Body Care, Paint, Waxes Etc.                                                                   FAQ Home

Volvo Maintenance FAQ for 7xx/9xx/90 Cars                                                                                                                      Version 5.0
Body Care and Waxes

Touch-Up Paint Source

Paint Chip Repair

Paint Scratch Repair

Painted Bumper Cover Repair

Front Spoiler Repainting

How to Remove Pinstripes from Paint

100K Badge Mounting

Rubber Trim Preservative

Body Care and Waxes. Hagman's or Sonax products, I prefer Hagman's. I machine-polished my car for 6 months ago and waxed it with Hagman's wax and the water still pearls. I've tested Turtle, Simoniz, Maquire and so on but Hagmans is still the best. When I worked in a Recond-garage we used Sonax but that was before Hagman's new products, here in Sweden Hagman's gets the highest test-score in all car-mags.

 PURE CARNAUBA WAX! Accept no substitute. As for removing the fine scratches, try a product called "Fill n' Glaze" from 3M. Available at most automotive paint supply stores. Pricey, but good! Pink in color. WARNING: Always follow the Fill n'Glaze treatment with the above mentioned Carnauba Wax. Your paint is left unprotected without it!

 Rain Dance is a decent wax, as is Mother's. I have tried all the silicone polishes and only one has seemed to perform as claimed. That's Finish 2001 by Turtle Wax.

Car Care Appearance Products.  [Tip]  See

Touch-Up Paint Source. For the last 5 years I have been touching up vehicles for auto dealerships.  What I have done is put together a touch-up system for your car using all the tools and supplies I used at the dealerships.  This is a basecoat/clearcoat system like the factory uses.  I custom mix the paint for your car using your paint code so it is a great match.  I can match any year vehicle. 1,000's sold----will ship anywhere.  For more info go to:

Paint Chip Repair.  [Query:] I have a paint chip in the front of the hood.  It appears to be down to the metal and about 1mm in size.  What’s the best way to repair this?
[Tip from Cavalier Forum at Yahoo]
When touching up the car and I don't have a lot of paint chips to fix, I dig out one of my dissecting needles, dip just the very tip into the paint, then touch the tip to the chip area. That is also a very accurate way to do touch up and does not use a normally hard-to-get hypo with fine needle tip.   A dissecting needle is basically a largish steel needle stuck into the end of a plastic rod whose diameter is typically that of a pencil and length is about 5 inches. You can find them in hobbycraft stores that sell model paints and tools like pin drills.  You can make your own substitute for a dissecting needle painting tip by using a paperclip. Straighten the paperclip out. Take a needlenose flat-faced pliers (or any pliers with a flat crushing surface) and mush the end of the paperclip down. It now looks like the end of a tiny bladed screwdriver (which is what I use for tightening screws in my glasses when desperate). Use the pliers to chomp at it until you have a reasonable tip on the end of the paperclip. That is your new recyclable painting needle.

There, if you don't have a hypo, you can substitute a dissecting needle. If you don't have one of those, you can substitute a homemade paperclip painting tip (and feel proud that you are related to MacGyver who invents things on the fly). If you have no paperclip, you can always take a sliver of wood. I've taken wooden doweling and sharpened it in my pencil sharpener (the small manual ones) to a tip  before and used those.
Really, the hypo method is better when you have a TON of paint chips to do. If you only have ten or twenty chips, you might as well use a metal tip....

The above methods are cheaper than using an expensive artist brush (the sables can run $10 each) unless you use one of those cheap wal-mart "artist" brushes and clip most of the hairs off.   [Response 2:] Airbrushing can make very good repairs.  Getting an airbrush and a small hobbyist compressor (like for painting plastic models) works OK.  A little practice and you can make extremely good repairs.  I do it all the time.  The secret is getting the build up in the chip even with the surrounding surface by several applications of paint and wet sanding/polishing level.

