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Volvo DNA

  #1  
Old 12-21-2018, 09:27 AM
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My 2015 V60 has been in the dealer’s shop for 3 weeks while a “no start” problem was addressed.

I received a call yesterday telling me that the car is repaired and will be available today.

According to the dealer, the problem was caused by a bad starter motor and failure of a cable with a fusible link incorporated. During the lengthy time it took to arrive at what should, I think, have been an obvious diagnosis, it was also determined that the failure of an oil/coolant heat exchanger had resulted in coolant contamination of the lubricating oil.

Volvo is very specific in its recommendations for motor oil. This rather strongly suggests that lubrication is a very critical issue for this engine (very possibly related to the critical nature of lubrication of the turbocharger)

I wrote a letter to the dealer taking the position that coolant contamination of lubricating oil was a very serious issue and was likely to have compromised the long-term durability of the engine and even increased the probability of catastrophic failure. The latter has significant safety implications. I have experienced abrupt loss of power in high speed highway situations. Luck and experience allowed me to escape unscathed but it was a very tense situation.

Given the impossibility of determining possible damage to bearings, cylinder walls etc., it was my position that the only way to fulfill the warranty requirements in the situation was to replace the engine.

Volvo has acknowledged my letter but insists that there is no evidence of damage and they consider the repair to be complete. Evidently they are willing for me to assume the risks inherent in this uncertainty.

Volvo was a pioneer in automotive safety and marched for many years under this banner. It would appear that this is now a smaller component of corporate philosophy. Perhaps the years of Ford ownership diluted the gene pool. (Remember the Pinto gas tank issue)

My long-term ownership of this car is certainly in question. It is my 5th, and the last,Volvo
 
  #2  
Old 12-21-2018, 09:27 PM
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very odd about the comment about choice of oil being connected to the oil cooler failing... What the service rep says is true - your car needs the proper oil, which for the most part means you should be using 5W-30 Synthetic. There's probably 10 brands that have all the matching certifications and there's nothing I can think of how choice of oil would cause a failure in such a young car. Now here's the funny coincidence - I had a similar issue in my VW CC. Got an odd flashing oil light right after having the car serviced. turned right around (I was about 1 mile from the shop and the oil light would go off and on) thinking they nicked the pressure sensor's wire. They replaced the sensor but no change so they did a test drive with the computer attached, saw the low oil pressure signal and dropped the pan where they found fine debris in the oil pick up. This is in a car with 49K miles and nothing but dealer service so I suspected VW had a known manufacturing quality issue. The dealer got an approval from VW HQ to drop in a new long block under warranty ($9800 repair at no cost to me) which was fine by me. So you can ask them to lobby the Volvo of America people who make the call on warranty cases like yours. Otherwise, you can ask them to drop the oil pan to inspect for any issues. Truthfully I don't think there will be any damage but I'd press the factory on the issue just the same to see if they'd have any good will. Another option would be to get them to spring for an extended warranty or buy your own. I don't think this is a reason to bail on Volvo but I can understand your anxiety about your car's long term outlook.
 
  #3  
Old 12-22-2018, 12:21 AM
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The dealer did not blame choice of oil - would have been awkward since they hard just done the 50K service. My point was that the specification (In my owner's manual a Castrol synthetic) supports the view that lubrication is more important to this engine than, for example, my first car, a 1941 Plymouth further suggesting that the lubricant compromised by the failed oil/water heat exchanger ay well have had, at this time unknown, consequences.

I intend to follow with Volvo by sending a letter to (as yet undetermined) top man. I typically send such communications FedEx overnight - less likely to be ignored than ordinary mail.
 
  #4  
Old 12-22-2018, 12:58 PM
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in a sense, yes the choice of oil is more important to a modern engine as they are designed to tighter tolerances and expect to go 250K miles or more. Plus the synthetics improve mileage, experience less break down and reduce cold start wear. Recommending Castrol seems to be call out of the marketing dept. and not engineering as there they'd recommend a standard such as ACEA A5/B5 (which is what the T-5s use). My VW manual does the same - says to use Castrol Edge but when you read the applicable spec, there's plenty of brands available.
 

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