Volvo Advice, Upgrades and DIY Fixes

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!

Catalytic Convertors… How Do They Work?

Bosch Catalytic Convertor

MVS Volvo Forum Contributor rmmagow lays it out on catalytic converters (abbreviated often as simply “cat“):

The CAT is a pretty simple device, no moving parts. The front O2 sensor is before the CAT and is the important part in the mileage equation. The rear O2 sensor (in most cars) does little but watch the stream for being clean. The Front O2 sensor will switch voltage pretty frequently, rich-lean-rich-lean, the rear should be a very much smooth curve of voltage. If it starts varying voltage a lot, CEL is set, cat below efficiency. Lots of folks here recommended to me the Magnaflow when I needed a CAT. It will work fine. I ended up getting a Used cat volvo brand welded in place. The cat really can be any good quality cat made by a major supplier and installed properly by an exhaust shop since there’s welding going on. If my AWD ever needs another cat, I might well try one of the aftermarket brands from like FCP or Eeuroparts if there’s a good warranty for fit and function. In short, any functional cat will work and won’t break the O2 sensors. Don’t go ultra cheap though or “reb

Catalytic Convertors… How Do They Work?

Tags Catalytic converter, emissions, emissions test
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Kumho Ecsta 4x Tire Review

Kumho Ecsta 4x

MVS Volvo Forums member Instarx reviews Kumho Ecsta 4x tires on his V70 XC SE…

Overall Performance: I have not had a single issue with the tires in 10k miles of use. There were some comments about how Kumho’s were failure-prone, but I have seen no evidence of that. There are no sidewall or tread issues. Tread wear is even across the face of the tire with no extra outside edge-wear (something no Michelin has ever done for me). The tires are still smooth-riding, competent and corner like no tires I have ever owned. They still soak up those small little bumps on the road. The brown dust I noticed on the sidewalls after I first put them on has disappeared.

Tire Wear: The only thing that might be a concern is tread wear. After 10k miles there is 6.5/32 of tread left of the original 11/32. That is only 60% remaining when 80% would have been expected in a 40,000 mile tire. This doesn’t concern me much for two reasons. First, the tires have a 40,000 miles warranty so I will get some pro-rated compensation from Kumho, and secondly the tires are inexpensive to begin with.

Cost Analysis: The Ecsta 4X tires are currently selling for $79 each at Tire Rack, less a $60 rebate per set. That puts them at $252 for a set of four. Comparable Michelin and Yokohama tires (even with their rebates) are $438, $468 and $564 – a huge difference. By changing the tires more often I will have an additional $100 in mounting and shipping costs, but the Kumhos will still be cheaper to run over 40,000 miles.

Kumho Ecsta 4x tires…

Tags buying tires, Kumho Ecsta 4x, Tire review
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The Volvo 850 That Got Away

nautic blue 850

It’s a sad tale, but one to learn from. Keep your eyes open for another. There are more fish in the sea.

Great Volvos are out there. Now go find one.

Well as of the e-mail I got at 11 this morning, the vehicle has been sold. Crap.

Thanks again for all the input guys.

The Volvo 850 That Got Away

Tags buying an 850, nautic blue, oh well, Volvo buying tips
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XC90 Rear door won’t open from inside


XC90 rear door lock mechanism repair – for door that will not unlock from inside

Rear door won’t open from inside

Tags child safety lock, Door Handle, door handle assembly, door panel
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VIDA Database Optimization Script

doublebug is making available a VIDA utility script:

I’m posting a script that I used for some years with my 7 years old laptop.
Successfully used my laptop for almost 3 years without VIDA reinstallation.
Those of you who does Volvo diagnostics every day may notice that the more cars you have read the slower VIDA shows DTC list after reading. This script fixes this issue.

How to use script:
Unpack it somewhere and run optimize_db.cmd file.

I’ve tested it with 2010D, 2013A, 2014B versions.

For 2010D optimize_db.cmd needs to be patched with database password. Old VIDA used different password.

VIDA database optimization script

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