S/V40 Oil Drips. Can't locate Source.

MaxMax (@Max) Central Coast NSW


My loverly 308,000kms S40 is leaking a bit. The car drives superbly.

underneath is quite 'wet' and the oil seems to be coming down the back of the block. From the Cam box down.

The oil filler cap is good and not leaking any. The top of the engine is 'dry'.

Any common ideas on what happens with these motors? The car has been pampered all it's life. I fear the costs may outweigh the cars worth



  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.

    Turbo oil drain tube back into the block is a common leak, and fairly easy fix.

    Can also be cam seal(s).

    Can't think of any other likely sources off the top of my head.

  • Ex850RSnoopy (@Ex850R) Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.

    End seal on cam?

  • MaxMax (@Max) Central Coast NSW
    edited February 17

    Thanks - The oil is coming from above trhe Turbo pipe and the Cam seems pretty dry.

    Some seepage from the 'rocker box'/Cam carrier but not as much as is as shown below.

    A puzzle.

  • Ex850RSnoopy (@Ex850R) Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.
    edited July 2019

    Oil cooler line to turbo or seal on turbo end.

  • MaxMax (@Max) Central Coast NSW

    Thanks Snoopy.

    I'm at a dilemma - I'm looking at some other S40s with 150 - 170kms on clock For not a lot of money.

    Do you know if these repairs can get to $1000? coz if they do, I figger I might as well buy another with less kms (and better UP28 switch :-) ).

    I only drive in Winter and ride bike in Spring to Autumn but think this S40 is a magnificent vehicle.

  • MaxMax (@Max) Central Coast NSW

    I first changed the oil when I bought this car at 302,000kms. When I noticed the leaking ( my front yard is a sandy one) at 308k kms, I had to put a litre in.

    It's had synthetic oil all it's life.

  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.

    Pull the heat shield off the turbo and have a closer look.

    Generally, an oil leak at/near the turbo quickly ends up with oil on the outside of the turbo and the stink of burning oil is a big clue.

    I will hazard a guess that it might be a loose or cracked oil feed pipe to the turbo.

  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.

    I understand your dilemma about the value of the vehicle relative to the possible repair costs.

  • Sounds similar to the leak on the s40 my brother had (ex Spac). Replaced the turbo return seals, didnt fix it; thought it could be the cam seal as suggested here but it was pretty dry.

    We concluded that it had to be the rear main seal, and oil was being thrown up onto the back of the engine by the driveshaft. (This was a manual, not sure if it could be the same with an auto.)

    Interestingly it was all completely dry until we did an oil change, then about a week later it started leaking badly. Sounds like your experience may be similar?

  • Remove any covers/ shields. Buy 12 cans of degreaser and spray the crap out of it. When you think you're done, do it again till it's spotless. Then warm it up, rev it up and then use a bright light to check. If this doesn't reveal anything, take it for a short drive, give it some full throttle and check again.

  • MaxMax (@Max) Central Coast NSW

    Thanks all - will have a look at taking the heat shield off tomorrow - if it's not too windy.

    After the fear about how much it's gonna cost me, the oil for the Turbo sounds like a good choice to fix.

    Will let yas know how I progress.

  • MaxMax (@Max) Central Coast NSW
    edited July 2019

    Yes, occasionally get the 'pong' of burning oil ...

  • i had the same problem with both S40T4 cars I owned .In both cases it was the turbo drain pipe where it goes into the block. They have an o-ring that hardens and due to continuous expansion of the draintube they wear the o-ring. It is a relatively easy repair and should not cost much.

  • MaxMax (@Max) Central Coast NSW

    Thanks Calvin. Taking the car 'round the corner to a trusted mechanic (Paul) - not a Volvo 'expert' like the ones that've cost us thousands and didden know what they were doing.

    I'll explain the situation to him and leave it with him. I've taken the heat shield off but,with my eyes, can't see much.

    Will keep posted.

  • MaxMax (@Max) Central Coast NSW

    'We' think it's coming from the near side of the head - under the cam. Not on the belt side.

    Is there a place for it to leak from here or could a hose, as indicated, be spraying a wisp of oil up and wetting the whole area?

    I'm about to take it to the 'experts' and would like to have a bit more knowledge about possible locations of the leak.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  • SpacSpac (@Spac) Canberra-ish.

    Did you degrease it and then keep an eye on the oil spread?

  • MaxMax (@Max) Central Coast NSW

    Nah Spac - I'd like to , but I only have a sandy front yard and nowhere to hose all the oil away.

    I guess I'll just have to take it to the 'expert' and let him fix it. I might get a surprise.

  • MaxMax (@Max) Central Coast NSW

    Hi all,

    Still leaking but had a good look today with my fingers and it was all oily as in the pics.

    What are the tubes that seem to be leaking? They are high up in the engine and just below the end of the N.S. ex cam.

    I get frightened sometimes reading repairs for oil leaks and've seen it costing some blokes $1500 in labour!

    Your advice will be appreciated - and the car is up for rego in 5 days. I dunno what to do - scrap it and buy another for $1500 of fix?

  • Undo the rear cam sensor and have a look it should be dry. If theres oil in there you will just need to replace the rear cam seal

  • MaxMax (@Max) Central Coast NSW
    edited August 2019

    Thanks Tim,

    Learning about Cam Sensor's now via internet. Can see what part it is and will look more at it tomorrow when the sun is shining on the car.

    It gives me great hope as it does seem to be exuding from this part of the engine.

    Will keep posted.

Sign In or Register to comment.