Welcome back to our blog series about import cars and some of the most common problems that plague these beautiful cars. In part one, we discussed the history, common issues, and where to get repairs for Lexus and BMWs. These companies each have a unique history; Lexus is less than thirty-years-old, while BMW is over a hundred years old. Additionally, though both Lexus and BMW are overwhelmingly considered well-made, long-lasting, and luxurious cars, like all vehicles, they eventually start to show signs of age or wear. Fixing your Lexus and BMW doesn’t have to be daunting; just know where to go to get them repaired.
In part two, we’ll explore the histories, common issues, and repair options for two more brands of foreign-made cars: Volvo and Audi. Like the two mentioned above, these brands seem to create life-long customers out of the people who buy them, and people here in Colorado Springs are certainly no exception. They are all, for different reasons, deeply respected companies who strive to make quality products.
Volvo was created in the early 1900’s by Swedish businessmen with the intention of producing and engineering things like ball bearings. Volvo Cars, eventually springing about out of the original Volvo Group, considers itself to have been founded in 1927. Most people don’t realize that although they still share the same name, the two companies, Volvo Group and Volvo Cars are no longer bonded in business because the former sold Volvo Cars to Ford Motor Company in 1999. Volvo would come to join Ford’s luxury vehicles such as Jaguar, Land Rover, and Aston Martin. When Ford bought Volvo Cars, they began implementing Volvo technologies into their own models. But one thing is certain, Volvo Cars have not seemed to sacrifice quality or design since the commencement of their new ownership and Volvo customers are as satisfied as ever. But when your beloved Volvo starts to get older, you might encounter one or more problems. Here are some of the most common issues to plague your Volvo:
- Transmission Problems – In some Volvo models, especially in the early V70s, the transmission has been reported to shift erratically and become noticeably difficult to handle. When you start to notice trouble with shifting, make your appointment right away at your local Volvo mechanic. The fix might be as simple as low transmission fluid or even a needed software update.
- Power Steering Leak – Many Volvo owners have admitted to a leak of power steering fluid in the middle-aged to older models. This usually occurs in the hose that brings the fluid to the system from the reservoir tank. The solution to this leak is often quite uncomplicated for your Volvo service professional; just make sure that you’re taking it to them first so that you don’t risk putting your highly-complex Volvo into the hands of a standard mechanic.
- Malfunctioning Cooling Fan – The cooling fan in your Volvo is designed to not only keep your AC cool but also your engine. In some models, customers have noted that the fan will fail to turn on with the engine. This may not seem like an overwhelmingly significant issue, especially if you’re located in colder climates where you don’t use your AC much. However, when your fan isn’t cooling your engine, a number of other problems will soon arise. For this reason, it’s important to get your car into your Volvo mechanic as soon as possible. If you act quickly, the damage will be much less severe.
- Blown Fuses – In some Volvo models, the fuse box is located under the dashboard, which is extremely difficult to reach. This makes the process of changing out a blown fuse, a common issue in some models, particularly challenging. Blown fuses are more common in Volvo models that have the fuse box located in this difficult-to-reach spot because outside water gets trapped inside of it and this leads to corrosion and electrical failure. As we’ve stated above, this is usually a simple fix for your Volvo service people.
Audi has its roots in Germany and produced its first model, The Audi Type A, along with 140 other cars of the same type, in 1910. The Type A was followed by the Type B just one year later. Audi continued their output and improved with each model. In 1921, Audi became the first German car company to make a production car. The Audi Type K was a left-handed driving car that gained huge popularity and established itself to be dominant in Europe due to its better view of oncoming traffic. Audi continued making innovations and improvements over the years and though they’ve been a consistent presence in the manufacturing of quality cars since their inception, Audi has gained significant traction with increases in sales in the 2000s. Though Audi is known today as one of the most respected names in the luxury auto industry, its models are always going to encounter an issue or two. Here are some often reported problems with Audis:
- Oil leaks and a burning oil smell – Commonly coming from the valve covers or tensioner gasket seals, oil leaks can become a fire hazard and should be addressed as soon as possible. In addition to being a fire hazard, leaking oil can also pose a risk to your electronics if it intrudes into the wiring. For this reason, it’s vital to seek Audi repair at the first trace of an oil leak, which usually presents itself with the smell of oil or burning oil.
- Clicking sound when turning – Common to some older Audi models, this issue can be a fairly simple fix. When the CV boot has been torn, grease escapes and this causes the joint to dry out and become worn at record speeds. There are several options for repairing this and your Audi repair professional will be able to guide you through the process.
- Exhaust leak – This often presents itself with robust sounds when you’re trying to accelerate. The commonly reported exhaust leak occurs when the flexible joint between the downpipe and the catalytic converter begins to become worn. This leak can cause a number of frustrations such as O2 sensors going off, checking engine lights coming on, efficiency problems, and even trouble running. When you see your lights and sensors coming on, make sure you get your Audi in right away. Your specialized Audi mechanic will be able to give you options.
Whether you drive a Volvo or an Audi, it’s important to know that your car is in good hands when you take it in to get some work done. These cars shouldn’t just be handled by any standard mechanic; they have special needs and must be worked on by professionals who specialize in repairing and servicing foreign-made cars. Stay tuned for the final chapter of our blog series and if you’re here in Colorado Springs and you’re looking for an Audi repair professional or a Volvo service shop, check out Your Import Car Doctor! We’d love to help you out! Contact us now!