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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello All, I could sure some help. I own a 2005 V70R and it turns out that the car is making me sick. I thought it was exhaust (or burning oil) from other cars, but it's mine. I recently discovered this, when my sister drove me around for a week (while recovering from surgery)... no exhaust smell.... no getting sick. We took my car one day and both smelled the noxious fumes and both ended up with a headache.

I recently moved to Austin, so I have no mechanic. I visited two mechanics that specialize in Volvos, but I'm concerned about both.

First Mechanic:
1) could not smell the exhaust, but confirmed slight leak in exhaust manifold that seals when engine heats up. They quoted me $800 to replace the gaskets.
2) Noticed slight leak in upper cam seal. $700 (+ $245 if also changing timing belt)
3) Breather Box - Slight positive pressure - $660.

Note, I've had a slow loss of oil in the last years. I've been frustrated that nobody can tell me the source (until now). This has recently gotten worse, so breather seems to make sense, given the cluster of symptoms.

Second:

1) Said they noticed the exhaust leak, but quoted $420 just to inspect the exhaust manifold. He mentioned that the bolts may just need tightening and nothing else. I asked about the high side and, when pressed, said $700+ if the bolts were cracked and needed to be removed/replaced. I asked about the need to gaskets and he said that my car wasn't old enough (2005 with 175K mi).
2) Noticed slight oil leak in upper cam seal; said it was minor.
3) I asked about PCV breather box. He said the pressure was slightly positive and not too bad. He also mentioned that the check engine light would go on if there was a problem.
4) Said my oil cap seal was bad (and replaced it)



I have concerns about both. I thought any positive pressure could lead to oil leaks, which I now have.

Any advice?
 

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I'd be concerned about any shop that says positive pressure in the PCV system is okay. Maybe they want to replace all the crank and cam seals once it blows.

I'd definitely get the PCV system serviced soon. $600 isn't too bad, if replacing everything. $300 parts, $300 labor. If the oil return is clogged, it might require dropping the oil pan. If all they are doing is the breather box, then I'd look elsewhere. Too many hoses go bad.

The exhaust leak could be the gasket or a cracked manifold. It's not a difficult job, if the nuts come off or the studs come out of the head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I'd be concerned about any shop that says positive pressure in the PCV system is okay. Maybe they want to replace all the crank and cam seals once it blows.

I'd definitely get the PCV system serviced soon. $600 isn't too bad, if replacing everything. $300 parts, $300 labor. If the oil return is clogged, it might require dropping the oil pan. If all they are doing is the breather box, then I'd look elsewhere. Too many hoses go bad.

The exhaust leak could be the gasket or a cracked manifold. It's not a difficult job, if the nuts come off or the studs come out of the head.
Thanks so much, Exocet, for the reply. Regarding the slightly positive pressure and Mechanic #2, I was worried about the same (dismissing the slightly positive pressure)... even though I knew very little about the PCV system and had to do some reading. Do you think replacing the PCV system might relieve the slight oil leakage?

The exhaust in the cabin is critical. Mechanic #2 mentioned rattling sound on start up was caused by the exhaust manifold. He and also mentioned that recirculation still allows 10% outside air, where the intake is near the engine. Mechanic #1 just said I had an exhaust leak that seals, after the engine warms, but didn't notice the exhaust in the cabin.

At times, I have had some significant noxious fumes enter the cabin on the highway, after the engine is warm.
 

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Positive PCV pressure can causes oil leaks. Bad enough, it can blow out oil seals.

One way to test for an exhaust leak is using a smoke test. It will be able to pinpoint the leak.
 

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Those labor quotes are pretty high excluding the pcv.

Pcv should always be under vacuum. There is a pcv banjo bolt check valve update that prevents any boost from getting into the crank case.

5 cylinders tend to develop exhaust manifold leaks after time due to a less than stellar design on the original gaskets. The solution is to use the 3 layer single piece gasket from a P1 or P3 car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Those labor quotes are pretty high excluding the pcv.

There is a pcv banjo bolt check valve update that prevents any boost from getting into the crank case.

5 cylinders tend to develop exhaust manifold leaks after time due to a less than stellar design on the original gaskets. The solution is to use the 3 layer single piece gasket from a P1 or P3 car.
Thank you ScottishBrick... good to know... and thanks for the banjo bolt information: https://www.ipdusa.com/products/6616/115127-pcv-banjo-bolt-genuine-volvo-8653884

Now, I know to ask.

You both are confirming my concern about the "slightly positive pressure".

Also, thanks for the manifold history and the gut check on the costs. After I pressed mechanic #2 about an estimate for a new timing belt, he quoted $1983. This included - - timing belt $230
- water pump $172
- coolant $22
- flange screw $20
- Thermostat Assy $163
- Cam plug, rear $30
- Belt - $53
- Cam Seal Front - $25
- Balance Shaft Seal - $25
- Seal Brown Cam/Intermediate and Front Crank - $23
- Seal Cam Front - $15
6 hrs labor

Total almost $2k

Could you expound on the following?
The solution is to use the 3 layer single piece gasket from a P1 or P3 car.
Do you see any issues with using Elring gaskets? #1 told me that Elring produces the Volvo brand gaskets.

