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News, Bothell Volvo Repair, and Coupons!

by All Vovo on 04/10/13

Well, spring is finally here and Western Washington seems to be getting a bit of an early reprieve from the cold and frost----the groundhog seems to have really gotten it right this time!  It's a really good time to finally get out, wash your Volvo, and start the recovery from the cold winter months. For those who noticed issues with your Heater Core over the winter, we have a special coupon for getting that replaced. Of course there's no rush, but it's best to take care of these things while you're thinking of them.

If you're due for your 30,000, 60,000, 90,000 (etc.)-mile servicing, Spring is a good time to get that out of the way too.  We have a Volvo Coupon for that too! You may be a little early or even a little late for that service milestone, but the summer driving could test you for sure.  It's better to go ahead and get that recommended servicing done now. Remember, Volvo owners tend to get more life out of their cars, but in order to get those results, you CANNOT be tardy on your regular servicng, or maintenance, or repairs for that matter.

Those two Volvo coupons should also help give a little more incentive for you to get in to All Vovo and get those things handled. Both coupons ask that you "Like" us on Facebook for the validity of the coupon, but if you are already following us there, you can feel free to use these and any new coupons that come through, without any further action.  Although it WOULD be nice if you shared our facebook page with friends.

All Vovo, your Volvo Repair Specialist, would also like to make absolutely clear that we are very popular among commuters. We have customers who make the effort to use OUR Volvo Service, though they do not live in Ballard, or even Seattle.  For instance, we have quite a few customers who come our way from Bothell.  Here's an excerpt from our Bothell-specific page:

"We promise, our service is worth the drive from Bothell. Our highly qualified and certified technicians, James Takatsuka, Jose Carrillo, and Jessee Wood take the utmost care in inspecting your Volvo and repairing and servicing your Volvo. They will give you a total picture of your car’s condition and help you to prioritize repairs with your car’s safety and reliability in mind. That's the care of an expert Volvo Mechanic Bothell Volvo drivers can count on."

....and it's the truth. We strive to be "worth the drive" and we even have loaner vehicles (when available) for you to use.  Bothell Volvo drivers, along with Shoreline, Kirkland, Bellevue, West Seattle, and of course, Ballard Volvo drivers will soon become big fans of our Volvo Auto Repair.

In summary, Spring is here, use those coupons, "Like Us" on facebook, and Come on down Bothell drivers!

Five Tips for Making your Commute less of a Drag

by All Vovo on 02/04/13

Many of our Volvo driver friends out there in the Seattle area, come to us from afar, and many have to travel quite a ways just to get into work as well. We are always into keeping drivers safe and "in the know' about their cars on the subject of Volvo Repair. Now, we've compiled some popular ideas, and put together a list of tips that we thought might help make your commute more bearable---even ways to stay healthier.

Here are the list of tips that might help you deal with and even use your commute to your advantage in some ways:

1. Listen to an audiobook, mellow music, or news while you drive.

You can get into a book of fiction that you don't have time to sit down and read, or instead of zoning out on TV news at home, you can get all that news in the car and spend your home-time doing something else. Mellow music might help ease the nerves on frustrating commutes as well. Also, if you haven't tried listening to comedy in the car, try it! It can also help brighten your mood while entertaining you and making you laugh.

2. Call friends and catch up!

Using a hands-free device, of course, you can use the time to call friends that you "never have time" to call. Well, you DO have time, and it may even help you use the time to your advantage! Call your mom, call your old friends, call and make plans for the weekend. Keep it cool and fun and keep your eyes on the road while you do it.

3. Make business calls.

Maybe you can call a few of those folks from the road instead of the office. Might allow you to leave a little earlier and handle some business on the road. It may even help you network and sound more available---good steps toward having and even better career future.

4. Bring healthy snacks.

You can avoid the urge to pick up unhealthy foods, and you can save time in the morning by eating breakfast on the road. Trail mixes are very easy to take with you, as are fruit, and health bars of all types.

5. Take care of planning and brainstorming.

Do you have creative projects that need time for thinking and planning? How about a side business plan? Do you write music? Or poetry? Maybe you like to set goals, or plan weekend physical activities. Well, you can use this valuable "windshield time" to brainstorm and get ideas together. A digital voice recorder (included in most smartphones) will be beneficial, so that you can make notes later.

Volvo auto drivers are usually a bit more "take charge" in their approach to life. That's why many of them choose a vehicle that has so many intelligent benefits to the owner. Hopefully, our commuter friends will see these as tips to "taking charge" of their commute and getting ahead of the game instead of letting the commute drag you down.

Holiday Driving Tips for You and Your Volvo!

by All Vovo on 12/17/12

Holiday Driving Tips for you and your Volvo!

