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Volvo Maintenance FAQ for 7xx/9xx/90 Cars                                                                                                                     Version 5.0

Rust Locations

Rustproofing Products

Aluminum Tailgate Corrosion

Rust in 7xx/9xx Door Seams

940 Rust Alert

Rust Locations. For 700 series owners, here's where they can rot:

Inside the boot, there is a sort of pocket, either side, presumably for carrying water/things etc. This can rot through to the outside world and totally disintegrate. The sill drainage holes get bunged up and the sills rot towards the front of the car (especially where the sill meets the bottom of the front wing). Right underneath where the transmission meets the motor, look to the left and right and you can see the chassis box sections or arms / runners or whatever you call them, they rot from the inside out due to plugged drainage holes probably. Next take up the carpet behind the brake/accelerator, look up a little and there is a seam on the lower bulkhead or firewall and that can rot splendidly. They also go on the inside of the roof where the sun roof slides back. Another nice place to hunt the rust is the A pillar, which can rust quite badly behind the chrome trim, which is, of course pop-riveted on so it is a bastard to put back once off. Apart from that they are not too bad. At least when they are welded up there is something to weld to, which is never the case with a British/French/Italian car. [Note: see comments in "Doors" for reputed seam rust in rear doors.]

Aluminum Tailgate Corrosion.  [Query:]  No rust on the 88 745 but the rear tailgate has a small area of bubbled paint around door latch. looks like aluminum tailgate is pitted under the paint. I know aluminum doesn't rust but not sure how to refinish AL?  Anyone have suggestions on how to refinish aluminum tailgate and repaint the area? [Response: MikeH]  Go to your local auto paint supply house; I used a local chain store called Mateus. Found them in the yellow pages. There is a special, self etching primer made for aluminum. They should know what I'm talking about, if they don't, go to another store. Sand the corrosion to bare metal, clean, prime with the self etching primer and paint. It's been awhile since I have done any painting ie years, but I still had my spray gun. I used lacquor since this was a driveway paint booth and I wanted something that would dry fast before the bugs and other trash settled on the paint. I ended up sanding with fine paper to get the runs and orange peal out but I finally got it right after several tries. They even got very close to matching the silver paint from the paint code!

Rust in 7xx/9xx Door Seams. With the rear door closed you cannot see the areas involved. If you consider the door closed, you can see the outside and the inside of the door, the inside with the trim on. When you open the door, please look at what would be called the side or the place where stickers get put, or the mate to the striker plate. Now the Volvo door is really made of 2 major parts. The main part of the door being the bulk of it, and a piece of metal which frames the window and provides the track for the window to be held in place when it is up. It is at the place where this metal frame joins the door where it is welded, and has some manufacturers putty put over it. Another description is to open the door and look at the ends right below the molding that fits below the window. You should see a weld seam there. I have seen cracking/or rust at just the ends of the door toward the rear of the car, and have seen cars that have cracking on both ends on all four doors usually. Poll results on Northeastern cars: >91 940 1 OK> 93 940 2 OK; >93 940 11 BAD; >94 940 2 BAD 1 OK

Rustproofing Products. The Rust-Check Product is excellent. I recall seeing a promotion recently to have a car done in Toronto for $99. I don't know the exact contents, but it is an oil-type substance that they squirt into the un-seen panels of the car. Holes are drilled in strategic locations, and later filled with rubber/plastic plugs to make this possible. Be prepare for the car exterior to be a bit drippy/greasy for a few days after you get it back from the treatment. Just park it on the lawn instead of in the driveway for few days. [Does not trap moisture like solidifying treatments like Ziebart.]

For POR rust proofing products, check out

[Tip from Jim Urban] Visit for what you need.  I sell a rustproofing kit that is used for just this purpose.  It sells for $29.95 and takes care of  the entire car.  Comes with a video to show how and where to use it - undercoating, welded seams, inside doors and wheel wells, etc.

940 Rust Alert. This last weekend I went shopping for another 945.   I saw a nice one, a 94 but was shocked to see RUST on it.  So I checked my 94 945 and it had the same rust in the same place.   Open hood, look inside on passenger side right where all the brake lines get channeled together heading back to the rear.  There is a seam/junction of metals and it was rusting all along there!!!!!  Geeeesh, at least my 240's waited 8-9 years before they started to show rust.  A sample of 2 isn't great, so check it out.

[Tip from Ed Kuczynski ] Just bought another 94 945.  And while researching found a weakness in the 945's.  Look for rust on the firewall in the engine bay , passenger side mainly, along a seam thats fairly low on the firewall.  I've seen SEVERAL that have light rust coming from the seams.  Also in the engine compartment, again mainly on the passenger side, on the horizontal "frame" members where 2 pieces of metal form a joint.  Out of about a dozen 93-95's, most of them had this problem.

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