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    1. #1
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      2016 T6 Needs PISTONS Replaced

      Hello everyone. I have a 2016 XC-90 T6. I'm the only owner, and I've kept it serviced regularly. I currently have approx. 52k miles on it. Around 40 to 45k, my car started prompting me to add a quart of oil every so often. This seemed a bit odd, but I have owned and currently own German cars so I didn't think much of it. I figured it had something to do with running a little hotter than your average engine.

      Before my warranty expired at 50k, I took it in for its scheduled service, and I gave them a laundry list of minor things that I wanted fixed under warranty. One of the things I noted was the oil consumption. BOY AM I GLAD I COMPLAINED. They told me to drive it another thousand miles and bring it back. I did so, and my car had used a quart of oil. They then said I had to drive it another 1000 miles and bring it back per Volvo protocol. After checking it out, they said the pistons need replaced. Luckily, this will be covered under warranty.

      I asked if any other cars had this problem, and he said there are 2 XC-90s currently in the shop needing the same repair. He said it has to do with the oil rings wearing out/getting gunked up. Apparently Volvo recently changed their oil viscosity recommendation because of this.

      Has anyone else had this problem? If so, what is you understanding of the cause. I'm a little gun-shy now to keep the car if it's going to need another major repair done.
      Last edited by bmwschnell; 11-13-2019 at 04:43 PM.

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    3. #2
      Junior Member brett_xc90's Avatar
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      Where are you located?
      In the US, viscosity is higher than the rest of the world:
      US - 5W30
      WORLD - 0W20



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    4. #3
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      If I remember correctly this is a known issue on the MY16 and you will find other posts here about it.


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    6. #4
      Junior Member Olega's Avatar
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      I had them replaced on my 2016 XC90. Read my post. Hope link works. Good luck.
      2016 XC90 T6 possible oil consumption?
      https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink/top...ink_source=app

    7. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by Olega View Post
      I had them replaced on my 2016 XC90. Read my post. Hope link works. Good luck.
      2016 XC90 T6 possible oil consumption?
      https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink/top...ink_source=app
      Thank you for the link! Now that you’ve had yours repaired, are you having any issues?

    8. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by bmwschnell View Post
      Hello everyone. I have a 2016 XC-90 T6. I'm the only owner, and I've kept it serviced regularly. I currently have approx. 52k miles on it. Around 40 to 45k, my car started prompting me to add a quart of oil every so often. This seemed a bit odd, but I have owned and currently own German cars so I didn't think much of it. I figured it had something to do with running a little hotter than your average engine.

      Before my warranty expired at 50k, I took it in for its scheduled service, and I gave them a laundry list of minor things that I wanted fixed under warranty. One of the things I noted was the oil consumption. BOY AM I GLAD I COMPLAINED. They told me to drive it another thousand miles and bring it back. I did so, and my car had used a quart of oil. They then said I had to drive it another 1000 miles and bring it back per Volvo protocol. After checking it out, they said the pistons need replaced. Luckily, this will be covered under warranty.

      I asked if any other cars had this problem, and he said there are 2 XC-90s currently in the shop needing the same repair. He said it has to do with the oil rings wearing out/getting gunked up. Apparently Volvo recently changed their oil viscosity recommendation because of this.

      Has anyone else had this problem? If so, what is you understanding of the cause. I'm a little gun-shy now to keep the car if it's going to need another major repair done.
      Quote Originally Posted by brett_xc90 View Post
      Where are you located?
      In the US, viscosity is higher than the rest of the world:
      US - 5W30
      WORLD - 0W20



      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      I’m located in the USA (Ohio)

    9. #7
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      It's been discussed. It happens.

      After repair, you will need to use Castrol Edge Professional V 0W-20 Synthetic. It can also be used in all Drive E engines in the US now.

    10. #8
      Quote Originally Posted by Tech View Post
      It's been discussed. It happens.

      After repair, you will need to use Castrol Edge Professional V 0W-20 Synthetic. It can also be used in all Drive E engines in the US now.
      Is it available in the US now? I've been using LiquiMoly's vtec (0W20 Volvo Spec) since the first oil change as I couldn't find the Castrol flavored one. Figured it'd be more important on a T8 given how it will turn on and off more frequently, for shorter cycles (depending on driving conditions) and at speed than a T6 would every experience.
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    11. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by VolvoUhu View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Tech View Post
      It's been discussed. It happens.

