If you’re not changing the oil in your Volvo XC90 on – or ahead of – schedule, you’re asking for trouble. There is no such thing as a lifetime fluid. You need to perform an XC90 oil change at regular intervals. Changing the oil on any car is important for its optimum performance and longevity. Changing your oil as outlined in your Volvo owner’s manual is easy to do on your own. There are no “special” tools required, and the satisfaction you’ll get from changing your own oil on the XC90 will be worth it – since you didn’t pay someone a crazy amount of money to do it for you.
- Oil Drain Plug Washer (18mm x 24mm) $.39
- Volvo Oil Filter $5.50
- Heavy Duty oil Filter Cap Wrench (36mm) $7.74
- Ratchet and Small Ratchet Extension
- Small flathead screwdriver
- Sockets: 14mm and 17mm (use can use a 17mm wrench for the drain bolt)
- Oil (I use Mobil 1 5W30 synthetic)
- Funnel (optional)
- Oil Pan To Capture Used Oil
Disclaimer: There are many different ways to perform an XC90 oil change. You’re welcome to do things in a different order, or use a different viscosity of oil, etc. As long as you change the oil and filter, properly tighten the filter housing and drain bolt and replace the dipstick and fill cap, there’s not much you can do wrong.
Also note: I can fit under my car to change the oil without jacking it up and putting it on jack-stands. The procedure I describe in this post does not include jacking of the XC90 to gain access. If you need to lift your XC90 to change the oil, you should follow all manufacturer’s instructions regarding lift points, etc.
Volvo XC90 Oil Change Procedure – 2.5T Engine
Step One. Get your car warmed up. I try to coincide my oil change with the end of a drive – running errands, picking up oil, etc. Not only does oil flow better when it’s warm, it will have any metal particulate and dirt (ideally) suspected in it just waiting to be let out through the drain plug. When I’m done with my drive, that’s when I let the car sit while I gather everything I need. Make use to park on a level surface. Unless you live in a ridiculously cold climate, your XC90 will still be warm when you get back to it in a few minutes.
Step Two. Open the hood. Do a brief visual inspection and look for any loose hoses, splattered fluid, loose connectors, etc.
Step Three. Grab your 8mm socket, short extension and ratchet and remove all six bolts from the plastic skid plate under the car. I leave the center bolt for last to avoid the plate from bending too much and possibly snapping. Set the skid plate and bolts aside after inspecting the skid plate for any signs of leakage from above.
Step Four. Place your oil collection pan under the oil pan drain bolt. Ensure you’ve taken out any of the plastic “plugs” on your collection pan so the oil can flow into it. PRO TIP: Loosen the drain cap on the collection pan slightly to allow air to escape while oil goes into it. It will help avoid splatter when air escapes as the oil fills it. Remove the oil dipstick, wipe it off and set it aside, too. This will allow the oil to flow out better.
Step Five. Using your 17mm socket and ratchet, loosen the oil pan drain bolt until you can turn the bolt with your fingers. Set the ratchet aside and remove the bolt.
PRO TIP: Try to slightly push the bolt into the oil pan while you loosen it with your fingers to keep oil from seeping out until you’ve got the bolt completely unthreaded. THEN pull the bolts away from the oil pan and let the oil flow. You can drop the bolt into your collection pan if it’s too big to fall in.
Step Six. Carefully wipe the bolt (make sure it isn’t too hot) with a rag until it’s clean. Make sure the old crush washer is off the bolt. Set the bolt aside. When the oil has completely drained, or is at a minimal dribble, put a new crush washer on the bolt. I like to wipe the oil pan bolt hole to ensure a mostly-clean surface. Insert the bolt with the crush washer and finger tighten. Torque to 28 ft-lb (38Nm).
Step Seven. Slide your drain pan to a position under the oil filter housing. Using the housing cap wrench, ratchet and extension, loosen the housing to a point where you can unscrew it with your hand. When the housing is completely loosened, tip it away from you so the oil in the housing pours into the drain pan. Pull out the filter from the housing and pour any remaining oil out.
Wipe the inside and outside of the housing clean. Using the small flathead screwdriver, remove the round rubber gasket and discard. Using fresh oil, lightly coat the new gasket and place the new gasket onto the housing in the groove where the old gasket was. Insert a new filter into the housing. I like to press my filter into place – you’ll hear a “pop” when it catches the metal piece inside the housing.
Once all the oil has drained from the housing area on the car, wipe it clean and hand-tighten the housing. Finish tightening the housing 18 ft-lb (25Nm). Don’t overtighten if you don’t have a torque-measuring tool.
Step Eight. Remove the oil fill cap. Using your funnel, or not depending on your skill level, pour 6.0 quarts* of oil into the crankcase. Replace the dipstick and oil filler cap. Clean up all your supplies, replace the skid plate under the XC90 in the reverse order.
Before you close the hood, fill your washer fluid because that’s a nice thing to do. Also – be sure to dispose of your oil and filter in accordance with local environmental laws. Lastly, it’s come to my attention that not everyone has a skid plate on their XC90. If you don’t, and you’re in the market for one, check out this XC90 skid plate.
And that’s pretty much an XC90 oil change. It maybe takes me an hour maximum to do because I take my time.
*I fill this much and then check the dipstick after the oil has settled. If I need to add more, I do. Otherwise, it’s enough oil for an XC90 oil change on the 2.5T engine.