How Expensive Are Volvos To Maintain, Fix, or Repair?

Published: April 28, 2022
Last updated: May 26, 2022

If you're in the market for a car, you'd like to be sure you're getting a reliable vehicle that will ultimately save you money. You might not have a large budget to spend on maintenance and Volvo repairs because you're interested in a luxury vehicle.

You may be surprised by Volvo repair costs when you put them into perspective. This article discusses the many factors you need to consider to determine how much it costs to fix, maintain, and repair a Volvo. It is important to consider the big picture when thinking about the cost of maintaining, repairing, or repairing Volvos.

The reliability of Volvos needs to be evaluated in comparison with other brands, the cost of Volvo parts compared to other brands, and where and how Volvos are driven. 

The RepairPal Reliability Rating

The reliability ratings provided by Repair Pal help determine the cost of maintaining, repairing, and repairing a particular vehicle. A vehicle's Repair Pal Reliability Rating indicates how reliable the vehicle is. Unscheduled repairs and maintenance affect the vehicle's dependability by affecting its cost, frequency, and severity.

Using millions of invoices for vehicle repairs between 2010 and 2019, Repair Pal has created a reliability rating. When it comes to the possibility of dealing with unscheduled repairs and maintenance issues, their rating can provide valuable information about the costs of owning a vehicle. It's merely a comparison with other vehicles and, of course, averages for the industry.

Costs of repairs heavily influence RepairPal's Reliability Rating. The low cost of ownership of top brands such as Hyundai, Honda, and Kia will have contributed to their success. You need to remember that Volvos are a luxury brand if you're using Repair Pal's Reliability Rating to calculate the cost of owning a Volvo.

Therefore, typical Volvo repairs and fixes are more expensive (because certain parts are needed), making Volvos appear less reliable and more likely to require repairs.

Volvo Reliability and Cost Factors

The reliability of a vehicle can be evaluated based on three main factors, as mentioned previously. Cost, frequency, and severity are three factors that help you understand whether a Volvo will cost more to maintain, repair, or fix than other vehicles.

Annual maintenance and repairs are taken into account when calculating the cost. The cost of a vehicle doesn't necessarily indicate that it will be costly to repair. A less reliable vehicle might just be more expensive to fix. Luxury cars like Volvos cost more to repair, not because they're unreliable but because their parts are more expensive.

The frequency of bringing the vehicle in for maintenance and repairs refers to how often it is brought in. Vehicles brought into the shop for unexpected issues more frequently are less reliable and more costly to maintain.

If the average annual cost of ALL models is three times what the repair costs, it is considered severe. Due to the higher labor rates and the higher cost of parts, luxury brands always have a higher threshold.

The Numbers

Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Cadillac are more expensive to maintain than Volvos. Despite this, Volvo maintenance costs are about twice as high as those of U.S. and Japanese brands. Due to Volvo's specialty parts and software use, access to these products is extremely costly.

Volvos typically cost around $769 annually for repairs. All other models cost an average of $652 per year for repairs. Scheduled maintenance and unscheduled repairs are both included in these figures. According to a study, on average, Volvos are repaired once every two years. In these cases, only 9% were considered to be in a severe condition. The average number of other vehicles was once every two and a half years, with 12% severe.

Biggest Maintenance Expenses and How to Keep Costs Down

You can have preventative maintenance performed to avoid more costly repairs and fixes in the future. For instance, if you want to prevent future repairs, you should replace the serpentine belt before it wears out. By ignoring the problem, you could have to replace your engine. Accordingly, most Volvo models are equipped with non-interference motors, which do not interfere with the transmission when the serpentine belt runs.

Front-end alignment is another preventative measure that can get out of order from time to time. For some models, this happens more frequently than for others. If not observed, the result may be costly repairs down the road, such as replacing tires and fixing a noisy steering system.

How to Help Curb the Expenses

Despite this, Volvo offers some perks that can help offset the cost of ownership. It was announced in 2015 that Volvo would provide a lifetime warranty on parts and labor. The warranty covers labor and parts when purchasing parts and repairs at an authorized Volvo dealer. As part of the warranty, they will repair/replace the following items:

  • Batteries
  • Belts
  • Brake pads
  • Bulbs
  • Clutch lining
  • Filters
  • Floor mats
  • Fuses
  • Rotors
  • Spark plugs
  • Timing belts
  • Upholstery/rugs
  • Wiper blades
  • Tires

Furthermore, Volvo vehicles come with a factory-supplied service program. You're entitled to three maintenance services in the first three years or 36,000 miles (whichever comes first). Buying a Prepaid Maintenance Plan will save you about 20% of the maintenance costs.

What Makes a Volvo Expensive to Fix, Repair, and Maintain?

Two of the most important factors affecting Volvos' costliness are how and where they are driven. To keep your vehicle in good shape for a long time, you need to take good care of it. Here are some bad driving habits to avoid:

  • Ignoring The Parking Brake

A parking pawl is a metal component within the transmission system that engages the parking brake when you don't use the parking brake. Over time, the pawl is less effective because of excessive wear and tear.

  • Overloading The Vehicle

As a result of overloading, suspension, brakes, and drive train components are put under additional stress.

  • Driving With An Empty Tank

Maintaining a quarter of your fuel tank is important. Fuel pumps are meant to be completely submerged in fuel to keep them cool. Overheating can occur if the pump is exposed for a long period, resulting in more wear and tear.

  • Coasting Downhill While Pressing The Brake Pedal

By downshifting instead of braking, you will spare your brake pads and rotors many wear and tear. This is a very effective way to brake and is a natural way for your car to slow down.

  • Ignoring Maintenance And Dashboard Lights

You should pay attention to all the lights on the dashboard in front of you. Ignoring them will only lead to problems. Repair and maintenance bills can grow exponentially as problems accumulate.

Your car may wear and tear more quickly due to the weather. Winter conditions can:

  • Thicken Fluids

To prevent this from happening, make sure your car has warmed up before you start driving.

  • Kill Your Battery

Below-freezing temperatures decrease the battery's starting capacity.

  • Tire Pressure

Cold weather may impact tire pressure, resulting in uneven wear and tear.

  • Involve Salt

Corrosive salts are very dangerous for your car, especially its undercarriage. If they are not removed, they can cause serious problems down the road.

Your vehicle's engine can also suffer from hot and humid weather. Engines are more prone to overheating, making monitoring warning lights, checking fluid levels, and checking belts and hoses especially important.


You may be able to save some money if you're handy and know how to fix cars, but keep in mind that trying to fix your vehicle yourself may void your warranty.

The Volvo is a very reliable vehicle in general. However, the cost of maintaining, repairing, and repairing luxury vehicles tends to be a little higher than the average U.S. or Japanese brand. In large part, this is due to the high cost of Volvo parts. However, if you take good care of your Volvo, you will have fewer issues in the long run, allowing these costs to be offset.

Are you interested in learning more about cars and their maintenance? Head over to the KeepDriving website and check out our blog post about the six symptoms of low Freon in your car.

Founder, Editor-in-Chief Carmelo Pickel is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Keep Driving, with almost 20 years of experience working in the industry. Before founding Keep Driving, Carmelo held leadership roles for over a decade on top automotive dealership corporations across North America, handling various leadership roles in Sales, Marketing, and Incentives.
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