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Volvo XC90 T6 Transmission



  • jimddijimddi Posts: 11
    I have bad news for you. Volvo lied to you. Those XC 90's have a radiator problem that destroys the transmission. Mine was replaced a year ago at about 75,000 miles. You need to go back and challenge the lying guys at Volvo and get your money back from the dealer. Volvo knows about the problem but continues to stonewall!
  • I don't know if the transmission problem continued to the 2006's----if it did----and I think 2006 was the last year with the problem---the Volvo dealership absolutely fibbed about the transmission problem. I kept mine in perfect maintenance and did every inspection on time and it made no difference---the transmission was misbuilt for the car and maintaining it perfectly had nothing to do with it. Nothing. As stated---I was on my third transmission at 55,000ish miles and I only drove on the streets of LA.
  • brad_g1brad_g1 Posts: 1
    edited December 2011
    Hi Sue, hoping you can help confirming the age of your vehicle. I've just taken by 2004 XC90 T6 to Silverstone Volvo Doncaster (Australia) with 117,000 kms (as requested by Volvo Australia) and I've been told that because of the car's age there is no assistance avaiable.
    I've been quoted $6,500 for parts and $1,900 for labour, total cost $8,400. Seems we've got the same mileage car - what year is yours and were there any exceptional circumstances that lead to you just paying for parts?
    Any additional information would be a great help. I also called an independent transmission specialist in Melbourne to get a quote and they advised they won't even touch my car, as the XC90 T6 is known for a transmission fail at around 100,000 - 120,000 kms and it is a pain job to fix.
  • Thanks for your post; it's comforting to know we're not all imagining things. My 2005 Volvo XC90's transmission began malfunctioning this week by not going into 3rd gear. Immediately before this event, there was a sound akin to marbles rolling around in a steel drum coming from just right of amidships in the engine compartment (e.g. from the transmission). Whilst driving at about 25mph the other night, I then heard / felt a slight clunk as the auto-transmission tried to shift into third gear, at which time the red triangle light immediately illuminated on my dashboard, and the data screen read "Transmission Service Urgent"; I drove straight to a local Volvo dealer at morning's first light, where the tech confirmed that the transmission was failing rapidly and needed to be replaced. Later, I took it to an extremely reputable transmission shoppe, who diagnosed the same problem. Here's the deal: Volvo used transmissions made by GM in this vehicle for a short time, including for this model year. The transmission used is very small relative to the tight spacing it was fitted into. As well, its' components are also small relative to the mechanical demands being placed upon it to propel the heavy weight of this vehicle. Add to that the use of lower grade steel to make the gears / rungs of that particular transmission for a short period of time, and, well, a broad incidence of transmission failure was inevitable. Now, reputable shoppes are rebuilding those units with higher grade steel components that are more to the original standards that Volvo was known for (remember, Volvo started out in life in the 1920's as a ball bearing company -- Swedish iron was known as the strongest in the world; even the Latin name 'Volvo' means "I Roll"). Sounds like they found out the 'hard' way that it's best not to compromise, especially in this critical area of performance. Long story short, I worked with the shoppe to do the repair for $4,500US. Since my car has close to 79,000 miles on it, I'll probably have the timing belt changed on general principals, since they have to lift the engine out in order to get at the transmission...seems like a good time to replace the timing belt, as well. That'll cost me extra, but not near as much as I'd have to pay to do that item alone in the future. The good news is that it sounds like the gears produced today to correct the transmission failures (at least the ones I'm getting) are far superior to what was originally installed in the vehicle. I have an excellent dealership here in town who sold me the car who are helping with this problem, but certainly feel for those who do not have such options. Not sure if that helps, but the failure of the original bearings and gears in what may be an under-sized GM transmission being used in our Volvo's appears to be the culprit. Hopefully, the repairs -- backed up by my tech's 2yr / 24,000 mile warranty -- will ensure what is an otherwise great vehicle will safely remain on the road for many more trouble-free years.
