I have a 1996 Volvo 850 which has some kind of serious valve or piston problem. The mechanic said that there is zero compression in cylinder 2 (its a 4-cylinder GTS). He said he could not see anything with the boroscope and that to diagnose it further he would have to take the head off, but he said that with this kind of car it is very difficult to do that and requires special tools. He also said that with older cars, if you fix and tighten up one set of valves, it can blow out others. The car has 260,000 miles.

Is what this mechanic saying true? Am I better just getting a replacement engine or different car, or is he exaggerating the difficulty of the job?

  • You may find this interesting : youtube.com/watch?v=v6TL52R81V0
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 11, 2019 at 19:41
  • If the head comes off, then I would do all the valves, in fact, rebuild the head totally, cleaned, inspected, skimmed if necessary, all valves done etc etc You need to decide if you want to keep the car and decide... A friend of mine had two 850 T5's : went like greased lightning... :)
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 11, 2019 at 19:46
  • @SolarMike Yeah, I don't think my guys have an angle torque gauge. They were breaking things just taking my glove box out of the dash. Mar 11, 2019 at 20:15
  • Remove the valve cover over the bad cylinder. Bet you'll find a busted valve spring. The car is worth much more than a new spring.
    – Bob S.
    Mar 12, 2019 at 4:37


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