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Volvo XC90 T6 Transmission



  • Hi I'm in Australia and bought an xc90 new in Oct 94 and the transmission is now going at 80,000klms. I cant find much info on this transmission issue on Australian websites so was interested to see I wasnt alone. My dealer advised to drive the car in to the ground as the new trans was $7,500 and call customer. He and customer service have denied this is a regular problem but C/s quoted $6,000 to repair and offered to pay half immediately!. I'm going back now to push for more after reading this info.Volvo are ignoring this totally and obviously havent done anything to fix this long standing problem. This car cost me $90,000 AUD and I expected to keep this car for many years as I just love it but now I dont know. I'm going to suggest they also flush & change the filter and replace with Royal Purple ATF but no sure we have that here but its worth a try. Thanks
  • elliott5elliott5 Posts: 3
    I also have an xc90 t6, I am currently having the 3rd transmission put in by volvo. The ratchet sound you hear, if it seems to go away when the car warms up, it's the driveshaft. I only know this, because I just had to do that too. The part alone is 1200 bucks. I love this car as much as I hate it. Of course, Volvo does not want it back, not even as a trade. Gee, I wonder why!
  • elliott5elliott5 Posts: 3
    Hello, I am in New Hampshire (USA) and a female owner of an xc90 t6. I am on my third transmission in this car and also had to replace the drive shaft. I was told these transmissions were a "closed unit" and could not be serviced, just replaced. Volvo has covered the expense on the transmissions because the last replacement was just 24 thousand miles ago. Apparantly I owe more than they will give me at trade, I may take the loss and just get something else.
  • db2814db2814 Posts: 13
    Hello: I am an XC90 owner in Ottawa, ON Canada and had to have my driveshaft replaced while on holidays in North Conway, NH this past January 2009. I have had my transmission flushed, filter changed and new fluid(only volvo tranny fluid) put in. Mister transmission did the work and said that there were no metal filings in the fluid and that all looked good. They also indicated that doing the transmission fluid change was crucial to the life of the transmission. Taxis that have this work done annually get an extra 200,000 kilometres (120,000 miles) extra life out of the trannys that have the fluid changed every 50,000 km or 30,000 miles.

    The fluid change costs around 350.00 Canadian but is sure cheaper than a $7,000 dollar transmission.

    The transmission specialists also indicated that keeping your tire pressures at the proper pressure takes pressure off of the tranny as well. I use nitrogen in my tires because it is not affected by temperature change and as a result, tire pressure stays perfect.

    I hope this information is helpful. I have also been told that the radiator can cause tranny problems so have this checked out as well. Make sure the rad is in good condition and no rusty lines etc.

    All the best.
  • Volvo australia have now agreed to pay for my new trannie and I pay for the labour approx. $1200. not ideal but better then $4800 more out of my pocket. They have also offered a 12 month warranty but if its new technology as they advise why only 12 mths I ask? They still refuse to say its a worldwide problem with the transmission but then I cant find another mum at school with a trannie problem and there are about 12 of us....Just my luck. Volvo still insist you dont need to service the transmission but its sounds like its good insurance to do this. Volvo offered to trade mine but I couldnt think of taking the risk with a new one. I'm gonna drive this new trannie into the ground for the next 11 months and then get rid of it. Think I'll buy a merc next time.
  • m0mzillam0mzilla Posts: 10
    I bought a Nissan Murano '05 a couple of years ago and had to replace the transmission at 68k miles. Very similar to these stories. Now I'm looking to get rid of it and was considering this Volvo for reliability and because I love the design. But thanks to your info on this forum - I won't even waste my time. Thanks for saving me the heartache of a repeat situation!
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,104
    Just don't buy a T6. Any other XC90 is fine.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • lilsamlilsam Posts: 5
    I just got the bad news from my mechanic. My 2005 T6 just killed its second trans. the first went out at 68K. After much yelling with the dealer and volvo, only payed for installation labor on the this second trans and a new radiator/cooler. They gave me gave me 12 months and 12K miles warranty on this trans. So, here I am 14 months and 10k miles with noises and will not go up the gutter from the street to my driveway. I am new to this forum and trying to gather all input. Anyone knows if their is some aftermarket retrofit or upgrade for this underrated trans. or any creative weekend mechanics with suggestions? I considered the new V8 XC90 three months but the dealer offered me a very low trade in value. I walked out immediately.
  • laws65laws65 Posts: 69
    HI Carguy85,

