Want better performance and greater performance? Change your spark plugs at the intervals that Volvo recommends and when you take your old plugs out, look at them for any signs that there may be something wrong. Oh, and make sure you get the right plugs to put back in the engine.
For me, spark plugs for my XC90 fall into two camps:
- Those that are guaranteed to work, and
- Those that are guaranteed to fit.
And there is a difference.The ones that work are ALSO guaranteed to fit. But just because a spark plug is the right length and has the right thread for your XC90, doesn’t mean they will work right in your 2.5T engine.
I’ve noticed that online parts suppliers like FCP Euro are touting the phrase “Confirmed fitment.” I can’t blame them, as there are many plugs that could conceivably ‘fit’ into the threaded spark plug hole and provide a spark at the top of each cylinder’s combustion stroke, but not all spark plugs that fit will work as well as others.
Case in point: I bought a set of Bosch plugs that were guaranteed to fit. And they did. And then I got a check engine light and then my car died in traffic. And then I bought a Genuine Volvo spark plug kit (8692071) and never ever had a problem again.
End of story. I’ll never buy anything but genuine Volvo spark plugs for my XC90 again. I know they fit, and I know they’ll work. Sure, FCP Euro took their Bosch plugs back and refunded me and maybe other XC90 owners haven’t had the same problem, but I’m convinced that my Volvo just didn’t like something about those Bosch plugs.
Yes, the Bosch plugs are considerably cheaper, making the Volvo plugs about 10 times as expensive. But sometimes, there’s peace of mind in staying with Genuine Volvo parts, especially for something as important to your engine’s operation as spark plugs.
Pro tip: If you ARE going to stray and get a non-volvo spark plug for your XC90, do yourself a favor and keep the genuine Volvo plugs that you remove from your car just in case the worst happens and you can’t get your hands on some genuine Volvo spark plugs right away. That’s what I did and it saved my butt.