SwedeSpeed - Volvo Performance Forum banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
140k miles, and seems to be in Very Good condition. Owner has done rotors and pads on all four corners, new fluids (brake, steering, coolant, trans, oil), and new spark plugs. He owns a small repair shop, though not european/volvo specific. I think I can get the car for $6500, but I have a couple reservations yet:

First off, I know, 2007+ eliminates the risk of faulty transmission valve body, and I know 2005s have the counter-shaft-bearing issue. I've done extensive reading. Beyond, and considering this, I have two questions:

1. What is the prevalence of a faulty radiator causing coolant to leak into the tranny cooler lines? I'm told by a very reputable shop it is something of a concern, though I don't hear much ranting/reporting about it on the forums.

2. How bad is it that the current owner put Mobile 1 Synthetic in the transmission? Reportedly it shifts wonderfully and without issue. In calling the same shop, they said if it's full synthetic, they wouldn't worry about it (and to keep running it as is). The owner said that the fluid that came out was red, so the assumption is it wasn't original, and the fluid wasn't overdue for a change. There is no hitch on the car, so it wasn't towing either, which is a bit of a comfort to know.


Thanks for the knowledge here. And while I know I'll be told to stay 2007+ on the V8s, the service writer at the shop I spoke to, which is THE Volvo shop in the Raleigh, NC area, said his father has a 2006 V8 with 240k on the clock and it's had no major issues, so taken care of, yes, they can last quite a long time, but yes I know there's always that chance.

so, focusing on the two questions, what do you guys think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
219 Posts
140k miles, and seems to be in Very Good condition. Owner has done rotors and pads on all four corners, new fluids (brake, steering, coolant, trans, oil), and new spark plugs. He owns a small repair shop, though not european/volvo specific. I think I can get the car for $6500, but I have a couple reservations yet:

First off, I know, 2007+ eliminates the risk of faulty transmission valve body, and I know 2005s have the counter-shaft-bearing issue. I've done extensive reading. Beyond, and considering this, I have two questions:

1. What is the prevalence of a faulty radiator causing coolant to leak into the tranny cooler lines? I'm told by a very reputable shop it is something of a concern, though I don't hear much ranting/reporting about it on the forums.

2. How bad is it that the current owner put Mobile 1 Synthetic in the transmission? Reportedly it shifts wonderfully and without issue. In calling the same shop, they said if it's full synthetic, they wouldn't worry about it (and to keep running it as is). The owner said that the fluid that came out was red, so the assumption is it wasn't original, and the fluid wasn't overdue for a change. There is no hitch on the car, so it wasn't towing either, which is a bit of a comfort to know.


Thanks for the knowledge here. And while I know I'll be told to stay 2007+ on the V8s, the service writer at the shop I spoke to, which is THE Volvo shop in the Raleigh, NC area, said his father has a 2006 V8 with 240k on the clock and it's had no major issues, so taken care of, yes, they can last quite a long time, but yes I know there's always that chance.

so, focusing on the two questions, what do you guys think?
The radiator can be an issue by design as the cooler/tank portion is plastic and under variable internal ( trans fluid ) and external (coolant) pressures, heat and age- the easiest way to check is to pressure test prior to purchase when it's warm ( not operating full temp) as thermal expansion will surface a leak that might not when cold and also though not practical for pre-purchase send a sample of the tranny oil to blackstone for analysis to look for coolant in the fluid, to that end transmissions in my experience especially japanese, are sensitive to fluid, and are engineered for specific fluid compositions and properties. it's not hard to drain, flush and fill it with the correct type.From recent personal experience, I'd also look at changing out the oil cooler as a preventive maintenance item. In general given the weight of the xc90 look at allocating $'s for new bushings or full upper and lower control arms, links, upper shock bearing and seat, subframe and just about any part that connects suspension or frame via rubber on the car as they all wear out

Good luck it's not a 90's toyota pickup that will go 400,000 with little maintenance , but there are folks here with a lot more than 140k miles on theirs :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
My car is a 2007, and it had a bad valve body.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,516 Posts
The VB was changed middle of '07. Mine is good.