      After repair, you will need to use Castrol Edge Professional V 0W-20 Synthetic. It can also be used in all Drive E engines in the US now.
      Is it available in the US now? I've been using LiquiMoly's vtec (0W20 Volvo Spec) since the first oil change as I couldn't find the Castrol flavored one. Figured it'd be more important on a T8 given how it will turn on and off more frequently, for shorter cycles (depending on driving conditions) and at speed than a T6 would every experience.
      It is, but I think only from dealers at this time. The spec changed for 2019 MY.

    12. #10
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      Same problem; expensive outlook

      Hey all, first time poster newish lurker, and just to get this out the way, nearly all of this is my own fault and I have no one to blame other than myself and whoever designed this engine. I am the 'proud' new owner of a 2016 XC90 T6 Inscription (all the things) and having the exact same issue, confirmed by the dealer, four months in to having it. That said, mine is no longer under warranty*, and it looks like I'll be either be paying for a new (used) engine or new rings on the current. I could pay ~$11k and have the rings done, but the dealer pointed out that God knows what they'll find when they get in there, and then you're already in to them for a bunch of labor. Replacing the whole engine (with a ~30k mile used) is ~$12k, and at least you have some basic warranty on that and newer SC and turbo. That said, the used engine would have the same old bad rings. Anyone's thoughts on this choice is really appreciated.

      Why I bought this vehicle is a different and retrospectively stupid story, but suffice it to say, mileage didn't strike me as particularly important because, 'Volvos are incredibly reliable.' I mean, how many high-mileage Volvos are out there, that's their whole reputation. I had it looked at and checked the service history (truly flawless), exterior and overall condition is perfect and everything else is functioning perfectly. Honestly the idea that it might be consuming oil did not even cross my mind; I didn't even know what a piston ring was until a month ago. So I essentially knew exactly enough about cars to get myself in to a lot of trouble.

      I've already been turned down by VCUSA once for any help on this (I'm in no way surprised), though the dealer (FYI Volvo Manhattan has been great and very helpful and open thus far) is reaching out to them again to get their rationale and try and work something out to make it somewhat less painful, and I'm going to open another case just to provide them with more info. If their rationale is that this is an uncommon problem and the car must have been abused, that's bull****, there's multiple tech journal entries for this exact problem for this exact vehicle, and there's multiple mentions of it here. If its that its not under warranty so we don't have to do anything, I guess I get that, but big-picture, that doesn't strike me as doing the right thing. I understand needing to check basic stuff on a car you're buying (and burning oil over long-ish distances isn't really going to appear in a prepurchase inspection or a test drive), and replacing consumable things like tires, brakes, etc. But is a normal person really supposed to consider piston rings? Am I crazy thinking that? If they did the right thing and fixed it, I'd be quite vocal about that. Of course if they don't, it seems like VCUSA is saying, "our cars' most fundamental components don't last more than 4 years, good luck" and I'd be very vocal about that, too.

      tl'dr I am a huge idiot and have no good options now. Apologies for the lengthy post.

      *As a side-note, the Steingold extended warranty explicitly does not cover this particular issue now. It might have in the past, but the fine print to the fine print in the brochure now notes: "No payment or reimbursement for the correction of oil consumption, repair of worn rings, or any repairs for reduction in engine efficiency that must be performed on your vehicle when a Mechanical Breakdown has not occurred." So my reading of that is that they want to engine to completely fail before they do anything? Why they don't initially cover it is obvious: its apparently a common and really expensive problem that they've probably been burned on (as it were) a bunch now. But why would they then offer to do the really expensive repair after something potentially dangerous occurs?
      Last edited by eg310; 11-18-2019 at 08:50 AM. Reason: Updating shortly...

    13. #11
      Junior Member drmanny3's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Tech View Post
      It is, but I think only from dealers at this time. The spec changed for 2019 MY.
      When at my dealer I happen to go by the parts department (from behind the counter) and saw that they have the Castrol Edge Professional V 0W-20 all in quarts. The boxes indicated they had come from Canada. Very unusual for a dealership not to have bulk oil for changes. I would think this makes an oil change a bit more expensive for the dealership. Nice to know that they are doing this.
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    14. #12
      Junior Member drmanny3's Avatar
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      Also once the car has been repaired (replace pistons and rings) I would believe this fixes the problem. So you should not think it will occur again?
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    15. #13
      Junior Member Olega's Avatar
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      So far after pistons and rings replacement and 7,000 miles. No problem. No oil consumption. But it’s interesting to know about oil specs change. Dealer did not tell me anything about that..

