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2006 Volvo XC90 steering problem

This is my daughter’s car, Volvo dealer had the car for two weeks, yesterday she finally gets the car back. This (new) issue develops on the drive home: “The car is most difficult to steer when driving at slow speeds or trying take a sharp turn, such as when pulling into a parking space. The steering is fine when I’m driving straight. There’s no sound associated with difficulty in steering. Steering became progressively difficult throughout the drive home.” Dealer checked all the fluids, I see nothing on the bill that they say they did that would cause this problem. I don’t have any maintenance history on the car other than the recent bill, its actually her husband’s vehicle. Car has 165,000 miles on it. I have a hunch, but would like others’ opinions…

Are you just repeating what you were told the vehicle is doing or have you driven it yourself. Why did she not just return to the dealer when it became hard to steer. I think you should just let them decide what to do because if you are wrong or the suggestions made here are wrong that could cause friction between you , your daughter and the son in law.

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I didn’t drive the car, and she lives in another state.

I’d guess a bad power steering pump. Unless it is leaking all over the place then it may be a rack. Now this is a wild-a__-guess over the internet based on the limited info you’ve shared.

But it doesn’t take a Rocket Surgeon to make that guess based on “hard to turn at low speeds” :wink:


Ok, so I had my daughter take the Volvo to Pep Boys. There was something the dealer failed to reconnect when they replaced the battery. So the steering problem is now fixed. A short while later the check engine light comes on. Back at Per Boys, they download codes P0171 and P0174 (left and right banks both running lean). They cleaned the throttle body (dealer had already done so) but the codes came back. They said two sensors need to be replaced. The dealer replaced both valve cover gaskets, could leaking valve cover gaskets cause those codes?

Pep Boys ? I would not send anyone to Pep Boys . And it sounds like she paid for something that the dealer would have solved if she had just returned as soon as she realized there was a steering problem .


I agree with @VOLVO_V70. Your daughter should take the car back to the dealer and tell them that their fix didn’t work. She doesn’t have to tell them anything about what went on at Pep Boys.

While we’re on the subject of Pep Boys. They can do good work, it really depends on the shop. They don’t pay well, so you might expect younger, less experienced mechanics to work there. If the shop foreman isn’t the best, shop diagnoses and work done can suffer.

I have no faith in that dealership. The car was running fine when my son-in-law took it in with the exception of a hard start problem which the dealer said was the battery (they replaced it). He asked that they go over the car and perform any maintenance that was needed. They kept the car for almost 3 weeks during which time they made multiple promises as to when the car would be ready only to find more things that needed to be fixed every day or so. Bill was almost $5,000. Also, what wasn’t done sends up a red flag. Didn’t check or change the plugs or the coolant. Didn’t clean the MAF sensor. Hood struts don’t work, they left them that way. Pretty sure they should have noticed that… Hoses and belts not changed. My daughter has used that particular Pep Boys for almost 4 years to service her 2005 Camry, excellent service, no surprises, and the car is ready when promised.

So back to my question in post 4. According to the verbiage on the receipt they only changed the valve cover gaskets. But they charged for 5 gaskets, not two. So I looked up those part numbers:

30720095: this is either the left or right valve cover gasket
30720096: this is either the left or right valve cover gasket
307200327: right intake manifold gasket
307200328: left intake manifold gasket
30720335: center intake manifold gasket

I’m guessing the intake manifold gaskets we were charged for (assuming they were installed) are not seated properly and its time for a smoke test?

I thought this was not your vehicle but your daughter and son in law. I understand that you are not near the vehicle location so I wonder why are you getting involved. It appears you are getting info from them and seeing invoices so that means you have not heard the other side of the story. It also sounds like the dealer was given free reign to do repairs and if the is the case it will be hard to contest anything they did.