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Volvo V70 Engine Issues

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 8,877
edited August 2014 in Volvo
Having a problem under the hood of your V70? Post your questions and solutions here.

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  • tread1tread1 Posts: 1
    My 99 Volvo V70 station wagon with 89,000 miles would not start last week and was towed to the dealership. They advised me that the belt tensioner had broken and subsequintly bent one of the cylinder heads. I am looking at very expensive repairs and was not sure of my options. Has anyone experienced this problem?
  • Every fix this..... had the same problem myself.....kinda expensive to say the least.
    Whats youe location.
  • Yes, this happened to me also at low mileage (62,000 miles). I have a 98 V70 Cross Country (AWD). I bought it used from a dealer when it had 58,000 miles, so it was just outside its factory warranty (& the dealer only provided a 2K or 2 mo used car warranty). I took it in for a very thorough (over $800) 60K service 2 months later, and 3 months after that (at 62,000 miles), I had the same problem you had. Only ALL of the cylinder heads were smashed when the belt tensioner broke. It cost me $5,000.00 for a Volvo specialist in the DC area to fix the engine. They said that it shouldn't have happened, especially at such a low mileage. They've worked exclusively with Volvos and VWs and NEVER saw this happen. I think the mfg. manual doesn't even include checking the belt until 75K miles or higher in the maintenance schedule. I love my Volvo, but this was a real pisser! Had I been neglectful of the maintenance schedule or purchased the car from an individual rather than a dealer (who assured me that it had passed a 152 point pre-sale inspection), I could see that MAYBE I deserved it. But I BABIED the car and it still happened. Now hearing that it happened to you, it makes me think it was a manufacturing defect. How do we find out?
  • stmssstmss Posts: 206
    For what it is worth, I just had ours changed out (belt and idler) on our 99V70 with 120,000 km (75k miles). I think the owners manual says 160,000 km (100k miles). However, the dealer highly recommeded it be changed sooner (no reason given) and for a couple of hundred bucks and given the catastrophic consequence of failure that you have witnessed, I did.

    I would say something is up and they must be seeing early failures. Of course, Volvo would never recall?
  • va4lvrsva4lvrs Posts: 3
    I'm trying to figure out if there are significant drawbacks to using regular gasoline with the 2006 Volvo 2.4 I5 engines (non turbo). My understanding is that the turbos do require premium. Correct? Currently have an 04' S60 2.4 that we fill up with regular and it seems to be doing ok. Now that we're looking at getting the V70, the question of engine type has come up and the associated gas requirements. Do the volvo engines burn one grade of gas cleaner then the other?

    Any input or direction would be appreciated.

  • crissmancrissman Posts: 145
    Our '05 V70 with 2.4 (non turbo) has been doing fine burning regular (87 octane) gas. It was a demonstrator/loaner that was purchased about 6 weeks ago and I've only pumped regular, so I can't really make a comparison. As long as it doesn't knock and continues to get about 24 mpg for daily commuting I'll stick with regular. I don't think there were any engine changes in the '06 model. As far as which burns cleaner, I don't think there's a difference. What I've heard is if the engine tolerates it (no knocking) use it and save your money.
  • jrkontjrkont Posts: 3
    I have an 04 V70 2.5T. The owner's manual is quite clear on this. The non turbo can use 87 octane, the turbo needs 91 octane, minimum.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    My wife has an 04 V70 base model non-turbo 2.4L 168 hp. The specs page of the owners manual gives the compression ratio (CR) as 10.3. The compression ratio of the 2.5T 300hp is only 8.5, and the other turbos are either 8.5 or 9.0.

    If the octane requirements are determined by the CR, the the non-turbo enigine has the highest octane requirement. (I understand that the effective compression ratio can be different from the nominal one depending on the valve timing, but I'm assuming this is not in effect here.

    Page 84 of the manual states that, "Volvo engines are designed for optimum performance on unleaded premium gasoline with octane rating AKI 91. . . . The minimum octane requirement is AKI 87 (RON91)."

    I believe the AKI octane number is what is given on the pumps. So Volvo is not rulling out the use of regular unleaded.

