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2000 Volvo V70 XC--Coolant/Radiator Leak

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.
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2000 Volvo V70 XC--Coolant/Radiator Leak

Postby adk793 » 20 Jun 2010, 00:00

I have a 2000 Volvo V70 XC with 96K Miles. Here is the next issue: I have not had issues with overheating/coolant leaking with this car. I check it once and a while and the coolant level stayed pretty consistent. This morning, my coolant light when on as i staretd my car. So i turned it off to check and the reservoir tank was almost empty. So i added some pre-diluted coolant in there and went on with my day.

It was parked in the garage that night and there was no spot/stain on the ground from any fluid leak. Same with the rest of the day, ground stayed dry/no visible leak. Well i peeked under the car and it seems fairly dry except one part near the front. My main question is where did it all go! My car does not have any white smoke coming out of the tail pipe so i dont think its something that big but is it evaporating, or leaking out somewhere?
How can i check/what should i do.
After adding coolant, the fluid stayed leveled all day.
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Re: 2000 Volvo V70 XC--Coolant/Radiator Leak

Postby ecbsykes » 20 Jun 2010, 00:07

I'd go to a shop and have them run a leak-down test. It pressurizes the system a. to see if it holds b. to possibly see where it's dripping. Look under the driver's floor mat; is it wet by any chance?

Check the radiator for cracks, especially where the upper radiator hose connects to the radiator (passenger's side up high). Mine developed a crack right there, and many others have experienced the same thing. Is this the original radiator?
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Re: 2000 Volvo V70 XC--Coolant/Radiator Leak

Postby adk793 » 20 Jun 2010, 00:09

How much with labor is a new radiator on this car. Like mentioned, the crack has developed where the hose and the radiator connect. It leaks out bit by bit. Is there a way to repair this, weld it back together, change just that plastic part of it, or does the whole car have to go.
Can i drive around with this as long as i continue adding coolant n watching my temp. levels or is this an urgent matter that can get worse.
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Re: 2000 Volvo V70 XC--Coolant/Radiator Leak

Postby ecbsykes » 20 Jun 2010, 02:17

It will get worse. The cooling system is pressurized, and those plastic tanks do fail over time (I think the age tends to make them brittle more than actual mileage). Unfortunately it is not really repairable, although I guess you could JJB Weld it as a very temporary solution. If that little crack fails catastrophically on the highway though, you could easily overheat and ruin a much more expensive engine.

I would have changed my radiator myself, not too bad of a job, but I was about to leave for school 500 miles away and needed it done fast and the right way. I had a local shop replace it, $400 flat for me.
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Re: 2000 Volvo V70 XC--Coolant/Radiator Leak

Postby adk793 » 20 Jun 2010, 03:13

How hard is it to remove the radiator. Reading my repair manual, the transmission oil cooler lines and the cooling fan seems the hardest. Is this something i can do or should i invest in having a shop do it. I'm not in the best financial situation.
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Re: 2000 Volvo V70 XC--Coolant/Radiator Leak

Postby ecbsykes » 20 Jun 2010, 03:29

If you have the room and means to do it, I'd say go for it. I haven't done it myself, but as you know the resources available on this forum are incredible. The oil cooler lines I know are actually quite simple to remove. They are held in with plastic clips (might get a couple extra in case they break, they are cheap).

Once you move stuff out of the way, the radiator fan is not too difficult from what I've read. Then there's just the issue of removing it from the inter-cooler since it's a turbo model.
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Re: 2000 Volvo V70 XC--Coolant/Radiator Leak

Postby adk793 » 20 Jun 2010, 17:38

what works related the to intercooler do i need to do/watch out for. The reason why i mention transmission lines because my repair manual says it will leak when i unplug them. Also, how high up does the car need to be for the radiator to come out
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Re: 2000 Volvo V70 XC--Coolant/Radiator Leak

Postby JDS60R » 20 Jun 2010, 18:34

You need the distance from the bottom of the rad support to the floor to at least be the height of the radaitor. I do it on a set of ramps without and issue. You can always put it up on jack stands and chocks if needed.

You will replace the o rings and outer clamps on the trans lines and top up the fluid as needed.

The intercooler is just another radiator so be careful not to nick or punture it. Take your time and disconnect hoses as neede to give yourself clearance.

Drain the radiator first and whne refilling use quality coolant and distilled or demineralized water. I use the Volvo coolant as it contains sebacic acid and a low level of silicates that the one fits all types do not include. I like the extra measure of protection as it is unreasonably hot where I live and I have to take long drives to where it is even hotter - not to mention I use the turbo frequently.

Replace any hoses or couplers that feel too mushy . If you have never done it plan 4-6 hours . If you have done it it only takes about 2 hours.

