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Volvo XC90 T6 Transmission



  • yurkoyurko Posts: 24
    Good to hear your outcome. Maybe this is the start of a new policy on the part of Volvo.

    You state Volvo "is stepping up if you have 60K miles or so, they are picking up the entire cost."

    Did you have to go through the hassle and delays of formal complaints (as mentioned by others in this forum), or was this handled smoothly between your Volvo dealer and Volvo USA -- as it should have been?

    Did you get any feedback from your dealer or Volvo on whether Volvo is thinking of replacing tranny's on vehicles that haven't failed yet?

  • laws65laws65 Posts: 69

    I'm the one who started all these complaints, let my dealer where I purchased my car know I would make more of a stink if I had to. They then let the local Volvo dealer know and low and behold had it taken care of for free, after paying hundreds for a tranny flush that I shouldn't have had to had done. I've tried selling my car to no avail, and wonder if I have any chance to pay off my loan if I trade it in.....

  • Greeetings all, very thankful to have a forum like this one to share the pain. Purchased new 2004 xc90 in Dec2003. Loved the car. Had to replace the transmission under warranty at ~36k mi. Now has 73k & needs another one. A car shouldn't be needing a new tran, let alone now a 3rd. After some delay, Volvo agreed to replace the tran, but nothing else (cooling lines, etc.. as they found no radiator chemical or metal in the pan). I like the car, but the reliability and cost of ownership has me greatly concerned on whether to rid this lemon. I intended to at least keep it 10yrs, but at this rate don't think that's a possibility. The dealership has been good to work w/ and luckily is only a mile from my home. They have provided a loaner as well after waiting for a wk. It appears that these tranny's are on back-order and I'm looking at ~2wks. Thanks again for the posts.

  • fay55fay55 Posts: 1
    I am reading this forum today. I am to pick up my Volvo XC90. First time, a service and diagnostic ($450) but told them I was having problem with it not going in gear after a stop. After picking it up, the red ! light kept continued coming on when I got it back. When I would go to pass or pull out, it would not "go" and it was stuck in gear. then it would roar forward. This presented a driving danger so I called the service manager and told him I was afraid to drive back to the dealership (50 miles away.) I had to rent a car for 9 days as I was going on vacation. After picking up again, it did it again. I asked them to tow the car in. They called and said it was the transmission. That Volvo was going to pay for it since 2003 with only 65,000 miles. I just thought this was grand! It has been 3 weeks. It is ready but I told him that the blower motor on the AC/ Heat has made a roaring noise since I had the car. He said it would be $1400 and to just wait for it to go out. I also, notice an extremely hot dashboard since I had it. Just thought it might be the radio. I have now heard of many stories of people with this same car, having the same issues. One told me he had to have 4 transmissions put in his XC90! Please advise as I will be seeing the serviceman this week.
  • Hello recall5. Count me in on the no cost recall transmission fix. I too have a 2004, XC90 T6 AWD. Bought it used 1 yr ago at 94K. Now it's at 126K and what a lot of trips to the dealer and a local mechanic who knows and works with Volvo cars,suvs etc. Recently my daughter called me from 1 hr. away and said the "transmission in need of urgent service" message came on. Towed to the dealer(a big$ one) and got the tragic, but apparently, all too common news: need a complete tranny replacement for the estimated cost of $7950.00 (Cdn) !!Arrrrrgggghhhhh!!!! There are too many other problems to mention in detail:
    *constant battery drain, and subsequent issues related,
    *costly tows to dealer and local mechanic,
    *replaced key ignition cartridge (it actually began seizing up...wear and tear?! joking?
    *replace tie rods as a result of too many tows,
    *transmission slippage
    *now apparently needing a full transmission replacement!!

    I drove a lowly 1993 Camry LE problem-free for 16 blissful years prior to purchasing my, "Volvo for life" upgrade :sick: I finally laid it to rest after the tranny failed at 400,000 kms. :P I never knew I had it so good; and you won't either until you buy a Volvo :lemon: I'm presently waiting on Volvo Canada to address my latest tranny issue. Please keep me posted. Have you addressed Sweden Volvo directly about your problems? Maybe there's some hope there.
    Please keep me posted
  • baudelbaudel Posts: 1
    Hi, am in Monterrey Mexico, I I bought a XC90 15 days ago, with 62k km, (40k miles) already appeared to me mensage to check urgent trasmision, that I must make to make the claim to Volvo?
    Tks in advacne
  • ;) I run an independent service center and have seen many of these xc90's in need of transmissions. I have referred the owners back to the local volvo dealer seeking assistance.
    The results have been beyond their expectations. Volvo has replaced the transmission, radiator, oil cooler and lines in all cases at no charge.
    The only issue has been the wait since there was a problem with inventory.
  • Does there seem to be anything that can be done with these Transmissons that will help get a little longer life out of them. From all the posts that I have read it looks like a Trans flush is a big No No.
    Also do the failures seem to occur with a particular engine, or is it happening with all the differant engines sizes.
  • Just wanted to let forum folks know that Wasagabeach's tranny is in the shop at 126k and is being replaced (with improvements) locally for a 1/3 the price quoted by Volvo dealership in Toronto GTA . They quoted approx. $7950.00 and a local quote is approx. $2800.00. Volvo Cda said, "they couldn't do anything for me" basically because I didn't have a history with a local Volvo dealership. Same comment came from the dealership in Thornhill, On. Cda. The place where it's being repaired says they see this same GM transmission in their shop atleast 1/week. I hope the improvements mean they won't see me for a long time!
  • So I came ot this website desperatley looking for some answers to my problem. And I found it shocking how many people had the same problem. I sat up for an hour reading everyones posts and how they have been going about solving the problem. I contacted laws65, and she was very helpful with tips on how to get volvo to pay for the whole thing. So here is what you do, and what worked for me about 2 days ago.

