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How to service your Volvo 740 or 760

In this tutorial I’ll tell you how to change spark plugs, air filter and oil (including oil filter) of your Volvo 740, 760 or 780. In this example I use my ’84 Volvo 740 GL with B230K engine. But since all 740s and 760 Turbo and 780 with 4-cylinder engine have basically the same engine (all of them are the B230 or B200-series engine) this tutorial can also be used at the 760 and 780 with a 4-cylinder engine.

Servicing your Volvo 700-series car is very easy and doesn’t require any special tools. Some standard wrenches, sockets, ratchet and oil filter remove tool will be enough. I recommend to use some pair of gloves to prevent dirty hands and protect your hands against oil and sharp objects (like clamps). To change the oil I recommend to use a jack set or car lift. Never use a jack while working underneath the car!

For all images in this article: click on it for a larger image. It will open in a new window/tab.


Replacing the air filter of your Volvo 740

It’s very easy to replace the air filter. For the B200 and B230 you’ll need Volvo part number 1336397. Just follow the steps below and it’s done in a couple of minutes!

Step 1: opening the airbox

To open the airbox (Volvo calls it officially an “air cleaner box”) I recommend to use gloves, because the clamps can break. Be careful to open these latches: you don’t want them to break!

Locate the airbox: in most cases it’s on the right side of the engine compartment when you opened the hood.

Volvo 740 940 B230 B200 airbox air filter cleaner
The airbox of a Volvo 740 or 760 with B200 or B230-engine 

Volvo 740 940 airbox clamp latch air cleaner filter housing
Open the airbox carefully and don’t damage the clamps

Volvo 740 940 airbox air cleaner filter opened cover
Remove the airbox cover and you’ll see the airfilter. The Scantech box below contains the new air filter

Step 2: clean the airbox and replace the air filter

After removing the old (and dirty) air filter you should clean the airbox: it will have a lot of dust, debris and other stuff you don’t wanna have in your new air filter. Clean it with a piece of cloth.

Volvo part 1336397 740 940 B230 old new air filter
After removing the old air filter clean the airbox. Here is a comparison between the new and old air filter. Needless to say it needed a replacement!

Volvo part number 1336397 new air filter cleaner 740 940
After cleaning the airbox: install the new air filter and you’re almost done!

Step 3: reassemble the airbox cover and job done!

Put the airbox cover back on the airbox, gently pull down the clamps (I suggest to begin at the top left, than the bottom right, top right and bottom left for easier installation of the cover) and you’re done!


How to replace the spark plugs of your Volvo 740, 760 or 780

Replacing the spark plugs of your Volvo 700-series car isn’t really rocket science. With a ratchet and a 21mm socket (which should be deep enough to contain a spark plug) or a spark plug tool it’s very easy to replace the spark plugs. For adjusting the gap you can use a gap adjusting tool.

For the right spark plugs you can buy Bosch, NGK, Denso or Champion. I recommend to use the original Volvo OEM-set, because they have the right gap and don’t need any adjusting (unless the package has been dropped or damaged). In my case the B230K needs Volvo part 272464 (a set of 4 spark plugs, each spark plug has Volvo part number 1367529 but the 272464 is the complete set of 4 spark plugs).

I recommend to remove the ignition lead cable per cylinder, not all at once because you can forget the right order of the cables.

Step 1: remove the spark plug cable

Have a close look on the ignition lead set: be sure the spark plug cables aren’t damaged or worn. If they don’t look fresh anymore: replace them (which is actually very easy).

Volvo B230 spark plug cable ignition lead set
The spark plug cables of a Volvo B230 engine

Volvo B230 240 740 940 remove spark plug ignition lead cable
Gently pull the ignition lead cable off the spark plug. Be careful you don’t damage the ignition lead cable!

Step 2: remove the spark plug of the Volvo engine

To remove a spark plug: you’ll need a spark plug removal tool or a ratchet with extender and 21mm socket.

