Eight facts about the Volvo XC90
- To emphasize flexibility within its ranks, Volvo produced the mid-size luxury crossover SUV, the XC90, with the same body as their mid-size executive sedan - the Volvo S80. Both of them have the P2 platform as their foundation.
- Along with being named as Volvo's top-selling vehicle in the United States, the Volvo XC90 also became the best-selling Volvo worldwide. There were 85,994 XC90s sold in 2005.
- You would think that Volvo would source its engine from the most reputable car manufacturers in the world. If that's the case, it makes a lot of sense. However, in 2005, Volvo added another trim to its line-up together with a new engine made by the world's biggest piano maker - Yamaha. Moreover, this has hardly been the first time Yamaha produced an engine for automobile manufacturers. Yamaha developed the engine for the first Japanese supercar, the Toyota 2000GT, way back in 1967. They also supplied engines for Ford from 1989 to 1996.
- In 2003, the Volvo XC90 won the North American Car of the Year award. Likewise, the famous automotive magazine, Motor Trend, also named the XC90 the best Sport Utility Vehicle that same year.
- The Volvo XC90 may not have taken the world by storm through its Hollywood cameos. But in India, Bollywood begs to differ. The Volvo XC90 was prominently featured in the movie "3 Idiots" - Bollywood's biggest box office success of all time. Consequently, demand for the XC90 shot up in India and in other countries.
- The Swedish car maker, Volvo, has always been known for making the safest cars around. Not much has changed with the conception of the XC90; this car's safety is still a crucial part of its design. For instance, this SUV has been designed to direct pedestrians up on the hood upon impact rather than sliding towards the chassis of the vehicle.
- The Volvo XC90 received the Top Safety Pick award for gaining the highest possible rating from the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). It scored "good" in the front, side, rear and roof strength test.
- Volvo pioneered another safety feature by introducing the industry's first Roll Stability Control and Dynamic Stability and Traction Control in the first generation XC90 back in 2003.
Frequent problems that plagued the Volvo XC90
The XC90 is Volvo's entry to the increasingly in-demand crossover SUV market. It has been in production since 2003. The XC90 shares the same P2 platform with the Volvo S80, a mid-size executive saloon car. As of today, it is still Volvo's top selling vehicle in the United States and the world - amassing sales totals of 85,994 units since 2005. Almost ten years into the market, the XC90 has been around for quite some time. Furthermore, Volvo still hasn't afforded their crossover SUV a second generation successor. Only minor adjustments were introduced to its design but the concept is still the same. As always, its safety is second to none. However, the same cannot be said with its other components. These are the usual causes of concern with the Volvo XC90
A common denominator among XC90 owners of the T6 variant wasn't only the twin turbocharged engine, but also the transmission problems. There were various XC90 owners that complained about very early transmission failures, most symptoms clocking in before 60,000 miles. This was caused by GM-sourced automatic transmissions that kept slipping out of gear. Surprisingly, no recalls were ever made for this issue. This forced a lot of owners to change their transmissions, sometimes twice within 60,000 miles.
A number of V8 models in 2005 and 2006 experienced problems particularly with the counterbalance shaft. There was an opening in the engine block that allowed water to be collected whenever it was exposed to wet environments. This is where the sealed bearing is located and once the water fails to escape from the opening, the bearing will undergo premature wearing. It's a good thing that Volvo addressed this issue and fixed it by drilling a drain hole in the engine block.
Volvo Car Corporation in North America recalled 42,211 XC90s from the 2005 model at the end of July 2007 to address a fire hazard issue. XC90s manufactured from the Swedish Torslanda Plant between June 7, 2004 and May 13, 2005 have been asked to be quarantined for faults in the battery to avoid an short circuiting that may lead to fire. Fortunately, this has been figured out before any reports of short circuiting happened.
A Quick Guide to Keeping your Volvo XC90 in Top Shape
In early 2002, a European company known for its safe and unadventurous automobiles introduced its first purpose-built Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV). The Volvo XC90 also marked a milestone for Volvo as its first seven-seater vehicle since the 1940s. It had the ability to negotiate a variety of road conditions, from smooth to severe, without compromising passenger safety and comfort with advanced technological features.
- The innovative design and architecture of the Volvo XC90 makes it a capable all-around performer.
Volvo has always advocated safety from both the preventive and protective point-of-view. Preventive safety is related to the car's driving properties. The body of the Volvo XC90 features a sturdy chassis that provides consistent, predictable performance. Ground clearance is high to be able handle rough roads, yet the floor is set low to maintain the car's low center of gravity and excellent directional stability.
Safety features in the Volvo XC90 is designed exterior systems that distribute and absorb incoming collision forces so that the cabin remains undamaged. The body was built in the form of a metal framework where all the parts work with one another properly. A gently rounded front and an extra beam below the front bumper help prevent deadly collisions with other vehicles.