    16. #14
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      Note to all noobs: This is the kind of thing that happens with the 2016 model.

      You're all going to ask this question: "Should I buy a used 2016 model?"
      The answer: Search for 2016 in thread titles


      I'm glad you got it fixed under warranty OP!
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    17. #15
      Junior Member brett_xc90's Avatar
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      Not just any Castrol Professional Edge 0W20...
      Make sure you’re getting the ‘V’ spec. See the list in this link. The ‘V’ spec is at the bottom

      https://msdspds.castrol.com/msdspds/...edmb=No&cols=0


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    18. #16
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      Having mentioned that, my preferred choice is the Liqui-moly ‘V’ spec 0W20


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    19. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by Olega View Post
      But it’s interesting to know about oil specs change. Dealer did not tell me anything about that..
      Because oil viscosity is not the issue.

      Anyone claiming 5w30 synthetic oil causes piston ring failure at ~50k miles and 0w20 is the "cure" is full of it. The rings in early drive-e engines (including 2016 XC90s) have an abnormal failure rate (clear design defect) that was rectified in '17+ engines and oil viscosity is a poor excuse, at best.
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    20. #18
      Junior Member brett_xc90's Avatar
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      When you say ‘clear design defect’, can you point me to docs that confirm that please.
      I’d be interested to read about that


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    21. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by lamarguy View Post
      Because oil viscosity is not the issue.

      Anyone claiming 5w30 synthetic oil causes piston ring failure at ~50k miles and 0w20 is the "cure" is full of it. The rings in early drive-e engines (including 2016 XC90s) have an abnormal failure rate (clear design defect) that was rectified in '17+ engines and oil viscosity is a poor excuse, at best.
      Yes. Obviously this is the design flaw. Volvo used “low tension piston rings” to get better fuel economy, and after issues with high oil consumption and engine failures volvo changed pistons and piston rings in 2017+models. They are now the same in my 2016 XC90 as in 2017 and later models after pistons and piston rings replacement. I was just curious about type of oil dealer uses now.

    22. #20
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      Quote Originally Posted by brett_xc90 View Post
      When you say ‘clear design defect’, can you point me to docs that confirm that please.
      I recall reading Volvo added a lower "oil control" ring (4th ring?) to better control blow-by and prevent upper ring failure.
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    23. #21
      Junior Member brett_xc90's Avatar
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      Here’s an article that might be of interest to some. Just over ½ way down the page, mention of higher oil viscosity and the low tension ring in modern engines:
      https://www.knowyourparts.com/techni...mption-issues/


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    24. #22
      Junior Member brett_xc90's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by lamarguy View Post
      I recall reading Volvo added a lower "oil control" ring (4th ring?) to better control blow-by and prevent upper ring failure.
      Maybe a Volvo technician could weigh in on this to [email protected]


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    25. #23
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      Quote Originally Posted by brett_xc90 View Post
      Maybe a Volvo technician could weigh in on this to [email protected]
      '12 Oil Consumption TJ - https://images.firstcallonline.com/p...or2/130443.pdf

      '15 - '16 Oil Consumption TJ - https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/20...46443-9999.pdf
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    26. #24
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      Quote Originally Posted by lamarguy View Post
      Thanks for this. The 2nd link worked for me but the 1st looks like I need a login to access.

      There are still 3 rings on the updated pistons. The bottom ring is commonly a 3 part construction


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    27. #25
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      Quote Originally Posted by drmanny3 View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Tech View Post
      It is, but I think only from dealers at this time. The spec changed for 2019 MY.
      When at my dealer I happen to go by the parts department (from behind the counter) and saw that they have the Castrol Edge Professional V 0W-20 all in quarts. The boxes indicated they had come from Canada. Very unusual for a dealership not to have bulk oil for changes. I would think this makes an oil change a bit more expensive for the dealership. Nice to know that they are doing this.
      As far as I know, it is not available in bulk yet.

      Quote Originally Posted by drmanny3 View Post
      Also once the car has been repaired (replace pistons and rings) I would believe this fixes the problem. So you should not think it will occur again?
      Time will tell.

      Quote Originally Posted by Olega View Post
      So far after pistons and rings replacement and 7,000 miles. No problem. No oil consumption. But it’s interesting to know about oil specs change. Dealer did not tell me anything about that..
      This was as of late July. There's a TJ about it.

