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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2012 s60 T5 – 72k mi at the moment - with the manufacture date within the window for the possible oil consumption issue. (I posted in the giant thread about this – my car is currently being monitored for oil consumption by the dealer from whom I bought the car - used.)
But my question is about a related thing.
A month ago, I was driving and heard a whistle and got a “check engine” light, took it to my indy who was close by. He removed the oil filler cap and the whistling stopped. He said something about a breather box (or diaphragm) being clogged up, common on Volvos.
I still am on the CPO, so called the dealer (a closer one than the purchase location, but owned by the same company), described the problem, he scheduled me and replaced the “Breather Box” under CPO and topped up the oil, adding 2 quarts – the oil was at the bottom of the range on the dip stick when I brought it in. All was recorded in my record. I don’t know if this is going to muddy the waters on the oil monitoring or not, as I don’t know how much is lost in replacing the box.
My question is about how this box replacement (or rather the reason it had to be done – apparently the engine wasn’t breathing as it should) is related to the oil consumption. I have talked to several techs about this, one at the dealer and a couple in my indy shop, and opinions vary.
I’m at the point of trying to decide whether to sell this car (I bought it used in 2014) and buy a newer model year – I really like the car otherwise. So is it likely that this will reduce the oil consumption? I don’t put a lot of miles on the car, so it will take a while to measure the next interval.
As for previous consumption, the first interval I noticed it, 3 quarts were added over that period, but monitoring since then indicates that it isn’t losing as much, although I haven’t been through a complete interval, and I also noticed that at the last service interval (67500) they added an oil supplement that they hadn’t added before.
 

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I'm pretty sure replacing the PCV unit does nothing to stop the consumption as that is piston ring related. The PCV was probably clogged due to the consumption.
 

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Are you using full synthetic oil? Have you from time of purchase?
 

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We were burning a quart every 10,000 until we changed the breather box, now we burn nothing. Ours is a ‘13 though. If its covered by CPO let them change it and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks for your replies - this is bothering me. I bought the Volvo with the plan of a long keeper, I maintain my cars and since I bought my first in 1976, I've had only 8, including my wife's.
I changed to full synthetic at the first service interval after purchase in 2014, at the recommendation of the dealer.
Since, I believe, Volvo replaces free any part replaced after purchase, if this breather box goes bad again, they would fix it free (a question to them).
Since my CPO ends this Spring, it will be before the next interval, which will be the end of the current oil consumption monitoring. In other words, I will be out of the CPO before the test is completed.
I'm thinking I should talk to the General Mgr of the dealer about all this, to determine what Volvo will do given certain possible turn of events, from excessive oil consumption to repeated need to replace the breather box, all after the CPO ends.
Am I thinking about this in the right way?
One more thing about me - I've been successful in the business I'm in by being honest with both suppliers and clients, so I'm inclined to avoid secret strategies in favor of putting cards on the table but keeping vigilant. (Trust but verify, I think he said.) Is this a good approach with the current Volvo organization?
 

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Honesty is always the best policy. I believe if you have reported the oil consumption while under warranty, they are obligated to fix it out of warranty. Also Volvo seems to have been great with goodwill when you use their dealers and have the extended warranty. It sounds like it burns enough oil that you will know if the breather box fixed it by the time your CPO is up. A conversation with the GM may not be necessary.
 

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So this whistle you mention, did that happen when you were accelerating?
Just curious since I hear a whistle too when accelerating heavily. Always thought it's turbo related and normal but sounds like this might be an issue?
No check engine lights in my case.
 

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There is no obligation to fix it out of warranty but this does sound like a case for goodwill if it were to need pistons.

The breather box could have been the cause of the consumption. The job of the breather box is to separate oil from crankcase vapor, allowing the oil to drain back into the oil pan and the pressure to make it's way back to the intake. A failed breather box can cause oil to get sucked into the intake, thus increasing oil consumption.
 

