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Volvo S80



  • pollard2pollard2 Posts: 3
    So far my 2000 S80 T6 with 20K miles has been great. Now I want to tune it up a little bit. Can anyone shed light on cold air intakes, different exhaust, tuning the fuel air mix? Looking for some more horses, but also need to get the torque up as well. Rollie? Any thoughts or references would be great.

  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    K&N air filter is probably the easiest and least expensive way to increase performance. My friend tried it and said the increase was noticable.
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883
    Prolly a bit late.. but call Montclair for a quote.

    Talk to Herb Wiley or Pete.

  • rms409rms409 Posts: 10
    What octane gas is recommended for the S80 2.9? My salesman said 93, but a friend of mine said that since it wasn't turbo or a high performance car like a Camaro or Corvette, I could probably use 89 octane without a problem. He said the 93 might even be hurting my valves.

    So, does anyone know any specifics on this?

  • billiam70billiam70 Posts: 54
    The 2.9 only requires Regular Unleaded, nothing more. The T6 requires the Premium because of the turbo engine. The basic rule of thumb is for any car that is designed to run on regular unleaded, putting in anything higher is just a waste of money. My previous S80 2.9, that my aunt now owns, has only ever received regular unleaded, even to this day with 40,000 miles.
  • t6tolert6toler Posts: 19
    Every engine that Volvo produces for North America is designed and REQUIRED to use a minimum octane of 87. Using this octane will not harm any Volvo engine whether turbocharged or normally aspirated. For OPTIMUM performance 91 or higher can be used. Optimum means smoother running and idling, more responsiveness, and slightly higher available horsepower. All these engines have knock sensors that detect if there are detonation problems and then the computer can direct the valve timing to progress or retard to compensate. A higher octane fuel will then decrease the chance of knock and allow the engine to operate to its intended efficiency without having to compensate for spark knock. I have a T6 and I use Chevron 92 octane. Using the 87 would be fine but I don't mind spending a bit more (even in California) for the mostly "perceived" performance increase.
  • paltingpalting Posts: 26
    "Using this octane will not harm any Volvo engine whether turbocharged or normally aspirated"

    I disagree. Every engine is designed to work under optimun conditions. It can compensate for less than optimum conditions, but that would result in compromises. Not only compromise in performance, but probably compromise in reliability and longevity. I have a T6. I do not believe that running this engine with a retarded ignition timing over the long haul when it was specifically designed to work at a specific ignition timing with 92 octane will not do it damage.
  • t6tolert6toler Posts: 19
    But who ever drives under "optimum" conditions? Light engine knocking (which I have never had a problem with in any of my Volvos) is not harmful in the long run according to most manufacturers. I can specifically think of Chevrolet and Ford who say that as long as the knocking goes away with increased engine load that there is no danger.
    Volvo turbo engines for North America are not "required" in any way to use an octane higher than 87. I should think your owner's manual can be the last word on that. If you own a turbo, or normally aspirated for that matter, and consistently run it with 87 octane and don't experience knock, ping or starting problems there is no definitive reason to spend more money on a higher octane unless you feel it might provide better performance. An octane number indicates the fuel's resistance to premature detonation. A higher value, a higher resistance. In a cylinder the fuel and air are injected as the piston moves down. Then as the piston returns to the top of the chamber the valves close and the fuel/air is compressed. When the piston reaches the top a spark is generated and the mixture violently ignites and forces the piston down, creating power. If the engine is a high compression engine and is run on low octane fuel the fuel ignites due to the high compression and heat before the piston gets to the top and the plug fires, that is knocking, pinging, and that sort of stuff. Volvos turbo engines are not high compression. The non-turbos are a higher compression but are engineered, by way of knock sensors, to be perfectly fine when used with 87 octane. Testing has shown that a car recommended to use 87 that is run on 92 will have barely any HP or driveability change for the better and can actually decrease in performance. Whereas an engine "required" by the owner's manual to use 92 will decrease in performance, albeit a small amount, when run on 87.
  • landlockedlandlocked Posts: 14
    When I purchased my T6, I asked my sales person specifically about what grade gas to run in the car. She said that regular unleaded is perfectly fine, and that the higher octane gases mostly just cost more. I use regular unleaded exclusively and have not experienced anything wrong with the car whatsoever. Always starts fine, never pings or knocks, and I am consistently able to get ahead of traffic when I want to.

    Spend your money on other things.
  • paltingpalting Posts: 26
    I haven't been to this thread for a while, but these are the most uninformed posts I've read so far.

