Page 3:1 Running in and this index

Starting and driving

This section contains item such as starting
the engine, gear changing, towing caravans
and trailers etc.


Do not utilise your car's full driving potential during the first
2000 km. Do not depress the accelerator pedal fully to change down
(kick-down) during the first 2000 km.

Page 3:1 Running in and this index
Page 3:2 Points to remember
Page 3:3 Brakes
Page 3:4 Economical driving
Page 3:5 Towing a caravan or trailer
Page 3:6 Winter driving
Page 3:7 Before a long distance trip
Page 3:8 Vehicle storage
Page 3:9 Automatic transmission
Page 3:10 Automatic gearbox
Page 3:11 Automatic gearbox
Page 3:12 Starting the engine
Page 3:13 Jump starting
Page 3:14 Towing

Page 3:2 Points to remember
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Weight distribution
affects handling

At the specified kerb weight your car has a
tendency to understeer which means that the
steering wheel has to be turned more than
seems appropriate for the curvature of the
bend. This ensures good stability and reduces
the risk or rear wheel skid. Remember that
these properties can alter with the load. The
heavier the load in the boot, max 100 kg, the
smaller the tendency to understeer.

Handling, road holding
and tyres

Tyres road holding of a car. the type of tyre
(radial), size and pressure are important for
proper handling. When fitting new tyres, it is
therefore very important to fit tyres, of the
same size and type (and preferably made by
the same manufacturer) as those previously
fitted, and follow the recommendations con-
cerning tyre pressures.
See 4:4

Do not drive with the boot

If you drive with the boot open, exhaust
gases (including carbon monoxide) may be
drawn in to the car. To prevent any risk:
  • Close all windows
  • Set the heater control on Automatic and
        swith the fan to max 5


    The possibility of the cooling system over-
    heating increases in hot weather if:
    - you drive up long steep inclines at full
       trottle towing a trailer.
    - the car idles with the air conditioning
       switched on.
    - you switch off the engine directly after driv-
       ing at high speed.
    - you have extra lights mounted in front of
       the grille.

    To avoid overheating:
  • Reduce speed if you are towing a trailer
        up long steep inclines. Also switch off
        the airconditioning for a while.
  • Do not let the engine idle unneccessarily.
  • Allow the engine to idle for a few min-
       utes beforeswitching off after long high
       speed driving.

  • Roof racks

  • Use a sturdy roof rack which is designed
       for your Volvo and can be securely fitted
       to the car roof
  • Max. roof load 100 kg.
  • Spread the load evently over the rack.
  • Place the heaviest load nearest the car
  • Remember that the centre of gravity of
       the car alters with the weight of the load
       on the roof rack, this changing the driv-
       ing characteristics.
  • Anchor the load securely and recheck
       during journey.
  • Drive smoothly. Avoid rapid starts, hard
       cornering and abrupt stops.
  • Remove the rack when it is no longer
       needed. This reduces wind resistance
       and lowers fuel consumption.


    An extra mat on the driver's floor may
    cause the accelerator pedal to catch.
    Check that the accelerator pedal is not

  • Page 3:3 Brakes

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    Should there be a mal-
    function in a brake
    circuit, a red warning
    light will come on

    The brake servo functions only
    when the engine is runing

    If your car is being towed or is coasting to a
    halt with the engine switched off, then you
    must depress the brake pedal approximately
    four times harder than normal because the
    brake servo is inoperative.
    the brake pedal pedal feels stiff and hard.

    Moisture on the brake discs
    and brake pads may affect

    Driving in heavy rain and slush or passing
    through an automatic car wash can cause
    water to collect on the brake discs and pads.
    This will cause a delay in the braking effect
    when the pedal is depressed. In such situa-
    tions it is therefore advisable to lightly de-
    press the brake pedal now and agin when
    driving. The heat generated will then
    evaporate any moisture on the brakes.
    This should also be done after washing or
    starting the car in very damp weather.