We love keeping safety tips and advice in front of our customers. We've covered most subjects on our blog, including tire inflation, and even pedestrian safety. I thought if I did a little search on the internet, maybe, just maybe I would find a list of tips or ideas that related to the Holidays. Lo and behold, it turns out the Iowa Department of Transportation had just such a list (thank you to them, you can find that document at: )

Okay, it's a lot of the same winter driving and travel tips you've heard from us before. It's possible though, that with all the holiday bustle and the importance of making it out to those family gatherings, we forget to take proper road precautions. This is, at least,  some food for thought (to go along with all of the Holiday food us Americans will be overeating--haha).

Some of the tips we wanted to highlight:

- Before your trip, make sure your vehicle (Volvo) is tuned up and in good shape for travel. This becomes increasingly important in winter driving conditions.

- Be flexible in setting your travel plans. Leave early if you can, to avoid peak traffic hours. How much more important is this if you have to travel through or past Metro Seattle? If snow is in the forecast, or even icy road conditions, consider changing your schedule. Better to reschedule than risk your life.

- Stay fresh and alert when driving. Take plenty of breaks and be realistic about what you can handle. If you get tired, get off the road for a little bit, and get coffee, fresh air, or whatever will get you back to "alert" status. It's even better to rent a motel room for the night, than risking a crash due to falling asleep at the wheel. Many crashes are single-car accidents that occur in the early morning hours, and when they aren't caused by alcohol, they are caused by tired drivers.

- Keep your speed down! And, give yourself plenty of time and distance to react to traffic situations around you.

- If you will be drinking alcohol this holiday season, PLEASE consider using a designated driver to avoid any sticky situations on the road. One way or another it could be VERY costly. Let's be responsible.

Be safe and Happy Holidays from All Vovo! Your Seattle and Bellevue Volvo specialist!

Thankful to be a part of the Volvo Community!

by All Vovo on 11/25/12

So, we ran across this website that had some fun and interesting facts about Volvo cars and Volvo history (View that page here: ). It just reminded us once again of how cool it is to be a specialist shop for Volvo. Of all the brands out there, it honestly seems to be one of the only ones to have such a strong culture and following. Some of the ultra luxury cars out there have a select group of fans--sure! But, Volvo is a brand for the middle class that has all of the rich history and dedication to excellence that all of the high-end brands have. We were left with a feeling of thankfulness on this Thanksgiving weekend---Thankful to be Volvo fans and to have the opportunity to serve other Volvo fans every single day.

Thank you again, to all of our customers. Thank you for keeping us in business as an expert for the cars we love.  We hope we can continue to be of great value to all of you. We'll stay dedicated to keeping your cars running efficiently, and we hope you'll continue bringing your vehicles to our Seattle Volvo Repair shop for years to come.

Most of the facts on that site are a little more specifically about certain models, but We wanted to share some of the fun facts we were reminded of:

Who owned the Volvo Car Company between 1999 and 2010?

Ford. Volvo, along with Jaguar and Aston Martin, was added to Ford's Prestige Auto Group in 1999. In 2010, it was sold again, this time to the Chinese "Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.

In what year did the Volvo company start building cars?

1927. The first car was the OV4, also known as "Jakob"

What does Volvo (loosely) mean in Latin?

I roll. Not surprising given that the name was originally owned by a bearing company! We mentioned this one in a post a little while ago.  Kinda fun, right?

Oil Changes. Volvo Specific Oil Changes, that is.

by All Vovo on 09/28/12

Running a Volvo specialist shop, I get a lot of different customers with a lot of different expectations of what a specialist auto repair place does and doesn't do. Well, I can make this very easy for all of you.....If it's a Volvo, WE DO EVERYTHING! -- Ha, ha.

More specifically, I get questions like, "Is it really important to have your oil change done by a Volvo specialist?" Or, "Can you just have it changed by a quick oil change place?" Well, you can choose to go to those places, but we'd like to appeal to the Volvo owners out there, to please consider keeping your vehicle with the ones that know and understand it best. The oil change itself may not be the real issue, but an oil change (since it is the mostly regularly scheduled service on your car) is a perfect time to check over all of your car's systems and to make sure everything is running correctly without signs of breakdown or wear.

When you schedule your Volvo oil change with us, you get your car inspected as part of the service. Once again, we KNOW Volvo's. Therefore it offers far more value to you when we get your car looked over. We check all your fluids and top them off when necessary, we check and fill your tire pressure, we check your tire wear, your brakes, we pull your codes, we keep all of this on file, and on top of all that---IT COMPLETELY SUFFICES for keeping your Warranty intact. So, even though you should go to a Volvo Specialist, You don't have to go to the dealership, just to have your oil changed. It can all be done right here at All Vovo.

Might be worth the drive for a Volvo Oil Change, Bellevue. And Kirkland folks? Volvo Oil Changes are specialized, so you can see why you might come out to Ballard for a Volvo inspection instead of a "quick change" place. Your car is a big investment. Allow us to help protect it.

