'96 Volvo 960 oil disappearance question / advice

Discussion in 'Volvo 960' started by bg4a, Oct 27, 2007.

  1. bg4a

    bg4a Guest

    We have a 1996 Volvo 960 with about 130,000 miles, most of those miles are
    ours. Also, we've taken good care of the car with oil change every 4,000
    miles, etc. About 8,000 miles ago, it starting losing oil very seriously.
    No blue smoke or drips on the garage floor but am going through a quart of
    10W40 ervery 450 miles these days. Local mechanic says there are oil seals
    around the piston that are shot. Engine overhaul estimate is $4-5,000. At
    the mechanic's advice, I "flushed" the engine with a CRC product. This has
    made no difference.

    It is a very nice car yet and don't know what to do. I found an engine in
    a junk yard with 62,000 miles. They want $2,000 and I found a mechanic who
    would change it out for $1,300.

    May I have some suggestions of what is wrong and what to do?

    Thanks, Bill
     
    bg4a, Oct 27, 2007
    #1
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  2. bg4a

    James Sweet Guest

    Holy cow, $2000 for an 11 year old used engine? You need to find a better
    junkyard than that.

    I would have a leakdown test and compression test performed, that should
    give a reasonable indication of the condition of things. If it's burning
    that much oil, there ought to be a lot of soot in the exhaust. Are you sure
    it isn't leaking underway?
     
    James Sweet, Oct 28, 2007
    #2
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  3. bg4a

    Roadie Guest


    That's a lot of money for an engine that may be in worse conditon than
    yours. I would inspect the underside of the car for evidence of a
    leak.
     
    Roadie, Oct 28, 2007
    #3
  4. What about the quality of the oil is it cheap mineral oil ?How about using a
    good oil like Mobil one or such a quality oil .Some of the oils out there
    are rubbish . Does your mechanic use the cheapest oil available to maximize
    profit .Maybe a good run will free up the engine then a good oil change .By
    the way using oil with no smoke no drips suggests why spend $3500 when you
    only need a quart every 450 miles .
     
    John Robertson, Oct 29, 2007
    #4
  5. bg4a

    bg4a Guest

    Thanks for the comments.
    I have used Castrol 10 w/ 30 for the last 80,000 miles but have switched to
    Penzoil in the last months. There is no oil on the floor of the garage and
    the underside of the car is mostly clean. I will get a compression guage
    this week and see what is going on. What pressures should I expect to see?

    Even as I have a hard time " not doing something about" an obvious problem,
    I can see the point about the price of the needed oil isn't bad compared to
    an engine job. It is even less expensive the way I purchase it -- in gallon
    jugs.

    Thanks, Bill
     
    bg4a, Nov 3, 2007
    #5
  6. bg4a

    Roadie Guest

    Another suggestion would be to run the weight oil recommended by the
    manufacturer. I don't think 10-40 is on the list for the 960.
     
    Roadie, Nov 4, 2007
    #6
  7. bg4a

    bg4a Guest

    11-7-2007 (I recognize that 10W40 is not on the list. I was just trying to
    put a thicker oil in, hoping oil loss would lesson. I am back on 10W30 for
    the winter)

    I checked engine compression today:

    All 6 cylinders show 220-230 on the guage. However, with 3 cyclinders, it
    took about 5 strokes to get the needle that high. Generally, the first
    stroke got about 85, the next got to about 130, etc. Two cylinders seemed to
    go to 150 with the first stroke. I will check this again if this is
    significant.

    The plugs are the 3-electrode type and look good although there is some
    carbon on the ceramic between the 3 electrodes.

    Number one plug shows black in the threads. All of the others had clean
    threads. The deck under the engine cover is clean and dry. The underside
    of the engine is clean and dry.

    The tailpipe is somewhat blackened but not much different than our 1997
    straight six (S-80) (really a 960) with same mileage but no oil consumption
    at all.

    Thanks to the experts on advice of what, if anything, to do to reduce or
    control oil consumption.

    Bill
     
    bg4a, Nov 9, 2007
    #7
  8. bg4a

    Kafertoys Guest

    It sounds like a weak oil ring, If you keep your oil changed and keep
    an eye on your plugs, just drive it. you could step up to a 20/50
    weight oil to see if consumption slows down.

