COAL #45 2008 Volvo V70 – The Hearse

In October of 2019 I was itching for something to “flip” again. I had sold the 940 Turbo a few months back and had been saving up to get something a bit newer. I was not sure what I was looking for, but as always I was searching the classified ads.

I stumbled across a very poorly written ad. The seller did not put any info on the car, just two poorly taken pictures. She was asking $11,000 a 2008 V70 with only 55,000 miles. It was out of my budget at the time, so I moved on. A few weeks later I saw the car again, this time with more pictures, and a lower price of $7,000. I messaged on the car, and got some hit-and-miss info on it. The seller was an in-home health aide that helped with an elderly lady.  The elderly lady was preparing to move into a long term care facility, and leaving her condo and belongings to the seller. The seller did not need the wagon so they listed it for sale. Funny enough, the elderly lady went out and bought a brand new V90, but her kids made her take it back because they did not want her driving anymore (I guess that got them cut out of the will!).

The car was originally used to go back and forth between the elderly lady’s and her husband’s home in St. Louis, and their winter home in Florida. The health aide told me she would take the car in every single month for a check up. There was nothing that was not done on this car that wasn’t done at the Volvo dealer. I checked all the documents the lady kept neatly, and it’s true, once a month they would do the 21 point inspection. As she got older the car got driven less and less, and somewhat neglected. I told the seller I would give them $6,700 for the car as long as it checked out. She assured me the tires were new, and it was great.

My wife and I left on a Friday after work, and stayed the night in STL to get the car the next morning. When we got to the car, I immediately noticed the tires were not new, and appeared to be from 2008. I checked the date codes, and was disappointed to find this. Once I started up the car, the dash lit up like the Griswolds’ house. My heart sank, but I took it out for a drive anyway. The seller had lied saying no lights were on, and the tires were new, so when I got back I told the seller that it was not represented as such. The tire pressure service light was on (usually just needs a sensor), blind spot camera service required (no idea on that one), and maintenance light. All of these seemed easy to fix with some money. The seller apologized, and we agreed to $6,000 to allow for new tires, and whatever it needed.

Once we got home, I was able to reset the service light, as the dealer did in fact service the car before I bought it, but forgot to turn it off. I threw on some new tires, and it needed two pressure sensors. For the blind spot service light, I was stumped. Volvo was one of the first auto manufactures to incorporate blind spot warning lights on their cars. This also meant some archaic technology. Unlike today’s cars where they usually use radar sensors mounted in the taillights, Volvo used cameras mounted below the driver side mirror. That sounds great at first except cameras freeze up, or detect raindrops as cars. I did a ton of research as to what would cause this message to display on the dash, I even called the Volvo dealer to ask what they normally do. Their response, replace the mirror and camera. No thanks. Come to find out, the heating element over time starts to slide from around the camera, into the camera’s view point. Unfortunately, you can only access so much of the camera once the mirror is off, and once this happens you have to replace the mirror. So I sourced a mirror from eBay for $50 and took the camera off that, and replaced mine. It was like new, and never had an issue after that.

The car felt, smelled, and looked brand new. With only 55,000 miles it was practically a new car. I drove the car for several months debating on whether or not I wanted to sell it. I was able to load a Craftsman tool chest into the back of the wagon with no issues. I suspect I could have put two more in the back, it was that roomy. Not to mention the power tailgate was an added bonus. My wife loved this car despite it being a wagon. The seats were Volvo comfy, and the car was very comfortable to drive.

The only issue I had with the car was its front and rear parking sensors. They seemed very sensitive, for instance I could pull out of my driveway, and they would go off like crazy. Or if it was raining, and I came to a stop light, they would go off because of the raindrops. The car also came equipped with Volvo’s early keyless entry. There were a few times where the car would think the key was missing from the car, and required me to insert the key into the slot. I tried battery replacements, even placing the key into the cup holder next to the transmitter, and no luck. Oh well, just really an annoyance, nothing wrong with the car necessarily.

My wife and I opted to take the wagon to Kansas City one weekend for a getaway instead of her Outback. It was supposed to snow Sunday afternoon, but I figured that we could leave early enough Sunday to beat it. Well like usual, we woke up Sunday to find an inch already on the ground, and accumulating fast. We jumped in the Volvo and as we got farther into KC it got worse, much worse. Cars were all over in the ditch, trucks were stuck on the interstate, but the Volvo never even spun a tire. I guess the sheer weight of the car helped plow through the snow once we got going. When we made it to Harrisonville the snow was done, and the roads were just wet.

Like I usually do, I got the itch to sell and make a bit of money. I listed the car for quite a bit more than what I paid for it, but a notch below book. My phone would not stop ringing on it. People were in love with this low mile wagon! I was excited, because this meant that I could show the car, and choose who would take care of it best. Turns out, the first guy was a Volvo nut like myself, and offered me asking. Later we ended up making the deal, and I see it driving around town still.

Bad picture, but had to share what is left of the Monroney!

It was not an exciting car to own by any means, but I loved that about it. You do not see many of this generation V70 simply because they were poor sellers. No one wanted wagons at this time. I am glad that people now though are coming back to the wagon craze. After I sold it, I felt a little sad, but on to the next one!