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MatthewsVolvoSite is the home of the Volvo Repair Database, and an active Volvo forum, and Fast Friday — a tuning/mod resource. We welcome your participation and questions!

Modded 245 – What Went Wrong?


If I’m honest, if I had the last 13 years with the Volvo again, I would have stripped the shell a decade ago when it stopped being my daily, and fitted an LS V8, T56 gearbox and a BMW M3 back end. The interior would still only have two seats, but it would be more complete – a nicer place to be. But I didn’t, so that’s enough of that.

English Volvo 245 owner and Speed Hunter Bryn Musselwhite talks about the “organic” process of making his 240 wagon into a fast, fast Volvo.

Modded 245 – What Went Wrong?

Tags 240 Turbo, performance
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How to Buy a Volvo

How to Buy a Volvo

Volvo owner, Volvo DIY’er, and MVS Volvo Forums Contributor mecheng gives us his outstanding essay on how to buy a Volvo.


I am writing this guide to help the general public and enthusiast when looking for a Volvo 850, S70, referred to as the P80 series from 1993-2000. It is also referred to the 854 or 855, where the last digit is the number of doors. Why, you ask well there are still quite a few on the road which is a testament to their overall durability and corrosion resistance.

Long before the typical reliable Japanese car will rust to its demise, the Volvo will still be running strong (ask me how I know). This guide is not all encompassing and the reader is encouraged to do all the standard basic checks when buying any old car. Like, did this car take a swim in a lake, is it composed of two different Volvos welded together after getting demolished at your local derby? Those are things you will have to investigate yourself with a Carfax report and trained eye or just have open and look for simple things: ie: welds on the frame = bad. I don’t intend to cover all the specs, variants for that you have many other sources.


“The one word everyone asks is: are they reliable? In a word, I would say YES but they need maintenance to get the most worry free miles.”


The one word everyone asks is: are they reliable? In a word, I would say YES but they need maintenance to get the most worry free miles. They are not the kind of car that is set and forget; they need small amounts of love, as I will get into. Overall, I have been pleasantly surprised with their reliability because they are sometimes lumped into the General: European cars are not reliable category which is false.
How to Buy a Volvo

Tags how to buy a used Volvo, how to buy a Volvo, used Volvos
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Do our cars get used to one brand of fuel?


MVS Forums Member huzzsaba:

Recently on a road trip, I filled up like I usually do at Canadian tire and got decent gas mileage that I usually get which is around 22 mpg. On the way back, I had to fill up at shell because there was no Canadian tire around, and I got the worst gas mileage in a long time which was around 18 mpg. It also felt like the car did not want to pick up speed.

Q: Do our cars get used to one brand of fuel?

A: No.

Volvoninja jimmy57 explains:

Every drop of fuel is a new world.

The engine control module (ECM) gets input from oxygen sensors and from the knock sensors that are info that has to do with fuel burn. If the fuel is higher in ethanol then the O2 sensor gives a leaner indication and the ECM adds fuel to get the input from O2 sensor within proper range. If the fuel is low octane (who polices octane of fuel against what is posted on pump?) then the ECM retards timing and then undoes the change to test for knock again. After a few knock “tests” that show high tendency for knock the ECM will adapt timing cylinder by cylinder until the level is found where knock is nil. This adaptive is load range dependent and is not long term. Periodically the ECM will tet for knock and will return to normal ignition mapping when knock is not longer present.

Do our cars get used to one brand of fuel?

Tags ecu, ethanol, fuel, fuel additives, gasoline, Knock Sensors, octane, timing
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XC90 READ Assembly … $2,450 to fix?

XC90 3.2 engine

MVS Volvo Forums member Hobbs got a quote for almost $2500 to fix his XC90′s READ assembly. MVS Forums Contributor and all-around Volvo ninja jimmy57 explains what the READ assembly is, why it’s important, and what it does in XC90s.

Rear Engine Ancillary Drive, READ, is the gearbox on side of engine that links crankshaft to the camshaft drive chain and drives the alternator and the serpentine belt that runs a/c compressor, water pump, and power steering pump.

The bearing will get worse and the metal coming from failing bearing can be damaging to the engine.

XC90 “Reed Assembly” … $2,450 to fix?

Categories Engine Volvo XC90
Tags bearings, gearbox, read assembly
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Volvo XC90 T6 DIY Thermostat Fix – Easy Tutorial

XC90 thermostat

kickin_it unleashes a beautiful writeup DIY with photos of how to change thermostat on Volvo XC90 T6 SUVs.

I recently had the pleasure working on a 2004 XC90 T6. The issue at hand was a bad water pump so I replaced everything I took off: timing belt, accessory belt, tensioner, pulley, water pump, thermostat, and the dreaded nipple on the thermostat. I browsed this and other Volvo forums and found some great ideas for the housing fix just no step-by-step with part numbers. I decided to take notes and pictures throughout my repair which turned out pretty damn good I must say.

I started by removing the cover of the housing, I suppose you could just remove the housing as a whole. The cover is held on by 3 – 10mm bolts.

2004 T6 DIY Thermostat Fix – Easy Tutorial

Tags DIY, thermostat
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