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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

New member here. I have a purchase pending on a 2003 XC90 T6 AWD.

Yes, the one with the GM Transmission.

Is it me or am I just reading nothing but bad news on this SUV? I mean, its the internet and you can pretty much find anything you'd like on the net. But is this transmission really as bad as it sounds? I dont want the 50 or so, horror stories steer me away from this vehicle. I'm sure there are plenty of good stories out there that you just dont hear about.

Or is it just me? Is this thing really as bad as it sounds?

HELP!
 

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Again based on what I have read, yes, they are that bad. Many are on their third transmissions. Apparently even Volvo themselves will not CPO a T6. That should tell you something.

I have not once read someone recommend buying a used T6 XC90, and this is on any of the 4-5 Volvo forums I used for research.
 

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Re: 2003 XC90 T6 AWD. Comments?!? (xcowner)

Quote, originally posted by xcowner »
New member here. I have a purchase pending on a 2003 XC90 T6 AWD.

Don't do it...........nuff said.

The transmission is not up to the task in a 4500lb vehicle. Even if you know the service history, refer to first comment.
 

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Re: 2003 XC90 T6 AWD. Comments?!? (xcowner)

Has no one been able to lemon law their T6?
 

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Re: 2003 XC90 T6 AWD. Comments?!? (robtr8)

Quote, originally posted by robtr8 »
Has no one been able to lemon law their T6?

IIRC, there may have been a few. It is a moot point since Volvo axed the T6 in 2005 for the V8.
 

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I had a 04 T6,

Tried to keep an open mind when the 1st transmission went. The new transmission was supposed to have improved internals. 2nd failed in 1/2 the time of the 1st. With all due respect, the failure mode may have been different in the two cases so there may be more then one weakness in the design.

I was able to purchase the CPO for an 04 T6 and the cost was too much different from the 08 V8 sport.

I do seem to have less issues besides the transmission with the 08 vs the 04 but that may be due to incremental improvement over the last 4 years.
 

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Re: (ccc)

We have an 05 T6 and our tranny blew at around 42,000 miles. Luckily it was still under warranty and was replaced free of charge to us but I can't shake the notion that the tranny could blow at any time.
I would go with a V8 if you can find one for a good price.

On the up side, they are great in accidents (not that you want to test this out) and are a great ride. The T6 is fast with the twin turbo but the transmission is such a huge disappointment
 

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Re: 2003 XC90 T6 AWD. Comments?!? (xcowner)

Never owned a T6, so am just curious. Have not seen a lot of complaints about the engine. Just the horrible transmission. So any thoughts on why they scrapped the engine instead of just putting a good transmission like the 6 speed auto in it?
 

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Re: 2003 XC90 T6 AWD. Comments?!? (aintsheswede)

Quote, originally posted by aintsheswede »
Never owned a T6, so am just curious. Have not seen a lot of complaints about the engine. Just the horrible transmission. So any thoughts on why they scrapped the engine instead of just putting a good transmission like the 6 speed auto in it?

The T6 engine is a freakishly long engine at that and when mounted transversely in the engine bay of either an XC90 or an S80 it is freakishly wide. So wide, if fact, that there are scant few transmissions besides the heavy-duty version of GM's 4T65-E that would fit.

Oh and before hatin' on the heavy-duty version of the 4T65-E that Volvo used, give a think for a second on just how many other compact transmissions can take the abuse this particular transmission was designed for. After all, said transmission was designed for supercharged V6 applications like the Pontiac Bonneville SSEi and the Buick Park Avenue Ultra. That said, said transmission was really intended for use in a 3500-3800 lb sedan...not a 4,500lb crossover.
 

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The GM transmission isn't really to blame. It's the adaptive shift software that volvo uses. it remembers one's driving habits by remembering shift points for fuel efficiency. The other problem seems to be on heavy/panic braking. The tranny can't seem to disengage quickly enough on emergency braking. I believe this is how the problem on our xc90 started. had to suddenly stop on a wet rainy day on the highway. felt a little extra thug. it was down hill from there.
 

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I'm not sure where the blame lies, either Volvo put an underrated transmission in the XC90 or GM's transmission isn't performing to spec.

I believe if volvo really believe the root cause was the software, then it can update the program which is relatively cheap solution. I have heard from the dealer and other members on the board, that Volvo actually improved the internals as one solution

In any case, my 1st transmission was making a grinding noise that got worse over time (dealer response when from oh, its nothing to wow, you need a new transmission). My second transmission, the fuel economy started to get worse then the service transmission light went on.

I have seen a few other people get the service light as a precursor to replacement.

Yours seemed to fail after panic breaking.

Makes you wonder if there are more then one common points of failure on this transmission.

Other than that, I loved the power/torque of the T6. In my case, transmission failures occured at 30 and 45k miles. Even if each only lasted 15 to 20 k miles, I think its hard to get 3 failures in the lemon law time period
 

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Re: 2003 XC90 T6 AWD. Comments?!? (Dextrobrick)

I guess they found something that works as the XC60 i looked at today has the T6 in it. And that body/chassis is a lot smaller than the 90's.


I have a T6 with about 76000 miles on it. Ive never had a bit of trouble with it, and regularly pull my #1000 boat to the coast. I LOVE this car, its clean as hek inside and out, it even still smells new. I want to keep it for as long as possible but everytime i read about this trans issue it just makes me want rid of it!!
Everytime i drive the dang thing i feel like this is when its going to give up, every little jerk maybe the trans breaking!! I HATE THIS CRAP!! I read so many times about the replacements going bad i finally called a reputable trans specialist whom i have used before for an Explorer transmission, and i actually talked to the tech who re-builds them in the shop about the Volvo 4T65-E transmission. He said he has done a few of them and the problem is that there is a hub on the clutch pack which is weak and cracks with the vehicle weight or the adaptive software shifting it too hard. Once this cracks it allows the pack to spin on a splined shaft leading to slippage and contamination. He said he goes back with an aftermarket stronger hub, all new clutches and installs an orifice in the shift spools to soften the clutch engagements. It would cost about $1500 for the rebuild with all the parts and labour but that is with me removing it from the car. He said it takes around 5 hrs to actually get the thing out of the vehicle and its a pain in the u know what, so factor in that and your looking at around $2500 he said. Well i know where im going if it happens to me.............or should i say when it happens to me!!


Modified by Chris Hays at 9:57 PM 3-24-2009

Modified by Chris Hays at 9:59 PM 3-24-2009
 

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Re: 2003 XC90 T6 AWD. Comments?!? (Chris Hays)

Quote, originally posted by Chris Hays »
I guess they found something that works as the XC60 i looked at today has the T6 in it. And that body/chassis is a lot smaller than the 90's.

Sorry to burst your bubble but the new T6 nomenclature is an entirely different engine and transmission (with 6 gears; not 4). The T6 that this thread refers to died in 2005 IIRC.
 

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Re: 2003 XC90 T6 AWD. Comments?!? (MagoonR)

Quote, originally posted by MagoonR »


Sorry to burst your bubble but the new T6 nomenclature is an entirely different engine and transmission (with 6 gears; not 4). The T6 that this thread refers to died in 2005 IIRC.

Correct.

The T6 that was used on the P2 S80 and XC90 was a derivative of the 2.8/2.9L inline-six that was used on the 960/S90/V90.

The EUCD platform T6 is an entirely different animal.
 
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