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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

I know that this has been already discussed here a while back, but I wanted to see if there is any new info/experience available in our community.

I have a CPO '13 S60 T5 AWD and will be soon doing my 40k service at 35k miles (previous owner didn't drive much, I'm averaging 24k/year). I was at a dealership today for some other service and I asked about doing tranny flush at my next big service. I was advised that Volvo doesn't recommend it, tranny is sealed and that it has "lifetime fluid" (ehm, okay -- what does that even mean if you don't specify what the lifetime is???). Anyways, what shocked me is that I was advised that they would not do it for me. I most certainly did not expect the dealership to say no to money...

Realistically, I would like to keep this Volvo as long as possible, (~200k?), or until such time that repairs don't make financial sense.

My question is: what should I do? Should I look for a Volvo dealership willing to take this job and flush it, even if I have to drive a few hours to get there? Should I just forget it? I want my "lifetime" of transmission to be as long as possible and I just can't imagine that you could do 200k on the same fluid? Or has technology progressed so much and it is likely that I will be OK? Is there enough data out there on this 6spd tranny to set a realistic expectation as to what the "lifetime" should be? Thank you!
 

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That's so weird that they're refusing to do it. My dealership didn't give me any grief over it. I know Volvo did revise their whole "lifetime" fluid stance by changing it to recommended service every 52,500 for cars that are under frequent loads (hauling stuff). I had mine done at 52,500 even though I don't haul Jack Squat, in part because of my previous experience with the first generation S60 (2001 2.4T). By the time I got rid of it at 170,000 miles, the transmission was on its last legs. I feel this was due to never servicing the tranny. Like you, I want my car to last as long as possible so I definitely feel better including a transmission service as part of my regular maintenance. My opinion is that there isn't a car fluid available that lasts forever. Time and heat will eventually break down the protective properties of any given fluid. I would check with another dealer/reputable indy shop, if that's possible. If you're one of those owners that's geographically trapped into going to ONE Volvo dealership, maybe it's worth reaching out to Volvo corporate, customer service, to see if they can nudge the dealer in the right direction. Mind you, I'm not a mechanic, but I believe the service should be done and that it is worth pursuing.
 

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One option is to find an independent Volvo mechanic who would be willing to do it. Or if you're handy and ambitious it's not a bad DIY. You'll want to have VIDA/DICE so that you can read transmission temperatures to properly set the fluid level as well as reset the counter on the TCM. Setting up VIDA on your computer is probably more difficult than the flush.
 

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Both our previous 2002 S60 AWD (5-speed auto) and '07 V70R (6-speed auto) had trouble and/or failed at about 200k miles (320k km +). Both had flushes at about 200k km. No conclusions, just observation.


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I would definitely try to find another dealership to do it. Previous experience has led me to believe that its worthwhile to flush the transmission every 30K miles. I'm sure it could go longer, but depending on your driving style its cheap insurance in comparison to a new transmission.
 

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I did mine at 45k miles. Dealer was happy to do it. The tech noted the fluid was oxidized and discolored but "normal transmission fluid wear." Is was about $300. The fluid alone was $170. The reciept states 4 gallons but the wiki link above states 2 gallons. Not sure why the discrepancy. Other than a couple DIY oil changes this is the only money I've spent on maintenance in the past 5 years. It was worth it to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Here's a funny fact: I called that dealer a month or so ago when I was doing some research on and some person quoted me $206 for the flush. really strange.

So yesterday I called another dealership that is reasonably far away from me and I spoke with some nice lady that pulled in two techs and they said they would do it, but it's a PITA. It sounded like those techs have never really done it, so I asked if I would be their test case, or if they have experience doing flushes on this tranny. She said she didn't know. Now the most interesting part, she quoted me $460 with tax. She said she had no idea about how the other dealership (the one that won't do it) arrived at $206, because that is almost just the price of fluid and her techs said they would need 2hrs to complete this job. This kinda tells me that they probably have never done it before, because I was expecting price that is more in line of $300. Or is $460 reasonable?

Here's the thing: I was planning on doing it every 40k or so. But at $460, it just doesn't seem to make that much sense anymore. There's no way I'll attempt this myself, too much to go possibly wrong and I also don't want to blow my CPO warranty.

What is a fair price for a flush done by dealership on this vehicle?
 

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C$350 including fluid - only use dealership or transmission shop with power flush equipment and it uses more fluid than capacity because the early amount flushes the transmission under load and the latter amount is the 'clean fill'.


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C$350 including fluid - only use dealership or transmission shop with power flush equipment and it uses more fluid than capacity because the early amount flushes the transmission under load and the latter amount is the 'clean fill'.


