Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Volvo V70 Engine Issues



  • I just purchased an '01 V70, used, and am having the same problem. Have you found anything out yet? Our car runs great until we slow down, like for a stoplight, then it will stall. It loses power - dash lights dim, then it stalls. It has started up right away after, but yeah, I have been left motionless in the the middle of the road. We took it in to a shop by us and they could find nothing wrong. Every time they drove it, it didn't stall. Anything you, or anyone else, can tell me I would really appreciate. Thanks.
  • olieolie Posts: 2
    I recently had the problem fixed. The way the mechanic explained it was the distributor was going bad. The points were all corroded and the wires were bad. So we had the mechanic replace everything for about $800 dollars. It was kind of steep, but what do you do. I hope this helps.
  • Thanks, that helps a lot. I realy hope it's something a lot cheaper than that, but I kind of have that feeling...
  • paula11paula11 Posts: 1
    My car runs great, but sometimes, he starts to lose power and dies.

    For him not to die completly, I press the pedal (very hard) and he runs a little bit and finnaly stops.
    All dash lights dim. I can start the car immediatly, but he as no power.

    One thing I noticed these last days...I feel the car more heavy than normal.

    Anybody as any idea what the problem is?

    I live in a new building and unfortunatly I park my car in the wrong place. They tow my car, without using a flat bed. The volvo cross country needs to be tow only in flat bed.
    Do this people damage something or this is just a coincidence?
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    Towing the car without a flat-bed should not cause any engine malfunction. Even if they used an old-fashioned wrecker that raised one end of the car, they probably used a dolly under the end of the car that was trailing. If the car was locked, the gear selector was in Park and the parking brake set was set, then almost certainly they used a dolly to allow the wrecker to pull the car any distance on pavement. If they got inside the car, then they would have released the parking brake and towed with the front end raised.

    Take the car to a mechanic for the engine malfunction, this is an unacceptable and unsafe condition.
  • rellim1rellim1 Posts: 3
    We had the same problem with ours. We brought it in to a Volvo dealership to be repaired and had to get a new fuel filter and distributor cap. It was pretty pricey - about $1,500, but it is all fixed and running perfectly now.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    So far we have not had any of these very disappointing and expensive repairs on the three Volvos we have owned, a 1996 850 wgn, a 2004 V70, and a 2007 XC90, all of which were naturally aspirated base models with automatic tranny as the only upgrade.

    I would be pretty disappointed to have to pay $1500 for a fuel filter and a distributor cap, but I am spoiled. I think in about 2000 the oxygen sensors on the 850 went out, and this was about $600 P&L which shocked me.

    A little less than a year ago I sold my 1991 Dodge Spirit 2.5L 5-spd, which I had had for 16.5 years, and which I was able to do simple maintenance and repairs on myself. A dist cap and a fuel filter would have been about $50 to $100 for the parts, and I would est $100 for labor, but I know that the parts and labor for modern upscale cars is a lot more.
  • I'm in Florida....recently my car overheated. I had it towed to the repair shop, the mechanic said he believed that it was the thermostat. He changed that, said ran the car for 1/2 hour and it didn't overheat. Before he changed the theromostat I asked if it could be the head gasket. He said he would check it. After doing that he said the head gasket was fine, he put pressure on the system...didn't see any leaks. Yesterday we were coming back from the beach and my car was running hot. I pulled over, waited for it to cool down and the coolant reservoir was almost empty. Any ideas about what could be causing this?
  • 96850glt96850glt Posts: 20
    Maybe he didn't top off the coolant properly. Once it was topped off, did the problem happen again?
  • psycodadpsycodad Posts: 5
    i have a 1998 v70 awd with 135000 miles it just started smoking it looks like the oil line feeding the turbo is leaking what is the easiest way to change the line ? it just smokes when it is warm
  • kjslattkjslatt Posts: 1
    My check coolant level light continues to go on and off, my coolant level is full. It does seem like I am topping off my coolant a lot (once a month or two). I recently had the A/C recharged, and the mechanic thought maybe I had a small leak somewhere in the A/C. What is causing this light to keep coming on? Should I worry about it? (I've already put $3000 into the car in the last year)
  • does this car have self adjusting tappets if not is it a big job to do as my tappets appear to be tapping
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    I don't know for a fact, but I would assume that the lifters are oil filled self adjusting.