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Thanks for your replies - this is bothering me. I bought the Volvo with the plan of a long keeper, I maintain my cars and since I bought my first in 1976, I've had only 8, including my wife's.
I changed to full synthetic at the first service interval after purchase in 2014, at the recommendation of the dealer.
Since, I believe, Volvo replaces free any part replaced after purchase, if this breather box goes bad again, they would fix it free (a question to them).
Since my CPO ends this Spring, it will be before the next interval, which will be the end of the current oil consumption monitoring. In other words, I will be out of the CPO before the test is completed.
I'm thinking I should talk to the General Mgr of the dealer about all this, to determine what Volvo will do given certain possible turn of events, from excessive oil consumption to repeated need to replace the breather box, all after the CPO ends.
Am I thinking about this in the right way?
One more thing about me - I've been successful in the business I'm in by being honest with both suppliers and clients, so I'm inclined to avoid secret strategies in favor of putting cards on the table but keeping vigilant. (Trust but verify, I think he said.) Is this a good approach with the current Volvo organization?
Just keep taking it to the dealer. If you do that, Volvo will take care of you for this whether you are under CPO or out of CPO. I'm keeping my car for many many years since the replaced engine now has a lifetime warranty!
 

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If you're under the CPO, then I wouldn't be too worried. Just make sure you're getting everything documented. And that you keep up maintenence /oil changes at the dealer.
Here's the thing. This all links to Volvo's service bulletin TJ29871. Nothing about it talks about a PCV replacement because, as others mentioned, the PCV gets clogged because of oil consumption (it doesn't cause consumption). Therefore per the service bulletin, first step is to go full synthetic on the oil (which wasn't required in 2012, though it is for all Volvos now), which you've already done. If they determine significant consumption (based on their parameters), then next step is basically pull the head and replace the piston rings. There have been owners/cases where they find significant damage, which they report to Volvo corporate, which tells the dealer/tech that they will be replacing the full engine. For some, new piston rings solves the issue. If consumption continues, the next step is to replace the whole engine. The new engines that Volvo is replacing these with have quite a few internal updates/modifications over the original one from 2012.

Those that have CPO or extended warranty are in good hands. Volvo has been really good at owning up to this and doing all necessary repairs (as long as you have been properly maintaining it). Those out of warranty, Volvo has been pretty good about giving Goodwill Assistance. But one of the major contributing factors here is the car's maintenence history and whether it was done at the dealer or not. For me, they put in a brand new engine at no cost to me (2012 S60 T5), but before we got the green flag, they collected every service record to make sure everything was done on time. There was 1-2 oil changes at an independent Volvo shop, and they asked for explanations about it. Aka they're basically looking for reasons to deny the case, of "not changing your oil in time could have caused consumption" or " a non certified Volvo tech could have caused damage/caused the engine to start consuming oil" (which we obviously know isn't true in this case).
Either way, props to Volvo for stepping to the plate and making these major repairs. As for example, Audi owners who experienced oil consumption never got a proper resolution and Audi wasn't really offering to pay/solve the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks ya'll for your comments.
I have had all service done at the dealer except buying some tires and a front end alignment, ok'd by the dealer as the shop I took it to is highly respected in town.
I don't put a lot of miles on this car and am about to retire, so will be putting on less. My biggest concern is that I will be well out of the CPO by the time the current oil consumption evaluation is complete, although some of the posts above here indicate that Volvo will do the right thing since I've done everything right.
 

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It's Called _ Service Tracking & Documentation : Pre_exiting Conditions - that were Not resolved . .

About this Issue on Oil Excessively being Burned What is the Date Range on the T5 Motor's

Excessive Oil Burning would put More Load on the PVC system . .

Honesty is always the best policy. I believe if you have reported the oil consumption while under warranty, they are obligated to fix it out of warranty. Also Volvo seems to have been great with goodwill when you use their dealers and have the extended warranty. It sounds like it burns enough oil that you will know if the breather box fixed it by the time your CPO is up. A conversation with the GM may not be necessary.
 

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Hey all, read about this issue a way back and also have a 2012 S60 T5 oil burner and was wondering. How labor intensive is the pcv breather box to get to ? May decide on having my indy shop access and clean out if needed just as a preventative maintenance. Or is that not necessary as there is no check light ? thanks
 

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It usually isn't a matter of it needing to be cleaned out. The diaphragm inside tears. So if you're taking it off, you might as well replace it.

That being said, it isn't hard. It's the oil filter housing. It comes with a new oil filter, so have it done when you're getting an oil change and you won't need to buy a filter. I can usually have them done in about 30 minutes but I've done a lot. An indy shop may not have done it before so it may take them longer. I've also seen some damage the air box or ECM connected when doing it.
 

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It usually isn't a matter of it needing to be cleaned out. The diaphragm inside tears. So if you're taking it off, you might as well replace it.

