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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone done a drain and fill of the transmission yet?

(Lets not get into the discussion of lifetime fluid/fluid doesn't need to be changed or the confusion of flush vs drain/fill)

If yes, more questions!

What fluid?
What volume drains out?
Where is the drain plug?
Where is the fill plug?
Is there a transmission level dipstick/level?
Is there a serviceable filter? (doubtful)

I've had some car with transmission problems due to self serving manufacturers selling the 'lifetime fluid" BS and have had others where I wised up and changed the fluid (drain fill) every 30-50k and then had not problems - so I will be doing regular drain/fills on my SPA cars.
 

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One source of info

Anyone done a drain and fill of the transmission yet?

(Lets not get into the discussion of lifetime fluid/fluid doesn't need to be changed or the confusion of flush vs drain/fill)

If yes, more questions!

What fluid?
What volume drains out?
Where is the drain plug?
Where is the fill plug?
Is there a transmission level dipstick/level?
Is there a serviceable filter? (doubtful)

I've had some car with transmission problems due to self serving manufacturers selling the 'lifetime fluid" BS and have had others where I wised up and changed the fluid (drain fill) every 30-50k and then had not problems - so I will be doing regular drain/fills on my SPA cars.
Go to Youtube and search XC90 transmission . There are a couple of videos that walk you thru the whole process . The drain plug is under car which also has imbedded in it the tube which sets the correct amount of fluid .Volvo in it's infinite wisdom does not provide us with a dipstick . [ another life annuity for the dealer ] Fill plug is under the air filter plumbing . You will need correct Torx socket and a extension. No filter required.. Valvoline Synthetic ATF withstands higher temps than Mobil 3309
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't seem anything on Youtube for SPA platform cars - all the videos I see are for much older XC90's which are a whole different platform. If I'm wrong please post the specific link to the transmission videos for the newer SPA platform cars.

Go to Youtube and search XC90 transmission . There are a couple of videos that walk you thru the whole process . The drain plug is under car which also has imbedded in it the tube which sets the correct amount of fluid .Volvo in it's infinite wisdom does not provide us with a dipstick . [ another life annuity for the dealer ] Fill plug is under the air filter plumbing . You will need correct Torx socket and a extension. No filter required.. Valvoline Synthetic ATF withstands higher temps than Mobil 3309
 

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I don't seem anything on Youtube for SPA platform cars - all the videos I see are for much older XC90's which are a whole different platform. If I'm wrong please post the specific link to the transmission videos for the newer SPA platform cars.
I am also looking for a video on YouTube for my 2016 XC90. As you said there’s no video for the second generation of xc90. But I saw at least one old video which is similar to the current transmission. As long as transmission make/ model is the same, it should be good enough to be used for new xc90. But I can’t find the filler bolt on the top of transmission.


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Since there arent any SPA specific videos that any of us can find, what other cars use the same transmission - there may be information we can leverage from them. What transmission model/number do our cars use?

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Looks like this is the transmission our cars us:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/AWF8F35

We can probably learn from other cars that use the same transmission...

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I think you'd want to either do a power flush or at least 3 rounds of drain/fill with some driving in-between each round to properly change the tranny fluid.

Doubt you are going to find any tranny how-to's specific for SPA XC90 for at least another year or three, the car is just too new for people to bother with this fluid, and especially to go DIY and document this with pics or videos.
 

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Just wondering if the transmission fluid has to be replaced or not when replacing the engine? My engine has been replaced. I don’t know if the transmission fluid was replaced or not.


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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think you'd want to either do a power flush or at least 3 rounds of drain/fill with some driving in-between each round to properly change the tranny fluid.

Doubt you are going to find any tranny how-to's specific for SPA XC90 for at least another year or three, the car is just too new for people to bother with this fluid, and especially to go DIY and document this with pics or videos.
I plan on doing 3x drain and fills every 30/50k miles or so. Power flush is typically not recommended by most people (although this tends to be a debated topic) but this probably applies to high mileage/dirty fluid since its stirs up the crud and may block passages. May not be so much of a worry if the fluid is kept pretty clean but I still plan on drain/fill vs power flush.

Anyone know where the transmission fill is? Is there a dipstick (doubtfull)?