Volvo 740 940 240 B230 tools ratchet socket spark plugs replace how to
The items you need for replacing the spark plugs of your Volvo 740 or 760: a fresh set of OEM Volvo spark plugs and the ratchet, extender and right 21mm socket

Volvo B230 B200 removing spark plug tool ratchet socket
Remove the old spark plug

Volvo 240 740 940 B230 spark plug new old
The new and old spark plug

Volvo part 1367529 new old spark plug worn comparison
Another comparison: the old spark plug is very dirty and black. It’s a good thing I’m replacing it!

If you use a torque wrench: install the new spark plugs with about 25nm. If you don’t use a torque wrench but by hand: don’t thighten it too much! When it’s fastened: pull down the ratchet once and it should be allright.

After the new spark plug is installed: put back the spark plug cable and you’re done for that cylinder.

Step 3: repeat all steps above for all cylinders

The title of this step says it all: repeat step 2 at the rest of the cylinders and you’re done!

Volvo 1367529 1306605 different old worn spark plugs
The old spark plugs of my Volvo 740 with B230K-engine. It appears the previous owner installed 2 different types of Volvo spark plugs! It seems both are usable for the B230K but have some small differences. No wonder the fuel consumption of my car was pretty poor! 


How to change the oil of your Volvo 740, 760 or 780 with 4-cylinder redblock

In this section I’ll show you how to easily change the oil and oil filter of your Volvo 740, 760 or 780 with a 4-cylinder engine. The B28 and B280 PRV V6-engines and the diesel-engines have a slightly different way to change the oil but is almost similar.  I recommend to change the oil filter at every oil change since oil filters are pretty cheap. And please use the original oil filter of Volvo which has part number 3517857 or use the Mann-version (Mann was the OEM supplier for Volvo). Another good option is a filter from Fram.

The best oil for your redblock-engine (B17, B19, B21, B23, B200, B230, B204 or B234) use the oil that is recommended for your car. In most cases 10W40 semi-synthetic oil will be fine (unless you’ve got a turbocharged engine and full synthetic oil is being used). For the older types (B17, B19, B21, B23, B200K, B230A and B230K) 15W40 mineral oil would be fine. But again: check what has been used in your car. And use good oil, not cheap oil like Action, hardwarestore-privatelabel or other crap that doesn’t cool your engine and have additives that won’t work at all (most cheap oils are expired or are a fall-out product of premium oils). A cheap but good oil is Castrol GTX or Mobil1 which can be found at many car parts stores or even hardware stores.

This tutorial helps you to change the oil yourself. Tools and parts you’ll need are:

  • a car lift or jack stands (never use only a car jack!!)
  • an oil filter removal tool
  • a new oil filter (Volvo part 3517857 or Mann or Fram oilfilter)
  • O-ring for the oil carter drain plug (Volvo part number 18818 which has the size of 19,2 x 26,2 x 2 mm)
  • 4 litres of good new oil
  • rubber gloves (unless you want dirty hands which resist hot oil, not recommended)
  • 26mm / 1 inch wrench to remove the oil carter plug (beware: some cars have an other size like 22mm or 27mm because the plug has been changed by an aftermarket version).


 Volvo 740 GLE service servicing tutorial overhaul
In this tutorial I’ll use the Volvo 740 GLE of my girlfriend. The car has a B230F engine but this tutorial applies on all B17-B234-engines

 Volvo 740 on car lift
Step 1: lift the car to enter the carter

Use a car lift or jack stands to get your Volvo off the ground and provide enough space to reach the carter plug

 collecting old oil sump tray
Step 2: put a tub under the carter to catch the old oil

Use a tub, bin, bucket or whatever you want to collect the old oil.

 Volvo B230 oil carter
Step 3: locate the oil carter and put the tub right under it

The oil carter can be found exact below the engine and in most cases it has a red paint

 Volvo B230 carter plug with ring 18818
Step 4: remove the carter plug and drain the oil

Put on your rubber gloves, get your wrench and gently unscrew the oil carter plug. Warning: hot oil will drain immediately and at the moment the plug is pretty loose unscrew the plug by hand but push it upwards. By pushing it the oil will stay in the carter until the moment you’ll remove the plug entirely. Wait several minutes before removing the tub and be sure no oil is coming out the carter again. Reinstall the carter plug with a new copper ring

