Can a 2005 Volvo go 300K Miles easily?

Nov 15, 2019
Answer: Yes. So my son's 2005 Volvo V70R passed the 300K mark recently and figured it was time to celebrate, share some things about this car, and review these Rs in general (We have three in the family, the others are an 04 with 225K and an 06 with 259K). First and foremost, this car doesn't look like it has 300K miles on it. Gorgeous inside and out. Very rare color combo: Magic Blue with Atacama (basically a shade of orange) interior. Absolutely gorgeous, just a handful imported in that combo. Atacama leather was $1500 option when new, roughly half what my son paid for the car!

History: my son is second owner...coming up on 5 years of ownership. Bought with 235K miles. Check engine light was on due to PCV system hose being cracked. Previous owner took reasonably good care of it. Regular Dino oil changes at probably 5K miles or so by prior owner. Not much in the way of service records.

Mech Specs: 2.5L I5 engine, high pressure turbo, 300 hp, all wheel drive.

Seats/Interior: Amazingly comfortable, supportive, and durable. The Rs have upgraded sport bolstered seats, leather door panels, dash, sport steering wheel, console compartment. Very modern and good looking interiors for a 15 y.o. car. Very good stereo system especially with the factory subwoofer.

Brakes: Brembo aluminum calipers, big discs from the factory

Suspension: it is lowered from factory vs. regular V70 and includes electronically adjustable Ohlin/Monroe dampers. Not a big fan of electronic shocks due to high cost and limited availability. Adjustable damping from Comfort, Sport, Advanced. The damping is controlled as part of the 4-C system, which supposedly dynamically adjusts to optimize handling and is integrated into dynamic stability traction control system.

Engine: Engine runs great, smooth, good power, quiet. No oil leaks externally other than the oil cooler needing new O-rings,but that was easy fix. It is using oil which we think are the turbo seals primarily. That's the only thing that indicates it has high mileage. No smoke from the exhaust. Regular oil changes helped this engine for sure, but the conventional oil changes did not help the PCV system. PCV system was pretty sludgy but not blocked. I believe dino oil did not help the turbo seals. Typical oil changes under my son's ownership have been Pennzoil Platinum and Mobil 1 at 5K OCIs using Mahle, Champ, and Carquest/Wix filters. Been using 0W-40 lately.

Exhaust: original exhaust. Very high quality. Guessing it will go another 5+ years easily. The muffler looked like it was rusting badly, outer layer was coming off, but turns out to be just the first layer (sacrificial?)revealing a nice shiny layer beneath (same thing with the other two family V70Rs, so this is not an outlier).

Body: Fantastic. Solid. Heavy. Extremely rust resistant. The rust resistance is why i love Volvos so much. Underside is very clean and well protected from the factory. There is some rust JUST starting at some of the seams underneath, partly attributed to spending much of its early life close to the coast and NE winters. But any rust that starts on these cars progresses in slow motion. Doors are bank-vault like.

Performance: Good acceleration and handling. It wants to be a sports wagon, which it is, but it's heavy, so it is not really nimble. It's got a bit of turbo lag but pulls strong after under way. These cars at at home on the highway. It has an Aisin 5 speed automatic, and due to transmission limitations, the first two gears are torque limited to 258 lb-ft vs. full engine capability of 295 lb-ft. Brakes are fantastic with the big Brembos.

Problems: Nothing really extraordinary. The usual PCV system replacement, spring seats for the front struts, front LCA bushings, sway bar links, caliper rebuilds, and finally needed new front axles recently to replace the originals due to the boots cracking. New throttle body couple years ago. An Ignition coil went bad around ~260K....all were replaced. Still has original ball joints.

Transmission shifts nicely, but does have a hard downshift on occasion when coming to a stop. Several trans fluid D&Fs with Mobil 3309, Toyota T-IV, and now Aisin fluid has cleaned it up, helped the downshift thing, and has improved the shifting in general. I don't think the original owner ever changed the fluid. I recall the original fluid coming out of the transmission looking like brown water. Quite sure that a fluid change or two earlier in it's life would have helped. Still waiting for the transmission to explode since the fluid was changed for the first time after 235K miles. LOL.

Overall we truly enjoy the practicality, reliability, and comfort of these fast sport wagons. Really glad the Swedes let their hair down and built these unique higher performance cars. With continued proper care, we are expecting to get 400K miles out of each of the three V70Rs!



My co worker have over 700k km on her Volvo v70, my father have almost 400k on his S80. Extremely rust resistant indeed.
We just sold our 2002 V70 2.4 NA, with 244k miles to a friend that needed reliable transportation on the cheap.

