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2011 Volvo C30 T5 M6
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everybody,

I'm in the process of buying a 05 Outback XT with the 5 speed auto for my gf, and I found one locally earlier this week.
Car is the limited model, loaded with everything and is a one owner car with 173k km (about 107k miles).
Body is in decent shape with lots of rock ships on the bumber and a few dings but no rust. Interior is in great shape and everything works. The owner kept all the maintenance receipt from new and everything checks out. For example, timing belt was changed a year ago at around 100k mi, oil change where frequent, exhaust is one year old, etc. All in all a very attractive car with a full history.
However, he said he heard a noise from the turbo right around christmas, and had it replaced right away. Should I be worried about it? The engine pulls strong and makes no clicking noise. There's a very slight whine from what I believe is the center or front diff, but I planned on doing a trans fluid flush anyway (no sign of recent change in the history)
It won't be my first turbo (I currently own a volvo c30 t5 - which I love to death!) and had a few turbo diesel back when I was living in Europe, but the turbo on these engine seems to be really finicky, and while I don't mind sticking to a strict maintenance schedule, I don't really want to buy a car that could crap its turbo or engine 2 weeks after I buy it.

Any advice? Things I should look for or ask the seller? Or will I be ok with 2-3 1k oil changes and banjo bolt inspections in the beginning?
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,120 Posts
Having the turbo replaced already is a good thing. See if you can get anymore information about the turbo failure conditions. The risk is that debris went into the block via the oil return. However, they can fail on the exhaust side and there is far less concern with that failure.

Check the oil in it, check the transmission fluid prior to purchase. make sure she checks the oil...I mean that. Until you know the car, it may or may not be a user. These turbos can eat oil. Consumption many times can be stabilized, but know the car. Check the oil.

Oh, check the oil.
 

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Lot of recent money spent on this car. Have to wonder why the owner is now looking to sell it. I would be very cautious.
 

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Heed the “Be very Cautious” part. Does the girl friend really want a special performance car? Vs say a H6 with much lower risk of high cost failures? The XT is a fun car tinker car not a great car to drive and ignore otherwise. Given it will bite your wallet every time if you don’t pay close attention to it.
 

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2011 Volvo C30 T5 M6
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Discussion Starter #5
It's not a lot recently, the only recent repair is the turbo, other things where changed when they failed like the exhaust etc. (I live in Quebec it's quite normal for exhaust to rust out). Wheel bearings were changed about twice already for example. Timing belt was due after 10years so it checks out. They just followed the maintenance schedule. That's the turbo I'm most worried about, I don't really know if they fixed only the symptoms (weird noise coming from the turbo), or if they also checked the cause of failure (oil starvation from banjo or just an old turbo failing after 13years). They were aware that because of the turbo they had to change the oil frequently and the records show that so I'm not too worried about it.
Level was good when I checked it but the oil was changed 3 months ago when they changed the turbo. They only drove around 1k miles since then. They can't remember if the trans oil had been changed so it is on my list of things to do, but I'm not too worried about it either, there was no jerkyness in the transmission during the test drive.

They are selling it because they need a 7 seat vehicle now (family with 3 kids now turning into teens), and because after 13 years it's time for something new (their words). They are far from the shadiest persons I had to deal with when I look for used vehicles. The binder with all the records from new is a good indication.
 

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2011 Volvo C30 T5 M6
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Discussion Starter #6
Well girl friend is maybe not the most appropriate term. We're not married, but we have a house together, and are trying to get a baby etc. So in a way it will be "my" second car, and I like the performance (the test drive was fun!).
But yeah my first choise was the h6. The trouble is there is not much 3.0R around here (+/- 200miles from home), only 6 at the moment, and most of them have a shady past (no history, rust problems, there's one for sale that the current owner bought... 2 weeks ago!). The other thing I didn't mention was that the XT is red, which looks much better than the silver or black or "green" 3.0
I'm not interested in the 2.5i, not enough power to make it worthwhile dealing with the HG and oil consumptions problems. I like working on my cars, but the car has to be interesting. For the price of a good condition 2.5i with new HG and timing belt and no rust, there are more interesting choices around here.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,120 Posts
There s No Need to Fear these cars, but you should be cautious.