 Volvo tighten remove oil filter tool
Step 5: remove the oil filter

Move the tub or tray with old oil to the position below the oil filter. Since the 740 and 940 won’t allow to remove the oil filter easily when working under the car, you’ll need to remove the old filter from the upside (in case you’re using a car lift: lower the lift). Pop the hood and use the oil tool to remove the old oil filter

 Volvo oil filter tool
The old oil filter must be emptied at the old oil

 Volvo new oil filter part 3517857
Step 6: put some new oil on the rubber of the new oil filter

This step must be done to be sure the rubber will perfectly seal to the engine and doesn’t cause any leaks

 Volvo oil filter tighten installing
Step 7: install the new oil filter

Install the new oil filter and use the oil filter tool to tighten the new filter. Most people only tightens the filter by hand, but I’ve seen leaking filters because it doesn’t seal perfectly. By using the oil filter tool the oil filter will not leak at all.

 volvo B230 fill engine with new oil 10w40
Step 8: fill the engine with new oil

The Volvo redblocks needs about 3,85 litre of oil. Remove the oil cap and fill the engine with 3,75 litres ……

 Volvo B230F Castrol GTX 10W40 oil change
…. check the oil level and fill the engine until the desired oil level has been reached
 Volvo B230F redblock engine
Job done! Your Volvo engine has fresh oil and is ready for 10.000km (6000 miles)!


Checking the fluid level of the power steering

When standing in front of the car you’ll see a small black box with a cap on it and if you have a close look you’ll see the words “Power steering fluid” on the cap. Remove the cap and check the oil level and color of the oil with a tissue (the oil should be bright red and smell a bit sweet). If needed: fill the powersteering fluid with ATF until the required level is reached (I suggest to fill it up to the “max”-level).  If the oil is black and smells burnt: replace the ATF of the powersteering.

Volvo 740 760 780 940 960 check fill powersteering ATF fluid oil
Checking and filling the ATF of the powersteering is easy 

How to check and remove the fan and alternator belts

You should check the condition of the fan belts, alternator belt and airco belt. Replacing them is pretty easy (unless the bolts and screws are stuck: you’ll need a lot of penetrating oil or even new bolts if the old ones breaks) but you need to be sure you’ve got the right size of the belts. On the belts there is a number written and you can order it at a webshop or local car parts store.

Volvo 740 940 B230 V fan belt belts
These fan belts need replacement

To replace the fan belts: loose the adjusting screws of the powersteering pump, alternator and airco pump (in case the Volvo has airconditioning). Remove the old fan belts and install the new ones. Tighten the adjusting screws until you’ll can push down the fan belt about 1cm (0.4 inch) and you’re done. Note: most fan belts needs to be adjusted after a while when they’re just installed because the belts will be strained after installation and driving.

Check the fluid level of cooling system, wiper fluid and brake system

Final step of servicing your Volvo 740: check the level of the coolant (should be between “min” and “max”) and fill it if necessary. Don’t use water, but special coolant.

The brake fluid should be changed every 2 years (will be posted in the brake section on this website) but check the level of the brake fluid.

Fill the wiper fluid tank with the anti-freeze fluid and check the condition of the windscreen wipers. Replace if necessary.

© Volvotips.com 2012

2 Responses to “How to service your Volvo 740 or 760”

  1. frisonp says:

    Hi All,

    I got a 740 Gl 2.3, engine B230K from belgium, 300.000km, and i have issues with my RMP.

    When cold started, the RPM is around 800, and when the engine get warmer the RPM get higher. And when the engine is Hot, my RPM is around 1500-1600.

    I also have auto-ignition i thing, because sometimes when i turn of the engine, even when the Key is off, the engine keeps runnning under 500RPM and make of course lots of vibration, i have to turn it on again en turn of, many times, to finaly get the engine completely off.
    Or maybe the gaz admission keeps open even the engine is off, and because of the warmness, there is auto-combustion?

    I stopped driving it since 1 month. I hope my troubles are not too bad :s

    Thanks for ready and wait for your ideas to help me!

    • Volvotips says:

      The B230K carburator has two adjustment screws, but before twisting and turning those screws: please check that all hoses are fine! One bad hose can cause the problems you’re having right now. Good luck!

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