Cracked engine block Volvo

volvo
engines

#1

I have a 2000 Cross Country Volvo and just found out it has a cracked engine block it only has 50k this started happening @36k. Volvo wont help with the repair $5000 because it is out of warrenty. From what I gather this is a defect, any one else have this problem. I am not sure but I suspect that it was seen when I brought it in @36k and they put a compound on it to mask the problem and now the compound fell off after warrenty and now I am screwed!!


#2

A cracked engine block is so extremely unusual except in race engines that I find myself wondering about the details. And the diagnosis?

Can you provide more background?


#3

THANK YOU for replying, I am so frustrated!!I am not a car person so feel free to tell me I am WRONG but it looks like the following that I copied and pasted is a similar thing: It is from swedishbricks.net

He attempted to seal the leaks using a compound often used by truckers to seal small radiator leaks. The fix lasted a week. From then until January, we used the car but had to add increasing quantities of coolant to the radiator. In January we took the car into our mechanic and went through five gallons of water keeping the radiator from boiling over. When the mechanic looked over the engine block again, oil was now bleeding from an identical line of pinholes on the same side of the block and parallel to the line of pinholes leaking coolant. The engine block is defective. There is no fix short of replacing the entire block, which means an entirely new or rebuilt engine. And this failure is a fundamental failure in manufacturing or design. It has nothing to do with the maintenance or care a car has received. No engine block should ever leak coolant or oil short of a million miles! We’ve contacted Volvo of North America and their position is that the warranty has expired and that besides we did not have the car serviced at an authorized Volvo dealer. We are now in the process of filing a formal complaint in court against Volvo and its dealer. Within the last month, our Volvo mechanic has had another 960 station wagon towed in that was leaking coolant even worse than ours. Volvo has also given that owner the run-around, but he did get a member of the staff of Volvo North America to admit that they had heard of “…four or five…” 960’s having the same problem. [Response: Tim] Click and Clack the tappet brothers had a caller a few weeks ago with a similar problem. Seems there are problems sometimes with the castings on the 960 engine.

My ind mechanic (he is AAA approved and has been in the bus ove 20 yrs) gave me the diagnosis. Every time I bring it to the dealer the charge me $200 to replace a gasket and the car keeps leaking. My mechanic feels like the engine needs to be removed and rebuilt, I am wondering if the dealer saw that 2 yrs ago and put compound on it and now it fell off and we are out of warrenty? Any opinions would help. I really appreciate it.


#4

PS As you can see (by the milage) I am NOT a race car driver I drive my kids to school and to the store so I am not abusing the car :slight_smile:


#5

Why would the dealer put a sealant in. Its less work for them without any labor to charge to Volvo under a warranty repair. Its does not make much sense.


#6

Are you questioning the sealant put in(which never fixed the leaking)? I think they know the labor involvement to remove and repair the engine, so they tried to “mask” the problem until the car was out of warranty. Volvo North America is not willing to get involved either, due to the age of the car even though it has 50K? I need advice on how I should proceed.


#7

i doubt very seriously a dealer stuck goop on this in an attempt to seal it.
the only thing i can think of (assuming the car was bought new and never overheated) is the possibility of some bad castings; either the molds or a contaminated batch of cast iron.

once the engine is out a careful examination should be able to reveal if the engine has a porous casting.
that may not gain you any help from Volvo but the ? would be answered.
every car maker has a few bad ones now and then so it’s at least possible since there are a few others that a manufacturing fault could have occurred.

many years ago some of the nissan 280zx rear differentials were going bad due to hypoid oil oozing through the cast iron. in one case, i replaced the differential with a new from nissan replacement and within a week it was low on oil.
the diff. could be cleaned and after about an hour on the rack oil would start to appear; eventually leading to a constant drip.

since you could be well up the creek sans paddle, i could make the suggestion that if the area in question is visible and accessible that a good welding shop may be able to tack those pinholes closed with a welder.
this could be done comparatively dirt cheap i would think and is a far better option than well into 4 digits on a new engine. hope that helps and good luck.


#8

The “compound” of which you speak is poured into the radiator, so it can’t “fall off”.

Andrew is right: If the block was cracked at 36K, the dealer would have sought to replace it on Volvo’s dime. The dealership is an independent business, not owned by Volvo.

What are the symptoms you’re experiencing?


#9

The dealers interest would be perform the warranty repair with a large amount of hours if they could get it reimbursed which of course is simply how good you are at presenting the problem.


#10

Thanks for clearing up the compound question I got that idea from what I copied an pasted from swedishbricks.net (see above) YES you would think the dealer would go after Volvo for the repairs but not this dealer. I dropped my car off to have the leak fixed and picked up with 1/2 th gas gone and 250 miles put on it, so I think they have some honesty issues. If you read the above comments from swedishbricks.net click and clack say a engine block should never leak short of a million miles, so I believe there is a defect and Volvo should be willing to help, they will not so now I am stuck. I do know that they are asking low profit dealers to close ( I read it online) so maybe they are in financial trouble and won’t give my dealer $$$ to help. The sad think is I have had many Volvos as has my family, and we will never buy one again. Any suggestions for a reliable car??


#11

The symptoms are constant oil leaking, it is making a mess of our garage and driveway.


#12

Great advice about the welding shop. Thanks.


#13

i agree with you that something stinks about the dealer putting 250 miles on your car. sometimes vehicles may have to go through lengthy test drives but that sounds excessive.

it’s not likely a suit against volvo is going to go anywhere. the vehicle is out of the required Federal warranty and non-volvo dealer service could have a perceived negative effect on a judge’s opinion even though that factor may not even be relevant.
every car that has ever been built has design flaws to some extent and the courts would be crammed full if lawsuits proceeded on this basis.

i think you might have a chance of prevailing IF you can prove the dealer knew about the problem or stonewalled it while the vehicle was still under warranty. proof could consist of written copies of repair orders stating the complaint and what, if anything, was done to remedy the problem.

i’m not playing lawyer here because i’m not one thank God. i’ve been into court several times as what one could refer to as an “expert witness” for the dealer. my job was to explain in simplified mechanical terms what was occurring and the dealer did not lose one of those cases.

you will need to round up a paper trail on this problem and you will also need your current tech to write something up explaining this problem. ideally, it would be better to have the tech in court with you.
hope some of that helps and good luck.

(still think a tack weld could be the easiest solution since your post makes it appear the area is accessible)


#14

Please don’t think it was an implication. Just a comment that on stock engines cracked blocks are extremely extremely rare.

I’m inclined to agree with OK4450 that it almost has to be a defective casting. A defective casting in this day and age, with the reverse-gravity investment casting processes that are used, is not only amazing but a disgrace. In these processes the molds are sealed in a vacuum chamber and the metal is drawn up from the bottom by vacuum, leaving the slag and contaminants in the top and bottom of the supply vessel rather than pouring them into the mold with the metal. This process also better evacuates the air and fills the cavity. Inclusions and occlusions are a tiny percentage of what used to be normal. Volvo should definitely take the hit on this one. Ford, actually.

I wish I had a suggestion. Volvo just got sold by Ford to Tata, and none of these organization is likely to be any help. Volvo and Ford are both in dismal shape.