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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm curious why the 3.2 engine has such a (relatively) large oil sump/capacity?

At approximately 8 quarts, this engine requires nearly twice the amount of oil as my wife's Grand Prix, which is actually a larger displacement engine (Pontiac/Buick 3800). Was the engineering rationale that more available oil = increased cooling and longer times between required oil changes and hence greater longevity?

With proper maintenance, the average GM or Ford engine today will give 150k of service. I'm guessing though that the much larger oil capacity of most Volvo engines is a contributing factor to their typically 200K+ lifespans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: 3.2 Engine - Why Large Oil Capacity? (roktbox)

A quick search shows some of the folks here seem to prefer the Royal Purple:

http://forums.swedespeed.com/zerothread?id=112894

but if the manual doesn't require it, does it really make a significant difference? Myself, I have no idea.

Quote, originally posted by roktbox »
First oil change this Friday. What's the consensus on synthetic?
 

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Re: 3.2 Engine - Why Large Oil Capacity? (roktbox)

Quote, originally posted by roktbox »
First oil change this Friday. What's the consensus on synthetic?

If you had the T6, I'd say yes for sure.

3.2 engine... hmmm... how much extra will it cost you annually, and how long are you keeping it? There's no harm I don't think in putting in synthetic if it gives you peace of mind for longevity...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: 3.2 Engine - Why Large Oil Capacity? (Lotus99)

I'm all for longevity, but are we talking say, 300K miles with synthetic vs. only 250K without? in other words, if one plans on only keeping the car for 10 years and 150K then the extra money spent on synthetic oil is never realized - unless there are subtler advantages that are not readily obvious?

Quote, originally posted by Lotus99 »


If you had the T6, I'd say yes for sure.

3.2 engine... hmmm... how much extra will it cost you annually, and how long are you keeping it? There's no harm I don't think in putting in synthetic if it gives you peace of mind for longevity...
 

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Re: 3.2 Engine - Why Large Oil Capacity? (sapearl)

Quote, originally posted by sapearl »
I'm curious why the 3.2 engine has such a (relatively) large oil sump/capacity?

At approximately 8 quarts, this engine requires nearly twice the amount of oil as my wife's Grand Prix, which is actually a larger displacement engine (Pontiac/Buick 3800). Was the engineering rationale that more available oil = increased cooling and longer times between required oil changes and hence greater longevity?

With proper maintenance, the average GM or Ford engine today will give 150k of service. I'm guessing though that the much larger oil capacity of most Volvo engines is a contributing factor to their typically 200K+ lifespans.

Careless engineering would be my guess.
 

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Re: 3.2 Engine - Why Large Oil Capacity? (Sausca)

What....careless engineering, that is the craziest thing I have ever heard!
This larger capacity has some really tangible benefits, there are quite famous examples of poor component life due to insufficient oil capacity.
Honda has experienced it with the XR motorcycle range and Toyota with early model twin cam engines.
I work in the mining industry and our equipment both fixed and mobile plant utilise the largest capacity oil sumps avaialble. Otherwise we face overtemps and degradation issues.
The Buick engine you spoke of was available here in the past in a local car, it always amazed me that its oil capacity was only 1/2 a litre greater than my 750cc twin motorcycle! I ride each year in the Christmas Toy Run where we average only 35-40 kph for more than 45 minutes. That time of year up here is quite warm and I have lost count of the Japanese small capacity (oil, not engine) bikes smoking their heads off, whilst my large sump Ducati runs only slightly hotter than normal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you James - that's pretty much what I suspected. Not being a mechanical engineer though I was searching for a bit more factual information.
 

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Re: (sapearl)

It is certainly not careless. Volvos powetrain engineers are among the most conservative out there. Having a large sump and the complicated windage trays that accompany it adds a lot of cost, not to mention the production cost of 8 qts of oil in each engine. They justify the expense because durability is still paramount in Sweden. As for oil used, factory fill is a semi-synthetic. In Europe the recommended oil for Volvo engines is a semi-synthetic or full synthetic that meets ACEA A5/B5 specifications. The reason for this is that they have a 30,000 KM (18,000 miles) oil change interval. Yes, that is not a typo. In North America, the oil change interval is 7,500 miles, which only requires a mineral based oil. Two different sets of customers. Europeans are willing to pay for Synthetic, but only at very infrequent intervals. Americans are much more willing to have frequent intervals, but the cost should not be excessive. I run mobile 1 in my personal Volvos, my best performance so far was a 2002 S80 T6 with original turbos running VERY strong at 120K miles.
 