  • Why are you paying $4500. This is a patent DEFECT and this transmission should not need replacing anywhere near 100K or miles. This is not some CHEAP retailed around 60K originally back in 2004-2005. This should be covered by Volvo of North America especially since it is under 1ooKmiles. Even now when you go to sell it it has depreciated so much you'd be lucky to get 10k in the US. The 2004-2005 BMW X5 is still worth around 18-20k in Canada and should be in the same league as the Volvo but this T6 with the faulty tranny is a lemon. Mine still runs like a TANK and I'm afraid it will breeak down at any gien moment. I put new brake in 1 month beore my tranny went and with the value so low I think I will drive it and get some value out of it as my tranny is covered for the next 2 years! You should talk to Volvo head office before happily paying $4500 and the timing belt well they should throw that in for all the hassle. They also change the radiatior etc... as it is thrashed after it explodes on you which mine did without the red light warning. This is unacceptable for safety standards I was looking for in a Volvo and shoul dbe RECALLED but they won't!!! I would NOT pay for the part and get a deal for labout...I paid $1500 tax included and volvo paid for the parts!!! Coquitlam in BC Canada was very friendly and extremly helpful. I know in the US they have covered 100% so check it out!

    Good luck and keep us posted!
  • Thanks mate [on the 'Volvo-pays-for-the-replacement-parts' idea]; I'll network with Volvo/NA first thing Monday morning and see if they'll help. If successful, I'll advise here accordingly. All the best ~
  • You have to state your case as the others in this forum have suggested and tell them it is a well known defect& you know that Volvo has done"goodwill" and paid for this faulty tranny to get fixed at their expense on a case by case and since you have low mileage under 100k you should be covered even if you have never serviced with a Volvo dealership it has nothing to do with the fact that this is a ticking time bomb and state that it could have cause a real accident if you stalled in the middle of an intersection like so many others with kids in the back etc...Volvo is suppose to be a safe vehicle and they need to address this tranny problem before someone dies and they know all about it!!! You need to ask for parts & labour because it is a faulty tranny....and see what they come up with on your case. Good luck and state your case!!! I wouldn't say I'd pay for anything and say that Volvo NA has covered many other SUV in full! Canada is only parts worth $5000.
  • Well mate, I don't know who you are, but thank you for your kind advice. I did call Volvo North America. Not surprisingly, they were very kind, and very helpful. Seems Volvo has a program available at the dealer level called a "Goodwill Assistance Program." It has to be applied for through individual dealers, and, I assume, would be something available for those whose Volvo's aren't that old, and which are already out of warranty. My 2005 XC90, at just under 79,000 miles qualified. Of note, the kind lady I spoke with at Volvo did indicate that such things are handled on a case-by-case basis. As such, I checked with our authorized Volvo dealer in town, who coordinated compiling all the details for the program requirements (e.g. photgraphing the vehicle, transmission, VIN and transmission serial #'s, and forwarding to Volvo's factory rep). Volvo approved it, and will cover costs for all the parts through their authorized dealer, while my original dealer and I will split the labor cost. I could not be happier -- and this just before Christmas. I do know that we are not only blessed to live in a very beautiful area (Northern MI - USA), but are equally blessed to have some very honest, above board dealers with whom to work; I can't say enough kind words on their behalf. This has really turned out to be a win-win for all concerned...thanks in part to you and your kind suggestion. Again, my humble thanks. Oh yes, and it did come with their traditional factory warranty. All the best, friend.
