Are Volvos Expensive to Maintain?

There’s no doubt that Volvo cars are some of the most well-built and reliable vehicles on the market. When purchasing a vehicle, you want to make sure you’re getting a dependable car that will save you money long term. So, are Volvos expensive to maintain?

While Volvo cars are known for their quality and reliability, they can be expensive to maintain. On average, they cost $3,700 more than the average car over a 10-year period, according to Maddy Martin on Your Mechanic. To keep your Volvo running in top condition, you’ll need to take it in for regular services.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the expense of maintaining a Volvo, common Volvo problems, and which models to avoid, and see if it’s really as bad as people say. Keep reading to find out.

Are Volvos Expensive to Service?

Volvos are expensive to service as they are considered luxury cars. The parts are more expensive and the labor is higher. The cost of an oil change for a Volvo is $100 on average, which is more than twice the cost of an oil change for a Honda.

While Volvos are quite expensive to maintain, they are not comparable to other luxury brands like BMW, Mercedes, and Cadillac. In fact, Volvo is ranked as the 4th most expensive brand to maintain on Your Mechanic’s list, which is actually quite good.

Are Volvos Expensive to Repair?

Volvos are not as expensive to repair as other luxury brands. The average annual cost of major repairs for a Volvo is $769, compared to $652 on average for other models, Vehicle Freak states. However, this number will differ based on the model of Volvo that you have.

The most expensive Volvo to repair is the XC90, which costs an average of $978 per year. The cheapest is the S40, which costs an average of $526 per year.

Related: P0420 Code Volvo – Meaning, Causes, Symptoms, & Fixes

The cost of repairs will also differ based on the type of repair. For example, a Volvo engine repair can cost anywhere from $500 to $4000, while a simple oil change will only cost around $100.

It’s important to note that the cost of repairs is not always indicative of the reliability of the vehicle. For example, the Volvo XC90 is one of the most expensive vehicles to repair, but it’s also one of the most reliable.

Common Volvo Problems

Volvos are generally reliable cars, but like any car, they can have their share of problems. The most common Volvo problems are:

Excessive Oil Consumption

Many Volvo models are known for excessive oil consumption. This is due to a design flaw in the engine that causes it to burn oil.

Severe engine damage could occur if the problem is not addressed, so it’s important to keep an eye on your oil level and get regular oil changes.

Failing Transmission

The transmission is one of the most expensive parts of a Volvo to replace, so it’s important to be aware of any issues and service the transmission according to Volvo’s transmission service interval.

Premature transmission failure is often caused by a lack of service. For the transmission to be replaced, prepare to spend $4000 or more.

Cooling Issues

Volvos are known for having cooling system issues. The most common issue is a defective cooling fan, which can cause the engine to overheat.

An overheated engine that’s also leaking oil is prone to be replaced.

How to Keep Volvo Maintenance Expenses Down

If you’re worried about the cost of maintaining your Volvo, there are a few things you can do to keep the expenses down.

Service Regularly

The best way to keep your Volvo running smoothly is to service it regularly. This means getting the oil changed, checking the fluids, and taking care of any other maintenance items according to Volvo’s schedule.

Buy Genuine Volvo Parts

When it comes to replacing parts, be sure to buy genuine Volvo parts. These are designed specifically for your car and will last longer than aftermarket parts.

Don’t Drive on an Empty Tank

Volvos are known for having fuel sending unit issues. If the fuel level gets too low, it can cause the sending unit to overheat and fail.

To avoid this, always keep your tank at least a quarter full. This will help keep the fuel sending unit cool and prevent it from failing.

Let the Engine Heat Up Before Driving

Another way to prevent engine damage is to let the engine heat up before driving. This gives the oil time to circulate and lubricate the engine.

If you’re short on time, at least wait a minute or two before taking off.

Engine Brake When Going Downhill

When driving downhill, use the engine brake instead of the regular brakes. This will help prevent brake wear and tear.

By downshifting, the engine’s resistance will help slow the car down, which will take some of the strain off of the brakes.

Use the Parking Brake

When parking on a hill, use the parking brake. This will help prevent the car from straining and potentially damaging the transmission.

The parking pawl inside of the transmission can wear out if the car is parked on an incline without the parking brake engaged, causing the transmission to become less effective.

Don’t Overload the Car

Don’t overload the car with people or cargo. This puts unnecessary strain on the drive train components, suspension, and brakes.

Be sure to check the weight rating for your car before putting too much stress on it.

Give Your Volvo the TLC It Deserves

Volvos are expensive cars, but they’re worth the investment. With proper care and maintenance, your Volvo will last for many years to come. Give your Volvo the TLC it deserves and it will repay you with years of reliable service.


As late as 2015, Volvo announced that it would be providing a great warranty for new owners that’s called Volvo Lifetime Replacement Parts & Labor Warranty.

