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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It occurred to me there is the possibility that maybe not all of the T6 transmissions were lemons. Thought I would start this thread to fish out any owners that have had T6 experiences that were different from the pack.

1. Anybody have a lot of miles on an original transmission? If so, how much?

2. Anybody very satisfied with a replacement transmission? If so, how many miles on it?
 

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Re: Good XC90 T6 transmission experiences? (tpezzolo)

I am not sure if they are lemons, but they do have a weakness. If they are driven conservatively they
should live long lives with fluid changes. If they are driven aggressively and hitting the peak
torque the transmission will probably fail early. The question of trans longevity should be asked and linked
to driving style and fluid changes. That would give a much better view.
 

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Re: Good XC90 T6 transmission experiences? (dmd)

replaced at 77k miles; 5 years from date of purchase. 83k miles to date. no issues. tranny swap went ok enough. $5600 without warranty. $100 co-pay with warranty.

They have to drop the front sub frame and everything that it holds up before they can get to the tranny. took the dealer a few days to get it done.

Dealer description is a rebuilt tranny; not a replaced tranny.
 

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Re: Good XC90 T6 transmission experiences? (tpezzolo)

Quote, originally posted by tpezzolo »
1. Anybody have a lot of miles on an original transmission? If so, how much?

Ours had about 83k miles before the original transmission gave up.

Quote, originally posted by tpezzolo »
2. Anybody very satisfied with a replacement transmission? If so, how many miles on it?

Replacement rebuilt unit is fine and works like the original. Have about 17k on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is great info so far. I hope that everyone keeps chiming in with their info. Need to interject though, if volvo installs a 'rebuilt transmission', is that considered to be better that a 'replacement transmission'? Is there a big difference?
 

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Re: Good XC90 T6 transmission experiences? (napster)

Quote, originally posted by napster »

Replacement rebuilt unit is fine and works like the original.

Not a glowing approval for the replacement if it works like the original.
 

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Re: Good XC90 T6 transmission experiences? (1sttimevolvo)

Quote, originally posted by 1sttimevolvo »


Not a glowing approval for the replacement if it works like the original.

I should clarify that the replacement rebuilt transmission works like the original before that one went kaput. When ever I drive the XC90 I am very gentle on the gas pedal.
 

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Re: Good XC90 T6 transmission experiences? (tpezzolo)

75,000 miles first "urgent transmission service" light, was told I needed a new one, changed fluid, kept driving, waiting for it to die

11 months later, 91,000 miles second "urgent transmission service" light, taking in tomorrow expecting to be told I need a new transmission. Thinking on having the fluid changed again and waiting for it to die again.

As a side note, my '94 MB E320 has 190,000 miles and no problems with the transmission. I would say that is a good experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Good XC90 T6 transmission experiences? (Furyguy)

Furyguy, you must keep us posted on what you decide to do and what the outcome is. I am curious as hell to know if another fluid change will get you another 10,000 miles.

Quote, originally posted by Furyguy »
As a side note, my '94 MB E320 has 190,000 miles and no problems with the transmission. I would say that is a good experience.

Your side-note raises a good issue too. What is a reasonable expectation for the lifetime of an AT in an AWD car? My 3.0L 2001 Subaru Outback has 150K miles on it, all trouble-free. Transmission still feels like new.

More info guys. Please keep posting. I am dying to know if there is a T6 out there with an original AT that has more than 100K miles on it.
 

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Re: Good XC90 T6 transmission experiences? (tpezzolo)

Quote, originally posted by tpezzolo »
What is a reasonable expectation for the lifetime of an AT in an AWD car? My 3.0L 2001 Subaru Outback has 150K miles on it, all trouble-free. Transmission still feels like new.

Does a Subaru Outback weigh nearly 2.5 tons? An XC90 does and this extra heft is a contributing factor leading to early transmission failure.

Imagine how much shorter the lifespan of an Outback's transmission would be if said vehicle always had to haul 1,000 lbs of ballast--not including the driver, passengers and cargo--absolutely everywhere it was driven.

Why 1,000 lbs? Because that's how much heavier the XC90 T6 is compared to the car that spawned it: the 1st gen S80 T6. Both Volvos share the same engine and transmission and yet it's the XC90 T6 that has a significantly higher rate of transmission failure compared to the lighter S80 T6.
 

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Re: Good XC90 T6 transmission experiences? (tpezzolo)

Quote, originally posted by tpezzolo »
Your side-note raises a good issue too. What is a reasonable expectation for the lifetime of an AT in an AWD car?

All depends on driving style and service frequency (ie. change the tranny fluid).
 

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Re: Good XC90 T6 transmission experiences? (Dextrobrick)

Quote, originally posted by Dextrobrick »


Does a Subaru Outback weigh nearly 2.5 tons? An XC90 does and this extra heft is a contributing factor leading to early transmission failure.

