Remember when I said my mom was car shopping but then never followed up about what she bought? You might not, since it was almost 2 months ago.

My mom went car shopping all the way back on July 4th. She made a decision on which car to buy shortly after that. She got this Volvo XC60. Yes, my dad also bought a Volvo XC60 this year. But I haven’t posted about it until now because of reasons.

Reason number one is even though I live 3 miles from my childhood home which my parents still own, my mom spends more of her time at my parents’ vacation house on the eastern shore of Maryland, so I didn’t intersect with her and the car while she was out there.


Reason number two is she had weird electrical gremlins which caused the car to spend 3 weeks in the dealer’s service bay and ended up resulting in a large portion of the car’s wiring that connects different interior modules being replaced.

Anyway, about the XC60. My mom thought she wanted a car from a non-luxury brand, that ran on regular fuel, and was a little smaller than my dad’s XC60, but had enough towing capacity in case she needed to tow their little 14 foot fiberglass sailboat that combined with its trailer weighs maybe 1500 lbs. This towing happens a grand total of two times per year, once in the spring to bring it from storage to their vacation house, and once in the fall to return it to storage. Or if it needs to be serviced. Their vacation house has two boat lifts on the dock and during boating season the boats just live at the dock.

My dad’s XC60 with its factory hitch can already cover the sailboat towing, but my mom wanted her car to also be able to tow the stupid sailboat, dammit, so she focused her list on cars with enough capacity.

I steered her to check out assorted small/medium crossovers from Honda, Mazda, Hyundai and Kia. She did. She also went to the Volvo dealer, supposedly under the guise of checking out the XC40. I didn’t hear from her for a few days about what she ended up buying, and then she told me she bought an XC60.


It’s a T5 AWD Inscription, just like my dad’s. The dealer added the Volvo factory accessory tow hitch, just like my dad’s. The only differences are the color inside and out, and my mom’s has the sport steering wheel. Except I don’t see a sport steering wheel on the Volvo configurator. I don’t know what she’s talking about.

I laughed at the idea of my mom ending up buying the exact same car as my dad, and made some kind of joke about “so much for them regular cars and regular gas.” My mom is not good at picking up on social queues and somehow thought I was offended she made this choice. I clarified that no, I was not offended at all, and thought it was hilarious.


I asked my dad to take a picture of their two damn Volvo XC60s next to each other, but he never responded to that request, and then my mom’s car made its extended visit back to the dealer.

Last Friday on my way home from work, my mom called me, mentioned that she was in town to finally pick up her car from the dealer, and asked if I wanted to go to dinner right away that night since she knew my wife was in Wisconsin visiting her mom. It was the end of a long week, so I was able to revise the plan to lunch on Saturday.


Here is the summary of why her brand new XC60 spent 3 weeks in the dealer’s shop: she got a bunch of warning lights, the dealer started replacing electrical gubbins that had to do with various body control modules and other interior electronics, trying to eliminate any possibility of those parts being bad, sometimes waiting extended periods of time for parts to arrive. Eventually when no more electrical bits could be replaced, they started replacing wiring harnesses. After changing out multiple wiring harnesses, the car decided to quit lighting up whatever warning lights were going crazy. The process looked like this:


So now my mom has her car back, and I haven’t heard any further complaints from her about it acting up, so hopefully this results in a long, illustrious ownership of the vehicle for her. Before this, she had a 2005 Acura MDX that she bought new, treated like shit, and filled the door pockets with takeout menus. Time to see how that Swedish Chinese build quality holds up in comparison. It’s certainly off to a promising start.

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