1997 960 Changing Oil PUMP

Discussion in 'Volvo 960' started by Paul Rood, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. Paul Rood

    Paul Rood Guest

    I need to clean oil pick-up filter and who knows what else. Oil light keeps
    coming on . I feel I'll need to clean the inside carbon deposits while I am
    there. any advice would be helpful.
    Paul Rood, Mar 17, 2006
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  2. Paul Rood

    M.R.S. Guest

    Did you change the oil pressure switch first?!?! Maybe that's the problem!
    M.R.S., Mar 17, 2006
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  3. If you've kept up with the oil changes the pump and filter are probably
    okay. I suggest starting with replacing the sender - much cheaper and
    easier, and likely to be the problem. However, don't drive the car until you
    have it sorted out for sure.

    Michael Pardee, Mar 17, 2006
  4. Paul Rood

    Paul Rood Guest

    I am the second owner. The first owner put 62k on it and NEVER CHANGED THE
    Oil, she just kept adding when it got low. The engine is full of carbon and
    muck. For every 30 min. of run time the oil light comes on so stop the
    engine wait 15 min. and the light goes off for another 30 min. The car was
    given to me from her estate.
    Paul Rood, Mar 20, 2006
  5. Paul Rood

    doc Guest

    Hello Paul:

    I've NO DOUBT that after 62K with no oil changes and just topping it
    up it is FULL of sludge and varnish.

    Have you considered an engine flush? Many instant oil change shops
    have such a machine and push that particular service (at a cost of $60
    to $90.) That said, in spite of what they will try to tell people it's
    basically a waste of money in my my opinion (and others') if the oil
    has been changed regularly.

    However, if I were in your situation I'd consider it an essential
    first step. It may solve the problem and may not--but will certainly
    make it easier to diagnose any other issues....and could save you a
    lot of money. Any reputable shop is most likely going to insist on
    doing an engine flush anyway once you tell them the history of the

    I did a bit of research a year ago when I first noticed these machines
    and heard about them. One thing nearly ALL in the industry agreed upon
    is that the Bilstein R-2000 is the best engine flushing machine, and
    noted that others are far behind in efficiency etc.

    Another thing most agreed on is that for most cars it's not a
    necessary process and that how hard the sell is (especially at an
    independent shop or an oil change place) is probably related to how
    many payments they have left on the machine. I seem to recall the
    Bilstein unit costs somewhere between $6,000 and $9,000.

    Here are two links to what the Car Talk Guys (radio show but
    apparently knowledgeable) had to say on the subject:


    Here's how they work (basically):

    The machine has a heating unit and lines that are attached to the oil
    filter opening for pumping in and the drain plug on the pan for
    outflow. The Bilstein unit has a heater which operates at 110 degrees
    farenheit, thus warming a solution of mineral oil, detergents and
    solvents through the block, oil pump etc. The pumping is accomplished
    by means of a compressed air connection on the unit, thus forcing the
    solvents etc through the block, oil pump and passageways at 42 PSI.

    On the return side, suction is used to pull the detritus back to a
    containment tank on the Bilstein unit.

    I might be a bit off on the details, so here are links to info on the


    The process takes anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes once the unit
    and solution are heated to 110 degrees, but in a case like yours it
    could take as long as an hour or more (at least according to a guy I
    know who is a district manager for Valvoline.) And yes, even though we
    are friends he tried to sell me an engine flush. I suggested I'd love
    one if it were free. Otherwise I'm not interested.

    Again, If I were you (especially since the car was given to you)
    I'd spend the money for a Bilstein engine flush.

    And yes, the machine is made by the same company we all know so well
    for their quality shocks and struts--and no, I don't work for them or
    any oil change outfit.

    Note: if you do this and it solves the oil light issue, I'd be
    inclined to drive it for about 1,000 miles and then do another oil and
    filter change--but that's just me.

    Also, you may have heard--and I do recall--of engine oil sludge issues
    on newer cars that resulted in catastrophic failure even when the
    owners had the vehicle regularly serviced and oil changed.

    That's not been an issue with Volvos but has been for a few other
    manufacturers, most notably VW and Chrysler. Even regular engine
    flushes may not have solved the inherent issues of bad engineering and
    design on these cars. I seem to recall certain models of Toyota had a
    similar issue, but Toyota euphemistically referred to the issue as
    "oil gelling" and covered it even if the warranty had expired.

    Chrysler and VW/Audi only covered out of warranty and in-warranty
    vehicles after threats of a "smack-down" from the US government

    Here are a few links on "sludge issues" of that sort:


    Note that most manufacturers blamed it all on the owner of the car and
    insisted on receipts and records for oil changes. Most people don't
    keep that sort of thing.

    Final comment: If I were you I'd NOT drive the car except to have the
    engine flushed to see if it helps. If that does NOT solve it I'd take
    it in for oil pan removal and oil pump screen cleaning or replacement.

    The 960 engine is tough--but does need oil and is apparently not
    getting what it needs now.

    A final comment or two: from what I've read and after talking to two
    friends who have a combined 40 years as import repair shop owners,
    DON'T use a synthetic blend or full synthetic oil on your 960.

    I put a syn blend in mine at the last oil change 800 miles and three
    weeks ago and within days had a few ounces of oil on the garage floor
    every morning--on a 240 with only 163K that had never leaked a drop.

    Went back to my friend's shop on Friday and did another change--this
    time using decent quality (Castrol) 10-40. Guess what? Not even a drop
    on the floor since. My buddy, his brother, and 5 other shop owners on
    the same street all said the same thing "we see this all the time. Syn
    Oil is NOT recommended unless the manufacturer calls for it and even
    then only on certain engines.

    I am certainly not trying to start some sort of flame war here--so if
    anyone reading this disagrees about synthetic oils please start a new

    Good Luck, and do let us know if the engine flush solves the problem.

    Kindest Regards,

    doc, Mar 20, 2006
  6. Oh, my! In that case....

    Michael Pardee, Mar 20, 2006
  7. Paul Rood

    Paul Rood Guest


    Paul Rood, Mar 21, 2006
    forget the filter too .Once you have clear oil use synthetic oil as maybe it
    will keep your motor in good nic .
    John Robertson, Apr 17, 2006
  9. Paul Rood

    zencraps Guest

    Use synthetic if you want, but I don't and my engine is fine.

    5W-30winter, 10W-30 otherwise, usually Chevron or Shell, whatever I can
    buy dirt cheap through a coupon ad at the parts store.

    Change oil and filter frequently, more frequently than Volvo

    Use a Mann filter.

    IPD carries them.
    zencraps, Apr 17, 2006
  10. 960s should always use Synthetic Oil in the engine just as in the gearbox
    and differential. Even the M90 gearbox (manual) uses synthetic oil. If you
    use dyno oil it only shows that you do not treat your car how it should be
    treated. With synthetic it is quite in order to "stretch" the oil change
    interval. The filter should be changed only at recommended intervals as it
    is wasteful of filter capacity to change it more often. Mann (Mann & Hummel)
    filter is absolutely fine. Zencraps may possibly have an older 960 than
    yours (perhaps 1991/2/3). The 960 was made to use synthetic oil.

    All the best, Peter.

    700/900/90 Register Keeper,
    Volvo Owners Club (UK).
    Peter K L Milnes, Apr 18, 2006
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