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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello!

Just picked up this beauty the other day. 207,000 kilometres (128,000 miles) for $3,900 CAD ($2,950 USD). The previous owner was a middle-aged mom who got the car serviced at a Volvo specialist and seemed to take pretty good care of the car and didn't abuse it. The timing belt was replaced 56,000 kilometres (34,800 miles) ago. I feel like I got a pretty decent deal overall, and am happy about the purchase. Just did an oil change with some High Mileage Castrol 5w-30 synthetic blend, and am currently working on restoring the headlight lenses.

There are a few issues that I was aware of before purchasing and would like to address as soon as possible.

The most pressing/concerning of those issues being the unidentified oil leakage. I was made aware of this in the pre-purchase inspection and also noticed it myself, but there seems to be oil seeping out of the driver's side of the engine, near the timing belt, and there is old oil all over different components in that area, as well as on the underside of the car on the driver's side as well. I don't have much of a clue where this oil would be coming from, or what could be causing it. How concerned should I be about this, and what steps should I take next?

Other small issues include a check engine light pulling codes 9100 (clutch pedal sensor, car will start with foot off the clutch, I don't care about that), 120D (listed as "air mass" is this the mass airflow sensor?) 140D (ambient temperature sensor, but the reading for ambient temperature on the dash seems to be accurate), 9C03 (antenna/light ring signal missing), 0040 (air quality sensor internal fault), 0021 (Power window mechanism hall sensor 2. faulty signal), and P0072 (ambient air temperature sensor circuit "A" low). I wasn't too concerned with these as they are all pretty minor and don't seem to affect the overall driving experience of the car, so I'm planning to just change the mass airflow sensor and clear the rest of the codes.

The previous owner only had the service key, so I don't have keyless entry :( I think I'll just cough up the couple hundred extra bucks to get a proper master key from a dealership unless there is a cheaper solution?

The mechanic who did the PPI also noted that the front strut stopper is worn. Not too sure how concerned I should be about this.

Other than these issues the car is in good condition overall. It drives beautifully, and the engine very powerful and responsive.

I'm mainly looking for some advice about the oil leak, but any other feedback is welcome as well! Let me know if you wanna see any more pictures, or want any more info!

Thanks,

Duncan.
 

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Hi Duncan, and welcome to the forum. Lets address your question about the oil leak. the timing belt area is on the passenger side of the engine. Not the DS. The leak is likely coming from a cam seal.there is one for the intake cam and one for the exhaust cam. These will leak and eventually completely blow out if not addressed. The reason that they leak is positive crankcase pressure caused by a clogged PCV system. You can do a simple test to check crankcase pressure by taking off the oil fill cap and putting a light weight exam glove fitted over the cap opening. Run the engine at idle and look at the glove.It should suck in if the system is breathing properly. If it expands,you have positive pressure which will make seals leak. At that point,if positive pressure exists,you will have to do a complete service on the system and likely replace both cam seals. In addition,pop off the top timing belt cover and take a close look in there for oil seepage around the cam seals under the T belt sprockets. If it is leaking there also, plan on replacing those seals and the timing belt also. Hopefully you can do these things yourself and save a ton of $$$. All the info you need is in forums and Youtube. Do this first and then plan on the other issues you have discovered.
 

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Good advice. The pictures do show it coming from and he does say timing belt area.

