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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 2005 S60R with 158k with the AW50/55 AWD. Previous owner basically didn't take care of the car. Probably had all the issues I'm having and lied about them. Bought the car on the coldest day of the year and no apparent transmission issues. Anyway, I was having issues with the car shifting hard into 2-3 and hard downshifts from 3-2. Trans fluid was reddish brown. Just starting to turn brown... Looked okay. PO said they did drain and change multiple times. I used some TransTune for a couple hundred miles. No change. Then, I flushed the transmission fluid from the top radiator port with about 12 qts of MaxLife ATF. Old fluid was pretty clean, though not new, and the magnet did have sediment on it.

Everything worked well for about a month. I'm not sure if this is temperature related, but it seems to be. The past month has brought higher temperatures. Twice now, I've had the check engine light, the transmission service message came on along with TCM-002F in VIDA and a dash where the D should be on the cluster. I clear this code in VIDA and then the next day everything drives fine for a week and then the problem returns. I never had this issue before the trans flush.

Checked the fluid level at 80C and it was very low. Added half quart. Level is perfect. A couple of days later, same thing. Added another half quart. + 5oz of LubeGuard (red container). Everything seems fine. No apparent leaks. Especially not ones where I'm seeing a half quart on the ground or even under the transmission or at the seals. VIDA reports temps of around 97C when the transmission light comes on and slamming into gears happens. Everything seems fine when it's at ~80C... shifts smooth as butter. Checked the fluid today, and at 80C it's right under the H in HOT on the dipstick.

Drove my XC90 as a test for a 3 hour drive to the beach, VIDA reported the tranny was at 77C. Why is the R getting up to 97C after just 40 minutes?? Is it degrading the fluid permanently when the temp gets high? The coolant temp is about 105C when the tranny is up at 97C. Why is this happening? Is the radiator bad somehow? Those temps seem high compared to my XC90...

Couple of thoughts/trials...
  • Install aux trans cooler inline after the radiator (I'm in PA and probably need the trans fluid warming in winter). I bought one from Dougy, just haven't thought about installing it yet. Anxiety about where to mount it.
  • I could flush again with Toyota IV which I've done on my XC90 with great results for the last 2 years. Maxlife has mixed results according to various forum posts.
  • Update trans software?
  • Valve body?

I'll be honest, I've dumped a ton of time and money into this car and nothing but problems.... trying to keep the cost down.

Any thoughts on the least effort/cost trial for the next trial and error?
 

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You could try the b4 solenoid. It effects 2 3 shifting. And do a relearn. May have to go the dealer and get a tcm upgrade. Should be free. Volvo has a software for life program.

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
You could try the b4 solenoid. It effects 2 3 shifting. And do a relearn. May have to go the dealer and get a tcm upgrade. Should be free. Volvo has a software for life program.

Sent from my SM-G955U1 using Tapatalk
Called the dealer and left a message. We'll see what they say for updates. I thought the b4 servo cover was only for 2004 and older? Or do you mean some solenoid in the valve body?

Today, when driving up a hill, the trans oil temp was 97C per VIDA and it set the check engine light with the trans service message again. This time, I was in manual mode. I was in 3rd. It shifted to 4th, for no real good reason automatically. And when I downshifted it only allowed me to choose 2. Or 4. Nothing else. Strange. I cleared the codes again.

I'm thinking of putting Toyota Type IV in and adding the external cooler at the same time. See what that does. If I can keep the fluid temps down, I'm hoping things will be better. And maybe this Maxlife ATF is just garbage and causes it to overheat somehow?
 

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I ran max life changes for a few years 150-180k. No problems. Switching to 3309 was an instant improvement in shifting but your having much bigger issues. Fluid isnt going to fix it.

Tcm002 is torque converter slipping. Id say at this point it needs another trans. You'd be throwing money at a cooked trans replacing solenoids imo. Its overheating because of the excess slip in the clutch pack which has likely caused some damage by now..

I'm guessing a cooler will only help momentarily. Like another 20 minutes before overheat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The b4 is servo cover is on all aw transmissions

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What I meant was, I thought replacing the b4 servo cover was only applicable for 2004 and older? That the 2005+ have the improved design already.
 

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Temp related shifting issues are a hallmark of the AW55 when the valve body starts to get worn. Mine did that too ('02 S40, same trans), if it was cold for a while and then I went on a long road trip and got everything nice and hot, the first couple 2-3 shifts after getting off the highway would be funky. Likewise the first cold snap of the year, 2-3 would be funky. In either case, the problem would last just long enough for the controller to re-adapt.

