hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
86,439 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 (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

Feb 032013

XC90 5-cyl

  • 150,239 miles


Was driving on free way, as I was accelerating I lost all power and steering.. the engine stalled out and I had to veer off to side so that I wouldn't cause an accident.

- Sterling Heights, MI, USA

problem #22

Feb 142013

XC90 8-cyl

  • 111,000 miles
At 111,000 thousand miles the counter balance shaft bearing went inside the motor. I did a little research on line and found out that it is a design problem, that Volvo knows about. It could cost any where from $5000 to $15000. I believe that they should be forced to do a recall for this known problem, and help there customers with the repairs. Thank you for your help in this matter.

- Winchendon, MA, USA

problem #21

Mar 012011

XC90 5-cyl

  • miles
When I fill my tank up all the way my gasoline only lasts about 150 miles. The gas has got to be leaking somewhere!!! I have to fill my tank up several times a week.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #20

Mar 162012

XC90 8-cyl

  • 87,147 miles


My Volvo 2005 xc 90 V8 engine failed. Could not drive it so I had it towed to the Volvo dealership. I was told, after 2 days of diagnosis, that the engine had to be replaced. I was told that Volvo could not help with cost of new engine since I was out of warranty, date -wise but not mileage- wise. I have since discovered that a large number of like engines have suffered the same catastrophic engine failure due to a design defect concerning a bearing/shaft. To date, Volvo has done nothing to help me. At a higher speed, this engine failure could have been fatal.

- Shelby, NC, USA

problem #19

Mar 152012


  • 68,723 miles
Transmission service urgent light came out. Transmission was stuck in 3rd gear. Had hard up shifts.

- Florence, KY, USA

problem #18

Jan 232012

XC90 8-cyl

  • 86,000 miles
2005 Volvo XC90 V8 engine number 5569. Balance shaft failure. Or counter balance shaft failure. Due to engine defect. Balance shaft bearings in closed, non-lubricated area. Bearings rest in an area that retains moisture and the bearings eventually deteriorate and fail. When this happens there is catastrophic engine failure. There are approximately 7000 vehicles with this defect. The defect was realized after engine 6883. We are very lucky that the failure did not occur the previous day on our 200 mile interstate trip. Engine destruction at 75 mph could have proved fatal. Loud popping and rattling from the engine was the only warning...no check engine light. Volvo is aware of this defect and has sent service memos to drill holes to allow water in this area to drain and prevent rusting of bearings. There are many documented cases on this site and other traffic safety sites. A recall needs to be issued!

- Mt Pleasant, SC, USA

problem #17

Jan 132012

XC90 8-cyl

  • 90,000 miles


While leaving house to go and pick-up son from school.down the street vehicle started making a grinding noise. I pulled over and had vehicle towed to the Volvo dealer to be repaired. Thinking it would be covered by extended warranty I was told no. The problem was with the counterbalance shaft bearing. Even though it was a manufactures flaw with the design of their engine repairs ran close to $3500. I was planning to purchase another Volvo vehicle but maybe not. I think I'll go american.

- Springfield, MA, USA

problem #16

Jan 062011

XC90 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Volvo XC90. The contact stated that while driving approximately 45 mph, the vehicle suddenly stalled without any warning. The contact was able to restart the vehicle after waiting a few moments. The vehicle had not been inspected by a dealer and was not repaired. The dealer was later notified, but the contact had yet to receive a response. The failure mileage was approximately 75,000. Updated 02/15/12 updated 02/27/12

- Pacific Palisides, CA, USA

problem #15

Jan 052012

XC90 5-cyl

  • miles
Sludge build up in the engine even after scheduled oil changes. Was told the engine/turbo would have to be placed after 100,000 miles.

- Ridgeland, MS, USA

problem #14

Oct 012011


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Volvo XC90. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled while driving at various speeds. The first occurrence occurred while driving approximately 55 mph. The contact was able to successfully restart the vehicle after the failures occurred. The vehicle was not taken to have the failure diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 110,000.

- Lexington, NC, USA

problem #13

Dec 082011

XC90 8-cyl

  • 70,422 miles


Counter balance shaft failure leading to complete engine failure. Defective design.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #12

Nov 012011

XC90 8-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
The balancer bearing and shaft on the 2005 Volvo XC90 SUV is defective in the first 6000 vehicles manufactured for that model year. The balancer shaft bearing can go bad at any time without warning, causing catastrophic engine damage. If this happens on a highway while traveling at a high rate of speed, the results could be deadly. Volvo North America is aware of this and does nothing to address this serious, potentially deadly situation. We have been working to get Volvo of North America to recognize this issue and they have doing nothing to date except point to maintenance, which has no impact on the problem. There is no maintenance procedure to insure this does not happen and Volvo will not pay for damages. The remedy in most cases is an engine replacement which costs about $15,000, and as mentioned, Volvo will not pay for it. Volvo must be forced to recall these vehicles and fix the problem and compensate owners who have been impacted. These vehicles must be recalled and the problem must be fixed before countless lives are put at risk by this ticking time bomb that will go off. At 70 miles an hour, a failed engine could lead to death. There are 6000 Volvo XC90's with this problem. The dealer diagnosed the problem as a complete engine failure due to the balancer becoming damaged and causing catastrophic engine failure. The consumer was informed it would cost $ 14,700 to replace the engine. Updated IVOQ 03/09/12