    Severe use of brakes

    When driving in mountainous areas, the car
    can be exposed to extremely severe loading
    even if you do not depress the brake pedal
    particularly hard. Since the speed is also
    quite often very low, the brakes are not
    cooled as efficiently as when driving on level
    roads. In order to avoid excessive strain on
    the brakes, engage position 2 or possible
    position 1. In this way, the braking power of
    the engine is more effectively utilised and it
    is only necessary to use the footbrake now
    and again.
    Do not forget that if you are towing a cara-
    van or trailer, the brakes will be subjected to
    more load than is usual.

    ABS brakes

    ABS brake are disigned to prevent wheel-
    locking under devere braking conditions. The
    system "senses" when the brake begin te lock
    redistributes the brake pressure automatically,
    and thereby prevent the wheels from locking.
    When the system is activated the brake pedal
    vibrates and the switing sound of the boot-
    mounted control is audible. This is quite
    Note that you must depress the brake fully for
    optimum effect and that the ABS system does
    not increase the total braking capacity of your
    vehicle. On the other hand, it does enable you
    to retain better control of your vehicle.
    The pedal will sink in a lttle deeper
    and may feel softer, and some extra pressure
    is required for normal braking.

    If the light comes on while driving or
    when braking the fluid level it too
    Stop immediately and check the level of
    the brake fluid (see 7:4 for location).

    If the level is under MIN in the whole
    reservoir: do not drive the car but have
    the car rowed to a workshop for checking
    and repair.
    If the level is under MIN on only one side
    of a reservoir: drive carefully to a
    workshop for checking.

    Page 3:4 Economical driving

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    Economical driving does not necessarily mean driving slowly

    Better driving economy may be obtained by
    thinking ahead, avoiding rapid starts and
    stops and adjusting the speed of your vehicle
    to immediate traffic conditions. Observe the
  • Bring the engine to normal operation tempe-
       rate as soon as possible by driving under
       light load. A cold engine uses more fuel
       than a warm engine and is subject to
       uncrease wear.
  • Whenever possible, avoid driving short
       distances as this does not allow the engine
       to reach normal operation temperature.
  • Drive smoothly, avoid racing starts, and
       abrupt stops.
  • Maintain a moderate speed on highways
       and motorways.
  • Avoid carrying unnecessary items (extra
       load in the car.
  • Remove snow tyres when risk of snow or
       ice has ended.
  • Use a roof rack only when necessary.
  • Do not open the side windows unnecessarily.
  • Avoid using the automatic transmission kick-
       down unless necessary.

  • You should maintain the car and specially
    the engine in good condition. factors which
    ensure good fuel consumption are:
  • correct spark plug gap
  • clean air filter
  • correct valve clearance
  • efficient preheating system
  • correct engine oil (oil change interval +
  • correct front end alignment
  • correct tyre pressures.

    Do not forget that the most important
    factor affecting fuel economy is you you-
    self, and the way in which you drive.

  • Page 3:5 Towing a caravan or trailer

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    Towing a caravan

  • Only approved towing brackets should be used. Information on
       which tyres are approved can be obtained from your Volvo dealer.
       Towing brackets which are designed to be attached to the bumper
       must not be used. the bumpers are designed to absorb impacts
       and consequently should not be used to mount towing brackets.
  • The rear suspension incorporate "Nivomat" an automatic level-
       regulating system to compensate for load variations. the system
       operates when the vehicle is in motion. The rear of the vehicle
       will however droop if, for instance, you are carrying a lot of
       luggage in the boot or if the vehicle is hitched to a caravan or
       trailer. However, as soon as you start driving the "Nivomat" system
       will pump up the rear suspension to the most suitable level.
  • Maximum weight for trailers with brakes and towing speeds re-
       commended by Volvo are shown below:
  • Observe the legal requirements in force in your country or state.
       * Max 1500 kg, max 50 mph (80 km/h)
       * Max 1600 kg not exceeding 45 mph (70 km/h). the vehicle must be
       equipped with an auxiliary oil cooler.
  • Distribute the load on the trailer so that the weight acting on the
       towing bracket is approx 50 kg for trailers up to 1200 kg and 70 kg
       for trailers above 1200 kg weight.
       Increase tyre inflation pressures to values specified under full load
       and towing in table 4:4.
  • If your car is equipped with the retractable type towing bracket,
       remember to lock the bar with the pin.
  • Clean the towing bracket regurarly and grease the towbar head
       and all movable parts to avoid unnecessary wear. grease
       the nipples on the retractable type for towing bracket.
  • Do not tow heavy trailers when the car is new. Wait until it has
       been run in for at least 1000 km (600 miles).
  • the brakes will be subject to more strain when driving in hilly
       areas. The risk of overheating can be minimised by selecting a
       lower gear and adjusting the speed of the vehicle to suit.
  • Since the engine is placed under more load than normal the oil
       must be changed more often, see 7:12.

