This holiday season…

Buying Volvo Parts?

This holiday season are you buying parts? Please let them know MVS sent you. – promo code MATT – promo code MVS5 – promo code MVS

Buying Gifts on Amazon?

Please use this Amazon link. <- Just click it and you’re magically carried to the Amazon site (with the MVS code in the background). You don’t have to lift a finger!

The MVS Amazon link doesn’t  cost you a penny, and it helps me keep MVS on the Web because any purchases you make Amazon kicks me back a few percentage points. I use that money to pay the Web hosting bill, and to pay writers to write things like Volvo’s 850 Wagon in the 1994 BTCC.

Thanks in advance!


Dealing with a Volvo Dealer for Repairs

Time for some repairs on your Volvo, but apprehensive about working with dealer? With a little planning, you can have a great experience!


Time for some repairs on your trusty Volvo, but apprehensive about working with dealer?

We’ve all heard horror stories, so you’re in good company. Fortunately though, with a little planning, you can have a great experience working with your Volvo dealer – or any dealer or repair shop for that matter.

Dealerships are typically independently-owned, so you never quite know what kind of experience you’re going to get. Some provide great service all around, while others come up short. They might have great sales staff, but less than great service and repair staff. Or on the flip side, their employees upfront might be callous or inept, but the mechanics trustworthy and helpful. You just never know!

While we hope and trust that most Volvo dealers are out there to provide quality service, it’s up to you to ensure that happens! Below we outline some steps and considerations on how to deal with your Volvo dealer when your car needs repair.

As with anything in life, preparation is half the battle, so know before you go!

Know Before You Go to Ensure Great Experience

The easiest way to ensure a great experience when working with your Volvo dealer – or any dealer or repair shop for that matter – is to plan ahead.

First, be able to describe exactly what’s wrong with your car. Does the engine make a peculiar sound? Know how to describe it or, better yet, record the sound with your phone just in case you can’t replicate it while at the dealer.

Don’t be afraid to do some research yourself as well. Type your model, year, and symptoms into Google. What you’re experiencing might be a common issue with your model and no doubt others have had similar experiences, along with fixes.

If the problem is intermittent (a sound when you turn, for example), make a recording and try to figure out how to replicate it before going to the dealer. There’s nothing worse than getting to the repair shop and suddenly your car seems to work perfectly, leaving you stranded and having wasted an hour of your life.

If your car is still under warranty, grab your warranty book from your glovebox and check it beforehand to familiarize yourself with what it covers. Volvo offers different warranties for different components. Since 2013, Volvo warranties break down as such:

  • 3 year/36k routine maintenance (3 visits)
  • 4 year/50k mile powertrain/bumper-to-bumper warranty
  • 8 year/80k mile emissions control warranty (federal regulation)
  • 12 year body corrosion/rust warranty

Federal law prohibits auto manufacturers from voiding warranties if you’ve had maintenance performed outside of dealerships, but they can void warranties if there’s no proof of required maintenance.

Federal law prohibits auto manufacturers from voiding warranties if you’ve had maintenance performed outside of dealerships, but they can void warranties if there’s no proof of required maintenance.

If you’ve visited independent shops for oil changes (or anything else) and you’re seeking repair under warranty, try to find all your maintenance receipts beforehand so you can prove you’ve taken regular care of the vehicle as per your car’s maintenance schedule. If your dealer asks for proof of maintenance, you’ll be prepared!

Last, be sure to find the right dealer for you. If you already know where you’re going and your Volvo is equipped with Sensus Connect, you can schedule your appointment right from your car! If you’re not quite sure which dealership or repair shop to visit, take a look at the section below.

Finding the Right Dealership

Finding a reputable dealer is another important step to ensure a great repair experience. Despite all dealerships sporting the Volvo logo, customer service can vary – just like at any business with multiple locations. Some will have great service at the counter, but poor quality in the garage. Take some time to find the best dealership for your needs.

Here’s a few tips to get you started:

  • First off, if you already have a Volvo dealer you trust, by all means continue using them!
  • That being said, if your vehicle is still under warranty, you don’t have to go to the same shop you purchased your car from. If you live in a bigger city, this allows you to shop around a bit for the best dealer service garage you can find. Your costs might be covered under warranty, but you still want the best service you can find!
  • If you don’t have a dealer already in mind, talk to family or friends with Volvos to see who they use. You might find a dealership you weren’t aware of. Maybe there’s one in the next town that provides exceptional service. If you don’t already have a preferred dealer, a personal recommendation is the next best thing.
  • Even if you loved the dealer you purchased your Volvo from, their garage might provide a different experience entirely. It doesn’t hurt to jump online to see what actual customers have to say. A great place to start is Yelp, as users can leave reviews for specific dealers and locations, not just the company as a whole. Also try reviews on Google Maps. Lastly, DealerRater allows customers to leave overall reviews for the dealership as well as rate their customer service, friendliness, and pricing.

