. While there are plenty of good home mechanics out there, there are more than a few with more ambition than skill and you don’t want to purchase an unfinished project.

We always recommend that you ask the seller/owner why the engine was rebuilt or replaced – was it simply due to mileage? Did the timing belt brake?

It is usually best to avoid fresh rebuilds or engine swaps with only a few hundred miles on them. For example, a Volvo V70 P2 with 10,000 km (6,200 miles) on a rebuild or replacement is going to be a much safer bet than one with only a tenth of the mileage.

Is a Compression or Leakdown Test Necessary?

These sorts of tests are not 100% necessary when purchasing a used second generation V70, but they can be helpful to determine the health of a specific car’s engine. If you are taking one of these cars to a mechanic or specialist prior to purchase, we recommend that you get them to do a test.

Some owners will get a compression test done before sale and put the results in the advertisement. The most important thing with the results is to make sure that they are all roughly the same (within around 10% of each other).

Transmission

Credit: Volvo

Over the course of its life, the V70 P2 was fitted with a 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual, 5-speed automatic and a 6-speed automatic. Let’s start by looking at the manual transmissions.

Manual Transmission

Luckily, there really isn’t too much to worry about when it comes to both the 5 and the 6-speed manual transmissions, apart from the usually stuff. Remember to go through all of the gears at both low and high engine speeds, checking for any notchiness, loose shifting, or any strange noises. Make sure you test the gearbox while you are stationary as well. You may find that the transmission is a bit stiff when cold, but it should loosen up once the car warms.

Synchro wear is a possibility, so check for any graunching or grinding on both upshifts and downshifts. If the synchro issues seem really bad, except to replace or rebuild the transmission in the near future. Higher mileage cars or those that have repeatedly been thrashed are more likely to suffer from synchro wear.

Another thing you can do is to try and find yourself a bit of an incline and see how the transmission and clutch performs with a hill start.

While Volvo claims a lifetime fill for the transmission fluid, it really should have been changed at some point. Around 120,000 km (75,000 miles) is a common mileage to replace the transmission fluid, but some owners like to do it much earlier for better piece of mind. It is a good idea to check the transmission fluid dipstick. Make sure the level and colour is good (see here for more).

Checking the Clutch

Depending on how the car is looked after and driven, the clutch could go on for miles and miles or it could fail quite quickly. A clutch that has had regular fluid changes will last a lot longer. Additionally, keeping the clutch pedal pressed down when not in use (riding the clutch) and other bad driving habits will significantly reduce the life of the clutch. Here are some of the main things to watch out for:

Clutch Engagement – The first step is to make sure the engagement is good. To do this put the Volvo V70 P2 you are inspecting into gear on a level surface and let the clutch out slowly. It should engage around 7 to 10 cm (2.5 to 4 inches) from the floor. Engagement that is early or too late indicates a problem.

Clutch Slippage – The best way to test for this problem is to shift into a gear that is too high for the speed you are going. You should notice that the engine bogs down a bit (don’t do this on a regular basis). The next thing to do is to accelerate. If you notice that the tachometer goes up out of relation to the speedometer and/or you notice jerkiness it suggests that the clutch is slipping.

Clutch Drag – Get the V70 Mk2 on a flat surface and press the clutch pedal to the floor (do this while you are stationary). Rev the car hard (once it is warm) and see If it moves. If the car does move, the clutch is not disengaging when you shift and parts will wear prematurely.

Clutch Shudder – This is usually noticeable when you accelerate from a stop. A small amount is perfectly normal, but an excessive amount is a sign that the release bearings need to be lubricated.

Automatic Transmission

2001 and 2002 V70 P2s had quite a lot of issues/complaints about the automatic transmissions fitted to them. More than a few of these cars have needed full transmission rebuilds/replacements, so be cautious if you are looking at an automatic V70 from these two years. The problem was a design issue and Volvo really wasn’t that interested in helping owners out.

Some owners had luck with reprogramming their transmissions and/or a drain and refill of the transmission fluid. However, there is no guarantee for this, so expect the worst and hope for the best. We personally feel it is best to avoid early V70 P2s and go for models produced from 2003 onwards.

