Volvo break in Oil.

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Oct 12, 2003
North Carolina
I just got a new Volvo S60. I was planning on running the oil that came in the motor for 1500 miles and then switch to synthetic. Is 1500 miles long enough for the Dino to do a proper break in ? I'm planning on a 5k interval with Havoline Syn after the break in.
Then, my guess is that the factory-fill oil is probably a good quality dino. I see nothing wrong with your plan, but, for what it's worth, I changed the factory fill oil and filter out of my Hyundai at 600 miles, then, again, at 3,000 miles. Others advise going the full recommended oil change duration on the factory-fill oil. Like you, I wasn't comfortable leaving the casting sand particles and machining shavings that survived rinsing, and break-in millings too large to be lifted to the filter (or too small to be trapped) in the sump any longer than necessary. Anal retentive? You bet - this is the BITOG site, after all!
On the off-chance that Volvo used some special oil, additives and/or filter for break-in, I'd keep that in during the period mentioned in the owner's manual. For example, my 2002 Mitsubishi suggests to "take it easy the first 300 miles...," so I made sure to AVOID any changes during that time (not that I'd change oil at 300 miles anyway). At about twice that mileage -- 600 miles, I think -- I figured the engine was reasonably broken in and did an oil change. I agree with RayH that this first break-in oil cycle, by definition, should have a higher amount of particles in it as engine components slough off rough edges and develop a polish, so it can only be a good thing to dump this oil once you're comfortable the engine is reasonably broken in, maybe twice the number in the owner's manual, an admittedly arbitrary mileage.

For the record, everything I've read in these forums and elsewhere suggest that "break in" oil and filters are in fact old school, or if they ever existed at all, now irrelevant. Even Mobil 1 syn oil is now routinely used in new engines both at the factory and on the street, whereas mechanics used to warn about "Use only non-detergents at first..."

[ November 05, 2003, 10:19 PM: Message edited by: TC ]
Congrats on the new Volvo.

Auto or stick?

I am told that Volvo factory oil is a Castrol syn, dino blend.

I just purchased a S60R. The original oil was so clear that I could not see the oil on the stick - scared the bejeezes out of me - thought I had no oil in the crank. I have 2000 miles on my car, and am still running the original oil. I will switch to Amsoil 2K 0W30 in a few weeks as my winter oil. I see no reason to rush the first oil change, but that is just me.

[ November 05, 2003, 11:34 PM: Message edited by: DockHoliday ]

Originally posted by DockHoliday:

I just purchased a S60R. The original oil was so clear that I could not see the oil on the stick - scared the bejeezes out of me - thought I had no oil in the crank.

I noticed the same thing on my dad's 2004 Volvo XC70! It was super clear! He waited until 2k before changing it, and went with 10w30 GTX from 2k-4k, and at 4k I put in GC 0w30. He'll run that until 7.5k, then go with 7.5k intervals with GC.
As your 5 cylinder ages a bit, the oil won't stay clear as long anymore. My wife's 96 855...darkens the oil at 3-4K or so. Running 10W-40 Amsoil now.

But when new I couldn't see the oil unless I put the ds on a clean white rag.
Same thing happened in my new Volvo remanufactured B230FT 4 cylinder turbo with the first few changes. 0 to 1000 miles the oil (Mobil 1 10W30)was clear with no color at all. The second 1000 to 3500 miles barely any color at the end of 2500. I'm up to about 4400 miles on the third fill and it has a tinge of brownish color but still looks very good.
Ordered a Kit for Analysis so I'll be interested how the numbers look at 8,500 miles on motor and 5,000 on the oil.
I was browsing the volvo website and came across a page that discussed a new synthetic oil developed for Volvo engines with Castrol:


it might be interesting to know that Volvo and Castrol have developed a new oil quality, fully synthetic oil especially adapted for the new Volvo engines. The new oil complies with the requirements governing the new service intervals of 30,000 km or 1 year. The extended intervals will be introduced for five-cylinder petrol engines from model year 2005 in a number of European countries. Contact your Volvo workshop for further details.

Anybody know what this oil is?
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