    A couple of suggestions, contact the Attorney General for your state, Consumer Protection, and also the National Transporation Safety Board-all can file complaints on line. I would also do the complaint on line with Volvo-just so you have it all in writing, which is VERY important for you.

    Then I would wait a week or two and see what happens. For some reason, thankfully, Volvo just paid for a brand new transmission in mine, and supposedly, and I say supposedly as we are not there when the new tranny goes in, this is the latest and upgraded transmission. We'll see and time will tell. I only just got mine back a week ago-took my daughter back to college with it, and just trying to notice anything that seems amiss. See if that helps. I would also state that you heard Volvo is starting to replaced those horrible transmissions with a brand new upgraded one for free. Refer to me if you need to, and tell them the dealer was Gengras in East Hartford, CT.

    I really hope this helps you!!!!
    Good luck and keep me posted if you need anything else. File complaints with anyone and everything, keep going, the squeeky wheel gets the grease!!!!
  • carguy85carguy85 Posts: 9
    How often did ypu have the transmission fluid changed?
  • carguy85carguy85 Posts: 9
    Laws65 - - - I haven't heard about dealers replacing the 4 speed GM tranny with anything else. What are they using; the 6 speed AW in all 3.2 and 4.4 XC90s? Thanks!
  • lilsamlilsam Posts: 5
    right this moment I am looking through the service records. This car was under the dealers service schedules. . I made sure the car was taken in for all the scheduled services as well as within a couple of days of the the idiot display that says "time for service". Shame on me to think they would tell me of a change in the schedule due to the replaced trans. You would think they would have programed it into the computer that displays " time for service".
  • rmuralirmurali Posts: 10
    Thank you all for this forum. I am considering purchasing new XC90. Is there a problem with transmission in newer models or has Volvo corrected this issue? Is it too early to tell?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,104
    Do not buy any year T6.

    Any other model is fine. But, if you are talking "newer" you most likely aren't talking about a T6, as '05 was the last year of the T6.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • mvg04mvg04 Posts: 1
    At 54,000 for me on my 04 XC90 T6 transmission It has to be replaced completely. They have to replace the radiator or the new one will go out very soon. Something about metal shavings in the transmission from the radiator. It started slipping and then on day, no gears at all. This car has a General Motors transmission and my shop guy says that they are a very faulty. I think Volvo should recall all these transmissions. I reported this to the NHTSA and Attorney General, you should too. Does any one know how to start a class action against them? We should!
  • laws65laws65 Posts: 69

    Good for you. Complain to anyone and everyone that you can think of. The more noise the better for all of us that still own these vehicles!
    I don't know how to start a Class Action, but would be interested in listening to anyone who does!

  • laws65laws65 Posts: 69
    Yes, it is a T6
  • rmuralirmurali Posts: 10
    Thank you gbrozen for your response. From MSN website, "...The 3.2 is now powered by a new 24-valve inline 6-cylinder normally aspirated engine with 235 horsepower and mated to a new standard 6-speed automatic transmission with Geartronic...."

    Just to make sure I understand, this is not the same as the T6 problem? Do you think this 3.2 is enough to power the XC90 under "normal" city/highway conditions or is V8 necessary?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,104
    The 3.2 is plenty.
    And, no, it does not have the T6 problem (which was the 4-speed GM transmission it was attached to).

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • rmuralirmurali Posts: 10
    Thank you again. I really appreciate your advice and quick response. Regards.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,104
    no problem. good luck.

