pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
116,000 miles
Total Complaints:
1 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. clean or change oil pickup tube (1 reports)
2005 Volvo XC90 engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Volvo XC90 Owner Comments

problem #1

Sep 282018

XC90 T6 2.9L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles


click to see larger images

no oil pressure/pull over safely message no oil pressure/pull over safely message

Short story. I bought this vehicle just in September of this year 2018. Has only 116,xxx miles for a 2005, can someone say low mileage for 13 year old vehicle! Car is in immaculate condition and a radio that sounds as good as some 2013 AMG Mercedes vehicles, except this car had a NO OIL PRESSURE PULL OVER SAFELY message on the cluster.

A simple check of oil dip stick (has the red handle located near the front of the engine) shows correct level of oil (should be around 7.8 US quarts). If you DO NOT see any oil on the end of that dip stick, try adding two (2) full bottles of 5W-30 full synthetic oil.

A simple Google search yields a MAJOR flaw in Volvo's maintenance service interval. They recommended oil service on this vehicle (and other models such as (S60, S80, XC70, S40...) every 8,000 to 12,000 miles! Even if you use full synthetic oil, every TRUE mechanic will tell you to ALWAYS change your oil every 3,500 miles or so.

I took the oil pan off (absolute pain) and mind you that on the T6 XC90 twin turbo 6 cylinder, you MUST cut a 1"x1.5" tab on the front portion of the main subframe of the car to get one edge of the oil pan to clear the vehicle or else you mind as well lift the entire engine off of its mounts to gain the space needed to remove the pan. Look at my photos, FULL of sludge!. The oil pickup tube was completely clogged of dirty sludge and carbon deposits!

This is due to running your oil until 8,000 miles. The carbon deposits form by 8,000 miles using standard conventional (regular) oil, or 12,000 miles FOR SURE using full synthetic oil on these Volvos (BMW, AUDI, MERCEDES have similar issues too). There was a 1" layer of THICK black sludge and grains of carbon deposit melted to the bottom of the inner side of the oil pan which I spent 3 hours scraping off and using diesel kerosene to dissolve.

The oil screen was first cleaned, but after I got it clean as pictured, it was still not enough. I installed everything back and used Permatex Anaerobic gasket maker on the pan, and within 15 minutes of running the car for the first time since I bought it from previous owner the error message came back on. I turned around back home and took apart everything again and BAM! The screen was clogged with a thin layer of carbon deposits again. So I completely removed the screen, I mean the filtration is a job for the oil filter which is a consumable item and not the internal oil pickup tube. Just take a pick and make sure you yank every millimeter of wire mesh from that oil pickup tube. I put everything back once more, drive the car with new oil and filter for 50 miles first, then drained that oil and replaced that oil filter, then put new oil and new filter again and drove 200 miles more, repeated the process, now I am on the 3rd oil and filter change and with full synthetic oil this time (previous two flushes were done using cheap Wal-mart $14.00 oil). I drove 800 miles so far and NO MORE error message.This is a powerful vehicle and I do not know why Volvo would be telling you to wait 12,000 miles to change oil!

If you are a garage mechanic, you need to drop the oil pan. If you take your vehicle to the dealer, just stop and take it to a local, reputable, mechanic who can clean the oil pan and oil pickup tube. You may spend $500 for it, but, the dealer will definitely try to sell you a replacement engine for over $6,000 including labor costs and that is definitely over the blue book value for this car. It's your choice. It only costed me $85 in oils and filters, but it sure beats having to fork over $6,000 to an organized mob! I will definitely try to put at least 300,000 miles on my $950 XC90 T6 TWIN TURBO SUV following my service plan! lol

- Mr. M., Vallejo, CA, US

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