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I want to hear opinions on changing the Transmission Fluid. I have a Volvo S60 2012 about to hit 80k miles. I called my local dealer and they don't recommend to change the fluids and they don't do that. Is that true because they say it's "lifetime" fluid. And all fluids eventually get dirt. I want to be able to reach 150k miles and don't want my transmission to die on me. I wouldn't flush it but I would just drain it and then add the amount that comes out. Also seeing that there isn't a dip stick for the fluid in the engine bay, what do you guys recommend?
 

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I would recommend a drain and fill. Even though Volvo says lifetime fluid, I don't buy that. My local dealer suggested I do mine around 160,000 km (100,000 miles), which I am planning on doing.

I started a thread on my Heater Fan Squeal issues and post number 3 has a link to the guy who ripped apart his dash to replace the blower fan. To the right of the main video are some other videos he did and one is the change the transmission fluid.

Have a look. It's very informative and seems pretty reasonable as a DIY.
 

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It has been debated here recently. The main line of thinking seems to be if you replace early and often it certainly won't hurt anything. Some argue it will not help either. In my experience, it did improve shift quality (changed at 45k miles). Most seem to agree as well that where it gets a little more risky is if you don't replace the fluid for an extended period (70, 80, 100k miles) you could do more harm than good. The longer you wait to do the first change, the more relevant that concern becomes.

The logic (common to all torque converter based auto transmissions) is, as the clutches wear the particles of clutch material begin to deposit themselves around the valve body surfaces where fluid flows under pressure. They may have some negative effect on shift performance. Replacing, or especially "power flushing" the fluid will allow those deposits to come loose in big flakes/chunks which can then potentially block smaller passages entirely, resulting in even bigger trans performance issues.

You're kind of in that grey area where it probably would help, but nobody would be willing to say so in the event that it messed something up.

As far as fill level, there is a level tube built into the drain plug that allows you to drain out excess fluid to set the correct level once the fluid is in a specified temperature range.

"VOLVOSWEDEN" on youtube has a good DIY for the TF-80SC trans

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAb9p8Wph-M
 

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When the topic came up here a couple of years ago maybe I called two Volvo dealers in my area and neither of them would do it. They said it's just not something they do and did not even give me a price.
I have about 83K miles on my car now. I mentioned the topic to my independent Volvo specialist a few months ago and he was not too enthusiastic about changing it either.
I'm not disputing any of the facts and opinions presented here on the topic, but, for me the car shifts flawlessly and I will not touch it. I'm not planning on keeping the car more than another year so there's that too.
As mentioned above, it is a grey area at this mileage.
 

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I have a 2013 S60 and my dealer in San Antonio recommended changing the fluid at 50K. I had mine done at that time along with the software reset for the transmission and it shifts smoothly now.
 

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i have a 2012 S60, T5. I'm not a believer in lifetime fluids nor am i a believer in power flushing transmissions. I am a believer in complete drain and refills as one can do. I did that on my S60 at around 52,000 and added an additional cooler in the front. I also have vida/dice as that is required in resetting the transmission " counter" and in getting the correct level as the oil has to be within a certain temperature range for that.
 

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I should have added...yep, Id change yours if it was my car. No, i wouldn't just replace the tiny amt. i could drain out, i'd do what i did and get it all drained and replaced. And, if i didn't have vida/dice, i wouldn't do it myself.
 

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i think you're out of luck with 2017's....as far as do-it-yourself.
I purchased a laptop preloaded with the program only, as the computer needs to be only used for this. Plus, windows 7 only, and other computer limitations. I think after 2015 it has to be done through volvo...
 

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FWIW, If you are considering doing it yourself and do not have VIDA/DICE it is possible to at least get the level correct. You can buy a basic bluetooth OBD2 reader and download the free app "Car Scanner" which will allow you to monitor transmission temp (along with tons of other data fields). You would still need to bring the car in to a dealer/indy specialist to get them to reset the counter.

