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Today is gonna be a scorcher in Ohio, so I figured I'd type up a debrief of last weekend's adventure.

In case you don't read through the blob of words below, thanks to all here on the forum for help!

I'd mostly been doing work on the '89 245 and '91 745 this summer, but the XC90 was due for an oil change, so I decided it was time to do all the fluids.

For reference, I stole most of the ideas from this guy:



My 2011 XC90 has 4th gen Haldex and the TF-80SC AWD transmission, with a later style angle gear (fill plug is on the side). I used the same 12V pump as the one in the video above... and as with one of his other videos, I swiped a battery from a 240 to run it. I can share the fluid p/n's for Haldex and the angle-gear and rear-diff if anyone needs them. It took a lot of research to get through the soup of superseded p/n's to figure out what was correct. Volvo angle gear and rear diff fluid is synthetic, so you are getting what you pay for with the stuff. I couldn't find and aftermarket synthetic gear lube that made Volvo look expensive.

XC90's were still using 3009/T-IV ATF in 2011. All other Volvos using the TF-80SC transmission were using a newer fluid designation from 2010-2011-ish onwards. I'm doing drain-and-fills with Toyota T-IV for now. Once I burn through the remaining 6qts of Toyota stuff, I'll switch to a synthetic ATF from Idemitsu (Type TLS, IIRC). Idemitsu is a little more spendy, but in 3qt intervals, it's not that bad. I'd bought two identical graduated 5L jugs so that I could measure what I drain from the trans into one jug, and add the same amount with the clean jug. This transmission is a PITA to set the level on. Also, the transmission module just counts miles and/or high temperature cycles, so I see zero reason to mess with resetting it with VIDA.

Aside from fluids and crush washers, I ordered a new Haldex filter and a Haldex "seal kit" which has the big seal for the Haldex brain, as I thought I was going to have to pull the module per the video linked above. I also just sucked it up and ordered a new Haldex pump. I have 140K miles on this car, the pump is probably due. It runs a LOT in the later Haldex, whether it's needed or not, so that the rear axle can be engaged instantly.

As for doing the work, I made the mistake of doing things from rear to front when I should have "multi-tasked". The engine and transmission can drain via gravity, and with the angle gear, all three use pretty much the same footprint for a drain pan. That means you can only drain one at a time. Angle gear and rear diff use the same fluid. I should have simply drained everything, alternating front to back, and then filled it all up again, one fluid type at a time. Also, with regards to keeping fluids where you want them, I found having a stack of disposable foil big turkey roaster pans on hand was a godsend. Everything gets gross, and the angle gear, Haldex, and rear diff are filled to overflow, so by definition you are going to make a mess.

I put a magnetic level on the bottom of the trailer hitch and shimmed it with a skinny screwdriver so that it was level. This way, I could be sure the car was relatively level while up on jack stands. Going back to front:

Rear diff: easy to suck out the fluid with the pump. Volvo says to fill it to the fill hole and then suck a certain amount back out. I filled it and left it filled.

Haldex: This was the chore. My plan was to see if I could leave the Haldex brain in place. I purchased a set of stubby hex wrenches for the job. These had a really short "short end" and a ball end on the "long" end. I popped the cover off the pump, per the video above, but the pump was stuck in place. Because aluminum. Channel locks couldn't twist it free. I positioned a screwdriver behind a lip on the pump and then bonked it out with a BFH. Did not remove the driveshaft. The pump's prefilter was quite clean, and the fluid was quite clean. I took this to mean that the Haldex had not been engaged much in its lifetime rather than being a sign that the unit had been maintained previously. The pump still had its born-on date of late-2010 for the car's born-on of early-2011, and the brushes were a little over half worn compared to the new pump. The filter was a bear to remove. 4th gen Haldex has the filter above the driveshaft flange. With a wobble and some extensions on a 3/8" drive, I c ould blindly get at the screws holding the filter in place. The metal cover came out easy. The plastic cover to the filter was a bear. I wound up heating larger and larger tools to melt a hole in the cover. I bent several picks, a small screwdriver, but a T10 wrench seemed to be rigid enough to get it out. Filter itself came out easy. Reassembly was the reverse. Volvo supplies a new cover with the filter. Both the cover and the pump were very tight to reinstall, even with the seals lubed up. I had to "walk" them in with the screws. I was able to leave the Haldex brain in situ through all of this, and it didn't really hinder access much at all. That's a win. Fluid was filled, by the book: fill it, run it, fill it again, suck out 40mL. My wife had scored some good 100mL syringes and thick walled tubing from her lab.

