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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Thought I would post this for the archives and searching as the "ultimate guide" since there has been a recent trend of people using the wrong fluid. I don't like to use the term "ultimate," but it just might garner more attention. Hopefully, this will be clear enough to prevent XC90 owners from using the wrong fluid in the future and keep those XC90s running well on the road.

I apologize in advance if some of these words seem harsh, but when a transmission gets ruined from simply using the incorrect fluid, the sting of a bad transmission is a thousand times worse.

Rules 1-100: Do NOT NOT NOT use MaxLife or other multi-spec fluid! It will do more harm than good. Don't try to justify why a multi-spec is okay, just don't. :nono:

Rule 101: Use specific spec'd fluid. JWS 3309 or T-IV for earlier version (Last 6 digits of chassis # before 568001). Fluids proven to do well are factory Volvo (p/n 1161640), Mobil 3309, Aisin T-IV, Idemitsu TLS (JWS 3309), Toyota T-IV, Ravenol T-IV. All V8s use the JWS3309/T-IV spec.

Rule 102: If your chassis # is 568001 and later, then use specific JWS 3324 or WS (stands for World Standard). Fluids proven to do well are factory Volvo (p/n 31256775), Aisin Type WS, Idemitsu TLS-LV (WS), Toyota ATF WS. WS fluid is thinner with both cold and hot viscosities compared to T-IV/JWS3309.

*Rule 102.5: There is some debate of which fluid to use for 2011 & 2012 XC90 3.2s. A TJ from 6 years ago is the document in question which shows to change to WS for 2013+. Today, Volvo uses the VIN changeover globally. If you are still unsure, the semi-synthetic Ravenol T-IV is a good middle ground. Its viscosity is thinner in cold (closer to WS spec), yet just as thick when hot (maintaining T-IV spec). So, offers good cold flow at the same time giving good hot operating temp protection.

Rule 103: You can reset the fluid counter in VIDA, but do NOT reset adaptations unless you go into the transmission and change some hardware. It's okay if you don't have VIDA to reset the fluid counter. It will just take longer for the computer to learn the new transmission behavior with the new fluid.

Rule 104: Don't try to extend the fluid life. It is always better to change earlier and more often. $60-$70 in parts cost isn't that much for every 5-6 oil changes.

Rule 105: Do NOT use a fluid exchange machine at a shop. This can also do more harm. Be vigilant about this if you have a shop do the fluid.

Rule 106: Search, search, search for the drain/fill method or using a hose in the cooler outlet to drain 2 quarts at a time. Also, see how to properly level the fluid (FYI, it's better to be a little over-filled than under-filled). Ensure you purchase the o-rings for the fill plug, the drain plug, level plug, as well as, the o-rings for the cooler line and the green plastic lock for the cooler line. These parts all together are cheap. (added: Volvo specs 50-60C for fluid temp when checking level. VIDA and a good OBDII reader can work getting the temp. The Torque app does not read the it right)

Rule 107: If you cannot find the proper spec fluid in your area, bite the bullet and pay for shipping. Shipping cost is much cheaper than the damage incorrect fluid can do.

Rule 108: Whatever you do, don't listen to the dealership or your local transmission shop. Volvo says the transmission fluid is lifetime, which it is not. Local shops like to use multi-spec fluids because they don't like messing with or stocking many different types of fluid.

Rule 109: Yes, you can change your transmission fluid if it has not been done and you now have 175k miles, however, plan to do a second fluid change ~5k miles after the first one; then you can go to normal follow-up changes. But the first change should be done with 75-80k miles on the odometer. Do it as early as 60k if you can or if you do more city driving. Follow-up changes should be 20-40k miles and a 30k mile interval is every 6 oil changes (assuming 5k mile changes).

