hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,401 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2005 Volvo XC90 engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Volvo XC90 Owner Comments

problem #12

Jul 172011

XC90 6-cyl

  • 60,800 miles


Purchased used 2005 Volvo XC90 in spring of 2010. During the next year experienced very intermittent electrical issues. Examples are locks not working, blinker, radio. These issues literally only happened a couple times. In April 2011 had biyearly safety and emissions done at local dealership (non Volvo) and it did not pass emissions. Next day took my Volvo XC90 to weiss Volvo and it passed emissions (without me knowing they cleared errors on the car to get it to pass. This must be the reason in europe that dealerships can't inspect their own make of cars) on July 17 2011 I was driving down the highway with my 1 year old in the back seat. Radio went out. A few minutes later almost everything in the car shut down except for the engine. Lost A/C (it was 110 that day), lost power steering, braking was intermittent, no blinkers, no headlights, no lights in interior, while I was at full speed on the highway. I am not sure if engine was intermittent or not because I got off as soon as I could. I was very close to weiss Volvo so dropped it off there again on the date of the total failure. Called Volvo customer care on July 18 2011 to file complaint. Weiss Volvo called back and told us car wouldn't start. Called back later in the day and said they saw that everything went out and car was full of codes. Weiss sent in an estimate for $1500 to replace ECM. I asked weiss to perform an emissions test (by mo law manufacturer's cars must pass emissions test up to 80K miles and my car had 61K) I researched ECM and found very similar stories to mine and brought this up to Volvo na. Volvo na told weiss Volvo to "reset" my car (again without my permission). The car then was functional after reset. Weiss then "tested" my car for almost 3 weeks to figure out the design flaw for a total of 451 miles. The mechanic told me it was the ECM but Volvo na said it was various other reasons and wouldn't replace it. Car still broke. Reached limit.

- Kirkwood, MO, USA

problem #11

May 032011

XC90 8-cyl

  • 56,201 miles
1. heard marble noises underhood after 56,000 miles of normal driving. Well maintained. 2. balance shaft bearing broke apart and put out metal shards between cylinder heads. Loud metallic noise from engine. Vehicle was shut down immediately after pulling over to avoid engine destruction and traffic accident due to halted vehicle. Had to be towed. 3. balance shaft bearing is being replaced. Old part (in pieces) available for analysis.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #10

Jun 032011

XC90 8-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
I have a 2005 Volvo XC90 V8 the car has been developing a shake, I brought it to Volvo for a check up, nothing was reported as unusual. Yesterday I heard knocking in the engine and immediately flatbedded it to the dealership, the went to diagnose and the engine has froze. The dealer is researching and explained it is out of warranty with a new engine costing $14,000, reading other bulletins I suspect this is a counterbalance shaft bearing failure and is occurring with all 2005 V8 XC90's as they increase in age and exit any warranty period. I hope someone can do something, a new engine cost as much as it's trade-in value. Such a know issue should be investigated with Volvo picking up the cost.

- Oviedo, FL, USA

problem #9

Aug 102009

XC90 8-cyl

  • 35,000 miles


2005 XC90 V8. Power reduction, engine noise, engine failure due to defective rear counter balance shaft bearing. Failure at 35,000 miles on engine, 4 yr old, dealer serviced. Long block replaced while under extended 7-yr warranty. By dealer. Total repair cost (w/O warranty) would have been $15,000.

