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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought an 07 S80 private party about 9 months ago. It had been a Volvo program car, was then purchased certified pre-owned, and dealer maintained. I had it inspected by my local Volvo indie. After a few months I had a one or two hard shifts (bang), but didn't think much of it. About a month or so ago, I drove it on a weekend trip, and experienced some real problems on the highway. I started doing real focused research and realized I could have a major problem on my hands.

Took it the dealer who had maintained it, and they confirmed it is one of the early models covered by the vale body technical service bulletin. The tech replicated the shifting problems, and although a glycol test was negative, Volvo says replace the transmission; it is not repairable. Dealer asked for goodwill assistance, but the district manager declined. I am going to try myself with Volvo NA, but don't expect help. Paying Volvo to replace the transmission will cost me 2/3 of the car's max value.

My question is, what other options do I have? I've read others using independent transmission shops for rebuilds, but how do you find a reputable one, and what kind of risk is there that the transmission is beyond repair? The tech basically admitted the decision was Volvo's, not his own recommendation, and I can appreciate it's tempting for them to put in a new transmission to make sure I don't come back later with more shifting problems. Should I avoid the chains like AAMCO, etc.? THANKS in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, I can't seem to get an answer out of Volvo as to why they won't replace the valve body given that the glycol test was negative and the shifting problem (just as described in your thread) is still intermittent. I'd like to try it with an indie, but am at a loss to find a reputable shop that can handle this job.
 

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Volvo does NOT repair transmissions. They don't really have the know how, the tools, or the desire to stand behind transmission work unless it is a full trans or VB replacement.

You have to look elsewhere. I would try to find a reputable independent transmission shop. Call around and ask if they have experience with Aisin TF-80SC transmissions.

I would also swap the fluid first and see if that helps. You may just have some dirt built up in a solenoid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just got the final word from Volvo:
"Hello Jon,
I opened a case on your behalf requesting assistance with your transmission repair. Unfortunately Volvo is not able to provide assistance with this repair due to your vehicle being too far out of the warranty parameters.
We apologize we are unable to meet your expectations and apologize for any inconvenience.
Kind Regards,
Betty
Volvo Customer Care"

I will try the fluid flush through my indie, as the dealer will not do it. "Volvo for life"--how ironic.
 

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Here's my recommendation. I had issues with the transmission on my 07 XC90 V8 when the car had around 220k miles on it. Keep in mind though that my XC90 is on the later side of the Valve body revision, so it's not covered by the valve body issues.

First have the transmission flushed using a BG power flush machine. The TF80SC responds VERY well to power flushing. Every single one we've had at work has been fixed with a flush. (I own a small independent Volvo sales and service dealer). If that doesn't work, then replace the Valve body. It's a lot cheaper and MUCH less labor intensive. As long as the car hasn't been driven too long with the valve body acting up, the hard parts and friction material in the transmission should still be OK. Volvo admits that the issue is the valve body itself, and it can be replaced with the transmission in the car. You just need to slacken the subframe some to get the valve body cover off. I'd bet $5 the flush fixes your problems though. On my XC90, I now have almost 40k miles since the flush fixed it with no signs of problems coming back. I also have done some pretty extensive towing well beyond the XC90's maximum rated weight. The most you stand to lose by flushing is the $200 it costs to get it done. At least, that's what my Volvo dealer charges to do a BG flush.
 

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I've been trying to read up on these TF80-SC hard shifts and from what I've gathered so far early ones (from when it was first introduced, I think MY06?) had problems with hard shifts which was fixed on "later" models. Given that the 2007 S80 V8 also had the haldex 3 while later MY's had gen 4 I can definitely imagine gearbox issues could've been passed on to early cars.

I too have a 2007 S80 V8. I had the oil flushed 2500 miles ago (at 58k) and while overall shift quality improved, my problem with kick-in-the-back shifts from 2nd to 3rd persisted. At operating temperature it's silky smooth but while cold I can't make it shift well no matter what. Is this the same kind of issue you're having, amicusterrae? Or what kind of problems have you experienced? And what's the glycol test you mentioned? My S80 is chassis no 2000 something, any clue if yours is somewhere around that?