Rule 110: Don't compare this transmission to other transmissions. This doesn't have a normal drop and change filter (it has an "internal" screen), this transmission is pulling a heavy XC90, this is a Japanese trans in a Swedish vehicle with Ford engineering, this trans is transverse, etc. The TF-80SC has to be compared to other Volvo TF-80SCs in understanding the behavior and maintenance.


Did I miss anything?



Keywords: Automatic transmission, XC90, don't use maxlife or castrol, maintenance, shift flare, shudder, slip, 6 speed, TF-80, valve body, ATF
 

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Love the post. Wish I had this years ago


2010 xc90 3.2 | 2008 xc 70 3.2
 

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Great write up!! All I can think of is make sure fluid is up to temperature before checking fluid level. A simple OBD II reader will give you transmission fluid temperature which Volvo specifies between 50 and 60 degrees C
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Great write up!! All I can think of is make sure fluid is up to temperature before checking fluid level. A simple OBD II reader will give you transmission fluid temperature which Volvo specifies between 50 and 60 degrees C
Have you tried the Torque app if it works with a Bluetooth OBDII adapter for the trans fluid temp? I saw the option is there in the app, but never used it since I use VIDA.
 

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Don’t believe the Torque app has temp for transmission oil.


2010 xc90 3.2 | 2008 xc 70 3.2
 

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Don’t believe the Torque app has temp for transmission oil.


2010 xc90 3.2 | 2008 xc 70 3.2
Torque has trans temp but it's passive (or whatever you'd call it), so for my P2 S60 and P3 XC60, it's always exactly the same as the coolant temp, which is not accurate for true trans temps
 

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I have red a few posts where people are using an additive like "seafoam, lucas, or Lube guard" what about these "cleaners conditioners?
That's breaking rule 101... you're changing the properties of the fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #10

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Are we sure about that chassis number?

My 2011 is 596394, and I was confident enough from forum research and VIDA that T-IV has been the right stuff.

-Ryan
 

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2009 XC90 D5 185 R-Design, winter, summer, comms and family packs
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I'd genuinely be interested to know what Ford engineering went into the XC90? The platform pre-dates Ford ownership, suspension and steering are model specific and are modified from the P2 platform, the engines (aside from the V8) are in house Volvo units, transmissions are of far eastern origin...that doesn't seem to leave much else.

I know a lot of cribbing went the other way - Volvo engines to Ford, sat nav and ignition keys to Aston Martin, etc - but can see very little, if any, Ford in the XC90.

Great list of handy tips though.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'd genuinely be interested to know what Ford engineering went into the XC90? The platform pre-dates Ford ownership, suspension and steering are model specific and are modified from the P2 platform, the engines (aside from the V8) are in house Volvo units, transmissions are of far eastern origin...that doesn't seem to leave much else.

I know a lot of cribbing went the other way - Volvo engines to Ford, sat nav and ignition keys to Aston Martin, etc - but can see very little, if any, Ford in the XC90.

Great list of handy tips though.
Well, since this is a fluid thread, I know that neither Ford nor Volvo manufacture their own transmission fluid.



Are we sure about that chassis number?

My 2011 is 596394, and I was confident enough from forum research and VIDA that T-IV has been the right stuff.

-Ryan
Could you take a screen shot of VIDA showing the fluid. This would be helpful for others who fall in the transition period.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Rule 101: Use specific spec'd fluid. JWS 3309 or T-IV for earlier version (Last 6 digits of chassis # before 568001). Fluids proven to do well are factory Volvo (p/n 1161640), Mobil 3309, Aisin T-IV, Idemitsu TLS (JWS 3309), Toyota T-IV, Ravenol T-IV. All V8s use the JWS3309/T-IV spec.
It's Rule 101
 

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Chi's write-ups are absolute gold.
 

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Here's a screen from VIDA 2014D for the 2011 MY. Chassis number 568001 is absolutely NOT the cut off between T-IV and WS. Pretty much the entire internet *and* all of Volvo's literature are at odds with your info.

Fluids.jpg
 
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