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Volvo XC90 T6 Transmission

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  • iloathevolvoiloathevolvo Posts: 1
    edited January 2012
    I bought my 2003 XC90 T6 from Byers Volvo in the Columbus, OH area. It had 48,572 miles at time of purchase. At just under 78,000 miles I was driving through a Wal-Mart parking lot in winter & the "Transmission Service Urgent" light came on. Before I made it to the road, the vehicle stopped accelerating & I had to have it towed to Byers. They checked it out & of course, it was the transmission. The sales manager was extremely rude & condescending to my wife & when i told him i hoped Volvo would help us out on the repair, since we were just 3000 miles out of warranty. They offered to fix it for around $8000 with no price break, so I declined & had it replaced at a transmission shop for close to $4800. The shop gave me a 30,000 / 1 Year warranty. 1 year & 3 months later, the same thing happened while my family & I were on our way to Florida for our wedding. We stopped at a fast food restaurant & the "Transmission Sevice" light came on again. Before we even got to the drive-thru, the vehicle would no longer accelerate & we had to push it into a parking spot. This happened at 112,500 miles. I had it towed to an Aamco Transmission repair shop close to our destination in Bradenton. They had it for 2 weeks & I paid out another $4800. We drove it back to Ohio & then back to Bradenton for our move to Florida 1 month later. After 5 days of living in Florida, the transmission went out again. Fortunately it was still under warranty & Aamco rented me a loaner while they worked on it again.

    The Volvo now has just over 135,000 miles & the transmission & engine had been acting funny last night. I had to work early this morning in Ft. Myers & my ultra reliable XC90 T6 died again on the highway (I 75). Now the following lights are on 1) Electrical Powersystem Service Required, 2) Engine System Service Required, 3) Brake Assist Service Required & 4) ABS/Anti-Skid Service Required. This is in addition to the AC, which has not worked properly for nearly a year even after 2 visits to the repair shop & the washer fluid reservoir that still leaks after 3 repairs. The tow truck driver, who is also a certified mechanic, said everyone in the industry knows about these vehicles & believes Volvo should recall them all. He said Volvo put a GM transmission in the T6, which can't support the power of the engine, so it keeps burning throuhh them.