      Quote Originally Posted by brett_xc90 View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by lamarguy View Post
      I recall reading Volvo added a lower "oil control" ring (4th ring?) to better control blow-by and prevent upper ring failure.
      Maybe a Volvo technician could weigh in on this to [email protected]


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      As you discovered with the TJ, there is no additional ring.
      Last edited by Tech; 11-14-2019 at 07:14 PM.

    28. #26
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      Quote Originally Posted by Tech View Post
      It's been discussed. It happens.

      After repair, you will need to use Castrol Edge Professional V 0W-20 Synthetic. It can also be used in all Drive E engines in the US now.
      Might as well say Castrol Unobtainium. Volvo should provide free oil changes for life because you cannot get that oil easily on the open market.

      EDIT: and before you say anything I'm referring to the Professional designation.
      Last edited by inteller; 11-14-2019 at 07:34 PM.
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    29. #27
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      Was the piston ring fix implemented mid-year MY16? Any sequence in VIN numbers identify when the risk was eliminated?




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    30. #28
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      Quoted from the TJ:

      From engine serial number: 1501327, engines have been modified from engine factory.

    31. #29
      Quote Originally Posted by eg310 View Post
      Hey all, first time poster newish lurker, and just to get this out the way, nearly all of this is my own fault and I have no one to blame other than myself and whoever designed this engine. I am the 'proud' new owner of a 2016 XC90 T6 Inscription (all the things) and having the exact same issue, confirmed by the dealer, four months in to having it. That said, mine is no longer under warranty*, and it looks like I'll be either be paying for a new (used) engine or new rings on the current. I could pay ~$11k and have the rings done, but the dealer pointed out that God knows what they'll find when they get in there, and then you're already in to them for a bunch of labor. Replacing the whole engine (with a ~30k mile used) is ~$12k, and at least you have some basic warranty on that and newer SC and turbo. That said, the used engine would have the same old bad rings. Anyone's thoughts on this choice is really appreciated.

      Why I bought this vehicle is a different and retrospectively stupid story, but suffice it to say, mileage didn't strike me as particularly important because, 'Volvos are incredibly reliable.' I mean, how many high-mileage Volvos are out there, that's their whole reputation. I had it looked at and checked the service history (truly flawless), exterior and overall condition is perfect and everything else is functioning perfectly. Honestly the idea that it might be consuming oil did not even cross my mind; I didn't even know what a piston ring was until a month ago. So I essentially knew exactly enough about cars to get myself in to a lot of trouble.

      I've already been turned down by VCUSA once for any help on this (I'm in no way surprised), though the dealer (FYI Volvo Manhattan has been great and very helpful and open thus far) is reaching out to them again to get their rationale and try and work something out to make it somewhat less painful, and I'm going to open another case just to provide them with more info. If their rationale is that this is an uncommon problem and the car must have been abused, that's bull****, there's multiple tech journal entries for this exact problem for this exact vehicle, and there's multiple mentions of it here. If its that its not under warranty so we don't have to do anything, I guess I get that, but big-picture, that doesn't strike me as doing the right thing. I understand needing to check basic stuff on a car you're buying (and burning oil over long-ish distances isn't really going to appear in a prepurchase inspection or a test drive), and replacing consumable things like tires, brakes, etc. But is a normal person really supposed to consider piston rings? Am I crazy thinking that? If they did the right thing and fixed it, I'd be quite vocal about that. Of course if they don't, it seems like VCUSA is saying, "our cars' most fundamental components don't last more than 4 years, good luck" and I'd be very vocal about that, too.

      tl'dr I am a huge idiot and have no good options now. Apologies for the lengthy post.

      *As a side-note, the Steingold extended warranty explicitly does not cover this particular issue now. It might have in the past, but the fine print to the fine print in the brochure now notes: "No payment or reimbursement for the correction of oil consumption, repair of worn rings, or any repairs for reduction in engine efficiency that must be performed on your vehicle when a Mechanical Breakdown has not occurred." So my reading of that is that they want to engine to completely fail before they do anything? Why they don't initially cover it is obvious: its apparently a common and really expensive problem that they've probably been burned on (as it were) a bunch now. But why would they then offer to do the really expensive repair after something potentially dangerous occurs?
      Don't really have the time atm to deal with this... But Mileage? Service History (All Volvo Serviced)? How long ago did Warranty end?

