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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Friend's 2013 S60 T5 Platinum AWD with the B525T12 produced a 'low oil' warning while she was taking a sharp turn today. She says she makes that turn a lot and has never gotten the message before today. I know these engines burn oil, and am looking for ways to determine ...
  • if there is a problem at all (I plan on performing the digital check right now, and maybe getting after that dipstick)
  • how to tell what's wrong (consumption test, etc.)
  • possible remedies (other than a huge engine job)
I would also love input from anybody with a similar-vintage S60 2.5 T5, or expertise. I will be combing the forums for more info, of course.

She's going in to the dealer soon for an oil change, as well as a long list of other things that need looking at. I've also been pestering her to replace the vital (and now 8-year-old) timing belt. The other things on the list are as follows:
  • new cabin air filter (AC has some funk to it)
  • transmission drain & refill with new fluid, possible VIDA reset to fix the annoying shift habits
  • unplugging the dormant satellite radio module to prevent phantom battery drain (which I hope to figure out myself)
  • and MAYBE a Haldex screen replacement, or fluid change
  • small seepages of oil and power steering fluid need to be monitored as well
Any thoughts are appreciated! Sorry if it seems like I'm posting prematurely, but I wanted to provide some specific info and get feedback ASAP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hi all,

Friend's 2013 S60 T5 Platinum AWD with the B525T12 produced a 'low oil' warning while she was taking a sharp turn today. She says she makes that turn a lot and has never gotten the message before today. I know these engines burn oil, and am looking for ways to determine ...
  • if there is a problem at all (I plan on performing the digital check right now, and maybe getting after that dipstick)
  • how to tell what's wrong (consumption test, etc.)
  • possible remedies (other than a huge engine job)
I would also love input from anybody with a similar-vintage S60 2.5 T5, or expertise. I will be combing the forums for more info, of course.

She's going in to the dealer soon for an oil change, as well as a long list of other things that need looking at. I've also been pestering her to replace the vital (and now 8-year-old) timing belt. The other things on the list are as follows:
  • new cabin air filter (AC has some funk to it)
  • transmission drain & refill with new fluid, possible VIDA reset to fix the annoying shift habits
  • unplugging the dormant satellite radio module to prevent phantom battery drain (which I hope to figure out myself)
  • and MAYBE a Haldex screen replacement, or fluid change
  • small seepages of oil and power steering fluid need to be monitored as well
Any thoughts are appreciated! Sorry if it seems like I'm posting prematurely, but I wanted to provide some specific info and get feedback ASAP.
Update: just checked the oil level. Weirdly, the dipstick did not come back super wet, but there was orange-brown-ness past the XXXXX. There is oil in it, but my skill (if you can't tell) is very limited.

Confirmed that the timing belt has not been replaced, and that the upper torque mount is shot. This is turning into one expensive oil change...
 

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S60 B5254t12 tf-80sc AWD
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You never mention how many miles it has? Have the dealer preform an oil consumption test since the car is having an oil change. Is your friend the original owner? Do they go to the dealer for service or a 3rd party shop?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You never mention how many miles it has? Have the dealer preform an oil consumption test since the car is having an oil change. Is your friend the original owner? Do they go to the dealer for service or a 3rd party shop?
Sorry, I was very remiss not to specify. We bought the car in October with 49k miles from its 3rd owner who had been using it to commute. It now has 55,1XX on the clock. We've taken it to the local Volvo dealer once for service (a full once-over including oil and new brakes); otherwise not sure.

How much does an oil consumption test cost, if anybody knows?
 

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Sorry, I was very remiss not to specify. We bought the car in October with 49k miles from its 3rd owner who had been using it to commute. It now has 55,1XX on the clock. We've taken it to the local Volvo dealer once for service (a full once-over including oil and new brakes); otherwise not sure.

How much does an oil consumption test cost, if anybody knows?
The oil consumption test AFAIK is around $400. Volvo issued a Technical Journal outlining an issue with the piston rings in the b5254t12 engine causing oil consumption, the solution is to replace the piston rings. It's a $4k job that Volvo will sometimes cover for the original owner with dealer service history, so that is probably out the window for you. Based on the fact that it only has 55k miles I wouldn't say the consumption can be attributed to the turbo consuming oil like they do with higher miles. It probably is the piston rings unless you see it leaking out of the block somewhere. If you're savvy enough take out the spark plugs and see what they look like.
 

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My understanding is that high oil consumption in certain Volvo models is due to a very particular piston and ring design that has a tendency to get clogged up with combustion residuals, and when this happens, the oil scraper ring is not able to shunt oil from the cylinder wall into the piston, where it can drop into the engine sump. When this happens, some of the oil ends up in the combustion chamber, where it is burned up and becomes part of the exhaust stream. With frequent oil changes, and also with using a low viscosity oil, the issue might never come up. If the car is mostly driven on trips of more than 10 miles, at freeway speed, that would help keep the rings and pistons clean, as well. However, frequent oil changes, such as the 3000 mile interval many of us are following, does generate waste oil that must be safely disposed of. So that is something to be considered, as well.
 

