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Thread: Vehicle in neutral after ABS stop and clunking between gear select

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Michigan
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    Default Vehicle in neutral after ABS stop and clunking between gear select

    New 2003 XC70 owner with 134k miles. I'm still getting familiar with the vehicle. I did an ABS stop at an open area the other day to get a sense of the feel and behavior of the car. After a complete stop, I waited a few seconds and put on the gas. It felt like the vehicle was in neutral (ie, no go). I took my foot off the gas and then put it on again, and it shifted hard into gear like when someone revs it up in neutral then drop it in D. My question is is it his normal to shift into neutral during an ABS stop maybe as a safety feature? I know earlier years had the neutral stop feature which people don't seem to like, but I have an 2003.

    2nd question is I've been doing a few drain and fills of the transmission fluid. Previous owner really took care of it and I have all receipts. They did a tranny flush about 1.5 years ago, maybe 30k miles at a shop that specialized in Swedish cars (Swedish Engineering here in Ann Arbor, lots of Volvos around, reputable place, but have since gone to all imports). I ask the guy who answered the phone, maybe a service rep, what they used to flush because I know about the very special fluid this transmission uses. He said compatible synthetic, but I get the sense he didn't really know he was just trying to impress me with the word "synthetic" because everybody thinks it's better. I've read 3309 is not synthetic. So given that, I'm using Toyota type-IV. I've put in 9.5 quarts so far (3 flushes). Yesterday I noticed clunking under certain conditions when shifting between P, R, and D in no particular order. I don't know if it's new or I've just never noticed. I tried it again this morning and first shift was smooth, but other shifts still had a little clunking and it may be related to change in direction like when the car moves a little rearwards, it clunks shifting into D and vice versa. While I expect this if I park on a hill and vehicle rolls to wind up the gear, I don't expect it on level surface. I also put in park brake pads yesterday so I used park brake to stop sometimes. I was going really slow inside the garage. Don't know if maybe that wound up the AWD because only rear got brakes and front was free. So anyway, we're going on a 1000 mile road trip really soon and I'm paranoid something is going to go wrong because I'm still unfamiliar with this vehicle history after a few weeks (having 8 years of receipt does help a lot).

    Unrelated question, I put in new gear oil in the bevel gear. Only way I can access it is with front wheels on a ramp while I was doing the tranny D&F. I only sucked out about 150ml and unknown amount going in because it was very difficult to find a way to put in measured amount. If I had to guess I'd say maybe 3-400mL so maybe it was low. Anyway, I filled it with car on the ramp until fluid leaked out of the fill hole (boy did it leak out, all that fluid in the tubing). Waited a while, tried to asses the amount but really had no good way. I just plugged it back up thinking since the ramp made it go uphill and hole is in the back, so the real amount is somewhere lower than the hole as it should be. Has anybody done it this way and figured out if it's close to the 150ml you're supposed to take out?

    Thanks for any input to any of my questions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Quebec
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    Hi !

    Please verify with your closest Volvo dealer. If Im right these transmission until '05 had a Neutral feature, which puts the gears in Neutral at each Stop, to save on gas or something.

    There's a Volvo recall/service bulletin on this, a software upgrade in fact, to remove this feature. It is known to accelerate transmission failure for these MY.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Update the transmission software at your dealer (if they do another service, this software update should be free under Volvo's "service for life" program). What you're feeling is the stop-neutral feature that has been removed from the software.

    You're right on with the T-IV. Best choice..."compatible" doesn't mean diddly...

    For the bevel gear, you're probably close. I ran it overful for a year because I filled it to the plug level with the car on a lift...no harm...I wouldn't worry, just check it every oil change to ensure the level stays good.

    While we're talking oil - use a good quality engine oil that meets ACEA specs for your car (viscosity is not enough) - personal favorite is Mobil 1 0W40, but any good, long-drain, oil will help keep the PCV clean and the engine healthy.

    Clunks on garage shifts (P-R, R-N-D) is one of the first signs of a failing valve body and low line pressure...if you're just now feeling it, you might be able to save it with a rebuild...read through the valve body notes in the resource section...
    Current Fleet:
    2016 Tundra Crewmax 4WD 1794
    2005 MB S600 (100K, Michelin AS3+, M1 0W40)
    2002 V70-XC (238K, Castrol Edge 0W40)
    2002 V70-T5 (195K, IPD bars, Bilsteins)
    2001 V70-T5 (76K)
    1932 Packard Sedan (straight 8, dual sidemounts, original paint and interior, Shell Rotella 15W40)

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies. I thought stop-neutral was only '01-02, but I'm still learning about the XC. It feels very smooth at idle. My '99 C70 is too old to have these features. Does dealership do software update for free with an oil change? I generally stay away from dealership for anything, but if I need to I'll pay for an expensive oil change to get the update I'll do it. Good thing the road trip is mostly freeway.

    Did not know about ACEA spec, always (on my C70) just used brand name like M1 or Valvoline of proper viscosity. What ACEA spec do I look for? Or does API spec serve same purpose?

    I have been reading about valve body. Looks like scary stuff to rebuild and replace. I've only had the vehicle few weeks so I don't know how long the garage shift has been going on. I'm just noticing it now. After 3 flushes transmission still doesn't look very clean. I think I'll have to get another case of T-IV and do 1 more before leaving.
    Last edited by madymo3d; 08-06-2012 at 09:31 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    South Lake Tahoe, CA
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    I have two responses.

    First, I replaced the gear oil in the bevel gear while on ramps. I filled it until it ran out the fill hole. I too was concerned about the amount since the car was not level. I found a place where the car was level and there was a depression (ditch) under the car and I could squeeze under it. The fluid level was right at the hole. I removed 150 ml since I had read to remove both 100ml and 200 ml and went for the average. I don't think it matters too much whether 100 or 200 ml is removed since the oil is splashing all around in there anyway.

