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1996 850R Seems to be Burning Oil

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

wackenhut
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Year and Model: 850R 1996
Location: FLORIDA

1996 850R Seems to be Burning Oil

Post by wackenhut »

Hi,

My volvo 850R has approximately 225,000 miles and seems to run great. I use synthetic oil down here in south florida 5W30 but noticed that towards the end of the life of the oil at about 3,500 to 4,000 miles, it seems to burn oil more. I figure over 5,000 miles I need to replenish roughly 2 quarts of oil before my next oil change. Not sure if this is common for an older car with this mileage or if I should be concerned and look into this further. If the rings/seals need to be replaced, is it worth it at this point or just wait and see. I heard it is an expensive repair.

Thank you.
shaker_chi
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Re: 1996 850R Seems to be Burning Oil

Post by shaker_chi »

I would venture to guess oil is getting past the rings. Take a look at your tailpipe and see if you have any oil residue. I had a 1994 n/a with 230,000 and I was burning about a quart between oil changes. This is just my hunch.
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Re: 1996 850R Seems to be Burning Oil

Post by Klausc »

Usually, at that mileage, the valve seals are worn and allowing oil to pass through to the cylinders. Yes, replacing 20 valve seals requires removing the head, and that is not a small job.
You might want to switch to a slightly 'thicker' oil. 10W30 or 20W40 will be just fine in your Southern climate.
Klaus
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misha
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Re: 1996 850R Seems to be Burning Oil

Post by misha »

Just switch to higher viscosity oil like 10w-40 or 5w-40.
5w-30 is too thin for hot climate.
Oil consumption would be drasticaly lower to not burning oil at all.
'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
History of Volvos in the family:
'71 144 S
'73 144 De Luxe
'78 244 DL
'78 244 DL
'79 244 GLE
'85 340 GLS
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erikv11
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Re: 1996 850R Seems to be Burning Oil

Post by erikv11 »

I agree, same overall points:

- likely getting past the valve stem seals (many people on this forum have had success with ATP AT-205)
- heavier weight oil for sure, I would suggest 10w-40 or 5w-40 for a turbo R. Stick with synthetic.
'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, 293k
'06 S60 R, 167k
'07 XC70, 170k
'99 Camry V6 :shock: 130k
gone: '96 NA 850 210k, '98 NA V70 182k
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rspi
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Re: 1996 850R Seems to be Burning Oil

Post by rspi »

The owners manual warns against using 5w-30 in climates that the temperature exceeds 68 degrees F (https://volvo.custhelp.com/app/manuals/ ... om_id/1024). If I were in S. Florida, I'd use 10w-40. Oil consumption would be 1/2. Burning off 1 quart around town every 1500 miles is NOT bad. At 350,000 I was using about 1 quart every 750 miles around town and 1 quart every 1200 miles on the highway. Most of the oil was going past the valve stem seals. At 200,000+, I'm sure some is going through the turbo as well.
"Do not use oils with other viscosity ratings. The use of incorrect viscosity oil can shorten engine life."

Replaced the cylinder head on my car at 363,000 (burnt valve) and my oil consumption has dropped a lot. I am down 1-1/2 quart in 4000 miles. The turbo has about 200,000. New cars can burn more than 1 quart every 2000 miles so I feel that I'm doing great.

Ring oil consumption can easily be checked by doing a compression test. If compression is good, chances are, oil is not getting past the rings.
'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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Re: 1996 850R Seems to be Burning Oil

Post by rspi »

'95 855 T-5R M, Panther - 22/28 mpg
'98 S70 GLT, Lil' Red 25/32 mpg
--------------------
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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rspi
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Re: 1996 850R Seems to be Burning Oil

Post by rspi »

'95 855 T-5R M, Panther - 22/28 mpg
'98 S70 GLT, Lil' Red 25/32 mpg
--------------------
Volvo's of past: '87 740 GLE, '79 262C Bertone, '78 264, 960's, '98 S70 GLT, '95 850 T-5R YellowVolvo Repair Videos
scot850
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Re: 1996 850R Seems to be Burning Oil

Post by scot850 »

The book of words shows it all! I'd be using any of the other 3 oils listed and the finger tip shows the one for your climate. This is maybe a harder oil to find, especially way up north here, but maybe easier to find in warmer areas. On my 2000 'R' I run 5W-40 due to the colder winter temps and only synthetic.

Neil.
2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
2006 XC70
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 Limited
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1997 Volvo 850 SE NA - Went to niece in California - Sold
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erikv11
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Re: 1996 850R Seems to be Burning Oil

Post by erikv11 »

Rotella 15w-40 dino is an excellent oil that is available basically everywhere. But regardless, I'd use 10w40 synthetic in that 96 R.

In my P80 cars, it is rare that I would need to top off the oil between changes. Do you guys have leaks? Maybe I am just lucky to not have any bad have stem seals right now, and generally low miles. Over the last 5 years:

V70 HPT 275k - top off either 0 or 1 quart per oil change, OCI is typically 9k miles (lots of highway miles), full synthetic 5w-40
T5-R 185k - I have never topped off between changes, OCI is usually 5k miles, full synthetic 5w-40
850 NA 135k - I have never topped off between changes, OCI is usually 5k miles, full synthetic 5w-40 (used to run 15w-40 dino, same thing).
S60R (140k) I haven't done enough oil changes to say, but it doesn't seem to be using oil either.

For the record, no I don't run the cars with the oil level down low at the end of the OCI. The V70 has a rebuilt turbo, too.
'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, 293k
'06 S60 R, 167k
'07 XC70, 170k
'99 Camry V6 :shock: 130k
gone: '96 NA 850 210k, '98 NA V70 182k
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