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Even the best kept Volvo can unavoidably feel, well, old. While it would certainly be a tall order to refresh every surface and restore every nook and cranny of the car, you can pretty quickly return some of the things you come in contact with most.

Master Window Switch

After inadvertently pulling off the driver’s window switch, I found myself in need of a replacement. Having installed a used switch on a previous car I was looking for something a bit better. Not the cheapest replacement over all but a very quick one to install. A new master window switch has that original OEM shine to it and feels ten times better than the old gummed up one you’ve probably got right now. It wasn’t something I thought I would appreciate but I notice the difference every time I use it. There are some good looking knock-offs out there but I sourced a genuine replacement for peace of mind.

Shift Knob

Just like your Volvo, the shift knob gets a lot of use. The spring inside the release button, and the mechanism, break down over time. Replacing this preventatively, whether just the button or the knob itself, is a huge boost to the everyday feel of the car. If you search around you may even be able to find a knob that matches the trim of your car or has a leather wrapping, such as the one originally fitted to the 2000 Volvo V70R.

Headlight Lenses

This is not so much feeling new as looking new. The headlight lenses on your Volvo are made of glass and upwards of 15 years leading the way for your car takes a serious toll on their condition. They take about 30 minutes per side to install and even the most novice of DIY mechanics can tackle this job with a 10mm socket and flat blade screw driver. I always recommend the “e-code” lens as replacements for these cars. Not only do they send more light down the road but change the look of the car's eyes just enough to stand out.

Steering Wheel

How to Install a 2000 V70R Steering Wheel

From what I can tell there is really no rhyme or reason as to why Volvo steering wheels wear out. I’ve seen some that flake, some that peel, some that turn into goo every time it rains. Your best bet here is to find a wheel you know is in good condition and take care of it. A great little upgrade and sought after part is the wheel from a 99 or 2000 V70R. These wheels have a bit more girth then the standard one as well as some ergonomic thumb grips. On the used market, they are not very hard to come by and should cost you between $100 and $200 depending on the condition. If you’re feeling like a serious indulgence you can still source them brand new for a hefty $400, search out part number 8628370.

Steering Column Cover

This has been broken in one way or another on every P80 Volvo I’ve encountered. It is piece that bridged the steering column to the dash board and most often one of the two clips either side of the unit breaks. This leaves the cover sitting cockeyed on the steering column and just looks dilapidated. At $21 it’s a cheap and quick bit of restoration. Search out part number 9157274.


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Written by :
Chris Stovall

Chris is a journeyman mechanic from Berkeley, California, specializing in late model Volkswagens and Audis. A glutton for punishment, his spare time is spent rebuilding every component of his ’83 Rabbit GTI.


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