Sent from my igloo using a polar bear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,140 Posts
2. How bad is it that the current owner put Mobile 1 Synthetic in the transmission? Reportedly it shifts wonderfully and without issue. In calling the same shop, they said if it's full synthetic, they wouldn't worry about it (and to keep running it as is). The owner said that the fluid that came out was red, so the assumption is it wasn't original, and the fluid wasn't overdue for a change. There is no hitch on the car, so it wasn't towing either, which is a bit of a comfort to know.
Spec fluid (Toyota T-IV or Mobil 3309 or Volvo 1161540) is red in color. It gets blackish/brownish red when it's been in for 50k+ miles but it's a Ruby Sorta Red right out of the bottle.

Maybe a better question is why was the fluid swapped out in the first place?

I'm not following why folks need to continue experimenting with different kinds of fluids when the original JWS3309 has been tried and true since the AW55/xx went into service (MY 2000). Not JWS 3309 "compatible" do it all Dex/Merc, the plain old JWS3309 spec formulated fluid.

Can you use other fluids? Sure. But why? The spec fluid works properly in both the AW55 and the TF80, it's reasonable in price (Toyota T-IV or Mobil 3309 @ $5-6/quart), and it's what Aisin Warner explicitly intended to be used.

For the argument of synthetic versus non-synthetic, The AW55xx is an adaptive transmission (http://www.sins.com.tw/Documents/AW_55-50SN_USAGE.pdf), it "learns" and adjusts as a function of optimizing measured values over time. Is synthetic supposed to make this adaptive process better? Does the transmission get smarter the more synthetic fluid you put in? Does it simply allow for increased miles between flushes?

And when you pick apart the technical details behind synthetic versus non-synthetic, in a highly formulated fluid like ATF, the argument borders on the moot. I follow the value of using synthetic in the engine, it has a higher heat index and does not break down like dino. It keeps friction modifiers intact and certainly helps prevent wear over time. I use synthetic engine oil exclusively in my ’08 and have synthetic in the angle gear and rear differential for both my XC90s.

But for a dynamic multi-function fluid like ATF, I’m not seeing the immediate and inherent value of changing to synthetic. And in fact I see more negative than positive comments about doing this after the fact (unless synthetic is all that’s been in there from the get-go and, if you own a 5 or 6 speed Volvo, that is not the case).

No slam to the OP, I'm on a rant about this regardless. I guess folks will always want to try something better. Hope we hear consistently good things about the performance of these alternative compatible fluids at the 250k plus mark. Until then, I’ll continue my 60-75k swaps with Mobil 3309 and/or Toyota T-IV. Third change on my ’05 at 165k, first on my ’08 (done right after purchase at 92k).

My personal opinion, if you buy the car, consider swapping out the fluid and put the plain old "red stuff" back in. At least then you’ll know that what’s in there is what the manufacturer intended to be in there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
The radiator can be an issue by design as the cooler/tank portion is plastic and under variable internal ( trans fluid ) and external (coolant) pressures, heat and age- the easiest way to check is to pressure test prior to purchase when it's warm ( not operating full temp) as thermal expansion will surface a leak that might not when cold and also though not practical for pre-purchase send a sample of the tranny oil to blackstone for analysis to look for coolant in the fluid, to that end transmissions in my experience especially japanese, are sensitive to fluid, and are engineered for specific fluid compositions and properties. it's not hard to drain, flush and fill it with the correct type.From recent personal experience, I'd also look at changing out the oil cooler as a preventive maintenance item. In general given the weight of the xc90 look at allocating $'s for new bushings or full upper and lower control arms, links, upper shock bearing and seat, subframe and just about any part that connects suspension or frame via rubber on the car as they all wear out

Good luck it's not a 90's toyota pickup that will go 400,000 with little maintenance , but there are folks here with a lot more than 140k miles on theirs :)
I won't be able to do a pressure test on this vehicle or get the trans fluid sent out prior, but great information if I don't go with this one. I figured the suspension would need a refresh. My '03 V70 is at 123k miles and I've spent much time putting together a shopping list for when the time is right.

The VB was changed middle of '07. Mine is good.
Great information! I thought all 2007s were good. Now I know!

Spec fluid (Toyota T-IV or Mobil 3309 or Volvo 1161540) is red in color. It gets blackish/brownish red when it's been in for 50k+ miles but it's a Ruby Sorta Red right out of the bottle.

Maybe a better question is why was the fluid swapped out in the first place? -- The guy owns a tune/lube shop so he probably figured why not!?!?

Can you use other fluids? Sure. But why? The spec fluid works properly in both the AW55 and the TF80, it's reasonable in price (Toyota T-IV or Mobil 3309 @ $5-6/quart), and it's what Aisin Warner explicitly intended to be used. -- He said that the Mobile 3309 wasn't available, so he went with Mobile 1. This is a bit of a head scratcher.