I'm only assuming it's the valve body since I had the oil changed and the adaption reset at the same time. Car was serviced at the same time too and I trust my dealer enough to have installed any available updates to the TCM (worth a check but at this point I'm more convinced and more concerned about hardware issues).

Edit: According to the link in #3, starting in october 2006 the transmissions had the new valve body. Mine was manufactured in june/july 2006 :(
 

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I've been trying to read up on these TF80-SC hard shifts and from what I've gathered so far early ones (from when it was first introduced, I think MY06?) had problems with hard shifts which was fixed on "later" models. Given that the 2007 S80 V8 also had the haldex 3 while later MY's had gen 4 I can definitely imagine gearbox issues could've been passed on to early cars.

I too have a 2007 S80 V8. I had the oil flushed 2500 miles ago (at 58k) and while overall shift quality improved, my problem with kick-in-the-back shifts from 2nd to 3rd persisted. At operating temperature it's silky smooth but while cold I can't make it shift well no matter what. Is this the same kind of issue you're having, amicusterrae? Or what kind of problems have you experienced? And what's the glycol test you mentioned? My S80 is chassis no 2000 something, any clue if yours is somewhere around that?

I'm only assuming it's the valve body since I had the oil changed and the adaption reset at the same time. Car was serviced at the same time too and I trust my dealer enough to have installed any available updates to the TCM (worth a check but at this point I'm more convinced and more concerned about hardware issues).

Edit: According to the link in #3, starting in october 2006 the transmissions had the new valve body. Mine was manufactured in june/july 2006 :(
Both of my V8 Volvos were made after the valve body revision and both shift like butter. So much so that I've had "car guys" comment on how nice the shifts feel in my cars considering how many miles are on the transmissions. Maybe try resetting the adaptations again? It could still need a new valve body because of a badly clogged passage or weak spring. I'd definitely try the valve body before replacing the entire transmission. If anything, but because the labor on the V8 transmission is ungodly.
 

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Shifts like... butter? As in slow?

I've got a lot of experience with the MY14 T6 drivetrain and I really loved it. 50% throttle would downshift 2-3 gears and hit you with the power. Used lock-up more often than not and if any slip it'd be either when very cold or slipping lock-up. On my V8 it's more like slipping lock-up most of the time and 50% throttle usually results in one downshift, a lot of slipping and some hestitation, possibly another downshift after that.

Usually works fine but it almost bothers me more that it feels kind of unreliable, any other heavier accelerations that aren't kickdowns and I can't be sure how it's going to perform. Usually resort to shifting manually at those times instead but that kind of defeats the purpose of an automatic imo, at least in that sense.

I'll look in to having it replaced. If it's all too pricey and this current one wont cause any adverse damage to the transmission I'll probably have to put it on hold for a while.

Edit: funny thing though which I'm not sure if hard- or software related but if I turn DSTC anti-spinn off and do a kickdown all signs of hesitations are gone and the car pulls like bonkers. I can't remember if it had any effect on moderate accelerations though, but still interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks to all who responded! I parked the car for a while, but have scheduled a BG flush for early next week. I had to call a lot of shops to find one that is both familiar with Volvo and willing to do it. Most in my area, it seems, either don't have the machine or truly are afraid that a powered flush will make it worse (that's what they all say, at least). I'll report back once I've had a chance to drive it a while. Based on my conversations with many Volvo indies, though, if the flush doesn't work, it's going to to take some effort to find a good shop to replace the valve body. No Volvo indies I spoke to want to touch it! The consensus was that it is at best, a 50-50 fix.

Schmoyoho: Mine acts up only when hot after some extended driving. It's a violent upshift--a "bang" like others have described. It's kind of similar but more severe than skipping under hard acceleration with bad motor mounts, if you've ever experienced that. Almost always, it's been on the highway after a high downshift to pass, but the worst was accelerating from a stoplight, shifting from first to second--it sounded like the wheels spun or skidded. The glycol test was to ensure no coolant had leaked into the transmission.
 

