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A new transmission or finding someone to rebuild a transmission?

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  • A new transmission or finding someone to rebuild a transmission?

    My transmission is going and I have to figure out what to do (soon)….

    I have an 2006 xc70 with 107k. Had it for 2.5 years and put 40k on the vehicle (I drive a lot). The transmission is slowly going. For a few minutes when it’s warming up it seems great but after it is warm you can feel it slipping, the shifts are delayed and it slams into gear. Mostly between 3-4 gear. It’s been like this since I bought the car in Jan 2018. 2 years ago I had the car looked at by one set of (so called) Volvo mechanics. They said they could only give it a software update. They did and it did not help. I went to the dealership. The tech told me I needed a new transmission. I went to another set of Volvo mechanics in a different city. They provided a fluid change. This didn’t change the problem either. So I have been running with it like this for 2 years at this point. I primarily drive on the highway and in rural areas; I don’t have a problem driving along in 5 gear, the car feels great actually. City driving and stop and go traffic is a real problem however; when the car is in D it’s super sluggish moving up and down through 2-4 and will lag between gears (as if the clutch is stuck) and then slam into place with a loud thunk. To prevent the transmission slamming into gear this way I’ve been putting it into geartronic shifting. This doesn’t alleviate the slipping, but I can keep it from slamming into gear and still get around as needed.

    My goal for the car was/is to drive it for the next five years and hit 200k...I really want to keep the car. I just went back to the dealership and asked about getting a new transmission. They gave me prices for two transmissions plus install, both exceeding the value of the car (basically 4K and 5.5k). I don’t know where to look for someone to rebuild the current transmission. From what I can tell shops seem not to want to do that anymore but I may be looking at the wrong shops… I'd be willing to travel if there is say a Volvo transmission wizard in the mid-atlantic or new england area that fixes these things...

    I need advice from the community here, open to any and all thoughts: What would you do? Am I going to have to give the car up? Is a new transmission the way to go? Whats too much to spend? Is getting the dealership involved in this process a dumb idea or a good idea?

    At the end of the day I just want a perfectly working 5cylinder turbo like any sensible person does… 😁

  • #2
    Hi. So, I am just poking around on the internet. I see mention of "resetting the adaptation" on the transmission. The Wikipedia page for the XC range has a reference that links to a service bulletin on the NHTSA website, which seems to mention the same symptoms you are having. Also, there is a Youtube video of someone resetting the transmission's adaptation via a scanner tool. However, the mechanics already flashed the latest ROM, hopefully they did at least the two parameter resets I see in the video.

    The $4-6k quote to replace the transmission is steep, I would need a guarantee of a few years / miles before I spent that kind of money. With that said, the KBB on my 240 is less than $1000, and I am sure I have spent 2-3x that in the past 8 years of ownership.

    Just FYI: I don't own a XC and I am definitely not a professional mechanic.

    Let us know what happens next.


    • #3
      Thanks for that! I just went and looked up the adaptation reset and checked the NHTSA stuff too.

      I’d be willing to try the reset if I was working with someone who had done a process like that before. That’s outside of my wheel house.

      No recalls I can find either.

      Yeah the price tags for both transmissions through the dealership are absurdly steep. One thing of note is that the 6k transmission option is from Volvo and comes with a lifetime warranty on parts and labor as long as I own the car. I like that aspect since I want to keep the car for a long time. The concern however is that if I do go this route that after its installed they will tell me I need all new sensors or some other electronic part is bad, etc. that will cost another ton of money...

      Whatever decision I make, I’ll report back.


      • #4
        If you want to drive your car for more you can try a few tricks like me First change your transmission fluid to Mobil 3309 , but not just flushing it, please look at the forums and you will learn how to change all the fluid of the trans.After changing the fluid using Vida software carefully adjust the fluid level and do a transmission fluid reset.After that you have to use Vida again for a transmission adaptation. Secondly buy a trans fluid cooler from Amazon or similar website and install the cooler with a filter on it.After you make and install these you will notice little to big difference depending on your transmission health.If you want I can give you more detail about the procedures and some photos.I have been using my "broken" trans for 100.000km still.
        1997 Volvo S70 T5 Sold
        2002 Saab 9.3 2.2TID Sold
        2001 Volvo S80 2.0T Sold
        2004 Volvo V70 2.0T Daily Driver


        • #5
          I have the AW 55/50 that had the hard shifts and shift flairs on 2-3 upshifts. It came and went a few times but it has been good for about 5000 miles now. I did exactly what azatoglu said, plus used a few additives. (Edit to say: I actually did not do a transmission adaptive though. I saw that that should be done only when changing trans hardware like valve body/solenoids etc. That, and it is a giant PITA and can lead to some issues.) One additive that I used that has done a lot of good was Lubegard 60902. Did that about 5k ago and no there is just some hesitation shifting every once in a while. Haven't checked the temp in VIDA but it is meant to keep the ATF cooler. Everyone will warn against it but I have tried a few and this one worked.
          Last edited by howmuchforagram; 07-19-2021, 07:02 PM.
          2001 V70 T5 - current
          1996 850 GLT - given away
          2002 V70XC - sold
          1986 740 GLE - scrapped