Sludged Volvo S60 2.4t?

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13,118
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Indiana
Here's a novel. The girlfriends Volvo has a screen/ vent under the oil fill cap, which appears to be covered in sludge. The dipstick doesn't have any particles on it though. Is it a safe assumption that the engine could have sludge in it? I imagine the turbo isn't helping anything either. Right now she has her oil changed religiously every 3000 with Valvoline Maxlife, but her car is short tripped to death. She gets it changed at a dealer for about $20ish plus tax (with coupons), but I am wondering if a synthetic oil would be better? Since her car has the cartridge filter, I cant help but wonder if they skip that occasionally too, which could also contribute to the dirty engine. Apparently a few years back they got on her because the filter was in such poor shape.. Dirty engine or not, I cant imagine it looking that bad at 3000 miles. JMO. PP/ PU and a TG/ Ultra cartridge filter for about 3000 miles until it appears clean?
 
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Mahzurrah!
Maxlife is Valvoline's highest detergent/dispersant oil package. I doubt the oil is the problem here. Maybe you can do the changes for her now?
 
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Originally Posted By: KCJeep
Maxlife is Valvoline's highest detergent/dispersant oil package. I doubt the oil is the problem here. Maybe you can do the changes for her now?
+1 PCV may need changing.
 
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Illinois
Unless it can be visually confirmed that Maxlife is being put into the engine, it could be literally anything going in there. Put some synthetic in there, and then take it on a nice long road trip to some place far away. That's what the car needs more than anything.
 
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Detroit, MI
Not sure about this car, but some engines are prone to showing "sludge-ish" stuff near the oil fil cap or pcv system/and or valve cover. I've seen engines like this that are spotless and sluge free when you actually remove the valve cover. I don't see a car getting sludged up with 3k intervals and a quality oil. Even if it is short tripped. Again, I'm not familiar with Volvo engines. Maybe they are prone?
 
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North Carolina
I would run a cheap sn dino, like pyb ( i'd consider a bit of mmo here), take it on a trip and get it good and warm, some highway driving and some in town when its warm. Change that and go with a good synthetic oil. Mobil 1 hm claims to have extra cleaning ability over regular M1. I'm sure Pennzoil ultra would work well too. I think you might need to leave the synthetic in a bit to clean. say 5k, unless she is really really short tipping it. You might recommend that she take a longer drive once a week to get the oil hot. I'd probably run a toughguard filter and change just the filter at 2500 just to see how it looks.
 
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Location
Sweden / Stockholm
As already mentioned check the PCV... The PCV systems on those engines easily gets clogged if the car is used for short trips only, It cost a few hundred USD to replace the PCV system. Let the engine idle and remove the dipstick, It should be negative pressure in the crankcase so it should suck air into the dipstick tube. Put back the dipstick and remove the oilfiller cap and make sure that it is negative pressure there also. If there is positive crankcase pressure do not use the car until the PCV system is cleaned otherwise the camshaftseals or crankshaft seal can start to leak. A youtube video how to check the PCV http://youtu.be/WTlak66gkL4 For the 2004 and earlier S60 petrol engines the Mobil1 0W40 is a good choice
 
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Connecticut
dlundblad, Unfortunately short trips with conventional oil will create sludge and clog the breather box quickly in the Volvo white block I5. The filler cap screen is the coolest part of the engine, it will show sludge while the dipstick is clear. Check the breather box functionality. A latex glove over the oil filler should be sucked in, not inflated while the engine is running. If inflated replace the breather box assembly. It's will cost between $500-750. A clogged breather box/PCV will create much bigger issues if left unattended. The consensus on Sweedspeed is to run any brand full syn 4-5k OCI with the OE filter - Mann or Mayle to prolong the breather box function and prevent sludge. Volvo's TSB on cleaning a sludged engine is to run and ACEA A3B3 spec full syn after disassembly. I have owned 3 V70s that were run on conventional oil before purchase. All had gunk - varnish and some thicker oil - on the oil filler screen. All cleaned up by running Redline 0w30 for 2 OCI then switched to a full syn, any brand. I ran Redline simply because I had it. PU, Castrol, M1 would be fine. Lastly, try to take the car out on the highway feach week to bring oil to temperature for 30 minutes. Join Sweedspeed or XCVolvo forums. There's a wealth of information. Hope this helps.
 

dlundblad

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13,118
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Indiana
Thanks for the info guys. Ill try the glove trick and go from there. Heck by the time we drive there, burn up hrs of time etc, I could have done a quality oil change for about $30-35ish. As far as short tripping, hers is an extreme. One job is literally 1 mile down the road (good reason to use a 0w40), the other job and school is about 10-15 mins depending on traffic. My house is about 40 mins away so that's about the only highway mileage she sees. Maybe once a week if she's lucky. Would a good synthetic HM be a better choice? I saw that M1 HM was mentioned above. IIRC, its cheaper than Maxlife full synthetic at WM.
 