And in fact I see more negative than positive comments about doing this after the fact - This is what I have noticed as well

My personal opinion, if you buy the car, consider swapping out the fluid and put the plain old "red stuff" back in. At least then you’ll know that what’s in there is what the manufacturer intended to be in there. -- That would be my plan.

The guy is asking $7500 and encourages people to make an offer, so I might be able to get it for $6500, even so it's not that far under KBB to make what seems to be the higher than necessary risk worth it. I have maybe 5 months before we NEED a bigger car, so I'm leaning towards saying no to this one, and looking for a 2008. Is there a reliable way to discern what VINs of 2007 model years have the upgraded valve body? You guys have been a great help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
My car is a 2007, and it had a bad valve body.
Not a guarantee. We have a 2008 V8 and it just had to have the valve body rebuilt at 115k due to stuttering in 2nd and 3rd. This car was likely built in late 2007 since it was put into service in February 2008 but don't just assume if it's a 2008 it's good to go....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
836 Posts
7K v 15k? Not sure what the OP has for a budget...
Difference in price is between one with a transmission that works ... and one that may not ...LOL

I see many 2007's and pre 2007's XC90's out there listed at prices that more or less reflects the cost of a transmission ($6K - $7K), or at least the cost of a valve body ($3K - $4K), almost as if the sellers know that the cars won't sell unless they reflect that cost into the selling price ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,996 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
416 Posts
The radiator can be an issue by design as the cooler/tank portion is plastic and under variable internal ( trans fluid ) and external (coolant) pressures, heat and age- the easiest way to check is to pressure test prior to purchase when it's warm ( not operating full temp) as thermal expansion will surface a leak that might not when cold and also though not practical for pre-purchase send a sample of the tranny oil to blackstone for analysis to look for coolant in the fluid, to that end transmissions in my experience especially japanese, are sensitive to fluid, and are engineered for specific fluid compositions and properties. it's not hard to drain, flush and fill it with the correct type.From recent personal experience, I'd also look at changing out the oil cooler as a preventive maintenance item. In general given the weight of the xc90 look at allocating $'s for new bushings or full upper and lower control arms, links, upper shock bearing and seat, subframe and just about any part that connects suspension or frame via rubber on the car as they all wear out.
I live in Texas and this pretty much sums up what happened to my 2007 V8. $8k later she runs like a champ.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
7K v 15k? Not sure what the OP has for a budget...
We'd spend $15k for a 2008+ V8 with sub 80k miles and that'd be the wife's long-term car. What we're looking for now is a 2-3 year car that she can drive, then I'll get when we're ready to drop more coin on her car. In 2-3 years the 2016 models will be on the used market and good 2008+ XC90 V8s will be much, much, cheaper. Right now we'd like to stay under $7500. I know, someone's going to say 2006 2.5T, and the wife couldn't care what engine, but damnit I don't want to drive the 2.5T engine. No, no, no.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
I paid $7,500 for my 2007 XC90 V8 with 126,000 miles last Easter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,147 Posts
I know, someone's going to say 2006 2.5T, and the wife couldn't care what engine, but damnit I don't want to drive the 2.5T engine. No, no, no.
Since you brought it up, she who must be obeyed has put over 100,000 miles on her XC90 with the 2.5, and she drove my S80 V8 for a few weeks. Her conclusion "meh". Maybe its the altitude that caused the indifference. Maybe the 2.5 is adequate for her needs. The times I drive her car there is usually a passenger, and since I get my jolly's on a road track on a regular basis, i find the 2.5 more than adequate when there are other cars on the road.