That being said, it isn't hard. It's the oil filter housing. It comes with a new oil filter, so have it done when you're getting an oil change and you won't need to buy a filter. I can usually have them done in about 30 minutes but I've done a lot. An indy shop may not have done it before so it may take them longer. I've also seen some damage the air box or ECM connected when doing it.
Oh, at least it's easy to get to. Sounds like it's a worthwhile thing to replace especially since my car's just crossed 94K. As for my oil consumption case which dealer has documented, VCNA is only willing to pay 1/2 of the ~$4,000 job to replace the piston rings. That's probably because I have only been to the dealer for a few initial oil changes and the oil sensor recall. My indy shop has changed my oil like clockwork and I had all my receipts. The tech at Volvo said the oil is not being burned out the exhaust so that's good news. The engine is consuming it because of the way the rings tension was set at. This was apparently done to favor fuel economy. My engine burns about a quart every 1K and I still can get 30 mpgs if I baby the engine, no knocks, no dirty exhaust just oil burning inside of the engine. Thing runs great.

I questioned whether or not there may be potential contamination of the cat converter but was told not to worry that oil burning is not travelling out the exhaust. Am going to switch to full synthetic (which is thinner) to prevent sludge build-up on the pistons, even though we tried that with my indy and it burns quicker than reg 5W30 which is thicker. Tech at Volvo also said to open her up on ramps and hard acceleration situations and stuff (give it the ole Italian tune-up) which I have always done to prevent sludge build-up. Of course doing the rings can prevent potential damage to engine... I just am not in the mood of forking over $2Gs to those guys. Let the oil burning continue, funnel and oil jug in hand.

I might make some noise at VCNA customer care's call center. This issue has recall written all over it. So many cases of 2012 T5s on the main oil guzzler thread destroyed by poorly designed rings. I'm lucky I caught those 1/2 second oil pressure warnings which go away instantly and do not remain lit...what poor warning. And then again I think the engineers did this to favor fuel economy so why should I even bother having the rings tinkered with ? Surely a mechanic at the dealer is not going to set them with tools the way a machine at the production plant set my T5. I'm leaving it alone and let it burn.
 

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I questioned whether or not there may be potential contamination of the cat converter but was told not to worry that oil burning is not travelling out the exhaust.
So where exactly did he say the oil was going? If it's being burned it's coming out the exhaust!

I just am not in the mood of forking over $2Gs to those guys. Let the oil burning continue, funnel and oil jug in hand.
This is that I would do in your situation. Replacing the rings does NOT always solve this oil burning issue. It did not for me. A new engine was required. So this could be $2k down the drain.
 

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I've done several sets of rings on cars outside of warranty that were 100% goodwill. So have other guys at my shop. You are right though, your history of taking the car elsewhere is a major factor in that decision.

And we set the rings up just fine. It isn't hard. It has fixed a vast majority of the ones we have done.
 

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So where exactly did he say the oil was going? If it's being burned it's coming out the exhaust!

This is that I would do in your situation. Replacing the rings does NOT always solve this oil burning issue. It did not for me. A new engine was required. So this could be $2k down the drain.
According to the tech and the Volvo service advisor, the burnt oil is not travelling out the exhaust. I questioned that. Last thing I want is a fried cat converter. Tech said not to worry but just make sure to check oil dipstick and look for sensor. My engine has been consuming for the past 25K miles or so (when I caught it) but for all I know it could have been sooner. I'm vigilant over oil changes since I bought her at 31K I have at least 10 receipts. Sometimes even change it every 3-4K instead of 5K. If I do it after every 3K with just reg 5W30 I'm good since the oil burns at about 1 quart per 1K without having to worry about adding on my own.

Engine does not knock, it runs flawlessly..smooth powerful still. Dealer understood me not wanting me to pay 2Gs, so I'll try VCNA for the full 100% goodwill and call them soon.

I've done several sets of rings on cars outside of warranty that were 100% goodwill. So have other guys at my shop. You are right though, your history of taking the car elsewhere is a major factor in that decision.

And we set the rings up just fine. It isn't hard. It has fixed a vast majority of the ones we have done.
That's good to know, I always get worried when techs work on the critical engine parts. Something about tampering with an engine that was designed, tested and sealed at the factory plant still troubles me. When the engineers designed these T5's I was told the tension of the rings were set that way for a specific purpose: fuel economy. Now that we see their calculations were inaccurate, I'm still ok with having to add a little oil or just getting the oil changed more frequently which is good for older, higher mileage engines like mine. There's a reason they want everyone paying $125 for full synthetic versus reg 5w30 jug.
 
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