    1. Go to a dealer and get them to give you a diagnosis and estimate on how much the full thing is going to cost.
    2. Go to and send them and email explaining what the problem is and how you read up on the problem, and know that they do a so called "good will" service, for free.
    3. Volvo should call you back in a few hours. They called me 2 hours after getting my email, and the next day to tell me they have approved the whole $8500 fix for free. So now Im just waiting for the dealer to get the parts and fix the problem free of charge.

    My car was purchased used at 45K , and now is at 69K, and they know this is a problem apparently because they were VERY willing to do this free of charge. So the lesson is, research, call, complain, and you will get your problem fixed, as it should be. I do have to say even though I am probably going to end up trading in the car of fear of this happening again, I am super satisfied that Volvo is standing by their product and is admitting that they made a inferior product. Good job them as far as that goes. GOOD LUCK!!
  • Hi,

    So VERY glad things worked out well for you. That totals eight people so far! The main thing is to put your complaint in writing! Great job!

  • dznjdznj Posts: 7
    I have been aware of the T6 trans issue for a while. At 50K, I pulled the pan, changed the filter and fluid. The color of the fluid was not good, and there were some (but not a lot) of shavings on the magnet in the pan. After swapping the filter, did a whole flush to get all new fluid in there. At 62K (last week) wife was driving the car, when the dreaded "Service Transmission Urgent" came up. She brought it right home. I brought it up to my mechanic, fearing the worst. It was shifting harder than usual (I think) and felt like there was no lock-up from the TC. We checked the fluid, which looked nice and clean. Added 1 quart, and cleared the code. Test drive showed it to be ok again. She drove it the rest of the week, and I drove it yesterday with no ill effects. Probably the beginning of the end, but worth noting to double check the fluid level with the car running on level ground.

    I was more than a little concerned because the day before this happened, the car showed a "low coolant" message. I added coolant/water, and the message went away. Then, when the trans message came up, I was thinking that I now knew where the coolant went :cry: . But, from the looks of it, that wasn't the case.

    Time will tell. The car has been great, except for the looming transmission issue.
  • one year ago ,I bought a premiun 2005 volvo xc90 with 41,000 km . the vehicle now has 58,700 km and is in excellent cond ,except it is leaving a small oil spot on my garage floor just below the trans . as the only volvo dealer in wpg is 12 km away ,I took the vehicle into the shop were i get my oil changed .they advised me that the trans housing was leaking oil. I took it to the volvo dealer and was advised that the warranty had expired in june 2009,and they could do nothing for me .So i called VOLVO customer service line and spoke to a service relations person .They said that they would get back to me the next day but did not call ,so 3 days later i called them .they advised me that they were not prepared to assist me in any way to repair the problem . the trans works perfect ,however i stopped to drive the vehicle as i know it must be getting low on fluid .Volvo dealer wants 1200.00 to fix the repair and a trans shop wants 800.00. the origional warranty is 4 year 80,000 km .I know the time has passed but there is 20,000 km left on the warranty .Is this common for volvo to be so rigid on their factory defects . because i put low km on my vehicle ,i had a similar problem on a GM vehicle , and GM paid 50% of my repair .Do the north american manufacturers normally treat their customes better ? KAREN OLSON
  • I am second owner of a 2003 XC90 with 84k miles on it. The car is all that I expected and loved it ..........before this issue.
    Can someone tell me how to get Volvo to step up and fix the problem? Initial reaction from the local dealer is "there is nothing they can do".
  • In June '09 my 'Trans. Service Urgent' light came on I had 120k on my '04 XC90. I called Volvo corporate and they said I needed the dealer to perform diagnostics ($100-200 estimate). I asked the dealer what the chances of Volvo doing anything for a vehicle with this many miles on it. The dealer did not rule it out but kept saying 'that's a lot of miles'. The dealer also said it would be approx $4000 for a rebuilt tranny and a 3-4 week lead time for them to repair. (not very encouraging). I also got an estimate from a local transmission shop. I decided to save on the diagnostic fee and go with the local shop because I had no faith that Volvo would provide any help and I did not have the time to haggle with them. Local repair shop was $3000 with 18 month warranty. You may have better luck based on the milage...I decided to cut my losses with Volvo
  • I have a 2004 XC 90 T6 with 52,000 miles which I purchased new. I perform all scheduled maintenance and the car has performed great...until recently...the transmission started slipping. The problem unfortunately occurs in and around intersections when it is necessary to accelerate briskly etc. After researching this issue on the internet and discussing the problem with a local mechanic, I learned that my experience was common with other owners. This is my third Volvo and never have I experienced such a problem with a major (critical) automotive component. I took the car into the dealer (Field's Volvo near Chicago). The car was given diagnositc testing. The result...a bad tranny. The dealer was first class and is having Volvo take care of the problem (as it should!) without any questions or push back. My confidence in the brand has been shaken but I would consider buying a fourth Volvo someday...depending how the new tranny works out!
  • laws65laws65 Posts: 69
    I am very happy to hear that the Volvo dealer worked so well with you, without too much fuss! Most of us haven't been so fortunate. My new transmission was given a one year, unlimited mileage warranty, but I feel like it still isn't right. But time will tell. I am on my second Volvo, have loved the cars, until like you and the rest of us, this major critical malfunction. Best of luck to you, and let us know if you run into any issues, I'm sure a bunch of us would do what we could to help!
    Take care.

