volvo biodrive

Driving a VOLVO V70 - D5 on pure Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO)

(How to Convert Your Modern Volvo V70 succesfully to Run on Vegetable Oil) Last update: 17-09-2017


Here you will find information on how to install and drive a Volvo V70 D5 diesel car (model 2002 - common rail) on 100% Straight Vegetable Oil. (rapseed-, sunfloweroil etc.)

The internet is a valueable source of information on the subject of SVO (PPO in dutch). In the Netherlands the Dutch forum WWW.PPO.NU is one of the main sources of finding information regarding this subject (in dutch language only however).

volvo This page explains the process of installing an SVO installation in a Volvo V70 model 2001 till 2008 and all issues that occured after the installation and driving the car.

The Volvo is a D5 type II with a diesel engine rated at 163 BHp and was imported from Germany in 2005 with 115.000 km. The installed volvo engine type is a D5244T with a Bosch High/Low pressure fuel pump unit installed. Before this installation the car had run a total of 157.000 km on normal automotive diesel fuel.

The installation package, which I ordered from the German firm Elsbett AG, is a so called 2-tank system meaning that the car has both a seperate installed diesel fueltank (30 Ltr) as well as an SVO (originally diesel) fueltank (70 Ltr). The package contains 3 pumps, two SVO pumps and one diesel fuel pump. However up untill now I have, in cooperation with Elsbett, installed only one SVO pump. This because of the layout of the Bosch fuel pump unit which has a low suction pump build in. The package also contains several hoses with clamps, a second diesel fueltank (30Ltr), electronic parts, a manifold, a solenoid valve, a non return/pressure valve, a heat exchanger, a temperature sensor and an installation manual.

For further questions of technical nature a source in my case was PPO-systems, which is a Dutch Dealer of Elsbett AG in Wezep. Further information was gathered from Elsbett, Germany through Matthias Hertl, E-mail: (german language comes in handy but english is also possible.)

if all goes well you should after reading this article have a reasonable idea of how to install this package and drive yourself in Volvo V70 type II on SVO.

After 5 years experimenting I added some comments in the last section: Practical experiences and adjustments These comments reflect the solutions on the problems that were experienced at the time but which have been solved later in time.

WARNING: All information in this article maybe be used at your own risk. The author does not bear any responsibility on any damage that might occur while using any of this information. If you have no experience in automotive engineering or do not want to take any risk regarding the installation, reliability and usage of an SVO installation in your precious car, performing the described steps in this information sheet is strongly discouraged. Refer to an experienced dealer for installation instead.

Following items are required for the installation::

The installation comprises the following steps:

  1. Installing the heat exchanger, solenoid valve and temperature sensor
  2. Installing electrical wiring
  3. Installing pumps and extra fuel tank
  4. Modifying the volvo fuel pump in the fuel tank
  5. Installing transfer fuel hoses
  6. Connecting the hoses to the volvo fuel system
  7. Testing and running
  8. Practical experiences and adjustments
    1. First experience...
    2. Wrong flow....
    3. Different PPO filter installed....
    4. Slight hesitations...
    5. The first 4.000 km on SVO....
    6. Car suddenly stops on motorway...
    7. Winterization and Preheaters
    8. Another near stop on the motorway...
    9. After 15.000 km....
    10. After 33.000 km...
    11. Diesel Heater problems
    12. Urgent update (50.000km)!!!!!
    13. After 61.000 km...
    14. Race chip and Holiday with a 1500 Kg caravan...
    15. Update at 72.000 km
    16. Update 85.000 km (change to SVO tank)
    17. Update 95.000 km (pulling a 1500kg caravan 2010)
    18. Update 100.000 km
    19. Dieselheater part 2
    20. Update: Electrical problem (108.000 km)
    21. Update: Bad starting at temperatures below 0° Celsius.
    22. Interior inspection of the engine (115.000 km)
    23. Solving the powerloss at heavy loads (125.000 km)
    24. Final test 2011 (132.000 km)
    25. One year later (161.000 km SVO)
    26. The very last update and conclusions (174.000km SVO)

In my case the installation took about 6 full days. This was because of the lack of information regarding this type of car. No car of this type had yet been modified in the Netherlands. Up to step 4 the car can still be operated on the original fuel configuration. When starting with step 4 definite fuel changes are made and all following steps must be performed and completed before the car is operable again.


The adjusted Volvo fuel system

Here you see the original fuel system with the required necessary adjustments.

Yellow line : (1) is the original dieselpump in the Volvo diesel tank which later becomes the SVO tank. The pressure hose of the pump will be disconnected at the tankcover. The original pump will stay in place but will only be used as levelling pump inside the tank.

In the pump unit basket a new suction hose will be installed. The hose (about 20 cm) will be connected to the piping on the tankcover instead. The tankcover is than later connected to the suction filter of the SVO pump in the back of the car.

The SVO transfer pump will deliver the SVO via a newly installed fuelhose and non-return valve to the heat exchanger in the engine compartment. Purpose of this non-return valve is to block any diesel fuel going back to the SVO tank. This could happen if the overpressure valve of the SVO pump should remain open for some reason (dirt). After the heat exchanger the hot SVO is pumped through an inline filter to the fuel manifold.

Brown line: On the suction side of the (Hardi) dieselpump an inline suction filter is installed. The diesel pump will transfer the fuel from the newly installed diesel tank to the original Volvo diesel filter. After this filter, which is installed underneath the car, near the right rear wheel, the fuel is transfered to the fuel manifold in the engine compartment.

Yellow/brown line : In these pipes it is possible to either have SVO or diesel transferred. If the system switch on the dashboard is selected to "diesel" dieselfuel will flow to the low pressure side of the Bosch pump unit. (no. 12). If the system switch is selected to SVO AND the cooling water has reached a predetermined temperature of about 70 C, SVO will flow to the Bosch pump unit.

A return line is fitted on the Bosch pump unit as well as on the common rail tubing. This line will transfer excess fuel to the fuel manifold. A solenoid valve is installed after the manifold which opens in SVO mode. This action will transfer excess SVO via a backpressure / non-return valve back to the SVO fuel tank as well as ventilate any airbubbles in the system.

During "diesel mode" the Hardi diesel fuel pump runs continuously, in " PPO mode" both diesel and SVO pump run continuously. However the SVO pump will only start when the cooling water has reached its operating temperature of about 70C. The SVO pump has a higher pressure output than the diesel pump and therefor overrides the diesel pump. (No diesel is pumped to the manifold.) If for some reason the supply of SVO to the manifold should stop (e.g. blocked SVO filter or damaged SVO pump) the diesel flow to the Bosch high pressure pump will be resumed immediately. This is a safety precaution for the Bosch pressure pump unit. Dry running of the Bosch pump should be avoided at all times in order not to destroy the Bosch pump unit.

Red: High pressure line from Bosch pump unit (no. 12) tot the common rail (9) and injectors(7).

Blue: overpressure bypass line for SVO pump. Opens when excess pressure excists in the pressure line of the SVO pump.