This doesn't sound at all sketchy, this sounds like a good car. If I were you, you should get a 3rd party warranty on it for a few months until things like oil analysis can be done. Any little things like vacuum leaks ca be sorted out. Aged XTs are notorious for those.

Premium fluids and premium fuels add to the cost of ownership. But, I truly love mine. I never liked Red, but Cherry is hot. Makes Frankie look like an old Hag.
 

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2011 Volvo C30 T5 M6
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Discussion Starter #9
She likes and wants it (a 3rd gen outback and that red one in particular), but for sure she would be as happy with the H6 than the turbo 4.
Like I said I don't mind doing the maintenance and keep track of it, I just don't really want to deal with an engine replacement in the next few months or something major like that.
A third-party warranty would be a good idea, never thought about that!
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,120 Posts
She likes and wants it (a 3rd gen outback and that red one in particular), but for sure she would be as happy with the H6 than the turbo 4.
Like I said I don't mind doing the maintenance and keep track of it, I just don't really want to deal with an engine replacement in the next few months or something major like that.
A third-party warranty would be a good idea, never thought about that!
I bought a 2006 right before I joined up here, with 65K miles. Within 200 miles of sale the turbo failed and lunched the block. The used-car-30 day-no-hassle warranty saved my $7-$8K. I spent 2 years or modifying that car to ridiculous end. Well documented here.

I always said I wanted a matching H6. Now, at least at mile high. The 3.0 is a slug compared to the XT. I gave up on the H6 idea pretty quick after test driving a few. I scooped up this second XT about 15 months ago. I carried a $120 a month warranty note for about 5-6 months until I was confident in the powerplant and then dropped it.

Cherry has cost me very little. Really nothing out of the ordinary for any Gen3 repair and maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah I just need to find a third-party willing to insure a 13yo car. At least the mileage is not too high

I will go and test drive a 3.0 tomorrow with similar mileage (but no maintenance history - used car dealer)
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,120 Posts
Yeah I just need to find a third-party willing to insure a 13yo car. At least the mileage is not too high

I will go and test drive a 3.0 tomorrow with similar mileage (but no maintenance history - used car dealer)
My 2005 had 125K miles when I bought it. Most places I found would warranty to 200K. Of course they all wanted to sell me one -time $2000 cost vs month to month.

I was not looking for long term coverage. Just enough until I could sort out the unknowns.

Nothing is ever 100%. An H6 is never going to blow a turbo and grenade a block. An H6 is never going to have a timing belt failure. Its a more solid platform as far horrible things that can go wrong.


But even with headers, it's hard to beat boost.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Alright I'm back with a bit more details.

I went to test the 2 3.0R I found in used car lots locally. The power is decent but it's certainly as punchy as the XT, very linear, and it feels a bit gutless down low. But the biggest problem with both of these was the history. One had 4 previous owners and no maintenance records (to be expected when dealing with used car dealers), and it is the base model in grey (no sunroof). The other one is a black one with the creme interior. That one is loaded (VDC etc.), but the interior shows its age. Driver seat is scuffed up, the cream is more grey than cream in various spots, carpet is used. They didn't want to give me a carproof, but it definitely had its share of owners. No history either. I'm still keeping my eyes open for a clean H6, but I definitely haven't crossed the XT off the list.

I also called back the outback XT owner for more details on the turbo. Apparently they had the car towed to their mechanic when they started to hear some noise from the turbo. They did not drive the car after the repair (less than 300km/200miles), as they bought a new car in the meantime. The up pipe cat was replaced at the same time (probably with a new cat, not a catless pipe), leading me to believe the issue was with the up-pipe desintegrating and not an oil starvation issue. I will try to contact the mechanic, but it was 4 months ago, I'll doubt he will remember it.
I think this is both good and bad news, don't you think? The bad news is I really don't have any reliability info on the new turbo, but the good news is I can redo all the steps myself and check the banjo bolt filter / replace the oil cooler along with an engine flush to make sure it is not contaminated, right?

Is there something else I am missing? Any other things I should change checking/replacing while I'm at it? Is it still a not so good idea or are things looking better/worse than before?
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,120 Posts
I think you have a good handle on the the XT, the up-pipe is curious and I would tend to agree with your deduction.
 
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