  • Your experience and mine are nearly identical (though my dealer did not foot the entire bill!). Same slipping and transmission. After reading all these messages, I worry that it could happen again.

    I have really loved this car (my third Volvo turbo) and was getting interested in buying a new one right about the time this all happened. The car's resale is already discounted for this problem and I will have to "disclose" and take a bath selling it just so someone else isn't victimized by the tranny. I am just so, so disappointed in Volvo.
  • Hi there vdriver; just read you mail on your tranny problem at 52k. Very disappointing but even more unfortunately, typical for this model. Fortunately for you, you bought new and the dealer has come through for you. My case was different having bought the same model at 94k from an auto wholesaler who picks up off lease vehicles and sales them for very good prices. NA volvo said they "couldn't" do anything for me because I wasn't tied in with a local dealer long enough for their liking. They quoted a price of $7950.00 to replace the tranny!! incredible! fortunately for me, I found a reputable local mechanic who rebuilt, repaired and improved upon this poor GM transmission with better parts for $2500.00 that will allow it to run much cooler approx 20 - 30% cooler. It was replaced at 124K. I'll keep you posted. This tranny is infamous and there are actually better replacement parts available on the market to the savvy mechanics who take an interest in improving the lot of misfortunate Volvo owners.
  • kari4kari4 Posts: 15
    now that we have these crap cars, how do we get rid of them?? I am looking at replacing the transmission for a SECOND time in my '04 T6 and am ready to just take it to a field and burn it.
    How do we get this lemon of our hands?? I am at this point looking at selling it to a parts shop. :lemon:
  • Hi...I'm glad to hear that you were successful in getting your new transmission. I am having the same problem with my 05 T6. It has 70,000 miles and the transmission has been slipping now for about 6 months. When I took it to the dealer for a check and they wrote that the transmission is slipping in low gear but that the computerized diagnostics didn't show a code that would verify it. I contacted Volvo Customer Service via a written complaint and the answer from them was that nothing could be done until the transmission actually dies. Did your transmission actually go out before they agreed to fix it? I know it's just a matter of time but I hate driving around with my daughter in the car not knowing if I'm going to be stranded.

  • jkormjkorm Posts: 2
    Last week I got the dreaded "Urgent Transmission Service" message and my trans felt like it was stuck in one gear. I bought the car used a few months ago..has 70K on it. I was shocked at the high prevalence of this issue as I read through everyone's posts, however I also found valuable information. When I took the car to the Volvo dealership the next day, I awaited the diagnosis and yes I needed a new trans. I told the service manager that I was aware of problems with this trans and told him I wanted to call Volvo for their "good will" service. He said he had a contact, would let me know in a few hours and sent me off with a loaner. I decided to call Volvo directly a few hours later after not hearing from the dealer and to my surprise they called me back in 20 MINUTES to tell me everything was being paid for 100%.
    The sad part though is that I'm getting the SAME faulty trans installed. I'm planning to keep the car for another year or so then offload it. Apparently this is not an issue in 2006 - current models.

