Volvo 850 Made from 1993 to 1997, this Volvo line was available in both a wagon and a sedan, both with were graced with several trim levels.

PVC System maintenance or detrimental?

  #1  
Old 01-04-2019, 06:29 PM
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Default PVC System maintenance or detrimental?

I just bought a 1995 850 sedan. I test drove it and then, while engine was running, looked under the hood. I pulled up oil dipstick and saw smoke. I asked the mechanic and he said it's nothing to worry about.
I just found the General Maintenance sticky and saw the post by JPN (added to by RSpi) with an explicate description of what I found under PCV SYSTEM:
"The most common test to determine if this system is in need of servicing/replacing:1. drive the car until the motor is at normal operating temperature.
2. Put the car in park and with the motor still running, open the hood.
3. With the motor still running, pull the oil dip stick out about 1/2 way.
If you see smoke coming out of it, the system needs servicing."
Seems that's exactly what I found.
Is this an immediate concern that will kill the car or something that can wait for a bit? Should it be taken care of immediately before I drive it?
I am to pick up car tomorrow and must travel about 200 miles the very next day. It will be a week or so before the vo guys upstate will get to look at it. If this is an immediate problem, please let me know!!

Thanks for any help!
 
  #2  
Old 01-05-2019, 10:51 AM
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second test is to put a rubber glove (ie a surgeon's latex glove) over the oil fill cap. If it inflates you have a clogged PCV system.

Will this kill the motor? no, but it will eventually push out oil seals and create leaks that may be costly to repair so best to attend to it as soon as you can. If you are concerns about your long drive, you can pull up the dipstick slightly to create a vent (like just resting with the seal not pressed in). it may let some oil spray dirtly the engine but the truth is, most people don't know their PCV is clogged until they develop the oil leaks so who knows how long the car was driven with the system clogged.

The big thing is to make sure the maintenance is done correctly. 1) the tech will need to pull off the intake manifold to access the breather pipes. There are complete kits from mail order shops like FCP Euro, IPD, EEuroparts to name a few. Tasca Parts is a dealer parts store with the best prices if you go Genuine Volvo. Replace all the tubing and the oil trap. 2) when the tech has the tubing off, they will need to "rod out" the ports into the block. the best way to do this is to also drop the oil pan and clean from both the ports in, and the pan off. 3) with the manifold off and the PCV plumbing out, there's also easy access to other parts like the fuel pressure regulator, Evap system components and various vaccuum lines which should be inspected and serviced if needed. Note that the PCV package is different for Turbos vs the NA engine. As I recall the parts kit is about $125 and the labor should be 3-4 hours so expect about $600 for the job, more if they drop the pan to clean the bottom end.
 
  #3  
Old 01-05-2019, 06:09 PM
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"second test is to put a rubber glove (ie a surgeon's latex glove) over the oil fill cap. If it inflates you have a clogged PCV system."

Do you mean over the cap while in it's in place or over the fill hole with no cap? (YES I am that stupid!) I would love to do this test. I have plenty of gloves!
Also, will the PCV clog send out any diagnostic codes or is the hand balloon the only test?

I just picked up the car today...checked out fine other then new tires and suspension stuff. Drove some 60+ miles on highway, congested city and meandering suburbs with no problems. I can get it to the Vo Only guys once home but hope I don't need any $700-800 PCV repair! I've bought 2 cars in as many months and am cash poor!

Sorry about title... I AM slightly dyslexic and more familiar with PVC pipe then PCV system!!
 

Last edited by old lady; 01-06-2019 at 07:46 AM. Reason: add info
  #4  
Old 01-06-2019, 07:47 AM
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Never mind Found the video
 
  #5  
Old 01-06-2019, 11:53 AM
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Clogged PCV systems are a time bomb for the 850s. You may be able to drive months before any other symptoms pop up but they will at some point - The pressure will push out oil seals (typically starting with the cam seals), push oil out the breather tube pushing oil on top of the engine under the spark plug cover, then eventually can push oil out of the main seals - if the rear main seal starts to leak, then you'll need to have the transmission removed for access. So its better to get this done before all these issues pop up creating way more expensive repairs. My only caution is to have a shop that knows Volvos do the repair. If the shop simply replaces the oil trap and hoses and doesn't properly clean out the block ports, you will have a clean PCV system with a clogged engine and you'll still have too much pressure in the block. So after you do the rubber glove test, buy a set of torx bits and remove the cover on top of the engine that goes over the spark plug wires (I think its a T-25 bit but may be one size up). If its all dry under there, you are ok for now. If you see oil under the cover, then you will want to get the PCV system done and also replace the oil fill cap gasket.
 

Last edited by mt6127; 01-06-2019 at 11:55 AM.
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