The automobile is the classic example of depreciation. We hear the stories about how much the value drops as soon as it drives off the dealership’s lot. And while that’s certainly true, that value can rise later on as the vehicle becomes more collectible–if it’s well-maintained. A Volvo is a classic example of this cycle. While it might never be worth more than it went for brand new, used Volvos – with a well kept body and all mechanical parts and systems working in good condition – typically have a higher resale value than your average sedan.
Of course, the key here is that your Volvo needs to be in “Good Condition” overall – from the chassis and suspension system to the interior parts, accessories and electrical. Want even more resale value? Keep your Volvo in “superb” condition! That’s where you come in. While some owners are content to drive an automobile until its bitter end, a wise car owner would prefer to see it as an investment and should treat the vehicle as such.
If you fall into the latter group and want to take advantage of your Volvo’s high resale value potential, follow these steps for good upkeep.
Fix Things While They’re Small
Like any automobile, the mechanical parts and systems of your Volvo are highly interconnected. Your Volvo’s engine affects the transmission; its suspension affects the tires; the bearings affect the brakes; and the electrical parts have strong influence on several functions, especially in the last decade or so. From this, we can see that the “little noise” from the engine bay or the awkward shift of the transmission could actually have potential repercussions far beyond that individual area of parts.
You can undertake many of the routine repairs that will keep your car running great. You need some basic tools, of course, and make sure to seek out a good source for quality Volvo parts because otherwise all your work will go in vain when the auto part doesn’t fit quite right or work properly, or even breaks prematurely. Even if you’re not a “natural” under the hood, just like anything else it just takes a commitment of your time and focus. Volvos are pretty easy to work on and there’s plenty of resources available; and even a company with an online store like eEuroparts helps DIYers everywhere through the process with informative diagrams, videos and more.
Belts Make the Engine Go Round
A good example is engine belts. When they get older, their turning motion can be somewhat stiff and erratic instead of smooth. This irregular belt speed can put stress on many other (expensive) engine and transmission parts that the belts power, such as the alternator, water pump, air conditioning compressor, power steering pump, and so forth. Keeping good belts running your Volvo will protect those other vital parts and prevent major damage to the vehicle’s value and longevity, not to mention the unpleasant experience of being left on the side of the road by a broken belt.
Note: After changing the timing belt, you might notice your Check Engine light coming on. This is a common issue with several Volvo models and is caused by the camshaft position sensor. If this occurs with yours, just check out the VVT unit, it likely could be the culprit.
The Ride’s the Thing
Another common mechanical system that you can deal with yourself is all the suspension parts. If not in good working order, anyone who rides in your car will feel it. When fixing your suspension system, there are several parts you might actually consider upgrading over what was installed on the base model. Look for upgraded OEM shocks and struts that will accommodate your personal driving style and specific driving conditions. For example, upgrade to performance coils that will give your Volvo a sportier feel that’s sure to perk up your everyday driving. Lowering coil options improves your curve-hugging control for those long and winding roads!
Note: if no OEM exist for what you’re looking for, check out what the Volvo aftermarket parts brands have available.
Your Volvo Is Only as Good as its Weakest Parts; Favor Genuine OEM When Possible
Remember that a vehicle’s quality isn’t so much about the extra “bells and whistles” as it is about the overall functionality and reliability of the car. It’s absolutely true that you get what you pay for, or to put it in investment terms, you reap what you sow. There are some benefits with going for aftermarket parts for your Volvo, and sometimes you may not have a choice depending on the rarity of your specific car or the part you want. But based on the said importance of the vehicle’s reliability and durability to its overall value, when possible you should go with genuine OEM Volvo parts.
Quality goes beyond just the name brand on the vehicle itself. It also goes with the replacement parts that have been installed. There are “compatible” parts that are cheaper in the short run, but using them will lead to revisiting the issue again sooner than you think, or worse breaking something else. Buying cheap auto parts runs counter to investment thinking, which dictates that you spend money up front to retain value later. If you buy the cheapest possible parts for a vehicle, you will get the cheapest possible performance. In time, the part will under-perform, creating a burden on other systems as we’ve noted above, not to mention you’ll have to revisit the issue again. So, the point is buy quality parts for your Volvo’s repairs and you’ll see that the automobile’s value will hold for the long haul.
Investing in a vehicle for DIY upgrades is fun and exciting, but you can’t just buy it and work on it in storage, then sell it thirty years later. It needs a modest amount of driving and a proactive maintenance program to ensure old parts and systems keep up with the new upgrades you perform on your Volvo.