How to Save on Costs of Maintaining and Repairing a Volvo
Volvos are generally well regarded as safe, reliable vehicles that are built to last. It is not unusual to see Volvos older than 10 or 15 years with 200,000 or more miles, still running well. The secret to keeping Volvos and many other vehicles running well for more than a decade and 150,000 miles is, keeping up with maintenance and making any repairs quickly. Volvos are European vehicles, which have a reputation for higher maintenance and repair costs. If you are looking at a new or used Volvo, the cost of maintaining it will probably be an important part of your decision-making process.
The Good News
In general keeping and maintaining an older vehicle is less expensive than purchasing and maintaining a new vehicle. Volvos are known for being very reliable vehicles that have longevity. If you perform maintenance according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and perform repairs in a timely manner, a Volvo could last 15 to 20 years without major repairs. While the yearly Volvo maintenance and repair costs may be higher than average, taking care of your Volvo will keep it running longer and reduce your long-term vehicle maintenance and repair costs.
It is often recommended that newer vehicles be taken to the dealer for maintenance and repairs. Dealer mechanics are more up-to-date on the latest technology in newer vehicles. They often have the tools, equipment, and expertise to quickly and accurately diagnose problems and fix them properly. While this may be the case, you can save even more money if you can find a good independent garage in your area, particularly if you find one that specializes in Volvos. These garages are usually past dealer employees and have the certifications and training to work on Volvos. Using Volvo-certified technicians at independent garages, you can gain the experience of technicians familiar with Volvos, but save on your labor and material costs. Independent garages can also use aftermarket parts, where dealers only offer original equipment parts. Aftermarket parts can definitely save you money on Volvo repairs and maintenance. For older vehicles, particularly ones that are more than 10 years old, you can achieve considerable savings using an independent garage for your maintenance and repair needs.
On some of its newer models, Volvo has offered a complimentary factory scheduled maintenance program. Taking advantage of the complimentary maintenance program can help keep the maintenance of newer Volvos low. Some dealers also offer coupons or rewards points to help reduce routine maintenance and repair costs.
The Bad News
Like many European vehicles, it can cost more to repair and maintain Volvos. If your vehicle is under warranty or serviced at the dealer, your car will be repaired using original equipment parts. These are parts are designed and produced by the manufacturer of your vehicle. Original equipment parts, particularly those for European cars, are manufactured overseas, where it costs more to produce and import them. While often less expensive, aftermarket parts will not be used by dealers and will void any warranties on your vehicle.
It has been reported, more anecdotally than factually, that newer Volvo models require more maintenance, particularly those built after 1999 when Ford purchased Volvo. The increased maintenance and repair costs are typically reported for electrical issues, taillight and headlight issues, and frequent replacement of brakes. The frequent replacement of lights, brakes, and other maintenance issues will increase the cost of Volvo ownership.
If you purchase an older Volvo or intend to keep your Volvo a long time, you may find your maintenance and repair costs to be higher. As with many older vehicles, you will start reaching the end of the useful life of major components at about 100,000 miles. The repair bills at that time will be more than just basic maintenance such as tires, breaks, and oil changes. As the Volvo is considered a luxury vehicle designed for higher performance, you will find that the cost to replace parts may be higher than other similarly sized vehicles.
Volvos are considered a safe vehicle with good performance. However, Volvo repair costs often keep people from considering them. Weighing the pros and cons of maintaining a Volvo will help you determine whether it is a good vehicle for you. While it may cost more for Volvo parts and labor, there are ways to reduce costs, such as signing up for free maintenance programs, using aftermarket parts, and hiring independent garages to do repair and maintenance work.