  • Great to hear they were so kind and you were offered the parts and 1/2 labour. It really depends on the "dealership" for a deal on labour! I had mine at a NASTY dealership( 5 min from my house) that would not cut me a break on labour price since I was not a former customer so I called a dealership over 45 min away (had it towed there)who gave me a deal on the labour and could not understand why they would not want the business...they had 5 SUV all getting guess transmissions. So I'm glad you have an honest and generous dealership and my point is for all those out there to shop around and ask for a good break on the labour once Volvo head office says they will give you the part for free which they should if under 100k miles. Have a great Christmas and I'm glad I replied to your email and saved you the $4500++
  • I have 60k miles on my 2005 XC90 V8 and have long had a problem of excessive noise upon a cold weather start of the car. It goes away after warming but this is no light squeak - it is loud and sounds like all internal functions are failing. What's the story here?

    Separately, intermittently steering becomes difficult esp to one side. Power steering fluid doesn't seem to be the issue. Anyone got any ideas?

    FYI last service we replaced upper strut mounts and had a 27 point inspection
  • I have a 2005 XC90 T6 and my transmission broke down for the second time at 87000 miles, this time my volvo dealer has agreed to replace my transmission for free (parts and labor) out of good will... since it has less than 100,000 miles, and a 2 year warranty with unlimited mileage. The new transmission is different than the old one, it's louder with less pick up power. I guess this was there fix in order to avoid the continuous breakdown. Bottomline if your car has less than 100,000 miles then you should not pay anything.
  • Thanks for the website info... I have not yet had any problems with my car but I would like to know that there is a company that will stand behind thier substandard product. I expected so much more from Volvo! My tranny was replaced before I bought it so I will be watching it very closely towards the end of the warranty... Even though I have not been affected by these issues yet I am very concerned with the lack of integrity from Volvo, soooo I have added my thoughts and dissatisfaction with Volvo to the complaint... Maybe if enough people do this they will listen!
  • We just had a problem with our truck’s transmission. For about two months the truck made some cranking noise in the front; on January 1, 2012, the truck kept jerking and eventually dash board light came on telling us to urgently service transmission. Got truck towed to independent mechanic who informed us that transmission needs to be replaced. Called Volvo manufacturer and they have asked us to take to Volvo dealer in our area for service. We are waiting to see the outcome of this.

    Has anybody gotten compensation from Volvo manufacturer for similar problem?
  • Thank you for sharing this. I bought my wife a 2004 T6 about 3 years ago. Our transmission went at 140,000 kms (about 86,000 miles), very similar to the timing of so many other posters in this forum.

    We were gutted as this is the car the family uses to drive the kids around, thinking it was the safest car on the road. But paying thousands for a new transmission is just not possible on one income.

    Reading this forum it appeared that only our American friends were getting anywhere, but your testimony of getting this taken care of has led down the same path. I called Volvo Canada and no sooner had I told them the model,year and problem, did they tell me that they would pay for the parts and I have to pay for the labour. (That is after I get an official diagnostic done to show that my transmission is actually defunct.) Anyway, I haven't had a quote yet on the cost, but I'm hoping that I come in at around the same cost.

    Thanks again for sharing as it has given me clear plan on how to take care of our problem.
  • Sorry to hear the news, 'Thankful 5' (about your transmission), but great to learn that Volvo Canada will help you with this. Again, our humble thanks for our other Canadian friend who started us off on the path to Volvo HQ's door to investigate the "Goodwill Assistance Programme." I know there have been some unfortunate stories out there, but I can say that my experience with Volvo through this ordeal has been purely positive. They were very supportive, and stood behind their promise to take care of a new transmission for me. I got my car back just a few days ago (after the repair), and it drives and shifts better than ever. Even the dealer I bought it from here (not a Volvo dealer) paid for half the labour charge to help me further, even though the transmission failure occurred some 95-days after I bought it; perhaps your dealer may help you, too, if you are within a short period of time from your purchase date? Interestsingly, there does not seem to be as much of this problem with their 5-cylinder models, only the T6s that had that GM transmission in them for those few years. The car is really "bullet-proof", and the newly remanufactured transmissions that Volvo designed to replace the bad ones is a solid fix that should give us many trouble-free years of service; I still have nothing but praise for them on my end...will say some prayers for you and your experience, too.
