Last tuesday my Volvo V70 went to the garage for a 20.000km inspection. Besides the regular oil change (including new oil filter) also the thermostat and interior filter was changed. And of course: the Vredestein Quatrac 3 allweather-tires were installed on the Mimas alloy wheels.
Unfortunately there is a big problem with the engine: there is too much motion on the cam gear wheel so a lot of oil is leaked from the top of the engine and hits the timing belt. It needs replacement as soon as possible because oil can damage the timing belt and if the belt breaks the engine will be damaged badly. The timing belt should be replaced next year, so it’s not a real big disaster and with a new cam gear wheel the replacement will be about 350 Euro more expensive (including wages) than a regular timing belt change.
The workshop also have some nice spoilers and other styling items for various Volvos. Since I don’t have roofrails on my V70 I think the car isn’t very pretty (the rear of the car looks a bit “sacked down” without roofrails or a spoiler). So I also bought a rear spoiler for the V70N which isn’t the replica of the original V70 rear spoiler (with third brake light) but a Swedish-made spoiler which is a bit rounder. And I can still use the original center brake light: on most aftermarket spoiler the new brake light is too weak.
The spoiler hasn’t got a color yet, so I decided to paint it myself. I will post an update when the spoiler-project is finished!
Last wednesday I ordered 4 brand new tires for my Volvo V70 and 2 new tires for the Volvo 740 GLE of my girlfriend. Since I hate to change wheels and the winters in The Netherlands are pretty soft I ordered 6 allweather-tires.
It’s hard to choose which tire I should get, because tests may vary in their results. Most all season-tires aren’t good enough in snow and others are too noisy or are pretty weak in wet conditions. My dad bought 4 Goodyear Vector 4 all season tires for his 2001 V70 and was extremely happy with it: good grip in the winter and snow, and at least as good as his previous tires (Michelin Primacy). The Goodyear Vector 4 was awarded as “best all season tire” at the ANWB and Autoweek. But the Vredestein Quatrac 3 (also an all weather tire) won the test at the German ADAC and Autobild allseason-tiretest. The grip in snow and ice is almost as good as snow tires and in wet conditions (which is almost common in The Netherlands) the Vredestein-tire scored a bit higher than the Goodyear Vector 4 and the Vredestein became the winner of that test. Allseason-tires should be a bit more noisy than summer tires but according to my dad his new tires aren’t producing more noise than his old summer tires. Both brands are allowed to add M+S and a snowflake-symbol on these tires.
Since I would like to support the Dutch economy and think the ADAC runs better tests than the ANWB (which also are very good, but sometimes they “buy” their tests from other countries) I decided to order 6 Vredestein Quatrac 3 all season tires at Toopneus.com. The tire size for both cars is 205/55/R16 and I ordered the 91H-version. The tires should arrive this afternoon.
Update: and finally they arrived! See the pictures below.
The Dutch police (KLPD) ordered 4 new Volvo V70s for high-speed pursuits. The KLPD already uses the Volvo V50, S60 and V70 (even a V70R) for daily use but those cars weren’t fast enough for pursuits.
A long time ago the KLPD had Porsches for high-speed pursuits but due cuts in the budget those cars were abandoned in 1994. Since then there weren’t real fast cars (although the Volvo 850 T5 the KLPD were using since then wasn’t slow at all). Unfortunately these days cars are a lot faster and police cars were way too slow in a pursuit (criminals uses faster cars these days and the cars of the KLPD are limited to 220km/h). There are about 2 high-speed purchases per week in The Netherlands and unfortunately most of the policecars are too slow. That’s why the KLPD deciced to buy 4 new Volvo V70 T6 cars after a comparison between the V70 T6 and a BMW 5-series. Since the Volvo is safer, easier to maintain (the Dutch police are servicing their cars themselves), cheaper and has a better road handling (according to the KLPD test centre) the KLPD decided to buy 4 cars. But since the KLPD isn’t allowed to exceed its budget 11 older cars must be sold.
The new Volvo V70 T6 will be chipped and the speed limiter (245km/h) will be removed. The Dutch media and KLPD says the top speed will be about 250km/h but my very-well informed resources within the Dutch police told me the top speed will be higher than that.
A couple of weeks ago I posted an item about the closing of former Volvo-factory NedCar in Born (the Netherlands, where the Volvo 300-series, 400-series and S40/V40 were build). You can find the article here.