    I have bever driven this vehicle hard & 80% of the miles are from the highway. I have also never towed anything with it. It has been serviced regularly, but the bottom line is that Volvo built a vehicle that is less reliable than a Yugo. I wish there was something I could do, but now I can't even drive it to a dealer to trade it in. Does anyone have any suggestions?
  • In my opinion, having been on my third transmission in just over 55,000 miles before I sold my XC90 (realizing that this problem with the first few years of the XC90 was NEVER going to go away)---Volvo should either recall all of these cars or make it a mandate that all transmissions are repaired at no charge to the buyer. When you brought your car to Byers Volvo----there should have been absolutely no rudeness but they simply should have repaired your Volvo and Volvo should have paid them for it. But to see that this problem still continues in Volvo World is disgraceful and Volvo should own up to it in a better way than they did and more publicly. When I sold my Volvo----I was fortunate in that I had bought an extended warranty---but I did this because I had already gone through TWO transmissions---but Volvo at that time was still not assuming the responsibility for it----but charged it to my extended warranty company. When I sold my Volvo I lost a lot of money in resale that I shouldn't have BECAUSE by that time all the dealers were fully cognizant that this was a BIG problem. (I now have an XC 60 and there are NO problems with it). Unfortunately the first few years of the XC90 were "lemon" years.
  • My Volvo XC90 T6 has 73,000 miles and has just started with the transmission problems you have mentioned. We have the most wonderful attorney here in New Bern. He is like a dog with a bone when he takes on an issue. He will be looking into this and affiliating with a large firm in Raleigh that he has worked with before if they agree. Any information that anyone can get to me would be helpful. Use NewBernSold@gmail.com.
  • In the USA you contact Volvo North America and state your case...transmission has gone and this has been confirmed by the dealership (get the dealership to do the test for free 1st ask before you deal with them)...any Volvo dealership should be able and willing to help you out as they do hundreds of them a year on the 2003-2005T6 and is now a very well known fact that these cars are all doomed to fail very early in the car world! In the US the Volvo head office is known to pay 100% (parts & labour) if your car is under 100K miles...does not matter if you serviced the car at a non-Volvo dealership or that you do not have any extended warranty. They built a sub-par transmission which is a patent defect and they need to pay for it to be fixed as they have done for thousands worldwide. You simply state your case, car miles and your awareness that this is a well documented problem with these SUV's and that you know that Volvo pays 100% in a case by case "good-will" program (even though they should be recalled they think this is good enough) Thye also have to replace the radiator, etc... because that all goes too. My car never had a warning light but just had no acceleration, made a screeching sound and my husband pulled it over....it was toast!!! The 1st step is to get a Volvo dealership to confirm it is the transmission gone then contact Volvo NA. Good luck and let us know how you make out. There is already a "Class Action" lawsuit on this issue on the East Coast/USA...Google it if you do not get anywhere. Print off some of these post of people getting 100% covered if you are not getting anywhere. Most people seem to have very good results so please post.
  • Hello everyone with transmission problems on the xc90's. My transmission stopped working one day and since I fix my own cars and not a big fan of dealerships I decided to take the oil pan out and just simply change the filter and oil on the transmission. What happens often is the filter gets clogged up and your pump is not able to pump any oil to the torque converter or anywhere else in the transmission. In other words your transmission wont activate any of the gears without the oil being pumped. This repair should not cost you more than $50 on parts and $100 on labor if you were to take it to a shop. Dealers most of the times assume for the worst and they will tell you that they need to replace your transmission.

    Please tell me if this helped anyone! This will save you a lot of money so don't hesitate.
  • Hello everyone with transmission problems on the xc90's. My transmission stopped working one day and since I fix my own cars and not a big fan of dealerships I decided to take the oil pan out and just simply change the filter and oil on the transmission. What happens often is the filter gets clogged up and your pump is not able to pump any oil to the torque converter or anywhere else in the transmission. In other words your transmission wont activate any of the gears without the oil being pumped. Sometimes you might even hear a rattling when the engine is running, this means your transmission oil pump is not getting any oil and due to lack of lubrication it makes a pretty loud noise(this happened on my car as well). This repair should not cost you more than $50 on parts and $100 on labor if you were to take it to a shop. Dealers most of the times assume for the worst and they will tell you that they need to replace your transmission.

    Please tell me if this helped anyone! This will save you a lot of money so don't hesitate.
  • Hello everyone with transmission problems on the xc90's. My transmission stopped working one day and since I fix my own cars and not a big fan of dealerships I decided to take the oil pan out and just simply change the filter and oil on the transmission. What happens often is the filter gets clogged up and your pump is not able to pump any oil to the torque converter or anywhere else in the transmission. In other words your transmission wont activate any of the gears without the oil being pumped. This repair should not cost you more than $50 on parts and $100 on labor if you were to take it to a shop. Dealers most of the times assume for the worst and they will tell you that they need to replace your transmission.