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JOD

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PNW/WA
No, it's not really safe to assume that it's sludged. The vent completely obscures everything on that engine. Mine was full of black crud, but when I pulled the head it was very clean inside. If you're doing 3K on Maxlife, I'm sure it's fine unless the level has been run low--even if it's a short-tripper. I don't think you need to change anything.
 
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Upstate NY
If I had a turbo (I do actually) I would run a synthetic oil due to the heat at the turbo and the oil flowing in the turbo, especially at shutdown. But as others have mentioned, the only way to verify sludge is removal of a valve cover. Otherwise you are just guessing.
 
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Central Texas
You can't judge the engine internals just by looking at the screen. It's a poor indicator. I'm curious about the dirty filter if her oil is changed every 3000, did they just skip it? I don't think you have a problem. Since it's far colder, far longer in Indiana than here, syn is a good consideration and you can run it far longer than 3000 miles, saving money. I currently use M1 HM 10w-30 and run it 10,000 miles, changing the filter every 5000.
 

dlundblad

Thread starter
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Indiana
Originally Posted By: sleddriver
I'm curious about the dirty filter if her oil is changed every 3000, did they just skip it? I don't think you have a problem.
I am guessing they did. I am not sure how popular the filter style is either. They are the typical shady dealer IMO. They always try to push unnecessary services onto her when I am unable to come with her.
 
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North America
Originally Posted By: dlundblad
Thanks for the info guys. Ill try the glove trick and go from there. Heck by the time we drive there, burn up hrs of time etc, I could have done a quality oil change for about $30-35ish. As far as short tripping, hers is an extreme. One job is literally 1 mile down the road (good reason to use a 0w40), the other job and school is about 10-15 mins depending on traffic. My house is about 40 mins away so that's about the only highway mileage she sees. Maybe once a week if she's lucky. Would a good synthetic HM be a better choice? I saw that M1 HM was mentioned above. IIRC, its cheaper than Maxlife full synthetic at WM.
Wow, that IS very short tripped. Cheapest synthetic, shorter interval.
 
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socal
I would use pyb or similar for 1000 mile run then change to any brand name synthetic oil u like and change oil once a year with oem filter. And I would use the car on every long trip u have planned .
 
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SE Pa
Originally Posted By: dlundblad
Here's a novel. The girlfriends Volvo has a screen/ vent under the oil fill cap, which appears to be covered in sludge. The dipstick doesn't have any particles on it though. Is it a safe assumption that the engine could have sludge in it? I imagine the turbo isn't helping anything either. Right now she has her oil changed religiously every 3000 with Valvoline Maxlife, but her car is short tripped to death. She gets it changed at a dealer for about $20ish plus tax (with coupons), but I am wondering if a synthetic oil would be better? Since her car has the cartridge filter, I cant help but wonder if they skip that occasionally too, which could also contribute to the dirty engine. Apparently a few years back they got on her because the filter was in such poor shape.. Dirty engine or not, I cant imagine it looking that bad at 3000 miles. JMO. PP/ PU and a TG/ Ultra cartridge filter for about 3000 miles until it appears clean?
You're not the first, and you won't be the last, with this problem. Volvo was lax on specifying recommended oils on these, and many dealers were pumping in really cheap bulk tank conventional 5w-30 into them for 7,500 miles. Far too long on that oil in these engines. For $20, I can guarantee the dealer is cutting corners somewhere. The dealer cartridge price is $7-10. An OEM Mahle is about $4 if you buy a case. Do not put anything other than a Mahle or Mann on this engine. Unless you want to run a dedicated crankcase cleaner (and NEVER use a solvent one with the turbo), you are confined to repeated short runs of a higher detergency oil. Besides the Pennzoil, I would consider a couple short runs of T6. It's borderline thick here, but clean just as well and for a little less $. Once it's cleaned up, a full synthetic (preferably an A3) for no more than 5k works well with these to keep them clean. With added short tripping stresses, you would probably be better off giving up the A3 benefits and going with something like M1 EP 5w-30.
 

dlundblad

Thread starter
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13,118
Location
Indiana
Originally Posted By: Volvohead
Do not put anything other than a Mahle or Mann on this engine.
Very interesting to see only Mahle or Mann filters should be used. Can you explain why?
 

dlundblad

Thread starter
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13,118
Location
Indiana
I tried the glove trick today as well and saw that it was sucked down the filler hole. It wasn't like a vacuum or anything, but at least it didn't inflate it. Thanks again for the info guys.
 
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Gulf Coast, MS
I had a Volvo with the 2.4 289k miles when I scrapt it and it still ran strong. But the car was nickel and dime'ing us for years. Everything leaked and the car got the cheapest of the cheap oil and a cheap filter every 5k miles. I serviced this car and repaired everything from 120k-289k miles with the exception of a fuel pump which I had no earge to change. Long story short it never had any sludge problems and the engine ran like a top. I don't want to say I could have gotten 400k miles out of the care but I feel safe to say another 50k-60k. Iv never personally looked into sludge problems on theses motors but from my experience its one of the best vehicle/engines iv ever owned.
 
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