You could replace the valve body ($800ish) or you can understand what the problem is and learn how to live with it. I drove my S40 for something like 40k and it never got worse. If anything it actually seemed to get better, even though I never did anything to the trans besides drive it.

Interestingly enough, I had a 2-Neutral-3 shift shortly after I first got my (TF80) S60R... and never had any valve body related issues ever again. I guess the transmissions like me more than their previous owners.

I would not be concerned with the transmission temps. You're cooling the trans fluid with the coolant, so it is going to be near the coolant temperature no matter what. If your XC has much lower temps then I'd be curious if it has a large auxiliary cooler or if the water temps are a lot lower. 97c is totally fine for transmission fluid. Don't worry until it gets up to the 130c range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Temp related shifting issues are a hallmark of the AW55 when the valve body starts to get worn. Mine did that too ('02 S40, same trans), if it was cold for a while and then I went on a long road trip and got everything nice and hot, the first couple 2-3 shifts after getting off the highway would be funky. Likewise the first cold snap of the year, 2-3 would be funky. In either case, the problem would last just long enough for the controller to re-adapt.

You could replace the valve body ($800ish) or you can understand what the problem is and learn how to live with it. I drove my S40 for something like 40k and it never got worse. If anything it actually seemed to get better, even though I never did anything to the trans besides drive it.

Interestingly enough, I had a 2-Neutral-3 shift shortly after I first got my (TF80) S60R... and never had any valve body related issues ever again. I guess the transmissions like me more than their previous owners.

I would not be concerned with the transmission temps. You're cooling the trans fluid with the coolant, so it is going to be near the coolant temperature no matter what. If your XC has much lower temps then I'd be curious if it has a large auxiliary cooler or if the water temps are a lot lower. 97c is totally fine for transmission fluid. Don't worry until it gets up to the 130c range.
Yes. The XC has an auxiliary cooler. Any thoughts on what I can do in order to stop getting the check engine light, Transmission message on the dash, and getting stuck in 4th gear? My inclination is to install an auxiliary cooler and get the software updated if possible. To rule out the temp issues. If it still happens, I'm guessing the VB might be next? I'm trying to prevent having to rebuild the transmission or replace it with another used one of questionable quality.

I might try to get some kind of coolant in the ATF test kit to see if maybe the radiator is leaking coolant into the ATF.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
The AUX trans cooler I installed has kept the temps way down. And the problem seems to happen much less (2x in the last two months). It only happens when I'm going up an incline and am in 2. When it shifts to 3, it slips and slams into 4?? Then it throws the check engine light and TCM-002F. It almost never (that I can remember) has this issue on a flat or decline road. I can slam on the gas and it will operate properly. Right now, I just have the aux cooler. I did not route it through the radiator.

I took the car today to a local Volvo shop, to see if he could update the transmission software. It was already done. He said the last thing he would do before just dealing with the problem (not driving up inclines lol) would be the B4 servo cover. He said he would not recommend rebuilding the valve body because it will cost $1200 and only last 1-2 years. A new transmission is recommended but I think the car is not nearly worth replacing the transmission with one from Volvo at $5500-5700 at the local Volvo shop. Doh.

Though, I wonder what it would cost to rebuild the valve body if I removed it from the vehicle and took it in...
 

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My AW55 runs at 224f(106.6c) without cooler when warmed up in spirited driving. I would look for a low mileage AW55 and replace it. It sounds like it may need a rebuild.


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I know this is hindsight, but. On older well used transmissions that may or may not have been
properly maintained, you should never do a complete under pressure or without pressure flush of
the fluid. 1/3 at a time spread out over a couple of month period would have been better.

With a complete pressure/non pressure flush you have allowed opportunity for (lack of a better word)
"crap" to work its way into components. On the flip side, don't beat on it and make sure you are
using the correct type of fluid. Swapping and swapping fluid isn't going to help matters and things
"MAY" work themselves out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I know this is hindsight, but. On older well used transmissions that may or may not have been
properly maintained, you should never do a complete under pressure or without pressure flush of
the fluid. 1/3 at a time spread out over a couple of month period would have been better.

With a complete pressure/non pressure flush you have allowed opportunity for (lack of a better word)
"crap" to work its way into components. On the flip side, don't beat on it and make sure you are
using the correct type of fluid. Swapping and swapping fluid isn't going to help matters and things
"MAY" work themselves out.
The problem got better after the two flushes (12 qt each) I did.
 

