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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted to the S80 forum but I got no replies so I'm trying my luck here instead.

I flushed the oil in my 2007 S80 V8s TF80 transmission using 12 L of oil about two weeks ago. The car then sat for two weeks until I drove it on monday and noticed it had a really "raw" sound under harder acceleration on the highway. I thought it sounded awesome but noticed the same sound appeared the morning after when I was taking off from a standstill.

It sounds like there's resonance or almost as if there was a hole in the exhaust (which there isn't, fine on idle revving). Noise comes on all gears, e.g under some load in first when taking off. With full lock-up e.g manual shifting the noise is pretty apparent around 2000 RPM under hard load but it comes later also, I haven't exactly pin-pointed when and where but here and there? When under load at least.

This is the oil I used, which meets Mobil 3309 and/or Toyota T-IV: https://www.mapodo.de/en/mobil-atf-3309-1-liter

I let the transmission pump out the oil on its own until I got bubbles from the hose, which I read somewhere was okay. Then turned the engine off, re-filled the same amount plus an extra litre for some more oil to pump out and repeated until I had gone through all 12 L. Set the level using the level plug underneath and using VIDA at 50掳C oil temperature. I checked the car underneath and see no visible leaks so I can't imagine the level would be off.

Any ideas? Is the car fine to drive? I spoke to a tech who suspected either wrong oil, wrong level or bad motor mounts. Last was most probable to him but least to me, considering how this came from nowhere and close after the oil change. And if so I don't really know how to check the mounts so I don't have to change them all on a hunch.

Edit: the noise is accompanied by a slight vibration. Nothing on idle or idle revving, only under load, maybe 40-50% throttle or something?
 

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The old transmission fluid is the reason for debris collection and discoloration. The fragments start collecting inside the system. The worst part is the debris doesn鈥檛 stick to any portion of the transmission indeed, it floats on the fluid all the time. Even if you have replaced the old fluid with the new one, the fragments would still float inside the fluid. As the day passes, the entire transmission system becomes slushy that eventually, results to those annoying noises from the transmission. The experts suggest cleaning your transmission before adding new fluid/oil would prevent debris collection. It helps the system to run faster and filter isn鈥檛 clogged.

The traditional fluid systems are based on petroleum that leaves the dump behind. As the dump starts collecting on the filter, it curbs transmission and results in greater friction. The friction ultimately becomes a reason for transmission noise after fluid change. The availability of various synthetic transmission fluids is a true savior. The synthetic fluid is formulated in such a way that every component of transmission stays lubricated and efficiently. Therefore, using synthetic fluid will avoid those clunky noises from the transmission for sure.

Again;

When you have old transmission fluid, it may become discolored and cause varnish deposits to build up inside the system. These deposits typically float around the old fluid and don鈥檛 really build up anywhere as you continue using the same fluid. However, once you change the old fluid with new fluid, these deposits get washed away and it becomes sludge that sticks to the filters of your transmission system. This prevents transmission fluid from flowing through the transmission, which results in those strange noises to be heard. Therefore, you need to clean your transmission before adding new fluid. That is the best way to ensure that your filters will not get clogged.

Get your flush done by a pro. Its worth the money imho.




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Was the engine running when you checked fluid level? If you did it with engine off then you will be under filled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
CC: I'm not going to redo the flush unless I have a reason to. The oil was pumped by the transmission in the normal direction of flow, except I intervened the return line from the heat exchanger to empty the fluid. I can't imagine how any more contamination would have occurred than if I had just let the engine idle with the old fluid.

GMAX: I had the ATF changed by Volvo when I bought the car in 2015, at approx 92 000 km (57 500 miles). Now, four years later the car's at 158 000 km (99 000 miles) so I don't think it should be too badly contaminated in that period of time. Here's a comparison of the oils in some tasty Swedish beverage bottles, lol. Bottle to the left is new oil for comparison. Middle is what came out of the transmission when I set the level after the change and to the right is the old oil with 66 000 km/41 000 miles on it. I shook the bottles to better show the colour but I couldn't shake them all at once so there's no telling from the pics if they differ in viscosity.



Thommykent: yup, engine on. I had someone tell me the level still might drop a while after a change. I don't know where the oil would disappear, I idled it for 5-10 minutes to get the temperature right before setting the level, which makes me think any air traps or such should've been eliminated. I guess I'm gonna re-do the level calibration for good measure, best case scenario it's that or engine mounts. Would suck donkeys ass if I effed the transmission in an effort to prolong its life :(
 

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I don't know where you got the bum advice that you could run the tranny fluid dry (bubbles appearing in the waste hose) while doing Gibbons? While shifting thru the gears???

That's like running the engine with an empty oil pan.

