AfterMarketNews AfterMarketNews Auto Care Pro AutoCareCareerHub Brake&Frontend BodyShopBusiness Counterman EngineBuilder Fleet Equipment ImportCar Motorcycle & Powersports News Servicio Automotriz Shop Owner Tire Review Tech Shop Tomorrow's Tech Underhood Service Speedville

Thorough Brake Inspections Are Comeback Preventers And Profit Builders

How many times have you seen a hand-painted sign in a shop window that advertised a menu-priced brake pad replacement for “$XX.95 per axle.” Of course, a menu-priced brake replacement would be good if a simple brake pad replacement would cure all...


Air Filter Show & Tell: Seeing Is Believing

Air filters are normal wear items that ­require regular checks and ­replacement. Their role is to trap dirt particles that can cause damage to engine cylinders, walls, pistons and piston rings. In fuel-injected vehicles, the air filter also plays...


Build The Car Of Your Dreams In Quaker State Contest

At Quaker State, we know that happiness can’t be bought—it’s built part by part. That’s why we want to give you the opportunity to win a classic truck and customize it to the next level. Through the “Build The Car of Your Dreams” contest,...


ECU Diagnostics

ECU Diagnostics: 1976 Datsun (Nissan) 280Z Call me old-school, but imagine my surprise this spring when a retired “friend of a friend” car collector called about diagnosing a 1976 Datsun (Nissan) 280Z sports car. The collector purchased the 280Z...


Volvo AWD With Active On Demand Coupling

Volvo AWD System Diagnostics When I started driving way back in 1977, it seemed like you had to buy a truck to get a 4WD vehicle. Actually, the first 4WD car was built a long time ago in 1903 by the Spijker brothers. The first commonly produced 4WD...


Audi: Sporadic Noises From the Rear Brake After Parking the Vehicle

Affected models: 2003-13 models with electromechanical parking brake Condition: Customer may report sporadically hearing the parking brake being actuated after the vehicle has been switched off. If the customer does not identify the sound as...


Sorting Through Multiple Codes On A Chevy

“My dash lights up like a ­pinball machine, the ­engine loses power for a few seconds, and then seems to run OK.” Although I’d actually been chasing this Diagnostic Dilemma for the better part of a year, this four-wheel drive 2001 Blazer equipped...


Red Kap Welcomes Troy Ladd of Hollywood Hot Rods to The Craftsmen Series

Red Kap has selected L.A. Roadsters 2012 Builder of the Year Troy Ladd as the third custom car icon to be added to the growing stable of Red Kap Craftsmen. Ladd owns Hollywood Hot Rods in Burbank, CA, and has been designing, building and restoring incredible...


Identifix Celebrates 50,000 Direct-Hit Subscribers with 50K Giveaway Contest

Identifix, Inc. has reached another milestone: its 50,000th subscriber to Direct-Hit, its award-winning online tool. To commemorate the occasion, the company has launched a contest called the 50K Giveaway. Five Direct-Hit users who submit a Hotline...


Is Vehicle Hacking Good For The Aftermarket

You have probably seen the Wired magazine story about the two guys who managed to hack a 2014 Jeep Cherokee using the telematics connection called U-Connect. Although the driver, a writer for Wired, was in on the hack for the sake of the story, the hackers...


Head Gasket Repair and Diagnostics

What You Need to Know About Head Gasket Repair Head gasket repair sits atop the Mount Rushmore of challenging repair jobs a technician may be faced with. Dealing with head gasket issues isn’t for the inexperienced tech. Although these jobs can...


MINI Turbocharger Failure Caused By Oil Supply Line Blockage

Affected Models: R55 (Cooper Clubman S) with N14 engine R56 (Cooper S) with N14 engine R57 (Cooper S Convertible) with N14 engine *Vehicles produced up to Dec. 15, 2009 Condition:  The customer complains of loss of performance and turbocharger...


Home News Volvo: Pulling the Plug on Plugged Oil Traps

Print Print Email Email

We learned our lesson years ago. Before you fix any oil leaks, make sure there isn’t excessive crankcase pressure. Many of the vehicles we work on have crankcase breather systems that are much more involved than a plain PCV valve. A few years back, we looked at the Volvo 850 system, saw how it worked and what happens when it doesn’t. The newer cars with their extended oil change intervals seem to be just as prone to clogged breather assemblies as the older cars, and it’s even more so the case on the turbocharged 1

Today, we’ll be looking at a 2004 Volvo XC70 that we purchased from one of our customers. The car has high mileage, 198,123 miles to be exact, but was maintained reasonably well, so I thought nothing of giving her twice what the dealer offered on trade. It was a great deal for both of us. It had a few small oil leaks and it looked like the oil trap was leaking, so I planned on removing the intake manifold and replacing all the breather components as soon as I took over the title.

I was amazed at just how bad it was. The passage into the block that goes down into the oil pan was completely plugged, making it necessary to remove the oil pan to properly clean all the passages. If we were working on a customer’s car, we would have warned them before starting to change the oil trap that, in some instances, the passage in the oil pan can be plugged and the oil pan may also need to be ­removed. So let’s get started. photo 2


Replacing the Oil Trap:

1. Photo 1 provides a glimpse of the engine before we got started. Remember to wait 15 minutes after shutting off the car before you disconnect the ­battery.

2. Remove the bolts holding the power steering line to the intake, as well as the dipstick tube, turbo duct and vacuum lines. See Photo 2.

