1996 Volvo 850 T5 - Severe Oil Leaks

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.
1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
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850 Turbo1
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Year and Model: 1996 Volvo 850
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1996 Volvo 850 T5 - Severe Oil Leaks

Postby 850 Turbo1 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:31 am

Good Evening everyone,

So I used to have the worst leaking you could ever imagine... At first I would run out of oil in 5000 miles or so...it got so bad that 1000 miles was a longshot...the source bad oil cap gasket(just replaced the whole cap). I believe this may have solved alot of my oil leak problem...but it's still to early to say...


I still have another oil leak near the turbo(I think). It's annoying because every light(literally) I stop at and have the heater on I get the burning oil smell (I might even see smoke coming from under the hood)...When crusing I never experience this...but as soon as I stop the smell surrounds me...and its toxic too!!!! :evil: :evil: :evil: :x :x :x


So tonight I thought I'd get to the bottom of this wasn't that easy as I'm a newbie when it comes to car mechanics...but I did snap some pictures ...and was looking to get the authoritative consensus from the best best Volvo community members of all!


I hope I haven't gone overkill with the pictures...if anyone would like me to snap some more I would gladly do so 8) :D
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upon visual inspection..It seems to me like the circled spots are where all the oil is coming from...
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1996 850 T5 Sedan
1996 850 T5 Platinum Edition Wagon
--Always Learning--MB--

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jblackburn
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Year and Model: 1998 S70 T5
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Re: 1996 VOLVO 850 T5--- OIL LEAKS , PICTURES, & A PLEA FOR HELP

Postby jblackburn » Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:00 am

It looks like you actually have a combination of a leaking turbo oil return line, AND a clogged PCV. The oil is blowing past the rear seal and leaking on the hot exhaust manifold and all over the turbo.

PLEASE change out the PCV (and clean the PTC nipple at back by the turbo) as soon as possible and you may be able to save it. My smell had been getting really horrible, and I'm fairly sure my car blew out the rear main seal while driving to NC today. It's bleeding oil all over the bottom of the car and driveway like a stuck pig, and it's dark so I can't really pinpoint where it's coming from.

I did my whole PCV system about 2 weeks ago, after putting it off for a long time, but apparently it was too little too late. I smelled burning oil even with the air off and windows down every time I got on the gas to go up a hill today.

There's a great write-up that I followed here: http://www.lakesidedp.com/uploadpics/pcv/index.html

Replacing the rear seal is not for the faint of heart - I'm not even going to attempt it myself, so it's best if you can still save it!
'98 S70 T5
2012 Chevy Cruze LT 6MT


A learning experience is one of those things that says, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that."

mercuic: Long live the tractor motor!

Oddbob
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Year and Model: 1995 854 Turbo
Location: Atlanta

Re: 1996 VOLVO 850 T5--- OIL LEAKS , PICTURES, & A PLEA FOR HELP

Postby Oddbob » Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:07 am

I am lost in your pictures... but I do know one thing you can do to help your situation.

Get a few cans of oil-cleaner to rid the engine of its excess exterior oil and do your best to clean off as much oil as you can (I'm not talking about detailing stuff). By the looks of things you may need a few cans, and... do not spray them on a hot engine, lol. Engine fires are not fun.

After you've cleaned as much as you can drive it and continually look for the leaks.

Hope this helps a little bit.
The Good - 1995 850 Turbo
The Eh... - 2004 Ford Focus
The Dead - 1996 850 GLT - The bane of the Grand Cherokee..

850 Turbo1
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Year and Model: 1996 Volvo 850
Location: Toronto (Mississauga) ,Canada

Re: 1996 VOLVO 850 T5--- OIL LEAKS , PICTURES, & A PLEA FOR HELP

Postby 850 Turbo1 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:12 am

jablackburn wrote:It looks like you actually have a combination of a leaking turbo oil return line, AND a clogged PCV. The oil is blowing past the rear seal and leaking on the hot exhaust manifold and all over the turbo.

PLEASE change out the PCV (and clean the PTC nipple at back by the turbo) as soon as possible and you may be able to save it. My smell had been getting really horrible, and I'm fairly sure my car blew out the rear main seal while driving to NC today. It's bleeding oil all over the bottom of the car and driveway like a stuck pig, and it's dark so I can't really pinpoint where it's coming from.

I did my whole PCV system about 2 weeks ago, after putting it off for a long time, but apparently it was too little too late. I smelled burning oil even with the air off and windows down every time I got on the gas to go up a hill today.

There's a great write-up that I followed here: http://www.lakesidedp.com/uploadpics/pcv/index.html

Replacing the rear seal is not for the faint of heart - I'm not even going to attempt it myself, so it's best if you can still save it!




Hey Jack Thanks for the reply,
Here's the thing though, there is no smoke coming from the dipstick at all (I agree with you on the return line though)

I also was thinking PCV system...but with no smoke from the disptick is that likely?


Thanks for the tip OddBob..appreciate it!
1996 850 T5 Sedan
1996 850 T5 Platinum Edition Wagon
--Always Learning--MB--

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jblackburn
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Re: 1996 VOLVO 850 T5--- OIL LEAKS , PICTURES, & A PLEA FOR HELP

Postby jblackburn » Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:22 am

I suppose it could be possible for you to not see any pressure - it depends on where else pressure is escaping from. First, it was around your oil cap. Since you replaced the gasket, that opportunity has been sealed off from it and it's blowing out the seals instead. At least that's what I'm thinking.

