What are common problems with Volvo?

Despite Volvo making a name for itself when it comes to safety and durability, several common problems have become apparent. So, before you buy a Volvo, it is vital to know some of the common problems that you may encounter on the way.

The main problems that Volvo owners experience are sudden engine failure, poor fuel economy, excessive oil consumption, and transmission failure. Most of these issues start showing up when your Volvo hits at least 75,000 miles. Here are common Volvo problems:

1. Abrupt engine failure

In the past, many Volvo owners have complained about engine failure several times. This is a problem found across most Volvo models. The main reason behind the engine failing abruptly is because of cooling fan problems.

When the cooling fan develops issues, the engine starts to overheat, which fails eventually. This is because the cooling system keeps the engine operating at an ideal temperature. So, if it’s compromised, it won’t perform as needed and it will also affect the operation of the engine.

2. Power steering leakage problems

The issue with power steering leakage is common in the latest Volvo models. This leakage takes place when the hose that transports the power steering fluid from the reservoir towards the system starts to leak. It makes controlling the vehicle to be quite challenging.

When the car is started, the fluid gets pumped to the rack where any movement changes it into foam. The good news is that fixing this problem is easy, but it should be left to a professional or authorized Volvo mechanic or technician.

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3. Excessive oil consumption

One of the most important parts of taking care of your vehicle is by ensuring it has the right type and enough oil. However, many Volvos tend to use excess oil, which is a nagging thing as you have to check the oil level after a few weeks of driving.

What’s more, most Volvos come with cracks in one of the fuel lines in the engine compartment. This causes fuel leakage in the engine compartment after some time. It occurs because of the pressurized fuel system. Besides, there is a weep hole at the bottom of the mechanical fuel pumps.

Therefore, if your Volvo has an internal leakage, the oil will leak from the weep hole. Furthermore, the oil leakage can also take place in the rubber hose and the metal tube from the tank to the fuel pump. The leak occurs in the metal tube and rubber hose after rusting occurs.

Among the various Volvo models, the 2012 Volvo S60 is the most affected model. The main cause of excessive oil consumption is oil leakage. So, you can get a mechanic to work on it and rectify the problem in time. 

4. Poor fuel economy

Another common problem with Volvo cars is bad fuel economy. And one of the main reasons behind this is the slow acceleration that Volvos usually have. Unlike Mercedes-Benz or BMWs, Volvo usually has a slower acceleration which ends up using more fuel. So, as you try to step on the pedal to accelerate faster, more fuel is used.

Nonetheless, the latest Volvo models have a somewhat better fuel economy than the older models. But they are not better than most of their competitors. Besides, you can still improve your Volvo fuel economy by not accelerating hard. Also, regularly change your oil filter so that it operates efficiently.

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5. Transmission failure

What’s more, Volvo comes with a complicated transmission. Note that the transmission is another name given to the gearbox. Mot Volvos are equipped with an automatic transmission, which is somewhat risky. On top of that, they have a powershift transmission system, which makes it hard for drivers to understand the technology.

For Volvo’s transmission system to work well, it needs a transmission fluid or software update, which is usually done by a professional mechanic or technician from Volvo.

6. Fuse box problems

Finally, Volvo also faces fuse problems. On the contrary, this issue is found in a handful of Volvo models. This is because their fuse is poorly located under the dashboard. As a result, water from the outside becomes trapped inside the fuse box. Later, this causes corrosion and electric failures take place.


What are the common problems in particular Volvo models? 

Apart from the major problems experienced in most Volvo models, some problems are only common in particular Volvo car models. These include:

  • Volvo S60 – the common problem that Volvo S60 owners should expect is excessive oil consumption. This is because of oil leakage, but it can be resolved by taking the car to an authorized Volvo dealer for repair. Other issues include engine failure and transmission issues.
  • Volvo S80 – this model has different problems depending on the year of manufacturer. The 2000 Volvo S80 has engine problems, while the 2014 model has transmission problems. 
  • Volvo V70 – this is among the Volvo with the most problems. The 2001 Volvo V70 had engine issues and transmission failure.
  • Volvo 240 – despite being among the most reliable Volvos of all time, this model had an issue with a poorly located fuse box that could cause major electrical failure.
  • Volvo XC60 – this is one of the best Volvo crossover SUVs on the market. However, when its engine overheats, it leads to failure because of the failed cooling fan.
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Why are Volvos so unreliable?

Volvos are considered so unreliable because the average cost of repairs and maintenance is above the industry standard. Therefore, you will have to spend more on repairs and maintenance than a person with a conventional car like a Toyota.

Are Volvo engines produced in Sweden or China?

Before 2013, Volvo engines were produced in Skovde, Sweden, by the Volvo Engine Architecture (VEA). The VEA is a family of straight-three and straight-four automobile and diesel engines. However, from 2016, most of Volvos engines were produced from Zhangjiakou, China.


Before you buy a Volvo, it’s crucial to know some of the common problems that you’re likely to face. Volvo common problems include abrupt engine failure, power steering leakage issues, excessive oil consumption, poor fuel economy, transmission failure, and fuse box issues.

On top of that, some common problems are found in specific Volvo models. Therefore, if you own a Volvo, you should be on the lookout when your car hits over 75,000 miles. And if you decide to repair it, ensure to take the car to a Volvo authorized mechanic for proper fixing.

Car weaknesses, problems, issues, errors, disadvantages and realiability.

Edwin Odipo

Why do you love writing about cars? Cars make our lives easy. You can visit your distant friend, relative or even rush to the grocery store a few miles from your home with a lot of ease. Imagine how life was before the invention of cars?? To me, cars are a blessing that made life more convenient.

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