Installation sequence:

First all parts will be installed:

1. Heat exchanger, solenoid valve and temperature sensor

warmtewisselaarruimte achter de motorHere you see the heat exchanger mounted on a selfmade bracket. this bracket will be mounted behind the engine block near the two hoses that run to the interior / cabine heating system.

On top of the bracket the solenoid valve will be installed. This way the valve is still reachable for maintenance.

The two hoses of the interior heating must be cut. two t-pieces will be installed to tap hot water to the heat exchanger.




magneetklep op steun bevestigdHere you see the solenoid installed on top of the bracket. Be aware that the valve is properly installed before mounting the bracket as the the small bolts will not be reachable afterwarts.






sensor in houder sensor in motorruimte aansluiten Between the t-pieze and the inlet side of the heat exchanger a temperaturesensor is mounted in the hosing.

The sensor must be fitted with a cupperring in order to make the system leakproof.






Again the temperature sensor seen from a different angle behind the engine.








The heat exchanger installed behind the engine. The bracket is mounted to the cilinder gasket and the turbo charger bolts. Furthermore the two coolingwater hoses tot the interioir heating.

Here the T-pieces fitted in the cooling water hoses. They do not fit easily! Some vaseline will slide the fittings in the hoses. Do not cut the hoses to short!

From left to right solenoid valve, heat exchanger and temperature sensor fitted in place.








2. Installing electrical wiring

The electrical system is build around the Elsbett controller to which all other parts are connected to. The controller has 3 voltage supplies:

  1. General 12 volt supply (30) for pumps etc. This supply can be taken from relaisbox 11B.
  2. Ignition supply. Supplies power when the ignitionkey is on II (15). this supply is taken from zekering kast 11C, situated left of the dashboard.
  3. "Engine running" supply. Indicates to the controller that the engine is running, taken from the generator (61).

Solenoid valve and temperature sensor will be mounted in the engine compartement. All other components inside the cabine.

Fitting of the Elsbett controller

The Elsbett controller will be mounted underneath the lefthand side of the dashboard. The mode controller will be mounted on the centre pedestal beneath the climate control.

To install the Elsbett mode selector the climate control unit must be temporarily removed.

Remove the penholder en remove the two screws behind this small panel in order to remove the climate control. Rotate the climate control upwarts and firmly pull it out of its socket. remove the connectors and open the climate control on the back by removing the 4 small screws. make a small hole to lead the wireing away from the climate control. The wiring wil run left of the centre pedestal underneath the steering wheel tot the controller.





Hooking up the ignition supply in fusebox 11C, left in het dashboard.

Power (+) is connected to pin 1. Earth to pin 18. Pin 1 is under power as soon as the ignition key is position II.

Fuses C11 / 7, 8 en 9 are all fed through the large blue wire.

Isoldered a green wire next to the blue wire but in front of the fuses.


Connecting pin 18 to ground (car chassis) A wire runs from pin 18 to a bolt next to the fusebox.

Make sure the bolt is cleaned of any paint, rust etc. to make good contact with the chassis.







Pin 17 of the Elsbett controller is connected to the 12V L-signal of the generator. this supplies power when the engine is running.

Simply hooking in a connection piece in the small generator wire.






Routing the wiring from the engine compartment to the cabine

Wiring of the temperature sensor, solenoidvalve and power supply are routed to the cabine.

Remove the left window wiper. Remove the rivets (drill out) which hold the black cover down in front of the window. raise the black cover and place a temporary object between the cover and the engine compartment Below the cover on the left side you will find a black L shaked box with cover through which all the wiring is led to the cabine. Remove the lid and inside you will find a piece of foom. The wiring can be led through and will be coming in the cabine on the far left corner below the dashboard.

In order to be able to close the lid cut / grind a small opening in the black box and put the wiring in this opening. Close up the lid and add some sealant around the wiring.




Also grind an opening in the runner block through which already run some wires. See arrow.









Again close up of the mounting.


Close the black cover in front of the window and insert tierips in order to keep it in place. You can also put in rivets if available.






Installing wiring from the trunk to the Elsbett controller

The rear seats need to be removed starting with the backrest of the left rear seat first.

Raise the seating cushions and remove the side cushion by simply pulling it forward. Remove the bolts on the outside of the backrests. Remove the left rear backrest which is connected to the right rear backrest by pulling it towards the outside of the car.

Lift the black cover holding the carpet down in the doorway.

Lift the carpet on the left side and remove the white cover from the wiring box. Wiring can be installed in this white box and led further forward below the carpet.

Wiring comes from:

  1. SVO pump,
  2. diesel pump,
  3. dieseltank levelsensor.


The doorway cover of the left forward door is also removed and the carpet lifted.

Wiring led to the far forward side beneath the dashboard.


All wiring is now in place and coming together at the Elsbett controller.







3. Installing extra diesel fuel tank and diesel- and SVO pumps

The extra fueltank is installed in the spare wheel space. Unfortunately the spare tire will be removed. be sure to always have an emergency repair kit with you in case of a leaking tire.

Drill 4 holes in the right hand side of the trunk (8,5 mm).

The two pumps will be mounted on this sidewall with M8 x 30mm bolts. In order to reduce the sound level of the pumps I installed 5 mm thick neoprene on the sidewall.

Make sure the washers on the outside are sealed of with liquid sealant.














The pumps and tank installed in the trunk.

On top of the tank you will find a red filling cap as well as the level sensor unit.

Connect a ventilation hose to the tank and lead this hose to the righthand side and the cabine exhaust near the right wheelbay .





4. Modifying the volvo tankpump

In order to reach the fueltank pump the rear back rests have to be removed.

Also disconnect the safety belts at the bottom and disconnect the sideairbags from the seats.

(ATTENTION: After the airbag connecters have been removed and reconnected the monitoring system must be reset at a certified Volvo service centre).

In order to remove the tank pump a special removal tool has to be made from a piece of 120 mm sewer pipe. With this tool the toothed black ring on the tankcover can be unscrewed.





The Volvo tank is a so called saddle tank meaning its bottom is raised lin the forward/rear direction of the car due to the fact that the exhaust pipe is running right beneath it. This makes the tank more or less a tank with two seperate halves. As the fuel pump is mounted on the righthandside of the tank this would mean that the left hand side of the tank could not be fully used. Volvo has solved this problem by pumping the lefthand side of the tank into the righthand side when the righthand side reaches a certain low level. The internal fuel tank pump is used for this so it can not be removed. However the pump also powers up every time the engine is beeing started. This is an unwanted action as it would mean that during starting SVO would be pumped to the manifold. Therefor the pressure line from the pump is disconnected in the tank from the tank cover. The lefthand side fuel is now being pumped in the basket. in this basket a new short hose is installed which will be the suction line for the external SVO pump.

5. Installing the transfer fuel hoses

After the tank pump has been reinstalled in the tank with the modification, the fuel can be installed.

Diesel hoses :

a. Suction hose diesel: Connect the Hardi diesel pump with the new diesel tank. Fit the small clear inline filter in between.

b. Pressure hose diesel: Connect the diesel pump with the original diesel filter. In order to do this the quick fit connector has to removed from the fuel line which originally is connected to the fuel tank cover. A hose coupling is installed to connect the two hoses instead.