Imagine how much shorter the lifespan of an Outback's transmission would be if said vehicle always had to haul 1,000 lbs of ballast--not including the driver, passengers and cargo--absolutely everywhere it was driven.

Why 1,000 lbs? Because that's how much heavier the XC90 T6 is compared to the car that spawned it: the 1st gen S80 T6. Both Volvos share the same engine and transmission and yet it's the XC90 T6 that has a significantly higher rate of transmission failure compared to the lighter S80 T6.

I dont believe weight has anything to do with it. The issue with the T6 trans is that the trans
and engine are rated for the same torque, there is no extra room for the trans. So if the
full power of the engine is used, the trans is completely maxed out, this shortens the life.
Good designs leave a margin between peak engine and trans ratings.

Also the xc90 should have been designed for the extra 1000lbs. Subaru was designed for its weight
and seems to have done it well, and could probably haul an extra 1000 lbs and last just as long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I guess if I had to put a stake in the ground, I'd say with a conservative driving style and regular transmission flushes, if your car gets 150,000 miles before the AT goes out, you have done fairly.

Anyone else? Anyone brake the 100,000 mark?
 

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2005 T6 WITH 79000 on it, pull a 1000# boat nearly every weekend with it during the summer, i don't drive it very easy either as im kinda heavy on the go pedal, trans seems fine, never had any issues with it. Although it is always in the back of my mind!! Have not changed fluid either. oops!!
 

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Re: Good XC90 T6 transmission experiences? (dmd)

Quote, originally posted by dmd »
The issue with the T6 trans is that the trans
and engine are rated for the same torque, there is no extra room for the trans. So if the
full power of the engine is used, the trans is completely maxed out, this shortens the life.
Good designs leave a margin between peak engine and trans ratings.
Not precisely true. GM rated the trans higher than the XC90's output. (About 15% IRRC) They just never mated an engine to it with higher output than the XC90. The trans is an OK performer in GM's line, but is mated with NA engines. I suspect the peaky torque output from the twin turbo puts added stress that wasn't anticipated. So was it bad engineering or good salesmanship on GM's part?
 

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Re: Good XC90 T6 transmission experiences? (Bigjon)

FWIW GM did, in fact, use the 4T65-E in its own supercharged V6 powered sedans, like the Pontiac Bonneville SSEi and Buick Park Avenue Ultra W-bodies. Coincidentally said FWD sedans are the same overall size and weight as an S80 and the 3.8L supercharged V6 they sported was rated at the same 280 lb-ft of peak torque--all of which, like Volvo's T6 engine, is available immediately at very low RPMs.

AFAIK unlike Volvo, GM never produced a heavyweight minivan or crossover that was powered by a forced induction engine capable of at least 280 lb-ft of torque that was mated up with a 4T65-E. IOW GM didn't bother to build an application that would stress the living snot out of its own 4T65-E. However that's exactly what Volvo did with the XC90 T6.

Adding insult to injury, the S80 T6 existed for four model years prior to the XC90's debut and one'd think that in that amount of time Volvo would've learned something from its own experiences. It's quite possible that the XC90 T6 was simply rushed to market before it was really and truly thought out, but I wouldn't deem it fair to blame GM who just supplied the 4T65-E to Volvo for the XC90's issues.
 

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Re: Good XC90 T6 transmission experiences? (Dextrobrick)

I may have made this point before, but if torque stress the transmission, you may want to have it shift later at higher rev then earlier for better fuel economy.

If you accelerate at the same rate (same output torque to the tire), if the engine is spinning at a higher RPM the input torque to the transmission is less even though the power into the transmission is identical (power = rpm * torque).

Keep in mind that the low pressure turbo engine makes is peak torque at a pretty low RPM rating and the factory transmission is designed to shift at low RPM to max. fuel economy.

On my T6, the 1st transmission lasted 2x longer then the 2nd. On the 1st, I had fun with the car and gave it more gas which although accelerated the car faster, it did rev the engine quite a bit higher before shifts. After the failure, I drove much more gingerly which may have actually increased the input torque to the transmssion and shifted at low rpm but near max torque.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Re: Good XC90 T6 transmission experiences? (ccc)

Quote, originally posted by ccc »
I may have made this point before, but if torque stress the transmission, you may want to have it shift later at higher rev then earlier for better fuel economy

Does anyone know if a the ECU can be reprogrammed for something like this? I wonder if IPD could come up with a mod to significantly improve transmission life by changing the shift points to higher rpms.
 

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Re: Good XC90 T6 transmission experiences? (ccc)

Quote, originally posted by ccc »
I may have made this point before, but if torque stress the transmission, you may want to have it shift later at higher rev then earlier for better fuel economy.

And fuel economy is already bad on the T6 to begin with.
 

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So far, No Tranny problems on my 2004 T6... But then we've done only 57,000 miles of moslty interstate and 'round town. nothing too hard on either motor or tranny.
 
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