Sorry but they list the procedure only onder the V70 and not the xc - hopefully they are similar.
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Re: 2000 Volvo V70 XC--Coolant/Radiator Leak

Postby adk793 » 20 Jun 2010, 19:28

alright, ill really have to think it over what i want to do. My only doubts are ruining something or messing up, otherwise id give it a shot. And using JJB weld, that wont harm it, right, how long would it hold for
and is the metal inside broken if the plastic is broken or it could be just the plastic part.
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Re: 2000 Volvo V70 XC--Coolant/Radiator Leak

Postby JDS60R » 20 Jun 2010, 19:40

I have never been able to make JB weld work on these plastic tanks. I know permatex and some other companies make plastic glues but I think the heat cycle destroys them all.

I would just pull the radiator and replace it. If you can see a visable crack you are riding on borrowed time. Seeing as how a tow will cost at least half the price of the rad itself I would replace it now.
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Re: 2000 Volvo V70 XC--Coolant/Radiator Leak

Postby adk793 » 20 Jun 2010, 20:33

I just checked my engine oil and its very low/not in the normal range. I dont see any blue smoke coming out of my exhaust indicating its burning. but because oil lines come into the radiator, and it is leaking, could the loss of oil be linked? Any other ideas!
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Re: 2000 Volvo V70 XC--Coolant/Radiator Leak

Postby adk793 » 23 Jun 2010, 23:35

Is getting an aftermarket radadiator a good or bad thing for this car. I know for the catalytic converter, everyone was telling me having an aftermarket one is bad, it doesnt fit well and will make more problems, etc. Cuz the difference between volvo genuine and aftermarket is $400!! any advice
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Re: 2000 Volvo V70 XC--Coolant/Radiator Leak

Postby jblackburn » 24 Jun 2010, 01:11

Nothing wrong with that. Nissens or Behr are worthy replacements. I would not use anything else, though.

Make sure you get the one for a turbo model with an auto transmission, you'll need the cooler ports for both!

Order the clamps & O-rings associated with the cooler lines as well. It is as good a time as any to replace your upper & lower radiator hoses, mine were squishy before I replaced them last year.
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Re: 2000 Volvo V70 XC--Coolant/Radiator Leak

Postby leadmann12g » 24 Jun 2010, 01:59

How timely!!

When I bought my 2000 V70XC, it was a car that I wanted to be a replacement for my twelve year old, 1990 Toyota Camry (with over 300,000 original owner miles, one clutch and a couple changes of break pads and shoes). That was in 2002. Today, I am about ready to drive it off a cliff, not for expensive mechanical repairs, but for a plethora of cheep, plastic (Nylon) parts, within much more expensive assemblies. Case in point, the rear hatch lock- the breakdown of the plastic covering the latch. Front passenger door lock, a Nylon cam responsible for allowing the outside handle to open the door. The Nylon coolant expansion tank, a designers brilliant move. It was placed up against the inside fender, causing the Nylon to be worn away, causing a slow leak.

And now, JUST after using J.B. Weld to fill in and SEAL the hole on the expansion bottle, as well as around the bottom drain where the Nylon began checking and cracking, I find that my radiator, on the EXACT SAME SIDE AS THAT in adk793's post.

I couldn't believe it. I first thought that the coolant was blowing past one of the repair's. I wasn't until I arrived home, and two gallons of anti-freeze later, that my daughter and I heard a hissing noise after I had turned the engine off. I popped the hood, and saw right away, a bulge just below the upper hose, then splitting the rest of the way.

I had repaired the bottle, as I mentioned, with the J.B. Weld (Great material, but, if you are the owner of this model and year, buy the version 'Industro Weld'. It comes in a five ounce tube. You'll need plenty of it!!).

So now, my car is down, again, my two teens and wife can't remember a time when the Volvo was actually working and not a work in progress and I need to decide between an aluminum or copper/brazed radiator.

I will keep repairing the small plastic shit that Volvo contracted to have made for them. I can't see spending over $300 to replace lock assemblies, when the problem is a plastic component costing Volvo, I''m sure, less than $0.50.

As a design engineer with over 20 years in manufacturing small, mechanical assemblies, it fries me that they used some of the plastic they did, in assemblies that are constantly used. Have they, or their German contractors, not heard of injection molding and the fiber reinforced plastics available?

So, I'm done with my diatribe. I really want to like my V70XC, but I've not had a long enough, uninterrupted opportunity to to do so. Volvo US and Volvo Sweden, needed to have belly up'd to the bar and took responsibility for the problems this model had from nearly the beginning of its release.

And for, [b]adk793 [/b], keep an eye on your infamous XC70 1999-2002 Throttle Body. This is, fortunately, under warranty, due to the hard work Volvo owners did in forcing Volvo to issue a RECALL and the Feds to determine that it is a significant safety issue.

Well, it's back to searching for a new radiator. Later!!
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