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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,838

    Default Service: Volvo dealer or independent shop?

    We're approaching our 45K service interval, the car is out of warranty, I'm not a fan of the dealership, and we have a great local independent shop who could probably do with the business. The real issue is the dealership - they don't give me confidence at all and they don't seem to keep records of what they've done to the car. The one thing that has kept me there is the possibility that the car might need a firmware update of some kind, but when I think about it I don't think we've ever had or needed an update.

    OTOH we have a wonderful local indie shop that I've been taking our Volvos to for 20+ years, including our current second car. Servicing the car myself is not an option, but I'd be interested in hearing the experiences of members who get their XC70s serviced at an independent. In particular, have you missed any aspect of the service at the indie that was normally available at the dealership, for example a firmware upgrade?

    MY2002 - V70XC
    Nautic Blue/Graphite

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Not a big issues on using the Indy shop for basic repairs and maintenance. As far as keeping records go, never trust anyone than yourself to keep all records. My wife has always put repair and oil change receipts in the glove box, and we have over 15 years of receipts starting with the original bill of sale for our old 850. This obviously isn't the best practice, but it is the easiest I've found.

    As far as missing out on firmware updates, you know enough to search this forum, so just check back every six months or so - again, not a big deal.

    For the 45k service, speak with your indy shop to see if they will use parts you buy. Buy the parts from FCP Groton or from DW Volvo to get the best prices on OEM parts. Some shops will charge a small fee due to not making profits on marking up the parts, but that's a small price to pay to ensure Volvo parts. Also, by buying the parts yourself, you are directing the shop on what to do, and you will have a better memory of what has been done and by whom in the future.

    For a 45k service you should be looking at the following:
    Engine oil and filter, replace
    Service Reminder Indicator (SRI), reset
    Air filter cartridge/ replace - if this wasn't done in the last year
    Coolant level, check / adjust
    Power steering fluid level, check/adjust
    Bevel gear, visual inspection
    Exterior lighting controls, check
    Washer fluid level, check/adjust
    Cabin air filter, replace
    Doors, hood, trunk, sunroof; lubricate hinges, latches, sliding parts
    Brake fluid level, check
    Brake fluid, replace - should be done every 36 months
    Parking brake, check/adjust
    Brake pads, check
    Tires, check pressure, wear and condition

    Anyone else care to add anything?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Vancouver Island, BC
    Posts
    149

    Default

    WIZ,



    Quote Originally Posted by jpursell View Post
    Service Reminder Indicator (SRI), reset
    Here's the link from the resourses section to DIY:

    http://www.volvoxc.com/resources/how...procedures.pdf

    Simple (ok, not so simple) but easy enough.

    As far as using and indy, two things will answer all your concerns.

    1) Is he a good mechanic, consciencious, one that you trust to do 'the right things'?

    2) Do you have good communication with the mechanic / shop. Would they phone you prior to doing 'unforeseem' repairs, things that may only become apparent after they've removed the widget and inspected the inner workings.

    If so, then go with the independant shop.

    Cheers
    Jules

    Cheers
    Jules

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    1,921

    Default

    In my experience, indies that specialized in a brand will do more service items than the dealer. Dealer seems to go by Volvo's maintenance book which isn't enough. My Volvo indy did a ATF drain+fill for 30k service which the dealer would never do unless you requested it. They also replaced the thermostat at 30k service because they know it is a common failure item.

    You have an 02. You should probably go get the TCM (transmission control module) software updated. I recall a pretty big change around end of 04. You'd want to make sure stop-neutral feature is removed (new software removes it). If your Indy don't have the equipment, you will have to go to the dealer for this.
    Past Volvos : 01 V70 T5, 01/02 V70XC, 02 V70 NA, 00 V70XC
    Current EV/Hybrid : 13 Tesla S85, 11 Gen3 Prius
    Friends cars under my care 17 Audi A4 Quattro DSG (B9) 05 Audi A4 Manual 6sp Quattro (B7) 04 e320 V6 Auto, 05 Accord 2.4, 08 Element 2.4, 08 Camry Hybrid
    Past Others : 01/03 VW MK4 Turbo/NA/01M. Gen1 Prius, Gen1 CRV, Gen2 Rav4, 02 Town&Country, 06 Corolla, 12 Audi A4 Quattro (B8), 07 Civic 1.6
    http://www.freewebs.com/howardsvolvos/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,838

    Default

    Interesting article in yesterday's Boston Globe on this issue:

    http://www.boston.com/cars/news/arti..._over_repairs/



    MY2002 - V70XC
    Nautic Blue/Graphite

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    1,921

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wiz View Post
    Interesting article in yesterday's Boston Globe on this issue:

    http://www.boston.com/cars/news/arti..._over_repairs/


    In my experience with the Indys, they will tell you what they can't do due to lack of expensive proprietary computers. So I think a good sequence is indy first, dealer second. Of course, it has to be a good indy
    Past Volvos : 01 V70 T5, 01/02 V70XC, 02 V70 NA, 00 V70XC
    Current EV/Hybrid : 13 Tesla S85, 11 Gen3 Prius
    Friends cars under my care 17 Audi A4 Quattro DSG (B9) 05 Audi A4 Manual 6sp Quattro (B7) 04 e320 V6 Auto, 05 Accord 2.4, 08 Element 2.4, 08 Camry Hybrid
    Past Others : 01/03 VW MK4 Turbo/NA/01M. Gen1 Prius, Gen1 CRV, Gen2 Rav4, 02 Town&Country, 06 Corolla, 12 Audi A4 Quattro (B8), 07 Civic 1.6
    http://www.freewebs.com/howardsvolvos/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    SE WI
    Posts
    1,306

    Default

    I live in Wisconsin and the Volvo only Indy is in Illinois. They do a good job and we have been using them for our Volvo's for close to 20 years but when it comes to emmisions, I had to go to a Wisconsin Volvo dealer. But that vehicle is gone and with my 2003XC just out of warrenty, it will be serviced at the Indy as is my 99XC. The Illinois dealership(Fields is very very good) is now at Highland Park only, so its a pain to go there, get a loaner and go back. Fields did purchase Wilde Volvo in Milwaukee but that is also about an hour away and I don't know if they have converted the old GM mentality that the Wilde people had.
    In any event its really based on how well they do the work and if you have confidence backed up by results, then its an easy decision. Our Indy guy has actually taken parts back off our old 1987 if they didn't work, so he has been a real help and gets my business.-Dick
    '11 XC70 Silver/Off Black-Hers
    '03 XC70 Silver/Charcoal-His
    '99 XC70 Silver/Charcoal -Granddaughter's
    '87 740GLE Junk [email protected] miles
    2013 Porsche Boxster
    2017 Porsche C4S

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,838

    Default

    Need to check with the dealer on a couple things but I'm probably going to the indy. It's Swanson Auto for those in the Boston/Brookline/Newton area. Fred Swanson is a great guy.

    MY2002 - V70XC
    Nautic Blue/Graphite

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    241

    Default

    J&P Garage in Allston is a pretty good indy too and does a lot of work on Euro cars including Volvos.
    current: 2001 XC70 207,000mi, original tranny

    past: 1987 740GLE tranny...bleh
    past: 1979 240DL head-on collision

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,838

    Default

    Good info, thanks! I've been using Swanson Auto for 20+ years and live within walking distance so it's very likely I'll be taking the car to Fred.

    MY2002 - V70XC
    Nautic Blue/Graphite

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