Angle gear: With the fill plug on the side, I found that there was "something" just inside that was blocking my rigid suction hose from getting in there. It needed to make a sharp 90 degree turn. I used some of the thick walled tubing my wife got me, and used electrical tape to "butt connect" a foot of it to the more rigid tubing supplied with my pump. That worked perfectly. Otherwise, same as the rear diff: Volvo says fill and remove X amount. I brimmed it and left it.

Transmission: Both times I've drained the transmission, I've gotten out near enough to three quarts to make no difference. That's what I added. I'll do this another 2-3 times before winter.

Engine oil: It's an oil change. Done it before. Only thing noteworthy is that the 3.2L uses a vast quantity of oil compared to all the other cars I've ever had. 7.25 quarts. This later "S5" version of the engine has a "revised" oil pan. Earlier 3.2L's prior to this revision use perhaps an extra quart of oil. I'd bought a tote from IKEA last summer which I've been using as a drain pan.

At this point, I realized that the big crush washer for the trans drain plug and the washer for the engine oil drain plug were similar enough to be confused, but definitely different enough that they should not to be interchanged. This was the first time I did both jobs at the same time, so I felt like an idiot pulling both plugs back out to make sure I didn't confuse them. At least I hadn't added fluid yet.

Thanks all for the help!

-Ryan
 

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Sounds like a productive fluid session in the high humidity and heat. The poster volvosweden on YouTube has been very helpful to the entire Volvo community.

For the Idemitsu fluid, I am not aware they are synthetic. Ravenol is better being semi-synthetic with PAO based synthetic. Idemitsu is used by both Asian and European manufacturers for OEM style fluid. The factory Toyota T-IV bottles you have could very well be made by Idemitsu.
https://www.idemitsulubricants.com/idemitsu/atf/type-tls
 

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Great write-up, thanks a lot! :)

What time did it took you, to do all the work? Reason for asking, I'm not allowed to do any fluid changes here at home (law, not wife :D ), so I have to rent a space in a shop, and there you have to pay by the hour... ;) Would you say, it's doable within two hours?
 

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Nice write up. I would caution on the switch to synthetic. There is a clear chassis break meaning that some component of the transmission changed. Just because "all other" Volvos used the same transmission doesn't mean that they are identical internally. If you are not after that chassis break, it may cause you some issues with the clutches and software control.
 

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Nice write up. I would caution on the switch to synthetic. There is a clear chassis break meaning that some component of the transmission changed. Just because "all other" Volvos used the same transmission doesn't mean that they are identical internally. If you are not after that chassis break, it may cause you some issues with the clutches and software control.
Let's assume RyanR already knows the chassis number break when the switch from JWS 3309 (Type-IV) to JWS 3324 (WS) happened since he is already doing Type-IV transmission fluid drains and fills. Switching fluids to a semi-synthetic as long as it is the same type of fluid like a Ravenol T-IV does not alter the operating temp parameters (range) as opposed to switching to WS fluid since WS has different specs like a lower hot temp viscosity spec range (thinner when hot).
https://forums.swedespeed.com/showt...n-Doing-Weird-things-after-Trans-Fluid-Change For reference for anyone else wanting to check their VIN for the switchover in transmission fluid
https://forums.swedespeed.com/showt...nol-T-IV-(JWS-3309)-Full-Synthetic-ATF-Review Real-world personal experience switching to a better semi-synthetic fluid Ravenol
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sounds like a productive fluid session in the high humidity and heat. The poster volvosweden on YouTube has been very helpful to the entire Volvo community.

For the Idemitsu fluid, I am not aware they are synthetic. Ravenol is better being semi-synthetic with PAO based synthetic. Idemitsu is used by both Asian and European manufacturers for OEM style fluid. The factory Toyota T-IV bottles you have could very well be made by Idemitsu.
https://www.idemitsulubricants.com/idemitsu/atf/type-tls
Oh dear. Thanks very much for the correction. It was your thread on Ravenol that got me thinking synthetic, but my brain swapped Idemitsu and Ravelol. Thanks again!