THIS is an immediate need. I'd be super vigilant about not driving it until that is addressed. Serviced at a Volvo specialist? Hard to imagine that. Specialist should have prevented that or put an urgent message recommending this on one of the receipts to cover his ass. T5Ms are awesome. Nice buy!
Just replace the struts and as much of the front end as possible, as this will help the car's smoothness and handling greatly. Your leather seems to need a bit of moisture (although the closer I look, it's paneled and you have cloth+leather I think. That's unique, if so. Also - an improvement in crisp handling and responsiveness would be to go to 17's, but the wheels you have are kinda sleeper. Driver's HL looks newer. No accidents? Do you know what the hitch was used for? Bikes? Something too heavy for the clutch? Is the clutch good?
Hi Duncan, and welcome to the forum. Lets address your question about the oil leak. the timing belt area is on the passenger side of the engine. Not the DS. The leak is likely coming from a cam seal.there is one for the intake cam and one for the exhaust cam. These will leak and eventually completely blow out if not addressed. The reason that they leak is positive crankcase pressure caused by a clogged PCV system. You can do a simple test to check crankcase pressure by taking off the oil fill cap and putting a light weight exam glove fitted over the cap opening. Run the engine at idle and look at the glove.It should suck in if the system is breathing properly. If it expands,you have positive pressure which will make seals leak. At that point,if positive pressure exists,you will have to do a complete service on the system and likely replace both cam seals. In addition,pop off the top timing belt cover and take a close look in there for oil seepage around the cam seals under the T belt sprockets. If it is leaking there also, plan on replacing those seals and the timing belt also. Hopefully you can do these things yourself and save a ton of $$$. All the info you need is in forums and Youtube. Do this first and then plan on the other issues you have discovered.
 

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Hey! Welcome to the club!

On the oil leak - Looks like you've got a pretty good power steering fluid leak. Replace that power steering reservoir with the updated version part #30645621. You'll also need a new hose for that design part #30740267.The Power steering pump is pretty nasty too - It leaking at the shaft seal will whip that steering fluid right into that timing cover..May want to Pick ya one up outta the junkyard.

If you definitely have oil coming from behind the Timing cover you could potentially have a cam seal leak. You'll need to remove the upper and front timing covers to properly determine the source of the leak. Sometimes, when the oil cap gasket is hard/crusty doesnt seal oil will weep down the front side of the engine. Make sure you replace that if its not sealing well part #940096. At that mileage cam seals are common but you'll want to find a shop that's done them before. Before you change the air mass meter consider cleaning the throttle first. Or, clean it when the AMM is replaced.

Oh, and just be careful with that clutch pedal sensor, make sure anyone who drives it knows they can crank it in gear.
 

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Hey! Welcome to the club!

On the oil leak - Looks like you've got a pretty good power steering fluid leak. Replace that power steering reservoir with the updated version part #30645621. You'll also need a new hose for that design part #30740267.The Power steering pump is pretty nasty too - It leaking at the shaft seal will whip that steering fluid right into that timing cover..May want to Pick ya one up outta the junkyard.

If you definitely have oil coming from behind the Timing cover you could potentially have a cam seal leak. You'll need to remove the upper and front timing covers to properly determine the source of the leak. Sometimes, when the oil cap gasket is hard/crusty doesnt seal oil will weep down the front side of the engine. Make sure you replace that if its not sealing well part #940096. At that mileage cam seals are common but you'll want to find a shop that's done them before. Before you change the air mass meter consider cleaning the throttle first. Or, clean it when the AMM is replaced.

Oh, and just be careful with that clutch pedal sensor, make sure anyone who drives it knows they can crank it in gear.
This is more good advice. I just had a leak in that area that I miss diagnosed. I thought for sure my front crank seal was leaking. I removed the upper and lower covers and looked at the cam seals with a mirror very closely. Completely Dry! So I bought a new crank seal,oil pump gasket,Timing belt and bearings etc. When I removed the crank pully and lower plastic shield, I could see the area around the crank seal really good without removing the crankshaft T belt sprocket. It was bone dry also. It turns out that the power steering pump shaft has a slow leak that drips onto the stainless steel high pressure line that runs directly under the crank pully. The steering fluid travels down the tubing and creates a drip just below the pully and right above the engine mount. I am glad that I could actually see where it originated, so I didn't pull the sprocket and replace the seal. I only did a timing belt job that didn't need it! It had only 38 thou on it but I was there and a belt and bearings are only about $80.Looking at the PS pump,I can see that it has a shaft seal leaking.Not a bad leak but have to replace it asap so as to not get ps fluid flinging around in there. Anybody want 38 thou bearings and a belt for free?
 

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I love those seats with the 2 different fabrics. Im guessing thats a Canada spec thing ? Never seen those here in the states.
 

