KdL Automotive Volvo onderhoud voor youngtimers en klassiekers Middelbeers Brabant

Automatic gearbox flushing for the Volvo V70

My 2001 Volvo V70 (the V70N-model) has a problem with the automatic gearbox lately: it’s pretty poor in shifting up and slips more than often. Besides that the revs at running idle aren’t very stable and could also be caused by the automatic transmission. And at certain revs (between 1.800rpm and 2.200rpm) a strange vibration can be heard but you actually don’t feel it (it sounds like something in the glovebox is vibrating, but it’s even there when the glovebox is empty). My V70 has an AW5 automatic gearbox, produced by Aisin-Warner.


Volvo V70 automatic gearbox transmission problems flushing flush Powerflush powerflushing

The following symptoms appeared at the AW5 automatic transmission of my Volvo V70:

  • slipping, especially when moving to the fourth gear
  • faltering while changing gears
  • sometimes a bit banging
  • strange noise at certain rpm (could be a dirty torque converter)
  • one time the gearbox couldn’t find a gear, resulting in redlining and an interrupted drivetrain (when releasing the gas pedal the gearbox was able to shift up again).

With all those problems I thought the gearbox was dying a slow dead, but since the automatic transmission fluid (ATF) was changed about 80.000km ago by the Volvo dealer, it could be dirty oil that’s causing the solenoids to make errors or not properly functioning. Volvo believed the automatic transmissions never needed to be serviced when the V70N was introduced, but they got back on it and change it every 50.000 miles now. Toyota and Lexus (who also uses this AW5 automatic gearbox) did this all the time and guess what: they don’t have any problems at all with these gearboxes and Volvo had! It’s a very common issue the ATF could ruin the automatic gearbox and in the past a lot of S60, V70 and S80 cars had a completely broken gearbox. What a oil change could prevent… 😉

Tomorrow the automatic transmission of my Volvo V70 will be powerflushed by GS Powerflush. Gery Slot (the owner of GS Powerflush) thinks the problems of my gearbox would be fixed after flushing the automatic gearbox. The biggest difference between a regular ATF change and a full flush (or: powerflush) is that the ATF oil in the radiator, torque converter and lines will be changed at a powerflush, but at a regular oil change the old and dirty oil will stay in the torque converter and radiator. The dirty oil at a regular change will contaminate the new ATF immediately, but with a powerflush (where 16 litres of ATF will be used, including a conditioner) the entire system will be flushed until the ATF that’s coming out will be 100% clean and bright red. The gearbox is completely clean and will shift as a new gearbox.

Tomorrow morning I’ll find out if it’s worth the 305 Euro, but I’ve got a good feeling of it.

Installing rear roof spoiler for my Volvo V70 – update

A while ago I bought a rear roof spoiler for my Volvo V70. After I painted it I installed the spoiler on my 2001 Volvo V70.

For installation there were 3 options:

  • use bolts and drill holes in the tailgate to install the spoiler (but unfortunately the thread and holes of the spoiler doesn’t match the OEM Volvo rear spoiler)
  • using double-sided tape (Volvo used this trick on the 850R)
  • install the spoiler with special kit

Since the holes of the rear spoiler did not match the suggested drilling marks of the tailgate (you can see a plus-mark on the inner side of the tailgate where you should drill for installing a rear spoiler on your V70) and the place where the drills should be made this was not an option for me. Double sided tape should be too tricky since the spoiler is pretty heavy, so I used a special heavy duty kit of Bison which should be dry and ready within 30 minutes. It took longer (about 60 minutes and the spoiler came off, but it appeared the kit should be moistened).

Volvo V70 V70N aftermarket rear roof spoiler side view close-up
A close look on the aftermarket spoiler for my Volvo V70. Unfortunately the kit is still visible. Grinding it should help, but since the kit is too flexible it could be impossible to make it perfect

Volvo V70 V70N rear roof spoiler back
The aftermarket spoiler isn’t as nice as the Volvo OEM-spoiler for the V70

Volvo V70 V70N rear roof spoiler aftermarket back view
The spoiler is a bit too high. It has one benefit: the original center brake light can still be used! Most aftermarket spoilers with a build-in brakelight are having too weak lights 


After a few months the spoiler is still very stable and mounted rock-solid on my car. Not bad! But in the future I won’t buy any aftermarket-spoilers: the fit is not excellent and installing it can be difficult. And to be honest: I think the OEM-spoiler would look much better than this spoiler.


The new Volvo V40 arrived at the dealer

Yesterday I visited Volvo-dealer Kallen in Geleen (The Netherlands) and when I arrived a brand new Volvo V40 arrived, just from the factory in Gent (Belgium) where the V40 is produced. The new V40 will be available in August 2012 but some dealers have a V40 for testing and as demo-car. These V40s will both be testcars. The design of the new Volvo V40 is awesome! And it has a small detail that reminds of the Volvo P1800: the rear doors have the same small bend as the P1800-series had in the doors. Very cool!

