Are there any skeletons in the closet about an XC90 2005?

edited September 10 in General


I am considering buying a 2005 XC90 which has done 212,000 km. for $2000.

It has apparently had its transmission replaced, a new timing belt and I'll have to pay $900- for the turbo seals to be replaced or a new turbo........unsure.

Can anyone please tell me if there is anything in particular I need to be wary of in such a car?

2.5 months ago I had a dreadful accident in which I lost control of my lovely XC90 on a badly hacked up bush road at night, went into a ditch and hit a tree at 80-100 km/hr. The dog was on the front passenger seat and her airbag opened but mine did not. Might that truly have been due to sophisticated sensors detecting I was wearing a seat belt whilst my dog was not or was it just bad that mine did not deploy, please?

I feel I owe my dog's and my lives to the fact we were in an XC90, so want another one. I've been told that since their release, there has not been a single fatality.

Much appreciated.



  • jamesincJames @jamesinc Oz Volvo Ice Fortress

    Transmissions are usually the main offenders. If it was replaced recently, it's probably fine though.

    If it's an AWD XC90, the AWD system is sometimes left in a non-functional state and you're effectively getting a FWD car. Worth checking (and looking for AWD servicing in the logbooks). I'm not sure the easiest way to check AWD systems, someone else on here might know. If it were me I'd probably jack the car up and check that the rear wheels spin when the car is running.

    212,000km isn't too much for a whiteblock motor, it should be fine if it's been taken care of.

    Another common issue is that the PCV system is degraded or clogged and needs to be replaced. If you're getting the turbo replaced it would be a good time to replace the PCV system also (maybe $250 + labour). The PCV system is designed to allow pressurised gases in the bottom of the engine to escape and be drawn back into the intake to be burned safely. When it clogs, those gases are unable to escape and they end up forcing their way past the pistons, creating a condition known as blow-by. This presents itself as oil smoke from the exhaust when accelerating.

    If you've owned an XC90 before, my advice would be to take it for a good test drive and just check that it drives and holds the road the way you expect, that the gearbox shifts smoothly but crisply, and that it doesn't flare out when changing gears. Flare-out is most noticeable when your foot is to the floor, and as the gearbox changes gear, the engine RPM spikes up for a moment then drops back down. This augurs a lot of wear in your gearbox.

  • Which airbags go o6f depends on where the impact is, not on seatbelt use. If yours didn't go off, it's most likely because the vehicle sensors didn't get triggered in a way that would cause it to deploy.

  • Hmmm...I'd find that odd given I ran straight into the tree lol but thank you.

  • James @jamesinc

    Thank you for your suggestion to test drive the car. Regrettably as I have diabetes 1, Vic Rds suspended my license having given me 48 hours in which to submit three reports from a GP, an endocrinologist and a cardiologist. I cannot even MAIL a letter from Central Vic to Victoria in 48 hours let alone get three appointments, wait for them to come around, attend them (without a car), wait for the Drs to fill out the reports and then return them to Melbourne within the aforementioned 48 hours. Subsequently I ain't got no usable license to be able to test drive the car.

  • Ex850RSnoopy @Ex850R Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    I would call or message vicroads on facebook to get quick response as of course this is not possible in these times and the doctors do all that over the phone and have special clinic set ups to see peeps that have to be SEEN in person. Good luck and best of luck with the diabetes , its a battle.

  • Many thanks indeed for your well wishes. Am I to supposed that you have diabetes?


  • Ex850RSnoopy @Ex850R Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    Hiya Jackie , thankfully its one thing i dont have! Other stuff yes....But close to me in others of extended family and friends,it is a scourge .


  • Oh dear Les,

    I am very sorry to hear you have a myriad issues you're juggling.

    I have many resources and know brilliant holistic healers, if you were ever interested I'd be happy to speak to you and see if I know something that might be of assistance.

    G-d bless,


  • Brehon47Tiny @Brehon47 Western Sydney
    edited September 13

    NSW extended the deadline immediately I emailed the relevant licence authority, Emails are essential support for any urgent issue as they establish the time & date of your contact and allow a quick appraisal. If there is an emergency before you clarify your situation you can drive but no side trips!

    If you genuinely did not receive prior notice beforehand it is procedural y unfair - and appellable.

    Check the website of the Vic Roads licence authority for their forms and complete a formal application. Call Monday to get the name & title of someone in the process/agency and mark your email for their attention.

    The letter of suspension is likely helpful in tracking a named person as a start point albeit it was probably a robo-advice.

    Tempus fugit so get going asap tomorrow.


  • Many thanks indeed.

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