      Depending upon the Mileage and Service history (less than 100K and All Volvo Serviced with NO GAPS), I'd speak to Dealer General Manager and get him/her involved. And email Volvo Executives to request good will. They've bent the rules plenty. But this only happens if this car has a track record of Volvo only Service / Repairs and mileage isn't over 100K.
      Last edited by MyVolvoS60; 11-16-2019 at 01:59 AM.

    32. #30
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      Quote Originally Posted by Tech View Post
      Quoted from the TJ:

      From engine serial number: 1501327, engines have been modified from engine factory.
      Thank you!

      Approximately where is in engine serial number located?


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    33. #31
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      I have a 2016 XC90 T6. Bought it CPO in 2018 with 48k. At 54k, developed severe oil consumption problem, and since 48k I was losing power (turbo and supercharger would cut out under load due to re-occuring predetonation and I was getting a series of check engine lights. My great team at Cherry Hill Volvo (Cherry Hill NJ) replaced the pistons under CPO. The top ring had collapsed on two pistons. Correct repair is new pistons with four rings (old ones had three). I also changed the timing belt and guides at the same time since there was no labor charge. Currently at 80k. Miles have been trouble free since. I understand this is an engine design flaw that will affect all XC90s before pistons were changed on the production line in 2017 or 2018. Not sure what serial number.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Uukonjack View Post
      Thank you!

      Approximately where is in engine serial number located?


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    34. #32
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      Quote Originally Posted by MyVolvoS60 View Post
      Don't really have the time atm to deal with this... But Mileage? Service History (All Volvo Serviced)? How long ago did Warranty end?

      Depending upon the Mileage and Service history (less than 100K and All Volvo Serviced with NO GAPS), I'd speak to Dealer General Manager and get him/her involved. And email Volvo Executives to request good will. They've bent the rules plenty. But this only happens if this car has a track record of Volvo only Service / Repairs and mileage isn't over 100K.

      All good points. My first thought was - who did you buy this from? (maybe I missed it in your post). Whoever sold it, or traded it, knew it was an issue. It didn't just happen in the 4 months since you owned the car. It's why they got rid of it, to make it your problem. Doesn't that feel good? Somebody burned your greatly. Ouch.
      If it was a volvo dealer, they would know about the issue and should have known to check. If it's from another dealer I'd be going back to them, private party...well, maybe have my attorney contact them if you don't want to get into a heated 'discussion'.


      Too late now, but for others reading, here's where a PPI would have likely saved you or maybe have put up a red flag.
      I'm continually amazed at the people who will buy a used car for tens of thousands but are not willing to pay a few hundred to have it checked by a proper mechanic.

    35. #33
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Jan 2016
      Posts
      12
      I have/had the same issue. 1st owner 2016 XC90. Had 48000 miles when it was finally properly diagnosed. Brought it in at 45000 miles when it first wanted 1 qt of oil. Pistons/rings...$6500...My warranty was over by 3 months but I argued as this was clearly a defect. Dealer got Volvo to cover the repair. Then as the repair commenced, there was noticeable scoring. Dealer called me and told me a new motor was now needed...and Volvo covered it. They had the car a month, thankfully we had a 2020 XC60 Inscription loaner to ease the pain. Seems ok (just got it back 5 days ago). I was not told anything about using different oil. Funny when it 1st started to lose oil around July, I couldn't find anything about it for 2016 models....now there are plenty of stories. Volvo better make good or a class action is in their future.

    36. #34
      Member
      Join Date
      Aug 2017
      Posts
      2,877
      A pre-purchase inspection isn't going to catch this. And the pistons do not have 4 rings.

    37. #35
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Sep 2019
      Posts
      19
      Former engine builder here and as of tomorrow, holding my breath, owner of 2020 xc60 T6. My wife HAD to have a luxury car so here we go...... To have rings fail like this is bizarre and should not ever happen. First, to check excessive oil usage by adding some and driving another 1000k twice is ridiculous. Since there was no obvious leak it was burning oil!! Oil leaks or it is burned!! Ring failure at that mileage is either due to inferior parts or incompetent engineering design. Other posts have mentioned "design flaw." I would tend to agree with that as the alternative is a large batch of the poor quality rings Volvo bought failed in many engines. Reminiscent more of US made cars.

      I am glad your car was under warranty. I could say a lot more, but will restrain myself.

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