  • Where in Canada are you? Coquitlam in BC gives a FREE diagnostic but I found that out too late after Don Docksteader charge me $200. Call around to the dealerships first and tell them you issue... Volvo Canada will pay for parts and you are looking for a deal on labour. I paid $1500 tax included at Coquitlam and the staff are AMAZING. You have to get a quote and they all know about this problem and should be more than willing to do the work and give you a fair break on the labour...if not call another dealership. I had to tow my car an hour away but I was not willing to give Don Docksteader another dime as they would not give me a break on the labour and they had my car sitting there & I could not drive it... it was towed there because it is 10 min from my house) luckly I had BCAA gold and they towed it...what a relief to get it off the lot and given to a dealership that was honest and extremely friendly. Good luck and let us know your outcome. We have the 2 year warranty....the car drives like a tank because the tranny is slow/changed to handle the T6 but we want to get out of it as we have read the horror stories of 2,3 & 4 trannies replace in one car!!! Unfortunately this car is now depreciated in value and hard to sell I'm sure???
  • Was unlucky enough to join the party this weekend... The Trans Service Urgent light appeared while my wife was driving home from work. I own another Volvo, and I have financed through VCF in the past. I am hoping that the Regional Rep for VNA takes these things into consideration as I am very skeptical about the "Good Will Program" until I hear back from the dealership. The woman with whom I spoke at VNA was very kind, and she appeared to have some compassion for my situation (the initial woman with whom I spoke was cold, and told me to call back with a VIN). Still, it falls to the Regional Manager for VNA... I suspect that he will ask why I didn't drive 30 miles to a Volvo dealer for a $400 synth oil change and rotation or $800 spark plug change for service intervals. I used the Midas down the street for easy intervals, which are alll documented. I think that is how Volvo has been mitigating offering up parts only in a lot of situations. We'll see... The XC90 gets flat-bedded to the dealer today. Hopefully, I hear back soon. No loaner until mid-week, which accentuates the suckiness of the entire saga. Very disappointed as Volvo has been a champ for me so far. Hopefully, the VNA does the right thing. I will remain a Volvo buyer if they do so.
  • Does not matter if you got an oil change elsewhere...this is a well documented patent defective transmission in the 2003-2005 XC90 T6...they put in a faulty transmission they need to replace it for free. Don't let them veer from this fact....they made me feel the same at the 1st dealership since I never serviced with them....doesn't matter just prove you serviced the car on a regular basis (I went to a family oil change company and just sent them all my reciepts) VNA should at the least give you the parts for free then work with your dealership...if they are cold and rude like the 1st place I went to becasue it was close then go somewhere around and get a deal on the labour when you hear the word from VNA.
  • What about second ownership? We purchased this vehicle used with low mileage. The dealer implied that would be a factor...
  • My 2005 XC90 T6 has had the same issues with the transmission at 90k miles. It broke down on my family and I while driving home from our Thanksgiving travels. We had it worked on at a dealership in the city where it quit shifting on us and they did a "TCM update". Just this past weekend (not 6 weeks later) we got the "Transmission Service Urgent" msg again and took it to our local dealership (where we originally bought it). They said they were able to do another "TCM update" because the program had been updated within the last 6 weeks. I was told this is their "procedure" before they can get Volvo NA to replace the transmission. Has anyone else had this experience or gone through these "procedures" prior to having the transmission replaced. Given the mileage on my vehicle, I feel as if they are prolonging the inevitable in hopes that I'll pass that 100k mark and then they won't replace it...