    Not that I've seen the problem lately but I have seen engines sluge
    oil in the cam area (just under the valve cover)

    Mario
     
    Kafertoys, Nov 12, 2007
    #8
  9. bg4a

    byrocat Guest


    Bill, I'd also check what the price of a replacement car is. As great
    as the Volvo is, there is also a point where you may be throwing good
    money away, trying to keep a car going.

    I'd check out several other garages in your area that deal with Volvo
    and get their opinion.

    I'm not an expert on self-done compression tests but definitely does
    not look perfect on three cylinders.

    A rebuild on the engine seems to be in order if you can't keep
    compression. A good mechanic should be able to give you in itemized
    list of the costs without having to completely disassemble the engine,
    by doing a compression test again plus a close examination of the
    visible parts.
     
    byrocat, Nov 13, 2007
    #9
  10. bg4a

    bg4a Guest

    Hello, as follow-up, a mechanic told me that this engine has normal
    compression of about 160 pounds. He says that the 220 pounds on my guage
    means that there is a lot of deposit at the top of cylinder that is taking
    up space. I am having trouble with that thinking as it would seem that 25%
    of the volume at the top of the stroke would have to be "deposits". He also
    says that the more and faster I burn oil, the more and faster the deposits
    will grow.

    The Volvo service guys are quite a group now. You have to make an
    appointment for "service consultations", in marble-lined offices and then,
    depending on the outcome of the consultations, get an appointment for the
    service work. The problem is that I can't get call backs to set a time for
    the "consultation".

    I have decided to keep a good supply of oil (10w30, as it gets too cold here
    to crank when using 20-50) and hope for the best.

    And save money to buy a different brand of car.

    Other comments would be appreciated.
    Bye, Bill
     
    bg4a, Nov 18, 2007
    #10
  11. bg4a

    Roadie Guest

    Did your mechanic run a compression test to confirm your reading?
    I've owned Volvo's in the USA since 1984 and never had to make an
    appointment for a service consultation with a separate appointment for
    the actual service to be done. And the service writer and manager
    offices tend to be a bit spartan but clean and comfortable. There's
    no marble on the floors let alone on the walls and celing. Marble
    would not be a very good surface in a high traffic area like a
    dealership.

    Indeed I'm not aware of such a practice with another make. Which
    dealership has service consultations in marble lined offices.
    If this is so you should change dealers.
     
    Roadie, Nov 19, 2007
    #11
  12. bg4a

    byrocat Guest

    Defintiely time to go looking for the "neighbourhood garage" in your
    area. I'd recommend Suters in Aurora, but figure that may be a bit of
    a long drive for you. Basic industrial unit garage -- all the money
    that customers pay gets sunk into tools, not palatial appointment
    rooms. The Newmarket Volvo dealership did go through a major upgrade
    but the Service Department still looks utilitarian in spite of it
    being part of the show room.

    Check the local Yellow Pages or post a general question on who
    services Volvos in your area.

    Find another Volvo driver in your area and ask them where they go for
    servicing. That's how I found about Suters here in Aurora.
     
    byrocat, Nov 19, 2007
    #12
  13. bg4a

    a Guest

    I just saw your post. You may ahve resolved all this by now, and I
    didn't see the original post with the details of the problem, but I have
    some experience with a '95 960 290,000 km. I had to remove the head
    because of a bad head gasket about 50,000 km ago. Since the head was
    off, I had it tidied up by a machine shop - this included new valve
    seals. The oil consumption dropped remarkably - from about 1 litre
    every 1000 km to 1 litre every 5,000 km. Head removal is a tricky, time
    consuming job, but if you do it yourself, the machine shop costs should
    be around $200-$300 as long as things like new valve guides or new
    valves are not required. To have this done by a dealer would cost
    upwards from $2500.

    Ross
     
    a, Jan 29, 2008
    #13
  14. bg4a

    a Guest

    I just saw your post. You may ahve resolved all this by now, and I
    didn't see the original post with the details of the problem, but I have
    some experience with a '95 960 290,000 km. I had to remove the head
    because of a bad head gasket about 50,000 km ago. Since the head was
    off, I had it tidied up by a machine shop - this included new valve
    seals. The oil consumption dropped remarkably - from about 1 litre
    every 1000 km to 1 litre every 5,000 km. Head removal is a tricky, time
    consuming job, but if you do it yourself, the machine shop costs should
    be around $200-$300 as long as things like new valve guides or new
    valves are not required. To have this done by a dealer would cost
    upwards from $2500.

    Ross
     
    a, Jan 29, 2008
    #14
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