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I love those seats with the 2 different fabrics. Im guessing thats a Canada spec thing ? Never seen those here in the states.
Those are the base T5 "Nordborg" seats, my US spec 2005 V70 T5 M66 has them as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the great feedback guys!

I just took a closer look at the engine bay and tested for crankcase pressure like chefricky suggested. The glove was being sucked into the oil filler nicely, indicating negative crankcase pressure.

There also does seem to be a lot of old oil in the power steering reservoir area, on the hoses, leading to and on top of the PS pump.
Looking at the bottom of the engine bay on the passenger side, there is oil on much of the suspension components on that side as well.

I will still take a look at the timing belt and see if there's oil in there. Do you guys know of any good resources where I can see how to do that? I'm new to car maintenance and car ownership in general.

In response to ZZZZZZZ, the seats are paneled with cloth and leather and are in good condition! Both headlights were badly yellowed and cloudy and I actually just finished restoring them yesterday and they look great! The tow hitch was just used for a bike rack, and the clutch is in good shape.

I guess at this point my next step would be to replace that power steering reservoir and hose, and do some work on finding a new pump as well.

Thank you all again for the feedback and hope to hear back soon!
 

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The power steering fluid runs right down, gets all over the engine mount and soaks the control arm bushings, so it may be imperative you knock that out soon. As for checking the cam seals - Remove the upper timing belt cover with a T30 Torx bit. The front cover is held on by either a 10mm or 12mm bolt, its' recessed and you dont have a ton of room unless you pick up the coolant reservoir (unplug the sensor first!) and move it and the power steering reservoir. Then you can access it a little better. Whenever you put it back on, BE SURE you get it on correctly - the thing gets warped with age and oil soooo just be careful. If you've never done a Timing belt before, this may not be the best one to learn on unless you have someone coaching you through the process.

Check Erie Vo-Vo for a good used pump with a warranty - You can find their ebay store. I Talk to Kyle and Adam on a daily basis ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The power steering fluid runs right down, gets all over the engine mount and soaks the control arm bushings, so it may be imperative you knock that out soon. As for checking the cam seals - Remove the upper timing belt cover with a T30 Torx bit. The front cover is held on by either a 10mm or 12mm bolt, its' recessed and you dont have a ton of room unless you pick up the coolant reservoir (unplug the sensor first!) and move it and the power steering reservoir. Then you can access it a little better. Whenever you put it back on, BE SURE you get it on correctly - the thing gets warped with age and oil soooo just be careful. If you've never done a Timing belt before, this may not be the best one to learn on unless you have someone coaching you through the process.

Check Erie Vo-Vo for a good used pump with a warranty - You can find their ebay store. I Talk to Kyle and Adam on a daily basis ;)
Great, Thanks! I'll get on sourcing a new reservoir and hose right away and a pump after that. How's your experience been with parts from IPD?
I'll continue with any other updates as I find more info about the leak.
 

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You will have better luck getting stuff from FCP and Erie. Lifetime warranties.
Clean the dickens out of the engine bay with brake kleen or something (if the tech guys say it's OK - or maybe safer to use simple green, a brush and some hot ass water) and then watch stuff after it's dry. You may be able to see exactly where things are leaking.
Great, Thanks! I'll get on sourcing a new reservoir and hose right away and a pump after that. How's your experience been with parts from IPD?
I'll continue with any other updates as I find more info about the leak.
 

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check crankcase pressure under load if there are any questions about its functionality; sometimes it will be negative at idle and positive under load with a malfunctioning system.

update the PCV banjo bolt to 31325709
 

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The power steering reservoirs of the >2005 T5's are the updated version already ;)
Don't bother replacing the air quality sensor. It's costs around $200 and it will fail again within a short period of time. I had the same error, replaced it and the error returned within 2 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So I just got back from the mechanic and they confirmed that the leak was coming from the cam seals, and are gonna quote me around $1500 to fix it :(
Any advice on what I should do? Is this something that I could DIY? I have a little bit of experience but nothing of this magnitude.
 

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LOL! $1500 for cam seals!! I hope they were planning on doing a lot of other stuff while they were in there!!