I agree, give the engine a good cleaning-up and see where oil re-appears. It's kind of all over everything at the moment. Take off the turbo heat shield at the back of the engine and have a look around there. In the meantime, don't romp on the throttle a whole lot.

What kind of oil do you use?
'98 S70 T5
2012 Chevy Cruze LT 6MT


A learning experience is one of those things that says, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that."

mercuic: Long live the tractor motor!

850 Turbo1
Posts: 265
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Year and Model: 1996 Volvo 850
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Re: 1996 VOLVO 850 T5--- OIL LEAKS , PICTURES, & A PLEA FOR HELP

Postby 850 Turbo1 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:27 am

jablackburn wrote:I suppose it could be possible for you to not see any pressure - it depends on where else pressure is escaping from. First, it was around your oil cap. Since you replaced the gasket, that opportunity has been sealed off from it and it's blowing out the seals instead. At least that's what I'm thinking.

I agree, give the engine a good cleaning-up and see where oil re-appears. It's kind of all over everything at the moment. Take off the turbo heat shield at the back of the engine and have a look around there. In the meantime, don't romp on the throttle a whole lot.

What kind of oil do you use?



I agree with you on the pressure escaping aswell, I am using Mobil 10W-30 and 5W-30 Full Synthetic

How would you suggest a good cleanup...Carwash? or something else?...don't have a pressure washer...Yeah I'll definitely avoid the romping...I drove around really hard today..haha..eh oh :shock: :shock: :P !!
1996 850 T5 Sedan
1996 850 T5 Platinum Edition Wagon
--Always Learning--MB--

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jblackburn
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Re: 1996 VOLVO 850 T5--- OIL LEAKS , PICTURES, & A PLEA FOR HELP

Postby jblackburn » Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:37 am

If you have one of those car washes with the wand things, they usually have an 'engine cleaner' spray. People will look at you strangely, but you can crawl up under the car there (bring ramps if you have them) and give everything a good spray-down with that stuff, and then rinse it off. Do the same to the top as well - cover the distributor cap with a plastic bag to keep it from getting wet and stranding you.

I use the Mobil in mine as well - it's expensive stuff to be losing quickly - I have read posts of people who have switched to a "high-mileage", heavier synthetic oils with seal conditioners that have actually completely solved leaking seal problems on their cars. I have never tried them myself, but I think mine's past the point of no return.
'98 S70 T5
2012 Chevy Cruze LT 6MT


A learning experience is one of those things that says, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that."

mercuic: Long live the tractor motor!

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pkc303
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Re: 1996 VOLVO 850 T5--- OIL LEAKS , PICTURES, & A PLEA FOR HELP

Postby pkc303 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:39 am

We had the same oil leak in our 1997 850R. It turned out to be the turbo drain line, and the cam shaft seals, behind the cam position sensor, and the distributor cap. We also changed our flame trap system, which was pretty gunked up.

I'll add some pictures of ours.

Good luck, hope this helps.
Attachments
IMG_1169.JPG
Rear seal behind cam position sensor
IMG_1168.JPG
Seal out
IMG_1163.JPG
1995 Volvo 850 T-5R Yellow
1997 Volvo 850R (sold)
2003 Volvo V70 2.4T, K&N air filter, (sold)
1996 Volvo 940 (sold)
1992 Volvo 740 Turbo (sold)
1990 Volvo 240 Wagon (sold)
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1982 Volvo DL (sold)

850 Turbo1
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Year and Model: 1996 Volvo 850
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Re: 1996 VOLVO 850 T5--- OIL LEAKS , PICTURES, & A PLEA FOR HELP

Postby 850 Turbo1 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:49 am

Where there's a will there's a way..or so they say..I will find one of those car washes and give that a shot...Luckily I do have ramps so I'll take them with me..would really feel stupid to end up with a clean car that won't start at the car wash..haha so thanks for the heads up on the distributor cap...

I've heard of those different oils too..but who knows if they are good for the engine...If your going to fix something you might as-well fix it right

Your telling me that stuff is expensive....I think you and I may have contributed to the recession and the higher oil prices....high demand means higher cost!!!!



Imagine 1000 miles and no more premium synthetic oil(5.3 liters!!!!) ...MIND BOGGLING!!!!


I wish you the best of luck in resolving your issues...I think we may be in the same sinking boat.....better fix those leaks before we really capsize!!!!
1996 850 T5 Sedan
1996 850 T5 Platinum Edition Wagon
--Always Learning--MB--

850 Turbo1
Posts: 265
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 1:25 am
Year and Model: 1996 Volvo 850
Location: Toronto (Mississauga) ,Canada

Re: 1996 VOLVO 850 T5--- OIL LEAKS , PICTURES, & A PLEA FOR HELP

Postby 850 Turbo1 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:50 am

pkc303 wrote:We had the same oil leak in our 1997 850R. It turned out to be the turbo drain line, and the cam shaft seals, behind the cam position sensor, and the distributor cap. We also changed our flame trap system, which was pretty gunked up.

I'll add some pictures of ours.

Good luck, hope this helps.


Thanks for the photos and the" been there done that"...lol


hmm Jack what do you think?...oh man :| :| :? :? :?
1996 850 T5 Sedan
1996 850 T5 Platinum Edition Wagon
--Always Learning--MB--


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