2002 Volvo V70XC low oil pressure

We have a 2002 Volvo V70XC. Recently the low oil pressure light came on while my wife was driving. She pulled off the road and we had it towed to a local dealer the next morning. The dealer, before they even saw the car, accused us of either not changing the oil regularly or getting an “engine flush” at Jiffy Lube. We’ve changed the oil religiously every 5K miles and haven’t had an “engine flush.” The car has 77K miles. After we showed them records documenting the oil change, they said because we used Penzoil at Jiffy Lube, that caused the problem. They diagnosed the problem as “excessive bearing clearance” and said we’d need a new or rebuilt engine to fix the problem ($4K to $11K). They had to take the car home overnight to diagnose the problem since they could only reproduced it after driving an extended time on the highway. They reported that for short drives the engine oil pressure was 1.0 bars at idle and 2.5 bars at 2000 RPMs. After extended highway driving the pressure dropped to 0.5 bars at idle.

Do we need a new engine? Could anything else be causing this? What could have caused the problem to begin with. 77K miles seems unusual to need a new engine.

It’s odd that the dealer didn’t mention the fact that your engine has a known problem with oil pickup and oil pan ‘O’ rings disintegrating ???

I helped a friend of mine out a couple of years back with the same problem. We dropped the oil pan, cleaned it out and replaced the pan / oil pickup ‘O’ rings and seals, it’s been fine since then - I think the parts were about $50.

Google “Volvo V70XC low oil pressure” and you’ll see what I mean.

The actual oil pressure should of course be verified with a mechanical test set before doing anything, this might just be a bad oil pressure sensor. But then you’d expect the dealer to have done that wouldn’t you?

Update : FCP Groton list the kit here : http://www.fcpgroton.com/product-exec/product_id/16722/nm/Volvo_V70_Oil_Sump_O_Ring_Kit_1998_2007_OEM_/category_id/121

Hi Scudder, thanks so much for this information. Will certainly try this approach first before getting a new engine!

np, were I you, I’d get my car away from that dealer and go see a good indy mechanic.

But you do need to get it looked at immediately before any real damage occurs.

good luck.

How much oil was in the engine when the oil light came on? What weight oil do you use?

Oil was full and neither we nor the dealer saw any evidence of oil leaks. We bought the car new and always garage it, never any drips on the garage floor.

Step one, replace the oil pressure sending switch. Step two, investigate Scudders post…

We know its not the pressure sensor or switch since the dealer hooked up an external pressure sensor to verify the engine pressure. Sounds like Scudders recommendation is the best one at this point. Really appreciate all the input from this group - much better than replacing the engine.

I’m sure your Volvo is in beautiful shape due to low miles and garage kept. It is enticing to keep these Volvos because the body holds up so well and the interior does too. Very comfy cars. The problem is as they age, Volvos become EXTREMElY expensive cars to repair and keep on the road. I speak from experience with a '98 and 2000 V70XC - it is time to sell the Volvo.

Get an independant shop to do the job Scudder recommends. If it works - sell it ASAP.

Perhaps I’m just feeling combative this morning, but since the dealer basically accused you of negligence, I’d probably extensively Google the problem, and go back to the dealer armed printouts of the issue, as well as any technical service bulletins you can find. And what’s up with them saying Pennzoil is the problem? Pennzoil is probably not the best oil there is, but it meets all the standards for conventional oil, and unless your car specifically calls for synthetic in the owners’ manual, they have nothing to complain about.

Regardless, I wouldn’t let their service dept. touch the car.

Hi Scudder, thanks for the update with the part list.

Any idea on what an independent repair facility would typically charge to replace these seals and o-rings? Your link refers to several parts: 1-8642559 oil pan seal, 1-8642560 Oil Pan Seal, 1-1397983 Oil Pan Seal, 1-30637867 Dipstick Tube O-Ring, 2-3514546 Dipstick Tube O-Rings and 4-30637866 Oil Line O-Rings.

Do these all need to be replaced?

np, I recall the job taking 2 -3 hours to thoroughly clean everything and replace all seals listed on that kit, you do need to replace them all but there is no additional work involved in this.

I’d therefore guess this to be in the $300 - $400 price range tops.

Make sure your mechanic cleans everything thoroughly, it’s not unknown for O ring fragments to jam the oil pump pressure relief valve open.

Thanks Scudder, great input. I might just plan on staying and watching them do the work.

Called the dealer who wanted $500, two independent service shops wanted $350, right in the zone. Thanks again.

Good for you, I really hope this fixes the problem. I spoke with my pal yesterday, he still has his Volvo (also a 2002 model) and the problem hasn’t reoccurred since we did the job in 2006.

Best of luck and let us know if this worked for you.

Thats great news, can’t believe the dealer tried to sell me a new engine and we were actually considering it. This CarTalk forum has been awesome.

Lots of great info…I did my 1999 V70 XC OIL PAN AND O RINGS w/o an issue…I am now about to do the same for my 06 xc…Does anyone know if the 06 pan removal is easier?? It looks like it is…but just want to know for sure as this time I do not have a lift…so it’s on my back in my back yard. .Pleas e let me know if the 2006 is easier.it does look easier…Thanks for any input…Tom F…