Great write-up, thanks a lot! :)

What time did it took you, to do all the work? Reason for asking, I'm not allowed to do any fluid changes here at home (law, not wife :D ), so I have to rent a space in a shop, and there you have to pay by the hour... ;) Would you say, it's doable within two hours?
It took me most of the afternoon This was my first time doing anything behind the transmission on this car, so it was a learning experience. I also had made a comedy of errors... and spent a bunch of time going back and forth to my garage. I was working in the driveway, about 100 feet from the garage. The crush washer mistake was a bit painful to my pride.

If you set up ahead of time, the angle gear and diff are really easy. Suck and refill. If you use a pump it's real quick.

The Haldex was a wild card. It, alone, took a couple hours. The pump took a few tries to figure out the best way to get it out. Same with the filter. If you watch Volvosweden's excellent videos, his came apart quickly and easily. Mine was much less forgiving, but I have 3x the mileage on mine.

If I weren't doing this for the first time and had a lift, 2-3 hours should be enough from start to finish.


Nice write up. I would caution on the switch to synthetic. There is a clear chassis break meaning that some component of the transmission changed. Just because "all other" Volvos used the same transmission doesn't mean that they are identical internally. If you are not after that chassis break, it may cause you some issues with the clutches and software control.
Thanks for the concern. I agree that there's a ton of confusion with ATF. My takeaway so far is that the XC90 is different from the other Volvos that switched to the newer fluid designation in 2011. All that I've read from Volvo (in VIDA, mostly) and on the forum suggests that I should be still running 3309 for the 2011 model year. From another thread:

"JWS 3309
Interesting info: TJ 16773 addresses drivetrain fluids
The break depends on model as well as year. All models except the XC90 changed in MY2011. The XC90 stays with 3309 until MY 2013. There's a note in the 2012 version of the TJ: "NOTE! THIS DOCUMENT SUPERSEDES THE PREVIOUS TECHNICAL JOURNAL 16773 DATED 01-23-2009. AW-1 should be used in the Model Year (MY) 2013- XC90."
Go figure...
The most recent version of the TJ, March 2014, Version 5, reiterates that 3309 is to be used in the XC90 up to MY2013 and AW-1 thereafter."


Looks like the XC90 didn't go to Type-WS until 2013. A synthetic 3309 should meet the the needs as well as, if not better than, a conventional 3309. Shift quality from two 3 quart drain and fills has improved noticeably.

-Ryan
 

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Resetting fluid counter I think you want to do if you have the ability to do so, let's the TCM know that the fluid temp/cycle is baselined. Some mention in VIDA- 437:Transmission control module (TCM),TF-80SC -

"There is a gauge for transmission oil quality integrated into the software for the Transmission Control Module (TCM). This gauge calculates the time for which the oil exceeds a certain temperature during a certain period. When the gauge reaches the maximum value a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) for oil change is generated in the control module. When replacing transmission oil the gauge must be reset to zero to avoid generating a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) during incorrect conditions. This applies to changing transmission oil and when changing the oil with a repair.
The resetting function is activated via the vehicle communication input. "


Probably not the end of the world if you don't do it but I think it might be good long term do stay accurate in the TCM for the internal adaptations. Switch in POS II but engine not running when you reset.
 

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Resetting fluid counter I think you want to do if you have the ability to do so, let's the TCM know that the fluid temp/cycle is baselined. Some mention in VIDA- 437:Transmission control module (TCM),TF-80SC -

"There is a gauge for transmission oil quality integrated into the software for the Transmission Control Module (TCM). This gauge calculates the time for which the oil exceeds a certain temperature during a certain period. When the gauge reaches the maximum value a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) for oil change is generated in the control module. When replacing transmission oil the gauge must be reset to zero to avoid generating a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) during incorrect conditions. This applies to changing transmission oil and when changing the oil with a repair.
The resetting function is activated via the vehicle communication input. "


Probably not the end of the world if you don't do it but I think it might be good long term do stay accurate in the TCM for the internal adaptations. Switch in POS II but engine not running when you reset.
I'm just thinking aloud here so but I'd imagine the TCM wanting to shift "harder" when the quality of the oil is less than ideal, so the ride quality would be sacrificed to protect the transmission?
So if the goal to have long lasting yet uncomfortable shifts then NOT resetting might be the better option...

this was my slight regret after having very smooth gear changes post resetting with 16L or so new fluid exchange (can only buy 20L mobil 3309 drum here)
 

