Oil for a Volvo 850?

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Aug 12, 2003
Hello all! I'm new here, but I've been lurking for a little while now. I was kinda hoping you oil nuts could give me a recomendation for the oil in my girlfriend's 95 850 with the 2.4 NA 5 cylinder. It has 180,000, and has been using large amounts of oil (about a quart every 500-600 miles!! [Frown] ). It doesn't smoke at all, ever, and yet there doesn't seem to be a leak anywhere, I've left cardboard underneath it overnight a few times, and no drips. So, given the situation, what would you recomend? I've been using just Castrol GTX 10-30 or 10-40 right now, depending on weather. Do you think I should step it up to a 50w? Is there anything I can do to slow this consumption as well? The car runs like a champ other than the mystery oil problem... Thanks all!
Excellent question. In my friend's eight-fiddy I put German Syntec 0w-30 and will wait to see how consumption is, only 93k on it. I'd try a quality dino fleet oil like Chevron Dello or Delvac 15w-40 if it *REALLY* burns oil. If you are using crap like Mobil Drive Clean, it will consume 4x the oil it would with a similar weight synthetic. I believe people with oil consumption shy away from synthetics thinking consumption will be the same or worse, and top-off costs will get high. Not true. A fleet oil 15w might be a little thick in the cold. For the winter, how about a normal oil like Penzoil Hi-Miles 10w-30, it is 10% esters for her seals and will last almost as long as the fleet oils. Nice stuff. If in the following summer there is still a problem, use the 15w-40. It would make a good top-off oil as well. 1 qt of Mobil 1 added to the fleet oil is another option. 1 or 2 containers of CD-2 oil detergent 100-200 miles *before* draining, good idea. [ August 25, 2003, 11:46 PM: Message edited by: TSoA ]
Hmmm...something I might know a little bit about. My girlfriend has a '96 Volvo 850 NA 2.4L five cylinder. According to the manual, you can run the standard 30 weight oils as well as 15w-40 and 5w-40. She was having consumption issues with the 30 weights, and since she drives like a bat out of he**, and being here in Kentucky, we're running Mobil Delvac 1300 15w-40 with no complaints. Come the cooler months though (and considering your in Mass), I'm gonna run Rotella-T synthetic 5w-40.
My wife drives a 95 850 turbo. I was running Mobil 1 0w-40 in it and it would consume 1 quart every 5000 miles but when I switched to Synpower 5w-40, it stopped completely. But 1 quart every 500-600 sounds excessive and I doubt switching oils can fix it. It may have a bad main seal which is common in these engines. You should go to brickboard.com and ask some of the Volvo experts about why the car is consuming so much oil.
My wife (worse than girlfriend) has a 1996 NA 855. That seems like an awful lot of oil consumption for such low miles. Good advice so far, hit the brickboard.com (I've been a reg there since it's founding in 97 or so). For sure do the 2 or even 3 bottle AutoRx treatment. I'll bet it is the rear main seal - they mostly blow oil when in motion and don't drip when staionary on the 850. The flame trap must be 100% clear - checked yours? Is the engine unusually ticky loud, especially on cold starts and drive aways? I'll bet you have an oil pick up problem. Common and it will cause wear if not fixed. Go to Volvospeed.com to read about. What about other diagnostics (compression, leak down, etc) and an oil analysis?
I'll bet it is the rear main seal - they mostly blow oil when in motion and don't drip when staionary on the 850. The flame trap must be 100% clear - checked yours?
I wouldn't be surprised if it's the rear main, it was never done on this car, looking back at the records. However, although I'm mechanically inclined and like to do most of my own work, a rear main seal is outta my league, and would cost a pretty penny [Frown] Now that I think about it, though, that flametrap has been replaced a few times in the year she's had the car. She'll bring it in for something unrelated, and they'll tell her the flame trap is clogged as well. Is that indicitive of a rear main seal? I'm not too familiar with this engine, if it were the 3800 in my car, though, I wouldn't be so lost [Big Grin]
If in the following summer there is still a problem, use the 15w-40.
A mechanic friend of mine told me the same thing, but I was nervous to use a 15-40 since it is an overhead cam engine. I kinda thought the 15 would be too heavy for a cold engine, so I've stuck with the 10w-XX weights. Thanks for all the help so far, guys!
Dear GG, If the flame trap is blocked it causes excess crankcase pressure in the block and will push oil out (a main seal for example) when running. As for why the trap is blocked, usually lack of routine maintenance and gummy old oil residude. People give me grief for this but I found running synthetic oil precludes any flame trap blockage. I would clean and replace the Y and the flame trap, and the hoses too. Then I would do a double or triple AutoRx treatment.
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