Stage 0 – Tune Everything Up On Your Volvo – The List of Parts & Labor

Stage 0 means to get your Volvo’s critical systems as close to new as you can get, or alternately, to get your Volvo’s components replaced or rebuilt in the systems that can cause problems, like braking, or steering, etc.

You should do these things to increase reliability, boost economy, in preparation for performance modifications, or all three.

Stage 0 means to get your Volvo’s critical systems as close to new as possible, or in another sense, to get your Volvo’s components replaced or rebuilt in all areas that can cause  problems.

It’s done to increase reliability, economy, in preparation for performance modifications, or all three.

Think of it as a Comprehensive Tune Up

Example: here’s an MVS Volvo Forum thread where I detailed the many fluid flushes on my V70 R that were part of its Stage 0.

It’s called Stage 0 because performance modification levels are Stage 1, Stage 2, etc. Typically it goes up to Stage 3, and 1-3 can come in kits that include a bigger turbo, a chip tune, and a performance exhaust, for example. After Stage 3 everyone stops counting — after that you just have various crazy-fast modifications.

Smart tuners always do a Stage 0 before any performance mods.

How To Do Stage 0

In rough order of importance:


Replacing Hoses

These will bite you when you least expect it, and where you least want to be. I blew a hose off the intake on a highway on ramp, a typical place where the first full-throttle boost of the drive cycle will stress all parts of your engine. Many of us adding extra boost have replaced with silicone hoses and T-bolt clamps. [Nope, site’s gone — looks like they went under] has hose kits for Volvos. Here’s a Mishimoto silicone hose kit sold on Amazon. Fits 1997-04 Volvo 850, S70 and V70 turbo cars. Even more of a sure bet is to go to the MVS Sponsor’s sites and look for these. Sponsors are the banner ads at the top of every MVS page.

After Stage 0

How to make your Volvo faster

Once everything is like it should be, then begin to mod your car — look to downpipes and different, performance exhausts for Volvos, manual boost controllers and ECU upgrades to add horsepower. If you mod before things before this Stage 0, the upgrades themselves will cause weaker systems to fail. Here’s a list of all MVS Fast Friday posts, a category dedicated to Volvo speed, horsepower and overall performance:

Brakes, man, brakes!

Make sure brakes are good too. Brakes are sometimes overlooked, and when the realization hits that you have put all your eggs in the speed basket, and none in the stopping basket, it’s often at 100+ mph (too late). If you’re going to go really fast, don’t just Stage 0 your brakes, go to performance gear. A Stage 1 brake mod on pre-2001 Volvos would be a 302mm upgrade. OEM and standard pads will fade after repeated hard stops.

And Tires!

Tires however are probably the most prudent item you can upgrade. It doesn’t matter what’s in or on a car. The tires are still and always the only thing that transmits power, turning forces, and braking forces.

Stage 0 improves your Volvo's performance, but it'll never be as fast as this C30.
Stage 0 improves your Volvo’s performance, but it’ll never be as fast around any track in the universe as this C30.