Buying a Used Volvo XC90 – Things to Check

2023 Volvo XC90

 Buying a used car comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. For once, buying used will save you a ton of money because most premium cars such as the Volvo XC90 are known to depreciate heavily after a few years of use. Moreover, buying used is also going to allow you to get lower insurance rates, financial flexibility, and great choice.

On the other hand, buying a used car means that you will not be getting a new car. It also means that you are not going to get a warranty (in most cases) and that you can never really know if something is wrong with the car. So, if you are in the market for a used Volvo XC90, be sure to read our “Buying a used Volvo XC90- Things to check“ article!

The first thing you need to look for is service history and look if the car has been properly maintained throughout its lifetime. You should also look for issues in a few areas where the XC90 has been less than ideal such as the electricals, the brakes, water leaks, oil consumption issues, and suspension issues.

The best thing you can do is do a full-on pre-purchase inspection that is going to outline all the potential problems with your specific XC90 and will give you a broad understanding of what is going to need work in the near future.

You might also want to check our post about Volvo XC90 problems, and if there are any years to avoid when buying a Volvo XC90.

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Service History

If possible, you should always insist on a clean service history for any car, especially one that is as complex as the XC90. Be sure to look if all the frequent service intervals have been properly carried out and if the previous owner used original replacement parts if something was replaced.

Only going for cars that were serviced at Volvo dealerships or other licensed workshops is also a plus. Make sure that the previous owner didn’t neglect the car in any area, check for any signs of weird repairs, and try to get all the receipts and all other usable information on how the previous owner maintained the car.

Electrical Issues

The Volvo XC90 has been notorious for electrical issues ever since it came out, so be sure to inspect all the features and parts that are known to fail. These include the Central Electronic Module which can suffer from corroded grounds or faulty connections.

Also be sure to check the A/C, to see if it properly cools and warms up the car. Check all of the power windows, power locks, the sunroof opening and closing, the headlights, the taillights, and especially the power-adjustable seats as these are known to fail on quite a few of these.

Brakes Issues

The brakes on the XC90 have also been a pain throughout many model years, so be sure to check the engagement of the brakes while driving the car. After a test drive, go ahead and inspect the brake lines, how much life is left on the pads, and if any of the components have corroded.

Check for any signs of rotor warping or damage as these can cause your brakes to fail which is not something you want on a big, huge SUV. Lastly, don’t overlook the parking brake as you want to check if it engages immediately and if it does so a few times in a row at the very least.

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Water Leaks

It is said that some 2015-2018 Volvo XC90 models are known to suffer from water leaks at the top of the windshield near the rearview mirror and on the C-pillar in the rear cargo area. Sure, these issues aren’t too common, but can drastically affect the value of the car, so be sure to test this out by washing the car or driving it through the rain.

These usually tend to occur if the car was parked on a decline during heavy rain, and if the windscreen does leak, the water can get into your dashboard electrics and cause a whole load of trouble.

Oil Consumption Issues

If an engine burns too much oil during operation, it means that the gaskets and the seals in the engine internals are worn out. This problem is serious as it can starve your engine of oil if you are not aware of it, but it can also cause misfires if too much oil enters the combustion chamber.

These problems are mostly associated with higher mileage XC90s, so be sure to do a consumption test.

Suspension Issues

If the XC90 you are looking at has an air suspension system fitted to it, make sure to test it out and see if the car is able to maintain a specific height when selected. If the air suspension system fails or has a leak, it can be a really expensive system to repair/replace.

FAQ Section

Is the Volvo XC90 a Good Used Car?

The 2nd generation of the Volvo XC90 is an excellent used car which is probably why so many people are interested in buying one. Given its size and space, the XC90 is a really good family car because it is comfortable, safe, and still fairly luxurious.

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Just be sure to check as many things as you can before buying it, and if the owner is reluctant to let you check the car thoroughly, it’s best to skip it altogether.

Which Volvo XC90 Should I Buy?

Even though it is more complex and more expensive, a Volvo XC90 Recharge PHEV is likely the best one to go for, but only if you are not after an excessively high-mileage example. These are really cheap to run and they cost little when it comes to taxes due to their low CO2 emissions.

Moreover, they are also the most powerful models you can go for while also being more efficient compared to other cars with similar power outputs.

Should I Buy the Inscription Volvo XC90 or the Momentum XC90?

The Volvo XC90 Inscription trim is designed to be the top-spec model which means that it gets stuff the Momentum does not. These include stuff such as ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, real textured wood trim, and ambient lighting.

Marko Mikulic

Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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