Other than timing belt/water pumps and a front end rebuild at 200k, repairs have only been a few issues with door locks, latches, power lock motors. The engine and transmission was flawless.

Paint, leather seats, and overall built quality were excellent.
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Nice looking Volvo. I especially like the caramel interior.

The bodies hold do up exceptionally well. My wife's car has zero rust. My service history almost mirrors yours as well.

Funny about the exhaust. 2 brackets rusted off on hers. Volvo made 2 clamp on replacements for her model, but only 1 is readily available here. The very end is being held up with some livestock electric fence wire. You can't tell unless you're under the car and it doesn't rattle. Lol.
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My brother in law is a Volvo guy....he's had 2 of them and pines for another.
The only negative that I recall is the PCV system (flametrap) that is expensive to fix*.....everything
else (positive) that's been said...seems true.

*I have read that if synthetic oils are used and a sensible OCI is followed this issue is far less likely to occur.
Interesting, I really thought I'd come into this thread and not believe, but I leave a believer.

For a car to last like that, relatively rust free in New England, is quite a testament to a great vehicle. Few cars survive New England winters unscathed...BMW comes to mind, very rarely do I see them rust, but of course they have plenty of other issues. Sounds like Volvo is a winner.

Wonder how the newer Volvo's are 2012 and up? I'm looking for a used SUV for the wife...would like something nice without the "nice" problems.
A car buddy friend has 2005 R also along with GTI 20th anni and does all DIY. He loves/adores the car but said its very expensive car to own(relative to VW) even wrenching yourself I believe due to specific R bits(mentioned about $5k in parts).
I found myself nodding my head in assent as I read through your post.

Yep, the Volvo P2 chassis is a solid one. The I-5 engine is robust and durable. It's weak spot is that PCV system, but properly cleaned out, and with a better oil spec, that is easy to manage. I've done several UOA on various oils in the cars. They are all good, as long as you get an oil that's formulated for long drain interval. MB 229.5, for example, or ACEA A3/B4. I've used, with good UOA, Mobil 1 0W40, Pennzoil Ultra Euro in 5W30 and 5W40, and Castrol 0W40 and Amsoil Signature Series 0W30. When I did the PCV system replacement, I dropped the oil pan (sump, Volvo calls it) and cleaned out that block passage with a rifle brush.

I've done the timing belt on these cars several times. Finally bought the crank pulley hold tool. So much easier with that vs. my fabricated holder. The engine mounts are a 60-80K miles wear item, it seems, and I didn't like the polyurethane upper mount, too much vibration, so I went back to rubber. A poly lower transmission mount works great, though, and is far more durable than the OEM rubber.

Your car has the better AW-55-50 Transmission. The vintage in all three of my cars required valve body surgery. With that flaw addressed, the transmissions are holding up well in all three. I replaced or rebuilt the valve body in all three and added an external cooler, thermostat and filter. They get regular fluid changes (complete changes) every 30,000 miles. The fluid is still red/clear but given the weakness of the 2001-2002 AW-55, I want the fluid in good shape. I have used, with success, Mobil 3309, Toyota T-IV, Valvoline Import Multi-vehicle and Amsoil Signature series multi-vehicle.

I used the Amsoil for the car that's in Vermont now, reckoning that it would benefit the most from the lower pour point. As long as JWS-3309 (Toyota T-IV) is met, the fluid will work. If you're interested in my transmission set up - I posted a few pictures in this forum: https://[URL=""][/URL] If your cars have made it to 300K without additional filtration and cooling, then clearly, my system is overkill...but this wouldn't be BITOG without a bit of OCD overkill...

Front suspensions get tired about every 80-100K miles. Those lower control arm bushings are a PITA - I've taken to just replacing the whole arm, rather than align and press the bushing. IPD makes an upgraded arm, and they've held up well. Better than the factory ones, which have become crazy expensive. You're stuck with that Monroe/electric set up. Those are pricey...

You've also got the same angle gear as my wife's XC. I've pulled the angle gear, replaced the collar sleeve, re-sealed the gear and added a drain plug. A couple of photos here: https://[URL=""][/URL] That's worked very well. The gear is tight and dry now. No leaks. Allows me to change the oil easily (as you know, it's a pain otherwise) and the magnetic plug picks up any particles. You might consider that. The angle gear lives in a tough place - lots of heat from the turbo.