We also take the time to share valuable tips about your Volvo, like it's worth the extra money to buy Super Unleaded at the gas tank. And, honestly, it's not worth skimping on oil changes either. We suggest changing the oil every 3,000 miles, because it's just not worth it to risk your car's longevity. Call us today to schedule your Oil Change and free inspection, and let a true Volvo experts take care of your special vehicle.

"I Roll" in my Volvo - Volvo Repair to keep YOU "Rolling"

by All Vovo on 08/21/12

The name Volvo is derived from a Latin word, "Volvere", which means, "I Roll". It does make some sense, since The Volvo company was started in 1927 as a child company to the Swedish ball-bearing manufacturer Svenska Kullagerfabriken AB.

Volvo also seems to have a way of "rolling" with punches, so to speak. Volvo, as a company, has changed over the years in order to adapt. In fact, for the past few years, they were owned by Ford. They've split from the Commercial, Heavy-Duty machinery side of the business, and they've continued to alter and shift the majority of vehicle styles that they release.

Overall, though, they're still the same company that produced the cars we love, and no matter what they do under their current ownership and operation, we'll always have our classic, box-like originals to reminisce and fawn over. AND, another way the Volvo is "Rolling" on, is with the safety features that they continue to test and "Roll" out. That tradition is alive and well. In fact, we've discussed a LOT about Volvo innovation and safety in this blog.

Seattle Volvo drivers should also know that All Vovo is committed to making sure you continue to "Roll" safely in your Volvo. We are here to make the repairs and maintenance checks you need to save you money and get the most out of your favorite Volvo automobile, no matter what era it was built in! We've been fixing Volvos in Ballard for 30 years and we intend on Keeping you "rolling" and you hope that you'll "roll" in soon to get things checked up, before the October rush!

Every year, about the time the kids go back to school, we start to see a rush of auto repair and maintenance needs. Please do us both a favor and plan on getting your vehicle in to our Volvo shop as soon as possible---before the summer ends. It would be a good idea to get your fluids checked, your oil changed, your brakes checked and repaired, and any other small services taken care of. I'd "roll" on in and see us about your Volvo as soon as you can! Thanks.

Proper Tire Inflation - Seattle, Bellevue Volvo drivers

by All Vovo on 08/06/12

Proper Tire inflation is essential to safe driving and helps save you money as well. has many important details about this subject, and we wanted to help pass the important lesson on to our valued Volvo-owning friends and neighbors.

Under inflation is the leading cause of tire failure, because tires are more prone to damage when they are not properly inflated. Also, your vehicle will not be operating up to its true potential if the tires are not working at their best. For instance, your fuel costs can increase by 3 to 5 cents per gallon. Losing money on your fuel efficiency though, isn't nearly as costly as what could happen if you blow out a tire due to rapid wear from under inflation. Possible vehicle damage and harm to the driver and passengers is what should keep you aware of the importance of maintaining your tires.

What can YOU do to make sure your tires are "ready for the road"? Simply correctly checking your tire pressure is a great start. says that "75% of drivers wash their cars monthly while only 1 our of 7 (14%) correctly checks tire pressure. The air pressure should be checked on all tires, including the spare, at least a month." 

Check the tire pressure, only when the tires are cold. About 1psi of tire pressure will escape every month under normal use. DO NOT exceed the maximum inflation pressure molded on the sidewall of the tire. Also, beware that the front and rear tires on some vehicle have separate recommended inflation pressures.

All Vovo wants to make sure that your car lasts and that Volvo drivers stay as safe as Volvo meant you to be when driving their vehicles. As always, All Vovo is at your service, if you should have any questions or need any help with your tire or other vehicle maintenance. Whether you are a Bellevue Volvo driver that loves long drives on the weekends, a Ballard Volvo driver that just needs to get around Seattle, or a Shoreline Volvo driver that makes the big commute into downtown every day, we offer these tips and our assistance to help keep you safe.

For more information on tire safety and other tire maintenance measures, visit

Keep up on Volvo Repairs Seattle - Get to 3 million miles!

by All Vovo on 07/26/12

Have you heard about this guy in Long Island, NY who's about to pass 3 million miles in his 1966 Volvo?! Well, if you haven’t, you can do a quick search, or read this article here: Man Nears 3 million mile mark in 1966 Volvo (NY Daily News).

Auto repair guys are ALWAYS talking about "bringing your car in" to make sure it's running right and therefore can last longer and save you from more costly repairs. On top of that, us Volvo guys are SO PROUD of the engineering and quality of Volvo throughout the years and I'm sure many claim that these cars seem like they could "go on forever". Still, it's quite shocking to see that someone has pretty much demonstrated that it IS POSSIBLE and, that’s right, he’s doing it in a Volvo!

