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5W-30 out 0W-20 In

9508 Views 57 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  Ultrarunner511
For my 40K service today I see that the dealer used 0W-20 synthetic oil and not the 5W-30 used 11 months ago for the 30K service. Dealer told me that 0W-20 is the new specification issued by Volvo.
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They'll pry 5W-30 out of my cold dead hands. It used to be volvo spec, for me it shall continue to be volvo spec.

Is volvo trying to save the whales or amazon rain forest with this move? Who knows. But out here in TX it's 110F in the shade during the summer and I want a nice thick oil since it soon breaks down anyway.
It wasn't "Volvo Spec". While your manual may say 5W-30 recommended (given the spec oil wasn't available in the US initially), Volvo Spec has been VCC RBS0-2AE/SAE 0W-20 from inception on all SPA cars. It could be found through a few sources originally in the US - there's LiquiMoly, Ravensol, Total, and Castrol that I've seen. If you read further in your manual it even says for Extreme Engine Operation to use Volvo Spec 0W-20. Why wouldn't you want to use the oil the engine was designed too especially in extreme conditions? There's a really good discussion that Billlk9989 pointed you to that yields the same conclusion.
I won't change the oil that was spec'd for my engine at time of manufacture until I see a Service Bulletin from Volvo that blesses the latest technology oil for my engine. I'm sure the new spec that the dealer switched to is appropriate for the current year model, but what about older cars? The dealership I worked at had one big bulk oil tank. Whatever the flavor that was in the tank went in every oil change. Turns out that product was what caused the cam lobes to scrub off the camshafts. That Service Bulletin, and my oil change records can make or break a goodwill plea to Volvo, or, worst case, a $5,000 limit small claims case if everything goes Tango Uniform.
DON'T CHANGE YOURS! The spec we're talking about is only for 2016+ XC90 using the new VEA 4 Cyl engines. In our 2010 XC90 3.2 I do use the recommended German Castrol 0W-40 for extreme operation since we tow under a wide variety of conditions ranging from 10°F to 110°F and in our 2017 XC90 T8 I use the spec we're discussing here. Each has its own spec and design requirements.
Wow, pretty official

Ok where is this available for purchase? Only place I saw was ebay
CarParts Discount is where I've been getting LiquiMoly Special Tec V 0W-20. There are other places where I've also seen it including by Total and Ravensol which make special Volvo flavored 0W-20. I've not seen Castrol's version except at our dealer but I had been taking LiquiMoly to them since our first 10k service in 2018. Back then they were using 5W-30 which I wanted to avoid since we do tow a lot. About 14% of our miles driven with our T8 are towing (our 2010 has been even a higher %) year round and in extreme winter conditions over mountain passes.

See the "Extreme engine operation" section - to me that was an indication that it was the better choice overall.

Although ours is a T8, I would imagine you have the same in your owner's manual plus under our hood we have this label which was likely something they didn't want to sacrifice on for T8 models given they need to survive a higher rate of cold engine starts while the vehicle is already at speed and on/off cycles than a T6. The ICE is the same between T6 and T8 with the difference being the extra electric drive bits.
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I am not sure how they can legally do this however...

If you can "only use" Castrol Pro, and it is not available outside of a volvo dealership... then they have to do the service for free. If Liquid Moly and other oils that meet their spec are not allowed under the warranty, then they must provide the oil changes for free. Or get sued.
There have been a few Volvo approved oils with Volvo Spec RBS0-2AE/SAE 0W-20 in the market since the SPA XC90 were introduced. While for the a few years Volvo Cars US deviated from the WW standard of RBS0-2AE 0W-20 in the US and going with Castrol Synthetic 5W-30 as the recommended oil they have snapped to the global standard and are not also getting Castrol's flavor of RBS0-2AE 0W-20 to be available. It's their recommended and RBS0-2AE 0W-20 is the new requirement. I've been using LiquiMoly Tec V RBS0-2AE 0W-20 and others here have been using it or Ravenol (also another trusted German brand). I believe Total is also available with the same Volvo required spec.

Why do you feel it's a legal issue when there have been options and continue to be options that are with Volvo Cars' requirement?
I myself wonder at this, because Volvo says the oils must meet ACEA A5/B5... but most oils that meet this spec are 5w-30, not 0w-20.

The Volvo spec oils in 0w-20 I have seen meet ACEA A1/B1 and C5.
That's right, A5/B5 was the interim requirement specific for 5W-30 oils and it isn't in spec for 0W-20. They are exclusive of each other. The 0W-20 oil's spec is RBS0-2AE. This is how the manual in the US read; in the context of 5W-30 it must be A5/B5 when they were recommending a more conventional weight of oil in the US as an exception to their global standard. Note, ROW was 0W-20 exclusively.

See below, Initially in the US the manual was written specifying an A5/B5 based on 5W-30 as providing "good fuel economy and engine protection" under "normal use". And, it was always clear that for the best protection you should seek out VCC RBS0-2AE 0W-20 especially for "extreme engine operation".

Clearly after a few years of sampling 5W-30, it's proved not to be sufficient, there have been documented engine failures due to inadequate flow around the pistons (examples in this forum from 5W-30), and they've snapped the US over to the ROW 0W-20 using RBS0-2AE.

This new insert makes it a clearer distinction that A5/B5 is for 5W-30 and exclusive of RBS0-2AE 0W-20. It also more clearly states, that RBS0-2AE 0W-20 is the preferred oil in 4-cyl VEA. And a proper warning indicating NOT to use it in 5 or 6cyl engines which weren't designed for use with that viscosity.

The VEA 4Cyl engines were designed with different and more precise tolerances for which 0W-20 is required as has been shown by other forum posts where piston rings and piston replacements demonstrated how 5W-30 tended to clog the rings. Upon engine rebuilds or replacements Volvo explicitly states use of anything other than RBS0-2AE 0W-20 voids any warranty that was conferred to the repair or new engine.

The move to 0W-20 is intentional for new fuel efficiency standards and in many cases, like in Volvo's new SPA cars, by design of the engine to necessitate 0W-20. A5/B5 5W-30 ultimately didn't meet the viscosity and wear requirements to adequately service VEP engines. Volvo's very proactive campaign direct to owners and through its dealer network makes it clear that 0W-20 is the engine oil that best works in these engines.

There are a few here who have either modified 😜 their 4cyl with parts from the P2 XC90 parts bin (2014 and older) that were designed for use with 5W-30 or synthetic 0W-40 for extreme use (what we use in our 2010), or know better 🧐 than engineers who designed the engines to work with specific weights. There have been a few posts mentioning consequences of using 5W-30 which have led to clogged piston rings and other issues which likely contributed to Volvo pivoting to their design standard to also apply in the US for the new 4 cylinder engines in SPA and CMA cars.
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Got the results back from the Amsoil 5w30 Signature oil on the 2017. I'm equally unimpressed as with the 0w20 Eurp oil. I will no longer be using Amsoil. Even Pennzoil Ultra 5w30 yielded better metal wear numbers overall. I'm starting to think Amsoil is a gimmick, even with carrying Volvo's spec.

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Is Amsoil an Amway style of home/pyramid scheme type of sales model?

We're on a big road trip and currently going through Midwest. I've never seen it before and now just at about every home we drive by in WI towns and on rural highways advertise "Amsoil sold here". Even a couple of NAPA stores I've seen the sign in the window.
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