How To "Stage Zero" Your Volvo V70R

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Whenever you buy a used car, it's advisable to do a quick "tune up." What's entailed in that tune up depends entirely on the make and model vehicle, but on a Volvo V70R, it's actually all pretty simple. In this article we're going to show you, step by step, what parts are needed to bring your V70R back to better-than-stock condition, and all the methods/videos for installing them. 

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The Stage 0 List

Here's a comprehensive list of what you should do or check over.

There are many things on this list that are common sense and don't necessarily need parts, such as checking over the wires for fraying, looking over all hoses for cracking (and replacing if they're torn), and looking for any software updates (which would require you to have VIDA software and a laptop able to scan the car). But nearly every other thing on this list should be looked over and replaced fully (if necessary) to ensure your car is running optimally before you start modifying it or driving it hard in any way. 

Let's rank them in terms of the repair difficulty.

Beginner: Spark Plugs, Coils, Oil, Filters

Simply put, you should know how to change your car's oil. And if you don't, that's ok! We have a ton of DIY videos on our YouTube channel that may fit your vehicle. An oil change on a V70R will run you north of $50 in New Jersey (where I live) which is simply not worth it. And DIY is just so much more satisfying. 

Start with the oil change first, as that's likely the easiest and the most likely to be neglected. Then, move to air filter and intake filter. Next, you'll want to check your spark plugs and ignition coils. Naturally, FCP Euro has a DIY video for that, too. After I did this on the V70R, the car ran much smoother. My rough idle disappeared and my engine misfire codes also disappeared.

Lastly, if you'd like to do all of this in one fail swoop, there's a great kit that includes oil filters, ignition coils, spark plugs, fuel filter and air filter all in one spot.

 

Intermediate: Brakes, Transmission Fluid, and Software

A full brake job should be next thing to bite off on the "Stage Zero" list. Similar to the spark plugs and coils, FCP Euro has a kit that addresses everything on the brakes. Unless you're taking your car to the track on a routine basis, the stock V70R Brembo units will be more than enough for daily driving and the occasional backroad blast. 

 

After the brakes, a trans fluid flush should be next, but this can really be done when you change your oil if you want. It's only slightly more difficult that an oil change which is why it's in this section. I can confirm that when we did a transmission fluid flush on our old automatic V70R, it was a night and day difference with how smooth the car shifted. Get this done sooner rather than later.

I lumped software updates into the intermediate section because it requires some getting used to as well as learning new software. Any dealer will be able to use the VIDA system, but you can pick one up online with a DICE connection for around $300. This software is essential to have for any DIY'er to be able to diagnose problems. OBDII scanners are great, VIDA is better.

Hard: PCV System, Fuel Injectors, And Intercooler

While these aren't technically 'hard", they are a little more intensive time-wise than the previous repairs. A beginner can still very easily tackle them. 

The fuel injectors and the PCV system can be done in one shot, as outlined in this handy tutorial. 

The intercooler is also time intensive, but slightly less so. Be sure to use OEM parts if you're planning on keeping the car stock. Using an upgraded intercooler without tuning and adjusting the MAF can cause your car to run rich or pull timing due to air flow changes.

One last note, the fuel pump may not be necessary to replace. A lot of times they either work or they don't on the V70R. If the car is old, and your V70R likely is a high mileage example, just replace it anyway. They are inexpensive and will help in the long run.

Once you've done all of this, you can enjoy your car as-is for a while or immediately start modding. But, you should do all this first before anything else happens. Next week, I'll talk about modifying your Volvo V70R and what you'll need to make it a proper performance wagon.

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