Irvin Gordon has had repairs like the rest of us.....he has the original engine, but it has been rebuilt twice, the article says. It seems that he takes care of some of the upkeep himself, but it also mentions one of the mechanics he has trusted over the years.

Not only is it an amazing milestone and a fun moment-in-the-sun for this retired schoolteacher, it’s also a statement on Volvo quality---you knew I'd say that. The bigger statement though, is on the idea that proper upkeep and consistent attention to the needs of your car are the keys to making sure you get all of the life you can out of it. No one's promising that your Volvo will make it to 3 million miles, but in this day and age, it's important to get the value out of everything you have. Money may be tight, but your best value is NOT in holding out on needed repairs and upkeep, it's in spending the money on the small stuff to make sure you get stronger, better life out of your current vehicle, and avoiding larger repairs.

Yeah, it's also a nice little piece for the pride Seattle Volvo owners and of Volvo owners everywhere. Nice work Mr. Gordon. Here's to your amazing milestone!

If You love your Volvo? We Love your Volvo!

by All Vovo on 07/10/12

We talk a lot about being big fans of Volvo. Since it's the ONLY brand we service, we better like what we're dealing with, right? But remember, whatever Volvo model you have, we can take care of it. You know, there are those Volvo fans that like the old school stylings, and there are those that go after the newer, sporty Volvo models, and still others that go after the economy Volvo models----a nice fit for the Seattle Volvo driver. All years and models are within our expertise. We are, after all, All Vovo (All Volvo).

Whether you are an adamant fan of the Volvo brand or just happen to have bought a Volvo for the first time, you might have the tendency to fall in love with your Volvo. There are many reasons to be pleased, and might we suggest that it is also a HUGE benefit to you that there are shops like ours that can cater to the exact needs of Volvo vehicles.

If you love your Volvo, we do too! ....And, we are dedicated to keeping you "in the know" about your vehicle and what it will take to keep it running as close to perfectly as we can get it, while also keeping your repairs and maintenance cost effective. You can trust our recommendations, and those recommendations have kept Volvo owners like you coming back again and again since 1982. We really do want what's best for you and your Volvo, so the next chance you get, we encourage you to bring your Volvo in to All Vovo for any maintenance service or inspection. We're excited about the opportunity to show you that Seattle Volvo owners can trust that we love your Volvo as much as you do!

Smart Pedestrian Safety Tips

by All Vovo on 06/26/12

Volvo has made a name for itself as a company by committing to innovation, but also to safety. Safety for drivers has been a constant goal throughout Volvo's history. Recently, Volvo unveiled the first system for pedestrian airbags. Clearly, they are looking out for the safety of drivers and pedestrians alike. They forge to create a safer way to enjoy the road and generally to enjoy life!

All Vovo shares in that commitment to safety. Seattle Volvo drivers should know that we have always been ahead of the game in educating people to know about their Volvo and Volvo repairs, but also to know how to be a responsible, safe, and prepared motorist overall. We are glad to continue doing so, and to use this blog to further demonstrate our concern for the safety of the Volvo community and Seattle drivers in general.

Most of us are drivers, but ALL of us are pedestrians from time to time. And, in light of Volvo's latest innovations for pedestrian safety precautions, we would like to go over some safety tips for being a smart pedestrian.

We found a great list that we wanted to share and give credit to. You can find the original list at On their site, they group us all together, pedestrians AND drivers as "road users"---I like it.

Here are their safety tips for pedestrians (with a few notes from us):

Be safe and be seen: make yourself visible to drivers

  • Wear bright/light colored clothing and reflective materials.
  • Carry a flashlight when walking at night.
  • Cross in a well-lit area at night.
  • Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars or other obstacles before crossing so drivers can see you.

(Making sure you can be seen is SO important, and yet, probably the most overlooked concept. Don't assume you can be seen and avoided easily--take every precaution you can!)

Be smart and alert: avoid dangerous behaviors

  • Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
  • Stay sober; walking while impaired increases your chance of being struck.
  • Don't assume vehicles will stop; make eye contact with drivers, don't just look at the vehicle. If a driver is on a cell phone, they may not be paying enough attention to drive safely.
  • Don't rely solely on pedestrian signals; look before you cross the road.
  • Be alert to engine noise or backup lights on cars when in parking lots and near on-street parking spaces.

(We have to echo the idea of "making eye-contact" with drivers. Doing so will let you know right away if the driver is truly attentive to you or not. Once again, DON'T ASSUME! Also, don't assume that you can stop being careful at crosswalks with crossing signals either, stay alert.)

Be careful at crossings: look before you step

  • Cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections, if possible.
  • Obey traffic signals such as WALK/DON'T WALK signs.
  • Look left, right, and left again before crossing a street.
  • Watch for turning vehicles; make sure the driver sees you and will stop for you.
  • Look across ALL lanes you must cross and visually clear each lane before proceeding. Just because one motorist stops, do not presume drivers in other lanes can see you and will stop for you.
  • Don't wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while crossing.