Clunking noises could be a sign that the transmission is on its way out, especially when shifting into drive or reverse (sometimes when changing gears as well). While this is more of a problem on these earlier cars, it can happen on later models as well. Sometimes, the issue is not the transmission and is in fact the gearbox or motor mounts. Check when these were last replaced as they could be up for a replacement (video below for a bit more information).

Apart from the above, keep an ear out for any grinding, whirring or whining noises. Remember to test all of the transmission positions when stationary, and check how the gearbox acts under both low and high speed shifts. Also check for any big jolts or shudders, and see how the transmission kicks down.

Remember to check that the transmission fluid has been changed at around the 120,000 km (75,000 mile) mark as this is a sign that the owner has cared for their V70 P2.

Haldex AWD System

If the car is fitted with a Haldex AWD system make sure it has been serviced properly, with oil changes every 48,000 – 64,000 km (30,000 – 40,000 miles) or 3 to 4 years. Be very cautious if the system has not been serviced correctly as you could wind up with a wallet wounding experience soon after purchasing the car.

Bevel Gear Leak (AWD Models)

Watch out for a leak from the bevel/angle gear as if it goes dry you will destroy it. It contains very little fluid, so this can happen quite quickly.

Steering & Suspension

The suspension is one of the biggest problem areas on these cars, especially the front. A complete suspension refresh may be needed as early as around 130,000 km (81,000 miles) for severe cases, so watch out for the following:

  • Dipping and swerving when the brakes are applied
  • Excessive Rear-end squat during acceleration
  • Tipping during cornering
  • High speed instability
  • Delayed or longer stopping distances
  • Uneven tyre wear
  • Excessive bounce after hitting a bump or when pushing down on the suspension
  • Leaking fluid on the exterior of the shock/strut
  • Sagging or uneven suspension
  • Knocking, clunking or creaking sounds during a test drive – usually the front bushings which can be quite expensive to fix – take the car over some speed bumps
  • Rattles – drive over some bumps – there should be no noise from the suspension components (however, you may hear some rattles from something in the cabin).
  • Clicking sounds (especially at full lock) – usually a bad CV joint. However, clicking sounds may also indicate something like a bad wheel bearing as well

Don’t forget to visually inspect as many of the suspension and steering components as possible. Watch out for any leaks, grease around the CV joints, damage, etc. If the components on one corner/side look different to the other corners/side it may be a sign that the V70 P2 you are looking at has been in an accident. It is a good idea to bring along a torch/flashlight and a mirror to help inspect these components.

If the Volvo V70 you are looking at has aftermarket suspension make sure you are happy with its ride. Non-stock suspension can sometimes be setup a bit harsh, which can make driving on regular roads a bit uncomfortable.

Make Sure the Wheel Alignment is Good

Remember to check that the V70 Mk2 you are test driving runs straight with minimal wheel corrections. Test for this on a nice flat, straight section of road. If the wheel alignment is incorrect it can lead to excessive/uneven tyre wear and may make the driving experience less safe and enjoyable. Incorrect wheel alignment can also be a sign of bigger issues such as accident damage or more serious suspension problems.

Checking the Wheels & Tyres

Don’t forget to have a good look at the wheels and tyres to make sure they are in good condition. Expect the odd scuff and scrape, but any major damage to the wheels suggests that the V70 P2 has been owned by a careless driver.

Early AWD models without the second or third generation Haldex system need to have the same wheel size otherwise the VC (viscous coupling) could burn up.

If the second generation Volvo V70 you are looking at is running aftermarket wheels, check to see if they have the originals.  If they don’t ask for a discount as the originals will only add value to the car. Apart from all that, check the tyres for the following:

  • Amount of tread– Check how much tread is left on the tyres as if they need to be replaced soon you should try to get a discount on the V70 P2.
  • Uneven wear– Wear should be even between the right and left tyres. Additionally, make sure wear is even across the tyre itself (although the shoulders of the front tyres tend to wear much quicker than the rest of the tyre even with perfect alignment).
  • Brand – They should be from a good or well-reviewed brand – if they are from a poorly reviewed brand it suggests that the owner has cheaped out on maintenance.
  • Same tyre – in terms of tyre make, type and tread pattern on each axle (preferably on all four wheels) – mismatched tyres can lead to poor handling performance and may even be dangerous.