Basically, the more you know beforehand, the better off you are!

Dealing with a Volvo Dealer for Repairs

If you’ve followed the steps above, you’re already well on your way to a great experience working with your dealership.

Keep in mind that not ALL dealers are out to shiest you, so come to your experience with a positive attitude and friendly spirit. (If something goes wrong, a good attitude can go a long way).

Dealers get busy and some issues always take longer than expected to fix. That’s the nature of any business. Try to say flexible and sympathetic. That being said, any dealership or repair shop should try to respect their timelines and, at the very least, give you a heads-up well ahead of time if your car won’t be ready by the agreed upon time.

To protect yourself, try to get everything in writing as insurance later on. If they give you an estimate, have them print it out. Print out exactly what you want them to do with your car. Any special considerations? Give them a list. The more information that is in writing, the more protected you are later on. If they ‘misremember’ something, all you need to do is point to the paper you have in your hand.

What If I’m No Longer Under Warranty?

So your warranty’s run out, huh? That’s never a good thing, but it does open you up to a whole new world of possibilities!

If you’ve got a great Volvo dealer you already work with for repairs, and don’t mind paying the dealer premium bucks, by all means continue working with them. If you don’t though, you’re now free to call up some independent garages to see their prices. There are of course, Volvo-specific shops out there, so it doesn’t hurt to do a quick search online to see what’s around you. Some shops even claim they’ll match dealer prices, coupons and all!

Don’t forget that, in an effort to attract more brand loyalty, in 2015 Volvo began offering lifetime warranties on all replacement parts (including labor) for post-warranty repairs performed at Volvo dealerships. While you might spend more upfront by working with a dealership, that’s a pretty sweet deal for parts that get worn out regularly. Regular maintenance parts (like bulbs, fuses, windshield wipers, and brake rotors) aren’t covered.

In 2015, Volvo began offering lifetime warranties on all replacement parts (including labor) for post-warranty repairs performed at Volvo dealerships. While you might spend more upfront by working with a dealership, that’s a pretty sweet deal for parts that get worn out regularly.

If you don’t mind getting your hands a bit dirty, you could even try out some simple DIY options! Replacing your air filters and spark plugs is a great way to save some cash and only takes, at most, a few hours. Interested in something a bit deeper? Start changing out your own oil. You’ll save anywhere from $20 to $60 bucks for 30 minutes of work.

Wanting to go even deeper? Go check out the Volvo Repair Database and our MVS forum. Pretty much every repair or DIY topic has been covered in there.

What to Do If Things Go Sour

Inevitably, you’ll have that experience where everything seems to go wrong. Maybe they’re not honoring your warranty, or they’re suddenly claiming it’s going to cost twice as much. Maybe they ‘fixed’ the problem but you drive away and still hear that clunking.

We’ve all been there. In this situation, your prep work is going to help you out quite a bit. Did you stay friendly before? Good job. Keep doing it. A good attitude can get you far.

Did you get everything in writing? Good. Kindly show it to them.

Are they claiming work isn’t covered under warranty, when you know it should be? Grab your warranty from your glovebox (it’s still there, right?) and kindly show it to them.

Oftentimes, simply letting them know that you’re an informed, prepared individual is enough for them to fix their ‘mistakes’.

If their fees seem high or they deny your warranty claim, don’t get angry! Just go talk to other dealers. We already mentioned that dealerships are independently-owned. What one dealer refuses to work on or cover under warranty might be nothing for another dealer. (Stories like this abound regardless of your manufacturer).

No success with other dealers? Your last option is to complain to supervisors or contact the manufacturer. If things get really serious, you can contact the BBB or Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint, but hopefully it won’t come to that.

Again, the best insurance for a great experience is doing your homework beforehand. Vet the dealer’s service department before bringing in your car. Ask around or look up reviews online. Having your car serviced or repaired is just part of owning an automobile. It’s up to you though to ensure you have a great experience getting those repairs!

Image credits: CC via Flickr 1, 23

DIY It… Homebrew Seafoam

MVS Contributor Mecheng posts how to make your own formula to approximate DIY Seafoam.

You can make Seafoam treatment much cheaper than buying it.
This is the reference I used but to simplfy it and give you more info:

Typical Seafoam application is 473mL

Therefore for a 4:2:1 ratio

  1. 270 ml Diesel
  2. 135 ml Coleman Camping Fuel
  3. 68 ml 99% Rubbing Alcohol

This is good info, now that Seafoam is regularly $8 for 16 ounces now.

Homebrew Seafoam topic in the Volvo Forum

Now Through Monday — iPD’s Summer Sale!

iPD's Summer Sale!