SVO hoses:

a. Suction hose SVO:

Connect a hose to the fuel tank cover outlet (old diesel outlet) eand connect it to an inline filter and to the suction side of the SVO pump in the trunk.

b. Pressure hose SVO:


Install a complete new hose (about 5 meters) between the pressure side of the SVO pump and the heat exchanger.

The SVO fuel hose is beeing routed passed the original diesel filter and the right bottom side of the car. Fix the hose by means of tie-rips to the black bottom fairing. In order to do this drill several holes in the fairing.

The volvo fuel tank cover was also covered by a black metal sheet plate in order to keep moisture outside the cabine. As there are now 3 hoses running from the rear towards the front a piece of this tankcover must be removed. once done seal of with putty or likewise.












6. Connecting the hoses to the volvo fuel system

now the hoses in the engine compartement will be connected to the Volvo fuel lines.

a. SVO

Connect a fuel hose to the heat exchangers outlet and run it directly over the engine (under the black engine cover) to the front of the engine. Insert an inline diesel filter to this hose and connect the hose to the manifold. (see below)

b. Diesel

Originally the diesel is transfered forward from the dieselfilter through steel tubing mounted on the front of the engine. (left)

At the end of the steel tube a black hose runs directly to the Bosch high pressure unit (red hose).

Remove the hose (red) from the steel tube and connect it to the fuel manifold. A new piece of hose is connected to the lower steel tube an also connected tot he fuel manifold. (see below)

The original return line (yellow) must also be disconnected from the upper steel pipe. This (yellow) line must be connected to the solenoid valve behind the engine block. This fuel line will run over the black engine cover as there is not enough space to lead two hoses beneath the black engine cover.


The original hoses are connected as shown on the left side to the fuel manifold.

As the original red and yellow hoses are to short they must be extendend by means of inline couplings or new hoses must be fitted..

Fit the pressure hose first than the suction hose to the steel pipes.








7. Testing and running

Before running the engine remove all air in the system

a. Diesel

Open the solenoid valve manually.

Fill up the new diesel tank.

Switch on the ignition key into position II. the hardi diesel pump will make a rapid ticking noise indicating its pumping. keep the pomp running for some time. Diesel and air is now pumped into the SVO tank. After some time close the solenoid valve. The diesel pump will now stop pumping indicating the system is pressurized. Switch off the ignition.

b. SVO

Disconnect the hose between the solenoid valve and the upper steel return line.

Let the hose hang in a barrel or bottle open the solenoid valve manual. Push the little white button on the Elsbett controller. this will power up the SVO pump. Or connect the pump directly to the battery. SVO is now being pumped from the SVO tank through the SVO system and into the barrel/ bottle. Chack the flow for air bubbles. When the flow is airfree shut down the pump and close the solenoid valve, reconnect the hose.

Engine start :

Switch the mode selector into diesel mode. As soon as the ignition key is turned on the diesel pump will make a few ticking noises to pressurize the system. As soon as the engine starts this will be over. Run the engine and check for leaks. Make a test drive and check the blue temperature LED extinguishes on the mode panel in relation withe the temperature indicator of the engine.

Switch over to SVO mode and check that the green SVO LED lights up and the yellow diesel LED extinguishes. Check for any anomalies on the computer.

Switch back to diesel and check indications again.

After the ride check again all connections.

In the following fase check the fuel consumption of both SVO and diesel in relation to the tank indications and driven kilometers. The fuel indication of the diesel tank maybe erratic but can be calibrated by means of a potmeter on the Elsbett controller.

DO NOT forget to change the engine oil with vegetable lubrication oil. If not the mixture of SVO and engine lubrication oil will lead to a thick black muddy oil substance and may damage the engine at short notice. Elsbett advices PANOLIN BIOMOT 10W40.

8. Practical experiences and adjustments

During the first month the following incidents occured:

1. First experience...

It appears that it is uneconomical to switch over to SVO during short drives (less than 25- 30 km). Especially with outside temperatures below 13C the engine temperature rises rather slowly. The engine reaches it operating temperature only after 8 to 20 kilometers (depending the speed). I have no idea how long exactly it takes to fully switch over from diesel tot SVO and backwards. But comparing the internal volume with the fuel consumption I recon this must be quite some time. I therefor hardly use the SVO mode below 25 tot 30 km. I have thought of installing an electronic Volvo engine preheater in the garage but due to the costs (€180) this hardly efficiency improving. Fortunatenly the car has also a seperate stand still heat system installed which runs on diesel fuel. This system is software wise not yet activated and also costs €180. Also a new fuel connection has to be installed to the new diesel tank.

2. Wrong flow....

After a little while driving on the system the fuel level in the diesel tank suddenly decreased rapidly while driving on diesel. The level in the SVO tank increased proportionally. I suspected a revers flow from one tank tot the other and checked the solenoid valve. This showed no leaking so the fuel than had to flow through the SVO pump in revers direction. This showed to be the cause except that the fuel did not flow through the pump but through the bypass line around the pump. The overpressure valve ball had stuck in the open position due to some invisible dirt. Cleaning the valve solved the problem. (I had however an overflow of the SVO tank while driving!). To avoid having this problem in the future I installed an extra non return vlave in the pressure hose of the SVO pump.

3. Different PPO filter installed....

Elsbett suggests to use the original diesel filter as SVO filter. This however was a too large change in the fuel system so I used the Elsbsett inline diesel filter as an SVO filter. Later on I changed this filter to a larger size used on 6 cilinder engines to reduce the pressure loss over the filter.

4. Slight hesitations....

I have now started to drive on almost 100% SVO as the tank initially contained a lot of diesel fuel. 3 times a message occured on the warning display that engine maintenance was required immediately. This situation happened about 10 minutes after switching over to SVO. One time the engine response was almost nil. Two times the problem solved itself. Further driving resulted in no problems. I have several ideas about the problem.

IWhen switching over to SVO, the filter is loaded with cold SVO which has to go into the fuel system unheated first this can not be a very good thing. I have thought of placing the filter closer to the heater and/or exhaust system. Secondly the system does not have the prepressure pump installed in the short fuel cycle resulting in maybe a to low a pressure? Third the system may not function properly on 100% SVO and requires some sort of mixture in the SVO tank.

5. The first 4000 km....

The car has now driven 4000 km on SVO and no problems have occured since the previously described. (with no further adjustments) As a precauction I insulated the SVO filter in front of the engine as well as all fuel lines. Fuel consumption seems to have increased slightly according the Volvo on board computer. This is like 0,2 ltr/100 km. I have not yet been able to make an exact measurement yet. Regular checking of the lubrication oil level shows no changes in level and the oil remains very clean.

6. Car suddenly stops on motorway...

The car came suddenly to a complete stop on the motorway last week while driving on SVO. It wouldn't start neither on SVO or diesel. Removing one of the fuel lines from the manifold it appeared as if a vacuum had been created by lack of fuel. Switching the ignition on however did show a diesel supply. However the SVO supply was very weak. After removing the SVO with a handpump from the highpressure fuelpump and reconnecting the fuel line to the manifold made the car start at diesel again. The SVO pump has been changed and the car runs again as before. Further inspection also revealed a bend suction line in the SVO tank which has been modified since by another type of rigid fuel hose.