Brakes

Credit: Volvo

Give the brakes some abuse during the test drive. They should be more than adequate for road use, so if they feel weak or spongy there is an issue. The brakes should be tested under both light and hard braking conditions, with a few repeated high to low-speed runs being a good idea.

Keep an ear out for any squealing or rumbling sounds when the brakes are applied as this could indicate anything from worn/bad pads to disc issues and more.

Shaking or shuddering through the steering wheel suggests that the V70 P2 you are driving has warped discs that need to be replaced. This issue usually becomes first noticeably under high speed braking.

Seizing calipers don’t seem to be much of an issue like on some other cars, but it can still happen, so watch out for the following:

  • V70 pulls to one side (may even happen when the brakes are not in use)
  • Car feels low on power as if the parking/handbrake is on (could also be a sign of diff issues)
  • Brakes get extremely hot and produce a distinctive acrid smell and in some cases smoke
  • You find that the V70 P2 doesn’t want to move at all
  • Loud thud-like noise when pulling away for the first time

The brake booster/valves can also fail. It doesn’t seem to be too common, but watch out for a hissing sound from under the dash. The pedal may sink a bit as well until the vacuum pump catches up. All this can lead to rather erratic braking.

Like with the suspension and steering components, remember to visually inspect as many of the brake parts as you can get a look at.  If the pads and discs need to be replaced anytime soon make sure you get a discount on the vehicle or make the seller replace them for you. The brake fluid should have been replaced every 2 years or so.

Bodywork & Exterior

Credit: Volvo

Bodywork and paint problems can be an absolute nightmare to put right, so take your time going over the exterior. Here are some things to watch out for:

Accident Damage & Repairs

This is probably going to be your biggest concern when it comes to the body of a Volvo V70 Mk2. Many owners and sellers will lie and try to cover up accident damage. In some cases, people will even claim that their vehicle hasn’t been in an accident when it clearly has. Here are some of the main things to watch out for:

  • Misaligned panels or large panel gaps – Check that the bonnet lines up correctly and fits as it should. Additionally, check the bonnet catches as if they look new the car has probably been in an accident. You should also check the doors and the lights for any damage or signs of past damage.
  • Doors that drop or don’t close properly – If the doors drop or don’t open/close properly the V70 P2 you are inspecting may have been in an accident.
  • Inconsistencies such as waving, rippling or different coloured panels – Indicates a respray which may have been conducted as a result of accident damage or rust.
  • If the bonnet/hood looks like it is popped when it is not – This may indicate that the Volvo V70 you are inspecting at has been crashed into something (even a light knock can cause this problem).
  • Damage to the mounting supports for the headlights– This is very difficult to fix if the car has been in an accident, so watch out for this.
  • Bent or broken parts underneath the car – Check to see if everything is straight underneath the second generation Volvo V70 and watch out for any replaced parts. Take a good look at all the suspension, steering and exhaust components for damage.
  • Rust in strange locations – Could be a sign that the V70 P2 you are looking at has been in a crash or has some other sort of issue.
  • Paint runs or overspray – While this could be a factory issue, Volvo’s quality control is pretty good, so it is probably due to repair work.
  • Missing badges or trim – Could be due to repair work (body shop couldn’t find replacements) or a number of other things (stolen, etc.).

Don’t instantly dismiss a second generation Volvo V70 with accident damage unless it is/was clearly very severe. Accident damage that is light to moderate that has been repaired by a skilled panel beater/bodyshop is usually fine, and you can use it to get a discount on the vehicle.

If the owner/seller tries to cover up or lie about the accident it suggests that the problem is worse than first appears. Alternatively, if the owner can’t tell you much about the accident/damage it may have happened when a previous person owner the vehicle.

Do Volvo V70 P2s Rust?

The corrosion protection Volvo carried out on these cars is first rate, so rust really shouldn’t be too much of an issue, especially if the car has been well looked after. However, it is still worth checking for the problem, just to make sure. If you do find rust it is usually more serious than it appears on the surface, so watch out.

The main areas to watch out for are behind the rocker cover (get on the ground and look upwards), the wheel wells and arches, exhaust hangers, structures under the car, and inside the trunk/boot. Check out this owner’s experiences when it came to rust on their Volvo to see that serious rust problems can affect these cars.