    The Volvo S80 T6 REQUIRES an octane rating 0f 91 RON. To anybody who says otherwise, my advice, RTFM!! And as far as I know, in the US or anywhere else in the world, 91 octane is NOT regular fuel. Go ahead. Use regular octane despite what is recommended. I for one would like to know the litany of problems you can develop. At least, it will happen to you, not me.
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883
    The T-6 requires premium fuel like most any Turbocharged car.

    At the very best, you'll get reduced performance. At the worst, serious engine damage.

    And, if they can prove that it was caused by using improper fuel, damage that the warranty might not cover. You got some dangerous advice I am afraid.

    But then, it isnt MY car. My T6 gets premium.

    In some countries (Generally in Europe) octane ratings are far higher. But, heck, look what they pay for fuel! (over $1.00 a LITRE!)

  • execuguyexecuguy Posts: 2
    I have just had 2 experiences in which my S-80 would not shift. On start-up in the am. It would not shift out of Park. 5 minutes later after I had read an re-read the relevant parts of the manual. It shifted as if there had never been a problem.

    1 week later at my garage at work , it would not shift out of the forward gears or reverse. Volvo service acame and we managed to push it so we could drive it out of the garage. Then after a 20 minute cruise home (forward was no problem) , it shifted to P easily.

    I think I hate this car.
  • rms409rms409 Posts: 10

    This problem was mentioned in some previous posts -- go to Posts #954 & #956. I think these may help you possibly shed some light on your frustrating experience. I think once you understand the workings of the Volvo, you will not hate the car, but come to really appreciate the beauty of it. Don't give up. The people on this board are very knowledgeable about this vehicle and can assist you greatly with questions and problems that might come up.

    Hang in there!
  • rms409rms409 Posts: 10
    I had posted a little while back regarding the octane level to use in the S-80 2.9. Well, thanks for everyone's input on it. I finally checked the manual [which, incidentally someone else who had posted had recommended and done as well]. The manual recommends an octane of 91 or higher for Volvos in general. So, I guess I better "play by the book," although it would've been nice to save some $$ and use a lower octane.

    Better to be safe than sorry.
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883
    In a NON TURBO S80 you can use Mid-Grade and be fine...

  • scottc3scottc3 Posts: 137
    Hi All,

    Been months since I've been here. I see octane discussions, I use the highest I can get. I change the old every 5K miles, and use Mobile 1, synthetic. My car is turning 45K miles now, and no real issues. 2 recalls, done under warranty. I've had to pull the radio out twice for a stuck CD, and other than this, it's running very well. I have replaced the plugs at 30K miles, used Autolite.. no issues. Had the transmission fluid changed at the factory, and replaced the front break pads at about 30K miles (but dealer said I did not have to do once they looked at - but it was there, up on the rack, so why not). I have no real complaints, but I'm not sure I'd buy another one - just personal opinion, no hard reason. I really like the handling of our BMW 535, and it's got 125K on it, and running great. I do like the S80 on long trips.. it's really great, but corning leaves a bit to be desired for me.

    I won't sell the car, as it seems to be a good one, but may - at some point - give to my wife, and I'll get something else.

    Good luck to all.

  • bhuckbhuck Posts: 1
    If that happens again with your shifter,
    pop off the fuse cover on the driver side of
    the dash. Pull fuse #21, replace fuse 21,
    start car, and drive away.
  • I normally drive my S80 2.9 pretty mellow but every now and then when I hammer it at a green light or an on-ramp. During hard accelerations, it feels like the tranny is slipping in between 1st and 2nd, and 2nd & 3rd. I get a pretty significant vibration coming from the tranny, not to mention the loss of power as the guy in the Civic EX blows by me. The car has 30k on it and is in the shop now for the third time being looked at. I was told that it might be due to the "adaptive transmission" getting into a mellow driver "mode", and then when I hammer it, it tries to handle the shift lightly, but there is too much power going to the tranny. The funny thing is, when I step on it at every opportunity, the car eventually starts shifting smoothly again. So I hope they can fix it otherwise I'm going to get some speeding tickets to keep it shifting properly. Has anyone else experienced this and had it fixed successfully?
  • paltingpalting Posts: 26
    I have the dreaded '99 edition of the S80 T6. Fortunately, I have not had any of the "dreaded" traits. It has always been sweet since brand new.