    What I get from this is that these cars can be driven hard with AKI 91 fuel and probably the knock sensor would not detect any knocking which would initiate retardation of the timing. Even if you used AKI 87 and drove it hard the knock sensor should protect the engins from knock damage, but you might not get full horsepower or as high a mpg.

    My dealer however, recommends premium which in the Dallas area is AKI 93 octane, which costs 20 cents a gallon more than AKI 87. AKI 91 is not sold here, but 89 is. Probably our V70 would run fine on 89 or even 87, but we use 93 to "be safe". The extra money is not worth the worry. The next trip I may mix 93 ande 89 to get 91 and see if the highway mpg is different. With 93 we get 30 to 31.5 mpg on the highway at 70 to 75 mph with the a/c on.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    I don't believe the N/A 2.4L V70 uses the "Atkinson" cycle like the Toyota Prius. The Prius has a nominal compression ratio of 13.5, but still uses regular gas as far as I know. The Atkinson cycle reportedly lowers the effective CR by allowing some intake air to flow back into the intake manifold. What I don't understand is why some of the fuel wouldn't flow back too. I assume the IC engine in the Prius is not direct injection (i.e. not directly into the cylinder), but I don't know.

    From Wikipedia:

    "The Atkinson cycle engine is a type of Internal combustion engine invented by James Atkinson in 1882. The Atkinson cycle is designed to provide efficiency at the expense of power.

    The Atkinson cycle allows the intake, compression, power, and exhaust strokes of the four-stroke cycle to occur in a single turn of the crankshaft. Owing to the linkage, the expansion ratio is greater than the compression ratio, leading to greater efficiency than with engines using the alternative Otto cycle.

    The Atkinson cycle may also refer to a four stroke engine in which the intake valve is held open longer than normal to allow a reverse flow of intake air into the intake manifold. This reduces the effective compression ratio and, when combined with an increased stroke and/or reduced combustion chamber volume, allows the expansion ratio to exceed the compression ratio while retaining a normal compression pressure. This is desirable for improved fuel economy because the compression ratio in a spark ignition engine is limited by the octane rating of the fuel used. A high expansion ratio delivers a longer power stroke, allowing more expansion of the combustion gases and reducing the amount of heat wasted in the exhaust. This makes for a more efficient engine.

    The disadvantage of the four-stroke Atkinson cycle engine versus the more common Otto cycle engine is reduced power density. Because a smaller portion of the intake stroke is devoted to compressing the intake air, an Atkinson cycle engine does not intake as much air as would a similarly-designed and sized Otto cycle engine.

    Four stroke engines of this type with this same type of intake valve motion but with forced induction (supercharging) are known as Miller cycle engines.

    Multiple production vehicles use Atkinson cycle engines:

    Toyota Prius hybrid electric (front-wheel-drive)
    Ford Escape hybrid electric (front- and four-wheel drive)
    Toyota Highlander hybrid electric (front- and four-wheel drive)
    Lexus RX400h hybrid electric (front- and four-wheel drive)
    In all of these vehicles, the lower power level of the Atkinson cycle engine is compensated for through the use of electric motors in a hybrid electric drive train. These electric motors can be used independent of, or in combination with, the Atkinson cycle engine."
  • tamulatamula Posts: 2
    I just purchased a 1998 volvo V70 wagon. Word to the wise make sure someone checks the starter or electrical system. I am new to the Volvo family. My purchase is only a week old and this morning my car would not start. AAA provided a jump-start. My altenator and battery both checked out fine. It was been on a electrical digital reading device to come out as pass. I did not leave any lights on inside. After the jump my car was just fine. Until I took it out again things was going status quo. It has been at least one hour before starting the car up again and it almost did not start again. Someone suggested a starter problem. This is costing more money then I expected. Any suggestions out there??? :confuse:
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    Could be a lot of things besides the starter. Some possibilities moving from the key to the starter are: the ignition switch, the starter relay, wiring from the relay to the starter, power line to starter or ground wire from the starter.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    A relative's van had a problem like that and it finally was fixed with a relatively inexpensive repair of a "ground connection". The shop didn't charge for this repair because they had previously diagnosed it as a bad starter and starter relay and replaced those for sizeable $$$. I was handling the repair and when I picked-up the car it started correctly.