Aside from the PCV... my equally big or bigger concern is the noxious fumes... not good. I just started the car cold and there's definitely a very strong smell of exhaust and clicking sound under the hood. Also strong noxious oder at the tailpipe.
 

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Thank you ScottishBrick... good to know... and thanks for the banjo bolt information: https://www.ipdusa.com/products/6616/115127-pcv-banjo-bolt-genuine-volvo-8653884

Now, I know to ask.

You both are confirming my concern about the "slightly positive pressure".

Also, thanks for the manifold history and the gut check on the costs. After I pressed mechanic #2 about an estimate for a new timing belt, he quoted $1983. This included - - timing belt $230
- water pump $172
- coolant $22
- flange screw $20
- Thermostat Assy $163
- Cam plug, rear $30
- Belt - $53
- Cam Seal Front - $25
- Balance Shaft Seal - $25
- Seal Brown Cam/Intermediate and Front Crank - $23
- Seal Cam Front - $15
6 hrs labor

Total almost $2k

Could you expound on the following?

Do you see any issues with using Elring gaskets? #1 told me that Elring produces the Volvo brand gaskets.
You trim the 3 layer single piece gasket on one end to clear bolt or something and then you have a gasket that will not fail.

Your mechanic is quoting significantly higher than blue box over the counter prices on those parts and I doubt they'd actually use genuine Volvo. Find someone else. Book time on the t belt is like 3 hrs and you can do it much quicker if you know what you're doing.
 

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The pcv banjo bolt update is Volvo 31325709



Note the bar that retains the check valve inside it.

Some PN's for you for cost reference.

Manifold gasket:

Volvo 8699467



T Belt Replacement

Belt / Tensioner / Idler

Volvo 30731727

$137

Water pump/ gasket / bolts

Volvo 30751700

$137

Thermostat is not replaced during T belt service and nor should it be added into this service.

Coolant is appropriately priced for volvo blue.

Cams do not have plugs this motor is dual vvt it has 2x rear cam seals.

Rear cam seal Volvo 9443310 $23 (x2)

Whiteblocks do not have a balance shaft, no idea what the f*ck theyre talking about with that.

Front cam seals are not the same as the front crank seal either.

Front cam (dual vvt) seal Volvo 9458309 x2 $23

The front main seal is part of the oil pump and essentially never fails. This isnt part of t belt replacement either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Your mechanic is quoting significantly higher than blue box over the counter prices on those parts and I doubt they'd actually use genuine Volvo. Find someone else. Book time on the t belt is like 3 hrs and you can do it much quicker if you know what you're doing.
That $2k quote was mechanic #2, and yes, that seemed very high to me. Mechanic #1 quoted $695 for front/rear cam seals +$245 for timing belt kit (parts and labor), but I'm not sure what's included. Mechanic #1 says he uses Elring for seals and Volvo parts for the PCV. Dare I say it... I'm thinking of bringing the car to a dealership for the work.

I just confirmed that there is a rattling and severe exhaust fumes on fully cold start (engine and tailpipe). The noxious fumes weren't present, when I brought it to mechanic #1 (engine warm), but he did say it had a slight leak in exhaust manifold that sealed, when engine warmed. That said, I think mechanic #2 noticed the tapping sound at slightly cooled start-up. I'm wondering if there's a bait and switch going on with #2... $400 to have a look and after my car is taken apart, very high cost to tap out and replace the bolts. #2 seemed uncomfortable, when I questioned him about the high side. He said STE hopefully it's just loose bolts and that would be it... but that concerned me. I couldn't get a clear fix on the cost if the bolts were broken.

If I removed the heat shield... it think that's what it is... would I be able to visually inspect the exhaust manifold and see any missing or cracked bolts and/or blown seal? Is it easy? I don't normally work on cars, and only do very simple things... plus all my tools are in storage... plus can't lift over 10 lbs (30 if I remove the safety factor) at the moment (surgery).

Is my car worth the investment? I guess I have no choice at present. I heard rumor that they're actually appreciating at the moment.
 

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Carbon Monoxide getting into the cab is very serious. I would start by looking at the entry points for exhaust gasses. You may find that exhaust is entering from the rear of the car, like a damaged rear hatch seal, poorly adjusted rear hatch, missing rubber plugs in body cavities, and the like. The back end of the car creates a low pressure zone when underway that's loaded with exhaust gasses that may not smell. Carbon Monoxide is a byproduct of gasoline combustion no matter how well tuned or properly catalyzed exhaust may be. It's odorless and colorless and binds to red blood cells, affecting the bloods ability to carry oxygen.
Of course all of the possible faults mentioned could be the cause, but please look for ingress pathways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Carbon Monoxide getting into the cab is very serious. I would start by looking at the entry points for exhaust gasses. You may find that exhaust is entering from the rear of the car, like a damaged rear hatch seal, poorly adjusted rear hatch, missing rubber plugs in body cavities, and the like. The back end of the car creates a low pressure zone when underway that's loaded with exhaust gasses that may not smell. Carbon Monoxide is a byproduct of gasoline combustion no matter how well tuned or properly catalyzed exhaust may be. It's odorless and colorless and binds to red blood cells, affecting the bloods ability to carry oxygen.
Of course all of the possible faults mentioned could be the cause, but please look for ingress pathways.
Yes, I definitely agree. I actually jumped out of the car to check the cold start up... very... abnormally strong noxious odor in engine compartment and tailpipe right at start up that goes away, when idling warm. I think it's coming in through the 10% ventilation, when AC is on recirculation, but I'll do a more thorough check of seals.
 