As Summer fades away and the kids go back to school, the demands on your trusty Volvo to provide reliable transportation is amplified. Having lights and wipers that work, suspension components that absorb road imperfections and an engine that is in tip top shape becomes more important. You need to make it to work and your kids need to make it to soccer practice. Trips to grandma’s house and to the local bakery are all part of daily life for most of us and you don’t need the inconvenience of unreliable transportation.

Now is the time to stock up on those components that keep your Volvo on the road and get you where you need to go. Nearly all of our inventory is on sale through September 25 so act fast. As always, free shipping is available for most orders over $99 as don’t forget about zero sales tax.

It helps this site a great deal when you buy from our sponsors. Please tell them MVS sent you. Thanks!

Performance Whiteblock Parts for Sale – Turbo, Manifold, Block & More

Longtime MVS member and Contributor tryingbe is selling a bunch of performance parts and more. His location is Mesa, AZ 85204.

Whiteblock T5 performance parts

Most parts are for 850 turbo and early C70/S70/V70 turbo. Block and transmission are not in picture.

Rebuild 01 block with RSI rods, stock pistons, new rings, polished crank, new bearings, honed block

98 M56H using internal slave cylinder.
Picture on request.

Japanese manifold
Rebuilt custom turbo with Volvo flange by AZ turbo. The compressor wheel is a T04B 60-1, AGP anti-surge compressor housing, single ball bearing, stage III turbine wheel, and a/r .63 turbine housing. BIG power can be made with this.

ATP Ultimate waste gate, ceramic coated.

ATF oil coolers, 3/8 hose in and out.
URO throtle body hose
Headlight cover
$10 for both
Upper Poly mount
Black glove box cover
Cabin air filter conversion kit for early 850.
Tan glove box cover
Arm rest.

19T actuator. Holds vacuum just fine.

98 Volvo Turbo T5 M4.4 ECU. Ready for tune it yourself.

OBX Racing Sport Turbo Back Exhaust 94-04 Volvo 850 C70 S70 V70 T5 W/ Downpipe
FLAT FLANGE ONLY. Never used, never mounted.

Used spec stage 3 clutch and pressure plate, comes with new threw-out bearing. I was told it was use a few thousands miles. Plenty of meat left. For single mass flywheel, 850/C70/S70/V70

Performance Whiteblock Parts for Sale – Turbo, Manifold, Block & More

Voluparts is an MVS Supporter!

I’m proud to announce family-owned Voluparts is an MVS supporter! I communicated with Bill and he’s a sharp, helpful man.

All they sell is Volvo parts, and they’ve been doing it for decades. Please give them a shot for your next parts buy, and tell them I sent you. Thanks!

Chapman Screwdriver/Torx/Hex Sets 10% off

Chapman Manufacturing's back at it, helping us save money on very useful mini tool sets that are great for Volvos...

Volvo News & Repairs


Chapman Manufacturing’s back at it, helping us save money on very useful mini tool sets that are great for Volvos. Chapman rep Joel Camassar:

Use the code Volvo5575 for 10% off the Master Set  or the code Volvo1916 for 10% off of the 1916 mm hex & star/torx set.

The #1916 was originally designed for Euro/Japanese motorcycles, but many people are buying it for Euro cars because it has mm hex, slotted, phillips and star/torx bits in a super compact roll that you can stash in a glove box.

Continue reading “Chapman Screwdriver/Torx/Hex Sets 10% off”

Save 10% on the Chapman Master Set

MVS user ChapmanMFG chimed in on the Do it yourself ABS module repair megatopic offering 10% off a tool set another MVS member used.

Volvo News & Repairs

Chapman MFG Model 5575 56 Piece Master Screwdriver Set

MVS user ChapmanMFG is a rep for the Chapman Manufacturing Company, and they make tools that are perfect for our Volvos. Anyway, he chimed in on the Do it yourself ABS module repair megatopic here in the MVS Volvo Forums offering 10% off a tool set another MVS member used.

You can use the coupon code Volvo to save 10% on the Master Set and we’ll include a free two tone red, blue, black, or orange electroplated ratchet. If you don’t specify orange will be included, and the code is good until 7/8.

  • By customer request: 3 new Metric Allen Hex bits: 4.5mm, 5.5mm & 7mm
  • 2″ Extension
  • New Star bits fit Torx screws! Unlike other Torx bits, Stars have the signature Chapman snap ring groove and knurl.

I meant to get this posted earlier, and now I see the offer is done in just 48 hours, so get this if you need it and save!



Control Arm Bushings – Buy Whole New Control Arms?

Volvo News & Repairs

MVS Moderator Made In Japan wonders out loud if it’s better to buy control arm bushings and use a press to press them into the existing control arms, or say ####-it and buy new control arms. MVS Contributor oragex sums it up nicely:

Most people agree that installing these bushings is a PITA.

