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driving my 96 R in winter?

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
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Clemens
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Clemens

driving my 96 R in winter?

Post by Clemens » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:55 pm

It is still warm here, but the cold season is arouns the corner. Meaning months of temperatures around the freezing point, salted roads and lots of humidity and water.

Last winter, right after purchasing my 96 R i drove it through the winter till a friend commented on me driving it in winter as a sacrilege.

So after upgrading to 16 inch brakes I'd have to get new winter tires and also I am starting to have second thoughts. I love my R, it is in mint condition except for a few dings and rock chips in the paint and a leaking RMS (hope atp 205 will fix that). I kniw alot of p80 Volvos in germany or austria have rust problems below the doors and at the front bumpers. Mine is still very nice except for the trailer hitch sibframe because the second owner never used it in winter from 2005 on.

Just thinking how bad I will hurt the car driving it (it will be a keeper) as compared to buying a cheap beat up 850 for einter use and park the R during the cold season (i know from experience that storimg cars for a few months isn't the best to do for all moving parts).

Btw, I work from home, so I usually don't have to drive in very bad weather if I don't want to.

Your input is very much appreciated.
Summer: 1996 855 R
Winter: 1994 855 T5M
Donor: 1995 854 10V

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misha
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Re: driving my 96 R in winter?

Post by misha » Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:19 pm

Drive it....mine is daily driver all year round from year 2000 when i bought it and have ZERO rust. ;)

The secret it to wash it at least 1-2 times a week in winter in order to remove the salt and dirt from the body.
'97 850 2.5 20v / fully equipped / Motronic 4.4 from the factory / upgraded with S,V,C,XC70 instrument cluster / polar white wagon
'91 Citroen XM 2.0 SI /fully equipped/mandarine red metallic
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'78 244 DL
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tryingbe
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Re: driving my 96 R in winter?

Post by tryingbe » Wed Sep 14, 2016 2:17 pm

Clemens wrote:I kniw alot of p80 Volvos in germany or austria have rust problems below the doors and at the front bumpers.

So, do you want your R to have rust or not?
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Re: driving my 96 R in winter?

Post by JRL » Wed Sep 14, 2016 2:29 pm

It depends on how much corrosion is already there.
If the undercarriage is clean (ie: never driven in salt) it probably would be a crime to start now.
If it already has a layer of corrosion and/or came from a salt state or country (most old cars will have by now) you may as well just drive it.
Last decade my DD was a 50K mile 1996 850R which I drove all year.
It came with a set of Gisvaled snow tires and it really got through everything.
I do not take it out that first snow day, of course, but as soon as the major streets were plowed and with all the salt down... I did.

The trick is (as was already stated) either take it to a car wash at LEAST once a week and add the undercarriage wash (this really does help) or, if you have a heated place, wash it yourself. Do either, but you DO need to get a pressure want underneath to rid that fresh salt.

I hope this helps you make a decision
2000 V70R Black, 144,000 miles Wife's R.
2007 V70 2.5T White/Oak 111,000 MILES. Polestar tune, IPD bars, rear spoiler, dark grey Thors, DWS 06, HU850, sub.

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Ozark Lee

Re: driving my 96 R in winter?

Post by Ozark Lee » Wed Sep 14, 2016 2:43 pm

Another part of the equation is exactly what is used to treat the roads for ice and snow. Every municipality / region / state seems to have their own brew. Based on the car that I bought from Chicago, IL they must use old battery acid to treat the roads. In the Kansas City area where I am they use a mixture of salt and some sort of beet juice on the state and interstate highways but many of the cities use sand or even the captured particulates from power plant scrubbers. The sand is pretty harmless but the salts are pretty harsh.

Jim has the right idea with frequent washing.

...Lee
'94 850 N/A 5 speed
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
Previous:
1999 V70XC - Nautic Blue - Totaled while parked.
1999 V70XC - RIP - Wrecked Parts Car.
1998 S70 T5
1996 850 N/A
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1986 740 GLT
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zhenya

Re: driving my 96 R in winter?

Post by zhenya » Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:07 pm

P80 Volvos are incredibly rust resistant, but as others have said, you still have to wash them. Our region salts more than anywhere else I've ever seen and both of my cars are very clean, one at 130k and the other at 205k. Washing helps tremendously. Parking in a warm garage may actually be worse than leaving them outside because the salt becomes inactive below about 20F.

That said, if I had a really clean car that I wanted to keep for a long time and didn't want any rust, surface or otherwise, no way I'd drive it in the winter around here.

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Re: driving my 96 R in winter?

Post by cn90 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:20 pm

There is some trick when dealing with salt.

Yes, salt causes corrosion but if it is -20C, you got salt underneath, chances are corrosion is not a problem simply b/c chemical reaction is temp dependent (corrosion works better when it is HOT).
So, if you do nothing (not washing chassis) then corrosion speeds up around June-August, the hottest months, and not so much during COLD months.

I used to live in Montreal with a lot of salt. After 20 years, my car had no rust corrosion underneath.
This is what I did:

- Snow/salt accumulated when it is -20C, I left them alone.
- In the winter, I waited for days > 0C so I could wash. Whenever temp >0C, I went to coin-operated car wash place (I hate water on my driveway, risk of ice later, thus car wash place).
- Spent $2 (self-serve car wash place) and hosed the car with warm water at car wash place. They key thing is: kneel down and spray the chassis from the ground up.
- This also helps your own garage floor from salt dripping down.
- You would think parking the car inside is good? Yes, it is nice and warm when you go to work in the morning but the warm garage speeds up corrosion.
Not a big deal if you wash the chassis whenever you find temp >0C.
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Clemens
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Clemens

Re: driving my 96 R in winter?

Post by Clemens » Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:17 pm

Alright. Thanks for all the input. I will wash it regularily then and park it in my not heated garage (don't have a driveway and i don't trust the snowplough).
Summer: 1996 855 R
Winter: 1994 855 T5M
Donor: 1995 854 10V

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BEJinFbk
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BEJinFbk

Re: driving my 96 R in winter?

Post by BEJinFbk » Thu Sep 15, 2016 2:30 pm

The DOT just started getting heavy with brine here
in the last couple of years. Until they finally come
around and quit using this crap, I'll keep making trips
through the well heated automatic car wash nearby.

Then it goes straight home to the heated garage!

Their better wash packages include a set of under body
jets, and to my way of thing, it's money well spent. ;)
'98 V70 R - Well Equipped for Life Up North... ;)

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