A Volvo Repair Shop in Ballard - PERFECT!

by All Vovo on 06/17/12

If you've done any research at all, you'll know that Volvo is very proud of it's Swedish roots and as Volvo has progressed into a Worldwide Auto-making juggernaut, they have maintained their strong connection to the things that make them special and to their decidedly Scandinavian ways.

All Vovo is based on that love of Scandinavian vehicles and innovation, and we are a tribute to how those ideals, innovations, and resulting quality products are a great fit all around the world, and especially for Seattle Volvo drivers.

What's even more perfect is that we are located in Ballard--an area within the city of Seattle that is historically Scandinavian. It was settled by Norwegian and Swedish fisherman long ago, and many people around this area continue to keep that tradition alive, even with the growth and change of the area. It makes us proud that we are the Ballard Volvo specialists. How appropriate is it that we service Scandinavian vehicles in a historically Scandinavian area? I mean, if you are a Seattle Volvo driver, why not try bringing your vehicle to the Volvo specialist that truly has a connection to the heart and soul of Volvo?

The truth is, that we work hard every day to make sure that we do both Volvo and Ballard proud with our service. It's Volvo Repair Ballard has come to trust, but we are worth the drive from anywhere in the greater Seattle area (Just a reminder that we do have loaner vehicles for your convenience).

We also hope you will consider calling or emailing us if there are any questions about Volvo, or any advice on your Volvo Repair options.

Volvo Innovates "Coolness"

by All Vovo on 06/03/12

I found a Volvo Blog a called Volvonaut with as section of blogs called "concepts" (find them at: ) that shows another type of innovation that Volvo seems to invest in---"Coolness".

Well, as a life-long fan of Volvos---the old, the new, the safety, and all of their idiosyncracies---it's pretty nice to see that they have all the state-of-the-art looks that any other manufacturer has, and more!

The best part is that they are not all flash and looks.  I mentioned in a blog article before that they are the creators of the latest pedestrian sensory systems, and even pedestrian airbag systems.  But, for a quick "ooooh" and "ahhhh", check out some of the concepts and pics being tossed around on the Volvonaut Blog.  If you're a Volvo fan like me, it's pretty interesting and fun.

A good Volvo Specialist is worth the drive!

by All Vovo on 05/26/12

A good Volvo Specialist is worth the drive!

It's what I've been saying for years. Of course, it's a statement that serves our interests.....true.  But, if you have a Volvo and have ever experienced the dilemma over whether you really need to see a Volvo specialist over a general automotive shop, please let me be clear how important it is.

At very least, choose to work with a European Auto specialist.  They focus down on 5 or 6 brands, such as Mercedes Benz and Volkswagen, but you'll have a much better chance of getting someone who has some sort of Volvo expertise.  All Vovo is not the only Volvo specialist around either, but in some cases, we have people drive their vehicles from Bellevue, Edmonds, and even further to receive our particular style of Volvo service.  And, rest assured, we have loaner cars that make this experience easier.

When I mention our "particular style of service", I'm referring to our way of not just "fixing your car" but working WITH you to take care of your Volvo and keep it running better for longer.  We perform in-depth inspections when you bring your Volvo to us. Being a Volvo specialist, we are more likely than others to know what to look for and what to do about it.  More importantly, we encourage our customers in the Seattle area to get to know their own vehicle and be involved in the process of keeping their Volvo running optimally.

I found this blog post online:

The post mentions some important points about getting involved in maintaining your vehicle.  Here are some good quotes (so that you don't have to take my word for it):

"When we think about vehicle problems, our initial thought is usually 'take it to a mechanic'. But before you pick up the phone book to find a mechanic in your area, there is something you should do first – pick up your owner's manual. In case you have never picked one up, a vehicle owner’s manual is jammed packed full of information about your car. For Volvos, most repair manuals come with illustrative guides that can help you to understand and familiarize yourself with the inner workings of your vehicle. The Volvo manual does much more than tell you about the components of your vehicle. It can also help you troubleshoot problems and guide you through small, DIY fixes. But what is even more important is that the Volvo guide can also help you learn about preventative measures that you can take to prolong the lifespan of your vehicle.Each manual will tell you things like when you need to change your oil, as well as what other tasks you can perform to ensure that everything is running properly. The maintenance tips outlined in your manual will not just save you money, they could also save your life."

And, another applicable point in this article is that they reinforce the idea of having a SPECIALIST see your vehicle. 

"For more definitive answers to your vehicle issues, consult a mechanic. The mechanic you choose should be educated, licensed, experienced, and have knowledge about your specific vehicle type."

Bottom line: If you are reading this, stay educated on your Volvo, crack open your manual, LONG BEFORE there are any problems, and if you live in the general Seattle, Bellevue, Shoreline areas, go ahead and give All Vovo at try when it comes to Servicing or fixing your Volvo.  We're worth the drive!