Paint Scratch Repair.  [Tip from Steve Ringlee] It's getting cold out here in subtropical Iowa, so I thought it opportune to do the last detailing of the season and repair the paint scratches in my 944, the result of careless nitwits in the supermarket parking lots. I had read somewhere about using a hypodermic syringe to lay in a thin bead of paint right in the scratch. After getting my flu shot I just asked the doc for the needle, explaining that I needed it for my car. He was a little skeptical, but knowing me to be the straight arrow I am he said "OK, you didn't get it from me" and I was on my way.
    The touchup paint from Volvo is really for filling chips, so it has to be thinned with lacquer thinner to work with this technique. I mixed a small quantity to a watery consistency in a small bottle, then sucked it up into the needle. Make sure you mix it well, else the metallic particles will settle out. Use denatured alcohol to clean the paint of wax, silicones, etc. Then practice on a hard surface to get the flow right: too much pressure on the syringe and it comes out too quickly. Lay in a very small bead of paint right in the crack with gentle pressure on the syringe.
   My first attempt resulted in too much paint in the crack, which I left on the car until it dried. Then I used very fine auto wet sandpaper (more than 600 grit!) to sand it flush with the surface, and oversprayed with a little clear coat. This in turn required more sanding and polishing until it was smooth. Not the best, but it was OK.
    My second scratch filling went better and I just filled the crack with enough paint to cover it without requiring sanding or clearcoating.  I then emptied the paint back into the bottle and used a brush to fill in a larger ding. The thinned paint works vastly better than the stock touchup paint and I will follow this technique in the future. Clean the syringe with lacquer thinner and keep it for your next scratch or maybe one rousing bash with the local druggies. Some of our local high school crew would, I am sure, inject the paint just to see what would happen.

Painted Bumper Cover Repair. [Query:] My 1997 960 with the plastic body color bumper has a dent in it.  Short of replacing the bumper($700), is ther any thing I can do to repair it ? Is there a filler or body putty that would fill in the dent?  [Response:  Leon Tong]  The following procedure is described in the Volvo factory manual on paintwork repairs:

A small ridge may appear in the bumper cover following a low-speed collision. This can be repaired by heating the cover and pressing the material
Heat bumper cover with a hot-air gun to soften the damaged area.  The bumper cover is sufficiently soft when light pressure with a wooden spatula produces a small mark in the plastic. A suitable distance between the hot air gun and bumper is 12 cm. The distance can vary depending on the type of gun. Start with a greater distance and reduce if required. It may be difficult to heat large areas. Divide the work into sections.  Note! paintwork will be damaged by excessive temperature. Work carefully and be aware of changes in the paintwork caused by excessive temperature.
Place a wet blanket over the heated area and press out the damage with a wooden block. Keep pressure applied until the bumper has cooled (about 2 min). Use compressed air to accelerate cooling.
Repeat procedure until the damage has been completely repaired. Some areas of the bumper may require repeated treatment."
Now, I haven't tried this myself, so I can't vouch for it. And since you've got a dent, you'd be working from the inside. But it seems like it's worth a shot if the alternative is patching and re-spraying.