But yesterday Mitsubishi announced they’re willing to find a buyer for it (which was also said earlier: you can buy the factory for 1 Euro but have to take over the employees as well) and today there is some big news: 2 companies are very interested in taking over Nedcar. It’s a Chinese and an European car company. Needless to say: I expect the Chinese car concern could be Geely, which means Volvo can be involved. Geely is one of the very few Chinese car manufacturers which is active in Europe. The other company could be BMW, which needs to solve their capacity problems with the production of some new Mini-models.
Mitsubishi, NedCar and the Dutch government (the Economics department) will negotiate in the next three months to settle a deal. In the meanwhile other car manufacturers are able to show their interest in the NedCar-factory.
Since Volvo showed the first new V40-pictures it is expected that Volvo will produce the V40 in Ghent (Belgium), but what if the capacity isn’t there (in case the V50 will be produced for a longer term)? Ghent isn’t far away from The Netherlands (Born) and of course: Volvo knows the factory very well, since they produced cars in Born for more than 25 years. But rumours say a new (potential) owner wants to produce cars in 2015 with 800 employees. Since Volvo is planning to build a new small car (and looking for a company who wants to join in this program), it could be done in Born as Ghent might have capacity problems when the C30, S40 and new V40 are being produced there.
It’s not unlikely Volvo will return (thanks to Geely) to Born and produce cars in The Netherlands. The Dutch Volvos were pretty good and the employees were very reliable. Since the factory is a bargain (it justs costs 1 Euro and Mitsubishi don’t need to settle a social plan when they sell the factory) and Volvo has increasing sales it wouldn’t surprise me if Geely takes over NedCar and starts producing new Volvos. Let’s hope the good old Volvo-days will live again in Born!
Unfortunately the current owner of NedCar, Mitsubishi, decided this morning the NedCar-factory in Born (The Netherlands) will be closed at the end of 2012 (at this moment it seems it will be closed on the first of December this year). At this moment NedCar has 1.500 employees and they build the Mitsubish Colt and Outlander for the European market. NedCar was the former factory of Volvo where the Volvo 340, 360, 440, 460, 480, S40 and V40 were produced.
The history of the factory in Born began in the early 60’s: DAF (a Dutch car and truck manufacturer) wanted to expand their factory in Eindhoven but the Dutch government wanted DAF to build a new factory in Limburg. The reason for this was very simple: Limburg had a huge unemployment because the mines were closing. The Dutch government were willing to pay a part of the new plant and the deal was sealed. The new plant was ready in 1967. DAF were producing the 44 and 55 in Born, and later the DAF 66 was also produced in Born.
When Volvo took over DAF (see History of the Volvo 340) the Volvo 66 and new Volvo 343 were also produced in Born. Thanks to Volvo the Born-factory were expanding in the early 80’s: the Volvo 340 was a big hit and the factory got some expanding during the years. But at the end of the 80’s it seems the growth of Volvo wasn’t enough to cover the expanding (about 120.000 cars were produced and the factory has a capacity of 180.000 cars per year), so a partner was needed to get the most of the factory. In 1991 negotiations with Mitsubishi and the Dutch government started. They took each 33% of the shares and in 1992 the new name was presented: NedCar. NedCar replaces Volvo Car B.V. and the headquarters of Volvo Car B.V. in Helmond were closed. NedCar produced the Volvo S40 and V40,the Mitsubishi Carisma and SpaceStar.
In 2001 Mitsubishi got 100% of the shares of Nedcar. DaimlerChrysler took a 37% share in Mitsubishi and in 2003 the Smart ForFour was build in Born, which went out of production in 2006 and was the start of the problems at NedCar. But with the production of the Outlander at NedCar the problems were (temporary) solved.
But the recent economic problems in Europe have also effect on car sales and Mitsubishi. Mitsubishi is planning to stop all European car productions and they will stop production of cars at Born in December 2012. But the factory will not be closed immediately and it’s for sale. Costs? Just 1 Euro, but you’ll need to have a good job for all employees. The Dutch government is looking for a new owner and it seems it might be found already: some sources say a car manufacturer wants to start production of a new car in 2015 with 800 employees. Let’s hope it’s Volvo who wants to produce a new small car!
