Do Volvo Cars Rust (+Most Rustproof Models)

Going only by reputation, Volvos are well known for their great attention to safety, their very boxy designs of the past, and their extremely solid reliability.

However, even reliable cars can get caught out by that cruel mistress we call rust. Do Volvos suffer this kind of problem, or are they totally resilient?

Do Volvo Cars Rust?

It all depends on the time the Volvo was made. If you look at Volvos from the 90s to the present day, you’ll find rust is of very little concern. Modern manufacturing techniques have allowed for rust to be of low risk.

Looking further back and using the 240 Series as an example, the risk of rust does go up. By 1988, the 240 was given the best corrosion protection you could get, with some of its body parts being galvanized.

Any 240 made before then has an increased chance of rust, though compared to most cars of the time, it’s still fairly tough. You’ll likely find it’s not an enormous problem. However, any possible rust in these cars can normally be found around the front wings and, in worst-case scenarios, the sills.

As for other older Volvos, there’s the larger 700 Series. This, too enjoyed some highly impressive endurance. That said, it’s not completely indestructible as some rust can be found around the wheel arches and the floor panels and doors. If it’s been well cared for, though, chances are it’ll be fine.

Even older cars like the 164 and 140 are where there should be more worry. These cars have a history with rust, which can turn up in a lot of places. From the sills to the fenders, it can turn up in a number of parts on the car.

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Why Most Volvo Cars don’t Rust?

Because they possess some of the best attention to quality, a carmaker can gift to its products. This means better building materials and engineering processes as well as addressing the issue of rust. Galvanised body parts have changed the game for keeping rust at bay.

This method will keep the metal from oxidizing, and it’s for this reason that modern cars do not rust nearly as easily as older ones. A good reason why Volvo puts this much effort into making their cars last is where they come from.

Since Volvo hails from Sweden and how their cars are very popular all over Scandinavia, it would only be prudent to build cars with the harsh, near Arctic winters in mind. Snow is highly abundant there, which is a big cause of rust, so extra measures have to be taken if any car is to survive long term there.

These dangerous conditions likely play a part in why Volvo was founded upon the principle of safety. Rust can infringe upon a car’s level of safety if left unchecked, so, naturally, Volvo has addressed the issue, and their cars have never been tougher.

What cars are the opposite of Volvo? Which ones rust the most? The list is here.

Which Volvo Cars are Sometimes Likely to Rust?

You’ll find, as mentioned, older cars like the 240 Series and 700 Series can fall prey to rust. Before the 90s, rust protection wasn’t quite as advanced, so a greater risk existed back then. Fortunately, updates to their construction in the late 80s saw much improvement, with rust being less of a major problem.

For the most likely to rust, you’d have to look at the 140 and 164 series. Made around the 60s and 70s, they were built at a time when rustproofing wasn’t exactly a common detail in car manufacturing.

Another one to look out for is the 340 and 360. These compact cars were also made at a time where rust protection wasn’t exactly state-of-the-art, so rust can be a big issue with this car if it’s not been well looked after.

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After How Many Years Some Volvos Tend to Rust?

This again all depends on the Volvo in question or the age the Volvo is at. The older a car gets, the more years it’s spent handling all manner of conditions and weather. It’ll likely have seen rain, snow, and sun, the former two being the root causes of car rust.

Now, while steps can be taken to keep a car from rusting, it won’t fully stop it from ever happening. Metal is almost destined to rust, though it can be delayed a long time if the right measures are taken.

Typically, rust will form if part of the paint has broken down, and when it happens, the rusting process can happen very quickly.

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Which Volvo Cars Almost don’t Rust?

After the 80s, Volvo really started upping their game regarding the engineering quality of their cars. This would see body parts receiving much improved rustproofing, such as galvanizing. This process sees a protective layer of zinc that shields the metal from rust. It won’t make it rustproof for life, but it will keep it safe for a long, long time.

The current range of Volvo cars being sold are very structurally sound, and the same can be said for their cars of the last couple of decades. For specific cars, the 850 has been known as a tough machine. Even though it’s thirty years old, it’s not that uncommon to find them on the move without a scratch.

The same goes for its successor, the S70 and V70. These, too are extremely resistant to rust and have a lot of happy owners behind their wheels.

More up-to-date Volvo cars, like the XC90, the V90, and S60, to name a few, are likely to stay in good condition for some time. Their status as premium brand products means a premium level of attention towards how well they are made. Needless to say, keeping sure rust doesn’t happen any time soon is a part of the process.

Is Volvo One of the Most Rustproof Car Brands?

Given their reputation, yes, Volvo certainly seems to be and has been for a long time. This can be explained by their willingness to put extra care into building their cars. When you’re a carmaker that bases their whole product range on the principle of safety, you’re probably going to want any rust out of the picture.

However, another part of why their cars seem so resistant is how Volvo’s customer base has a habit of being very responsible owners.

An owner who puts in the effort of ensuring their car lasts will see reduced chances of rust getting to it. Although Volvo has made great strides in stopping its cars from oxidizing, rust can still be an issue later down the line. With that being the case, it’s not bad advice to put some good care into their car, even if it is a Volvo.

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How to be 99% Sure that Your Volvo Won’t Rust?

While your Volvo will likely be far, far away from any risk of rusting in any place, giving it the right maintenance can maximize the chances of never seeing it pop up. Such maintenance includes the following.

  1. Coats of wax: Giving your car a coating of wax will keep away rust. It’s a simple, yet very effective way of keeping the car protected.
  2. Oil: Products, such as WD40 is perfect for reaching small, confined parts of the car that can be susceptible to rust.
  3. Keeping your car in the garage: While this isn’t a cure for rust, making sure your car is sheltered for some of the time will lessen the odds of corrosion. This proves to be a very useful tactic whenever it’s raining or snowing heavily.
  4. Rustproofing: You can have a specialist underseal the car, which involves giving extra protection to the car’s bodywork, including the underside and under the wheel arches. This method can be very useful if you have a car you’re planning on owning in the long run.

These methods won’t make rust an impossibility, but the chance of rust happening does become incredibly rare. If you’re looking to be proactive and protect your car before any problem occurs, then this type of care is worth looking into.


I hope you found this article helpful. Most Volvo cars have a very solid, impressive history of keeping the rust away, though they’re not immune. Some older cars will have issues, but newer ones with more advanced preventative measures are proven to be highly durable.

Through these measures, you’ll find Volvos are unlikely to fall foul of oxidizing. Although, despite that, it’s always a good plan to be wary and treat your car well, so you can avoid rust. If you’re intending to keep your Volvo for a great stretch of time, then you will definitely want to put extra caution in making sure rust will not cause you any headaches in the future.