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • How did you find this out? Where did you get the information from. My light just came on at 65K and I want to be prepared...

  • laws65laws65 Posts: 69
    HI Rosasanchez76,

    I had it happen to my 2005 T6 and I went on a writing crusade until I got Volvo to pay for it for free. These cars are way too young to have this keep happening.
    If you need more info, feel free to email me at
    Good luck.

  • meg12meg12 Posts: 1
    My 2005 XC 90 transmission just went, leaving me stranded on an interstate. This will be the car's FOURTH transmission. Bought it used at 60k, and dealer did not tell me the car had just had trans. replaced, or that the model was faulty and had safety risks. What legal recourse is there? Is there a class action suit begun? Is there a lemon law that applies? What kind of lawyer deals with this? What should I ask for when I see the dealer where the car has been towed. I live in Maine.

    Thanks so much for any assistance, Meg
  • lilsamlilsam Posts: 5
    meg12 I feel for you. I am on my second replacement Transmission for my 05 T6. The dealer service manager assures me it should not fail. I don't believe them. I have sent letters to volvo and I have been going on all forums. I have spoken to a local tv station and will point them to all on this forum if they takes this story. mean while be a squeaky wheel with your dealer and Volvo corporate. good luck
  • laws65laws65 Posts: 69

    Exactly, keep being squeeky! I sent complaints to everyone including the National Transportation Safety Board. Any legal recourse at this point would be a combined Class Action-which I'm sure there's enough of us to qualify-more than three is needed I believe. But for now, complain to Volvo, and the NTSB, even to anyone at your state level, legislators, whomever.
    Hopefully this will help. I'm told the latest transmissions they are putting in a completely different and are meant to last-I know-but time will tell.
    Good luck and let me know if you need any other help!

  • Hi Meg,

    I know the feeling... We had bought our 2003 T6 and in less than 2 months, the tranmission went out right before I got on the freeway! This car is just such a disaster I can't even put it into words. Good thing we had the extended warranty and they covered the "rebuilt" transmission because the the warranty company refused to pay for a brand new one and if that wasn't enough, it took AAMCO a month and a half to get the work done! ugh! I am so fed up with the car! never ever will I buy Volvo again... I am in CA and have been interested in starting a class lawsuit for about 4 months as well. We all need to come together and show Volvo that they cannot keep doing this to other people in producing absolutely safety hazards on our roads for families. Let me know if there is anything you find out so that I can try and start the same process here in my hometown. Good luck!

    BTW- my car is on its 3rd transmission because like you when we purchased our XC90 at 62,500 miles, the dealership did not disclose that the fact that the car was already on its 2nd transmission... :mad:
  • Does anyone have any facts about the transmission Volvo is using as a replacement? Several posts have talked about that it is different. My wife had hers done and seems sure that it now has less power - she thinks they may have changed the setting in the computer and it shifts into higher gears earlier, lowering the tork (sp?). Any thougts?
  • laws65laws65 Posts: 69

    Not sure what they just replaced my transmission with, though it seems to have a dead spot. I put my foot on the gas and nothing happens, then you feel the transmission kick in. Odd. I didn't hear from Gengras Volvo exactly what was put in. Only that it was the newest version and upgraded transmission. Sorry I couldn't be more help.

  • mollywmmollywm Posts: 7
    Hi Lisa:

    I bought my :lemon: 2003 XC90 in March 2006 @ 55,000miles. 6 months later @ 72,000 miles the transmission failed and was replaced. Volvo split the cost with me thanks to my long-time mechanic. This past weekend, at 107,000 miles, the transmission urgent message came up on the New York Turnpike while driving my daughter home from college. The car is now sitting in East Greenbush, NY while I have returned to Columbus, OH. I have not decided what to do about fixing the car. I am tempted to just let it rust. I do not want to pay any part of this and I am in favor and will participate in a class action lawsuit.

    Lisa - I will email you to find out your methods. Thanks all for sharing the information.

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