    How many miles on the engine and what oil have you been using? Your hydraulic lifters may be sticking. By changing to synthetic oil of the right viscosity you might be able to free the lifters.
  • thanks for replying, engine has 114,000 on clock but no cam belt changre recorded in otherwise full service history, running engine on 10/40 part synthetic oil.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    Try changing to Mobil1 (or just standard if you cannot afford synthetic) 5W-30, or 10W-30 if your climate is ultra hot, see the manual. Is 10W-40 is a recommended oil for this engine? The lifters might not be performing properly with that oil.

    Of course, you are overdue on the timing belt change, and that should be attended to ASAP. I understand that this is an interference engine, so that if the timing belt would break, some valves and pistons would collide, resulting in a major repair of thousands of dollars.
  • cheers jim i will get timing belt done asap and try youre suggested oil would you recommend a good engine flush first with filter change
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    I don't know what are the specific indications for an engine flush. Personally, I would try changing the oil first because it cannot do any harm and might solve the problem. And I would run it for several thousand miles before I would decide on an engine flush, unless the lifters are really loud and continue unchanged. If you get lucky, the viscosity change and the solvent properties of the synthetic oil might reduce lifter noise almost immediately.

    However, more knowledgeable people might be of the opinion that an engine flush would be the right thing, and know what flush to use.

    I know the timing belt change isn't cheap. On my last car (Dodge Spirit) the usual procedure was to change the water pump at the same time to save labor charges. I presume that the service records don't show that the water pump on your V70 has already been changed. Maintaining any car isn't cheap, and Volvos are more expensive than US made "value" vehicles, but less than some others.

    I decided to get out the manual on my 2004 V70 2.4L 168 hp base model non-turbo, and I am sorta surprised at the oil recommendations. For the past few years I have used Mobile1 10W-30 Extended performance, and left in in for 1-year which was always less than 12,000 miles. I decided that with a synthetic oil 40-wt would be unnecessary even in the Dallas TX USA climate, and might give lower highway mpg. The only justification for 40-wt I can figure is that Volvo is allowing for the possibility that standard dino oil in a hot climate with hard use could lose viscosity before the 7500 mile change interval is reached. Or maybe they think that some of their clientele will want to use 40-wt and Volvo are giving them "permission." Or maybe a 2.4L driven hard in a hot climate develops local hot spots than benefit from 40-wt.

    2004 V70 Manual Page 137:
    SAE 5W/30 from below -30F to 86F (30C)
    SAE 5W/40 from below -30F to 104F (40C)
    SAE 10W/30 from -20F to 104F (40C).

    I use 10W/30 because I want to get the best highway mpg I can and I want to have the longest oil change interval and I think 10W30 will "last longer" than 5W30. Lightly loaded and clean (nothing on roof) I habitually get well over 30 mpgUS (36 mpgUK or 7.8 L/100km) even at 75-80 mph. (75 mpg is a common legal limit on I-40 in New Mexico and Arizona; one stretch of I-10 in west Texas has an 80 mph legal limit. Last the winter I got 34 mpgUS for 700 miles across Arizona and New Mexico on I-40. No hypermiling, just steady driving.)

    Another possible choice is Mobile1 0W-40 "European Car Formula" which is one of the recommended oils in my wife's 2007 XC90 3.2. A "0W-__" oil should give better protection during the frequent warmup periods of urban short trip use.

    In a thermostatted engine I cannot see why even very hot ambient temperature should nesessitate using an oil with a higher upper viscosity number, unless the car is being driven at the edge of what the cooling system can handle.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I use Mobil1 0W-40 exclusively.
  • thanks you lot all this info is exactly what is required so it looks like mobil1 ow40 could be the one to try ? please confirm if you all agrea and anybody else aswell the more heads on thecase the better.any tips on what new filter?
  • hello jim thanks for all your great advice i was just wondering if you also know anything about the air con on same vehicle it doesn't get very cool although all seems to work perfectly. it was re-gassed 6 months ago but was apparently was not used in the meantime . this car is beginning to sound like a lemon but it really is a bit of a beauty so worth a bit of perseverance .not sure whose car this is on photo if you can see it
  • Don't know if anyone can help here, I am trying to find out if the cambelt has been changed and there is no record in full service hastory, there is a sticker on the cambelt cover with a part number and serial number but no date. Does this sound like it has been done. 114,00 miles on the clock.
  • badv70badv70 Posts: 1
    I need help with a major problem. Before I met her, my wife bought a 2000 V70. She was an Army spouse and bought the US-spec car while in Germany.