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Yes, I definitely agree. I actually jumped out of the car to check the cold start up... very... abnormally strong noxious odor in engine compartment and tailpipe right at start up that goes away, when idling warm. I think it's coming in through the 10% ventilation, when AC is on recirculation, but I'll do a more thorough check of seals.
Likely leaking on cylinder 5. It's common.

Exhaust manifold studs usually are well behaved and stay in or come out easily.

The dealership ain't cheap but short of a whiteblock and R specialist they will be acceptable and use genuine parts
 

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One other thing to check, is the rubber trim at the back of the engine bay (attached to the cowl plastic) still present? Some people remove it for reasons like more engine noise and better engine bay cooling but it can lead to exactly what you're talking about, engine fumes coming right inside the vent. Maybe look for other pathways for engine fumes to get in the cowl, because that's not really supposed to happen.
 

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Have you spoken to any mechanics that will install your parts? You could buy everything you need from FCP (lifetime warranty) and get them to install them. Some mechanics refuse to do this though, or will only agree to do it if you agree there is no warranty on the installation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
One other thing to check, is the rubber trim at the back of the engine bay (attached to the cowl plastic) still present? Some people remove it for reasons like more engine noise and better engine bay cooling but it can lead to exactly what you're talking about, engine fumes coming right inside the vent. Maybe look for other pathways for engine fumes to get in the cowl, because that's not really supposed to happen.
Thanks. I'm not sure what you mean right now, because I can't go look at it. I decided to drop it with the dealer; it wasn't much more expensive that the independent and the work will have a warranty. My trim should be there, because I definitely didn't remove it.

I really think this is an abnormal leak somewhere in the exhaust system, because it's very noticeable outside the car at startup. The dealer was super busy, but squeezed me in same day. I'm guessing it's because it's a downright dangerous situation. There are several neurotoxic VOCs in exhaust and this wasn't even making it to the catalytic converter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Have you spoken to any mechanics that will install your parts? You could buy everything you need from FCP (lifetime warranty) and get them to install them. Some mechanics refuse to do this though, or will only agree to do it if you agree there is no warranty on the installation.
I finally decided to drop it with the dealer; their estimate wasn't much more than the independent and the work will have a warranty. The dealer was super busy, but squeezed me in same day. I'm guessing it's because it's a downright dangerous situation. There are several neurotoxic VOCs in exhaust, including the dreaded BTX (Benzene, Toluene, and Xylene that has a combined effect), and this wasn't even making it to the catalytic converter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
The dealer couldn't find any exhaust leak, so I had the breather box with hoses, timing belt, and cam seals replaced. They did say that when they brought to the back, everyone was looking at it, and said, "Damn, she takes care of her car." I just wish they still made the drip mouldings.
 

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Well that sucks. You have fumes in the car and they claim no leaks. What? Wtf. And why hasn't anyone, or the mechs, mentioned the condition of the flex pipe. It's hard to tell when they leak due to the braid. First mech was better but neither great. Should have reco'd a timing belt WP kit and seals. No option to do just seals, and never just belt.

What I notice on mine is if i have the sunroof up it draws in exhaust fumes. Not sure if from front or back, but in the trunk there are two vents behind the wheels. Mine was missing the air diverters and it sucks in dust back there. If it leaks under the car it could be drawn in with a draft. But if all your windows are closed it shouldn't really get in.. the hvac system intakes air from the cowling which should be sealed from the engine bay with the hood seal, plenty of fresh air anyway.

Possibly someone changed the lower steering shaft and didn't get the seal back on the inside, but still you have an exhaust leak period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
What is at the bottom of the fresh air pipe part #30680447?

The noxious gas at startup seems to be gone. I'm hoping that this was the problem, rather than exhaust. Is it possible that it was blow-by gases or related to the positive pressure and damaged seals? The next step is to change the cabin filter now that this work is done.

... It's hard to tell when they leak due to the braid.

...but in the trunk there are two vents behind the wheels. Mine was missing the air diverters and it sucks in dust back there. If it leaks under the car it could be drawn in with a draft. But if all your windows are closed it shouldn't really get in.. the hvac system intakes air from the cowling which should be sealed from the engine bay with the hood seal, plenty of fresh air anyway.

Possibly someone changed the lower steering shaft and didn't get the seal back on the inside, but still you have an exhaust leak period.
I had a friend hold a rag over the tailpipe... I couldn't smell a change near the braid. Steering shaft has never been changed. I have a V70R, so no trunk. Where exactly are the HVAC intakes?
 
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