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The common question. I'm buying a used Volvo model xxxx. What should I look for?
The short answer is a:
Full Service History (FSH)
Volvo's need servicing just like anyother car. If you are buying a used Volvo and the seller says: "it's a wonderful car. It just goes and goes. I've not had to spend a cent on it in the last two to three years!" Beware!
The car may be coming up for some very expensive repairs which the seller does not want to pay for or does not have the money to pay for the repairs.
Suppose the car you are buying is less than $4,000.00 and several years old. You might be stretching things if the car has had several different owners by demanding all the Receipts and paper work which may have been lost over the years. Let's face it, if the radiator was replaced 280,000k's ago-it might need replacing again. And all the original paper work and receipts now don't lessen the burden of replacing it again. That is simply an example only.
Having a pre-purchase examination by your local Automobile Association or similar organisation has it's advantages. They are inspecting cars all the time and have the equipment to do the job properly, e.g. lifts, inspection pits etc.
Once the inspection is finished-take the report to your local Volvo agent and have the agent cost up the report for repairs/replacements/updates etc. At the same time, ask the Volvo agent to look for common problems which the Agent would know about and the inspection service may have missed in their report.
HOW MUCH TO PAY?
Take the sellers asking price
minus the Volvo agent's quote
minus another $1,000.00 buffer for things the inspection missed (you could increase that $1,000.00 to $2,000.00 if none or few of the Volvo periodic services have been done)
Whatever is left over-that is the price you offer the seller.
WHAT EXACTLY AM I PAYING FOR WHEN I BUY A USED CAR?
You are paying the seller the perceived value of the life left in the car.
(If you are buying a classic car-none of the above rules apply.) Pricing/costing enthusiasts/collectors values is beyond this article.
These remarks apply regardless of whether or not the particular Volvo you are thinking about buying is:
Turbo or non-Turbo Petrol or Diesel Manual (Stick-Shift) or Auto (Gearless) Front Wheel Drive Rear Wheel Drive All Wheel Drive Sedan, Coupe, Station Wagon, Convertible, SUV.
"I'm thinking about buying a 1993 Volvo 850 Turbo, what should I look for?
You cannot be expected to know how to diagnose normal wear and tear of the transmission, turbo and suspension etc etc. You cannot be expected to recognise a faultless and fully serviceable car either.
What should I look for? The Volvo agent. Why? Normally, the agent has a reputation too good to loose. It is rare that they would miss something and not remedy the situation if you were to suffer lose because of their negligence. (I realise that there are exceptions to all these remarks. Please don't fill the forum with one off examples of disasters.) Mistakes do happen. Ask any doctor if you don't believe me!! I doubt that any agent would deliberately mislead you.
Check the dash board for bits of tape overing warning lights. Taping over warning lights with expensive repairs required is becoming common.
Do not post here for questions and technical matters. There are other sections in this forum for that. When you do, use the "Topic Title" wisely. eg. Please Help!!! (BAD); Displayed Bulb Position Failure (GOOD - title is more descriptive not general). Also search before posting. Chances are that you are not the first to ask. ---------------------------------------
--------------------------------------- Post here only for the introduction of yourself and your car. You may want to mention - model, year, color, price you paid. - where you are, your commute, purpose of the car. - what made you decide Volvo over another make. - what made you select that particular model. - what you use to drive or any other cars you own. - any project (if any) you might have for further improvements, etc.
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