This is the one I got and it worked for me (2016 3.0 T6).
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MAURDGG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_image?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

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i think you're out of luck with 2017's....as far as do-it-yourself.
I purchased a laptop preloaded with the program only, as the computer needs to be only used for this. Plus, windows 7 only, and other computer limitations. I think after 2015 it has to be done through volvo...
I was curious about this. I think I remember someone saying that if you have a 2016 3.0 T6 (like I do) that the pre internet based VIDA software would still work with it. It would make sense since it is technically the same (older) hardware. Is it just the 2.0 Drive-E based engines (which started in model year 2015) that require the internet based subscription? Can anyone here confirm that they used their laptop based VIDA on a 2016 3.0 T6?

Sorry, not trying to threadjack, but I would love to get a VIDA/DICE setup if I knew it would work for me.
 

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yeah and I don't want to come across as an expert......tech is the expert on here...
and vida/dice is good for us do-it-yourselfers......heck, you can't even replace the battery without having to reset a module....
 

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I should have added...yep, Id change yours if it was my car. No, i wouldn't just replace the tiny amt. i could drain out, i'd do what i did and get it all drained and replaced. And, if i didn't have vida/dice, i wouldn't do it myself.
Just to understand better, if you removed .xx liter fluid and replaced .xx liter @ambient temp. how does the transmission or software know? Why does transmission counter need to be reset?
If you take 500cc of fluid from a 1 gal container and replace with 500cc of fluid how does the 1 gal container know?
 

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I am also curious if the transmission fluid counter really needs to be reset. I am thinking of purchasing an icarsoft that will tell me the temp of the trans oil so I can set the level correctly but it will not reset the trans counter. However it will reset the battery counter when changing the battery and it will retract the rear calipers when changing brake pads.
 

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Just to understand better, if you removed .xx liter fluid and replaced .xx liter @ambient temp. how does the transmission or software know? Why does transmission counter need to be reset?
If you take 500cc of fluid from a 1 gal container and replace with 500cc of fluid how does the 1 gal container know?
What is the purpose of resetting the counter?
Is it just for record keeping or does the transmission behave differently if it knows there's fresh fluid?
If just for record keeping then it's not a must from a functionality point of view.
 

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Can this fluid exchange be done via pump? Extract any amount and then replace said amount? Would this get around the "Temp-Setting-Drain-Plug" service method?
 

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Fun fact a vehicles lifetime is around 80k miles accounding to most european OEM's. So Yes it is Lifetime fluid, until you run past the calulated milage, then your past the lifetime of the car. Funny how they never tell you that right?

ATF should be changed every 30k, small price to pay for the second if not the most expensive peice of hardward on the vehicle.
 

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Just to understand better, if you removed .xx liter fluid and replaced .xx liter @ambient temp. how does the transmission or software know? Why does transmission counter need to be reset?
If you take 500cc of fluid from a 1 gal container and replace with 500cc of fluid how does the 1 gal container know?
Just to CMA, both transmission fluid removed and transmission fluid to be refilled would be the same temp.:D
 

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What is the purpose of resetting the counter?
Is it just for record keeping or does the transmission behave differently if it knows there's fresh fluid?
If just for record keeping then it's not a must from a functionality point of view.
That is my understanding. It has nothing to do with fluid level.

My educated guess is, it is some sort of algorithm that mainly tracks mileage, but also things like hard launches, extreme temperature operation time (both cold and hot), and things like gear change request times (made by the TCM/TCU), vs actual shift time. Similar to the algorithm used to determine engine oil change intervals in most modern cars. It is based mostly on mileage, but there are modifiers to account for things like hard driving, abuse, and extreme conditions. I would think the purpose in the case of the trans is to help monitor the life of the fluid and whether or not the trans is performing as expected so it can then modify it's behavior accordingly.

The TCM/TCU would adapt, just like the ECM/ECU would adjust things like fuel trim tables and ignition timing based on actual data. If you replace a bad coil/plug/injector/O2 sensor, it would make sense to clear the ECM/ECU so it can re-calibrate to the new hardware. Logic would indicate that you would also want to reset the TCM/TCU to allow it to re-calibrate to how the trans reacts with the new fluid.
 
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