Our little orange Volvo S60 has already accumulated 8,000 miles on the clock, the last several hundred of which have been accompanied by a "Time for Regular Maintenance" message. So, when I finally resolved to fulfill its 7,500 mile appointment, I called nearby dealerships hoping to score a loaner car that might help me evaluate another model in the Volvo lineup.

The closest dealership with a loaner car fleet was nearly 20 miles away, so I opted instead for nearby Rusnak Pasadena, an older lot with several adjacent service bays with huge doors painted Swedish blue. The Rusnak dealership network has been around since 1966, so I trusted they'd take good care of our S60.

In addition to the oil change and routine inspections included with the 7,500 mile service, I requested a few things to be checked out. For starters, the air-conditioning unit was emitting a moldy odor, whether or not the "AC" button was depressed. I also heard some buzzing from the condenser, and noted that the multimedia system was sometimes a bit laggy-which I quietly suspected was intrinsic to its normal function. Finally, I pointed out the loose trim around the sunroof, which we mentioned in an earlier update.

My service advisor Greg Williamson was a bit flustered when I dropped off the car at noon-he was an 18-year Rusnak veteran, and that day he happened to be getting acclimated to a new computer system-nonetheless, he was gracious and polite and told me that unless he was done with the S60 that afternoon, he might need until the following day to address the outstanding issues. Fair enough.

When I returned the next day to pick up the car, Greg noted that they didn't catch any A/C condenser buzz-not surprising, since it only happened to me a couple times. The lag in the multimedia system also turned out to unremarkable, and a part was ordered for the sunroof trim. The moldy smell was addressed by replacing air filters, spraying a deodorizer in the system, and programming the fans to blow extra air out after every time the engine is turned off. My paperwork indicated that an "Executive Car Wash" would be performed (valued at $29.99.) I was impressed that, despite heavy rainfall, the service team went out of their way to clean the Volvo's wheels. Luckily, our Volvo wasn't affected by any of the recent recalls made to the S60 lineup.

Greg was noticeably more relaxed when he gave me paperwork to sign. Of particular note was his courteous demeanor, despite the fact that he had no idea I was a member of the press. In fact, when I pulled out my bulky D-SLR to get shots of the S60 in the service area before driving off, another Rusnak employee seemed concerned and asked if I was an insurance agent. "Nope," I replied. "Is everything OK?" he queried, and I said, "Yep, everything's great!"

All in all, it was a pleasant service experience. With the musty air-conditioning odor gone, the only remaining question pertained as to how Rusnak Volvo would follow up with the sunroof trim issue when the part arrived. Based on my interaction so far, returning to the dealer should be painless; also reassuring is the fact that Volvo scheduled maintenance is free for 5 years or 50,000 miles.

Want to learn more? Follow our long-term test of the Volvo S60.

author photo

Basem Wasef is an automotive journalist, author, and photographer with two coffee table books under his belt, and is a regular contributor to Popular Mechanics, Robb Report, and Maxim among others. When Basem isn't traveling the globe testing vehicles, he enjoys calling Los Angeles home.

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