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I'm just thinking aloud here so but I'd imagine the TCM wanting to shift "harder" when the quality of the oil is less than ideal, so the ride quality would be sacrificed to protect the transmission?
So if the goal to have long lasting yet uncomfortable shifts then NOT resetting might be the better option...

this was my slight regret after having very smooth gear changes post resetting with 16L or so new fluid exchange (can only buy 20L mobil 3309 drum here)
There are more variables than harder shifts. There is the time between shifts, the friction of the clutches because the fluid affects it, line pressure, and the overlap of gear shifts...to name a few. Friction modifiers actually make the clutches slippery, as gear oil does for limited-slip differentials. If the friction modifiers are worn out over time and use, then the friction is increased. This can lead to overheating, premature wear, and those hard shifts. Hard shifts could also mean the transmission computer has reached its maximum adaptation parameter for the old fluid and cannot make futher adjustments for smooth shifts.

The moral of this is smoother shifting with fresh fluid is saving the transmission. The friction plates are better protected with the new fluid and there is less floating media affecting the friction plates. Plus, new fluid can better withstand the heat.

The old theory of quick jolty shifts does not mean the modern style transmissions with solenoids will make the transmission last longer. I remember installing shift kits into old 4spd transmissions to make the clutch packs last longer, but it is not the same here. The Aisin 6spd shares similar technology with the ZF 6sp and 8sp transmissions seen on many many cars and makes nowadays. These new transmissions have to be treated differently than the old.

My understanding of the fluid counter reset is, it's done so the computer knows to start a fresh set of variables in the adaptation. If you don't reset the counter, then it will take longer for the computer to get enough cycles of data to adapt to the new fluid.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZF_6HP_transmission - a reference for the modern 6-speed transmissions, including Aisin
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This is a good debate. I'm glad it came up.

The crux is whether the "counter" actually resets any adaption.

My takeaway from VIDA is this: The counter is a counter, and when it hits a set interval/count, it triggers a DTC. VIDA has a separate "command" to reset the adaptation of the TCM. Based on what VIDA says, and that there is a separate option for adaptation reset, I'm tempted to go with the counter being only a counter.

From other threads, and perhaps the Facebook XC90 group, specifically resetting the TCM's adaptation in VIDA is not a good idea. It zeros out the transmission a lot further than one would want.

The other factor with my methodology is that I'm changing only 3 quarts of fluid every week or two, so that's far from a total (12qt?) fluid change. You guys are definitely convincing me that resetting the counter is probably a good idea. I'll do a few more drain-and-fills before I do that. I don't put too many miles on my XC each week.

Thanks!

-Ryan
 

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There are two adaptations. One adaptation is continuous for the fluid (which may include environment and driving style); this is done with the fluid counter reset. Think about it like the average mpg reading and the computer monitoring parameters like line pressure and slip on gear changes. The counter reset is like resetting the average mpg reading, so it is faster to adapt to the new fluid parameters. If the counter reset is not done, then just like the average mpg reading, it takes longer to reach the new [fluid] parameters.

The other adaptation is for hardware change, such as the valve body or solenoids. If others are reading this, don't reset this unless there is a hardware change.

My understanding comes from both the EPA and how auto manufacturers responded to get to the 100k mile mark for reduced environmental impact. One method was to reduce the amount of fluid waste. Auto manufacturers started to say transmission fluid was lifetime because electronic adaptations would adjust for the degrading fluid so the driving experience felt more consistent. I remember dealership training for a European automaker would tell auto technicians and service writers the electronic adaptations meant the fluid did not have to be changed because the customer would not feel the oil getting old. Unlike the old style of transmissions with bands and (pretty much) fixed positions for shifting (albeit using the vacuum and/or pedal position), old fluid could be felt as it progressively degraded. However, we know that the fluid is never lifetime, it will affect shifting even in newer transmissions, degraded fluid will shorten transmission life, and fluid should be changed before 100k miles.
 

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Just wanted to inform anyone who is willing to try the Ravenol T-IV (JWS 3309) semi-synthetic transmission fluid that there is a sale going on right now. It's a shy over $140 for a case of 12 liters. That's more than $20 cheaper if you factor in the free shipping compared to their normal price plus shipping on Amazon. https://www.blauparts.com/vw-atf-transmission-fluid-g-055-025-a2-aisin-case.html

Disclaimer: I have zero affiliation with Blauparts and Ravenol.
 
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