Front Spoiler Repainting .  [Query:] My (white) '89 740 still has excellent paint but the front spoiler could use fixing. Has many nicks and scratches and would look a lot better if repainted.  Has anyone painted this piece with any luck?
[Response:  Nathaniel] The front spoiler is a breeze to paint. But before I continue with the process let's talk about the paint itself.
The paint is nothing special . . . use the same paint that is used for the car.  [Important Tip from JohnB]  You DO need to add a flexible additive to both the primer and the color/clear coat paints. Also, get your viscosity right, fisheye additive in high humidity, etc., etc.  The reason the old stuff cracked off is cuz it wasn't flexible enough to take the movement in the spoiler.  Any automotive paint supply shop should be able to sell you a can of the additive.  [Nathaniel's Comments Continued:]  A good recommendation is to use PPG. What your going to need to be armed with is the color code # for your car. You'll find this code # on a little plate inside your engine compartment (I'm going to avoid telling you where it's located because it varies from year-to-year). Just look around at the various plates containing important information about your car and you'll find it. Mine is located above the passenger side headlight cluster. It's cleary notated "color code". Use this # to ensure that the paint color matches
 the rest of the car. If worst comes to worst contact your local Volvo parts dealer and they will be able to tell you the color code. It's on your car though and will be a 3 digit #.
Once you have this # look in your yellow pages for any shops that specialize in auto body paints and supplies. These places are not AutoZone, NAPA, etc. The most that you're going to get from those places is a spray can of white that resembles the car color and, in the end, will look like s*$t. Because the spoiler is such a big part of the front end of the 740 your probably going to want it to look just as nice as the rest of the car. Given that, get yourself a pint of base coat white and the necessary mixtures that will make up your clear coat. This may sound daunting but it's not hard. [Tip from Brain Oliver]  Here in Ottawa I can get spray cans custom mixed to match the colour code of the car. Very good paint and very easy to use, and no, it's not a big automotive department store that does this, it's a car paint store. Try "automobile body shop - equipment and supplies" in your yellow pages and choose one with hours that suggest they welcome the retail do-it-yourself customer.  [Nathaniel Continued]  Once you talk to the boys at PPG you'll understand what I'm saying; they'll give you everything you need and will be able to answer your questions.  [Editors Note:  PPG is one brand, but you can find others including DuPont, Sikkens etc.]
No need for a fancy sprayer either. You should be able to purchase, at the paint store, a sprayer that has a glass bottle with measuring marks on it that also contains a canister of propellent. Once together, this spray painter works just like a spray can. The only difference is that you measure and mix the contents according to PPG's standards and blow on the paint. Once done painting, clean out the bottle and use the same glass bottle to mix the clear coat. BTW, buy a couple canisters of propellent.
As far as prepping the spoiler . . . no need to pull it off the bumper. Just mask off the the spoiler from the rest of the bumper and car, clean the surfaces to be painted. Once clean sand to rough the surface, clean again, sand with a finer grit paper to smooth out any major imperfections, and clean again. Prime with a light colored primer, atleast 2 coats, and allow to dry.
Blow on 2-3 coats of base paint then follow up with 2-3 coats of clear coat. Allow to cure, about 24 hours, before washing. Once the paint job is dry you will be able to drive the car. Total cost? Should run you no more than $60. Time involved? No more than 5 hours. Incidentally, you will not use all the paint you buy. Be sure to save what is left over for future touch-ups on the spoiler, the paint is not cheap.
Best of luck, it's not a tough job. Done correctly it'll add new life to the front end of your 740. But remember, the spoiler is plastic and is therefore flexible. The next curb you come against is likely to stress the paint job thereby creating cracks which will lead to future touch-ups. So watch out!!

How to Remove Pinstripes from Paint. [Query:] Can any one recommend the safe way to remove pinstriping from the side of my 760 GLE?  [Response:]  I've done this twice.
 1. go to a detail shop (they'll use some type of a "turpentine" substance to remove it.
 2. go to an industrial paint supply store and get a special pad that fits on the end of a drill. You can "blast it off" safely--never tried this.
 3. get your wife to use her long fingernails.
 4. or use your own and peel away slowly (the cheapest but requires patience) use a blow drier to heat it up and it'll peel off a lot easier.
 5. use cleaner wax to get rid of any excess residue.

Depending on the age of the paint and the stripe, you might find a paint line where the tape was

100K Badge Mounting.  [Query:] I sent off and just received my 100,000 mile badge from Volvo. It's a very nice looking badge with sticky tape for mounting it. My question is, where are these normally mounted, and how well do they stay when you mount them? My first thought is to mount it outside so that it's visible to drivers of lesser vehicles, but I don't know how well it would stay. If you've mounted one before please let me know where and how well it worked. [Response:] I've got a 100 and 200K badge that I mounted to the grille of the car in the upper left hand corner (looking at the front of the car). Clean the grill with Windex or rubbing alcohol to remove any dirt/contaminants. Stick the badge squarely on the on firmly. I've had mine for a number of years and they're still solidly stuck, even through torrential southern thunderstorms and heat to a Northwest winter.

Rubber Trim Preservative.  [Tip from Zee] For good rubber reconditioning (not mere cosmetic gloss) check into:
 "Trim Re-Nu" by Auto Tech 1-800-545-8624
Silicone-free. Requires sun to activate it! Then it blocks UV damage. About $12-20 for a 8oz. bottle. Will treat two cars, because you use it sparingly. Should do great for  under-hood rubber, too!    Ask around at wholesale paint suppliers to the autobody trade. [Editor:]  Try also 303 Aerospace Preservative at

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