- Ca, CA, USA

problem #8

Jan 062011


  • 115,000 miles
Balance shaft failure on 2005 Volvo XC90 V8 with 115K miles. Unbelievable that Volvo will not issue a recall for this. Balance shaft failed today at just under 115K miles... unbelievable... and I thought it was just an internet rumor. If you have a 2005 XC90, sell it now! seriously, this is unacceptable for a $50,000 vehicle, and even more unacceptable for Volvo not to issue a recall. Needless to say, I seriously doubt we will ever buy another Volvo again simply because they should have issued a recall for this problem. Should have stuck with the germans (Audi or BMW), or dare I say it the Japanese, or even the americans! I can replace a lot of wheel bearings on a Yukon for what this balance shaft is going to cost me. Volvo needs to make it right with every owner of a 2005 XC90. Volvo knows of this problem and that is why they issued a tsb to drill a drain hole in the block, but they need to step up and issue a recall or, at the very least if an owner comes into the dealership with this problem, they need to fix it at no charge. It was their mistake, own up to it and fix it!

- West Henrietta, NY, USA

problem #7

Oct 242010

XC90 8-cyl

  • 85,698 miles
October 10, 2010 purchased cash 2005 XC90 V8. Went through safety and emission service for registration-- okay. October 22 heard a strange noise from engine, called Volvo dealership to request service. Didn't drive on October 23, 2010. On Sunday, October 24, went out to move the car for opposite side parking and to gas up for drive to service center. Car stopped at service station, and had to be towed to dealership. Dealership diagnostics October 25, 2010 confirmed: Noise is from either broken connecting rod or balance shaft....advice to customer "needs engine" at a cost of $14,000+. the car did not come with a warranty and even now the dealer is becoming increasingly evasive--as he says he was the owner/dealer at the time of sale, and as individual seller registered in another state and not New York, so does not have to honor warranty or assume responsibility. Call Volvo North America on October 26, 2010 with no knowledge of our ownership, (still haven┐T received title to car). Response was --no warranty no assistance with this counter balance or any other issue beyond 4 year/50,000 miles. Concern: Before purchase when asking the dealer no mention nor when researched no revelation of the counterbalance shaft being an ongoing issue for the 2005 XC90 V8. However, further evidence clearly shows design flaws in the original yamaha engines, and a slight covert attempt by Volvo to fix it via its limited edition technical service bulletin(tsb) to drill the hole in the shaft to let build up moisture escape. Additionally, Volvo's second attempt to slightly address the counter balance issue is evidenced via its limited and pay-to-get tsb informing dealerships not consumers ┐of not washing the engine, ┐ which may lead to moisture build up and total engine failure. Our attempts are now being made for Volvo to maintain its slogan of "safety for life." We want the safety attribute to be effective and useful when the car is operable, and not when the car is inoperable.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #6

Nov 232009

XC90 8-cyl

  • 67,000 miles


Counterbalance shaft bearings breakdown in Nov 2009 and had repairs done at independent repair shop; August 2010 cylinder head leak/crack which brings oil to water coolant. Repair shop advised to get rid of car 2005 xc 90 V8 Volvo. I am fearful of driving this car. To repair and replace engine and new transmission too much $$$ for this Volvo. With no guarantee. Volvo needs to own up to the bad quality of this particular model. I feel it is dangerous to drive with so many cars on the road. It's an accident waiting to happen.

- North Hollywood, CA, USA

problem #5

Jun 162010

XC90 8-cyl

  • 48,306 miles
Volvo XC90 2005 V8 - counter balance shaft failure leading to total engine failure and requiring engine replacement.