The good news is that there is nothing that can't be DIY'd; you just need the patience to figure it all out and make sure you get it right. I would HIGHLY recommend getting VIDA since it has all the official Volvo repair procedures in it. Occasionally, some of those repair procedures aren't practical for home applications, but, even then, you'll at least know what your goal is even if you have to improvise a bit to get there. The only thing that makes this a little tricky to DIY is that you're dealing with VVT. I did front cam seals on my 850 T-5R when I did the timing belt and it maybe added an hour or two to the project.

Here's a highlight reel of cam seal replacement:

Get Volvo camshaft tools on ebay for like $50
Get camshaft seal installation drifts (make sure you get the proper ones! Different for VVT and non VVT whiteblocks)
turn engine to TDC
remove some stuff at the rear end of engine
use the tools to lock camshaft at rear end of engine
remove timing belt (do the water pump while you're in there)
remove cam wheels (you can mark these to give you a rough idea where they go for reassembly)
remove camshaft seals (screw a screw into them.....being very careful not to scratch the bearing journals!!!!!)
use drifts to install new seals
install new water pump/t belt idler/tensioner
reinstall cam wheels
get the VVT timing right (do some homework on this process!!! It is critical to get this right!!!)
install timing belt
check t belt tensioner setting (it's kinda weird at first)
remove cam lock tool
reinstall remaining items you had to move out of the way
turn the engine over a few times by hand to make sure nothing is horribly wrong
enjoy your newly dry engine bay.
 

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So I just got back from the mechanic and they confirmed that the leak was coming from the cam seals, and are gonna quote me around $1500 to fix it :(
Any advice on what I should do? Is this something that I could DIY? I have a little bit of experience but nothing of this magnitude.
Yea. Get a new mechanic.

That’s a $600 job anywhere that knows Volvo’s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
LOL! $1500 for cam seals!! I hope they were planning on doing a lot of other stuff while they were in there!!


The good news is that there is nothing that can't be DIY'd; you just need the patience to figure it all out and make sure you get it right. I would HIGHLY recommend getting VIDA since it has all the official Volvo repair procedures in it. Occasionally, some of those repair procedures aren't practical for home applications, but, even then, you'll at least know what your goal is even if you have to improvise a bit to get there. The only thing that makes this a little tricky to DIY is that you're dealing with VVT. I did front cam seals on my 850 T-5R when I did the timing belt and it maybe added an hour or two to the project.

Here's a highlight reel of cam seal replacement:

Get Volvo camshaft tools on ebay for like $50
Get camshaft seal installation drifts (make sure you get the proper ones! Different for VVT and non VVT whiteblocks)
turn engine to TDC
remove some stuff at the rear end of engine
use the tools to lock camshaft at rear end of engine
remove timing belt (do the water pump while you're in there)
remove cam wheels (you can mark these to give you a rough idea where they go for reassembly)
remove camshaft seals (screw a screw into them.....being very careful not to scratch the bearing journals!!!!!)
use drifts to install new seals
install new water pump/t belt idler/tensioner
reinstall cam wheels
get the VVT timing right (do some homework on this process!!! It is critical to get this right!!!)
install timing belt
check t belt tensioner setting (it's kinda weird at first)
remove cam lock tool
reinstall remaining items you had to move out of the way
turn the engine over a few times by hand to make sure nothing is horribly wrong
enjoy your newly dry engine bay.
Thanks for the advice!
I think the $1500 comes with timing belt and water pump (canadian $ so still around $1100 USD) but yeah that does seem steep. I'll do some more research on the job and look into getting VIDA as well. The job does seem intimidating though and I really don't wanna blow up my engine by making a trivial mistake with VVT timing or something, so I'll continue to get quotes from other local mechanics. If I can't find anything reasonable then it looks like I'll have to get my hands dirty!

Does anyone here know any good Volvo mechanics in the Vancouver, BC area?
 

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1500 is steep for just seals..

Get a breakdown of the quote and post it. If it included water pump, oil pump reseal and Oil Trap box I could understand it.
 
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