  • Page 3:6 Winter driving

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    Frost precautions

    For the onset of winter, take note of the following advice:
  • Make sure that the engine coolant contains at least 50 %
       anti-freeze, i.e., 5 litres Volvo type C (blue-green) glycol additive.
       This gives protection against freezing down to -35°C. See 7:8.
  • Try to keep the fuel tank well filled. This prevents the formation of
       condensation in the tank.
  • The viscosity of the engine oil is important. Oil with low viscosity
       (thinner oil) aids cold starting as well as decreasing fuel consumption
       while the engine is warming up. For winter use, provided the tempera-
       ture limits on see 7:12. are maintained, 5W-30 oil, particularly the
       synthetic type, is recommended.
       Be sure to use good quality oil but do not use this cold weather oil
       for hard driving or in a warm climate.
        See 7:12. or ask your Volvo dealer for more information.
  • The battery is subjected to a greater load during the winter since the
       heater, windscreen wipers, lighting etc. are used more often. As well
       as this capacity of the battery decreases as the temperature drops.
       In very cold weather, a poorly charged battery can freeze and
       become frequently and spray an anti-rust oil on to the battery poles.
  • To prevent the washer washer reservoir from freezing, add washer
       solvents    containing de-icer. This is most important since dirt is often
       splashed on the windscreen and headlamps during winter driving, thus
       requiring frequent use of the washer and the wipers.
       Use Volvo Lock lubricant in the locks. This can be obtained from
       your Volvo dealer.
    Note: Avoid the use of de-icing sprays as these can affect the locking
  • Automatic differential lock

    The differantial automatically locks at speeds between 3-25 mph
    (5-40 km/h) if either of the drive wheels begins to lose traction.
    The differential lock improves power distrubution to the drive
    wheels in slippery conditions, shifting power to the wheel with
    best traction. It also functions when the transmission is in reverse.

    Winter driving

    Page 3:7 Long distance trips

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    Before a long distance trip

    It is always advisable to have your car checked at a Volvo dealer
    before driving long distances.
    Your dealer will be able to supply special kits containing bulbs, fuses,
    spark plugs and wiper blades for use if needed.

    If you prefer to check the car yourself, the following hints are worth
  • Check that the engine runs smoothly and that the fuel consumption
       is normal
  • Check the engine, gearbox and rear axle for leakage.
  • Check the drive belts carefully, Replace any worn belts
  • Check the battery charge.
  • Check the tyres, including the spare, carefully,. Replace worn tyres.
  • Check the brakes, front wheel alignment and the steering gear.
  • Check the lighting.
  • Check the tool bag.
  • Note that warning triangles are requires by law in some countries.
  • Before travelling to Great Britian and other countries with left-
       hand traffic, the lamp should be adjusted to avoid blinding
       oncoming traffic. For this purpose the triangler sections the head-
       lamp lens should be covered with black tape.
  • Have a word with your Volvo dealer about engine adjustments if
       you plan to drive to countries where it may be difficult to obtain
       the correct octane fuel or unleaded petrol.

  • Long distance trip

    Page 3:8 Vehicle storage

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    Vehicle storage

    Iy you do not intend to use your car for a long time

    The following points may be of use if you do not intend to use your
    car for a long time, i.e., because of a long holiday, winter etc.

  • Fill the tank to prevent water condensing on the sides of the
  • Wash the car carefully and wax it to protect the paintwork. Don't
       forget the chromed parts.
  • The vehicle should be stored in a dry, well-ventilated garage.
  • Do not apply the handbrake, use chocks instead.
  • Open one of the windows slightly for ventilation.
  • Ensure that the coolant contains suffucient anti-freeze to provide
       protection down to -35°C. Volvo anti-freeze also provides resistance
       against corrosion.
  • Remove all valuables and lock the car.
  • Check the air pressure of the tyres regularly.
  • Check the battery voltage every six weeks.