    It has burned a significant amount of oil since new....up to a quart every 500 miles. German Volvo mechanics checked it out several times a declared it "normal". About 2 years ago (since we have met), the car burnt a valve. $3,000 later, the valve was repaired...the car was still burning lots of oil and noone could tell us why, or what caused the valve failure.

    Last November, another cylinder lost all compression. We parked the car, hoping for a good used, or rebuilt engine. Since we now live in the UK, this did not happen. We decided to repair the valve. Turns out both exhaust valves in a separate cylinder were very badly. We had them replaced and the rest of the valves refaced (different garage this time). Now it is burning even more oil than ever. The car has 120,000 miles on it.

    Anybody had this experience?
  • can anyone tell me what is the normal lenght of time to replace a intake manifold gasket on a1004 Volvo 850. I had this done at the dealer and they charged me for 4 hours of labor
  • tormetorme Posts: 2
    I have a '99 XC70 AWD - similar to a previous post, I find that I am constantly having to fill the coolant tank (monthly), and there are no visible leaks. Additionally, the front window defrost works poorly, and there is a coolant smell when the fan is running at full blast. The car has about 160,000km on it.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    You have a leak in the "heater core". This must be attended to ASAP. Occupants of the vehicle are breathing volatilized antifreeze (active ingredient ethylene glycol) which is toxic. You should immediately take it to the dealer or a quality independent garage that specializes in Volvo and get an estimate for your car. This is not a condition that you can just tolerate.

    The first rate fix is to replace the heater core. Replacing the heater core on some models is very expensive because in those models the dashboard must be removed to get to the heater core. In other models the cost is less because in those models the heater core can be replaced without removing the dashboard. A shop recently told me that a heater core replacement in my 2004 V70 can be done without removing the dashboard. I don't know about your '99 XC70.

    I had this occur in my 1989 Dodge Caravan in about 1996. In that case the estimate from the dealer was about $1100! This vehicle was not even worth that so I opted to use radiator stop leak. I tried several different products at about $5 per product and finally the leak stopped. The product which finally worked was "Bars-Leak" (sp?) which is a fine powder of either aluminum or copper. However, I would not recommend that for a 1999 XC70. Get the heater core replaced!
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    I want to add that while antifreeze is toxic, having a leaking heater core which releases antifreeze into the heated air stream is not nearly as hazardous as, for example, an exhaust system leak which releases CO (carbon monoxide) into the passenger compartment.

    Concerning my 2004 V70 (base model 2.4L non-turbo), which we bought new in Oct 2003, the heater core is not leaking. When I had it in for an oil change, I asked about the heater core because I had had it leak on my 1989 Dodge Caravan, and I was relieved when the garage told me that, if necessary, the heater core in the 04 V70 could be replaced without removing the entire dashboard.

    This V70 has less than 40 kmi on the odometer. But I am thinking that at over 5 years in service it may be time to replace the coolant. At a recent oil change I asked the garage (independent Volvo specialist) about this and they told me that there was no specified replacement interval for the coolant on this vehicle.

    Antifreeze consists of two main active ingredients:

    (1) the antifreeze component. This is normally the toxic ethylene glycol (but may be non-toxic propylene glycol, which is more expensive and may not be as good for heat exchange.)

    (2) the anti-corrosion additives. There are several different sets of anti-corrosion chemicals, but none of them lasts indefinitely. Also some of the different types are incompatible with others. The longest warranty I am aware of (excluding antifreeze for commercial trucks) is 5 years or 100,000 miles. I have read that that Volvo uses Zerex G-05 in the OE fill and this should be good for 5 years or 100 kmi.

    Each of the different types of antifreeze is dyed a different color and when bought in labeled retail containers Zerex G-05 is, I think, orange or pink. But when the auto mfgrs buy coolant in bulk from the coolant manufacturers they can and do request their own dye color. So the fact that Volvo coolant is green does not mean that it is not G-05. Volvo does not state in the manual what type of antifreeze it uses, but only says to use the Volvo antifreeze specified for a given Volvo.

    When the anti-corrosion chemicals become exhausted then vulnerable components like the radiator and heater core will corrode.

