March 16

2010 Volvo XC70 Differential Repair



Mark: Hi, it’s Mark Top Local, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver’s best auto service experience, servicing and repairing vehicles in Vancouver for 38 years and 18 time winners of Best Auto Repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: Doing very well.

Mark: So we’re going to talk about a 2010 Volvo XC70 that had a differential noise, what was going on with this Volvo?

Bernie: Well this is a typical problem with this car, probably the worst thing that goes on in this vehicle is that the rear ends, there’s a bearing in the rear differential, it wears out and causes quite a loud noise when you’re driving down the road. So the owner of the vehicle, had taken it to the Volvo dealer, got a quote on the job, it was pretty pricey from Volvo, about $6000 in Canada. The reasoning for the high price is they replace the complete rear differential assembly.

Mark: So we’ve talked about this before. Is this the same unit as a Land Rover?

Bernie: It is. So the Land Rover LR2 and the Volvo XC70 basically share the same drivetrain, same engine, the same transmission, rear differential and obviously the bodies look quite a bit different on the vehicles, but the Land Rover LR2 experienced the same issues. Land Rover however sees parts for the units, whereas Volvo doesn’t which is why their repair is so expensive. We do it for a third of the price, under a third of the price of what Volvo does. We remove the differential, take it apart completely, replace all the bearings, seals and it works. It works fine, does a great job. So and saves an awful lot of money. I’ll share a few photos while we’re at it. So there’s our 2010 Volvo XC70, there’s a bit of rain, it was a rainy day in Vancouver when we did the service on this vehicle. So there’s the car, this the is rear differential cradle. In doing the job, the whole real differential cradle has to come down, this is about half of it. The actual differential assembly sits right in this area here. One of the, see one of the axle shafts here, the wheels are located out here. So there’s lot of work involved to actually get the differential out and do the job. It’s a pretty big piece of work. Here’s the actual differential assembly after we’ve repaired it and re-bolted it back in. I’m not sharing any photos of the interior of this, we have done other posts before that there’s photos of bearings. So if you search our channel, you can find pictures of the insides, but this is basically, the unit you see right on here it says FoMoCo, which is Ford Motor Company who own both Volvo and Land Rover at this time. So they basically buildit this drivetrain in Sweden but if you take the Land Rover unit out it says exactly the same thing on it. And this unit in the front here, this is not part of the, this is called the Haldex unit, this is part of the all wheel drive system and it allows, it’s a variable clutch, it allows slippage between the front and rear. So it allows for smooth all wheel drive engagement. But yeah, that’s basically the unit, the bearing that wears out is usually right around this area here, so that’s where it’s loudest. There’s four bearings inside the unit that, we replaced them all because the front one wears the most but the you know, the other ones are contaminated with metal filings so it’s best to do them all.

Mark:  So you have to disassemble that whole unit to get at the bearings, is that how it works?

Bernie: We do. We have to take that whole cradle down, we have to take the unit apart, clean it and take the bearings apart. We use a press, hydraulic presses to remove the bearings and to out them back on. It’s a bit of work but it’s you know, it’s a nice savings for the client. And overall the same kind of reliability long term as replacing the entire unit.

Mark: And overall the same kind of reliability long term as replacing the entire unit?

Bernie: Absolutely. We’ve never, we’ve done many of these units, we’ve never see any wear on the gears. When we put them back together there’s absolutely no noise whatsoever, there’s really no compromise in doing it this way and they’re rebuilding them anyway. So and the Haldex unit on the front that I mentioned, I mean those, I’m not certain if actually Volvo includes that piece or not in their job. But if it is included, I mean those parts rarely ever fail, I think we’ve repaired one in our whole career here. Now we’re not a Volvo dealer and we don’t see hundreds of Volvo’s every week but there’s, it’s a very rare part to every fail. So the repair is 100% good and Land Rover does it all the time too.

Mark: So how are these XC70’s for overall reliability?

Bernie: They’re good. It’s a pretty good car, not a lot of problems. Of course, this differential is probably thee main thing and if you own one, at some point you’ll have to do something. It’s kind of like if you own a Subaru with a 2.5 litre engine, you’re going to have to do head gaskets and so forth. So it’s just one of those things and by the way the mileage on this vehicle is only 72,000 kilometres, so that’s pretty low milage. It doesn’t take a lot of use of time before this issue happens. Other than that it’s a good car.

Mark: So there you go, if you’re looking for service for your Volvo in Vancouver, or your Land Rover, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment, you must book ahead, they’re buys or check out their website There’s hundreds of articles and video on there or our Youtube channel, Pawlik Automotive Repair. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thank you Mark.

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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