  • Vehicle storage

    Page 3:9 Automatic transmission

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    Automatic transmission

    R Reverse

    The car must be stationary shifting
    into or out of R.

    N Neutral

    The transmission is disengaged. Apply the
    parking brake when the car is stationary in
    position N.

    D Drive

    The normal driving position. Changing up and
    down between the gears takes place automati-
    cally depending on acceleration and speed.

    2 Second

    Changing up and down between 1st and 2nd
    takes places automatically.
    No changing up from 2nd occurs.
    position 2 can be used:
  • when driving in hilly terrain
  • to obtain increased engine braking

    1 First

    If position1 is selected when driving at high
    speeds 2nd is engaged first and 1 st is en-
    gaged when the speed has dropped to
    approximately 50 km/h.
    No changing up from 1st occurs.
    Use position 1 to select low gear with no
    changing up, for instance, when driving in
    mountainous terrain.
  • P Park

    Use this position once the car is parked.
    Never leave the car when the engine is
    running. If by mistake the gear selector lever
    is moved the car may start moving. The car
    must be completely stationary before select-
    ing in P.

    When P is selected the gearbox is locked.
    However, apply the parking brake when
    parked on an incline.

    Page 3:10 Automatic gearbox
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    Automatic gearbox Automatic gearbox To change to a 4-speed unit depress the
    button again - the light will go out.
    It is advisable to disengage 4th speed when:
  • towing a caravan or trailer
  • driving in hilly terrain
    But use 4th speed as much as possible in
    other driving conditions as it improves fuel

  • Gear selector gate

    The gear selector can be moved freely between
    D and 2. The other positions are separated
    by a lockout which is operated by depressing
    the selector knob.
    Depressing the selectyor knob slightly allows
    selection of position N, D, 2 and 1. Depres-
    sing of selector knob allows selection of
    posistion R and P. This is also necessary
    when initially bringing the selector out of
    position P.
    Depressing the selector knob fully thus
    permits freely between all posistions.

    Disengagement of 4th speed

    By pressing the button on the side of the
    gear selector you can switch between 3rd and
    4th speeds.
    An indicator lamp on the dashboard lights up
    when the 4th speed is disengaged as a reminder
    that the transmission is operated as a 3-
    speed unit.

  • Never select P or R when the vehicle is in motion.
  • When initially selecting position D, 2, 1, or R the vehicle should be standing still
       when the engine idling
  • The selector lever must not be moved to position 2 or 1 at speeds in excess of
       125 km/h.

  • Page 3:11 Automatic gearbox
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    Kick down

    For automatic shift to a lower gear depress
    the trottle pedal briskly to its limit.
    Changing up will occur as the top speed for a
    particular gear is approached or by releasing
    the trotthle pedal slightly.
    Kick-down can be used for maximum
    acceleration or when overtaking.
    Remember that the transmission only reverts
    to a 4-speed unit after the accelerator has
    been released.
    The gearbox is equipped with a downshift
    lock. At speeds exceeding 160 km/h no down-
    shift will occur.

    Starting and stopping

    1 Move the selector lever to P or N. (It is not
       possible to start the engine in any other
    2 Start the engine by turning the ignition key.
    3 Apply the parking brake or depress the
       brake pedal lightly (otherwise the car will
       start moving slowly when the selector is
       moved to any of the driving position).
    4 Move the selector lever to the desired
       driving position. Wait-there is a slight
       delay before the gear in engaged,
       especially when "R" is selected. As soon
       as the vehicle begins to "creep"... release
       the brake and depress the accelerator.
       The engine must be idling.
       To prevent harsh engagement and
       excessive transmission wear do not
       drive off until the transmission has
       engaged properly.
    To stop the vehicle,
    release the accelerator
    pedal and apply the brakes.
    In order to avoid overheating the gearbox
    during long periods of waiting with the
    engine running (e.g. traffic jams), position N
    should be selected.