7. Winterization and Preheaters

A few months ago I had the preinstalled external diesel preheater activated by the local volvo dealer.

The mean reason was the long time it took before the engine reached its operating temperature at outside temperatures at 7C and below. One feature of this preheater is the ability to program the heater to start on its own. However this can be done only to a maximum of 24 hours after the programming time. In other words when I leave the car 3 days at the parking lot at the airport I cannot get it to work when I return to the car. I solved this problem by installing a cell phone operated contactrelais which has its own unique telephone number which respondes only to my own cellphone. I now have the ability to call the car and the preheater will be started immediately. Pure science fiction!

8. Another near stop on the motorway...

This time the car nearly stopped at only half the SVO tank empty. The problem was caused by the malfunctioning of the original volvo dieselpump in the SVO tank. This second SVO pump transfers fuel from left to right within the tank. I changed the system by installing an extra pump outside the tank which pumps the fuel from the left side of the SVO tank to the suction side of the SVO transfer pump. This way the SVO flows into the suction basket on the right side of the tank. The power supply for this second SVO pump is re-routed from the original diesel transfer pump which is now deactivated.

9. After 15.000 km....

The car has now run 15.000 km on SVO and no more problems have occured since. I change the oil at the regular interval time of 8000 km. We even took the car to Norway this winter (temp predictated between -1C and -18 Celsius). As a precaution I filled the tank with 50% SVO and 50% winter diesel just before taking the ferry to Oslo in Kiel (Germany). Although we didn't drive much locally on SVO I observed no problems on SVO while driving from Oslo to Trysil and vice versa (450 km). One thing happened however while driving on diesel fuel.

One day we drove around a mountain in Norway (about 15 km) and while climbing a steep icy road (on diesel) the car suddenly started to loose most of its power. It came to a full stop but after restarting the engine everything resumed to normal. No further problems since. Somehow the diesel supply was insufficient though the dieseltank was almost full.

10. After 33.000 km...

Time for another update. The car has now run a little over 33.000 km (20.000mi) and is performing at 1 ltr SVO to 14,7 km. That is even better than the previous update. No serious malfunctions have occured since. However two things remain to be solved some where in the future.

One being the fact that the car has some difficulty in the hard acceleration region. Meaning when you really step hard on the throttle pedal the car will loose power some time later on. It will even stop accelerating. (e.g. from 60 km/hr to 130 km/hr) It feels like if the engine doesn't get enough fuel. This happens as well as on SVO as on diesel fuel. Driving a little more cautiously (so avoiding very fast accelerations) keeps the problem under control. Furthermore the problem resolves itself after a few minutes. Pulling a heavy load (e.g. 500 kg or more gives more or less the the same effect. Knowing the limitations, I have no difficulty with the car and haven't solved the issue yet. (I will however: read on)

The other is the fact that the SVO fuel tank cannot always be extracted fully empty. Somehow the installation of the second SVO pump and connection to the original diesel fuel pump wiring is no garantee that the left side of the tank can be fully emptied.

What happens now occasionally is the following: When the SVO fuel gauge is half empty the engine sometimes runs out of SVO fuel. A quick switch back to diesel solves this problem. However Elsbett notes that no engine fuel starvation should occure when the pump runs out of SVO as the dieselpump would takeover automatically. This doesn't seem to work this way! I have switched back to SVO a little later on whereafter the engine happily continued on the second half of SVO. I am thinking about changing the pumpover system inside the tank but haven't yet decided how to do this as there are several options. But this will be done in the near future and posted here on the site.

11. Diesel Heater problems

Recently I received some remarks about the separate installed volvo diesel heater and related problems. Therefor in this section some of the problems and solutions related to heater problems

"I'm able to program the timer by means of the handle on the steering column and put the heater directly to ON, but despite all attempts without any result in heating. Tried it for at least 100 times."

I toke the car to the volvo dealer who hooked the car up to the Volvo VADIS system. I was allowed to watch the result and the CEM modul indicated that communication with the waterpump was not possible. First we checked the connector on the heater unit but this was not the reason of the failure.

The dealer indicated that the failure was already longer in the system as cars with standheater but without software activation still make use of the heater below 5C to speed up the engine temperature. The dealer asked if the car had been out of service for some time. This could lead to sticking waterpump shaft.

Before I drove a Mercedes B type and this engine came to its working temperature much faster. Personally I 'm a bit disappointed in the VolvoD5. Could this have to do with the electric waterpump?

I reckoned that this sounded all very plausible. The owner thereafter toke the following measures:

He disassembled the heater unit from the car and toke it apart. The waterside was slightly dirty and put some grease on the pumpshaft. He also toke the electric motor apart as the pump didn't start everytime when it was connected to 12Volts. He discovered some condens water in the electric motor and a rusty bearing. He got it all going again and put the whole thing together again. At the first attempt the heater fully functioned.

My own heater doesn't work this winter (2008/2009 @ 45.000km+)

Result is that the engine temperature and therefor the transistion to SVO takes a very long time (100 km +) at temperatures below 5 Celsius. But the good news is that I found a very simple way to decrease the temperature rising time (without overheating the engine).

I put in a piece of cardboard of 30 x 60 cm and wrapped it in garbage bag foil. Slide it in the lower front grill of the car and about 65% of the radiator is now covered. But this is mostly Airco radiator which I don't use in the winter anyway. Result a much more rapid increase in engine temperatureand change over to SVO (about 15 km). Furthermore I wrapped the temperature sensor near the heatexchanger in some fibreglass wool which helped as well. (Much later I found out that changing the water regulator valve on the engine for a new one gives a very good result in faster heatup.)

12. Urgent update (50.000km)

Today the car stopped as a result of an empty SVO fuel tank. Apparantly the tankindicator didn't work properly as the tank should have remained at 10 Ltr. Switching to Diesel didn't got the engine started so the roadpatrol had to come and get me. Some brakecleaner spray in the inlet channel to the engien got the engine back tot life on diesel. Probably an airbubble in the fuelline.

Far more important was the large amount of black sludge I saw in the inlet tube to the cilinderhead.

urgent 1 urgent 2

Foto left: Inlet duct from aircooler to cilinder head.

Foto right: EGR from exhaust almost fully closed from hardened sludge.





urgent 3 urgent 4

Foto left: Connection between inlet duct and EGR. I already cleaned this a bit.

Foto right: Inlet duct on top of the engine towards the inlet valve openings (Cover removed).




urgent 7 urgent 6

Foto left: Inside of the airductcover. Foto right: Blocking packing sheet mold (metal plate later on) to be mounted between inletduct and EGR.

After coming home I disconnected the rubber inlet hose from the inlet duct on top of the engine and indeed a lot of black sludge had accumulated inside the tube. The only way to prevent exhaustgas re-entering the inlet system via the EGR valve is to block the EGR valve by means of a metal plate between the valve and the inlet duct. More important when installing the SVO system block the EGR immediately to prevent sludge forming in the inlet duct. Update: I disscussed this matter with an experienced volvo technician but it turns out that this problem is not specific to SVO. According his knowledge this happens to regular diesel driven engines just as well!

