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Thread: Guidance on Maintenance Costs/Reliability

  1. #1

    Guidance on Maintenance Costs/Reliability

    Hello everyone. I joined here quite awhile back based on my interest in a MT SX4 AWD. I test drove one a number of years ago and liked how nimble and put together it felt. Well time has gone by, I got married and end up buying a Volvo S60R MT. I love the car, I really do. It is stock but 300 hp is a lot of fun. However, as finances crunch down and things get tighter with us considering buying a house, I am beginning to wonder if I should get rid of the R for something, uh, a bit cheaper to maintain and keep running. Also something on which I'm not afraid to put the miles on. With the Volvo, the general figure for figuring cost of maintenance and repairs comes around $2,000/yr or figure roughly $200/month. I just did a major suspension overhaul and replaced the LCAs, struts, some rear bushings, strut mounts, end links, and I can't remember what all else. That probably cost me around $1300 or so.

    Anyway, my requirements are AWD absolutely (I live in Quebec), utility, and with the low HP/Torque, a MT makes things a bit more engaging. I understand these things are great in the snow. I am also correct that the MT version do not come with heated seats but some autos do, and a swap is possible? I realize coming from a semi luxury car to this is a jump in a funny direction, but it might be a good choice for me at this point in life.

    Does anyone have average figures of what it costs to maintain these cars and is there a place to find the common problems and issues that will likely need to be addressed as an owner? Furthermore, what models, years, etc. should I look for or avoid?

    Any advice is much appreciated; links, personal experiences, whatever.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Las Vegas USA
    2010 2.0 AWD Auto/CVT Hatch 100,000 miles owned since new
    I've done nothing but oil changes, fluids, brakes, tires, and the belt.
    No break downs, no check engine lights, still drives well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    New Jersey
    I bought my sx4 new in march of 2012. Its the manual crossover tech package so it came with all 5 options, alloy wheels, heated seats, fog lights, a bs "navigation" system which is just a Garmin unit in a pop up compartment on the dash, and steering wheel controls. The car now has 85,XXX miles on it and i have had absolutely zero issues with it. The car did go to the dealer once for the steering pump recall but i don't think my steering pump was bad or going bad, i took it in just to take advantage of a free new steering pump. I did have to replace the oem battery last month. The car was lowered on H&R springs at 5k and are all 4 shocks are still in very good shape which actually kind of bothers me cause i need an excuse to buy coil overs. Besides fluid changes, brakes, and 1 battery after 5 years the car is an absolute tank. I drive it like i stole it on a daily basis and for a car that is the slowest ive ever owned its without a doubt one of the most fun cars I've owned to drive. Since Suzuki left NA and my car is now worth about 1/4 of what i paid for it the plan is to keep it until at least 250k miles. I honestly have no doubts that it will make it there with regular maintenance.

  4. #4
    Sorry I haven't checked this forum for awhile so I'm a little late in replying but what you said dero sounds great.

    I test drove one a few years back and from what I remember it felt quite nimble and quick on its feet. It will feel like dog I'm sure though coming from 300hp.

    What should I look for in buying one of these? I'd really like heated seats since I live in Canada and it can get cold here. If the car I'd buy doesn't have them is it possible to do a swap?

    Common issues and things that should be done and should know before I take the plunge? I would be getting a manual; how long does the clutch usually last (I know it depends a lot on driving habits)?

    I've read a few posts on here about spinning rod bearings. How common is this? What year(s) are the best and what are some things I should stay away from? I like the fact that the 2010 and up has 6 gears instead of 5. Closer ratio I imagine?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    New Brunswick, Canada
    I've had a ton of issues with mine, over the past 20000km: (120000km total on SX4)
    -Rear Axle Seals
    -Right front axle
    -front control arms
    -front and rear struts
    -different engine code every week, constantly chasing sensors
    -Catalytic converter and muffler
    -Both rear calipers
    -Strut mounts
    -sway bar links
    -shift linkage
    -E brake cables
    -Car is already starting to rust under the rear wheel arch trim
    -Had to replace a support between the front cross member and the front rad support, litterally had to buy a $500 parts car for this piece because no junkyard or part supplier had a clue what i was talking about
    -all 4 corners wheel bearings

    10/10 would not buy one again, this was owned by an older couple that had receipts for everything right down to having the winter tires put on. I do not abuse my car.
    2009 SX4 Hatch AWD Manual, RRO lift, 215/70r16 General Grabber AT2, 20mm rear spacers, 10mm front spacers, (Sold)

  6. #6
    Well that's confidence inspiring.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    New Brunswick, Canada
    All of the suspension issues also managed ruined $600 worth of tires so that was a bonus.
    Didn't mention but the A/C compressor crapped out about a week ago.
    Resale market is god awful and its a pain in the *** to get any part that isn't just a run of the mill basic maintenance part.

    Not trying to take the wind out of your sails but I owned a 2007 Toyota Yaris before this and it cost me maybe $200 dollars of parts over 100000km's.

    Take it to a shop and make sure you get a really good check over before you buy.
    2009 SX4 Hatch AWD Manual, RRO lift, 215/70r16 General Grabber AT2, 20mm rear spacers, 10mm front spacers, (Sold)

  8. #8
    Just be thankful you don't own a Euro car then, these are the kinds of things you must learn to accept and live with if you decide to buy one. However, reliability and cheap to own are becoming high on my list, and AWD with a manual has always been one of the bullet points for me.

    I expected these cars were quite reliable, but your posts suggest otherwise. The other two people above suggest that their experience has been positive. I guess if I would get an SX4, one consolation is that the parts will be considerably cheaper than what I'm used to with the Volvo.

    The more people that can comment and share their experiences the better.

  9. #9
    I've known people with good and bad experiences, but none as bad as that. I've had to change the brakes, fluids and tires in the past few years but totally doable for me and wasn't crazy expensive. Definitely do not buy a car like this though unless you have had it professionally checked out.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Lake in the Hills
    Bought mine with 67k on the Odom. It's a 2007 awd stick. Bearing went out in the trans. That was $1200 for a used one with a year warranty. Also had a belt break. But that's it really. It's got 116k now and am just now changing the spark plugs. Runs great and I beat the piss out of this poor thing. I bet I keep it till 200k at least.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
    2007 SX4 HB Sport AWD 5 spd with RRM Short Ram Intake, RRM ECU Piggyback, Magnaflow Exhaust and Muffler, RRM Lightweight Pulley.

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