    Second, I thought that the stop-neutral feature had been removed by the 2003 model year. Is that not true?
    Wait Griswold
    2003 XC70
    South Lake Tahoe, CA

  6. #6
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    While I thought the stop-neutral was gone by MY 2003, this description exactly matches stop-neutral performance, since the software updates should be free, ensuring the software is up to date removes that possibility at little cost.

    On to oil: ACEA publishes standards for oil performance, including longevity in service. They were updated in 2010. Here's the detail: http://www.acea.be/images/uploads/fi..._Sequences.pdf

    They're not the same as the API spec (which is now SN).

    In my 2002 OM, it says, "Engine Oil quality
    Meeting minimum ILSAC specification GF-2, including ACEA A1, API SJ, SJ/CF and SJ/Energy Conserving. Your Volvo V70 has been certified to standards using ILSAC oil specification GF-2 5W/30. Volvo recommends use of oil with a quality rating equal to or higher than ILSAC GF-2. Equivalent and better oils include ACEA A1, API SJ, SJ/CF, and SJ/Energy conserving. Lower quality oils may not offer the same fuel economy, engine performance, or engine protection. Depending on your driving habits, premium or synthetic oils may provide superior fuel economy and engine protection. Consult your Volvo retailer for recommendations on premium or synthetic oils.
    Oil additives must not be used.

    NOTE: Synthetic oil is not used when the oil is changed at the normal maintenance services. This oil is only used at customer request, at additional charge. Please consult your Volvo retailer. "

    But those are 10 year old specifications that have been updated. So, I would recommend considering the specifications in the TNN for lubrication system contamination cleaning: http://www.volvoxc.com/resources/how...20Cleaning.pdf

    Which says: Fill with new Synthetic Oil; this will assist in continuing the cleaning process. ACEA A1/B1,
    viscosity SAE 5W-30
    Note: Engines subjected to extreme driving conditions are to be filled with ACEA A1/B3,
    viscosity SAE 5W-30 Synthetic oil.
    "Extreme" regards driving conditions that generate abnormally high oil temperature or oil
    consumption, such as driving in mountains with a lot of engine braking or when driving at high
    speeds on highways.
    ACEA A3/B3, viscosity SAE 5W-30 Synthetic oil.

    Again, the standards have been updated since then, but an ACEA A1/B1 or better, A3/B3, 5W30 synthetic oil are recommended, and that TNN came out after a lot of these engines suffered sludge build up due to the use of oil not meeting specs. Your choice of Mobil 1 is good, some of the Valvoline line is good, depends on which one, a 7,500 mile OCI, particularly in a turbo, can be tough on the oil's detergency and acid neutralizing properties...once acid starts to build up, then sludge forms...

    If you read a bit more into the owner's manual, it does recommend synthetic for severe service, and goes on to say," Operation in hot climates
    When temperatures exceed 86 F in your area, Volvo recommends, for the protection of your engine, that you use a heavier weight oil, such as SAE 10W/30. See the viscosity chart at right. " And that viscosity chart shows 10W30 and 5W40 for hot temperatures...

    But again, this is 10 year old thinking, oil has evolved. Many 0W30s are, in fact, heavier at operating temperature than 10W30s...so, what you really want is an oil that meets the ACEA long drain specs. And, clearly, in hot temperatures, a 5W40 (or a 0W40) is a good choice as well. I've posted the Used Oil Analysis on Mobil 1 0W40 and Pennzoil Ultra 5W40 in this forum a few years ago - two of the best European car oils made (PU 5W40 is specified by Ferrari and the M1 0W40 is specified by AMG) - and they performed very well over a 7,500 mile drain interval, consisting of primarily city driving.

    I published a lot of this in a thread I titled "Oil Rant" a while back. Bottom line: good oil saves you $$ over a car's life.

    Cheers,
    Astro
    Current Fleet:
    2016 Tundra Crewmax 4WD 1794
    2005 MB S600 (100K, Michelin AS3+, M1 0W40)
    2002 V70-XC (238K, Castrol Edge 0W40)
    2002 V70-T5 (195K, IPD bars, Bilsteins)
    2001 V70-T5 (76K)
    1932 Packard Sedan (straight 8, dual sidemounts, original paint and interior, Shell Rotella 15W40)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astro14 View Post
    Clunks on garage shifts (P-R, R-N-D) is one of the first signs of a failing valve body and low line pressure...if you're just now feeling it, you might be able to save it with a rebuild...read through the valve body notes in the resource section...
    Aaaargh... are you serious ? I thought this was related to engine/tranny mounts...

  8. #8
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    Thames...well...Sigh, the word "clunk" is so ambiguous as to be useless. Internet diagnosis is smilarly inaccurate...

    Look, if the engine shifts and causes a "clunk", it could be the trans mount, or upper engine mount. You should replace those if they're worn out.

    But if the garage shifts are harsh, particularly if they're delayed, then that's a different matter. If the symptoms of delayed/harsh shifts are worse when hot, then that really leads me to believe that it's the valve body.

    so, which is it? I don't know...until you detail the condition of your mounts...and tell me if the symptoms are worse when hot or cold...and your "clunk" might be my "harsh shift"...let me drive it, and I could tell you in a minute...but on a forum?
    Current Fleet:
    2016 Tundra Crewmax 4WD 1794
    2005 MB S600 (100K, Michelin AS3+, M1 0W40)
    2002 V70-XC (238K, Castrol Edge 0W40)
    2002 V70-T5 (195K, IPD bars, Bilsteins)
    2001 V70-T5 (76K)
    1932 Packard Sedan (straight 8, dual sidemounts, original paint and interior, Shell Rotella 15W40)

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