    Please tell me if this helped anyone! This will save you a lot of money so don't hesitate.
  • Dang! My new transmission (and radiator because Volvo won't warranty the transmission without a new radiator - evidentally this was a part of some problems. Not mine. There was no antifreeze in the transmission fluid) will be completelly installed today. That and the engine control module will be in the neighborhood of $8,000. My mechanic (not the dealer) said the transmission was a sealed unit and the fluid could not be changed. ???
  • Hold off and Call Volvo NA like the others have and get it done for free. This is Volvo's fault why should you pay for all this out of your own pocket...transmissions don't just go at under 100k.
  • Thanks to all helpful comments here.
    My XC90 T6 transmission failed (just over 70k miles) and now it is in the dealer service center.
    Yes, I did make a call to Volvo US(North America) and had the case open.
    Now I am just waiting for the diagnostic test result.
    Volvo North America had been aware of this problem and was very kind to assisst. I really hope the car can be repaired at no cost, just like others did.
    I will keep you posted on how my situation goes.
  • upsetatvolvoupsetatvolvo Posts: 2
    edited January 2012
    Having driven the car for the last few weeks since the second TCM update, I can say that Volvo has sucked the Turbo right out of the engine. Also, the shifting is still not right; revving high RPMs before kicking into 3rd gear and sometimes missing 1st gear when accelerating from a stoplight. Haven't gotten any service messages yet... Does anyone know what type of replacement transmission Volvo is currently putting in these cars? Is it refurbished or new? Is it the same type of GM transmission or have they made improvements?
  • Refurbished because it is the only one that fits. They say they have FIXED the issues and then I read others are on their 3-4th tranny. The car will always runn like a tank after the new tranny is in and it still revs weird and it is like driving a minivan/bus/tank. I thought it would be better running with a new tranny but that is NOT the case. We are selling this Spring and it will be at a major loss for us!!! I will never buy another Volvo. Should have bought the BMWX5 they have held their value and did not have issues like this. This should be a class action law suit. They made a huge mistake with the combo of a T6 engine a nd a GM tranny and it should have been recalled...now we pay the price and lose $$$$ on it and peace of mind for safety as I have 2 young kids!!! It is a mystery as to what they have changed on the tranny. They also replace the radiator cause it goes too!!! Good luck!!!
  • Extremely pissed off right now.
    A week ago, I took my XC90 T6 (2004) in to a local Volco service because of the transmission failure. They put new tranny, radiator, etc and the Volvo covered it. No cost paid out of my pocket.
    So why am I pissed off?
    Immediately I picked up my car on Friday (right before they closed), I felt the power steering was really heavy, felt like it lacked a power steering fluid. I returned to the service center, but they were closed, so I left them a message informing a problem.
    Next day, I took the car to a local engine oil shop, but they said it was not the lack of fluid.
    Now I just got a call from the Volvo service (where my car is currently in), they said it will cost me about $300 to fix the power steering problem.

    I went to fix the tranny problem, and, while the car's tranny was fixed, it came back with a new problem. The local Volvo service said this new issue does not have anything to do with a transmission replacement.
    I am not buying it!!! What do you think?
  • this is true my wife just bought an 05 xc90 with 83000 miles two weeks later the transmission service urgent light came on. I called volvo and they said to bring it in when i did they gave me a loner car and said they would call me that night. they did and they said that volvo would cover the cost of a new transmission, trans cooler, all hoses, radiator, and they also found that the left axle was bad so they replaced that as well. they also gave us a two year unlimited mile warranty on their work. so call volvo they know its an ongoing problem and will fix it.
  • My transmission light came on at 140,000 miles. I have a 2004 XC90. This will be my 3rd transmission. I took it to the certified Volvo service shop that I have been going to for the last 5 years. I was told the codes were for the transmission. I then went to a transmission specialist who thoroughly checked my car and said it was my transmission and everything else on my car was in excellent condition. I took it to Volvo. They said my transmission is fine but I was missing some computer software upgrades. I asked the about the radiator (because of this site). They said they weren't aware of a connection between the radiator and transmission but would look into it. I had also talked to another Volvo service staff at another dealership who told me that I would need another radiator because my radiator wasn't changed with the other two transmissions. The Volvo service dealer called me back and confirmed that my transmission was fine and it was just a computer upgrade but they are going to give me a new radiator for free because they noticed a leak. This is fishy to me. This is the same dealer who didn't want to get me a new transmission 3 years ago because I don't service my car there. What do you think?
  • As a XC90 owner who has experienced the loss and replacement of one of these transmissions, I offer the following:

    The dealers response certainly does sound "fishey" but you have left out some important details that need to be considered in your situation. For example, who replaced the transmission the first two times. If in either case it was not Volvo, I doubt that you have a claim against them.

