Common problems with Volvo C70

The Volvo C70 is a premium executive Swedish convertible/coupe that spawned two generations before it stopped production in 2013. The first generation C70 was in production between 1997 and 2005 and is available either as a coupe or a soft-top convertible. The second generation of the C70 was in production between 2005 and 2013 and is only available as a hardtop convertible.

The C70 seems to be fairly problematic because of its complex convertible construction and because not all that many people are willing to maintain it well enough. The most common issues associated with the C70 are issues with the roof mechanism, the turbocharger, cooling issues, oil leaks, and electronics.

The first generation of the C70 is now 25 years old which means that many of these are experiencing issues associated with old age as well. All in all, the C70 can be a worthwhile consideration, but only if all the maintenance is done right.

The second generation of the C70 seems to fare a bit better but is still under average when it comes to reliability, especially when compared to newer Volvo models.

Volvo C70 – Roof mechanism issues

Many Volvo C70 owners are complaining that the roof mechanism starts to cause issues even before the car reaches any significant amount of miles. The issue is primarily due to a fault with the micro switches that control the roof mechanism. As such, the roof tends to close slowly, or not at all.

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Furthermore, the roof is known to leak on the 1st generation model and this is mostly down to worn out and clogged seals and drains. These can be taken care of by constantly cleaning these components, but if you fail to do so early enough, you are likely going to have to replace these components completely.

Volvo C70 – Turbocharger issues

Both generations of the Volvo C70 are known to suffer from turbocharger-related issues. If you spot blue or black smoke coming from the exhaust, chances are that your turbocharger is to blame. Most Volvo specialists believe that the turbocharger is able to last a long time, but only if maintained properly.

If not, you will be forced to invest in brand new turbochargers which can be a really expensive fix. Common symptoms associated with a faulty turbocharger are also lack of power, inconsistent acceleration and whistling sounds coming from under the hood.

Volvo C70 – Cooling issues

Many Volvo C70 owners complain about their cars experiencing overheating due to either a faulty pump, a faulty thermostat, or a leak somewhere in the cooling system. Some of these manifest by slow and consistent increases in engine operating temperature, others are communicated to the driver via the failing thermostat warning light.

Moreover, some owners have complained about cooling bubbling and lots of white smoke being pumped from under the hood. If this indeed does happen, your car is overheated and you should park the car up and call for roadside assistance.

 Volvo C70 – oil leaks

The Volvo C70 is now a 25-year-old car and the very youngest C70 models on the road are now almost 10 years old. This means that many of these have accumulated lots of miles on the clock so it’s no wonder that they are consuming higher amounts of oil. However, sometimes this issue is directly down to an oil leak.

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The Volvo C70 oil leaks tend to happen around the seals and hoses that connect the oil tank to the engine. These can be taken care of by simply readjusting these components or by completely replacing them. Either way, oil leaking on the road is a significant safety hazard for yourself, your car, and everyone around you.

Volvo C70 – Electrical issues

On the whole, Volvo is not really a brand that tends to experience extensive electrical issues as is the case with some of its German rivals. Either way, old age has taken its toll on the C70 which means that electrical issues are becoming more and more relevant.

The most common electrical issues that plague the C70 are the roof mechanism failing, power windows failing, exterior lightning failing, in-car accessories failing, dashboard issues, fuel gauge not working, and many more potential interior-systems related issues.

FAQ Section

Why did Volvo stop making the C70?

The Volvo C70 was initially designed to be a Volvo sports coupe with high-end materials, potent engines and luxurious interior pieces. However, Volvo sacked the C70 at the beginning of the 2010s because the sales were indeed suffering. Volvo has said that the Polestar 1 is the spiritual successor to the C70 but the Polestar 1 is a hybrid sports coupe exclusively.

Either way, the early 2010s were an era in which SUVs and crossovers were starting to take over the world as far as sales are concerned. This has continued to this very day and that is why not many automakers are as willing to make a convertible/coupe as they once were.

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Which generation of the Volvo C70 should I buy?

The 2nd generation of the Volvo C70 is much more modern, safer, better equipped, and comfortable, especially because it comes as a hardtop convertible. On the other hand, the 1st generation C70 offers a somewhat time capsule-like experience because the car was built in a different era.

As such, if you like the old-school feel, or you want a strict coupe, the 1st gen C70 is the one to get. However, if you want a more modern car that is much more able to fulfill all the modern daily duties, the 2nd generation of the C70 is the obvious choice.

Which Volvo C70 engine is best?

The best Volvo C70 engine is the 2.5L T5 inline 5-cylinder engine that makes 227hp. This engine seems to balance reliability, ease of use, sophistication, and power the best. If you are buying a C70 and you want the most C70 experience you can get, you have to go for one of the 5-cylinder engines.

As such, the 2.5T is likely the best one to get because it offers enough power while also being relatively sophisticated but is a bit on the louder side.

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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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