The tranny oil lubes the gears continuously....without it, you get metal-on-metal contact.

In the 12 Quart Gibbons methods I've seen on video, you:
1) start by draining old fluid out the bottom drain plug (~ 4 qts come out)
2) refill 4 quarts new fluid

3)REPEAT 3X:
a) using the tranny oil cooler return line as waste line, pump out exactly 2 quarts while shifting thru the gears
b) add 2 quarts

4) reassemble cooler return line with 2 new o-rings and new green plastic quick-connect clip
5) check fluid level when engine fully warmed up on a level

Think of the tranny fluid as a bath -- the gears are submerged in the bath. When you do the 2-quart-per-cycle Gibbons flush the way I described, you never go below 2 qts. of fluid in the bath while switching gears.

The reason you start with a full drain is to bring out any metal chaff.

Suggest you find the post that said to pump out all the fluid during Gibbons, and be brutal enough to make sure nobody follows it. That is NOT the Gibbons method.
 

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The bubbling is something that I think is written right into vida. I do not believe that it causes any issues. It also coincided with pumping out about 3 quarts at a time as per most sets of instructions out there. I鈥檝e done it this way about 5x in the multiple Volvo鈥檚 I own. Not a single issue.

As for all this stuff about particles clinging to stuff with new fluid I don鈥檛 buy that either but who am I to say. I have read that some transmissions are past saving and that fluid flushed can accelerate their demise but I don鈥檛 believe that a 鈥渘oisy transmission鈥 is one of those symptoms. I think it鈥檚 more that they start slipping.

Are you possibly driving with the undercarriage cover off? The engine is a fair bit louder when that thing is removed.

Sounds to me like you did everything right. As long as fluid colour still looks great and level is correct I鈥檓 not sure what you would accomplish by doing again. What you could consider though is putting a transmission filter on. Just make sure you go with a high quality reputable brand like Magnefine. You sill need the 3/8鈥 version I believe.


2002 V70XC, 2003 V40, 2004 S60, 2010 V70
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Everyone I've spoke to, except you pbierre, agree that I performed the flush correctly. In hindsight I don't know where I heard the bubbles in the hose advice and if I had done it again I don't see any reason not to do it the way you describe, just to be on the safe side of things.

I emailed a transmission specialist who quoted me shy of 30000 SEK, or $3100 USD, for a refurbished transmission. Ouch, also considering that's without labour. They too concurred I performed the flush correctly as well but said I probably was experiencing "converter vibrations" that somehow was exacerbated by the flush, or something like that. I'm not sure if I caused this or not.

HOWEVER, in a very interesting turn of events:

(1) I put the car on a lift to check the level. I forgot to run the engine and instead drained too much oil from the level plug before realizing my mistake. I only had one liter of spare oil and no access to buy more. I know I'm 0,8 liters short of what I had in the transmission from when I first set the level. It felt like the vibration/noise was reduced on the drive home. I don't know if that's attributable to my imagination, a lower oil level, higher oil temperature (full operating temperature for once after some extensive driving) OR to my next find:

(2) The car was in a shop to have the rear bumper repainted. The noise started after I picked the car back up. Below is a picture of a metal beam under the cats I took a while ago, wondering if I should do something about the rust. Next to that are two pictures I took this weekend on the lift. What do you think? I don't know how to approach the shop since I don't know for a certain fact that the dent wasn't there before, but it feels like something I would've noticed, and it looks on the pics like the driver side exhaust is slightly raised.



Do you think what you see on the pictures could be the root cause of my problems? I'm very excited to think that maybe my gearbox isn't trashed after all.
 

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I don't know about your noise/etc but I think it's funny that you think that's rusty haha

Sweden must be much easier on cars than Atlantic Canada

Good luck with your noise - I hope it's just the exhaust rattling...
 

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The bubbling is something that I think is written right into vida. I do not believe that it causes any issues. It also coincided with pumping out about 3 quarts at a time as per most sets of instructions out there. I鈥檝e done it this way about 5x in the multiple Volvo鈥檚 I own. Not a single issue.

As for all this stuff about particles clinging to stuff with new fluid I don鈥檛 buy that either but who am I to say. I have read that some transmissions are past saving and that fluid flushed can accelerate their demise but I don鈥檛 believe that a 鈥渘oisy transmission鈥 is one of those symptoms. I think it鈥檚 more that they start slipping.

Are you possibly driving with the undercarriage cover off? The engine is a fair bit louder when that thing is removed.

Sounds to me like you did everything right. As long as fluid colour still looks great and level is correct I鈥檓 not sure what you would accomplish by doing again. What you could consider though is putting a transmission filter on. Just make sure you go with a high quality reputable brand like Magnefine. You sill need the 3/8鈥 version I believe.