    On the way home I stopped and then it wouldn't start. The shop paid for the tow back to their facility. They kept it some more and then announced that it was another module and charged $$ for that. I picked up the car and it started perfectly. I drove it around the block and back to the shop, where I shut it off. It wouldn't start. This time they found that wiggling the ground wire set from the battery while I was trying to start it made the starter go on, and they supposedly repaired a wire. That was a year ago and it had worked ever since. It could have just been a loose connection all the time or it could have been a damaged wire. This is a 92 Plymouth Voyager driven in a hot climate and very poorly maintained by this relative.

    I had tried to jump across the starter in my diagnosis of the problem, but the starter was buried under the intake manifold on the back side of the engine. I don't know where the starter is on the v70, but you can probably get an aftermarket repair manual and try jumping at the starter relay or starter, or even better across the proper contacts under the steering wheel with the key in the ignition swiched to the run position. But if the problem is intermittant it is hard for an amateur to draw conclusions.

    On my 91 Spirit the problem was the ignition switch, and on our 96 Volvo 850 wgn it was the starter itself. A shop put in a rebuilt Volvo starter for some serious $$$ and the problem was fixed. My wife later totalled the 850 wgn and got an '04 V70 2.4L base model.

    Before I changed the ign switch I drove my 91 Spirit for a short while as follows: insert key in the ignition and make sure tranny is in neutral; get out and open hood and using a piece of 12 ga copper house wire momentarily jump across the appropriate contacts on the starter relay, activating starter; shut hood and drive off. If I had killed the engine in stop-and-go traffic it would have been a dangerous situation. Having a car that will not start reliably is an unsafe condition.

    My nephew had an intermittant non-starting problem with his 2001 Jeep Grqand Cherokee and as I understand it it was nothing more than corroded battery connections, though the dealer charged $280 for towing, diagnosis, a new battery and perhaps new "cable terminations" (?! I wasn't there to get the story from the repair shop.)
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    Note that jumping across the wrong connections could possibly cause major damage. I was willing to do this on my 91 Dodge Spirit but I would hesitate to do this on a valuable new car. If I thought I had the wiring properly understood, I might do it but there is a risk.
  • tamulatamula Posts: 2
    Thanks to everyone with all the wonderful advice. It was a loose connection. They changed connectors that only cost .99 cents. Just FYI, if anyone has the same problem many repair shops knowing the part cost less than a dollar will try to charge $45 to $50 for the labor. My shop did not charge me;-) I also through word of mouth found a repair shop that will repair volvo at a much lower price. Finally, helpful information, auto zone, will do free battery and digital tests. :)
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    Could you describe what part it was and what it connects to? Was it in the ground or was it in the +12V wiring?

    I'm now wondering about the supposed bad starter on our 1996 850 wgn.
  • I seriously hope your kidding???!!! In a way you are right your octane requirements are a measure of your compression ratio and oddly enough your cooling system. On a reverse flow engine (not sure if the Volvo is that) where the heads are cooled first (Chevy LT1 is like this) you can run 87 octane since the heads are not hot. The compression ratio comment is what disturbed me more. A N/A motor (non-turbo) will have to be 10.5:1 there abouts. A turbo motor pressurizes the intake air to the tune of 10-18 psi depending on your setup thus the compresstion will go from 8.5-9.0:1 to higher than a N/A motor. NEVER run 87 octane on a turbo motor. On a N/A motor 87 is ok but you will get more power and better mileage from 89 octane. I ran 87 because on my 01 T5 because of the ignorant dealership I bought it from. It knocked and pinged until the computer removed timing from it. The bottom line is 91 octano ONLY for TURBO models.
  • Sorry for the late response, but get a grip. I would love to know how the cost of a part, however small, has anything to do with the time it takes to diagnose and install it. Certainly $50 or so is small change for this.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 8,877
    Yea, those hourly labor rates DO tend to add to your repair bills :surprise:

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  • We have an 2001 V70 with an ongoing problem. While driving our V70 will suddenly lose all power or, on rare occasion, stall. The Volvo helpline advised us to remove the gas cap for 10 seconds, then reinstall it tightly. This does fix the problem, but we are often left in a dangerous situation because there is no warning prior to failure. Help!!! does anyone know what needs to be replaced to fix this problem?
  • I have a volvo 960 and it stalls every now and then and smells like gasoline inside the car once in while too. Does your volvo still stall? Did you fix the problem. Please help

  • I have never heard of a gas cap causing a stalling issue. Have them monitor the mass air flow sensor, if it is around 14-18 kgh it is fine. higher could indicate a problem(unless a/c is on). Also, have them check for recall 155, this is covered under warranty and pertains exactly to what you are talking about. Volvo is aware of this and has extended the warranty to 10 years and 200,000 miles on the throttle body.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    I've been using Mobile 10W-30 extended performance in my 2004 V70 with NA 2.4L 168 hp and changing at 7500 to 10,000 mile intervals. I'm thinking about changing to one of the Amsoil 10W-30 products*. Any comments?

    I don't need the 25,000 mile change interval oil because I'm not putting that many miles on it in a year.

    *"XL SAE 10W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil API certified
    Extended Drain Intervals

    Specifically designed for extended drain intervals beyond 3,000 miles as established by vehicle manufacturers such as Honda (10,000 miles in certain vehicles) and for those vehicles equipped with oil monitoring devices. Standard drain interval recommendation is 7500 miles where the vehicle manufacturer does not specify extended drain intervals.
    Product Code: XLT"
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    Thanks for pointing out my error of attributing the knock potential to the compression ratio rather than to the absolute pressure inside the cylinders during the compression stroke.

    Due to forced air induction a turbo- or supercharged engine can have a significantly higher absolute pressure of the air-fuel mixture than a NA engine even though the latter nowadays usually has a higher compression ratio. I got my 2004 V70 as a hand-me-down and it replaced a 1991 Dodge Spirit with NA 2.5L, 8-valve, single OHC, 4-cyl rated at 100 hp! That engine had an about 9:1 CR and used US regular 87 AKI gasoline. I don't know if it had a knock sensor or not.

    Suppose you did fuel the Volvo 2.4L NA 168hp 5-cyl (CR 10.3:1) with AKI 87. Under what conditions would the knock sensing and engine control system be retarding the timing to prevent knocking?
  • a few weeks ago the Volvo dealer checkd the 'check engine' light-code was for cam reset valve. I was told its ok to drive it until I got around to fixing it, no worries, won't damage anything. last night I had it towed, after the light flashed on/off and the message said "do not drive/get immediate service". the engine felt sluggish (though not sputtering) and vibrated until I could pull over 1 mile later. an off-duty mechanic thought it might be the 'cam reset sensor' (w/o even knowing this history). Is it likely the same problem that volvo said? if so, why did they not warn me this could happen?!! is there now damage b/c I've been driving it for weeks? if so, shame on you, Dealership! the T-belt also needs replacing (150k) which I planned to do next week! so I should get both done, if it is the cam valve. car is now sitting at Volvo waiting for diagnosis. I am worried that they will take advantage-I'm a their mercy now! what are the likely/potential causes and fixes? I don't want them to replace this valve if its not the prob. it sounds expensive. thank you for any help!!
  • olieolie Posts: 2
    Hey I have a 1998 Volvo v70. It is just a normal v70(not a turbo or T5) My problems are over starting issues. I am a college student, so when I leave my car to sit for a period of time from couple of weeks to a month, it will not start. It is not a problem of turning over, the starter cranks it over perfectly. I usually try to start it for a about a minute or so. I stop for of ruining the starter or draining the battery. After getting frustrated I let it sit. When I come back to start it again it will either repeat, or it will start. It depends on how long it has been sitting. The crazy thing is, I can always get it to start after a while of "fussing" with it. When I finally get it started, it will idol properly but when I give it gas, it sputters and dies. After a few tries at this, it will start to stay on when I give it gas. So I take it around the block (driving it very hard) and all the problems are over. Once I get it running properly again, all is fine. I can drive for as long as I want with no problems. As far as day to day, it will always start with no problems. I have taken it to a Volvo specialist in Bellingham, Washington and had no results. They say it is fine. So if anyone has had this problem or knows what might be the problem, I would appreciate your incite. Thanks
  • 1998 Volvo V70 XC AWD 2.4L, 5 cyl.