The winter was very warm this season, until last week: the weather changed immediately from 9-10 degrees Celsius to -10 degrees Celsius. And yesterday it was snowing very hard! The Netherlands is covered with 10cm snow (some places even a bit more) and last night the temperature was about -20 degrees Celsius. Very cold, especially with a strong wind!
My 244 diesel didn’t start well yesterday: it was -12 degrees Celsius at that moment and after the fifth attempt the car kept running (the four attempts weren’t the best: the D24 engine only ran for a few seconds).
When I went to the supermarket I saw a Swedish rival. Seems to me the Swedish cars are designed for these weather conditions.
I’m considering some updates for my 2001 Volvo V70. Since the car is a very basic Comfortline (but fortunately I have climate control and a HU-1205 radio with GPS-system) the car is limited in several options, like: no roofrails, simple 15-inch wheels with hub caps (now used for snow tires and for better circumstances I have nice 16-inch Volvo Mimas alloy wheels) and no speakers in the rear doors. The speaker-issue was solved earlier by installing rear speakers (see the how-to here).
But I think the missing roofrails is a big loss for a V70. It makes the car a bit too low on the rear side and without roofrails it seems the car has a worn rear suspension (which is not the case of course). I won’t use the roofrails, so installing a rear spoiler could also be a nice upgrade and could help to solve the “sagged look”. But I’m still not convinced yet.
Another upgrade is a MP3-module for the HU-1205. Listening to the radio isn’t bad, but the car hasn’t got a CD-changer and switching cd’s in the HU-1205 unit every time isn’t a very good option (especially since the HU-1205 needs the navigation cd-rom when you’re using GPS). In my other cars I always installed a Kenwood or Sony mp3-radio (except for my 850 T-5R which also had the original radio) and I still miss such option in my V70. Of course I can remove the HU-1205 and insert a doubledin aftermarket-radio but I think it would be ugly in a V70. The HU-1205 has the same color as the rest of the interior and almost the same display background color. I’m not a person who says cars should be in its original condition, but in this case the interior is on its best when the OEM-radio is installed.
Right now I’m using a FM-transmitter sometimes, but in most cases I forgot to use it (plugging the FM-transmitter, adding it to a MP3-player or my phone, adjusting the transmitter and radio to the right channel etc). It takes too much effort I guess. What I need is very simple: plugging in a USB-stick with a lot of music on it and go!
The companies Motrade and Volvotech both sells MP3-boxes which also works on the HU-1205. A friend of mine (who owns a Volvo V40) also had the same issue and also didn’t want to give up the OEM-look of his car. He installed the GROM-module (as sold by Motrade, but he bought it directly on Ebay). I think I’m going to do the same. The modules are pretty expensive (it costs as much as a good aftermarket MP3-radio with USB-support) but hey: you’ll keep the OEM-look but still have the profit of a MP3- and USB-interface! So I think I’ll order a GROM-module one of these days, but at the moment it’s too cold for fixing things in the car.
Of course I will post a how-to tutorial on Volvotips.com when I finished installing the module.
Did you know that Volvotips.com has a own Youtube-channel? You can find it here.
At this moment there are about 15 videos but new videos are being uploaded weekly. The most videos are from one of my cars, lik the walkaround-video below.
Just visit the Volvotips videochannel on Youtube for more nice vids!
My 2001 Volvo V70 is a very basic version: the Comfortline. The Volvo V70N (2000-2008) is a very luxurious car but it can be limited in very small things, like only speakers in the front or a manual airconditioning system (but most V70s are sold with electronic climate control). Fortunately I have climate control but a very poor sound system. The car was originally equipped with a Volvo CR-503 single DIN radio (about the cheapest Volvo ever made) but it was replaced by the previous owner with a HU-1205 navigation system. If you bought a Volvo V70 with HU-1205 it came with a better sound system (Performance Line, which includes 6 speakers). My car only has two front speakers and two tweeters (all speakers are installed in the doors).
I always want a nice sound in my car, but I don’t give a lot about a top-of-the-bill sound system. If there are some speakers in front and behind me and don’t produce a distorted sound I’m happy. The speakers of Volvo itself aren’t that bad, so if I install a pair of original speakers the job should be done!
Click on the “more” button to continue this story and the how-to for installing rear door speakers in a Volvo S60/V70/S80.