- The engine line up of the Volvo XC90 is a showcase of power combining with elegance.
The Volvo XC90 was launched with a range of transversely-fitted five and six-cylinder engines that are designed to operate smoothly while delivering low vibration and high torque across a wide rev range. Later on, a massive aluminum V8 engine with six-speed transmission was added to the line-up. This configuration was also transversely installed in keeping with Volvo's Powertrain concept. The company also offers a turbocharged package.
- Turbocharged engines should be treated with extra care to avoid future problems.
Turbochargers operate at extremely high temperatures since they are driven by the flow of hot exhaust gas while the internal turbine spins around 100,000 RPM. Warming up the turbocharged engine isn't as critical as cooling it down (for older models). As soon as the oil pressure is adequate, you can start moving. Once you arrive at your destination, do not turn off the engine immediately—allow the engine temperature to drop, otherwise the oil inside the turbocharger could combust and form a thin coating in there. This layer could eventually build up and cause the turbocharger to fail.In this regard, some manufacturers have installed pumps that continue to push the oil through the turbocharger after the engine has been turned off.
Lastly, synthetic oil is recommended for turbocharged engines, since it burns at a significantly higher temperature than standard oil, and keeps its nominal viscosity longer.
- Weekly maintenance may be tedious, but will pay off after miles of trouble-free driving.
Once a week, every 250 miles, or before you embark on a long trip, always check tire pressure and inspect tires - take note of the wear and tread patterns. Make sure all fluid levels are adequate. These include engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, and washer fluid. Look for any leaks underneath the engine, then check if all the car's functions are operational, i.e. horn, wipers, lights, blinkers, etc.
The process should be repeated every 6,000 and 12,000 miles with extra inspections of the oil filter, air filter, battery, spark plugs, clutch, etc. For exact details, kindly refer to the vehicle's owner's manual.
- A clean engine is more likely to perform better and more efficiently.
Dirty or clogged air filters are often the reason for lost or low mileage. Other possible causes are incorrect timing, defective carburetor or injection system, and even low tire pressure or misalignment. You can prevent misaligned wheels by avoiding potholes and not hitting curbs while driving or parking.
Volvo XC90: A Family Performance SUV
Released in 2002, the Volvo XC90 is a seven-seat passenger SUV that was remarked for its equal regard for child-friendliness and luxury especially because of its built-in child booster seat. When it was introduced, it carried a six-speed automatic transmission that supported the maximum 240 horsepower, suggesting that it also had something to show when it comes to performance. Over the past years of its existence, it has undergone various improvements that uphold and further reinforced the family vehicle image it was known for.
2002: A sense of home
When the Volvo XC90 hit the road in 2002, it was characterized by its airy and roomy interior, giving the impression of a cozy room inside a house. Sunlight and outside lights freely entered the passenger compartment through the large glass panels. This was complemented by a clean interior layout that gave a feeling of space and elegance. Unlike those in most passenger vehicles, the controls and instruments in the first Volvo XC90 were angled upwards to the driver's eyes, giving a complete sense of control when handling, a feature that was very much appreciated by its owners.
2004: A clean run
The year 2004 saw a major change on how the Volvo XC90 ran as its engine was upgraded with a Petrol V8 engine that allowed it to be included as one of America's Ultra Low Emission Vehicles. This feature was supported by major exhaust system changes such as four catalytic converters. Two of these catalytic converters are close-coupled which promoted faster start for the converters, resulting in better engine operations. Also new was an optimized ignition system that made the engine warm faster at a cold start.
2005: A stable move
Volvo worked hand-in-hand with Ford to develop Roll Over Protection System (ROPS) which was finally released the year 2005. This new technology's purpose is to keep the Volvo XC90 from rolling down on critical situations and downhill surfaces. It works with a gyro-sensor that registers the car's roll speed and angle. Once it is calculated that there is a great risk for rolling over, the ROPS will trigger the Dynamic Stability and Traction Control. This in turn reduces the engine power and brakes one or more wheels to regain the Volvo XC90's stability. The ROPS is the only active stability-enhancement system that can measure a car's roll angle.
2006: A power change
In 2006, the Volvo XC90 underwent powertrain and chassis changes which improved control in wheel movement and high ride comfort. 2006 models carried a six-cylinder engine that was extremely compact and installed diagonally to allow more cabin space. In its chassis, front spring struts and rear Multilink axle were installed, further improving steering response and handling.
2011: A drive for security
2011 welcomed the Deadlock System which is consisted of various features that aim at protecting the car from burglary, assault, and theft. The system included an electronic immobilizer that does not allow access to the Volvo XC90 without the correct key. Also included is a function wherein the doors do not open from the inside when entrance through the window is detected.