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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I'm seeking advice on a 1999 S70 AWD Turbo I'm looking at. It has 150,000 miles, and it's the sedan.

I've read everything I can about it, is there anything I need to be worried about or look for? Timing belt, headlight switch, AWD systems? Is this a bad model?

I'm totally new to Volvos, I'd greatly appreciate any help or advice.

Thanks a bunch!!

Scott
 

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99 was the first year for the Electonic Throttle (Drive-by-wire). This was a fairly big issue on these cars. 94% failure rate by 100k miles. And when they fail, it isn't exactly an easy process to swap one out. I just did mine.

Volvo had a Recall/Service Letter for this issue, where they would give an extended warranty for it for 10 years/200k miles. But, seeing as yours is a 99, it's outside of that window. There is a company in Canada that rebuilds the ETM with more reliable parts, I just sent mine to them and so far am very happy. Go to: www.fixyouretm.com

Other things to worry about are the AWD system. It's a very similar system to the Subaru. As with most AWD systems, when you have a tire failure of some sort, you cant just replace the tire, or two tires....you need to replace the set. Otherwise you'll be putting undo stress on the differentials. So I'd make sure that all the tires on the car are at least matching, not only in tread depth, but also brand/model. Also, with AWD cars, it's a good idea to rotate your tires more frequently than other cars, but there's no way to tell if this was done on a used car, especially if they were clever enough to put new tires on.

A full service history on the car would be a good idea. Have you Carfaxed it?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Benjamin,

Wow, lots of info there. Well, the seller is almost certainly a 'curbstoner,' as he bought it to sell for profit, he told me so. He has no history or service records. We have a fairly reputable and very knowledgeable Non-Dealer Volvo shop here in town. He is more than willing to look at it and review recall history, full diagnostic, look at the awd, etc.....

I called the seller to arrange this (at my cost, of course), and he won't call me back. Hmmm........

Thanks again,

Scott
 

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Personally, I think I'd steer clear, but I haven't seen it in person/driven it.

Is AWD a must? Based on my personal experience, my folks had a 96 850 with an automatic, that they never really had any issues with. They sold it with just under 200k miles on it. And I had a 98 S70 T5 SE with a 5speed, which was just a great car. It was quiet, comfortable, quick and I miss it dearly. The engine was so smooth, you'd have thought it was powered by Cool Whip. I didn't have to worry about the additional stuff with the AWD and VVT, and I didn't have to deal with the service issues that the extra computer stuff seems to cause from the 99 and newer.

I kind of alluded to it before, but we've got a 99 XC70 right now. And it's ok, but we've gone through the issue with the Electronic Throttle Module, which was a pain in the butt. And in the interest of AWD longevity, we replaced a set of tires that had more than 50% of the tread left after my wife destroyed one. And there've been a few other gremlins, that I never had to put up with on the 98 T5. And, it just has never seemed to run as smoothly as my 98 did, or have the kind of power/fuel economy that I would kind of expect it to have. I don't think my expectations are too high either....I know it's a LPT.

Also, on a sidenote, if it were a 2000 x70, they have a 5 speed automatic that I guess isn't nearly as good as the 4 speed auto from the previous years.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Interesting again. Well, he just called me to schedule an appointment for a check-up. PM Sent to Benjam83....... Oh, and FYI, yeah, I drive in snow most of the winter, surrounded by mountains that have frequent passage issues. AWD/4WD make life worth living on those days and trips.
 

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As with any purchase I would look for the owner to provide a maintenance history and have the car inspected. I agree I would stay away from AWD as it is another mechanical component to add to the complexity of any car. But hey if you are in a snow belt you may need it!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I agree. Front wheel drive suffices for most driving conditions where I live, but the mountain passes frequently/almost all winter long have mandatory chains, unless you have AWD/4WD. -- Front wheel drive can get through the vast majority of these storms and passes, but the few incapable drivers (ok, maybe majority incapable/inexperienced) make the State checkpoints unswerving in the chain requirements.

I've taken Ben's sage advice and I'm staying away from early Volvo AWD systems. Thanks again for the help, I truly appreciate it.

Scott
 
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