Chapter 4 - Starting and driving

pg. 65 Starting and driving

Starting and driving

This section on starting and driving contains items such as starting the engine, operating the gear selector, towing, trailers, etc.

Page No. Subject
pg. 66 Break-in period
pg. 66-67 Fuel requirements, Refueling
pg. 68 Driving economy
pg. 69 Starting the engine
pg. 70 Manual transmission
pg. 70-73 Automatic transmission, All Wheel Drive (AWD)
pg. 74-75 Points to remember
pg. 76 Emergency towing
pg. 77 Vehicle towing information
pg. 78 Jump starting
pg. 79 Three-way catalytic converter
pg. 80 Brake system, ABS
pg. 81 Trailer towing
pg. 82 Winter driving
pg. 83 Long distance trips

pg. 66 Break-in period, Fuel requirements

A new car should be broken-in

Refrain from utilizing your car's full driving potential during the first 1,200 miles (2,000 km) including the "kick-down" function (automatic transmission).

Although some oil consumption occurs during normal engine operation, more oil is consumed when the engine is new as the internal parts generate higher friction while wearing-in to each other. From the time the engine is new until the first service is performed, the oil consumption could be higher than normal. For this reason, it is especially important to check the oil every time you refuel your car during this period. See page 124.
In general, the rate of oil consumption depends on such factors as: engine temperature, length of trip, driving conditions, oil viscosity and quality, engine speed and acceleration/deceleration.
Checking your engine oil level each time the car is refueled is one of the most important items you can perform to help keep your car in good running order.

Manual transmission

The following speeds should not be exceeded during the break-in period:

Up to 600 miles
(1000 km)
600 - 1,200 miles
(1000 - 2000 km)
1st gear 20 mph (30 km/h) 25 mph (40 km/h)
2nd gear 30 mph (50 km/h) 40 mph (70 km/h)
3rd gear 45 mph (80 km/h) 65 mph (100 km/h)
4th gear 70 mph (110 km/h) 80 mph (130 km/h)
5th gear/overdrive 80 mph (130 km/h) 95 mph (150 km/h)

Posted speed limits should not be exceeded.

Deposit control gasoline (detergent additives)

Volvo recommends the use of gasoline containing deposit control additives. These additives have shown to be efficient in keeping injectors and intake valves clean. Consistent use of deposit control gasolines will help ensure good driveability and fuel economy. If you are not sure whether the gasoline contains deposit control additives, check with the service station operator.

Unleaded Fuel

Each Volvo has a three-way catalytic converter and must use only unleaded gasoline. U.S. and Canadian regulations require that pumps delivering unleaded gasoline be labeled "UNLEADED". Only these pumps have nozzles which fit your car's filler inlet. It is unlawful to dispense leaded fuel into a vehicle labeled "unleaded gasoline only". Leaded gasoline damages the three-way catalytic converter and the heated oxygen sensor system. Repeated use of leaded gasoline will lessen the effectiveness of the emission control system and could result in loss of emission warranty coverage. State and local vehicle inspection programs will make detection of misfueling easier, possibly resulting in emission test failure for misfueled vehicles.

NOTE: Some U.S. and Canadian gasolines contain an octane enhancing additive called methyl-cyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT). If such fuels are used, your Emission Control System performance may be affected, and the Malfunction Indicator Lamp located on your instrument panel may light. If this occurs, please return your vehicle to an authorized Volvo retailer for service.

pg. 67 Fuel requirements, Refueling

Octane Rating

Volvo engines are designed for optimum performance on unleaded premium gasoline with an octane rating. AKI of 91, or above. AKI (ANTI KNOCK INDEX) is an average of the Research Octane Number, RON, and the Motor Octane Number, MON, (RON + MON/ 2).
The minimum octane requirement is AKI 87 (RON 91).

