The mystery thickens.

According to Bill Casey, my car was towed to Volvo of LA because the field engineer was there working on another car. He would not have time to go ALL the way from Downtown LA to Pasadena (20 mins), so they brought the car to him. Kind of them. Volvo of LA kept the car for 3 weeks. Apparently, the engineer could not make it there any earlier, and my car was the only one he was working on once he arrived. Gotcha!
They were able to locate the oil leak right away — it was the angle gear again! It had to be re-re-sealed. My service guy — Gene — told me that the guys who did it before [Rusnak] “didn’t do a very good job.” (Aoch!)  It took them a little while longer to figure out why the engine light kept coming on. They updated software, ran diagnostics, and finally pinpointed it to the Mass Air Flow Sensor. They replaced that, and the car has been running fine ever since. Until today, when the low coolant light came on again. What now? Will the radiator re-fail next?

6 Responses to “The mystery thickens.”


  1. 1 Rock The Boat April 5, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    If I were you I’d anticipate a cracked head gasket. You’ll be looking at min. $500 -someone needs to step up to these bastards. Mete out some disciplinary retribution…

  2. 2 joel April 6, 2010 at 4:02 am

    wow too bad.

    As I and others said earlier in this saga, it shouldn’t be terribly difficult for an experienced/well equipped mechanic to find a coolant leak. A leak-down test would be a good place to start, and a pressurized test of the coolant system would seem in order too. Hang in there with your ‘new’ dealer – I suspect if you give them some time to undo what Rusnak has done-poorly, I think they’ll come through for you.

    Please keep us updated.

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t take your site down?!

  3. 3 alo April 6, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Angle gear it was also in my V70 AWD. As you can see in this picture:

    It had been “repaired” earlier with some kind of Bob-the-builder padding (“puuhamassa” in Finnish, as Bob the builder is Puuhapete in Finnish).

    Luckily, I had service agreement so it was quite a simple process to get it fixed after this was discovered. This was some time before I changed my Volvo to MB GLK 220CDI, which has its own story. You can read more on the issues here:

    http://www.mbclub.co.uk/forums/engine/77050-blue-efficiency-injector-recall.html

  4. 5 benj April 9, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Oh no!
    This sounds all too much like what I just went through in the last year with my 2000 Volvo XC. I bought it for $5k with a “clean bill of health” from a used imports dealer. On the way home the “low coolant” light came on…and then the “check engine” light. Several ‘repairs’ and a few thousand dollars later I finally was forced to dump it. One place told me it needed a new head gasket. Another said 4 cylinders were leaking above 20% and it needed a new engine. Even so, it was spewing exhaust and needed to be pushed through the auction line, where it (naturally) didn’t sell. I was happy to get $1,000 for it and be rid of it just a year after we bought it.
    Still can’t afford to replace it; good thing my 10-speed works!

  5. 6 Turbo Country May 6, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    I am sorry to learn of your Volvo woes.

    I own the last of Volvo’s “halo” cars, a 2007 S60 R. It has numerous technological issues (blemishes and failures, including ones which grossly diminish fuel efficiency, and safety!) which can only be addressed by the manufacturer, BUT ONLY IF THE MANUFACTURER CARES… and Volvo clearly doesn’t.

    I sent a letter to Bill Casey in April of 2010, and, while he’s made numerous lame excuses (“Swedes get 3 months for summer vacation, so just be patient; we should hear back from them this autumn…”), I still, more than a year later, have yet to receive any response whatsoever!

    http://students.911U.org/044911/images/ss/P1010028-.jpg (image of USPS registered mail receipt, confirming delivery of my letter to Volvo)

    Whenever someone becomes fed up with Volvo’s vacuous “customer service”, VCNA’s Bill Casey is there to play the role of “good cop”, although he has since shown me that he’s no less adept at playing the role of “bad cop”!

    Any consumer who still believes that Volvo cares about customer satisfaction is deluded or ignorant or a shill or a fool!

    Volvo has such a small percentage of the car market that it seems pretty clear to me that Volvo has made a conscious callous marketing decision that it is far easier (and definitely more cost-effective) to try to lure in new customers than to try to satisfy existing ones, who already have learned how cheesy, cheap, and technologically deficient and poorly implemented Volvo products have become over the past 15 years or so. (My ’95 850 Turbo was the greatest car I’ve ever owned. My S60R packs far more features and “intelligence”, but it’s very very poorly, in some cases [almost] stupidly, implemented.)

    Volvo simply refuses to “get it”, even after they’d proved to the world that technology just keeps on eluding their grasp:

    http://students.911U.org/044911/images/ss/volvosmash.jpg (Volvo “proudly” displaying it’s gross lack of technological prowess, in front of the world’s automotive media, at the intro of the new S60, Spring 2010, when a “city safe” Volvo failed to stop itself before smashing/crashing into a large truck! The car was sure that it was “all systems go”, but it just didn’t stop.)

    Still, despite that public lesson in logic and humility, whenever a customer’s misbehaving Volvo has not stored any error codes, Volvo unabashedly tells the naughty Volvo’s owner that the car is obviously not misbehaving at all, because the car doesn’t think it is…

    The fact that Volvo marketed/touted the new S60 as “the naughty Volvo” was the clincher for me when it came to Volvo proving just how much they still fail to “get it”.

    BEWARE OF VOLVO – DO NOT TRUST VOLVO (Volvo won’t keep bad dealers from misbehaving, and no dealer can keep Volvo from misbehaving)

    PS: my car was out of service for 11 days this Spring due to the dreaded “ignition lock cylinder failure”. Rather than recalling this known issue, uncaring cheap Volvo prefers to wait until the car has been reduced to statue status, have it expensively flat-bedded to a dealer, have it sit for ~ a week waiting for new lock cylinder parts to come from Sweden (…”security”!) and clear customs! I guess that’s because most naughty Volvos exhibit this not-very-uncommon failure outside of the factory warranty period, and thus Volvo is typically not stuck with the massive expense — the poor foolish Volvo-trusting consumer is! It was just pure dumb luck that mine failed within the warranty period… (…everything was fine, normal, no warning at all, and then one time, the key just would not turn!!!)

    And once one knows that having a full tank of gas and a fully-charged battery and the correct ignition key is no guarantee of mobility, how much can one trust one’s car to be reliable transportation? Just think of all the times you’ve trusted your car, possibly even with your life, to start when you turned the key, because you assumed that having the clean undamaged ignition key would mean that you’d be able to turn it once it was inserted into the lock…

    Also, while the car was sitting at the dealer for more than a week, the Volvo dealer tended to smaller issues. And the dealer actually helped the car in some ways. However, they also replaced the very-confused out-of-control radio (it ‘thought’ I’d pressed “2” when I’d actually pressed “3”, and so on…!) that had good sound, with an in-control radio that had terrible, defective, inconsistent, distorted sound (Volvo installs refurbished radios, not new ones, so it’s not very difficult or unlikely to have some other Volvo owner’s old woes installed in your Volvo, for free!). It took more than a month of struggles (and putrid-sounding tunes) to get it replaced… and that was at what is probably, at least in my experience, the best Volvo dealer in the state (…there are at least 2, Rickenbaugh and Penkhus [who criminally damaged my car!], where I will no longer take my car for service)!


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