3. The fuel rail can stay in the intake; just disconnect the one fuel line going to the rail. We also put a rag in the turbo duct so nothing would fall in. See Photo 3

4. Removing the fitting on the bottom of the intake can be challenging (see Photo 4). You don’t have to remove the power steering pump or alternator. Just loosen the intake bolts and you should be able to move the intake enough to remove the banjo bolt that holds it 4

5. Photo 5 shows the electronic throttle body cable. It goes behind the starter so leave it attached and just set the intake off to the 5

6. Here is the oil trap and hoses ready to come out (see Photo 6). The fitting that went into the bottom of the intake was completely 6

7. The long hose that goes from the oil trap around to the turbo duct has a coolant passage and is trapped behind the bracket that the upper torque mount is attached to (see Photo 7). Once the bracket and mount are removed, you can finish removing the 7

8. We finally have the oil trap box and hoses off, and we can see that the lower passage in the oil trap and the passage into the block are completely plugged. See Photos 8 and 8photo 9

9. Usually we can clean out the passage going into the block, but this one was plugged solid all the way down into the oil pan, and the only way to properly clean it out was to remove the oil pan.

10. The oil pan is fairly easy to remove. Remove the oil cooler (see Photo 10) and the 30 bolts that hold the oil pan to the block. The pan will come off without jacking up the engine or moving the ­ 10

11. Once the oil pan was off, we could see just how badly the return passage was plugged in the block (see Photo 11) and how badly the oil pan was plugged (see Photo 12).photo 11photo 12

12. Be sure to clean the oil passage in the pan from top to bottom before getting the oil pan ready for reinstallation.

13. Photo 13 shows the oil pan clean and ready for reinstallation. Be sure to replace the

O-rings for the oil pipe in the oil pan. They can get hard and crack and cause a loss of oil pressure. photo 13Volvo’s oil pan seal kit P/N 30750783 includes all the seals needed to do the job. The only parts that don’t come with seal kit are for the oil cooler (see Photo 14). photo 14

14. Photo 15 shows how the oil trap and hoses will look when they are all put together and Photo 16 illustrates how it all looks installed on the 15photo 16

15. With the high mileage on this car, we replaced all the oil trap-related hoses and clamps (Nothing fits better than the factory OE parts and that includes the pinch clamps). It’s too much work to have to replace any of the parts at a later time. The engine number on the timing cover will ensure that you get the right parts for the car you’re working on.

16. The intake goes back on along with the vacuum hoses, fuel line and turbo duct. Plug in your injectors. Finish the oil change, top up the coolant and you’re ready to go (see Photo 17).


Photo 17 I think when cars start to reach higher mileage, ­customers tend to neglect some of the regular service and extending oil change intervals certainly contributes to these oil-related problems.

Volvo recommends oil changes every 7,500 miles, and if you follow this recommendation there shouldn’t be any problems. It’s when the customer is “too busy“ and they routinely extend the oil changes past the recommendation that we see these types of problems. That’s why it’s important that we educate our customers and stress the importance of regular maintenance.




The following two tabs change content below.

Bob Howlett

Bob Howlett joined the Swedish Solution crew in 1985 and bought the business 10 years ago. Bob is an ASE-certified Master Technician and is an L1 Advanced Level Specialist. The Swedish Solution specializes in Saab, Volvo, VW and Audi, but it employs four ASE Master Technicians who can service all makes and models.
  • Sammy boy

    Thanks for a really good guide/description here!
    What would you estimate a job like this would cost if I had a mechanic do it?

Latest articles from our other sites:

Federated Charity Golf Outing Raises More Than $55,000 For Toys For Tots

Federated Auto Parts said its recent charity golf tournament exceeded all expectations, raising $57,500 for the 2015 Toys for Tots campaign. “Since so many of our members and suppliers were in Richmond...More

Ford's eCounter Partners With Diagnostic Site Identifix Direct-Hit To Streamline Aftermarket Repairs

For technicians who use Ford Motorcraft’s eCounter to order parts, their work just got a lot easier. eCounter, Motorcraft’s e-commerce tool, has now partnered with Identifix – a provider of automotive...More

ECU Diagnostics

ECU Diagnostics: 1976 Datsun (Nissan) 280Z Call me old-school, but imagine my surprise this spring when a retired “friend of a friend” car collector called about diagnosing a 1976 Datsun (Nissan)...More

Anti-Sway Bar Repair and Service

Anti-Sway Bar Technology Anti-sway bars (aka sway, stabilizer or anti-roll bars) never get the credit they deserve. If anti-sway bars were never invented, the ride and handling of vehicles would be...More

Easy-Run Engine Test Stands Provide a Quick, Safe Solution For Testing Engines Before Installation

Easy-Run Engine Test Stands are the perfect solution for starting and testing engines before they are installed in a vehicle. Easily test new, used or rebuilt engines, detect leaks, tune and properly break...More

Tracer’s Ultrasonic Diagnostic Tool Hears Problems Before They Lead to Breakdowns

The Tracerline Marksman II (P/N TP-9367) is an ultrasonic diagnostic tool that converts and amplifies inaudible ultrasonic sound into audible “natural” sound. Now service technicians can easily hear...More

Is Vehicle Hacking Good For The Aftermarket

You have probably seen the Wired magazine story about the two guys who managed to hack a 2014 Jeep Cherokee using the telematics connection called U-Connect. Although the driver, a writer for Wired, was...More

ECU Diagnostics

ECU Diagnostics: 1976 Datsun (Nissan) 280Z Call me old-school, but imagine my surprise this spring when a retired “friend of a friend” car collector called about diagnosing a 1976 Datsun (Nissan)...More