Similar threads exist in the other forums. I posted a change to the pre-2011+ group under that thread and it was suggested that I post under the "proper" forum.
While I imagine purchasers of older models will be more likely to modify their cars than those of us who buy brand-new, I've already made some changes to mine.
- Dealer installed trailer hitch
- LED License Plate Lights. First set would overheat, second set, sold as "License Plate Lights" still working fine (better heat handling?).
- Corrected dealer-install of trailer controller power -- was pulling off socket on hot side of fuse box instead of fused side. Added per-spec 40A fuse to that socket
- Ham radio antenna attached to trunk lid
- Ham radio body, CB radio body, and 12V socket installed in trunk, attached to subframe by existing fuse box. CB radio connected to power but not completely hooked up (fuse from lead pulled). Connected to same 40A circuit.
- Installed Proclip dash mount for Garmin Nuvi GPS and Ham radio head (display and mic)
- Installed 3-socket 12V socket under waterfall, wired into 12V socket in cup holder (wires all run under center console).
- Ran 3 CAT-5 cables from trunk to center console -- hidden in wiring tray and under dash. One used to connect Ham radio body and head. Other 2 for spare or something else (like connecting CB radio body and control/mic when I figure out the connections).
- Rotated tires around time of my first scheduled factory maint. visit.
I have pictures of all these changes if anyone cares. I posted those in the other forum.
The latest thing I've done to the car is change the oil. In the past I've changed oil in the 3500-5000 mile range (plan 3500, often don't get to until 5000) using semi-synth in non-turbo vehicles. With my model year, Volvo recommends a 7500 mile interval and semi-synth. For the first visit, I upgraded to full synth (and got a rebate for most of it from Casterol).
I just passed 11,000 so was due for an oil change. My steps:
- Car up on ramps, in park, parking brake on, back wheels chocked.
- Remove plastic/fiberglass cover plate (6 torx screws).
- Replace rear cover plate when I realize the engine was forward (6 torx screws)
- Remove plastic/fiberglass front cover plate (10 torx screws).
- Remove oil-fill cap.
- Remove drain plug and let oil drain.
- Realize that engine contains more oil than drain pan will hold (was fine for all other family cars).
- Replace oil-fill cap and then drain plug.
- Empty dran pan, make note to buy bigger one, resume draining oil (repeat #5&6).
- Grab sample of draining oil (more about this later).
- Wonder why there is no "crush washer" on the drain plug.
- Find crush washer on oil pan, remove.
- Put new crush washer on drain plug and install.
- Worry that you've stripped the drain plug threads when tightening down.
- Realize that a crushing crush washer will feel a lot like a stripped thread and that everything is OK.
- Remove filter cover with appropriate socket. No need to remove air inlet if you have knuckle and extension.
- Swap out internal filter cartridge and replace white-ish O-ring.
- Re-install filter cover and tighten down.
- Add oil. You did note the appropriate amount before getting your hands dirty, didn't you? (I did)
- Start engine, check for any warning lights, check for leaks, rev engine a bit, check for leaks, shut down engine.
- Reattach front bottom cover plate.
- Remove chocks, pull car off ramps.
- Note mileage, clean and put tools away, dispose of trash and used oil responsibly.
- Check oil level after a while to let oil drain out of engine galleries. I did this the next morning as it was dark out. Add oil if needed.
I'm sending an oil sample for testing -- if the results show at least 1/2 life left, I'll feel comfortable with the recommended oil change interval. If not, I'll change more frequently. I look at it as cheap insurance to care for my engine.
My previous car (2001 Mercury Sable LS 3.0L DOHC) had 178,000 miles when I got rid of it -- engine was fine. My cousin is driving it now.