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I also know Volvo’s can be tricky to get the correct fluid level do to temperature. Transmission needs to be a certain temp for the readings to be accurate. Temperature variations cause fluid level readings to vary quite a bit.

Over full will cause foaming of the fluid.

VADIS instructions to check:

Oil level, checking
Warning! Avoid skin contact with the transmission fluid.
Note! Use only transmission oil, Volvo P/N 116 1540-8 (1 liter container), 116 1640-6 (4 liter container).
Conditions
The difference between the MAX and MIN volumes is 0.2 liters. Check the oil temperature in the transmission.
At room temperature (+20 °C) the oil level is close to the MIN mark on the "cold area".
At room temperature (+20 °C) and low oil level the oil barely reaches the dipstick.
The "cold range" (+40 °C) is reached after approximately 15 minutes idling in the workshop, while the "hot range" (+80 °C) is reached after approximately 30 minutes highway driving at an air temperature above +15 °C.
Note! Carry out the check at an oil temperature of +80 °C. Go to car communication function group 4. Select the digital display parameter. Select the parameter for the transmission oil temperature.
Preparing to check the oil level
Park the car on a level surface.
Apply the parking brake.
Apply the foot brake.
Let the engine idle.
Move the gear selector lever to position P.
Move the gear selector through all positions. Wait in each position for approximately 3 seconds
Move gear selector to position P and wait approximately 2 minutes before checking the oil level.
The dipstick must be pushed down as far as possible into the dipstick tube.
Caution! Wipe the dipstick with a nylon cloth or similar. Do not use a cloth which may leave fluff or threads.


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I know this is hindsight, but. On older well used transmissions that may or may not have been
properly maintained, you should never do a complete under pressure or without pressure flush of
the fluid. 1/3 at a time spread out over a couple of month period would have been better.

With a complete pressure/non pressure flush you have allowed opportunity for (lack of a better word)
"crap" to work its way into components. On the flip side, don't beat on it and make sure you are
using the correct type of fluid. Swapping and swapping fluid isn't going to help matters and things
"MAY" work themselves out.
Also don't set batteries down on bare concrete or they will go dead overnight! :D

I used to do T-Tech type transmission flushes all the time, the company has a guarantee that if a trans flush made a transmission fail, they'd cover the expenses. Never once had an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I checked the number on the servo cover. It says 2AK. Not sure what that means. But I ordered the new part and will replace it. I don't anticipate any difference and I'm mentally preparing to dig into the valve body.

I see the following options:
  • Install new valve body?? What part number? Where to get this? How much?
  • Rebuild the valve body ($275 for rebuild kit + $150 for solenoids? + a major PIA)
  • Rebuilt valve body from ebay/amazon (~$280. but are these even valid options? Or just junk?)
  • Install rebuilt valve body - $698 from Level10 Transmissions (requires me to send in my valve body for repair)
  • Install rebuilt valve body - $650 sonnax from Rockauto after a $300 core refund
  • Take the car to the mechanic to get the valve replaced with reman or rebuilt - $1200+
  • New trans installed for $5500-5700
  • Transmission rebuild - Unknown cost but probably between $1200 and $5500.
  • Take the valve body to a transmission shop locally to have them rebuild it? Unknown cost

Some more questions:
  • Do I have to take the valve body out to figure out which rebuilt model to get? Or is there one that rules them all?
  • Quality on Level10 and Sonnax units? I've seen some mixed reports.
  • What other options do you guys see that I might be missing?
  • Part number of a new valve body?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I did the B4 servo cover tonight. What a royal pain in the ass. I had to have my wife come down and jam that thing in there and insert the snap ring. My god. Took 2 hours start to finish including jacking the car up and test driving.

Turns out, things feel much smoother. I was really optimistic, so I tried to duplicate the prior problem. Boom, it duplicated without trying. I went up a slight hill in 3rd. And it slammed into 4th?? and wouldn't let me change gears until I restarted the engine. It normally only happens on a hill in 3rd around 2000-2600 rpms.

I was reading that maybe doing one or both of the following: Control Module Adaptation (CMA) and you have a Reset the Adaptation (RA) before throwing more money at the valve body.

Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
or you can understand what the problem is and learn how to live with it. I drove my S40 for something like 40k and it never got worse. If anything it actually seemed to get better, even though I never did anything to the trans besides drive it.
This is basically what I've been doing. I learned to drive it in such a way that this problem is kept at bay for around 3k miles and then happens again when I'm not paying attention. I have to turn the car off and then back on to get all the gears back. But I can clear it again with VIDA and it "looks" like the problem is gone if I baby it.
 
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