121k 2015 Volvo XC70 Trans Service Quandry

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New (to me) 121k XC70 T6 racewagon (300HP I6 Turbo).

The wagon runs well and shifts acceptably, though I would not describe her as a smooth operator in most scenarios. With that said, I do not feel imminent doom, compared to the few that have previously blown up while in the captain's chair. No service history aside from a Carfax entry for "transmission checked"at 98k.

Having asked around the Volvo community, of which I was previously a card-carrying member for years, I have received some interesting information on its servicing.

Theory 1: Per the Volvo Dealership - "This is a lifetime fluid in a sealed transmission case that cannot be changed. Additionally, even if it could be changed, we do not have a fluid pump machine as we don't service Volvo transmissions in any scenario." The dealership actually said this. I did not paraphrase.

Theory 2: Per the Transmission Shop nerds: As metal breakdown accumulates and becomes suspended in the fluid, the emulsion of the two hold the worn gears in decent workable shape and a complete flush and fill will be a 50/50 shot of a rapid trans failure.

Theory 3: Per the Volvo Nerds: Drain out half(4L), refill and call it a day.

What does BITOG say?

Also curious: Liqui Moly LM20032 TOP TEC 1800 ATF + LM ATF Additive VERSUS OE Trans Fluid - What say you?

Thanks for the input!
 

Astro14

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Theory 4 - a reasonable schedule of fluid exchange (30-60,000 miles) will prevent theory 1 failure and theory 2 conspiracy.

Fluid choice - anything that meets specification.

I offer the following data point: My wife’s 2002 Volvo. A year notorious for early transmission failures. Also, “sealed for life”. It has had regular fluid changes. It has over 280,000 miles on the original transmission.

Two other data points are in my signature. Both on their original transmission.
 
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With high mileage cars and a dipstick available this is what I normally do.

Car is cold, I suction about 1 quart of trans oil through the dipstick.
transfer the old oil into a clear container and let it settle.
Examine the oil for any particle material
Very little particles, I would proceed w/ drain and fill
Lot of material, add what you took out and drive the car
Continue to suction 1 quart every day until the oil is good enough to drain and fill

NOTE:

It is like giving the car a flood transfusion at a slow rate. It takes time but works great.

I'll stick w/ OEM fluid for the time.
 
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I'm on my 3rd V70 (1999, '02, '07) but cannot offer insight on your 2015 "P3" except to say I agree and would go with the above posts.

The 2002 I owned was put up for sale because the transmission was balky. I never learned if the original owner (or his dealer) removed the truly stupid "stop neutral" feature. Even when I paid $60 for a TCM update at a dealership, they wouldn't / couldn't tell me.
Gaping voids in communication underscores how scummy car companies and dealerships are.

Oddly, the original owner addressed the balkiness with fluid changes at his dealership. Somehow they overlooked the "lifetime fluid" declaration.

The update helped a lot and LubeGard red helped even more. I sold it with 198,600 mi. and the buyer said it was the smoothest transmission he'd ever driven.

What transmission is in your 2015? I doubt it has a dipstick.
 
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IMO, there's no such thing as lifetime fluids of any kind; all will degrade with time and use. Especially lubes which lose their important properties causing damage sooner or later.

BMW, MB and a few others have made a lot of money with claims of "lifetime" fluids but as it turns out in most cases, they're really referring to lifetime as being the 1st buyer's ownership, which typically ends when the warranty period is up.

I would drain and refill, replacing the filter as well. I don't think I'd be OCD about it and do it every 40-50K miles, but I'd definitely do it at least every 80-100K miles. Use the OE spec stuff or equivalent, don't experiment.
 
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To me "lifetime fluid" means 150k miles. I would change out a bit at a time. On my past Hondas that had the 3x drain and fill i dropped 3 quarts every other oci (20k miles) and never worried about it
 
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A friend of mine had this same vehicle, same condition, 105K miles on it. We did a full cooler line fluid exchange on it. Zero problems. He put another 50K on it and sold it, trans was still running strong.

That said, a single drain and fill, and then another after a thousand miles or so is probably the most prudent way to go.
 
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3 time Volvo owner here. I changed all mine to amsoil. One got an inline filter. The one with the inline filter in addition to the amsoil healed somehow from the 1-2 flare common to the p2 s60. I changed the inline filter after about 30k miles and this one has been on there about 50k. All of mine were driving like new at 180k. We still have one. My neighbor has another. Not sure where my first s60 ended up.

my preferred method was to suck it out with a mityvac pump and refill with the same qty of oil. Peace of cake.
 