Factors That Can Make Rust More Likely on a V70 P2

  • Vehicle has spent time in countries or areas with salted roads (UK, Parts of North America, etc.)
  • Car has spent time in countries or areas with very harsh winters
  • Vehicle is often parked/stored by the sea for significant periods of time
  • If the V70 Mk2 has always been kept outside (never garaged)
  • Accident damage (stone chips or more significant damage)
  • No underseal

Interior

Credit: Volvo

The interior is generally well built and shouldn’t cause too many issues unless the car has been neglected. As with any car of this age, expect the odd rattle, squeak and buzz from some of the interior trim when going down a rough road.

Take a good look at the seats for any rips, stains or scuffs. Leather seats can sag and crack, so see what sort of condition they are in. Check that the seats are firm and strong, and that all the adjustments work as intended. If the seats move during acceleration or braking it is incredibly dangerous and will be an MOT/WOF failure.

If you notice excessive amounts of wear on the seats, steering wheel, carpets, shifter and pedals for the mileage it may be a sign that the V70 has had a particularly hard life.

Don’t forget to check for any dampness and leaks. While there aren’t any known issues, leaks can occur. Check in the boot/trunk and all around the cabin. Feel the carpets and check for any water residue on the bottom of the floor mats.

Remember to have a look at the headlining above the driver’s seat. If it is a slightly different colour it may be a sign that the Volvo V70 P2 you are inspecting has been owned by a smoker. A smell test will also help you determine whether or not this is the case as well. The head lining can also sag and drop as well.

Electronics, Air Con, Etc.  

Credit: Volvo

The main thing to do here is to simply check that all of the switches, buttons, dials, etc. work as intended. Electrical problems can be annoying to fix, so make sure you are happy with everything.

Check that the radio/sound system works as intended and that the speakers aren’t producing a crackle.

Sometimes the sunroof or HomeLink can go a bit crazy, especially if the battery has been disconnected or drained. Locking and unlocking the car three or four times should hopefully fix this issue. If it does not, it may be a bigger problem.

Don’t forget to check that the air conditioning works as intended and that plenty of cold air comes out of the system. If it doesn’t, don’t let the seller convince you it just needs a re-gas as it may be something like the compressor (expensive fix).

If you notice “Alarm Service Required” it is probably the backup battery in the alarm system. Volvo usually replaces the whole siren if this happens, but a new battery should usually do the trick and will save you a bit of coin.

Don’t forget to check the warning lights on the dash both during engine start-up and while the car is running. If no lights appear during start-up the seller may have disconnected them to hide an issue. Lastly, take along an OBDII scanner or take the car to a Volvo specialist or dealer to have the codes read as there may be a hidden issue. Watch out for sellers who have cleared codes without fixing or investigating the cause.

General Car Buying Advice the for a Volvo V70 P2

Credit: Volvo

How to Get the Best Deal on a Second Gen V70

This information applies to both dealers and private sealers. Knowledge is power and it can save you a lot of money when purchasing a vehicle.

  1. Research heavily –  Prior to starting your search for a Volvo 70 Mk2, figure out what specs and condition you are happy with. Do you want a low mileage V70 R or are you looking for a diesel D5 and don’t mind a few more miles.
  2. Shop around – It is always best to shop around a bit before you make a purchase. There are loads of different V70 P2s out there in different levels of condition and mileage, so don’t limit yourself to one seller, dealer, area or auction platform.
  3. Go look at and test drive multiple V70 P2s – It is a good idea to test drive a many cars as possible, so you know what makes a good and what makes a bad second generation Volvo V70.
  4. Adjust your attitude – Never rush into a purchase. If you are desperate to buy a car you are more likely to get ripped off. Take your time when looking for a Volvo V70 P2 for sale and only go for promising looking cars.
  5. Use any issues with the car to your advantage –  Take a mental note of any issues you find with the vehicle. When it comes to discussing the price, use these problems to try and drive down the price. For example, if the car needs new tyres or brake pads make a point of it and try to get the seller to reduce the price.
  6. Don’t trust the owner –  While some owners/sellers are honest about their cars, many will lie to get a quick sale. Take in what the owner has to say but back it up with a thorough inspection.
  7. Go between sellers/dealers –  If you are looking at multiple cars, let the owner/seller know. This way they will know that you have other options and they may try to undercut the price.
  8. Be prepared to walk away –  If you are not happy with the deal, simply walk away. You may miss out on the car or the seller may get back to you with a better offer.