2002 V70XC, 2003 V40, 2004 S60, 2010 V70
The part of the Gibbons "pump out" where you're shifting thru "R", "N" and "D" should take place in the first 30 seconds, then stay in "P" while the remainder of the fluid pumps out. That way you still have the "padding" of the fluid as metal surfaces come together, a key assumption of auto-transmission design.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
jadnhm: hehe yeah I know, I've seen some real beam basketcases on here, maybe that's why I got the idea to fix it. The picture is from 2016 so in reality I never really bothered lol, it's only cosmetic anyway and hopefully I'll get it replaced anyway now.

pbierre: okay, I didn't know that. I think I flushed it in park and in R first, then filled it and flushed N and D. Then I went a bit back and forth because I got lost which gears I had done hehe. Fingers crossed still, I'm optimistic the transmission is fine and dandy.

I'm going to speak to the shop manager that fixed my bumper on Monday and I hope they'll take responsibility for the beam. If that doesn't fix it I have two engine mounts to replace that are on the way out anyway. If the issue remains I'm just going to leave it and let the transmission either kill itself or live with the noise which is more like imperfection than impending mechanical doom, that'd be more annoying lol.

bigtimemcalpine: VIDA screenshots? I knew I had read the bubbles in hose-thing somewhere!

CC: no, I don't think there's an exhaust leak, sounds fine on low load and on idle revving. Don't think a leak would manifest itself in the on/off way that this noise does, which makes me think it's attributable to the engine twisting under load, moving the exhaust and giving the resonance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Car's fixed now, transmission seems fine. They used some kind of tool, I think it's called a sliding hammer (?) on the beam thing and straightened it out and increase the gap between the beam and cats, now there's no noise under acceleration anymore!

Not sure what the tech I spoke to concluded though, he said it seemed like it might've been bent for a while. No denying, I don't know and I may have caused it, but the fact is the noise started when I picked it up from the shop and stopped after they straightened it out again.

They offered to replace the entire beam if I wanted them to. I'm not sure, do you think it makes any difference other than cosmetically? Not sure if the beam has a purpose other than protecting the cats. If not I'll leave it, I'm just unsure since it attaches to the mounts for the control arms which makes me wonder if it has anything to do with rigidity or affect tracking in some indirect way?
 

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Bit of an observation here... I understand your problem did not relate to the fluid you used but this may help others.

I believe most 3309 / T-IV fluids are high quality mineral based or semi-synthetics, including the Volvo fluid. They are definitely meeting the specs for the aisin transmission but I believe a full synthetic option would perform better and certainly results in improved shifting. I first noticed this on a Saab with aisin transmission then on a Honda CR-V (oem is semi but highly recommended in that community) and now on my XC70.

I just performed a double drain/fill. She had a brand new transmission put in 50k ago and the fluid that came out looked a bit darker than new fluid, but still in very good condition and definitely serviceable. I put in a full synthetic T-IV (won't mention brand name because over the years I've used a few different ones with similar results) and the shifting has much improved, even after 2 flushes. I had enough to do 3, but after seeing how good the old fluid looked, I saved the other one for a later time. Shifting is smooth and firm, not harsh or mushy. Did not reset any fluid count or adaptation. I do wish I would have checked the level before dropping the fluid, because it may have been off, but with a (fairly) new transmission and good looking fluid, I doubt it. Also, for those who do not attempt these flushes because they don't have vida and can't figure out the fluid temp (50-60 celsius) when setting the level I recommend using an infrared thermometer. 20 bucks on ebay.

Please feel free to contradict me, but this is my experience with japanese transmissions.
 

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bigtimemcalpine: VIDA screenshots? I knew I had read the bubbles in hose-thing somewhere!

Correct


2002 V70XC, 2003 V40, 2004 S60, 2010 V70
 

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Also, for those who do not attempt these flushes because they don't have vida and can't figure out the fluid temp (50-60 celsius) when setting the level I recommend using an infrared thermometer.
I have to come back and eat my words on this one...

I did the 3rd drain and fill today, after I noticed the drain had some atf around it... and the temperature shown by the TCM sensor is about 15 degrees higher than what鈥檚 in the pan. I used a proper tool to read the oil temperature and the oil which came out when the sensor read 50, was barely my body鈥檚 temperature. So I assume that this sensor is buried deep in the trans somewhere.

Long story short, DO NOT use anything else than the readout from that sensor to determine the correct level in this transmission.

I didn鈥檛 notice anything wrong with the tranny these past few weeks when I used the infrared thermometer to set the level, it felt much better actually with the new fluid so it may have been still within spec.

Lesson learnt.
Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yup, it was the beam that was causing the cats to resonate under load.
 
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