13. After 61.000 km

Last week I made a small modification in the transfer system in the fuel tank. Instead of pumping the left handside of the fueltank to the suction side of the main transfer pump I made a T-piece on the return line (from the engine) to the fuel tank. Now the lefthandside of the fuel tank is directly transferred to the righthandside of the fuel tank. This should prevent any airbubbles in the suction side of the main transferpump when the left handside of the fuel tank runs empty.

14. Race chip and Holiday with a 1500 Kg caravan

I modified the engine a little more by installing a K&N airfilter and a racechip (blackbox). The effects should give the engine a better performance. Going from 163 Hp to 205 Hp and a considerable increase in torque (according the seller). Well it works! The engine is much more lively from 1700 rpm and above even on SVO. Well actually there isn't much difference in driving diesel or SVO anyway.

With this newly modified engine we took the car in combination with a 1500 kg caravan on a holiday to Germany (total weight car plus caravan 3560 kg). Sorry to say this was not a real succes on SVO. The engine suffered from power loss during acceleration and climbing uphill. I tried to switch to diesel in the secondairy tank but this did not improve the response. Therefor I tried to change as soon as possible from SVO to diesel by adding diesel to the main SVO tank. Finally after all the SVO was diluted to nearly zero (as could be seen from the suction filter at the transfer pump) the car responded almost as it should. That means almost no hickups or power loss of any kind. Conclusion at high power loads, run the car on pure diesel. Does remain the question what the reason for the power loss is? It always happens when the engine has to perform at a high load after several minutes. I think the flow from the SVO transfer pump is to small but that is merely guessing. (I found the solution for this problem 2 years later....)

15. Update at 72.000 km

Well not very much to report. The car engine has now run on 700 Ltr wasteoil from the fish industry. The oil itself however has been used only a very short time and was professionally cleaned through gravity filtering and centrifugal filtering. This resulted in a visual very clean oil. The ongoing fuel consumption registration has not shown any degradation in the fuel consuption ratio (Ltr per km @1:15,2).

Further more the volvo dieselheater has miraculously started working again. I started the heater a little while ago when the outside temperature was below 8 Celsius and it gave a good smoke for about 15 minutes thereafter the heater funtioned normally again.

It is also time for me to stop paying roadtax (€135/month). The Dutch goverment has a "green car policy" which exempts cars from paying road tax if the CO2 emmission is below 95 gr CO2. In this case the volvo runs 3:1 that is PPO : Diesel. So according the manufacturer a standard volvo uses 179 gr CO2. Mine uses 75% less! namely 0,25x 179 = 44 gr CO2!

16. Update 85.000 km (changing the SVO tank)

Recently the car started stuttering on the motorway it was hardly noticable but still the car seemed to lack it's power somewhat. In my experience this indicates air suction in the fuel line. The SVO tank however had only used 1/4 from full. After stopping the car I checked the suction filter and there were indeed some tiny bubbles in the filter. It is then of the utmost importance to change back to diesel as the system does not deaerate itself very well. (Understatement of the year.) Once air reaches the fuel manifold or the suction line to the HP fuel pump up front you can forget about getting the car started without any help from outside. The only way to get the car started is using a spraycan of brake cleaner and spray this directly into the air inlet of the engine. (remove the large rubber duct pipe first). This way the car will start on the brake cleaner and suck the air through the whole fuel system until a clear stream of diesel is restored. (Don't leave home without it) It is an old trick from the previous century anyway.

Anyway I had the intention to extend the range of the tank. As you may know by now the SVO tank is the original diesel tank and is of the saddelback type. Disadvantage is that the fuel in the left side of the tank needs to be pumped over to the right side in order to be able to use the full amount. This requires an extra SVO pump which I already installed but still didn't function properly. At half tank the remaining fuel was not accesable. (range about 500 km).

slurrie in de korfslurrie 2

I removed the right tank unit which is underneath the backseat. It did contain some smudge in the suction cup.(picture above)

I removed the whole pump assembly as this isn't used anyway. The original diesel pump is not capable of pumping SVO! Anyway not for a verylong time.









I wanted to see how fast the SVO flowed into the suction cup from the bottom. This was not very fast and I suspected that the SVO pump takes out more SVO than gravity can supply into the cup. This is not really a problem as the return line from the system also comes out into the cup. So you have actually 2 feeds and one suction into the cup.

aanpassing PPO tank

Further more I connected the left suction pump electrically to the primairy SVO pump. Meaning that if the main SVO pump starts to deliver fuel to the engine the internal transfer pump also starts to run, pumping SVO fuel from left to right in the tank system via the return line, so pumping it directly into the suction cup.



This way the range should increase considerably.

Remains one question. What if the left side of the SVO tank is empty? Will the pump be able to run dry? And is it a problem if the pump should pump air into the return line? We'll have to see about that in the future....


17. 95.000 km (sep 2010)

This summer we went to France with a 1500kg caravan behind the car. I decided to drive this holiday on diesel instead of SVO. This because the car still looses power with such high loads. Besides, it is hardly likely to tank SVO abroad anyway.

In order to use the maintank as diesel tank again, I bypassed the SVO heater. So the fuel was no longer heated. I also emptied the maintank first so I could find out how much could really be extracte since the last update change (see above). It turned out te be around 60 liters. Not completely empty but much better than before. And also important to know at which fuel indication tanking was required.

With two tanks filled up full with diesel fuel we set off (105 ltrs total). Good range anyway. Unfortunately it didn't go all that smooth as I hoped. When the car had to pull in 5th gear a warning frequently came up ("motor wartung erforderlich" - or in UK " engine service required" This also made the ECU go into safe mode. This means that the onboard engine computer limits the engine to 2000 rpm. Very annoying but solvable if the engine was shut down and started again. (this way the computer resets itself and the safe mode is turned off. Pulling the caravan in 5th at 2000 rpm is not enough so a down shift to 4th gear was always necessary. But this costed a lot of speed. I finally figures out that when I shifted back to 4th and keeping the rpm above 2600 rpm before starting uphill the warning was much less likely to come on.

This also worked for 5th gear but the speed would be to high (126 km/hr) to safely drive around with the caravan.

Question was why the ECU went to safe mode on diesel? After all the SVO pump should have no problem with the diesel what so ever.

After returning home I checked the SVO suction filter in the back and found to my great surprise a very melted filter?!

I still have no idea how this is possible as the fuel did absolutely not pass the SVO preheater. So the fuel must have been heated by the engine. The average temperature during the holliday was around 30C. Probably in the car much hotter when it stood still but could this be the reason for the melted filter? The power loss already started when we set off so the filter could not have been melted by then as it was newly replaced.

The engine has also been more hot then normal during the climb. One had to watch the cooling water temperature now and again. (This turns out to be a specific volvo V70 problem. The cooler system is actually to small designed, more drivers have complalnt about this phenomena).

Anyway the thing intruiges me. Still a wonder the engine got any fuel in the end if you look at the filter!

Anyway one more expierience richer...

filter gesmoltenfileter gesmolten 2

Back home the installation was restored to it's original SVO setup. While checking all functions again it does strike me that the SVO pump does not give constant flow but rather a pulsating flow. Maybe also prone to power loss?