  • The dealer is not the one who decides it is VNA. You are well under 100k miles and that is the number they seem top go by. It does not matter that you bought the car 2nd did we unfortunately and the value is less than half because of this issue but Volvo Canada still paid for the parts which they should because all of these cars will eventually die and need a new transmission usually from 70K-120K which in this type of car is a FAULT part nad why should you pay anickle really. Volvo should have recalled this issue but instead is doing a case by case. You need to state the facts that this car has a faulty transmission and you are well aware of the documentation on the internet and that Vovle North Ameria has paid 100% (parts & labour) in a lot of cases. In Canada they only give you parts andit is up to you to find a decent dealership that will give you a break on the labour price. (I paid $1500 tax included) and they have to do the radioator etc.. too. In the US there is also a class action suit on the faulty transmission issue on the T6 so if the baulk at you and are not offering anything you need to print off what other people have been given and also that you are aware this is such a huge problem that there is even a law suit. Everyone on hear has seemed to at least recieved the parts free and then shopped around for the labour. Good luck and let us know about what head office at VNA says as your hands are tied until you get the ok from them. Your dealship doesn't sound to postitive so I suggest you call another and explain your situation once you hear back from VNA.
  • Mine is in the shop now. 2004 T6. Dealer called today and said it was all covered by Volvo at no cost to me. The car has 85k miles on it, out of warranty, and we are second owners of the unit. I do have a service record at the dealer, have an S40 that used to be financed by Volvo 5 years ago. Still, they covered everything. Very impressed! Call Volvo North America DIRECTLY after taking the unit to the dealer. They will get you started.
  • Can you please pass the number you called
  • Volvo Customer Care Center- Questions for Current Volvo Owners
    For questions about the Volvo you currently own.
    Tel: 1-800-458-1552
    Hours: 8:30AM-5:00PM EST
  • Don't get me wrong. I am very happy that Volvo is offering to correct the issue at no cost to me, but I expected them to do the right thing. My wife and I own only Volvos, but regardless of our loyalty, Volvo put an unsafe lemon tranny into an SUV that MSRP'd at $50K... Not good when your reputation is based on safety and quality. In the end, VNA and the dealer seem to be doing the right thing.
  • Yes it is unsettling having the tranny go at 70-120K in these SUV 's that are for the family and ours just died with a screeching sound and luckily we were not on the hwy!!! You are fortunate that in the USA you get 100% coverage which is what it should be!!! Why are we any different in Canada ( we get parts only and have to negotiate with the dealerships for labour)? This is their fault and we should not have to pay for their poor design on a very expensive and critical part of the vehicle. I think we should be compensated for the labour we paid out for this faulty tranny. It really does not make sense that we pay for their mistake in so many ways...depreciation in the value of this car is HUGE now. Well glad to hear you were taken car of properly!!!
  • I have a 2005 XC90 T6 with 80,000miles. My "Transmission Service Urgent" light went on 4 days ago just as I was about to get on the expressway with my wife and 4 kids in the car. I immediately turned around and drove to the dealer I bought it from. On the way there I could feel that I had no acceleration when I started to go after a red light. I felt it was unsafe. The service manager told me this is a problem and that he would need to check the codes but assured me Volvo is taking care of it. Two days ago he called to say they were waiting for the tech to give the final approval but said it would be covered. They just called and said the tech feels it drives normal under normal driving conditions. they now want to download new software at a cost of $200. Now what?
  • newbernsoldnewbernsold Posts: 5
    edited January 2012
    RE: 2005 XC90 T6 with 73,200 miles. I have just been told my failed transmission was a result of a faulty radiator which allowed water to get into the system. I am told this is a known radiator defect and Volvo will not assist in any way. Are there any class action suites addressing this issue? Oh, by the way, my Engine Control Module also needs to be replaced. I have experienced symptoms of both transmission and engine problems.
  • Sounds like you were in my car. The difference is my mechanic has gotten to the bottom of the situation and told me about a radiator defect that is causing the T6 Volvos to have exactly the problem you discribed. My transmission will be changed by him next week. I have asked him to take pictures which I will post when I have them.
  • And here we are 4 years since your message with people still having the same problem witht he XC90 T6 transmisstion. Did you ever hear anything about a lawsuit?
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