    The adaptive mechanism is slow to respond. It does take several shifts and several stop and go before it adapts to aggressive driving. Funny, it seems to adapt quicker to mellow driving. I have found that for the occasional sprints of hard driving that I subject the car to when I drive it, it is simpler to use the manual shifting capabilities of the auto trans. Shifts are quick and solid near the red line. The Volvo is a wolf in sheeps clothing. Despite front wheel drive and auto, the acceleration is awesome. My T6 has beaten a BMW 530i in a straight drag race!!!

    Anyway, back to the topic. I have found that after several runs up and down aggressively in manual mode, the car is now adapted to aggressive when I resume full auto. I believe the T6 and 2.9 share the same auto tranny, so they should behave simillarly. So, next time that Civic EX comes up, go manual and leave him staring at your VOLVO logo, heh-heh-heh.
  • pheephee Posts: 2
    I always use premium in my S80 2.9 even though the dealer said regular was OK. I was told the same when I bought a 960 in '92, which had a similar engine. However, in '97, I burned some valves which cost over $2500 to repair. It appears the detonation sensor was so good in the 960 that it never pinged. The same dealer said that the S80 also would run on regular, but this time I'll follow what both cars' manuals say, i.e. at least 91 octane.
    By the way, does anyone else have problems with their car surging at idle?
  • delmangdelmang Posts: 1
    Had the surging at idle problem on my 2000 S-80 2.9 with 73K miles. Dealer cleaned throttle module ($100) and no more problems.
  • n1tyhn1tyh Posts: 1
    Hi all,
    I'm looking at purchasing a 2000 Volvo S80, 2.9 (fully loaded with leather interior) that is off-lease with 85,000 miles. I know, rather high. Selling price is $17K. He came off his selling price (obviously not by much). This is a used car lot in town (good reputation) who only specializes in off-lease cars with higher mileage.

    Other car I'm looking at is an Audi A6 with 53,000 for $18,500.

    Any comments regarding the Volvo S80's performance as it approaches 100,000 miles would be greatly appreciated.

    Steve O.
  • kkatkkat Posts: 6
    2000 S80 2.9 34,000 miles:
    At idle, the engine speed sometimes swings wildly -- down to 600 rpm then up to over 1000 rpm and then down again. It's very noticable to everyone in the car. I have earlier noticed some light cycling (maybe a 100 rpm move) that I think is associated with the air conditioner, but this is much more severe. Has anyone else experienced this? of course, it is intermittent, and won't perform for the dealer.
  • rms409rms409 Posts: 10
    I just got my 2002 S80 2.9 this past Spring, so I don't know how it performs on the road under snowy/icy conditions. It doesn't have all-wheel drive, but rear wheel drive. All my other cars in the past have had front wheel drive. What can I expect from the Volvo under these driving conditions. Safe to drive?

    I'd appreciate any input from those who have driven their Volvo under such conditions.
  • n0v8orn0v8or Posts: 169
    Your 2002 S80 is front wheel drive. How did you get the impression it was rear wheel drive?
    I found it not quite as good in snow as other front wheel drive vehicles with narrower tires.
  • kiiwiikiiwii Posts: 318
    Does S80 have "S" (sport) mode switch? My good old 960 has that. The car shifts a bit more aggressively if you turn it on.
  • pheephee Posts: 2
    Message 982 above says that the dealer's cleaning of the throttle module corrected the problem. I plan to try that remedy myself. As you noted, it seems to occur only when the A/C is running and when both the ambient temperature is high and engine has gotten to operating temperature. I had it to the dealer twice for this problem, the last time citing the technical service bulletins dealing with this problem elsewhere on this site. Neither visit cured the problem, but it does seem to go away in the fall.
  • paltingpalting Posts: 26
    "Does S80 have "S" (sport) mode switch? My good old 960 has that. The car shifts a bit more aggressively if you turn it on."

    The S80 does have a switch, but it is a "W" switch. It is for bad road conditions such as ice, where the tranny starts in 2nd gear and modulates the power more to prevent wheel spin. As to aggressive vs Mz. Daisy mode, the tranny supposedly adapts automatically.
  • I have 1999 S80 2.9 w/ 54000 miles on it.
    I hear click and clunk noise on my suspension when I go over the bump.
    The probloem is that I don't hear anything after about 30 minutes of driveing or I have somebody on the passenger seat. It might be ball joint or just loosen nuts and bolts. What do you guys think? I don't want to take my car to the money hungry dealer and pay for the new ball joint but it is actually tightening the bolts and nuts...
  • I paid $173.00 for a 10,000 mile inspection at my dealer. I never had a foreign car before so I do not know what to expect although I think this is ridiculously high. Wondering what is normal and if an oil, filter change will suffice at 15,000? Thanks for your input.
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