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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, my 2000R has 120k on it. 6k miles ago, right after I purchased the car, I had a bunch of services performed by an Indy shop in Colorado. Among the services was a transmission flush. Recently, after the drive up here to Alaska, I have been experiencing some hard downshifts from 3rd to 2nd. Originally, this only seemed to happen when accelerating through a turn, as if the transmission needed time to catch up or something, and it would clunk into 2nd. Now, the downshift seems to shudder a bit even when I'm not on the gas and just coasting up to stoplight. I went back through my records, and found on the invoice that my fluid was replaced with Dexron III. After some forum searching, I hear that Mobil 3309 or similar specialty synthetics are the only type of fluid you should use in the 5 speed autos, whereas Dexron III in any of the 4 speed autos is fine. So, the question is, with 6k miles of driving with the wrong fluid, what's the likelihood I've done permanent damage? Will flushing it and replacing it with the right fluid fix all my woes? Also, what is fair to expect of the shop that put the wrong fluid in? Any and all advice appreciated! Thanks everyone!
 

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2021 Volvo S60 T5 AWD
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If the shop put the wrong fluid in then they're on the hook.
 

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It is quite possible they did not reset the fluid change counter. The TCU monitors the mileage and actually changes the shift points to account for used fluid. If the mileage counter was not reset and you are running new fluid (more friction and detergents) it may be likely this is the issue. Also, consider the B4 servo update as this can cause similar issues: http://www.ipdusa.com/products/5538/107960-b4-servo-cover-update

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Is the TCU reset something I can do on my own? Also, the B4 servo update sounds great, but I am 8 hours from the nearest Volvo dealership, so getting a software upgrade post-installation would be a problem. Any suggestions there? Thanks, iPdRon, I'm working on installing you legendary sway bars this weekend!
 

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No
Besides they DID use the wrong fluid and yes it could easily have done damage to an already worn valvebody
I disagree with Ron, these trannys are dicey at best and your valve body is probably/possibly shot now.
You can try changing back to the correct fluid, have all the counters reset, reset the adaptions and do a drive cycle and see what happens.
It's possible... you can save it but don't expect miracles, this is how they start to "go"!

The above really has to be done at the dealer now unless you have a VIDA-DICE unit.
Not the best thing to be living 8 hours from a Volvo dealer and owning any of these past 1998!
 

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The reset must be done via the VIDA network and anyone with access to it can perform it. Some but not all independent shops have access this. True they did use the wrong fluid but there is no evidence the valve body is or can be damaged from this fluid. The 3309 has anti foam properties and friction modifiers required by the transmission manufacturer. Without these properties, you could experience accelerated clutch wear but the valve body is another issue. Quite often when changing the fluid we can uncover hidden issues with the transmissions. Some may develop leaks and some may experience odd shifting and flare problems. I'm not convinced all is lost but I would change the fluid as soon as you can and many shops can do this. The adaptation will need to be done as stated above and consider the servo update as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So, I spoke with the dude at the shop that messed up the fluid. He said they did do a reset and software upgrade at the time of the flush. Does this mean I'll be alright (barring any structural damage) with a flush and Servo update (he said it was the most recent software, so I assume this will be fine with the servo update?)? or is the reset absolutely critical after every flush? Again, it's been about 6k miles since the last reset and software update. He said they would pay for the flush of course!
 

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No guarantees that this will fix the problem. Do the fluid NOW and see.
 

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NO!
The adaptions need to be reset and a new drive cycle performed
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So, I had the transmission flushed out and refilled (and paid for by the shop that screwed it up the first time) a bit over a week ago. This seemed to fix the problem of the shuddering downshift between 3rd and Second when braking, but it has still been downshifting hard when accelerating through turns. I wasn't so concerned about, because I could avoid it by toning down my driving style. But, today, after a 1 hours drive, I noticed the shuddering downshift under braking again. Several hours after I got home, I checked the ATF level, and it was SUPER HIGH on the dipstick. It was well above the "Hot" mark, even after it had been cooled off for a while. I have my servo update ready to go, but after a failed attempt to day I realized I need to get better snap ring pliers to actually get it off. I have a knock-off Vida/DICE unit on the way from Hong Kong as well so I can do my own reset and adaptation. BUT, my question is, is my transmission even more severely boned now after an overfill? It seems strange for one of the symptoms to come back after over a week... If my transmission is soon to be shot, who is on the hook now? The first shop who put the wrong fluid in? Or the second who over-filled it? I'm now completely done with going to shops around here. I'm a complete amateur, but with the right tools I know I can do a better job than any "certified" mechanic here in Fairbanks has been able to do so far... Rabble rabble rabble!
 

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I probably have a set that'll get that snap ring taken care of.
I'll give you a call at work before Wednesday night.
Sorry to here that Red is giving you so much guff.

Got your block heater yet? Winter's comin', dude!

800 478-7278 - Continental in Anchorage. Great folks.
Ask for Volvo parts. When they get you there, check
with Donald Greene. He may well have the heater in stock.
UPS Ground from Anchorage comes up every night.

NAPA has the heat pads. :thumbup:
 
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