Oil Recommendations

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Apr 27, 2009
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I have a 94 Volvo 850 N/A with 294,000 miles that I just recently purchased. I am wondering what the best oil is that I should use. I would love to use synthetic, but the car has oil leaks that I do not want to make worse so I want to stay away from that. I really do not know how it is with burning oil because of the oil leaks, but I do not think it is that bad. The car does not smoke and the plugs are not oil fouled. My main concern is that there is some ticking at start up and I think it goes away after the car is driven for a while. I believe it is a lifter noise. I am using a WIX oil filter. As for the type of driving I will be doing, probably mostly city driving. It will get some highway miles, but how much really depends on if I feel like taking a lot of road trips or not. The car will most likely get driven every day and will not sit a lot. I also like to drive my cars pretty hard, like with hard acceleration and high RPMs. I have no idea what weight I should use because of the mileage on the engine, or if I need a high mileage. Any help is appreciated!
 
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I would use M1 High Mileage or Valvoline Maxlife... I think these are your best bets... You might even want to a couple of ARX treatments to soften the seals up a bit and clean the internals of the engine. If you choose to do this, don't do with a synthetic or high mileage oil because of competing chemistry.. Steve
 

KW

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New to you, 294,000 miles and drive hard? Come on now. Castrol 10W40 or 20W50 would likely work until you break it.
 

Dan2286

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 Originally Posted By: StevieC
I would use M1 High Mileage or Valvoline Maxlife... I think these are your best bets... You might even want to a couple of ARX treatments to soften the seals up a bit and clean the internals of the engine. If you choose to do this, don't do with a synthetic or high mileage oil because of competing chemistry.. Steve
I am going to do the ARX treatments sometime in the future after I find a job and have more money to spend. I have done some reading and it seems like people have good results with it.
 
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It's a mixed bag... Some like Seafom, some like MMO, and some like me have used ARX and had really good results... I just wish I didn't use it in the winter so I could have taken the valve covers off to take pictures... I used it in a Caravan with over 300K KM on it. I looked in the valve cover through the oil cap and it was filthy... After the run as per the directions it was almost spotless inside...
 

Dan2286

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 Originally Posted By: KW
New to you, 294,000 miles and drive hard? Come on now. Castrol 10W40 or 20W50 would likely work until you break it.
Driving cars hard has worked well for me so far In my opinion, driving cars hard is much better for the engine rather than low rpm, slow speed driving. I got almost 200,000 miles out of my 00 Grand Prix and I drove that a lot harder than I plan on driving this car and it had no internal engine problems, barely burnt any oil, compression readings within spec, no engine noises, also looked new when I had the valve covers off. I know the complete history of the car and it was maintained pretty well. The first owner was a Volvo mechanic and the records show 5k OCI till about 180,000 miles, those miles were also highway. The second owner is a Volvo fanatic and he knows how to maintain these cars really well and he kept up with everything on this car. With how bullet proof these engines are known for being, I think it should last for a while longer. As long as I can get another 20-30k out of this car, I will be happy. If it lasts longer, then so be it ;\) I just want to be sure I am doing the most I can to keep things in good working order.
 

KW

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My drag car gets ran hard. My daughter beats the poop out of her car (dogs it) so that is ran hard. A car that is IE driven hard (beat on) will not last. Maybe you are saying you dive the car like a normal person drives the car and not babying it? If you beat on them even a new one will fail you. If the car has been taken car of and you dive it kindly it may last until the wheels roll off it. But it will never do it if you beat on it.
 
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Dan2286

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 Originally Posted By: KW
My drag car gets ran hard. My daughter beats the poop out of her car (dogs it) so that is ran hard. A car that is IE driven hard (beat on) will not last. Maybe you are saying you dive the car like a normal person drives the car and not babying it? If you beat on them even a new one will fail you. If the car has been taken car of and you dive it kindly it may last until the wheels roll off it. But it will never do it if you beat on it.
I guess I would say I did a 50/50 mixture of "driving normal" and "driving hard" in the Grand Prix. I did take it to the drag strip quite a bit, I loved going full throttle going down the on ramps going onto the highway, I did take it to red line more often than most people do, plus I delivered pizza in it for 4 years. I did not drive it like that all of the time. I guess my normal driving was letting the engine shift at around 4,000 Rpms unless traffic would keep me from doing so. The only major repairs that were done on that car was the trans being rebuilt twice. The first time was the differential blowing up and sending stuff in the trans and the second time was a snapped pump shaft. I think it also helped that is was a 3800 and they are known to be very strong. I also maintained it very well and only used Mobil 1 5W30. I will say that I will not drive this car like I did in the Grand Prix because of the mileage, but it will still be "spirited" driving.
 
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My old neighbor had a Volvo from the late 80s,and it said on the oil fill cap "Use Castrol 20W50 Motor Oil". I`d use some Pennz dino 20W50 or Valvoline dino 20W50.
 

Dan2286

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Can someone explain how the high mileage of my engine would affect the viscosity that would be best for it? Would it make a difference if I checked the oil pressure and did a leak down/compression tests and they were all within factory specs?
 

Dan2286

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 Originally Posted By: aquariuscsm
My old neighbor had a Volvo from the late 80s,and it said on the oil fill cap "Use Castrol 20W50 Motor Oil". I`d use some Pennz dino 20W50 or Valvoline dino 20W50.
But isn't that a completely different engine? These engines recommend like a 5W30 or 10W30, I forget which one.
 

KW

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 Originally Posted By: Dan2286
Can someone explain how the high mileage of my engine would affect the viscosity that would be best for it? Would it make a difference if I checked the oil pressure and did a leak down/compression tests and they were all within factory specs?
Yes, if the cranking compression and oil pressure is good go for it -- it's a healthy engine. 4K is not hard inless it's a Jeep or a diesel.
 
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I'd do a piston soak, 2-3oz mixed light oil and solvents down the clean sparkplug holes. Crank it w/o plugs and let sit overnight and crank some more. Follow with an intake cleaning and FI cleaner. Then...(drumroll) Auto-Rx with thin dino (10w-30) and Hi-Mi oil way later or more dino oil w/a few oz of Auto-Rx as a homebrew Hi-Mi oil. I service a 110k V70 with GTX 10w-30 in winter and it did not burn a drop. In summer I use Delo 30 plus MaxLife Engine Protector, a cheap homebrew Hi-Mi oil.
 
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I'd start with MaxLife 10w-30 for this time of year. If it's not broke, don't fix it. Or, if you know who had it before, find out what they were running, if for no other reason than your own knowledge.
 
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