- Brookfield, IL, USA

problem #4

Nov 162009


  • 55,504 miles
Counter balance bearing failed at 55,504 miles. Non-greased bearing failure, caused by rusting, due to moisture build up inside of engine chamber. Vehicle had all required service done a Volvo dealerships. Engine was repaired not replaced, for a cost of $5000. Repair work was done at Volvo dealership. Volvo mechanic drilled weeping hole in chamber where counter balance shaft sits to allow water caused by moisture build up to escape. Drilling weeping hole was part of a tech bulletin issued by Volvo. V8 engines for the XC90 produced in 2005 did not initially have this weeping hole in them. This design change was implemented part way through the production year (I believe post engine #6833). Letter was written to the CEO of Volvo cars of N.a. llc and representative from his office refused to provide any support, stating that the vehicle in question was out of warranty and that there were no recalls with regards to this issue. Info provided to Volvo from swedespeed.com (see ODI id #10313311), however, this was rejected by Volvo as a non-valid source of information (their own customers!). the repair job to replace the cb shaft and bearing was over 30 hours, not to mention the parts cost. What will it take Volvo to admit there is a problem here and issue a recall to replace bearings and drill weeping holes in their 2005 XC90's with V8 engines? considering the cost they will incur, I'd suggest they will need to be pushed. The cost of engine repair is ($5,000) and engine replacement ($15,000+). all bearing failures outside of warranty are falling on the shoulders of the consumer. Recalls are about safety not cost to the manufacture. Just because this problem may only be linked to the 2005 V8 engines doesn't mean it is not important enough to be addressed for not only consumer financial protection but also for safety reasons. Thankfully my engine didn't fail while my family was driving on a busy interstate!

- Round Rock, TX, USA

problem #3

Feb 132010


  • 60,000 miles
Ungreased bearing failing on 2005 V8 Volvo XC90 a balance shaft bearing is failing due to the fact that the bearing is not greased and water can enter into the bearing cavity and make it rust. Once this happens, it can produce a total engine failure, and besides the fact the engine is totally compromised and needs replacement, it would obviously impair the ability to drive the vehicle, especially at highway speeds. This particular car has an engine with only 60K miles, serviced regularly and with the last major service performed at a Volvo dealer at about 50K miles. The car has been driven very lightly and it only has made about 10K miles in about two years. Here is in summary what I found about this: -the bearing that is failing is not lubricated (so nothing to do with oil in this case), and it fails due to the fact that water and/or humidity gets to it, by washing the engine(?) ┐ never did that anyway - or by the car just sitting in a lot.. -there is a Volvo bulletin that details what needs to be done, including drilling a weeping hole into the engine block to drain water; this shows that the problem is acknowledged and a fix has been put into place; it also shows that there is significant number of vehicles out there that have the same issue. -this seems to be a very common problem with this type of engine and year (2005 XC90, V8 engine, engine series less than #6800) ┐ I have pointed out a few threads below that mention the same issue. Given all the reasons enumerated above, I am asking for an evaluation of this issue and I really feel Volvo should recognize this as a design problem, issue a recall and step up to fix this issue. Here are some pointers to different articles discussing this: forums.swedespeed.com/zerothread"id=132172 forums.swedespeed.com/zerothread?id=123707 forums.swedespeed.com/zerothread?id=126698 forums.swedespeed.com/zerothread?id=123707 www.V70xc.com/forums/showthread.php"P=104935.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #2

Nov 032009


  • 67,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Volvo XC90. The bearings that were installed are steel. The bearings have deteriorated because they are not greased.. the vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection. He was advised that the engine needed to be replaced at an expense of $16,000. The manufacturer has not been contacted. The failure mileage was 67,000.

- North Hollywood, CA, USA

problem #1

Oct 162006

XC90 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,300 miles
The vehicle was bought back in 10/31/04. Within weeks of having the vehicle, we noticed lost of power and performances if the vehicle. We called the dealer about it and said that it might just be due to the gas cap. As it turned out they had to replace a solenoid which part of the starter or some type of firing mechanism for the engine. After that problem was fixed, we had to continually bring the vehicle back to the dealer for the check engine constantly coming on. This went on for numerous times until they found a relay problem. Last Friday my wife, who primarily drives the car, complained about the performance and lost of power issue. I test drove the vehicle and confirmed her worries about the vehicle. The vehicle does not accelerate properly and a sudden jerk or rise of RPM when it hits its mark. Also around 60 mph and 70 mph you can hear obvious noise from the engine. At idle for about a minute you can smell something burning in the engine compartment. The vehicle will be taken to dealer on 10/17/06.

- American Canyon, CA, USA

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