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Thanks to all who responded! I parked the car for a while, but have scheduled a BG flush for early next week. I had to call a lot of shops to find one that is both familiar with Volvo and willing to do it. Most in my area, it seems, either don't have the machine or truly are afraid that a powered flush will make it worse (that's what they all say, at least). I'll report back once I've had a chance to drive it a while. Based on my conversations with many Volvo indies, though, if the flush doesn't work, it's going to to take some effort to find a good shop to replace the valve body. No Volvo indies I spoke to want to touch it! The consensus was that it is at best, a 50-50 fix.

Schmoyoho: Mine acts up only when hot after some extended driving. It's a violent upshift--a "bang" like others have described. It's kind of similar but more severe than skipping under hard acceleration with bad motor mounts, if you've ever experienced that. Almost always, it's been on the highway after a high downshift to pass, but the worst was accelerating from a stoplight, shifting from first to second--it sounded like the wheels spun or skidded. The glycol test was to ensure no coolant had leaked into the transmission.
Make sure they are using the BG flush machine with BG fluids and not just their "shop flush machine" using BG fluids. There is a BIG difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Okay, I've put about 200 miles on the car since the BG flush. No miracle transformation by any means--the shifts IMO are still rough for a car with its MSRP, and one to two seems delayed--but, no bangs so far! I've been driving it gently and am going to push it harder to see how it does.
 

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Shifts like... butter? As in slow?

I've got a lot of experience with the MY14 T6 drivetrain and I really loved it. 50% throttle would downshift 2-3 gears and hit you with the power. Used lock-up more often than not and if any slip it'd be either when very cold or slipping lock-up. On my V8 it's more like slipping lock-up most of the time and 50% throttle usually results in one downshift, a lot of slipping and some hestitation, possibly another downshift after that.

Usually works fine but it almost bothers me more that it feels kind of unreliable, any other heavier accelerations that aren't kickdowns and I can't be sure how it's going to perform. Usually resort to shifting manually at those times instead but that kind of defeats the purpose of an automatic imo, at least in that sense.

I'll look in to having it replaced. If it's all too pricey and this current one wont cause any adverse damage to the transmission I'll probably have to put it on hold for a while.
This sounds like the different programming that Volvo has made over the years, not a shifting problem.

Try comparing the two in manual shift mode instead (and ignore the faster reaction time on the newer models - that is a programming thing).
 

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Since I made that last post I spoke to a Volvo mechanic about it and apparently the older TF80s are completely different from the later models. Which does make a lot more sense than that they'd accomplished all of that more oomph from just new software. It's not just a software thing. Despite the TF80 name the changes between my 2007 and the mentioned 2014 in my last post are apparently big enough that you could say it's a whole other gearbox that happens to use the same housing and name. 0-100 km/h time for a 2013 XC70 T6 compared to a 2014 is about half a second more which, since the engine and the AWD is the same, is a gain I'd attribute to the gearbox.

If you ever get a chance to drive a newer T6 then do it. The shifting in sport mode is insanely quick, at least compared to my 2007 S80.
 

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Since I made that last post I spoke to a Volvo mechanic about it and apparently the older TF80s are completely different from the later models. Which does make a lot more sense than that they'd accomplished all of that more oomph from just new software. It's not just a software thing. Despite the TF80 name the changes between my 2007 and the mentioned 2014 in my last post are apparently big enough that you could say it's a whole other gearbox that happens to use the same housing and name. 0-100 km/h time for a 2013 XC70 T6 compared to a 2014 is about half a second more which, since the engine and the AWD is the same, is a gain I'd attribute to the gearbox.

If you ever get a chance to drive a newer T6 then do it. The shifting in sport mode is insanely quick, at least compared to my 2007 S80.
Yes, the 2014 models all got faster shifting. But there were improvements in other years before that.
Just comparing our '07 and '11, the '11 is much snappier.
 

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Yes, the 2014 models all got faster shifting. But there were improvements in other years before that.
Just comparing our '07 and '11, the '11 is much snappier.
CACI: Constant Assault on Continuous Improvement!
 
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