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.
The "Stage Zero" Process
This is a basic list of the parts and services you should complete to have your Volvo V70R back to running like-new.
- Spark plug change
- Ignition coil change
- PCV system full service
- Oil change
- Oil filter change
- Air filter change
- Full brake job
- Transmission fluid flush
- Check all hoses for cracks or leaks
- Software updates
- Check wires for fraying
- Intercooler and plumbing cleaning
- Fuel injector cleaning or replacement
- Fuel filter change
- Fuel pump check or replacement
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 item 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.
Beginner: Spark Plugs, Coils, Oil, and Filters
Simply put, you should know how to change your car's oil. And if you don't, that's alright! 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 not worth it. On top of that, DIY is just so much more satisfying.
Start with the oil change first, as that's usually the easiest job and the most likely to be neglected. Then, move to the air filter and intake filter. Next, you'll want to check your spark plugs and ignition coils. After I did this on the V70R, the car ran much smoother. My rough idle disappeared, and my engine misfire codes disappeared as well.
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 the next thing to bite off on the "Stage Zero" list. Similar to the spark plugs and coils, FCP Euro has a kit that takes care of an entire brake job. 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 transmission 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 than 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. I'd recommend getting 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, but VIDA is better.
Expert: PCV System, Fuel Injectors, and Intercooler
While these aren't technically "hard," they are a little more time-intensive 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 compared to the PCV. 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 airflow changes.
One last note, it may not be necessary to replace the fuel pump. 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.
If you are looking for more Volvo builds, DIYs, or deals, visit our Volvo Hub at volvo.fcpeuro.com.