    It does sound as if the current dealer is trying to cover his "a**" by replacing the radiator he should have replaced in the first place. The replacement of the radiator is mandatory in the case of 2003-2005 XC90 Defective Transmissions. A failed transmission leaves metallic residue in the transmission cooling system which can only be effectively removed by total replacement of the radiator and associated lines. A failed radiator is very unlikely to cause a Transmission Service Fault Light to be triggered. In my opinion, if the radiator was not replaced in conjunction with your original failure it is likely the reason you have had additional failures, and it is highly likely that you have had another transmission fail.

    Assuming you have had all the transmission replacements performed by Volvo, I believe you have a very good argument for them to fully take care of you now. Be advised however, that the budget for these "good will" replacements is allocated on a District basis and if your area has had a large number of claims it may take a very strong argument to be successful.

    You should also be aware that many of the Volvo owners who had this transmission replaced have experienced a significant loss of gas mileage because of the modified shifting pattern. Volvo has revised the software for the new transmission multiple times and each time it appears that the gas mileage has gone down as they attempt to reduce the torque forces on the unit.

    Good Luck,
  • Wow I never knew about the gas mileage but it makes sense as my car does not shift like it use to and drives like a tank...I have also noticed the gas consumption is greater than before. I think I'll be getting rid of this car this spring if possible. I feel for all those who have had 2-4 transmissions put in...what a disgrace to Volvo for not recalling it and fixing it properly. Yes the radiator and lines are a must so make sure you ask for it when you have the work done everyone!!!
  • This is my 4th Volvo, I guess some people never learn. I didn't have any warning lights come on just some slipping. My first tranny was at 48,700 and still under the warranty. After taking it to 2 repair shops, I was told to keep an eye for messages! $400 dollars later I drove the car home. Now it's back at the Volvo shop being diagnosed. We need to start a class action suit in the West coast!! Enough is enough!
    DON'T WE HAVE ANY ATTORNEYS OUT THERE? HELP!!
  • I posted a message about my XC90 on 2/20/12 not knowing what the outcome was going to be.
    I am happy to report that my Volvo was repaired at Modesto Volvo where it was towed at no cost to me. I was totally ready to fight to the end, but I didn't have to. I am not sure if I am going to keep it, now that I know people are on their 3rd and 4th.
  • I wrote messages 862 and 863 and now I am waiting to the tow truck to once again pick up my 05 xc90 and tow it to European Volvo in Modesto, CA. Picked up my Volvo Tuesday Feb 28, 2012 and drove it a total of 100 miles. It started howling and not shifting. I turned it off and now it won't run at all. There was no charges to me for the 2nd transmission and everything else they installed but no Warranty either. I am very discouraged and doubt if I buy another Volvo ever.
    I will keep everyone informed to the next chapter of the piece of junk I now own.
  • I too am the second owner of an XC90 T6 who had to have transmission rebuilt 16 months ago at 68,000 miles but radiator was not replaced. Now, at 85,000 miles I am starting to hear knocking sounds. I plan to contact Volvo, North America and make strong case that they need to stand behind their product. Hopefully if enough customers with the same problem come forward, they will need to fix these inferior transmissions.
  • mattn1mattn1 Posts: 1
    How did you get Volvo to pay for this??? I am having my done at a local certified mechanic shop b/c the volvo dealership would not pay for it and they wanted to charge about 7K...the other mechanic will charge 4.5K for a rebuilt one...

    please let me know..

    thanks
    Matt
  • lemon2004lemon2004 Posts: 21
    Call Volvo headquarters Canada or North America and tell them your transmission is gone(you'll need to get the mechanic to certify this) It is well documented on her so do your reseached beforhand and you should get parts only in Canada and parts/labour in US. You have to get a case # from headoffice and if you are under 100k miles they will cover it...they should even if you are over cause it is their faulty tranny. Don't get the rebuilt hold off and talk to Volvo and you need to strike a deal if the cover the parts cost with a Volvo dealership...I paid $1500 all in for labour so shop around your area after you get an ok. Soem even include a fre dianostic but I had to pay $2oo fopr them to tell me duh it was fried!!! Good luck and let us know how you made out next week.
  • Hello Matt:

