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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!

RWD Volvos Have PNP Switch Flashing Arrows Too

PNP Switch Flashing Arrow

MVS member Bob had the common flashing arrow light on the dash of his 1995 960.

While looking at the wiring harness connector (8 sockets) that plugged into the PNP switch connector (8 pins), I noticed one wire looked “funny” – and for good reason. It was no longer connected to the crimped on socket connector. I began tugging at these wires that went from the main wiring harness to the connector and several of them were not even connected any longer!

I cut the remaining wires from the connector and examined the connector. It’s a plastic box that has “ears” that fold down over the socket connector that is encased in a short plastic tube within the box. What was astonishing was that most of the sockets themselves had DISSOLVED. This left the wire to be just held against the inserted plug from the PNP connector. As it was driven the wires vibrated away and toward the connector sometimes making contact and sometimes not.

I have been fortunate enough to be able to find replacement sockets at an equipment salvage store, a real good hand crimping tool (Crimper, Ratcheted, AWG 20-18, 16-14, 12-10, ..non-insulated, open barrel terminals $35 – Amazon), clear plastic water tubing (5/16″ OD x 3/16″ ID). I have literally rebuilt the connector block. Car starts and runs great even though this has been a 2 year process with it sitting a lot.

Warning Red Arrow on Dash Flashing-Volvo 960

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The Birth, Life & Death of an XC90 T6


Ok, that title was a little dramatic, but that’s the idea. MVS member XVTer bought a 2004 XC90 T6 a few years ago for his wife. In between the buying date and selling date he posted some of the best tune-up, Stage 0 and restoration info for XC90s I’ve ever seen. This is his XC90 T6 story.

Beware Transmissions on XC90 T6 Models

XVTer didn’t know about the notorious XC90 T6 transmission problems, but after learning about them post-purchase, he felt he could rebuild it if/when it came to it.

The Repair Life of a XC90

We’ll start at the end (sale), and work back.

June 10th, 2013:

Just wanted to give a final update to this thread.

My wife and I have decided to sell the XC90 as-is with the slipping transmission. The mechanic who we sent the car to gave us an offer, and, though it was less than we wanted to get for the car, we decided it was time to part ways with the Volvo.

I have a few parts left over like all-weather mats and a set of aftermarket wheels which I may list on here, but I really don’t like shipping things so they may just go up on craigslist.

It has been many years, but I no longer own a Volvo right now. Hopefully one day I will have another but until then, Happy Modding.

June 2013, trouble hits:

Well, i finally got the dreaded “TRANSMISSION SERVICE URGENT” warning. Seems to be slipping a little in the 3-4 gear change. I inspected the fluid and it’s already black (changed fluid/filter last fall). Did two drain/fills with SeaFoam Trans Tune and it seems like it’s better, but I am not taking any chances. Having a guy look at it to see what the problem is. My ScanGauge gave me a general P0700 code – just states a problem with the transmission.


The Birth, Life & Death of an XC90 T6

Bought a 1999 S70 GLT with almost 300k Miles

1999 S70 GLT… Where to start?

New MVS member shertzog bought a 1999 S70 GLT with almost 300k miles, and he’s been fixing it up: new spark plugs, new coolant tank, new headlight bulbs. Repaired: j-hose. Painted: headlight reflectors.

290,600 miles, white/tan (leather in front seats pretty beat up).

Coolant in cylinder 3 on 1999 S70

Coolant in cylinder 3, oh no. HG starting to leak (bit of misfire/white smoke on cold starts).

new plugs (. – $5/pr Amazon – with a $2/pair rebate!)
New coolant tank (Carparts.com – ~$23 with s/h)

Painted faded reflectors gloss white, helped some.

Bought a 1999 S70 GLT with almost 300k Miles

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Peeling Pillar Trim Fix – Double Sided Tape!

double sided tape solves a vexing peeling pillar trim problem

MVS Moderator MadeInJapan shows us how to fix peeling pillar trim with double sided tape. It’s a simple yet brilliant solution. Like the famous DIY for interior door trim, it’s another in a long line of inexpensive fixes to make our Volvos look like new again.

I have been racking my brain on how to fix these. Apparently the only “true” fix is to take them off and to an upholstery shop and let them recover them- or you could get the earlier plastic pieces from a donor car. At least that’s what I had been told. But I think I found the fix. And it’s not that hard. First you have to buy a roll of this stuff.

If you’ve never removed the a-pillar trim pieces it’s a piece of cake– Make sure your car is turned off and the key is out of the ignition. There are airbag curtains under the a-pillars. Now, just pull from the top of the pieces towards the middle of the car and they come lose. Just be aware that there is a plastic strap about 5-6 inches down from the top that you’ll need to retain…it twists 180 degrees to release from the metal slot that it attaches to on the body of the car. Putting it back is the same as the removal, just in reverse. The strap is there to keep the a-pillar trim from hitting you if/when the air curtain deploys.

Peeling Pillar Trim Fix – Double Sided Tape!

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Engine Rebuild Tutorial PDF – 1996 Volvo 850

Engine Rebuild Tutorial PDF

Hydro-lock Causes Engine Failure, Which Causes Engine Rebuild

The project lasted into the third week. Were I to do this again, I could do it in a week without difficulty. Maybe 3 days.

MVS Forums Contributor and advanced shadetree-level mechanic  JimBee puts together a 288MB, 30-page downloadable PDF monster filled to the top with how to rebuild your Volvo whiteblock engine. Then he makes it free, and passes it around. That’s the DIY Volvo repair community spirit right there, folks. Download the 1996 850 engine rebuild tutorial PDF here.

When we buy a car with a “dead” engine, of course, we don’t know what we might be getting into, which is reflected in the price. So it was with my “tinkertoy”. I got it running after a basic tuneup and oil change. The timing belt looked good enough to run for awhile. There were no coolant leaks and seals were all dry.

Engine Rebuild - head off

Cleaning things up takes time. I was running out of it, but wanted to clean and renew anything critical that I could before bolting it all back together. There will be embedded oil deposits in the cylinder walls that takes some rubbing with solvent to get out. This is an important step. If you don’t get them clean, they won’t hone well and you might not get good run-in of the new piston rings.

Engine Rebuild Tutorial PDF – 1996 Volvo 850