Prepare for roadside emergencies - Not just Volvo owners

by All Vovo on 05/06/12

I usually list these emergency procedures in advance of winter months.  But, as I looked them over, I realized that most of these steps are applicable year-round. 

First, it is important to prepare some things for your vehicle, just in case anything happens.  Here are some suggestions of how to be prepared:

1. Have emergency numbers in your car/wallet (include local towing, roadside assistance, your insurance company, and even personal emergency contacts)

2. Pack a gym bag in the back seat or truck of your vehicle with:

  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Warm boots and socks
  • Rain Poncho
  • Gloves
  • Pair of pants/jeans
  • Twin blankets
  • "Please call for help" windshield banner

3. You can buy or make yourself a Roadside Kit:

  • Jumper Cables or a Portable Jumper Box
  • 3 Road-side flares
  • First Aid Kit
  • Tire Guage

4. Pack your cell phone and keep a cigarette lighter adaptor in your vehicle.

If an emergency occurs while you are driving, here are the basics on How To React:

  • If your vehicle has a problem on the highway, always try to safely merge to the right shoulder.
  • If an emergency arises, and you have a cell phone with you, call for help
  • Set your flashers and stay calm
  • if you are on the shoulder of a busy road, exit your vehicle on the passenger side, away from traffic, to get your supplies from the trunk.
  • If you do not have a cell phone, get out your "Please Call for Help" banner and place it in your back windshield.
  • Stay in your locked car as much as possible.
  • If someone stops to help, stay in your car.  If you want to talk to them, roll down your window 2-3 inches, not enough to allow a hand to come through.
  • If needed, place flares behind your vehicle.

Helpful hints to a better running car--Not just for Volvos

by All Vovo on 04/26/12

Here are some helpful hints for a better-running car.  Not just for Volvo owners but all vehicle owners.  They may seem basic, but take a moment to look over these car-care tips and see if there isn't at least ONE of these pointers that you haven't considered or thought of for a little while:

  • When you approach your vehicle, get in the habit of looking at your tires.
  • Change your oil every 3000 miles.
  • Have belts and hoses inspected twice a year
  • Rotate and balance your tires every 7000 miles and inspect tread depth.
  • We recommend buying "Road Hazard Coverage" when you purchase new tires.
  • Align your vehicle twice a year.
  • Change transmission fluid every 25,000 to 30,000 miles.
  • Timing belts need to be changed anywhere from 60,000 to 90,000 miles.
  • When you purchase a used vehicle have a reputable show (All Vovo, for instance) check the car out BEFORE you make the purchase. Also buy the extended warranty.
  • Maintenance schedules are SO important to long lasting vehicles.
  • If you need some consultation on your vehicle at any time, please call us at 206-789-0736.

"I Love My Volvo"

by All Vovo on 04/10/12

We're volvo fans over here, of course.  But, the truth is that MANY people (who are not Scandinavian) gain a passion, or even a LOVE for their Volvo.  There are so many reasons.  We've been blogging and tweeting about safety and innovation for some time. Even their commitment to trying out new ways of building and manufacturing these vehicles.  It becomes something more than a company or business.  It becomes a mindset.

At All Vovo, we specialize in repairing and maintaining these vehicles.  It's lucrative enough to support a "Volvo Only" shop for nearly 30 years, but not because these vehicles are prone to breaking down.  It's lucrative enough, because the number of dedicated owners grows.......especially in quality-conscious areas of the U.S. like Seattle (Ballard in particular---ha!).  Also, the Volvo owners that we work with every day, see the value in maintaining their vehicle for the long haul. We can do the regular maintenance to help avoid a major fix.  It's what we do, it's what your volvo needs, and it's the right formula for helping your Volvo do what it does best---remain dependable!

Dependability is the key to why people "Love their Volvos".  I mean, doesn't it make sense that the more time you spend with something (or someone) and the more reliable it is (or they are), the more likely you are to develop an attachment to it (or them)?  We love our dependable Volvos, with their unique culture, and innovative thinking. 

I found this post on Volvo Bits---a blog site devoted to volvos.  here is the link: Volvo Repair Seattle . I think it depicts what I am saying.  Thanks to Lessuter for sharing these thoughts:

"So...I'm flying along the highway last week in a 15-year old Volvo 850, tunes on, sunroof open, and at 120km/hr, I'm struck by how well this machine drives. Ten minutes later, as the odometer ticks over 320,000km I ignore our new "hands-free" phone law, and I snap a picture of the odometer (at a stop-light!). One would assume that this Volvo would be near the end of it's useful life. Not the case. I'm on my way to deliver it to it's new owner, as they are taking delivery of it today. These cars are incredibly predictable, and as such, we can make them absolutely reliable regardless of the mileage.