    One measure of the effectiveness of the anti-corrosion effectiveness of the coolant is to determine the pH of the coolant. A year ago I used swimming pool pH test strips* to compare the pH of the coolant in my 2004 V70 to my wife's 2007 XC90. They were about the same, if I recall correctly it was a little over pH 8 for the '07 XC90 and a little under pH 8 for the '04 V70. As the anti-corrosion chemicals become consumed the pH becomes lower and lower.

    I plan to ask about a coolant replacement at my next service.

    *You can get special pH test strips for testing auto coolant, but the local auto parts store didn't have them and had never heard of this. While walking my dogs I happened to find a container with two unused strips which had probably be dropped by a pool servicing technicians. We do not have a swimming pool.
  • tormetorme Posts: 2
    Thanks Jim, due to weather issues I have not yet been able to take a good close look at the heater core. The interior floors do not appear to be wet (or smelly). In looking under the hood, there is some powdery substance on the connector between the rubber coolant hose and where the metal pipes go through the firewall. It is greenish/yellow - perhaps this is where the leak is. Could this leak, however, be the cause of the poor defrosting and interior smell when the defrost/heater is running? I had a coolant system flush not all that long ago (within the last 9 months), so, the coolant should be fine, except to the extent that water has been added on occasion (rather than coolant). I really appreciate the input. The local Volvo dealer ust quoted me $800 to replace the core (parts and labour).
  • I have a 2002 V70 Wagon.with 116,000 miles. It is like brand new and one of the finest cars I have driven. I did experence a bit of a problem as follows.
    In the mountains of western NC parked on a steep drive, I started to back down the drive. The engine suddenly went to full acceleration. I jammed the gear shift into park, pulled on the emergency, all to no avail. Went down the drive, accelerating all the way. Hit a railroad tie marking the drive, blew out the left front tire, hit the main road where I had to make a greater than 90 degree turn up hill (going backwards). The blown tire came off the rim and dug into the asphalt. The car finally stopped without rolling over. There was a steep drop on my left that, praise be to God, we did not go over. Put the spare temporary on and drove away with no apparent damage. Has anybody had a problem with a run away engine or did I do something that may have brought about this event?
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    You might just have a leak at the connectors on the engine side of the firewall, i.e. the heater core might not be leaking internally. The leaked coolant would then get swept into the airstream and carried into the air intake for the passenger compartment. Alternatively, the leaked liquid coolant might then be getting around the seal and into the passenger compartment. If it is leaking there, then you might be able to see the leak.

    To determine whether this is a possible source of the leak could take some examination and knowledge of the controls of the heating system. But even without much knowledge you might be able to see a leak just examining the connections at the firewall with the engine on and warmed up. In my 2004 non-turbo V70 the connections of the two heater hoses are clearly visible on the driver's side of the the firewall (two approx 1" diameter hoses with crimp connectors to right angle black plastic connectors.) Have a look!

    A leak at the connections might be a lot cheaper to repair than replacing the heater core. It could be that one or both of the two heater hoses could be replaced (or even just one or both of the connectors); getting new sealing elements might stop the leak. You can get a leak analysis.

    Why did you get a cooling system flush? Were you having problems with the cooling system? It could be that the flush caused this leak.
  • thanks for responding and for your suggestions. My mechanic purchased the heater core (per my request) and plans to install it tomorrow, but I will take your suggestions to him, and I will have him will check for leaks first - he's an honest guy :-).
    I did not have the radiator flushed. My mechanic doesn't think it will need it. I can't figure out how to see my post so I don't remember my wording, but I might have meant the second problem the car is having, which is with the transmission. so i may have asked about a transmission flush.... the transmission did a weird thing one day where I was stopped in traffic, with foot on brake. then when I stepped on the gas, nothing happened. as if it was in N. then the electronic letter flashed between D and N and R. I turned off the engine and restarted and it was fine. My mechanic read the code and I think it said clutch slippage. He thought the fluid was dirty. Volvo dealer thought the fluid looked "wrong". wrong color - too pink for having 78k miles since it was last drained. and wrong smell-not synthetic. So they recommend flushing it. Volvo charges $400!! another Volvo dealer charges $250. synthetic fluid is pricey, but I read on some blogs that Mobil JWS 3309 fluid is the same for much less $. any advise here is greatly appreciated! thanks again. Arlene
This discussion has been closed.