The pictures are taken with my Lumia 800 in a dark workshop of the Volvo-dealer. You can click on the pictures for a larger image.

Volvo V40 2012 new front
The front of the new Volvo V40, the car is a lot bigger than the C30 and is actually a small V60. Notice the V40 of Johan in the background and you can see how the new Volvo V40 has grown compared with his precursor

Volvo V40 new side view ice white solid profile
The side view of the new Volvo V40 with sportsline suspension

Volvo V40 new 2012 black sapphire 451
There was also a Volvo V40 in black sapphire metallic 

Volvo V40 sportsline new 2012 back white lowered chassis
I really like the ice white color on this Volvo V40 and the lowered chassis (available as sportsline series) is a must-have on the V40
Volvo V40 2012 rear view sportsline
Another view of the back of the new Volvo V40. It will be available in August 2012

BMW wants to produce cars in old Volvo-factory in Born

As mentioned before on Volvotips Nedcar (the former factory in Born where the Volvo 300-series, 400-series and S40/V40 were produced) is for sale. The Dutch company VDL (who produces buses, coaches and some other transport-related products) wants to take over Nedcar, but only when they’re sure a car company gives them a big order to produce cars.

Today there’s good news for the 1.500 employees of Nedcar: BMW declared just a few hours ago they want to produce cars in Born (the Netherlands)! Mitsubishi wants to leave Born before the end of this year and before the end of the year Nedcar should be sold, otherwise it would be closed.

As I mentioned before BMW is struggling with a production capacity for it’s Mini and since new models of the Mini are planned BMW needs extra capacity urgently and wants to start production at Nedcar in 2014. But the deal isn’t sealed yet: it’s up to Mitsubishi.

New car! A very basic ’84 Volvo 740

Because I missed having a classic Volvo next to my V70N (I sold my Volvo 244 GL diesel 2 months ago) I started looking for a new car. It should have an automatic gearbox, power steering, a nice color and a sunroof would also be nice. It didn’t matter if it was a Volvo 200-series or a 740. I couldn’t find something which covers all those wishes but I found a nice 740 which needed some work.

It’s a Volvo 740 GL of 1984 (but it’s already ModelYear 1985 since it’s produced in October or November 1984) but it’s a very basic version: it doesn’t have central locking, heated seats or even a blue/green beam in top of the windshield! All options were pretty much standard one year later, but so be it. The car has an AW70 or AW71 (I didn’t check it yet) automatic gearbox, gray cloth upholstery and that’s it. Originally the car had blue upholstery (according to the previous owner, who works at a Volvo dealer) but it’s changed to a newer upholstery because the old interior was worn out. I also bought a set of Volvo Adhara wheels (which came from the 940 of the previous owner), which are now installed on the car.

Specifications of my Volvo 740 GL:
– B230K engine with Pierburg carburator and automatic choke
– power steering
– dark red paint
– Turbo grille
– white indicator lights
– gray upholstery
– 15-inch Volvo Adhara wheels in excellent condition
– that’s it! Not even a tow bar!

The car only has a mileage of 210.000 kilometers, which is extremely low for it’s age. But according to the institute which registers the mileages (NAP) it seems 100% correct!

Volvo 740 GL sedan 1984 MY 1985
My new red Volvo 740 GL

The car drives pretty well, except sometimes it’s pretty unstable on the road (feels like bad shock absorbers), but I drove the 740 back when it was very stormy. Other things I need to fix: indicator of the overdrive will light up sometimes (and the overdrive of the AW70/71 is working fine), resistor of the heater fan is broken (the fan only works at full speed) and two times when I wanted to start the car the starter motor immediately stopped after just one stroke. But after that the car started immediately and that problem hasn’t been seen again (yet?). On the front doors and front wing (just below the side direction indicator) at the driver’s side there’s a bit rust, but it seems it’s caused by chippings. So it isn’t very bad. The floorpanels of the Volvo 740 are in excellent condition.

In case the shock absorbers are in bad condition (I tested it by pushing down the car and release it, but it seems okay): I will also replace the springs. In that case I will lower the car with 40mm by installing a progressive coil spring lowering set.

More pictures of my dark red Volvo 740 will be uploaded soon!
Update: I’ve uploaded some pictures and more info about my Volvo 740 here.

Scantech Volvo parts stops production

As I mentioned a couple of months ago on Twitter a famous aftermarket Volvo & Saab-manufacturer stops producing parts. Most Volvo classic car drivers know Scantech for its cheap (but sometimes poor) aftermarket parts.

