The Volvo: Part 4


After the fun of my last repair, the car was rolling and was ready for the trek back. I was able to drive the car back to my parents house without event. I spent a few hours chasing a few electrical issues with the signal lights, and it passed inspection without issue. Driving it back to Worcester was more than a little nervewracking, although the trip went without issue. After about a week, I did notice that my oil level had gone down a fair amount. I purchased a quart of oil to top it up and set off to figure out the issue.

After some discussion with my coworkers and poking around the engine bay, I decided to replace my valve cover gasket. While I was ordering parts, I also ordered a gasket and filter kit for my transmission, a transmission mount, and some new silicon vacuum hose.

The parts arrived as quickly as always, thanks to FCPs fantastic service. Even with economy shipping, parts still arrive the next day after they ship. Admittedly, a good portion of that is probably due to geographic proximity, but it's still awesome. Everything was in order, so I arranged to service my transmission at my bosses house the next weekend.

During the week, I pulled the valve cover, cleaned the inside of it, and replaced the gasket. In order to remove the valve cover, I had to remove part of the PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) system, and I discovered that it was absolutely encrusted with crud, which could certainly have been part of my rough idle issue.

Because pistons need to move, there has to be some tolerance between the piston and the cylinder wall. Unfortunately, this allows some of the gasses from the combustion chambers into the crankcase. The PCV system is designed to allow these gasses out. Normally, there's a one-way valve and some vacuum voodoo, but the turbo makes life a lot simpler. The oil separator is piped into the turbo intake, which pulls a vacuum and doesn't mind a bit of oil in it.

Sadly, I didn't take many pictures while I was working on the valve cover gasket or PCV system, because my hands were frozen, disgusting, and my phone was dead.

Camshaft! Camshaft!

I took absolutely zero pictures while working on the transmission because it was roughly 36deg F out, so I was freezing and absolutely covered in disgusting smelling used ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid). For those of you out there who aren't aware, used ATF is one of the most pungent smelling fluids a car can soak you in. And I got soaked. I didn't fully flush the transmission, but I did fully empty the pan and replace the filter, so there were a good 5qts of fluid in play, roughly 1qt that ended up all over me. I won't go into the living hell that it was, mainly because I have no desire to relive it.

The last major piece of maintenance I did from this shipment was over Thanksgiving break, when I finally got around to replacing my transmission mount. It was a fairly easy job, I just hadn't had time to deal with it.

Well, this explains a few things... Well, this explains a few things...

I didn't bother taking a picture of the new mount, but for the very curious among you, some can be found here.

There is one more thing that I had to deal with... which was the crap vacuum line I bought from Autozone. Less than a month after installing it, I had to replace it as it had begun to harden. I can't explain how Autozone can find such profoundly terrible products, but they do. If I wanted to murder someone, I could do it just by replacing most of the parts on their car with parts from Autozone and waiting. They'd be dead soon enough.

In part 5, our protagonist will experience a series of unfortunate events

This article is my 36th oldest. It is 663 words long