"The new owner will be driving the car on a long road-trip in one week, and I'm totally confident that the car will perform as intended. I have offered them an unconditional money back guarantee if they don't like the car for any reason! ( It was only $2500.00 I should add...)Unconventional perhaps, but absolutely a reflection of my confidence in these vehicles!    Gotta love these cars!"

(Be sure to check out our other Blog Posts)

Checking the Belts on Your Car

by All Vovo on 04/02/12

The Purpose of checking belts and hoses:  Drive Belts provide power to engine-mounted accessories like the power-steering pump, air conditioning compressor, mechanical cooling fan, and air injection pump. Serpentine belts are now used on almost all vehicles.

Studies show that the chances of a drive belt failure rises dramatically after four years or 36,000 miles for V-belts, 50,000 to 70,000 miles for serpentine belts.  This doesn't mean that the belts shouldn't be inspected before then, though.  The belts should be checked every time the oil is changed to make sure they're okay and properly tightened (At All Vovo, this is something we pride ourselves in checking over THOROUGHLY for you).  When checking V-belts, a slipping belt usually has shiny sidewalls (glazing) caused by heat from sliding in the pulleys. The glazing often causes a chattering, slapping or squealing noise.  And, because the glazing hardens the belt, it's prone to cracking and early failure.  Belt slippage often occurs because of low tension, the wrong belt, or grease/oil. The source of the oil or grease needs to be corrected before installing a new belt. A V-belt with any of these conditions should be replaced as soon as possible.

On serpentine belts, inspect the belt closely for any cracks in the ribbed area.  Also check the backside of the belt for grooves, fraying, or splitting. Although random cracks across the ribs are a sign of normal belt wear and don't mean the belt will fail immediately, it's a good idea to replace the belt the next time your car is serviced.

Obviously, we want to provide information to any car owner.  If you are reading this and happen to be a Volvo owner, you can rest assured that we will make sure to do all of the proper preventative checking and recommendation when you bring your vehicle by for any repair or service. 

We hope you have seen some value in this post (and our other posts).  Feel free to send us any other car or Volvo questions you have at:

Volvo. A Culture of Innovation

by All Vovo on 03/26/12

We like (okay love) our Volvos on SO MANY levels.  And, after reading this wonderful blog post (found at: ) by Dan Johnston, I am reminded that at the very core of Volvo--all the way back to Sweden--there is a culture of innovation.  There's a daring nature to do things the best way possible even if that means being outside the norm.  Quick to adopt new technology, but also unafraid to keep things simple.

I especially like this exerpt from the post:

"An interesting point about the Swedes is their adoption of technology. No, not the way most of us adopt something, because it’s new/cool/fun to own but because their idea is finding ways to improve the way they live. Just look at their furniture – it is comfortable, economic in design and just looks good. Now, for those of you who own a Volvo, look at our seats. Clean in design and probably the best you will ever find. I think the Scandinavians were one of the first to use simple designs to improve the way we sit.

Volvo is the same when adopting technology into manufacturing. They do not see robotic assembly taking away hard, dirty work from an assembly worker, but rather that it helps to provide a better quality of work life, ensures a higher level of overall build quality, and just makes good business sense. Years ago, when we started using robotic welding and materials handling, one of the guys taking us around the plant said “… it seems Americans fight having automatic assembly, here we are always looking for ways to help employees and build better cars.” He was our host and I wasn’t going to burst his bubble with his choice of words, I just thought “fight” was a little short of reality, we just have a different point-of-view."

Dan goes on to describe a different sort of "team assembly" situation that is similar, but essentially different than the assembly line practiced in most other automobile manufacturing. Many of the methods used in manufacturing at Volvos Kalmar plant, although innovative and holistic, were eventually seen as not quite "lean" enough to turn proper profits.  Studies after the fact, though, show many benefits that may not have been given enough time to be realized.

Okay, so that's pretty heavy stuff, but I think for anyone trying to understand what makes Volvo special, it's these kinds of things that remind even the biggest fan, what Volvo is all about---and that it's more than JUST a car.  Dan Johnston says it very well at the end of his post:

"In thinking about what makes Volvo unique, it’s the idea that at the core of what we do is how Volvo impacts people’s lives. Finding ways to enrich those who touch Volvo, whether it be the assembly line fellow and trying to make his work life better or whether it be those who buy Volvos and enriching their lives through safety and Scandinavian heritage."


How to change a flat tire......Not JUST for volvos.

by All Vovo on 03/18/12

We LOVE our Volvo repair work, but we at All Vovo also love to educate and keep people in the know.  So, we are gonna take everyone back to the basics. Volvo owner or not, everyone needs to know how to change a flat tire.  There are differences in vehicles and you can consult your car manual for more information, but as a service to our friends and neighbors in Ballard and Greater Seattle, Volvo owners and non-Volvo folks alike, we'd like to give you the basic steps!  Read and save this info for future use and practice.