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With frequent oil changes, and also with using a low viscosity oil, the issue might never come up. If the car is mostly driven on trips of more than 10 miles, at freeway speed, that would help keep the rings and pistons clean, as well. However, frequent oil changes, such as the 3000 mile interval many of us are following, does generate waste oil that must be safely disposed of. So that is something to be considered, as well.
Not necessarily. My engine developed this oil burning issue around 40k miles. I was driving 20-30 miles to work every day at this time and I changed the oil at 3500 mile intervals then (once in between dealer services). Mine was so bad piston ring replacement didn't fix the problem. They gave me a new engine which hasn't burned a drop since. After that synthetic oil was used and I stayed on the 7500 mile change interval. That 3000 mile OCI mentality was hard to break but I'm a believer now.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Not necessarily. My engine developed this oil burning issue around 40k miles. I was driving 20-30 miles to work every day at this time and I changed the oil at 3500 mile intervals then (once in between dealer services). Mine was so bad piston ring replacement didn't fix the problem. They gave me a new engine which hasn't burned a drop since. After that synthetic oil was used and I stayed on the 7500 mile change interval. That 3000 mile OCI mentality was hard to break but I'm a believer now.
Oh, that is interesting. I do wish we knew a little more about the car's history ... or that my friend wasn't the 4th owner. (We got a screaming deal on it though!)

If Volvo replaces the piston rings to no avail (that is, if my friend is willing to pay for that job), and it doesn't solve the problem, will they apply their goodwill to a bigger engine redo? Or is that wishful thinking?

Could she add a quart at interval and drive it until the catalytic converter packs up?

There's also still a possibility that it just seeps or leaks a little, or that the turbo is sucking some, OR that the PCV is causing problems (although I've heard no PCV whistling). There's no CEL and no blue smoke, and the exhaust tips are okay-ish-looking. Car drives like a dream (except for that stupid Aisin transmission hiccupping all the time).

Could it be time for a VEA T5 (37mpg) or maybe a T6 ? ... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Not necessarily. My engine developed this oil burning issue around 40k miles. I was driving 20-30 miles to work every day at this time and I changed the oil at 3500 mile intervals then (once in between dealer services). Mine was so bad piston ring replacement didn't fix the problem. They gave me a new engine which hasn't burned a drop since. After that synthetic oil was used and I stayed on the 7500 mile change interval. That 3000 mile OCI mentality was hard to break but I'm a believer now.
Could we switch to synthetic and leave the oil in for the longer interval, and cross our fingers?
 

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My 2005 S60 2.5T uses about 1/2 quart of oil per 3000 miles. The transmission fluid has been drained and replaced with fresh ATF. The transmission works fine, across the speed range. The odometer says 128, 250 miles. If we traded cars, the first thing I would do is add one quart of Marvel Mystery Oil to the engine sump, and the next thing I would do is remove and replace the transmission fluid. However, I am not always right, and there is no guarantee that this would clean up the pistons and rings, and reduce oil consumption. Note that Marvel Mystery Oil is a mixture of hydrocarbon solvents, and has low viscosity. It is supposed to be kept below 20% of total engine oil volume.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My 2005 S60 2.5T uses about 1/2 quart of oil per 3000 miles. The transmission fluid has been drained and replaced with fresh ATF. The transmission works fine, across the speed range. The odometer says 128, 250 miles. If we traded cars, the first thing I would do is add one quart of Marvel Mystery Oil to the engine sump, and the next thing I would do is remove and replace the transmission fluid. However, I am not always right, and there is no guarantee that this would clean up the pistons and rings, and reduce oil consumption. Note that Marvel Mystery Oil is a mixture of hydrocarbon solvents, and has low viscosity. It is supposed to be kept below 20% of total engine oil volume.
I would love to try the Mystery Oil, if I could convince the owners of the car to let me experiment. The transmission fluid most definitely needs replacing. I told my friend that, were she to add a little oil now and then, she might not have any problems. She seemed receptive to that idea. Many thanks for this information!
 

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Could we switch to synthetic and leave the oil in for the longer interval, and cross our fingers?
Switching to synthetic oil now probably won't resolve your issue but it also won't contribute to the problem. If the rings are clogged they have to be cleaned or replaced. Keep in mind the oil light in these cars is not an oil level warning. It is a no oil pressure warning so depending how long/many times this light has appeared, damage may have occurred to the engine As it was starved of oil. I personally would not buy a car that has had a no oil pressure light.

Additionally, Volvo may or may not offer assistance for a ring job, most likely not to a third or fourth owner. Most definitely not for an engine replacement. My car was still under warranty.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Was going to post a video of the exhaust tips and car idling. Website says it doesn't have an allowed extension. Will keep trying
 
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