    I recently pulled the engine and transmission in order to replace old seals and gaskets. The car has 225,000 miles and was leaking everywhere, but other than that, the car was running fine. I put the engine back in, and the car turns over strongly, but won’t fire. There is no spark getting to the plugs so I checked the distributor wire coming from the coil. There was no spark either. I have checked the crankshaft positioning sensor and the camshaft positioning sensor. Both check out good. I checked all fuses to make sure none were burnt. All good. I double checked all connectors to all sensors and cleaned them with connector cleaner to ensure good contact. I double checked the timing and alignment marks and even put a compression tool in the number 1 cylinder to make sure that it is on top dead center. There are no codes although I am using a regular code reader not specifically for Volvo's. I have hit rock bottom. Any help on why I am getting no spark? I really need this car to run.
  • Got this warning light and went to the Volvo dealer.
    Told me knock sensor codes showed (ECM 3410 ECM 3420).

    Found severe oil sludge build-up at oil filter when performing routine oil change (had it changed 3000 miles earlier with no problem).

    The service rep told me I had 2 choices:

    1) Remove the sump and check for amount of sludge in bottom of engine adn clean ($700-$1000)

    2) Replace the engine.(current engine has 78k)

    I drove tghe car home and warning lights did not go on.

    Any thoughts on the problem? Is it worth removng the "sump' and cleaning it? SHould I chekc with another repari shop?
  • YES! Have the oil pan removed and get the sump cleaned out. We had the exact same issue with our 2001 V70, but chose to ignore it and got stuck on an extended trip from Florida to Tennessee. Luckily, our mechanic here found a Volvo mechanic in NC who took care of us. The amount of junk in the sump was staggering. You do not need a new engine, however. Cleaning the sump and oil pan should take care of the problem. Good luck!
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    It seems to me that you should also immediately change to full synthetic oil: Mobile1 10W-30 or Mobile1 10W-30 Extended Performance. The sudden appearance of sludge may indicate that the emissions control system is allowing combustion by-products to get into the oil where it cooks the dino oil into sludge.

    This suggests that you should get the crankcase ventilation system checked. If this model still has the troublesome flame trap design, then change the flame trap (a little perforated plastic disc). This is a very simple maintenance item which I changed myself on my wife's 1996 850 Wagon (855). But it wasn't plugged perhaps because I had for years used Mobile1 10W-30.

    In fact you might be able to empty the oil and change to full synthetic without dropping the pan. You might be able to flush the sump with the oil drain plug out by pouring some oil down the dip stick tube and seeing if it forces sludge out the drain hole. Alternatively, you could possibly evacuate sludge from the bottom of the pan with one of those oil evacuation devices which is inserted in the dipstick tube.

    But the safer route is probably to drop the pan and clean out the pan and oil pump pickup, then change to Mobile1 which is much more resistant than dino oil is to sludge formation. Mobile1 is $5 to $7 per quart depending on source but I think it is worth it.
  • I recently purchased a 1998 v70 awd. I have a coolant leak that looks like it is coming from the transmission cooler line just below the top radiator hose. I was told i needed a new radiator. I am thinking about replacing the the radiator, top and bottom radiator hoses, and the transmission cooler lines. It looks like there are 4 of these lines total , 2 on each side. It also looks like there are oil leaks coming from where they mount at the opposite end of the radiator. I am debating tackling this job myself . I have a Chiltons manual that has a pretty good description of how to change the radiator but im wondering about those transmission cooler lines. Anything i should know before i tackle this myself ? Thanks in advance.
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