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Is this an Aisin Warner? I've had 2 Volvos, '94 850 and '01 S60. Both FWD and both had AW transaxles. The 94 had a 4 speed and the 01 had a 5 speed with the stupid neutral thing. Had that disabled at the dealer with a software update.

I used Import ATF in the 5 speed. Met the Toyota type T spec, which is a roundabout was to say Aisin Warner. Went 250,000 before I sold it.

There were both cars for my wife....all my cars are manual.
 
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Theory 1: Per the Volvo Dealership - "This is a lifetime fluid in a sealed transmission case that cannot be changed. Additionally, even if it could be changed, we do not have a fluid pump machine as we don't service Volvo transmissions in any scenario." The dealership actually said this. I did not paraphrase.

Theory 3: Per the Volvo Nerds: Drain out half(4L), refill and call it a day.
Can it be changed (# 3) or not (# 1) ? If it has a drain plug and/or a fill hole (dipstick, hole, etc), it's obviously not sealed.
 
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I have went with the aisin stuff that I got through rock auto on both mine now. I didnt like the transmax stuff. Price was reasonable too. And they build the trans so why not use their fluid? There have been several software updates too.....might wanna look into that. The 2013 in my sig has 250k now and works like a charm.
 

CleanSump

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Drop the pan, change the filter, and fill it back up. If you don't drain the converter, you're only getting 1/2 to 2/3 the fluid out. So gentle intro to good new blood if you adhere to the shock kills it theory.
So many threads on this subject. The bottom line is that most people don't change the fluid until they notice bad shifting, then hope the change will fix it. But, no, trans seeks gear heaven because it was going to do it anyway. Gunk in the old fluid didn't hold the gears together nor make the clutches grab.
Before you have symptoms is a good time to do preventive maintenance (PM) so that it doesn't fail. Same as changing engine oil to prevent a broken timing chain or thrown rod.
 
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If it's an Aisin/Toyota transmission, it has a drain plug, so it is very easy to drain and refill. Do it cold, measure how much comes out, and refill with the same amount :)

Maxlife is good stuff. Aisin/Toyota transmissions usually aren't picky. Nothing wrong with LM, either, but you don't have to spend that much. You don't need any additives.
 
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If it's an Aisin/Toyota transmission, it has a drain plug, so it is very easy to drain and refill. Do it cold, measure how much comes out, and refill with the same amount :)

Maxlife is good stuff. Aisin/Toyota transmissions usually aren't picky. Nothing wrong with LM, either, but you don't have to spend that much. You don't need any additives.
Wish it was that easy. My 2011 Volvo XC70 with 3.2L has a similar transmission. This is one of those Aisin trannies where the drain hole is also the fill hole, the ATF has to be at certain temp, and the only thing responsible for proper fluid level is the overflow-style level tube in the drain hole. I miss the good old days of simple drain and fill... May have to find me a pre-2007 GS300/GS400/GS430 for a forever daily driver duty, as I prefer the ease of maintenance for those machines.
 
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Volvosweden on YouTube has an excellent step by step for this process.

I used the Aisin WS fluid available on rockauto.

 
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Wish it was that easy. My 2011 Volvo XC70 with 3.2L has a similar transmission. This is one of those Aisin trannies where the drain hole is also the fill hole, the ATF has to be at certain temp, and the only thing responsible for proper fluid level is the overflow-style level tube in the drain hole. I miss the good old days of simple drain and fill... May have to find me a pre-2007 GS300/GS400/GS430 for a forever daily driver duty, as I prefer the ease of maintenance for those machines.
I have changed fluid multiple times on the variant used in the s60. So many times. Evacuate with a mityvac. (they have fill levels marked on them). Replace same amount back in.

if the vehicles have a dipstick, measure the level next time it’s near the rated temp. Usually idling from cold gets you there in only a couple of minutes.

for a transmission that isn’t leaking, I’ve not had any issues at all with this method. I wonder how much the “exact precision“ of the temperature-calibrated fill is overblown.
 

CleanSump

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Wish it was that easy. My 2011 Volvo XC70 with 3.2L has a similar transmission. This is one of those Aisin trannies where the drain hole is also the fill hole, the ATF has to be at certain temp, and the only thing responsible for proper fluid level is the overflow-style level tube in the drain hole. I miss the good old days of simple drain and fill... May have to find me a pre-2007 GS300/GS400/GS430 for a forever daily driver duty, as I prefer the ease of maintenance for those machines.
Same method as MB. Amazon had an adapter for $12 and an IR thermometer for $25. Added a cheap yard sprayer and clear tubing from Home Depot.
Makes the job not hard.
 
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I have yet to understand how not changing oil can do anything but make things worse in the future.
 
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