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Long trip prep? ('04 XC)

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xHeart
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Re: Long trip prep? ('04 XC)

Post by xHeart »

BlackBart wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:17 am
So, maybe some looseness and a clunk now and then isn't worth rushing the control arms. It's straight down an interstate, no rough roads, no real twisties. I'll lift it up Sat AM and pry on some things, see what the condition is.

Is the regulator not internal on this alternator? Someone mentioned replacing it pre-emptively. My charging seems good, new battery.
SIMPLE CONTROL ARM CHECK:
Raise the front on jack-stand and remove the front wheels. If the LCA appears parallel to the ground then you are good!

MISHA TEST ON ALTERNATOR:
Check output directly on the alternator while engine is idling.
Red probe on B+ on alternator and black (-) on it's housing.
You should get 14-14.2v at idle.
If not...voltage regulator or alternator are faulty.
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Re: Long trip prep? ('04 XC)

Post by BlackBart »

I didn't use to consider! The crap I drove across the country in college still amazes me. A Fiat Spider with 1 out of 5 gears left when I got there.....

We never thought twice to jump in the Volvos, check the oil, and zip 500 miles to Seattle. Denver 900. Visit, zip back. Blizzards, wrong tires, oil leaking out of the filler cap onto the exhaust....no problem. I did have a turbo implode on the 240 in rural eastern Washington once long ago. We had an extended warranty and they towed it.
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Re: Long trip prep? ('04 XC)

Post by BlackBart »

xHeart - Yes, I'll do a charging test this weekend. Thanks.

That Audi was my "new" reliable car with 60,000 mi as the 850 got older. We decided to use it on trips. Perfectly tuned, 130,000 mi, topped off with fresh synth oil. An oil pressure light blinked once (oil and water temp were normal). We happened to be pulling off the freeway where there was a dealer. I talked them into putting it on the computer with no appointment. They told us No Problem, looks fine, just check your oil at gas stops.

2 1/2 hours later, it blew up, spun the rod bearings. The PO had apparently sludged up the oil passages, and that 1.8 engine only held 3.7 qts full. I had two big satchels of tools with me - useless.

My neighbor the professor has an '06 XC wagon, looks just like Betty. He is not mechanical. It quit out on the road, wouldn't start again. Took it to some non-Volvo guy I'm sure. He thinks "modules aren't talking to each other." I think it could be that purple wire at the radiator corroded. Either way, it can be fixed. He's ready to donate it to public radio or sell it for scrap. I don't like those stories about modern cars. Installing new points with a flashlight is simple compared to electronics.
Last edited by BlackBart on Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Long trip prep? ('04 XC)

Post by abscate »

When cars were simple they broke a lot, but you could fix them by looking at them.

Now, they don't break, but you can't fix them by looking at them.

They break so little that the value of a good diagnostician can't be covered by enough work, so garages have turned from repair shops to brakes, front end, tint, stereos, and egg crate grill removal facilities.

If your area has enough Volvos to support a Volvo independent (we have three in our MSA of about 1M people) you can get them worked on, but learning the ropes yourself is a better hedge.
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Re: Long trip prep? ('04 XC)

Post by BlackBart »

Agreed. My son could fix his Land Rover with a rock and a crescent wrench.

I like the idea of getting this pre-loaded VIDA laptop from one of our members, and taking it with you on trips. Still, you're not going to have Module 5C with you when the computer tells you it quit.
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Re: Long trip prep? ('04 XC)

Post by - Pete - »

:lol:

The loathing of the egg crate grill...I'm gonna find a way to incorporate one of these with actual eggs on it into an avatar.

Bart, you mentioned your wife drives the car "short" or "super short" trips. I don't know the history with Black Betty (PCV, OCI's), but one thing you may want to do is take the car out & drive it with some cajone's for a good while, like 40 minutes or so. I believe the term is redneck tune-up perhaps? Then immediately upon returning home, dump the engine oil.

Here's the logic behind my thinking. If the car often sees the following: few miles between startup & shut down, then sees several hours of cool-down, followed by few miles of a return trip home & then shut down again - a condition may be in the process of being created where sludge is being produced. Short heat cycles paired with long OCI's are terrible on these engines. The deposits/sludge forms in the crankcase/oil pan/passages & frees itself of it's various hiding spots when the engine sees use & sustained temperatures that it isn't used to seeing. For example, a perpetually short tripped car getting taken for a spontaneous & lengthy road trip.

Shortening the OCI's & using decent synthetic helps, but the engine needs to be really used to purge the junk out periodically, especially if it's a short tripped car. I don't want to scare you, I'd just hate to see one of your next threads sound like one of mine a while back entitled "No oil PSI message ...etc.." because some sludge broke loose after having been "up to temp" for 3 hours & has now clogged your oil pickup tubes screen, effectively preventing your oil pump from sucking oil from your pan & then providing it to your crankshaft's journals.

One thing I would say to never do is to use any type of solvent in your engine oil, unless previously used without negative results. They can break down the sludge/gunk too quickly & then that stuff ends up clogging the pickup screen. It's very important to get the junk out of the engine, but you don't want to do it too quickly.

Aside from the redneck tune-up, everything everyone else has mentioned, I'd also bring along a jump pack (one with an air compressor), a jerk strap (in case you inadvertently go off-roading & can't extract yourself), and a spare ignition coil.
Lastly, when we road-trip from MN to the west we use Shell's trip planner. They have arguably some of the best fuels available & the mileage is the proof in the pudding.
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Re: Long trip prep? ('04 XC)

Post by Rattnalle »

A "redneck tune-up" really doesn't have much to do with driving hard. It's about getting the oil warm and letting it be warm for a longer period to boil off moisture and stuff. Just doing the long trip in itself will do that. Depending on when it was last changed I'd probably either change just before or just after the trip.

Best thing you can do for the engine is get a bicycle for short and super short trips. :wink:
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Re: Long trip prep? ('04 XC)

Post by 850 LPT »

Rattnalle wrote: Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:37 am Best thing you can do for the engine is get a bicycle for short and super short trips. :wink:
Agreed. Except we are in America here, where bikes are only used to exercise, not to get places :o
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Re: Long trip prep? ('04 XC)

Post by Rattnalle »

850 LPT wrote: Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:24 am
Rattnalle wrote: Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:37 am Best thing you can do for the engine is get a bicycle for short and super short trips. :wink:
Agreed. Except we are in America here, where bikes are only used to exercise, not to get places :o
Fortunately I'm not. I barely ever use my car on weekdays. There's just no point when I live just 4 km from work.
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Re: Long trip prep? ('04 XC)

Post by oragex »

xHeart wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:23 pm
BlackBart wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:17 am
So, maybe some looseness and a clunk now and then isn't worth rushing the control arms. It's straight down an interstate, no rough roads, no real twisties. I'll lift it up Sat AM and pry on some things, see what the condition is.

Is the regulator not internal on this alternator? Someone mentioned replacing it pre-emptively. My charging seems good, new battery.
SIMPLE CONTROL ARM CHECK:
Raise the front on jack-stand and remove the front wheels. If the LCA appears parallel to the ground then you are good!

MISHA TEST ON ALTERNATOR:
Check output directly on the alternator while engine is idling.
Red probe on B+ on alternator and black (-) on it's housing.
You should get 14-14.2v at idle.
If not...voltage regulator or alternator are faulty.

On a good condition battery, the alternator could drop around 13.7v after fully charging the battery, to provide only for the car systems, especially during warm summer days. In winter, it will stay higher, above 14v. If you see above 14v at all times during hot summer days, the battery may be more or less worn and no longer accepting a full charge, which puts stress on the alternator
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