The 2001 V70T5 in my sig is actually my son's car. A graduation present. I bought it with 75,000 miles on it in 2018. I had the CEM rebuilt by XEMODEX in Canada as I was getting some odd anomalies in VIDA. That fixed them. Rebuilt the suspension, including Bilsteins, balljoints, tie rods, LCAs, strut mounts and spring seats. New brakes with drilled rotors, stainless hoses, ceramic pads. Transmission got a new GM valve body, which required a bit of harness modification and a solenoid swap. I fitted an oil cooler, thermostat and big external filter mount to the transmission. I used new cooling line hoses. The engine got a new timing set, radiator and heater core hoses, vacuum hoses, water pump, coils, plugs, injectors and PCV. I dropped the pan, but found, to my surprise, that the PCV passage in the block was quite clean. IPD cat back exhaust and downpipe. I found a set of redone 17" Volvo wheels ( Propus style, made by BBS) and out a set of 235/45R17 Michelin Pilot AS 3+. I kept the original 16" wheels on which he mounted winter tires. I fitted an R-model exhaust manifold. The turbo got a new CBV and seals, and I adjusted the waste gate back to factory spec (they get lazy with age). With those updates, and the lighter weight, I am willing to bet that it will hang with your heavier R-model.

His car is quick, quiet, comfortable, economical, with great brakes and good handling.

I really like the P2 chassis. The other two cars have over 200K and run perfectly. The paint and interior look great on both. Volvo built a durable, practical car in the P2. All the room of an SUV, but with the driving dynamics and fuel economy of a car. They don't rust. They hold up.

I'm a fan. A big fan.

So, congrats on three great cars.

P.S. my sons car:

[Linked Image]
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Originally Posted by MCompact
I call BS; everyone knows that only Toyotas, Crown Vics, and Grand Marquis can go 300k miles.

I heard the wagon version is called a hearse...
Or Pontiac Vibe...

Not everybody likes wagons or hatchbacks. Especially in performance package :p

OP, congrats and please don't be a stranger. Proper care for a vehicle without even being OCD.

P.S: didn't we had some older posts about the 3 custom V8 performance brick wagon Volvos which one was in (RIP) Paul Newman's possession?

Crazy P.S.: i left many "sport" cars in my rearview mirror with my stock AT Toyota Yaris (1.5L engine). I was just driving the posted speed. Riddle me this: why can't you drive at least posted speed if you have a more than capable car???
Great cars. There are three in my family. Do what Astro14 recommends above and you'll be fine.

At our Volvo Club of Southern CT meet last summer a member had one with just over 450,000 miles. He changes the oil every 10,000 miles with M1 10W30 HM. Regular AT drain and fills. No issues.
Thank you all for your advice and shared enthusiasm. I have added a photo of the 3 Rs after undergoing washing/waxing a coupe weekends ago. L to R are the 05, 04, and 06. In response to a few comments and questions, i offer the following:

What's next after 300K? My son just picked up a 2010 S80 V8 with a little over 100K, that's what's next!!!! : ) Engine/exhaust sounds fantastic! It just needs to be registered, which will take a while due to DMV closures, etc. He is confident in driving the R around CT where he lives, and we certainly don't have any concerns with it breaking down other than not knowing when the fuel pump is near its end. Other than that, the car is very solid. Maybe we'll do a pre-emptive fuel pump replacement?

PCV system: yes they are a pain. We DYI them. Fortunately you should only have to do it once. I failed to mention that we replaced all the coolant/heater hoses when we did the PCV in this 05. Thanks for the advice to pull the oil pan and clean out the flame trap passages. We did not do that, but maybe we should have. As a note of what synthetic oil does in terms of cleanliness, my 06 V70R just underwent the PCV system replacement (did it over my winter break in the garage). This 06 (with over 255K) was fed almost exclusively synthetic and oil was changed by previous owners at 5K intervals. Very clean PCV system in the 06. Very little sludge build-up.

On the 2004 V70R (bright silver one), which was mine, but is now owned by my other son, it is at 225K, was a Volvo CPO. Only major issues we've had with that car was the Angle Gear whining (which was thankfully covered by the CPO warranty), and the CEM which we had to replace with a XEMODEX unit a couple years ago. Underbody/rest of body has Zero rust. Only things that are rusting are the strut bodies and a couple brackets. Slightly lowered on IPD springs.

My 2006 V70R (dark silver) got the full T-belt, WP, coolant, coolant/heater hoses, some motor mounts, SNABB big intercooler and intake hoses, plugs, PCV system replacement this past Dec/Jan. With 259K on it, i have no reservations about taking it on long trips. Slightly lowered on IPD springs.

All in all, great cars. I'll probably take ownership of my son's 05 when the S80 V8 gets registered.