Update 18: 100.000 km (okt 2010)

The first impressive milestone is reached! The car has run 100.000 km on SVO (and diesel). The most recent adjustment is the installation of a little carton sheet in front of the radiator when temperatures drop below 10 Celsius. As the radiator is rather large it takes a very long time for the engine cooling water to heat up and all this time the car drives on diesel instead of SVO. Blocking the radiator for abound 75% gives a much better heat up time and the system has no problem keeping the temperature in limts whatsoever. Total SVO consumption has been around 4200 liters at € 0,68/Ltr, totally saving around €1800,- (with installation cost € 800,-) and a lot less CO2. Personally I never thuoght the engine would last this long.... (turns out that the water temperature regulating valve needs to be replaced. A new one brings the engine quicker to operating temperature).

Update 19: Diesel heater part 2 (nov 2010)

At the moment of writing, the diesel burner in the front of the car starts to run bad. The burner heats the cooling water to get a comfortabele temperature in the cabine quickly. The burner occasionally works or doesn't work and when it works it's barking like a dog. I suspect the fuel supply is the cause and most likely the fuel nozzle with the pressure regulator in it. Time to get the thing open again some of these days....

Update 20: Electrical problems (total mileage 260.010 km)

During a ride home on SVO I noticed that the LED indication of the switch over panel didn't indicate. Also the amber LED of the dieselpump didn't work when I switched over to diesel. Checking the Elsbett controller I found a melted fuse. (10 Amp). My first impression was that one of the pumps caused the fault. That is what the fuse is for. But after changing the fuse and checking everything I found no problem with the pumps. So at the next drive I noticed that during the automatic switch over from diesel to SVO the diesel pump fuse went dead again. This was very odd as the during switch over the diesel pumps stops working. Also the tankindication went dead as well so this is on the same fuse. (Not in the elsbett manual by the way, so who knows what else is behind the fuse. At least not the SVO pumps because he has his own fuse (25 Amp). Moreover the car went dead on the motrway in the middle of winter during night. Very awkward indeed. The highway service came to my rescue but the guy turned into ice (like the weather) when I told him that the car runs on SVO. Luckily I explained to him that I had tried to start the engine too many times (battery empty) on brake cleaner but it didn't fire up. So if he could hook up his battery charger and spray a bit of faststart into the airduct all would be fine. He murmerded something about not messing around with these kind of engines as they were the finest on the market with no problems what so ever. Well that was the reason why I choose this engine in the first place. At a parking lot where he towed me too, the car fired up again and the guy was obviously impressed with me reasoning as to what the problem was. It was not the engine but a fault in the electrical system of the fuel supply. He was probably glad that we got the problem fixed in no time.

I was able to continue my journey but now only on diesel as I didn't dare to switch over again to SVO. One more call to the highway servive and they kicked me out of the service. No idea what policy they have anyway....


vlotter in diesel tankWhen I came home it was obvious that more serious problems were at hand. So I did a more extensive search. But where to start? I removed all pumps in the back and ran them on a seperate battery but no faults there. I did observe some diesel leakage in the back which might have soked the wiring. So cleaned all this too. After replacing the fuse again everything seemed to work except the LED indication of the diesel tank. This only gave 1 red LED as if the tank was nearly empty. (which was not the case). Apparantly the level sensor caused an error.

After removing the level sensor, I tested it's function by measuring the resistance but that turned out fine. (empty 2,8 ohm - full 188 ohm). Accidentally I touched the steel tank with the metal part of the sensor while the system was under electrical power. And to my astonishment the indicator showed one red LED only. So the sensor had to touch the tank?





vlotter steuningekorte vlottersteun

Quickly I found out that the metal strut was to long and touched the bottom of the tank. The tanktop had bend a little down in the years because of the thin sheetplate it's made off. Solution was to cutoff a bit of the strut as this is way too long anyway (picture right above). Problem solved!

Update 21: December 2010, bad starting at temperatures below zero Celcius.

It is december 2010 and the average temperature is between -5°C tot 0 Celsius. In the morning the car won't fire up. unless I put on the dieselburner first to get some heat in the engine. Time for a visit to the volvo workshop (unfortunately). I suspect a defect glowplug or one or more injectors or, worst case senario, the HP fuel pump.



During a check of the glowplugs they all turned out to be defect. (Resistance was infinite as to the normal value of around 1,5 ohm).

I decide to have them all replaced (€ 325) that should solve the problem. Silly enough we skipped the injector check. Dumb, dumb because the problem was not solved the next morning. I could have known. Because the glowplugs must have been dead for a while and the car has never had much starting problems whatsoever. (Must be still good compression in the cilinder for one thing) So it was more likely that the fuel pressure was erratic.

verstuiveropstelling vertsuiver opstelling 2 verstuiver uitkomst

So again back to the service dealer.

There we did the injector check which is actually quite simple. You take off the small fuel lines on top of the 5 injectors and hook up 5 jars (see above). Start the engine and run it for one minute.

The injectors should not leak more than 40 ml maximum each. So number 1 injector immediately leaks a lot more than the other ones. I decide to have this one changed (€ 385,-).

As the injector was removed now I hoped I could get a peak at the interior of the engine. The hole however is too small for you to see into the cilinder. The injector itself is not extremely coroded, burned or whatever due to the SVO. The mechanic said its outside looks the same as with any normal diesel engine.

Some research on the internet reveals that a worn injector is not completely uncommon. So its damage can not be solely to the use of SVO. While we were at it I wanted the output pressure of the HP pump checked as well. That was merely a matter of hooking up the volvo VADIS computer on the onboard network. (Jee, I wish I could get my hands on one of those gadgets!) It turns out that the pump pressure is exactly on the numbers. 350.000 Pa in the common rail during idling.

verstuiver zo uit de motor verstuivertip verstuiver 3 na schoonmalen met lapje

Foto left: injector straight out of the engine, middle: injectortip closeby after cleaning, right; other side of the injector.

After the replacement of the injector the engine starts again as if new...I love these volvo cars....

22. Interior inspection of the engine (march 2011, 267.000 km)

Recently I experienced a problem with the cooling system of the car. During a trip the cooling temperature of the car indicated a rise in the temperature for no apparant reason. Later on, the temperature dropped to the normal value. Coming home I checked under the hood and to my surprise the whole right side of the motorcompartiment was one big muddy mess. It appeared that the brown mud came from out of the expansion tank. I disconnected some cooling hoses and the whole cooling system was filled with brown mud.

The next day I flushed the whole system with hot water and dish washing detergent which took me about 4 hours. Especially the radiators were fully blocked with the stuff and took quite some airpressure to get cleaned again.

Foto: Muddy substance from the expansion reservoir



Foto: checking the cooling system and oil level

The next concern was where does this come from? I checked the rear oil cooler which cools/heats the lubricating oil with cooling fluid. No leaks there. Next the SVO heatexchanger. Same story, no leaks there either. My next concern was than that the cilinderhead would cause the problem or the cilinderhead gasket for that matter.

So this was something to be looked at by the Volvo dealer.

