Used Car of the Day: 2006 Volvo XC90

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Sometimes we share clean used cars that would make solid daily drivers. And sometimes we share something that needs work but could be had cheap.

Today's 2006 Volvo XC90 is the latter case.


Yes, I know XC90s aren't uncommon -- and usually, when I share something that needs a lot of work, it's a rarity. Still, this one could be had for just three grand.

Why? Well our seller says it drips oil. He or she also, somewhat confusingly, says the engine has low mileage but also needs a rebuild or repair. Adding to the confusion is that the vehicles' mileage is over 123K.

The rest of the package looks good, save for a replaced fender. No rust, working Bose audio, interior in good shape.

So, if you can sort through the confusion, and fix the engine IF it needs repair, you can perhaps snag a bargain.

Click here to see more about this Ohio-based rig.

[Images: Seller]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on May 04, 2024

    I cannot remember what happens now, but there are whiteblocks in this period which develop a "tick" like sound which indicates they are toast (maybe head gasket?). Ten or so years ago I looked at an '03 or '04 S60 (I forget why) and I brought my Volvo indy along to tell me if it was worth my time - it ticked and that's when I learned this. This XC90 is probably worth about $300 as it sits, not kidding, and it will cost you conservatively $2500 for an engine swap (all the ones I see on car-part.com have north of 130K miles starting at $1,100 and that's not including freight to a shop, shop labor, other internals to do such as timing belt while engine out etc).




  • Wjtinfwb Wjtinfwb on May 06, 2024

    18 year old Euro with admitted "issues". RUN from this money pit. My experience with European cars is time is more of an enemy than Mileage. I'd rather a 5 year old BMW with 120k miles than a 15 year old one with 50k. Electronics, wiring, plastics, exterior trim etc. just crumble with time, particularly if the car has lived in a harsh climate outside. I have folders of receipts from BMW, VW and Audi shops if you'd like to see the evidence of my thesis.

    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on May 06, 2024

      This may have been true at one time, but now so much of the engine bay is plastic and subject to heat as well as age so you will still potentially run into issues at 5 years you used to only see in 15yo examples.


  • 3-On-The-Tree I don’t think Toyotas going down.
  • ToolGuy Random thoughts (bulleted list because it should work on this page):• Carlos Tavares is a very smart individual.• I get the sense that the western hemisphere portion of Stellantis was even more messed up than he originally believed (I have no data), which is why the plan (old plan, original plan) has taken longer than expected (longer than I expected).• All the OEMs who have taken a serious look at what is happening with EVs in China have had to take a step back and reassess (oversimplification: they were thinking mostly business-as-usual with some tweaks here and there, and now realize they have bigger issues, much bigger, really big).• You (dear TTAC reader) aren't ready to hear this yet, but the EV thing is a tsunami (the thing has already done the thing, just hasn't reached you yet). I hesitate to even tell you, but it is the truth.
  • ToolGuy ¶ I have kicked around doing an engine rebuild at some point (I never have on an automobile); right now my interest level in that is pretty low, say 2/5.¶ It could be interesting to do an engine swap at some point (also haven't done that), call that 2/5 as well.¶ Building a kit car would be interesting but a big commitment, let's say 1/5 realistically.¶ Frame-up restoration, very little interest, 1/5.¶ I have repainted a vehicle (down to bare metal) and that was interesting/engaging (didn't have the right facilities, but made it work, sort of lol).¶ Taking a vehicle which I like where the ICE has given out and converting it to EV sounds engaging and appealing. Would not do it anytime soon, maybe 3 to 5 years out. Current interest level 4/5.¶ Building my own car (from scratch) would have some significant hurdles. Unless I started my own car company, which might involve other hurdles. 😉
  • Rover Sig "Value" is what people perceive as its worth. What is the worth or value of an EV somebody creates out of a used car? People value different things, but for a vehicle, people generally ascribe worth in terms of reliability, maintainability, safety, appearance and style, utility (payload, range, etc.), convenience, operating cost, projected life, support network, etc. "Value for money" means how much worth would people think it had compared to competing vehicles on the market, in other words, would it be a good deal to buy one, compared to other vehicles one could get? Consider what price you would have to ask for it, including the parts and labor you put into it, because that would affect the “for the money” part of the “value for money” calculation. An indicator of whether people think an EV-built-in-a-used-car would provide "value for money" is the current level of demand for used cars turned into EVs. Are there a lot of people looking for these on the market? Or would building one just be a hobby? Repairing an existing EV, bringing it back into spec, might create better value for the money. Although demand for EVs is reportedly down recently.
  • ToolGuy Those of you who aren't listening to the TTAC Podcast, you really don't know what you are missing.
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