Replacing that tire requires only a few essentials.  Know this easy (and all too common) automotive task, and you'll be rolling again in no time.

1. Put the car in park in a level area and apply the parking brake. Place manual transmission cars in gear.  Make sure you have pulled off of the road. Turn the engine off and put on the hazard lights.  You may want to open the hood to indicate to other drives that you are stopped for repairs.

2. Place a wheel chock or a large rock behind (if facing uphill) or in front (if facing downhill) the diagonally opposing wheel to prevent the car from rolling. Do this even on a slight incline. Get out the spare, a lug nut wrench (tire iron) and the car jack.

3. Remove the hubcap, if necessary.

4. Loosen the lug nuts, which hold the wheel in place, before jacking up the car: Place one end of the lug nut wrench over a lug nut. Use a hollow pipe (about 2 feet in length) for leverage by slipping it over the end of the lug nut wrench.  Turn the wrench counter-clockwise to loosen the lug nut.  Loosen the lug nuts in a star pattern, first loosen one a few turns, and then loosen the one opposite. Work across the tire until all the lug nuts are loose and unscrewed slightly.

5. Carefully jack up the car.  Check owner's manual for the correct and safe place to put the jack.  Jack the car up a little higher than is necessary to remove the old tire so there is room to put the new, full tire on.

6. Remove the lug nuts all the way and set them aside in a place where you won't lose them and they won't roll away. The flat tire should be essentially hanging from the threaded studs now.

7. Remove the flat tire and set it aside.

8. Lift the new tire onto the wheel studs. If you're confused about which is the right way to put the new tire on, check for the valve where you add air, it always faces out.

9. Replace the lug nuts. Tighten them the same way you loosened them: Give each nut a few turns, first one, then the one opposite, working around the wheel in a star pattern once again.  Try not to tighten adjacent nuts consecutively.

10. Slowly lower the jack and remove it.

11. Tighten the lug nuts again, as much as you can.

12. Put the hubcap back on.

Some extra tips for ya----

- The best thing to have with your tire changing equipment is a strong, hollow pipe, about two feet long, to use for leverage.

- If a lug nut sticks, squirt penetrating oil around the base and wait a moment, then try again.  Repeat as needed.

- Mind your hangs when you remove a flat tire.  Strands of steel may be sticking out of the back of the runbber (on a bald tire) and they can cut you---just be careful.

- Check out all your tire changing equipment at home before you need it on the road!

- Most people's spare tires are flat!  So, check the tire pressure in your spare once a month, or as often as you can.  Temporary spares (the small ones that have a "T" on them, require 60 PSI, and regular sized ones need 32 PSI).  A flat spare is useless.

Here are some warnings:

- Cars can slip off of jacks.  Be extremely careful. Never get under a car with only a tire-changing jack holding it up.

- To avoid bruised knuckles, pull rather than push when removing lug nuts.

- To avoid a strained back, use your knees when pulling on the wrench and pipe rather than your back.

Another Reason to Love Volvo: Safety Innovation

by All Vovo on 03/11/12

There are hundreds of reasons why us Volvo owners, love our Volvos.  For some it may be about style, for others it's the dependability, and for people like us who work on cars,......well, we wouldn't specialize in volvos if we didn't have a multitude of reasons for loving these vehicles.

I think one of the most undeniable reasons to love Volvo is their commitment to innovation in the area of safety.  I know, wikipedia isn't the MOST reliable source for information, but check out this quote from their article on Volvo:

"Volvo cars have long been marketed and stressed their historic reputation for solidity and reliability. Prior to strong government safety regulation Volvo had been in the forefront of safety engineering.

"In 1944, laminated glass was introduced in the PV model. In 1958, Volvo engineer Nils Bohlin invented and patented the modern 3-Point Safety Belt, which became standard on all Volvo cars in 1959. Additionally, Volvo developed the first rear-facing child seat in 1964 and introduced its own booster seat in 1978."

Yes, the 3-point safety belt!  It's not as exciting as in-dash nav, or heated seats, but it's probably one of the most important innovations in the history of automobiles.  Volvo has always kept with this commitment to not only make their cars run better, but also to keep it's drivers safer. 

Just this week, they have unveiled their efforts in introducing another new innovation to vehicle safety.  This time, though, it's not for the driver or passengers, it's for the PEDESTRIANS!  It is an air-bag system for the front of the vehicle.  Maybe this air-bag system is not yet perfected, but the importance is that they are once again, at the forefront in innovation.  It's quite possible, that in the very near future, their innovation will become standard for all automobiles----Incredible right?  Read more about the new V40 and it's special pedestrian air-bag system here:

 And, there you have it!  Innovation in the field of safety, one more big reason to love your Volvo, or to consider getting one!

 For more answers about your Volvo, feel free to visit our Ask 'Dr. Volvo' page: and submit your question.

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