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This link tells us the details about the transmission used for XC90.
https://youtu.be/Ehgwf_C5zgY


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That is one complex transmission. It is amazing to me how complex these transmission are today. I imagine the tolerances are something else given all the machined parts and gears that go into the unit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Yes, lots of tight tolerances that require clean fluid and not the black, worn out fluid to function properly which is what we'll all have after 50k miles.

Looks like there are a couple of potential fill plugs on the top (are they accessible in the Volvo version TG-81SC/installation?) and the video notes that the factory fill plugs need to be replaced and an o-ring added if they are removed. Also looks like the drain plug can act as the fill plug (thru the smaller center 'straw') - see 4:16 in the video. Also, a close-up and discussion of the drain plug is mentioned in the link here..

So looks like we could use the 'straw' in the drain plug to add fluid if necessary and it's self leveling if the transmission/fluid is at the correct temperature (it overflows thru the central hole). Question is how does one monitor the temperature without VIDA. I have a BMW where people have have developed a 'procedure' (x minutes idle at y degrees ambient temp. with various shifts thru the gears to approximate the correct temperature) but obviously not as accurate as using the diagnostic software. The easiest thing would be to collect and measure exactly what comes out when drained and refill with exactly the same amount which is what I do on my old Volvo's (V70 etc). As you can tell I'm a DIYer..

That is one complex transmission. It is amazing to me how complex these transmission are today. I imagine the tolerances are something else given all the machined parts and gears that go into the unit.
 

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Has anyone tried doing a drain and fill yet? Our XC90 is at 42,000 miles and think it's a good time to do it as we are planning on keeping this car for a long time...plus we are towing with it.

I was planning on draining the transmission when it's cold, measuring the amount that came out and then fill the with exactly what I drained.
I was also looking to fill it with Toyota WS ATF as this is what was mentioned on the Youtube video mentioned above.
Volvo won't supply me any because it's "sealed for life" which is utter rubbish.

Does anyone think this procedure will cause any problems?
 

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Has anyone tried doing a drain and fill yet? Our XC90 is at 42,000 miles and think it's a good time to do it as we are planning on keeping this car for a long time...plus we are towing with it.

I was planning on draining the transmission when it's cold, measuring the amount that came out and then fill the with exactly what I drained.
I was also looking to fill it with Toyota WS ATF as this is what was mentioned on the Youtube video mentioned above.
Volvo won't supply me any because it's "sealed for life" which is utter rubbish.

Does anyone think this procedure will cause any problems?
Ours is around the same mileage. I really want to do this on ours. I need to pull the air filter and see if I can find any of those fill plugs that he shows in the video. If so, I don't see any issues opening a fill plug, pulling the drain plug and measuring what comes out and replacing it with new fluid. I would LOVE to hear from someone who has done it already though!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I don't think there is any danger (an lots of upside) in doing this as long as you're careful to collect and measure what comes out. I plan on filling through the (center of) the drain plug (as strange as that sounds) with a hand pump and narrow tube. This is a nice design in that its self leveling if you have access to the fluid temperature but refilling what comes out is the simpler method.
Regarding alternative ATF fluids there's a long list at the following link:

https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads...a-ws-atf-automaitc-transmission-fluid.373083/

I can't verify whether this is a valid list or not. Toyota WS seems more mainstream and probably easier to get. It looks like Toyota WS is $9.50 /quart on Amazon.

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Ours is around the same mileage. I really want to do this on ours. I need to pull the air filter and see if I can find any of those fill plugs that he shows in the video. If so, I don't see any issues opening a fill plug, pulling the drain plug and measuring what comes out and replacing it with new fluid. I would LOVE to hear from someone who has done it already though!
I've already taken out the Air box to investigate where the fill plug is. It's a T55 torx pretty much directly under the air box...next to the control module, you do need to unplug the MAF sensor too.
What are peoples thought about not replacing the o-rings? I'm just concious it could potentially leak?

I'd also like to hear from anyone who has done it...but I'm planning on doing it after the Christmas period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Good info. I'm interested in this also and haven't yet heard of anyone doing it - so you may be the trailblazer here!

When you do do it, it would be great if you were good enough to take the time and document via photos/video in order to help the people and community here. As the SPA platform ages and cars go out of warranty, we need as a group to start expanding the library of DIY instructions similar to what exists for older models of Volvo (probably not as extensjve perhaps due to over reliance on software/VIDA but hopefully useful nonetheless)



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