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I had my dealer do it 2 weeks ago. I also had them change the AOC fluid in the haldex unit. $550 later they moaned about it but did it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I had my dealer do it 2 weeks ago. I also had them change the AOC fluid in the haldex unit. $550 later they moaned about it but did it.
How many miles did you do it at? Do you still have your bill? If yes, would you be able to tell me how much time did they charge you for to change your transmission fluid?
 

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Here's the thing: I was planning on doing it every 40k or so. But at $460, it just doesn't seem to make that much sense anymore. There's no way I'll attempt this myself, too much to go possibly wrong and I also don't want to blow my CPO warranty.
Here's the crux of it.

You may find a dealership that does it for $2.54 but if VCNA doesn't want to warranty it because you went against their recommendations, you will have no recourse.

It's a gamble you take even if you get Volvo techs to do it.

Can anyone confirm that VCNA will warranty it even if you do the flush?
 

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You need to find your trusted indie mech. This is a good starter task with which to evaluate a shop. I started using my indie cause I kept driving by and seeing M5's and whale tale 911s in his lot. I figured that if he could work on those, my Jetta would be a breeze. You want someone with heavy Volvo experience.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You need to find your trusted indie mech. This is a good starter task with which to evaluate a shop. I started using my indie cause I kept driving by and seeing M5's and whale tale 911s in his lot. I figured that if he could work on those, my Jetta would be a breeze. You want someone with heavy Volvo experience.

Good luck.
I'm most certainly not going to use an indie mechanic to do this, especially one that I have no experience with. My transmission has still 65k miles left on warranty.
 

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I'm most certainly not going to use an indie mechanic to do this, especially one that I have no experience with. My transmission has still 65k miles left on warranty.
If your car is driven in conditions that aren't normal than an argument could be made that it needs to be changed?
 

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I'm most certainly not going to use an indie mechanic to do this, especially one that I have no experience with. My transmission has still 65k miles left on warranty.
If you are on warranty, don't do anything beyond the recommended service, and there is none for transmission fluid.
If you have problems, take it immediately to the dealer to have it investigated, and they can't say you voided the warranty. As I posted earlier, my experience is that the current crop of Volvo automatics (up to the new 8-speed) have a service life of about 200k miles, and it may not matter whether you flush or not.


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If you are on warranty, don't do anything beyond the recommended service, and there is none for transmission fluid.
If you have problems, take it immediately to the dealer to have it investigated, and they can't say you voided the warranty. As I posted earlier, my experience is that the current crop of Volvo automatics (up to the new 8-speed) have a service life of about 200k miles, and it may not matter whether you flush or not.


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+1.
 

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Here's a funny fact: I called that dealer a month or so ago when I was doing some research on and some person quoted me $206 for the flush. really strange.

So yesterday I called another dealership that is reasonably far away from me and I spoke with some nice lady that pulled in two techs and they said they would do it, but it's a PITA. It sounded like those techs have never really done it, so I asked if I would be their test case, or if they have experience doing flushes on this tranny. She said she didn't know. Now the most interesting part, she quoted me $460 with tax. She said she had no idea about how the other dealership (the one that won't do it) arrived at $206, because that is almost just the price of fluid and her techs said they would need 2hrs to complete this job. This kinda tells me that they probably have never done it before, because I was expecting price that is more in line of $300. Or is $460 reasonable?

Here's the thing: I was planning on doing it every 40k or so. But at $460, it just doesn't seem to make that much sense anymore. There's no way I'll attempt this myself, too much to go possibly wrong and I also don't want to blow my CPO warranty.

What is a fair price for a flush done by dealership on this vehicle?
Every 40K miles seems too often unless you do nothing but stop & go driving pulling heavy loads. I drive 80% highway at steady speeds... I'll be doing it at about 75K miles. (That was also the interval I used on a 1997 Audi A6.... did it twice and at 170K miles the transmission was quite fine. On the other hand, note the chap here who didn't do it until 200K and then had a problem. If I indeed thought that we my kind of driving (this is a T6, S80) the trans would last 200K miles I'd not bother with it at all.
 

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If you are on warranty, don't do anything beyond the recommended service, and there is none for transmission fluid.
If you have problems, take it immediately to the dealer to have it investigated, and they can't say you voided the warranty. As I posted earlier, my experience is that the current crop of Volvo automatics (up to the new 8-speed) have a service life of about 200k miles, and it may not matter whether you flush or not.


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Funny you mention not doing anything beyond what's recommended. I followed this but the dealer 3rd party lifetime guarantee on the engine was voided because I didn't do an expensive engine flush every 12k miles. Even though Volvo (and most mechanics) don't recommend.
 

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Funny you mention not doing anything beyond what's recommended. I followed this but the dealer 3rd party lifetime guarantee on the engine was voided because I didn't do an expensive engine flush every 12k miles. Even though Volvo (and most mechanics) don't recommend.
That sounds like insurance theft. I'd be investigating and speaking to someone about that.
 
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