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Re: (cdauerer)

You gentlemen WADR are whistling in the dark. The T4 engine in the R, which is the most powerful, most developed, and most raced engine Volvo ever made takes 5.5 US Qts. And it has a special baffled oil pan, and so the 5.5 Qts. is not an accident.

Using a large volume of oil for cooling is out of the past. Does the US 3.2 have an oil cooler? With modern synthetics you don't need the quantity of oil that use to be common in the old days.

Large capacity sumps, think of the Jaguar I6 XK engine with its 4 inch stroke and loose rings, or even better the Jaguar V12 which if memory serves (please correct me if I wrong) had a 14 Qt sump. A monument to Jaguar engineering of the time.

I will skip over the environmental impact of the extra 2 Qts, even though Volvo is pushing its greenness these days.

There is no reason for 8 qts on a low stress engine like the US 3.2. other than what I said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: (Sausca)

I take it by low stress you mean a Turbo would fall into the category of higher stress due to it's performance design?

Quote, originally posted by Sausca »
......There is no reason for 8 qts on a low stress engine like the US 3.2. other than what I said.

 

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Re: (sapearl)

By stress I mean power over volume (i.e. hp per cubic inch). The stress if any generated by a Turbo would be a function of its design and pressure level in my vocabulary. I acknowledge that there are other types of stress such as that caused by type of use and conditions of use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: (Sausca)

And I guess that's the first thing that came to mind - typical stop and go urban traffic, mixed with high speed freeway, interrupted by crawling high-temp gridlock, and (some) drivers being lazy about their mtce/oil change schedules. That's my concept of typical engine stress


And it's that "new" mtce. schedule that I now have to get used to.

I've almost been religious about getting the oil and filter changed evey 3K-4K miles on the American cars we've owned. This practice helped four of our vehicles survive to 100K or beyond over the past 30 years. So mentally I have to adjust to the concept of 7500 mile intervals. But seeing the mechanics of a larger oil sump helps my understanding of the situation a bit better now.

Quote, originally posted by Sausca »
By stress I mean power over volume (i.e. hp per cubic inch). The stress if any generated by a Turbo would be a function of its design and pressure level in my vocabulary. I acknowledge that there are other types of stress such as that caused by type of use and conditions of use.
 

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Re: (sapearl)

Quote, originally posted by sapearl »
I've almost been religious about getting the oil and filter changed evey 3K-4K miles on the American cars we've owned. This practice helped four of our vehicles survive to 100K or beyond over the past 30 years. So mentally I have to adjust to the concept of 7500 mile intervals. But seeing the mechanics of a larger oil sump helps my understanding of the situation a bit better now.

I wouldn't run dino oil for 7500 miles; even in a non turbo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: (MagoonR)

I'd hope the dealership would use something better than that


Quote, originally posted by MagoonR »


I wouldn't run dino oil for 7500 miles; even in a non turbo.
 

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Re: (sapearl)

Quote, originally posted by sapearl »
I'd hope the dealership would use something better than that

At best, synthetic blend.........but ask first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: (MagoonR)

I hear you ....... still a couple of thousand away from that first (complimentary) oil change so there is a little time. BTW, on average what are you folks paying in the U.S. for the (subsequent regular) oil change, filter and lube at the dealership?

Quote, originally posted by MagoonR »


At best, synthetic blend.........but ask first.
 

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Re: (sapearl)

Quote, originally posted by sapearl »
I hear you ....... still a couple of thousand away from that first (complimentary) oil change so there is a little time. BTW, on average what are you folks paying in the U.S. for the (subsequent regular) oil change, filter and lube at the dealership?

I bring my own Mobil 1 and pay around $25-$30 for the filter, labor, checks, etc.
 

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Re: (MagoonR)

Everybodies situation is not the same. I am aware of leased cars that never, repeat never, have the oil changed, the thought being it is just a waste of money. The car is going back before it explodes so why bother.

If you own the car, expect to keep it for an extended period, and use it either a lot or hard, then synthetic or at least semi-synthetic is appropriate.

I go to Costco and pick up a case of Mobil 1 for maybe $25.00 and pay the dealer $27.00 for the service. The dealer will sell you the same oil for $40.00 if you prefer or you could go with the bulk dino oil most Volvo dealers use. Unfortunately you are going to have to pick up two cases because your car takes 8 qts, whereas mine takes 5.5 qts. That two quarts is going to add $8 to the cost of the oil change.

Complementary of not, and the synthetic isn't, I went with Mobil 1 from the first change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Re: (MagoonR)

Are you using the dealership or an independent mechanic?

Quote, originally posted by MagoonR »


I bring my own Mobil 1 and pay around $25-$30 for the filter, labor, checks, etc.
 
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