After consultation with the chief volvo mechanic we decided to take of the clinderhead and do a gasket and head inspection. Despite the large operation involved it also gave me a chance to have a look inside the combustion chambers of the 5 cilinder engine. Especially because I used about 5500 ltr of SVO of different qualities.

Well to my surprise (and to the volvo mechanics as well !) the interior conditions of the combustion chambers (heads, pistons and cilinders) were no different than when the engine would have been driven on diesel fuel only. Still we found no damage or what so ever to the cilinderhead gasket. That would leave the cilinderhead it self. We decided to have the cilinderhead inspected by a repair facility and have it pressurised to see if there are any interior leaks inside the cilinderhead. Which to the Volvo mechanics is very unlikely. But still the head was off anyway so better safe than sorry.


Photo above: The cilinderblock with still some minor sludge around the cilinders (after flushing) at the dealer.

Photo above: Close up of the combustion chamber parts of the engine

If the cilinderhead turns out not to have any leaks that would mean there is still a problem. Now some investigation on the internet gave me another idea about the matter. Recently (about 7 weeks earlier) I added some cooling liquid (1,5 liters) to the system of which the manufacturer declared it was mixable with other fluids). Now I read that not all fluids can be mixed. The outcome is indeed a brownish sludge in the cooling system. However can this occur almost 7 weeks after the refill? Also I changed the lubricating oil about 2 weeks before this problem arose. Checking the somewhat lower oil level I was almost convinced that the muddy substance was an emulsion of oil and cooling fluid.

Anyway I'm now waiting for the dealer to get the cilinderhead back from the repair shop. If the head turns out oke he will put it back on again and refill the cooling system with normal Volvo cooling fluid and we'll just see what happens next.

Well it turns out that the cilinderhead was not the cause of the oil leakage but the small oilcooler at the back of the engineblock afterall was. Good news and bad news. Bad news is that the cilinderhead didn't have to be removed. Good news is that the condition of the car is excellent after well over a 100.000 km on SVO. So the SVO experiment will continue untill the end of the lifetime of the car.

Update 23: Solving the powerloss at heavy loads

Other good news is the fact that I found a solution for the lack of power during heavy loads (e.g. pulling a caravan).

As you may notice on the schematic on top of this page there is a non-return valve between the manifold and the solenoid valve in the return line. This original Elsbett valve requires considerable pressure to open up the return line to the SVO tank. I changed this non-return valve for another one which requires almost no pressure to open up. That means that the pressure in the manifold is also much lower. When I studied the original volvo system it occured to me that this system also had no non-return valve or whatsoever. So the high pressure fuel pump is mostly self suction type. By making the described change it turns out that car has no longer any problem with heavy loads. So one could say that the system has now evolved to a new stage and is fully operational (finally after 4 years)

Update 24: Heavy load test 2011 (132.000 km on SVO, 283.000 km total car milage)

In 2011 I took the car plus caravan to Alpe d'Huez in France (for a cycling holiday) along with 170 ltr of SVO. I was really anxious to see what the latest improvement would be on the car in mountaneous areas. Well I can now say it turned out perfect. No more warnings on the dashboard from the ECU, no more rpm restrictions etc. The car functioned as it should as when it would be driven on pure diesel. As my 170 ltr supply of svo was not sufficient for the whole trip I decided to mix the last remaining 40 ltr svo oil with diesel during the return trip of 1700 km. In the end I came short of svo and went on driving on pure diesel. Not so interesting one might think but I kept the svo preheater in service again. Meaning that the 100% diesel was now preheated up to 70+ Celsius, just as the svo would be, at outside air temperatures of over 30 Celsius. I had no idea what the result of preheated diesel on the car would have and on the performance but it turned out to be of no problem at all. The car is still a beast with it's 205 HP and has no problem pulling the 1500 kg caravan up to 130 km./hr.



Update 25: To sell or not to sell...., May 2012 (155.000 km on SVO, 306.000 km total)

Since my last update about a year ago, the car has not had any problems on the SVO front. I did however dismantle the combustion heat exchanger this winter and changed the injector parts of the thing. The small injector fuel tube coming out of the combustion chamber had a tiny leak which caused the burner to be very unsteady. (€80,-) (see also item 11) Well that surely solved the problem of all the smoke that came from underneath the front bumper! I was pulled up a few times by people stating the car was on fire......It certainly helped getting the car quicker to it's operating temperature during wintertime. Also the newly installed cooling regulator valve since the cilinderhead examination is worth it's money, the relation diesel versus SVO has dropped this year from 1:3 to 1:5 in favour of the SVO consumption because the car reaches it's operating temparature at a faster pace so it switches over to SVO earlier. I still haven't found the right answer for a cheap electric heater that gets the car warm during the winter in the garage. Maybe the original volvo engine heater (€ 195) is a better option.

However the drivetrain starts to make a bit of a ticking/cracking noise when the car is cold. Disappeared when hot however. Also the coupling engagement comes in a bit more abrupt than before. Because of the age of the car (11 years old now) I considered changing the car for another one but the car engine works perfectly and there is no rust or anything. Also the value of the car is just what one would want to give for it (presumably €3500 - 4000) which is not much if I had to buy another one.

I also changed the cushion on the driver side for a new one this winter as the old cushion was cracked on the bottom. With a bit of help of the missus we were even able to safe the seatheating system that is glued to the old cushion. So I decide to spend a few euro's on inspection / revision of the drive train and maybe consequently have the coupling changed as well as the crankshaft seal and plug near inside the couplinghousing. These things have a tendency of wearing out respectively blowing out leaving the car with no lubrication oil. Going to Italy this year with the caravan and a broken coupling could really spoil the holidays....Afterwards the car should run another 200.00 km's easily before I decide what I will do with it. After all spending €1500,- over a period of another 5 years is a better investment than buying another car for €10.000 while she still doesn't use a drop of oil....

On top of all things I finally got my hands on a volvo diagnostic thing called a DiCE with the volvo VIDA software which I bought in China for €120,-. This gives me all the same possibilities as the dealer when it comes to checking the car via the diagnostic plug beneath the dashboard. Unfortunately not the software upgrade possibility that takes an extra license from Volvo.

Back to top


26. Year review 2011

This summary shows the actual fuel consumption figures over 2011.

I also made a comparison with a similar car running on LPG (e.g. Subaru Outback my other favorite)

At the end of the year I saved € 930,53 compared with 100% diesel consumption. Driving with an LPG car would have saved me € 680,58. These number only represent the fuel figures. No road tax etc. is calculated. The costs for insurance and road taxes would be more or less the same for all cars anyway. Total road tax was 12 months x €141,- = €1692,- .

Totale besparingen

Diesel Ltr + PPO Ltr Tot ltrs km/mnd Ltr/km km/Ltr kosten €/km verhouding diesel/PPO
562,8 1664,7 2227,5 2632,3 31.587 0,07 14,2 € 2.043,80 € 0,06 0,34

Theoretisch dino verbruik

Diesel Ltr Gem. €/Ltr Ltr/km km/Ltr kosten €/km
2227,5 1,34     31.587 0,07 14,2 € 2.974,34 € 0,09

Huidige BESPARING t.o.v. diesel € 930,54

Theoretisch LPG verbruik

LPG €/Ltr tot € LPG Ltr/km km/Ltr kosten €/km
3948,4 0,69 € 2.724,38
31.587 0,13 8 € 2.724,38 € 0,09



27. Revision Diesel heater (total car milage 296.000 km of which are 150.000 km on SVO)

Heavy smoking problems of the diesel heater forced me to open up the thing again. Besides the smoking the heater made barking sound like a dog during operation.