Rumours last January said the investers of Scantech wanted to quit investing money in the company, but it seems Scantech stops being active in Europe and Asia and the name for Europe has been sold to a new owner. The new owner is Mino Autoparts (Sweden) but it seems they aren’t active in producing Volvo or Saab-parts at the moment. It’s not sure when (or if?) new reproduction of various Volvo classic parts will be started. Their new website (www.newscantech.com) isn’t active yet.

Scantech Volvo spare replacement parts

The official statement on the Scantech-website:
Scan Tech USA/Sweden AB based in Tumba, Sweden has discontinued operations outside of North America and therefore is no longer accepting any orders.

Inquiries to Scan Tech USA/Sweden AB regarding prior business matters can be made via email to scantechinquiries@gmail.com.
The Scantech brand has been sold to a new Swedish owner, committed to providing high quality Volvo and Saab parts and developing a new business with the brand.
The new company which will operate under the name “Scantech of Sweden” is owned by Mino Autoparts of Sweden.
For information about business opportunities and purchase requests of SCANTECH branded products in the future,  please contact

Scantech of Sweden

Hopefully the production of Volvo parts will be started up very soon, otherwise there might be a small problem in replacement parts for our beloved Volvo classic cars.


Painting the Volvo V70 rear roof spoiler

As mentioned in a previous blogpost I bought a rear spoiler for my 2001 Volvo V70. Since my car doesn’t have roofrails the V70 isn’t as pretty as it should be: V70s without a rear roof spoiler and without roofrails seems to have a bit “sacked down” back. A roof spoiler should solve this horrible look.

The version of the spoiler I have is a version you don’t see often. The most popular version is the original Volvo spoiler. There are aftermarket versions which are a copy of the original version (including center brake light which is too weak on the copycat-versions) but the spoiler I have is a version you don’t see often. It’s made in Sweden (or: the Swedish producer designed it in Sweden but the spoilers are made elsewhere) and it doesn’t have a brake light. See the image below for an example.

Volvo V70 V70N rear roof spoiler aftermarket
The spoiler for my Volvo V70 is the same as in the image above 

The spoiler isn’t painted when you buy it, but it’s ready for painted right away because it already is set in primer. Of course those prefab paint/primerwork isn’t the best and always needs some grinding and sanding to make the surface smooth. After sanding there is a bit more preparation needed: remove all dust and dirt. I always use ammonia for degreasing (some people use brake cleaner, but it’s way too aggressive). It smells terrible but works excellent.

Volvo V70 V70N rear roof spoiler top before paintjob
The top of the spoiler 

Volvo V70 V70N rear roof spoiler downside
The bottom of the V70 spoiler 

As you can see on the image above the spoiler can be mounted by using bolts, but that won’t work very good since the holes of this spoiler doesn’t match with the original position of the holes which should be drilled in the tailgate. The best option here is to glue the spoiler, using two-component adhesive or window sealant. I think I’ll go for the last option.

After I sanded the entire spoiler I sprayed it with several layers of primer. After a couple of days drying it should be ready for painting.

Volvo V70 2000-2008 rear roof spoiler primer
After spraying the primer the spoiler is ready to be painted in metallic dark gray 

Volvo V70 V70N rear roof spoiler taped painting respray masked
After the first side is done the spoiler is being taped the other side can also be sprayed in the right color. Of course it’s better to hang up the spoiler and spray both sides at once 

I don’t have the after-photo of the painted spoiler right now, but the paintjob is pretty well done! And the spoiler isn’t fitted yet onto the car. I must install the spoiler one of these days, but since the weather is pretty bad right now it still couldn’t be done (maybe this weekend). Stay tuned for the update!

Installing a Grom USB & Ipod / Iphone interface in a Volvo

This how-to guide is almost similar to the tutorial of the Yatour usb-unit I posted earlier. But now it’s about the very popular Grom Audio iPhone/iPod/USB interface which is mostly used on the Volvo HU-radio.

I tried the Yatour usb-interface earlier and it’s working fine but not for me: the file support for mp3-files larger than 50mb is a bit slow and since I mostly listen to livesets the Yatour just didn’t meet my expectations. But as basic mp3 interface it’s good enough for most people. Fortunately Motrade allowed me to return the Yatour interface and I ordered a Grom USB2 interface at Motrade. The Grom USB2 has 3 ports: an USB2.0 port (which supports flash disks, hard drives and usb-sticks), an aux-port (for an external mp3-player or Bluetooth-device which is connected by the optional Bluetooth-dongle) and an iPod/iPhone (which needs the optional cable). Since a few weeks the Samsung Galaxy S and S II (both with Android) are also supported. See the diagram below how the Grom can be connected with one of all these devices.