This warranty includes:

  • Batteries
  • Belts
  • Brake Pads
  • Bulbs
  • Clutch Lining
  • Filters
  • Floor Mats
  • Fuses
  • Rotors (excluding worn-out ones)
  • Spark Plugs
  • Timing Belts
  • Upholstery/rugs
  • Wiper blades
  • Tires

This is one way that Volvo tries to show that they are committed to making sure their customers are happy with their purchase, and that they are confident in the quality of their product.

Most Expensive Volvo Models to Maintain

While some models are more expensive to maintain than others, all Volvos require regular care and attention.

The most expensive Volvo models to maintain are according to Adam at Mechanic Base:

2012 Volvo S60

The fuel pump software in the 2020 Volvo S60 models was incompatible with the fuel system, causing Volvo to recall many vehicles produced within a specified date.

Many customers also complain about transmission issues that ceased the transmission to shift properly.

On top of that, the mass airflow sensor tended to fail as well as the exterior lights.

2016 Volvo XC90

The 2016 Volvo XC90 probably received the most complaints out of all Volvo models due to transmission failure and auto-braking system causing the vehicle to panic break without any input from the driver.

Least Expensive Volvo Models to Maintain

There are of course Volvo models that are more reliable than others. The least expensive Volvo models to maintain are:

2017 Volvo S90

The 2017 Volvo S90 sedan was very reliable with few complaints about the vehicle.

This model has excellent fuel economy and a comfortable ride that many customers enjoyed.

2019 Volvo V90 Cross Country

The 2019 Volvo V90 Cross Country was another very reliable model with few complaints from customers. In terms of style, it’s not the best-looking car, but it’s a reliable one.

2020 Volvo XC40

The 2020 Volvo XC40 is one of the most reliable SUV models that’s been top-rated by many car experts. It’s a smaller SUV, but it’s still packed with features and is very efficient.

Are Volvos Any Good?

Volvos are definitely good cars. They’re well-built, reliable, and stylish. However, they are more expensive to maintain than some other brands.

But if you’re looking for a car that will last, a Volvo is a good choice. Just be sure to give it the proper care and attention it needs.

Here are a few key points that make Volvos a good reliable car.


While Volvos are more expensive to maintain than some other brands, they are still affordable cars.

Volvos are luxury cars and are not categorized with other cheap brands, such as KIA.

While they are more expensive than a budget car, they are cheaper to buy and maintain than other brands such as BMW or Mercedes.

Cost of Ownership

The cost of ownership for a Volvo could be as good as it could be bad. While they are overall a fairly cheap brand to own, you could of course get a Volvo that breaks down over and over if you’re unlucky, just like any other vehicle.

Engine and Transmission

Volvos are very well-known for having great engines and transmissions. They are both powerful and efficient, which is what you want in a car.

Volvo is following the market needs, allowing you to choose a powertrain running on diesel, gas, hybrid, or even fully electric.


Compared to sports cars, Volvos are not going to win any races. However, they are still good performers.

They have good acceleration and handling, which is what you want in a daily driver.

Volvos are not known for being particularly fast, but they are still good cars.

Rust and Corrosion

Designed in the Kingdom of Sweden with a really harsh climate and road salts 6 out of 12 months a year, Volvo’s are some of the most resistant cars to rust and corrosion.

This is a big selling point, especially in countries with harsh winters.

They even offer a 12-year/unlimited mileage warranty against corrosion perforation on all their vehicles.


Volvos are known for being some of the safest cars on the road.

This is thanks to their strong construction and robust safety features.

Newer models even have driver-assist technology, such as blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping assist, making them safer than ever.

Volvos are definitely a safe choice when it comes to choosing a car.


Volvos are packed with the latest technology and features. They have a large infotainment system that is easy to use and has all the bells and whistles you could want.

Sitting in the cabin of a Volvo, you definitely feel like you’re in a luxury car with top-notch technology.

RepairPal Reliability Rating

RepairPal is a website that gives reliability ratings for different car brands.

They use data from real people to give an accurate rating of how often a car needs repairs and how much those repairs cost.

Volvos have a reliability rating of four out of five, which is pretty good.

This means that, on average, Volvos will need repairs less often than other brands and those repairs will be cheaper.

In fact, the statistics conclude that Volvo cars are brought in for repair once every two years, where 9% were considered to be severe repairs. Other makes and models average 0.8 times every two years where 12% of those cars needed severe repairs.


Volvos are definitely good cars. They are well-built, reliable, and stylish. However, they are more expensive to maintain than some other brands.

But if you’re looking for a car that will last, a Volvo is a good choice. Just be sure to give it the proper care and attention it needs.

Volvos are a great choice for anyone looking for a safe, reliable, and affordable car.

They may cost more to maintain than some other brands, but the cost of ownership is still lower than many luxury brands.

So if you’re in the market for a new car, don’t discount Volvo just because of their maintenance costs. Their safety features and reliability rating makes them worth considering.

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Robin Söder

Robin has always been passionate about cars ever since young age. Over the years, Robin has worked on thousands of cars and gained invaluable experience in the process. He is considered an expert in his field and is often consulted by other mechanics for advice.

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