Being stubborn, I still went my way.

First problem: rear smaller bushing is not available in Lemforder. The front biggie one is sold by Lemforder. I don’t know if Volvo sells them. Someone bought these off Ebay. He reported the front one died soon (poor install or fake product?). Maybe the seller puts Febi bushings in Volvo bags?


From another listing I purchased ‘original’ Volvo front one for S60, and ‘original’ Volvo rear one for XC90. While the front one has kept up well, the XC90 one is not a full bushing and the steering is not tight enough.

Continue reading “Control Arm Bushings – Buy Whole New Control Arms?”

Replace the voltage regulator w alternator still on the car

How to replace the voltage regulator without removing the alternator - 850, S70, V70, XC70 up to model year 2000 and C70 up to model year 2004.

Volvo News & Repairs

That’s how to replace the voltage regulator with the alternator still on the car, by Volvo repair superman RSPI. This is for the Volvo P80 family of cars, namely 850, S70, V70, XC70 up to model year 2000, and C70 up to model year 2004.

So we can replace components of the alternator instead of the whole thing? Yes! If you want to save money, you can replace only the subsystems in the alternator. You must buy the right replacement parts and it can be difficult with all the part numbers. So that’s where this Volvo Forums post comes in. It helps you find the right parts.

Save money when your alternator needs replacement

This alternator replacement forum topic has videos in it that show how to replace the alternator’s subsystems, like bearings and brushes, for those inclined to save money this way. It also has a fair bit of discussion on which method is best for you: replace the whole alternator, or only the failed alternator components.

MVS Forums member Redneck speaks about the differences in parts per region of the world:

Each Bosch alternator is different. There are about 50 variants or more. The same situation is with Bosch starter motor. It is important to find your Bosch part number. Volvo PN is irrelevant here. Bosch alternators/starters are in many other auto brands and are the top, most popular brand around the world. Having that Bosch PN, you look for parts for it and verify it with various aftermarket manufacturer catalogs for compatibility that you can easily search for online. This is a tedious task, but that is what you need to do to do it right.

When it comes to rebuilding our alternator/starter, the problem we have is that we are in a wrong country. USA is a rich country where people throw away things and buy new, or refurbished ready to install. You don’t really see any American online store selling individual alternator/starter components. What you have on eBay from USA sellers are overpriced, no name expensive aftermarket parts with suspicious quality. Stuff they got in huge quantity from Alibaba (and 40 thieves:) from China. The solution is to look in European online stores, better look for Eastern European online stores. It is a big industry in Eastern Europe to sell stuff like that. People there actually fix things instead of throwing them away as in the USA. They don’t really have any Chinese stuff there. Mostly German or other European aftermarket manufacturers.

The good thing about USA is that you can easily find used parts cheap on eBay from junkyard pullers and get those components to fix them from Eastern Europe. So that is what you do! You get German or Italian aftermarket brands! I am sourcing all my alternator/starter components directly from Latvia most likely. $100 in Latvia is a lot of money and they treat you well if you spend that much there. American eBay sellers often treat you poorly. If you ask too many questions before you buy, they block you:) because they are scared:). That is my experience buying stuff from US eBay junk yard hyenas:)

Volvo 850, S70, V70 alternator repair, replace regulator.

Lost Your Volvo DVD Remote? Here’s a $7 Replacement

If you have a Rear Seat Entertainment system, you probably have kids. If you have kids, the dvd remote has gone missing. Replace it for $7.

Volvo News & Repairs


No Need To Spend $100+ on a DVD Remote Replacement

If you have a Rear Seat Entertainment (RSE) system, you probably have kids. If you have kids, the DVD remote has gone missing.

From The Volvo DVD RSE System page:

The system functions can be operated using the wireless remote control. All you need to do is point the remote control at the screen you want to change.

Well, yea, if you have the remote. If not, then what? $129 for a new one, that’s what. (Or $104, depending on what page you land on.) Or, you can get one for $7 at Harbor Frieght. Thanks to MVS member CyberSquatch for his post about this yesterday.

The solution:

I purchased a universal remote at Harbor Frieght, for $7.00. Used a JVC code (0443) and it works. On my XC90 2006.
Anyone to this problem, get it a try.

The problem:

I have the in console system and need a dvd remote. Anyone know where to buy one?

Has anyone gotten a universal to work with it?

Does anyone have a remote that they can get codes from and send to me to program my own universal remote?

Thanks for any help you can give. These things are rare unless you want to drop a hundred bucks on it ha ha.

You won’t win any style awards with the Harbor Freight remote, but it’ll work if you set it up for JVC devices, which the Volvo DVD system may very well be.
Remote for DVD RSE System