The Grom USB2 works on all Volvo HU- and SC-radios and steering remote control is also supported. The newest Grom USB2 also supports cd-text (if you already have the older version, see Johan Hogervorst’s tutorial how to enable text support).

Grom USB interface diagram iPod iPhone USB Samsung Galaxy

Enough talking, now it’s time to show you how to install the Grom interface on your Volvo HU or SC radio!

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Mistakes made by the workshop

A couple of weeks ago my 2001 Volvo V70 went to the workshop for maintenance (see the blogpost here), but unfortunately the garage noticed the pulley of the camshaft adjustment was in terrible condition. Thanks to that the engine was leaking some oil, but fortunately not for a long time. To solve this problem the belt gear must be removed (also the timing belt to remove the gear wheel) and since the timing belt should be replaced in about 30.000km the mechanic of the garage and I both thought it was better to replace it all right away (not only the pulley but also the timing belt, waterpump and tensioner or adjuster). An appointment was made and on April 3 the car went to the garage for this operation (which took about 6 hours). Since I never done maintenance on a newer Volvo myself ( a modern Volvo is way more difficult than a classic Volvo like an Amazon or 240) I always go to the same workshop (which is specialized in Volvo).

Volvo 244 DL B21F injection automatic USA
The garage didn’t have a car for loan, so I managed to borrow a 244 DL USA-import at a Volvo classic specialist 

Later that day the V70 was ready and I took it home. But the car was missing a lot of power and wanted to stop running when waiting for the traffic lights. The next day the car had troubles starting and when the car finally was running the engine turned off when I moved the gear selector in R or D. After several attempts I managed to get the car working and immediately went back to the garage. When I arrived the car had even more problems with starting and even the warning light for the engine was on! In my opinion the timing belt wasn’t installed correct but the workshop denied to make such a big mistake and could be something else. I left the car at the workshop and they would investigate what the exact problem should be.

After two days the workshop called: they were sure the timing belt was installed correctly and it should be the camshaft sensor which causes the problem. They’re gonna to replace it and should be ready within one hour. But after 3,5 hours I was called again: they went to the Volvo-dealer who was certain the timing belt wasn’t installed correctly and replacing the sensor shouldn’t do the trick. The dealer lend the mechanic the original Volvo tools to adjust the timing belt. It appeared the timing belt was about 2 teeth wrong on its position. The mechanic adjusted the timing belt into the right position and the problem was solved. He also made a 40km testdrive to be certain the car was running fine.

The next day my girlfriend and I went to the garage to pick up the car. But when I started it there was a horrible screaming and wheezy noise coming out of the engine! I went back inside the garage and they told me the problem was caused by too much brake cleaner (they sprayed a lot of brake cleaner to the engine to clean some oil traces) which cleaned the roller of the multi belt. They inserted some teflon spray and it should be gone within a few kilometers.

But on the way home the car got some heavy vibrating and noises. I tried to call the garage but the phone wasn’t picked up. So when I arrived home I tried to call again but with no luck. I mailed them if the engine support rubbers were also damaged and the next day I got a mail back to check the wheel bolts. Very strange reply, and I thought it was very suspicious. So I checked it immediately: the left front wheel was very loose! After some intense discussion with the garage it appeared they’d thighten the wheels with the torque of a 850 (which should be 110nm, but their torque wrench is set on about 120-125nm) and not the torque the V70 or S60 requires (which is at least) 140nm. That could have caused the problem (the garage says it could also be theft, but the car was 4-5 days at their place). But fortunately there is no further damage on the vehicle, rim or bolts.

How to install a Yatour mp3 usb-module on a Volvo HU or SC radio

In this tutorial I’ll show you how to install a Yatour (also sold as Motrade, Ycarlink and other brandnames) mp3 USB- and SD-card module for your Volvo HU- or SC-radio. You’ll connect this unit on the cd-changer-port of the radio and this sd/usb-module will emulate as a cd-dischanger but works as a digital music changer. Since the Volvo SC- and HU-radios don’t support mp3-playback this kind of units receive a warm welcome in your car because you don’t need any cd’s anymore.

Yatour Motrade Ycarlink digital music changer mp3 usb SD module Volvo HU

Since my Volvo V70 has a Volvo HU-1205 navigation radio (which of course doesn’t support mp3-playback) and also doesn’t have a disc-changer I wanted a mp3-unit for a long time! I bought the Yatour usb-module at Motrade and is labeled as “Motrade digital music changer” (and not as a Yatour). Installation of the mp3-unit is pretty easy and Motrade sends the right equipment to make the installation a lot easier.

See the guide below how to install a mp3/usb-module on your Volvo HU or SC radio. Click on the images for a larger version.

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