    Towing a caravan or trailer

  • For steep hills and when driving for pro-
       longed periods at low speeds, position 1
       should be selected. In this way the gear-
       box is prevented from changing up and the
       gearbox oil remains cooler. For driving on
       mountain roads with long or frequent
       uphill gradients, select position 2.
  • When negotiating long, steep downhill
       slopes, posistion 1 should be selected and
       posistion 2 for less severe inclines, in order
       to obtain the best possible engine braking
  • Do not hold the car stationary on an icline
       by using the accelerator pedal, engage the
       handbrake onstead. This prevents the
       gearbox oil from becoming overheated.
  • Depress the button on the selector lever to
       engage 3-speed transmission and check that
       the dashboard indicator lamp lights up. This
       prevents changing up to 4th speed.

  • Page 3:12 Starting the engine

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    Starting the engine

    1 Apply the parking brake (handbrake)
    2 Move the gear selector to N and P.
    3 Do not touch the accelerator
    4 Turn the ignition key to start the engine.
       Engage the starter motor until the engine
       starts, however no more than 15-20 seconds.
    If the engine does not start immediately
    depress the accelerator pedal half way and
    hold it there until the engine starts.
    Do not make repeated short attempts to
    start the engine!

    Fuel is injected each time you use the star-

    Never race the engine directly after a cold

    If the engine misfires or will not start, con-
    tact your Volvo dealer.

    Warm-up the engine as soon
    as possible!

    Experience has shown that engines in cars
    used regularly for short trips, where the
    engine is frquently switched off, are subject
    to more rapid wear because the engine does
    not have the opportunity of reaching operat-
    ing temperature. It is therefore important
    that the engine reaches its normal operating
    temperature. As quickly as possible. Do not try
    to warm up the engine by letting it idle for a
    time or by reving up in neutral, but start
    driving as soon as possible - without hard

    Caution carbon monoxide!

    If you park your car in the garage, always
    open the garage doors fully before strarting
    the engine. Exhaust gases contain carbon
    monoxide which is odourless but
    potentially lethal.

    Catalytic converter warning

    Do not park your car over combustible
    materials such as loch grass or leaves
    exhaust system and cause such materials to

    Page 3:13 Jump starting

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    Jump starting


    To prevent possible explosion. never
    expose battery to open flame or elec-
    tric spark. Do not smoke near battery.
    Batteries generate hydrogen gas
    which is flammable and explosive.
    The battery contains sulphuric acid
    which can cause serious injury. If the
    acid comes in contact with eyes, skin
    or clothes flush with large amounts of
    water. If eyes are affectes seek medical attention.

    Jump starting

    If the battery is flat, you may have to use a charged battery to start
    the engine. To avoid any risk of explosion, the following procedures
    are strongly recommended:
  • Check the voltage of the other battery. It must be 12 V.
  • If you are using jump leads make sure that the other car does not
       touch yours.
  • First connect the posititve terminal (red lead, P or +) of the other
       battery to the positive terminal of the discharged battery, then
       connect the black lead to the negative terminal (blue, N or -). Ensure
       that there is good contact at the clamps to prevent sparks occurring
       when attempting to start.
  • Connect the other end of the black lead to a suitable earth point
       away from the battery.
  • Start the engine of the other car and allow it to run for a few
       minutes at higher than adling speed (around 1500 rpm).
  • Start the engine
       Do not move the clamps during start attempts!
       Do not lean over de batteries!

  • After the car has started, remove the clamps in the reverse order.

  • Page 3:14 Towing

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    Towing front Towing rear

    Towing the car

    The following precautions must be taken if the car has to be towed:
  • Unlock the steering wheel.
  • In most countries vehicles on tow are subject to regulations regarding maximum towing speed.
  • With the engine stopped the brake servo and steering servo will not function.
       Approximately four times more pedal pressure will have to be applies when braking and
       the steering will feel heavier than usual.
  • Drive as smoothly as possible. Try to keep the tow-line stretched to avoid unnecessary jerking.
  • The selector lever must be set at posistion N, the transmission oil level should be checked
       and the gearbox should be correctly adjusted.
  • Maximum speed 20 km/h.
  • Maximum towing distance 30 km.
  • It is not possible to start the engine by towing.

  • text en picture's from Owners manual Model year 1990

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