- Ortley Beach, NJ, USA

problem #11

Aug 212011


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Volvo XC90. While driving approximately 25 mph, the contact heard a loud noise emitting from the front end of the vehicle. Immediately there was a slight loss of engine power during acceleration. The malfunction progressed and the vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer who stated the engine would need to be replaced as a result to the engine balance shaft fracturing. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Seaside Park, NJ, USA

problem #10

Sep 042011

XC90 8-cyl

  • 86,330 miles
Heard loud ticking noise coming from engine at 86330K miles. Vehicle ride became somewhat rough. Diagnosed at Volvo dealership as balance shaft bearing "part failure". est. To fix: ~$3800. Volvo agreed to compensate for the parts, approx $1500. Balance of $2325.50 paid by vehicle owner. Took 1 week for Volvo to obtain parts as they are not commonly stocked or were back ordered. On line research revealed this to have been a problem with early 2005 XC90 V8's. water/condensation/vapor is able to get in and rust the bearing leading to engine failure. A tsb was issued (? when) for a fix to drill a "weeping hole" in engine block to drain water from the bearing.

- Foxboro, MA, USA

problem #9

Jul 082011

XC90 8-cyl

  • 64,780 miles
1.July 8, 2011. 2005 Volvo XC90 balance shaft broke off within car engine. Heard a loud sound coming from car engine, and lost a great deal of power while driving on highway. 2.further damage to the vehicle engine could have been done due to accelerating to get of the highway in order to avoid a collision from vehicles coming from behind. This was a scary life and dangerous experience. 3.Volvo having explained what created the problem to date. The engine will have to be pulled out and almost re-built at a cost to almost $8500 extended warranty I paid $4,100 for is not covering full cost. I am responsible for over $2000 + cost of car rentals to date. July 28, 2011, car is still with Volvo.

- Brentwood, NY, USA

problem #8

Jan 122011


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Volvo XC90. The contact stated while driving 30 mph the vehicle shut off without warning. The contact had the vehicle towed to a local mechanic. The mechanic notice the timing chain broke causing the engine to lock up. The mechanic stated the engine needs to replaced. The mechanic replaced the engine. The contact notice numerous complaint regarding engine malfunctions for this year make and model. The contact called the manufacturer and the manufacturer stated since the vehicle has not been serviced at a dealer they are not responsible for the repairs. The contact stated if the vehicle was on the highway and the engine failed a crash could have occurred. The failure mileage was 75,000.

- Newbury Port, MA, USA

problem #7

Feb 242011

XC90 8-cyl

  • 58,070 miles
Out of the blue a well-maintained and well cared for 2005 Volvo XC90 V8 SUV developed a severe engine knocking/banging sound (all service records completed at required time periods). Actually sounded like ball bearings rolling around inside the engine compartment. 58,000 miles on the vehicle. Engine was shut down immediately and vehicle flatbedded to the service dealer. Upon inspection, the counterbalance bearing and shaft failed. If engine had not been shut down there was a very real possibility of the bearing seizing and the shaft hits the inside of the engine block breaking the timing chain bending all the valves(I.e. catastrophic engine failure)! as the manufacturer, Volvo should bear the full monetary responsibility when it come to this repair. A serious design flaw in their engine is the cause of this failure. The service tech must tear you engine apart (literally remove the engine from the vehicle and open the engine block!) to properly complete the repair. Volvo should be picking up the entire cost of this fiasco. Parts and labor. Period. To date Volvo making owners pay for the replacement parts. The parts are between $1200-2000. It is not the correct way for a so-called ┐quality automobile manufacturer┐ to handle the situation. When customers pay $45000-$55,000 for an automobile, they expect the car (and the engine!) to last a wee longer than 55,000-75,000 miles (sarcasm intended). Frankly, this will be my last Volvo.

- Canton, OH, USA

problem #6

Feb 022011

XC90 8-cyl

  • 152,000 miles
Safety complaint 'second occurrence same vehicle - sudden vehicle disabled ┐ 2005 Volvo XC90 V8 ┐ February 2011 153,000 miles. Daughter with learner permit driving down busy urban road and vehicle suddenly stopped without warning in the right of way. Vehicle had to be pushed to side of road second counterbalance shaft bearing failure. This failure occurred on the replaced engine from the prior occurrence ┐ see complaint number 10392958. This engine had 77,000 miles at time of failure. The timing chain had not broken and the balancer shaft, idler gear could be replaced and engine repaired after the engine had to be removed - $3,000 repair. Volvo would not cover any cost even though a product bulletin was put out. Vehicle always serviced by Volvo dealer and no mention ever made of potential for failure or the bulletin. Research now indicates this to be a common problem for this model year configuration. We have purchased another brand due to safety concern, failure to provide service by the dealer and failure of Volvo to acknowledge any responsibility. The % of 2005 Volvo xc 90 V8 vehicles with this safety issue and engine failure rate needs to be analyzed. Please review and initiate an investigation.

- Mooresville, NC, USA

problem #5

Jun 062010

XC90 8-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Safety complaint - sudden vehicle disabled " 2005 Volvo XC90 V8 " June 2010 130000 miles. Wife was driving busy urban road and vehicle suddenly stopped without warning in the middle of the intersection. Vehicle had to be pushed from middle of intersection. Counterbalance shaft bearing failure. The timing chain had broken and the engine had a catastrophic failure. Repay was $10,000 with a used 60,000 mile engine installed. Volvo would not cover any cost even though a product bulletin was put out. Vehicle always serviced by dealer and no mention ever made of potential for failure or the bulletin.

- Mooresville, NC, USA

problem #4

Nov 232010


  • 126,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Volvo XC90. While driving approximately 30 mph, the contact began to hear a knocking noise coming from the engine. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was told that the bearing and cam shafts would need to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 126,000 and the current mileage was 128,000.

- Schenectady, NY, USA

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