Reading the volvo VADIS software I came across a volvo note that said that the fuel nozzle of the burner was modified some years later. There was also a mentioning about an extra restriction in the diesel supply line to the heater. However the burner worked always fien so I reckoned it would only be the nozzle that had to be replaced.

It takes about 45 minutes to dismantle the burner from the car and opening it up. The fuel nozzle line inside the burner had a tiny little hole which caused the burner to fluctuate. I changed the nozzle with attached fuel line and also replaced the inside vent scoops. The heater was cleaned thoroughly inside with a soft brush and some compressed air as a lot of unburned diesel had clogged the heater chamber. It is not necessary to remove the heater completely from the car to do this maintenance.

Afterwards the heater operated as new.

I have also experimented with a electrical heater on the car.

But this is not satisfactory. I mounted two heaters in the coolingwater hoses before the dieselheater. I also made a construction whereby the coolingwater circulating pump from the diesel heater operates when the heater is ON.

However at outside airtemperatures of about -8°C the carenige does not really get very warm.

I suspect that the temperature after a full night heating comes around 5 to 10°C

I think I will change this in the future. As we have solarcells now the electricity is free!









28. Clutchchange (163.000 km SVO)

The car has now run a total of 312.000 km and this year we're of to Italy with the caravan.

As a precaution I had the clutch replaced by the local Volvo dealer as well as all the other parts between the engine and the gearbox.

There is also an engine plug on the older V70 D5 models that was made of plastic and has a tendency of falling out of the engine after years of service thereby leaving the car with no lubricating oil. This service costed dearly but I decided to drive this car to the very last km before it gets scrapped so the investment should give me at least another 5 to 8 years of driving. In the garage was another Volvo with 650.000 km on the dash!!! (Volvo for life). The mecanic told me that the clutch had indeed neared it lifecycle.


29. Holiday with caravan 2012 (tot. 314.200 km / 168.000 km on SVO)

It gets a bit boring again the holiday. But this time things went a little different.

Besides the clutch flywheel and clutch cilinder and bearing I also had injector nr. 5 changed. Also the right front wheel bearing started to make noise so I changed this to. On top of that the right hand driveshaft had to be changed. Well a new car for the holiday.

Until we got steam from beneath the hood in the middle of Germany before a traffic light. It turned out that one of the radiator hoses had detached. Right where I made the electrical heaters last winter. Luckily we stopped right away. I mounted the hose n]back on filled it up with water and we were on out way again. One need some luck now and then...

I took 120 Ltr SVO extra with me in the caravan for the trip to and from Italy. Getting to Italy the Diesel price was astronomous. €1,82 /Ltr! But when we got to a supermarket it turned out that the local 5 Ltr jerrycans vegetable oil costed only €1,16 /Ltr. So instead of going to the petrol station we fueled up in the supermarket. Looking at the average BodyMassIndex of the average Italian I reckoned they could miss some cooking oil anyway.

I had to tank however one time some diesel in the smaller diesel tank and I never saw an Italian look that astonished when I only filled it up with 10 ltr of diesel telling him taht was all I needed to get back home again. (1300 km)

Average fuel consumption during the holiday 1Ltr :11,5 km.

After the holiday I also found a long nagging problem with some rattling noise coming from the engine. While changing the oil I saw that the upper and lower rubber mounts on the engine had worn out. Changing these (very easy) really made car sound like new again.

30. The very last update and conclusions

Well, "the bullit has gone through the church" as we say in Holland, meaning I finally decided to sell the car and start a new project. Reason is that I saw a very nice Volvo XC70 from 2008 which was always one of my dreamcars. But what about the SVO? Well considering the results with the V70 I will continue but now with the XC70!

CONCLUSIONS after 5 years:

Here are some conclusions in regard to the scepsis from outsiders:

  1. Can a modern common rail diesel drive on SVO? YES.
  2. Is driving an SVO powered car for anyone? Hmm tough one. Yes, if your into cars and like working on them. No, if you need it day-to- day and want to be able to refuel on every corner of the street.
  3. Is the car a reliable as original? Yes, assuming you get rid of all the inital faults which I had. In the beginning the car ended up on the side of the road about 4 times. All these failures related mainly to the high backpressure in the system. Also you should run clean fuel. Using badly filtered fuel can cause several faults like excessive diesel consumption. (The SVO pump will circulate the SVO fuel over the pump bypass which remains open. Cleaning the suction basket in the tank onece every 2 to 3 years as a precaution.
  4. Does the car require more service? Yes, you need to change the oil more frequently (twice as much) with vegetable lubricating oil. However this oil is no expensive so the higher cost mainly comes from the price of the oilfilter.
  5. Does the engine wear more? I changed in 5 years 3 injectors and 5 glowplugs. However I have read stories of normal petrol operated V70's which had the same maintenance problems. Therefor it is hard to say whether this is SVO related. Besides I changed two of these injector more out of precaution. Not because they gave up.
  6. Is the system enviroment friendly? You drive around with a blocked EGR valve! Well blocking the EGR has nothing to do with the SVO installation. Blocking the EGR is more because of the EXCESSIVE pollution on the inlet side of the engine. No salesman or even garage talks about these problems in modern dieselengines. Even the service interval does not specify a cleaning of the inletside of the engine. While the engine is slowly choking (see my item 12). I don't believe that a modern diesel engine is as clean as when it is sold as new this way. I read some tests on exhaustgases between SVO and diesel and in all cases the SVO were cleaner than petrol.
  7. Is it financially attractive to drive on SVO? Yes, I kept a record of all fuel used from the beginning. Fuel consumption is the same regardless which fuel I used. The fuel consumption has remained the same over the years (which could be a measure for wear). The benefit lies in the price difference between SVO and diesel. I calculated I saved around €4000,- nett in 5 years.
  8. Is there a break evenpoint between driving SVO and diesel? Yes, driving many short distances (<15-20 km) uses a lot of diesel. The engine doesn't warm up quick enough. One could install an electric heater as supplement. I didn't. Driving long distances is most benificial.
  9. Is it possible to drive around on SVO all year round? Yes, but mainly because I drove long stretches (200 km). I went to Norway with -25C I mixed the fuel as 50/50 and had no problems.
  10. Finally, what improvements could be made? Well the target would be to minimize the diesel consumption. I already mentioned an electric supplemental SVO heater. This would heat up the svo to operating temperature well before the coolingwatertemperature is usable. Also an electric engine cooling waterheater in the winter would certainly help. It is also much better against enginewear and for the overall fuel consumption. Cold diesel engine really use much more fuel than warm ones. Besides I own a solarcell installation so electricty is cheap.

The next episode is my follwing project:

Volvo XC70 D5 Momentum (model '08)

You can find the new project here (click):