Mileage vs Condition 

Mileage vs condition is always a hot topic for debate, but we feel that it is always better to buy on condition and then on mileage. Lots of owners make the mistake of believing that they are preserving their car by not driving it. In reality, this is completely false and not driving a vehicle can actually do more damage than good.

Short distance trips do not allow the engine to warm up properly, which can lead to increased component wear and reduced engine life.

Rubber seals and plastic parts will fail regardless of mileage and can even deteriorate quicker on cars that don’t get used often. Letting a car sit will not prevent rust or stop the electronics from failing.

Service History and Other Documentation

Credit: Volvo

It is incredibly important to check any vehicle’s service history and any additional paperwork that goes along with it. While the servicing doesn’t need to be done at a dealer, it should be carried out by a competent Volkswagen specialist or mechanic (especially for major repair work).

The service history will give you a good idea of how the Volvo V70 P2 you are inspecting has been maintained. In addition to this, receipts and paperwork for modifications (if the car has any) can help you determine whether they have been done by an experienced tuner or a bad one.

If the owner can’t or won’t let you see the service history, you should probably pass on the vehicle. A complete service history will only add value to any vehicle your purchase and will make it easier to sell the car in the future.

Additionally, you can check websites such as CarFax (USA) and CarJam (NZ) for more information about the car you are thinking of purchasing. These sort of websites can be incredibly useful, but there is usually a cost associated with them.

Questions That You Should Ask the Seller/Owner 

  • How often do you drive the car?
  • When was the last service and who was it serviced by?
  • How much oil does it use?
  • What oil do you use in the car?
  • What parts have been replaced?
  • When were the coils, spark plugs, leads changed?
  • What’s the compression like?
  • What modifications have been made to the vehicle?
  • Has the vehicle overheated at any point or has the head gasket failed?
  • Has the car been in any major or minor accidents? Is so, what repairs were made?
  • Is there any money owing on the car?
  • Have you got any information on the previous owners and how they treated the vehicle?
  • How are the speakers
  • Is there any rust?
  • Has rust been removed at any point?
  • When were the brake pads replaced and have the calipers seized at any point in time?
  • Where do you store/park the car usually?

There are loads more questions you can ask the seller, but we feel these are some of the most important.

Things That Would Make Us Walk Away from a Mk2 Volvo V70

Here are some things that would make as walk away from one of these cars. While you may be happy with a vehicle with these problems, we are not.

  • Overheating problems or blown head gasket
  • Significant Crash Damage
  • Money owing on the car
  • Stanced
  • Modifications with no paperwork or carried out by a poorly reviewed tuner
  • Excessive amounts of power
  • Bad compression
  • Bad resprays
  • Significant rust problems
  • Engine swaps with non-standard engines
  • Significant track use
  • Major engine or transmission issues
  • Owner who is not forthcoming with information (could be trying to hide something)
  • Turbo issues

Notes on the Owner 

The owner is one of the most important things to think about when viewing any vehicle. You need to ask them plenty of questions when inspecting their Volvo V70 P2 (however, don’t trust their answers completely). Remember, it is your problem if you wind up buying an absolute lemon. Here are some things to watch out for.

  • How long have they owned the vehicle? If it is less than 6 months it tends to suggest that the car needs major work done to it that they can’t afford. It also could be a sign that they deal cars as well.
  • Do they thrash the car when it is cold or continually launch the vehicle? If so, you are better to walk away.
  • Why are they selling the vehicle? Could be a genuine reason or they may be trying to offload their problem onto an unsuspecting buyer.
  • What sort of area do they live in? Is it a good area or a complete dump?
  • How do they respond when you ask them simple questions?
  • Do they know anything about the V70 and the model they are selling.
  • What can they tell you about previous owners?
  • Do they have lots of cars on their drive? If they do it may mean they are a dealer.
  • What is their reaction when you ask them about money owing on the car? Tell them you are going to do a check and see how they respond.
  • What is their reaction to you asking for details for HPi check?
  • How do they react if you ask to do a compression test on the vehicle?
  • How do they respond when you ask them to show you the service history and paperwork for the car?

If you get a bad feeling about the owner, you are better off moving onto another second generation Volvo V70.

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