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Thread: XC90 T6 transmission failure

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    17

    Default XC90 T6 transmission failure

    I have a 2005 XC90 T6 (124,000 miles) with a potential transmission problem which could fail anytime. I've read some fail at 30,000 more or less and some on their 2nd, 3rd or 4th transmission. Have done flush and don't ride it hard. Used on weekends and for long trips. I know that having Volvo pay for this widely known problem will probably not even happen even with an act of congress.

    So, my questions are...has anyone had theirs replaced with a hd rebuilt from a performance shop? I know these are GM transmissions and I have found several sites that sell beefed up hd transmissions for around $1500 give or take. I was thinking to better invest in a known good transmission rather that fight with Volvo and end up with the same type transmission. Any thoughts, any recommendations (shop, prices, vendors, etc.???) I love my XC90 and I think if not for the transmission problem I could get good use out this for much longer.

    I have a 2001 Chrysler Sebring Coupe with 345,000 and 1991 Nissan Maxima with 425,000 miles with no major problems (both hard driven)...just the routine maintenance keeps these two running. My Volvo??? OMG! I feel cheated...

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Severna Park, MD
    Posts
    59

    Default

    I want to commend you, or assure you you've had amazing luck getting a Chrysler and a Nissan past 100k w/o problems. I have zero faith in those 2 marks.

    Best of luck on the tranny issue. I have't heard of an "improved" version. Waht exactly is happening that leads you to believe that failure is immenent.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Double Oak, TX
    Posts
    421

    Default

    It is just a GM tranny in a slightly different configuration. I have spoken to a few
    shops for a buddy and they say it is the same one, but they have no cores to build
    you one from. They will have to pull your tranny, build it, put it back. Expect it to
    take a bit longer because they have not worked on that specific car before. Make
    sure to get a very reputable place, very clean, almost surgical clean shop. If it is
    a messy place then they will do a dirty job and transmission rebuilds MUST be
    extremely clean.

    A good performance shop for these trannys should be able to beef it up pretty
    well.
    2000 F350, 4x4, Crewcab, 7.3L Turbo Powerstroke Diesel
    2005 XC90 2.5T OSD 06/2005

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    North Conway NH
    Posts
    22

    Default Mine failed at 76000 mi

    We got Volvo to replace it even though it was out of warranty.
    This should be a recall.

    Our problems started right after the left axle shaft failed.

    I think the real problem with them is that a failed axle will allow axle grease to mix with trans fluid. Needless to say that doesn't do the trans any good.

    Anyway, when they replaced my trans they also replaced the other axle and the trans cooler to prevent contamination of the new trans.

    As a note, it seemes the new axles had been redesigned. Maybe to prevent these problems in the future.

    Good luck,

    Jon

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    17

    Default Transmission or axle failure

    If you hear a loud bang like you ran over something or like you kicked up a rock, well congratulations, the pin on driver side axle shaft has snapped, and at that point you are currently contaminating your transmission. In about 400-700 miles you will start to experience the joy of transmission slippage. To verify this event, just look at the trans fluid. Good trans fluid looks like cranberry juice. Contaminated fluid will look like greyish black and it will stink!! What is happening inside the transfer case, which contains a separate fluid type (Totally Different Fluid); it's now being pumped into the transmission fluid. The poorly designed GM transmission doesn't like this. Fluid is being allowed in by the missing/broken axle shaft pin. (Taken from another post)

    This past weekend I have experienced a bang (not so loud)or like I kicked up some gravel in my wheel well. My transmission fluid still looks good and shifting is good as well. If there is merit into the above post, how would I fix the pin that snapped. What is that pin? Reading all the posts it only mentions the clip. In VADIS does not show a pin. Can anyone explain this? Ever since this happened I hear a low toned grinding or rubbing noise, something like a worn brake pad (I checked my pads and they are still thick). When I accelerate it goes away, when I let off the gas I can hear it and when I coast. When I step on the brakes it goes away. I only hear it at about 25MPH and above. My axle boots are all intact. I plan to jack up the vehicle and listen to it where I don't have wind or road noise or listen to it without the axles...I'm stumped!

    (I thought that the incident was due to the transmission failing as I said in my previous post. But I found a post somewhere that was identical to what happened last weekend.)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Calgary Alberta
    Posts
    1,199

    Default

    sandog - if what I'm reading is correct, are ALL T6 transmission failures due to the pin on the drivers side axle snapping and as a results contaminates the tranny fluid?

    Of course, any transmission which experiences a alien fluid WILL cause it to malfunction. Just curious if 99% of the T6 transmission issues are related to this?
    Ed (Forkster) Reddy - Blue MY04 XC70 with Volvo Moose stickers

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    17

    Default XC90 T6 TX Failure

    I don't know? This is really strange because I've probably gotten a hold of every diagram there is and could not find what "pin" they are talking about...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    North Conway NH
    Posts
    22

    Default axle failure

    When I replaced the drivers side axle I removed the screw for the drive shaft, and trans fluid began to pour out of the hole.

    Now I don't know allot but I was pretty sure it wasn't supose to do that!

    Once I removed the axle I looked inside the inner CV spline, and there was a piece broken out (about quarter size). This allowed the trans fluid to mix with the axle grease.

    It wasn't long before the trans started slipping.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    17

    Default XC90 T6 TX failure

    How did you convince Volvo to replace your transmission? I read a lot of stories and they vary. It seem that Volvo is selective on who they take care of. Is there any criteria to meet?

    On a different subject, was there any fix to what you discovered about the broken piece in the inner CV spline? I could not find any diagram that shows anything inside the spline.


    Thanks

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    North Conway NH
    Posts
    22

    Default

    We wrote a email to Volvo corporate pointing out the inadequacies of their T6 transmissions. Pointing to numerous blogs and other resources that we found. Also, that Volvo is suppose to stand for quality. I think we mentioned that Volvo SHOULD be recalling these transmissions on their own. In the end Volvo did the right thing for us. My wife wrote the email and was very diplomatic about it. No anger just facts and calling on there corporate responsibility to provide the product they promoted.

    The piece that was broken inside the CV was the thin metal wall that separates the inside of the CV spline (transmission side) from the inside of the CV joint (grease side). Thus allowing the fluids to mix. I think this is a DESIGN failure. Its not a separate piece that broke, it was more like something punched a piece out. It was stamped out like a slug from a metal electrical outlet box in a new construction home. Somehow the splined shaft from the transmission was driven to deep into the CV.

    We were given the go ahead from corporate to take it to a dealer. The dealer asked allot of questions like were we the original owners and where we bought it etc. I don't know if any of that mattered by that point or not.

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