As for me and the V8, that's covered in a different thread, I've had a lot of cars with more, and less power. The V8 is nice. Just nice IMHO. Maybe it's the lack of a third pedal.
We'd spend $15k for a 2008+ V8 with sub 80k miles and that'd be the wife's long-term car. What we're looking for now is a 2-3 year car that she can drive, then I'll get when we're ready to drop more coin on her car. In 2-3 years the 2016 models will be on the used market and good 2008+ XC90 V8s will be much, much, cheaper. Right now we'd like to stay under $7500.
Since you are looking at a 2-3 year car, I find it necessary to remind you that you are no different than the rest of us, and you gave up your manhood when you got married. With that in mind, get the car she wants, which is tan interior, ___________ exterior, and whatever will cost the least over the next few years until you upgrade. Spend the difference in gas, and capital outlay on something worthwhile, like beer. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
219 Posts
As for me and the V8, that's covered in a different thread, I've had a lot of cars with more, and less power. The V8 is nice. Just nice IMHO. Maybe it's the lack of a third pedal.
I think this statement is very accurate in the overall context of the xc90, the discussions around the engine 2.5T V V8 V 3.2 boil down to personal preferences, and don't compare to other brands and performance. IMO the V8 handles the weight, FWD bias and overall chases dynamics of the XC90 for daily diving and road trips best, but... none of the engine variants past or present are anything that could be considered "performance" outside of the volvo lineup - the xc90 is a nicely balanced well put together swiss army knife sort of suv, but as far as performance and handling it's not in the same league as medium to high end offerings form BMW, Porsche or Mercedes AMG, nor is it intended to be. Drive a twin turbo X5 M V8 or Cayenne Turbo S and it's clear they are vastly different machines for vastly different segments but 100% performance and handling in the SUV class... and the sticker $ to go along with it . My point is that the context of engine options and handling of the XC90 that thrive here on this board can't be compared outside of the brand, but to your point a third pedal and manual would solve a lot of issues from transmission to max horsepower options for the V8 as the V8's Tf80 is only rated near 325 ft lbs of max torque.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,147 Posts
I think this statement is very accurate in the overall context of the xc90, the discussions around the engine 2.5T V V8 V 3.2 boil down to personal preferences, and don't compare to other brands and performance. IMO the V8 handles the weight, FWD bias and overall chases dynamics of the XC90 for daily diving and road trips best, but... none of the engine variants past or present are anything that could be considered "performance" outside of the volvo lineup - the xc90 is a nicely balanced well put together swiss army knife sort of suv, but as far as performance and handling it's not in the same league as medium to high end offerings form BMW, Porsche or Mercedes AMG, nor is it intended to be. Drive a twin turbo X5 M V8 or Cayenne Turbo S and it's clear they are vastly different machines for vastly different segments but 100% performance and handling in the SUV class... and the sticker $ to go along with it . My point is that the context of engine options and handling of the XC90 that thrive here on this board can't be compared outside of the brand, but to your point a third pedal and manual would solve a lot of issues from transmission to max horsepower options for the V8 as the V8's Tf80 is only rated near 325 ft lbs of max torque.
I agree 100% My s80 V8 is a recent purchase. it replaces a E39 540i manual with 79k miles which came with the M sport package. comparing the two is like comparing the driving experience of the Volvo to the BMW is apples to oranges. Since I DIY a lot of the work....

The XC90 is a lovely station wagon. I hauled or daughter from a car seat to the front seat, as she is now taller than my wife. She may learn on it in two years, and then get to tool around town in my manual Astra which doesn't have Bluetooth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
219 Posts
I hear you... by choice I'm relegated to cars that I can hook a laptop up to and work on myself and whose "in car entertainment" comes from under the hood, not the dashboard, my roll around snap on toolbox value is likely more than any used xc90 around :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Well I am looking at white, tan interior, 2006 2.5t AWDs as well. I'm not a big fan of the pre-2007 front fascia, but it won't stop me from picking up a well maintained example. Problem is that I want the upgraded wheels and the full host of interior options, which is less likely to be found on the 2.5T. All the wife really cares about is heated seats, but if I'm going to buy a 10 year old car, I'd rather it have options that stack-up against something a lot newer, so five years from now it feels a bit less antiquated.

It is good to know that nobody in this thread is crying woe of how slow or underpowered the 2.5T engine is. I know it hits peak torque at 1500rpm, which helps it around town. My opinion is that we'll have 2 adults, 2 kids, a dog, luggage, then two roof-top boxes full of gear, heading down the highway and the 2.5T will struggle to overtake at 80+ mph. I already have a 2.4na V70 (manual), and loaded up on roadtrips, it reminds me that my next car should have some passing ability when loaded. We travel to and through the Smokey Mountains a few times a year, so there are some serious hills/mountians we end up driving up.

Oh and concerning the 3.2, the Indie Volvo shop I was talking to says the 2.5 is a much preferred motor over the 3.2 when it comes to performance, even more-so when we're climbing up to 3-6k foot elevation. Also, didn't the 3.2 have oil consumption issues in the first year or two?
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top