    Excellent question, and one our dealer didn't even know about. I called Volvo North America's HQ in NJ, who told me that I should ask my dealer to invoke the Volvo Goodwill Assistance Program, which they did. My dealer then communicated with Volvo N.A. with my VIN, and photos of my car, transmission, and serial numbers, all of which were emailed to Volvo N.A.'s regional rep for review; I had a replacement transmission approved within 12hrs, whereby Volvo N.A. paid [$5000] for the new transmission, radiator, and all coolant lines and fluids, while I paid [$2000] for the labor. The new one works exceptionally well, and have had no issues with it incidental to the replacement. If questions, look up Traverse Motors, Inc., (in Traverse City, MI) and ask for the service manager, Todd, who is now familiar with the process. All the best.

    Phil
  • I am a second owner of 2004 XC90 TC. My previous owner repaired Trans at 48,000 at a local shop. I thought it could last very long because it has repaired trans. Now, It has 85,000 miles and begins to make weird noise whenever I release gas pedal at lower gear. I can hear that noise when I am at a slope especially. I am scared to check from the dealer. Anyone had similar experience?
  • jennellejennelle Posts: 6
    I'm having same problem. At just 65,000 miles transmission and drive shaft shot. Just got off the phone with ex-volvo mechanic. He told me that Volvo knows about the problem and the cars transmission and radiator should be recalled and they know it.

    The radiator leaks fluid into the transmission causing the failure... I want in the law suit.
  • rtaylor5rtaylor5 Posts: 1
    Just got back from viewing a used 2003 Volvo XC90 T6 with 115,000 miles on it. The car was in pristine condition and had been meticulously maintained exclusively at the dealership by its only owner. They wanted $8,000 for it and we were just about sold.

    I took it for a test drive and it was making a relatively loud humming/buzzing noise whenever I gave it a little gas. I had a mechanic look at it and he said the noise was coming from the transaxle and it would most likely need to be replaced. He estimated the cost at $4,000 to $5,000.

    After reading some of the comments here, all I can say is NO THANKS!!!!! I don't want to drop 8K for a car, then 5K for repairs, and then 30K miles later have to drop another 5K to perpetually replace one of the main components of the vehicle.

    I dodged a bullet on that one!
  • jennellejennelle Posts: 6
    So far, an atty. contacted Volvo on my behalf. They've offered to pay his fees and $2,500. That wont' even cover parts.
    Any advise?
  • hi there, im also interested with PDF scans of the manual pages. pls send to romi.indra.utama@gmail.com. i also own 2004 xc90 with tranny problem & need info from other xc90's owners. thank you in advance. -romi-
  • jennellejennelle Posts: 6
    Huge news today. For those that haven’t already heard. My 2005 VolvoXC90 w 60,000 mile transmission failed. $6-8000.00 to repair. I learned from blogs it was a defective part several class action law suits. At first they said so sorry, out of warranty. Next they offered to pay 5%, next they offered $2000., next offer was $2750. Over the past month I’ve been through hell without a car. Following the advice on the blogs I went directly to Volvo Canadian or No Amer. main office. They instructed me what to do. I did it and long story short, today I got a call. Volvo is replacing my transmission FREE! Moral of the story… FIGHT BACK. Now all I need is a ride to pick it up ;)
    My advice, do not take the car anywhere until you talk to Volvo No Amer or Canada. Let no one touch the car, reset the codes or open the transmission. I could have resolved this much faster has I called Volvo corp office 1st. I spent $550.00 for diagnoses from local mechanic, $295. towing to closest Volvo dealer and about $400-$500 hundred on rental cars. Not happy about that
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