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RMS or other oil leak - car off sitting in garage!!

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
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

macs70GLT
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macs70GLT

RMS or other oil leak - car off sitting in garage!!

Post by macs70GLT » Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:33 pm

Ok, 1998 V70 GLT my son bought in June with the intent to drive & use in New Mexico while in school - we live in Seattle area, so 1600 mile road trip. I have been fixing a few things here & there over the summer. Had the buyer's inspection post purchase - doh!!

Brief history - car has 181,000 miles, PO replaced TB and water pump, also did the head gasket. Told me his wife drove it with coolant leak that blew the gasket. In my poor judgement I assumed he did a good job and all would be well ...

Anyway - as I replaced the turbo coolant hoses over a couple days in garage - the oil continued to leak out. Appears to come from the drive axle seal (which makes no sense, I assume that's the tranny). I couldn't see oil coming from the rear exhaust cam seal. Could be from turbo then coming down. Oil cooler hoses also leak some - but that wouldn't drip at the axle with car stationary.

My big question - is the oil level above the crank shaft, and if so am I looking at a seriously damaged RMS? I estimate it drips about an ounce over a couple days. My garage has a very slight incline sloping front of car back - typical for drainage.

I have done many repairs on my Volvos over the years but don't want to tackle a RMS, hate to spend $1100 if not required.

Any thought/suggestions are appreciated. By the way, there was a fair bit of oil under the spark plug cover - however the pcv hose was not clamped. Glove test shows I do need to replace the pcv parts also.

Oh - we opted to drive our 1995 940T from Seattle to NM last week. At 211K miles that car held up like a champ! A/C worked until 60 miles outside Las Cruces. But - he is a college student, I didn't have A/C in my first college car either...

Thanks

Mike
Lars: 1988 245, 250K mi retired
Son of Lars: 1998 S70 GLT, 225K mi retired
Beast Mode: 1995 940T, 213K mi
Son's car: 1998 V70 GLT, 182K mi
Hans: 2002 Audi A4 QMT, 142K mi

macs70GLT
Posts: 86
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:07 pm
Year and Model: S70 GLT 1998
Location: Maple Valley, WA
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macs70GLT

Re: RMS or other oil leak - car off sitting in garage!!

Post by macs70GLT » Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:31 pm

Are you guys stumped on this?

I am. I'm probably exaggerating the amount of oil leaking with the engine off sitting in garage - it's probably less than 1/2 ounce over 2 or 3 days - but it is a drip. No pressure from engine running which is why I'm asking where the oil level is relative to crank-rms.

Any thoughts?

Thanks

Mike
Lars: 1988 245, 250K mi retired
Son of Lars: 1998 S70 GLT, 225K mi retired
Beast Mode: 1995 940T, 213K mi
Son's car: 1998 V70 GLT, 182K mi
Hans: 2002 Audi A4 QMT, 142K mi

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erikv11
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erikv11

Re: RMS or other oil leak - car off sitting in garage!!

Post by erikv11 » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:06 pm

With 100% certainty, in a parked car the oil level is well below the level of the rear crank seal. The upper edge of the oil pan mounts below the crank, and the oil doesn't even fill the pan. That's not to say I'm certain there isn't some way for oil to collect above the crank and then drip out with the engine off, but it would have to be gushing out under load for me to believe that.

Image

It is very common for an engine to drip oil over time that has already leaked previously. Are you sure what is falling is newly emergent oil?

An RMS leak is typically right from the rectangular hole on the line where the engine and trans meet. It would be easy for oil to collect in the space between engine and trans (e.g. if a clogged PCV is blowing it out the RMS) and then drip out over time.

It is rare for a turbo and associated plumbing to *not* leak oil on these cars. And that commonly ends up at the axle. Bad axle seals definitely leak trans fluid, you're positive it's not trans fluid?
'95 854 T5-R, Motronic 4.4, 185k
'96 855 NA, 145k
'98 S70 NA, 220k (living out west)
'98 V70, T5 tune-injectors-turbo, LPT engine, 286k
'06 S60 R, 167k
'99 Camry V6 :shock: 125k
gone: '96 NA 850 210k, '98 NA V70 182k

macs70GLT
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Re: RMS or other oil leak - car off sitting in garage!!

Post by macs70GLT » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:47 pm

Thanks erikv11,

I'm not positive on the fluid type - it appears more brownish but I haven't put a white cloth under to catch the drips. I'll check tonight, I actually put a small foil drip pan from the grill underneath held with zip ties. I haven't checked to see how much collected over the past week but it should be enough for a better view.

Thanks for the explanation on oil level - I was beginning to also suspect the oil pan seal (another messy job I hope to avoid).

On the 940 I had to chase 2 nasty oil leaks, the turbo oil cooler (large o-ring was hardened) and the distributor seal.

But - even the V70 is easier to do than my A4, Audi - truth in engineering, lies in maintainability! fun to drive though.

I'll post back after I look closer at fluid type.

Thanks

Mike
Lars: 1988 245, 250K mi retired
Son of Lars: 1998 S70 GLT, 225K mi retired
Beast Mode: 1995 940T, 213K mi
Son's car: 1998 V70 GLT, 182K mi
Hans: 2002 Audi A4 QMT, 142K mi

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rspi
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rspi

Re: RMS or other oil leak - car off sitting in garage!!

Post by rspi » Sat Aug 20, 2016 4:42 am

A lot of RMS's leak. Really not a big deal unless you can watch it drip while static or running. I'd be a lot more concerned about the oil cooler lines. They have a history of dumping oil and blowing apart.

Fix the PCV and drive the car for years with the RMS leak.

My theory on oil leaks:
1. Can I add oil faster than it leaks out?
2. What is the chance of the leak getting real bad, leaking more than a quart every 300 miles?
'95 855 T-5R M, Panther - 22/28 mpg
'98 S70 GLT, Lil' Red 25/32 mpg
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Volvo's of past: '87 740 GLE, '79 262C Bertone, '78 264, 960's, '98 S70 GLT, '95 850 T-5R YellowVolvo Repair Videos

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