    Overall I am very happy that Volvo stepped up to cover this, even though it's not in warranty and the fact that I bought the car used didn't seem to matter.
  • I got the same "Urgent Transmission Service" and it turned out to be the bad tranny. The dealer did get the new one replaced GOOD WILL and I had to pay the computer SW upgrade ($190). I hope this one will last for a couple of years. It was especially painful since I've just replaced the failed fuel pump at 79K, Volvo had extended to feul pump warranty til 70K, but no luck for me ($1200 repair bill) :sick:
  • Hi Wasagabeach - I am in Mississauga and wanted to know the name of your local repair shop - I too am in the same boat - '04 Volvo XC90 T6 with tranny message - $5K to repair/rebuild. I'd rather bring it up to Wasaga and get it repaired than pay Volvo for a problem they know exists in the tranny! Cheers.
  • Hello imurray,
    > The shop is called, Baywash Auto Repair, 2880 6th Line,
    > RR#2, Collingwood On.,
    > L9Y 3Z1, and ask for Mike. You may
    > also want to ask for a towing service named, AR Towing,
    Wasaga Beach (owners Earl & Shirley Dahmer on Wildwood Dr).
    > They're great; honest reliable folks.
    > Good Luck,
    > Wasagabeach
  • jkormjkorm Posts: 2
    I forgot to mention...Volvo not only covered the cost for replacing the transmission, but also the front axle, radiator and all lines. There is no warranty other than a standard 90 day issued with the repair, which originally caused me concern given the fact that I thought the transmission was faulty (meaning it would go again in another 50-75K miles).
    However, the service manager told me the root cause (as determined by Volvo "forensics") of the transmission going on these models was actually the axle (which is why they replaced mine). Apparently, the original axle was hollow and there is a plug on the driver side that, due to bad design, comes out. This causes the trans fluid to run through the axle, picking up the grease from the bearings and everything else.
    They replaced this axle with a new design, that is solid, so there is no chance of this occurring again. I was happy to hear this because I couldn't believe Volvo would replace everything but not fix the underlying cause for the trans going.
    Make sure you get the axle replaced and it must be the new design (solid) otherwise your trans will go again in the future.
  • jbs05jbs05 Posts: 13
    I just got my 05 xc90 back last week after being in the volvo repair for almost 2 weeks. It has less than 42000 miles on it. Transmission was leaking and also got into the axel. Had to have both the transmission and the axel replaced. Repairman made it sound like this is something unusual.

    Luckily, I have an extended warranty and all but $200 was covered BUT ALL is not well!!! Otherwise the bill was $7800.

    The “new” transmission software is NOT allowing the car to downshift at 1500 RPMs. It gets into this sluggish state and I have to step on the gas to get the RPMs up to be in the right gear. This should not happen.

    After speaking with the volvo repair, they say that nothing can be done since the “software” is set by the manufacturer and they can not change it.

    My question to you guys is is the new transmission/axel replacement any better or am I going to have to go throught this again in the not too distant future?

    (I do not know if the replacement was a hollow or solid axel. I did have to pay $100 extra for the volvo one verses the rebuilt one. I did not know how wide this problem was until yesterday so did not ask these questions when it was in the shop.)
  • laws65laws65 Posts: 69
    I've not heard of this axel issue tied to the transmission issue at all before. What's odd though is that I've heard of both as separate issues. I'm on my second tranny, and it still doesn't feel right-I'm just hoping if it goes, it goes before the year warranty is up and that it would be a covered expense again. My downshifts really funny going uphill, seems to downshift many times while my foot is on the gas steadily and not moving. I'm also told no matter how much I baby it, it will still go, so time will tell.

    If others have been told of the tie between the axel and tranny, I'd love to hear the stories!

    Thanks for the info

  • I have a 2006 Volvo XC90 -T6 AWD with 65,000 miles. The car has been serviced regularly. Three days ago it began to make a noise, but nothing major. The car then quit running. It has been diagnosed with a total transmission failure. The car has been towed to a Volvo dealership and I have opened a case with the Volvo Customer Service (1-800-458-1552). Volvo is now suppose to be speaking with the dealership. How do I ensure that Volvo assist in this problem. The car is only 15,000 miles out of factory warranty. There should be no reason that a Volvo car should have a total transmission failure at 65,000 miles. The dealership also mentioned that the radiator would need replacing due to the metal shavings in it. I see that this issue seems prevalent. Any advice or have I taken the right steps? Jeremy
  • laws65laws65 Posts: 69

    Welcome to the unfortunate club known as the XC 90 transmission failures.

    First, complain to Volvo and put it in writing-can do it online.
    Second, same thing to the NTSB.
    Third, online complaint to your state's Atty General
    Fourth, online complaint to your state's Consumer Protection.

    Then let Volvo know all the people you are complaining to as this shouldn't have happened and you are fully aware Volvo is replacing these transmissions and radiators, including cooling lines for free.

    See how that works, and keep us posted on your progress! Best of luck!
    So far, this has worked for nine people, and myself as well!

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