Gasoline containing alcohol and ethers

"Oxygenated fuels"
Some fuel suppliers sell gasoline containing "oxygenates" which are usually alcohols or ethers. In some areas, state or local laws require that the service pump be marked indicating use of alcohol or ethers. However, there are areas in which the pumps are unmarked. If you are not sure whether there is alcohol or ethers in the gasoline you buy, check with the service station operator.
To meet seasonal air quality restrictions, some states require the use of "oxygenated" fuel in certain areas.
Volvo allows the use of the following "oxygenated fuels; however, the octane ratings listed on this page must still be met.
Alcohol Ethanol
Fuels containing up to 10% ethanol by volume may be used.
Ethanol may also be referred to as Ethyl alcohol, or "Gasohol".
Ethers MTBE
Fuels containing up to 15% MTBE may be used.


The fuel filler cap is located inside the fuel tank cover on the right rear fender.

NOTE: The fuel tank cover is locked and must be popped open using the control on the driver's door.

Open fuel filler cap slowly during hot weather conditions.
When filling, hang the cap on the special bracket on the inside of the fuel tank cover.

NOTE: Turn the ignition off or to position I when refueling. If the ignition is on, an incorrect reading could occur in the fuel gauge (low fuel level will be indicated).

After filling the tank, install the cap and turn until a "click" is heard.
The fuel tank is designed to hold approximately 18.4 US gal. (70 liters) with sufficient volume left over to accommodate possible expansion of the fuel in hot weather. Be aware that the "usable" tank will be somewhat less than the specified maximum. When the fuel level is low, such factors as ambient temperature, the fuel's "vapor pressure" characteristics, and terrain can affect the fuel pumps' ability to supply the engine with an adequate supply of fuel. Therefore, it is advisable to refuel as soon as possible when the needle nears the red zone, or when the fuel warning light comes on.


  • Do not refuel with the engine running. After refueling, close the fuel filler cap by turning it clockwise until it clicks into place.
  • Allow for fuel expansion by not overfilling the tank. Overfilling could also cause damage to the emission control systems.

  • NOTE: If the fuel filler cap is not closed tightly or if the engine is running when the car is refueled, the Malfunction Indicator Lamp may indicate a fault. Use only Volvo original or approved fuel filler caps.

    CAUTION: Avoid spilling gasoline during refueling. Gasolines containing alcohol can cause damage to painted surfaces, which may not be covered under the New Vehicle Limited Warranty.
    Do not use gasoline containing methanol (methyl alcohol, wood alcohol). This practice can result in vehicle performance deterioration and can damage critical parts in the fuel system. Such damage may not be covered under the New Vehicle LimitedWarranty.

    pg. 68 Driving economy

    Economical driving conserves natural resources

    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 following rules:

  • Bring the engine to normal operating temperature as soon as possible by driving with a light foot on the accelerator pedal for the first few minutes of operation. A cold engine uses more fuel and is subject to increased wear.
  • Whenever possible, avoid using the car for driving short distances. This does not allow the engine to reach normal operating temperature.
  • Drive carefully and avoid rapid acceleration and hard braking.
  • Do not exceed speed limit.
  • Avoid carrying unnecessary items (extra load) in the car.
  • Check tire pressure regularly (check when tires are cold).
  • Remove snow tires when threat of snow or ice has ended.
  • Note that roof racks, ski racks, etc., increase air resistance and thereby fuel consumption.
  • Avoid using automatic transmission kick-down feature unless necessary.
  • Avoid using the air conditioning when it is not required. When engaged, the air conditioner's compressor places an additional load on the engine. However, please note that fuel consumption is lower with the air conditioning on than it is when driving with the air conditioning switched off and the windows down.
  • If your car is equipped with the optional Trip Computer, utilizing the fuel consumption modes can help you "learn" how to drive more economically.

    Other factors which decrease gas mileage are:

  • Worn or dirty spark plugs
  • Incorrect spark plug gap
  • Dirty air cleaner
  • Dirty engine oil and clogged oil filter
  • Dragging brakes
  • Incorrect front end alignment

    Some of the above mentioned items and others are checked at the standard Maintenance Service intervals.

    NOTE: ( D )rive or 5th gear (manual transmissions) should be used as often as possible to help improve fuel economy.

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