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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was fortunate to find a 2006 CX90 (2.5L turbo, FWD) with only 54k miles on it. Consistently driven about 3k miles per year with no gaps, and I'm assuming with a record like that, the previous owner was not an aggressive driver. The transmission fluid/oil has never been changed. Is degradation with time a sufficient reason to justify changing it, or is miles driven really the only metric to use?
 

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2008 Volvo XC90 V8 AWD
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I was fortunate to find a 2006 CX90 (2.5L turbo, FWD) with only 54k miles on it. Consistently driven about 3k miles per year with no gaps, and I'm assuming with a record like that, the previous owner was not an aggressive driver. The transmission fluid/oil has never been changed. Is degradation with time a sufficient reason to justify changing it, or is miles driven really the only metric to use?
I changed the fluid on my extremely well-kept and driven 2008 XC90 V8 with the Aisin-Warner TF-80SC transmission at 68.5k miles and it came out decently black. I'd say that it was overdue for a fluid change, so I think that it would be good preventative maintenance to go ahead and change your fluid out at 54k miles. I think that miles do not tell the full story, since I have towed quite a bit with mine and as I stated, at 68.5k miles it was pretty black; so, in the end I guess it's up to you fully, but if I were you (with my pro-preventative maintenance mindset), I would go ahead and change it.
 

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Yes, oxidation/aging/breakdown of the transmission fluid does occur. As much as we would like the system to be completely sealed, it isn't, especially when there is a dipstick like on the 2.5t 5spd transmission. It would be a good idea to change all fluids that are 15 years old, like the power steering fluid and coolant. For the rest of us AWD models, that would also include angle gear, Haldex, and diff fluids.
 

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Modern fluids are much more oxidatively stable than in the past. However, like chitownV says, it's not a sealed system. If truly sealed, ATF has no real "sell buy" date (I actually asked a Valvoline engineer about this several years ago). But that doesn't apply here. 60k is actually about the point you want to dump the original fill anyway, swap all that out as well as PS, diffs, etc., etc. and set a good baseline of fresh fluid going forward and a conservative change schedule.

The real thing you want to wrestle with on deciding whether to change is the t-belt. By TIME, it's well over-due. By mileage, it's ~50% (105k interval on mileage). To my experience, this comes down to usage and climate. This engine makes it easy as you can pop the top cover off easily and inspect the belt. If you are in a relatively milder (not HOT) climate and there is no evidence of drying and cracking, then I would carry on.

Example: I recently acquired a 2000my ur-XC, 117k on it, 5.4k miles/year (99 build) - and records indicate the annual mileage was indeed consistent over time (not front or back loaded). The belt was done on TIME in 2013 at 63k miles. It's nine years later and 52k miles, so by time due again. But the belt looks like new so I'm leaving it the full 105k mileage interval (for now). I live in the PNW and the weather here is so mild, components age much more slowly than elsewhere. There's just no absolute rule wrt components aging so a lot of it becomes a judgment call - though be truly able to make the call or trust the person doing so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone. I will change all those fluids as recommended, and take a look at the timing belt soon. Quite hot and humid here, so I bet that's been unfriendly to the belt material.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Might be a dumb question, but why does the standard drain-and-fill method use the radiator connections (upper or lower depending on preference) as a drain instead of via the bolt on the transmission (5-speed automatic, Aisin aw55-50sn). Most of the writeups I see so it from the bolt once, then multiple iterations of ~2 liters each from the radiator. It seems like using the bolt every time would be straightforward, and keeping the engine hot would circulate the fluid to mix the old and fresh.
 

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The drain and fill method uses the drain bolt since you can only drain from there. But that means you have to go under and on top of the engine bay several times to do 12 quarts. So, the alternative is to use the cooler line method because it is easier, you can do 12 quarts, and is cleaner. Doing the cooler line method also allows you to see how much is being drained (~2qts marked on a bottle) so you know (close to) how much new fluid to add.
 

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Yes exactly. The position of the upper cooler mount is SO convenient on these cars, it makes it not worth lifting it and crawling under. You can graduate some lines on a bottle, watch it while you turn on the car and use the internal transmission oil pump as your removal tool/pump. Take out two or three quarts at a time and be done quickly. Here's a snap of a P80 ur-XC I did last month. It was so quick and painless, I didn't mind doing it at dusk with snow on the ground, vs. pulling it in the garage and making clean-up harder!

These are the easiest cars I've ever seen to swap transmission fluid. No excuse for neglect! ;) You just have to learn the little trick to getting the retaining clip off (good idea to have a spare on hand), then easy-peasy!

121419
 

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I have been reading up on this and tossing around the idea of doing it for the same reason - age versus mileage. I'm almost at 85K on my 2009, and I know it's never been done. The "20 year Volvo technician" at the European indy shop I go to is on the "lifetime" bandwagon. Mine has seen a ton of city driving and some heavy towing, so I'd like to do it myself but fluid changes terrify me for some reason.
 

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I have been reading up on this and tossing around the idea of doing it for the same reason - age versus mileage. I'm almost at 85K on my 2009, and I know it's never been done. The "20 year Volvo technician" at the European indy shop I go to is on the "lifetime" bandwagon. Mine has seen a ton of city driving and some heavy towing, so I'd like to do it myself but fluid changes terrify me for some reason.
If it's any consolation, I'm a hell of a lot less experienced than every member on this subforum, but I was able to somehow pull it off. It's really quite a simple process, just takes a little while and could be considered slightly tedious. I used 12L of fresh genuine Volvo ATF on my 2008 with 68k that's seen grandma-like mostly city and little highway driving. And there's plenty of videos out there too, so I guess that also helps. But in the end, what helped me the most was this little Word doc I made on my desktop in ~10 mins before going to town with the job (attached below). I found it to be easier/better than using a video on a laptop.

And you may have seen a previous thread reply of mine, but I ended up not being able to use the iPD kit's radiator hose that they provide as it was not a tight fit and leaked for me. I found it better to just go down to the Home Depot and used 1 1/4 O.D. x 1 I.D. x 10 FT Clear Vinyl Tubing instead. The only thing that iPD's kit helped me with was a new green clip and pair of yellow o-rings for the transmission fluid return hose that goes into the transmission hole where you drain from.

All in all, it's a pretty fun process, actually. I liked doing it, but I understand if you have your reservations about doing it yourself. Just know that my fluid, with such low mileage and baby-like treatment of the car, was quite brown and slightly burnt.
 

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Thank you! I'm going to use your document, I appreciate it. I retain information better in word form.
 

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I have been reading up on this and tossing around the idea of doing it for the same reason - age versus mileage. I'm almost at 85K on my 2009, and I know it's never been done. The "20 year Volvo technician" at the European indy shop I go to is on the "lifetime" bandwagon. Mine has seen a ton of city driving and some heavy towing, so I'd like to do it myself but fluid changes terrify me for some reason.
After doing the fluid change my car shifted better and smoother. Finally I reset some of the adaptation (emphasis on the SOME) with the T5D5 software rather than VIDA.
Now it drives like brand new. Before I thought it was a dog of a transmission. I was also at same mileage as you (130,000km) when I bought the car.
The fluid was blacker than 30,000km engine oil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I found it easier to drain and fill ~3.2L at a time via the drain plug. After 4 iterations that should be <10% of the initial fluid left. It definitely needed it; fluid was very dark and smelled like it was degrading. Also cleaned off a good bit of superfine magnetic goop off of the drain plug magnet. Not had time to check the drive smoothness yet.
 
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