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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    IAD => NRT => IAH
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    210

    Default DIY Transmission Flush - the Gibbons method works on 2008+ XCs

    Tl;dr: the Gibbons method for transmission flushing works for our 2008+ XC70s.

    I finally flushed the transmission fluid on our 2010 XC70 with 65k miles. The old fluid was in good shape, still had a red tint (though not clear like new fluid) and no smell of burning. I think this fluid could have gone to 100k miles, but since this was so easy, Ill do it again at 90k miles.

    I essentially used the Gibbons method that works so well for 2001-2007 XCs (search the 2001-07 forum). Instead of having a dipstick to refill from, I had to move the airbox out of the way and use a long funnel. I used a case of Mobil 3309 fluid. To get any room to work underneath, I drove the front up on ramps then jacked up the rear and used jack stands to get the car mostly level.

    MartinK has documented the drain and fill procedure very well in post #7 here: http://www.volvoxc.com/forums/showth...n-fluid-change That link also has the shop procedure for the flush that I followed in post #21.

    In addition to the 17mm hex socket, I used a T40 and T55 torx bits. For the flush, I used about a foot of ID clear plastic tubing.



    Follow the beginning of the drain and fill procedure:
    • Remove the small level plug. I had about liter of fluid drain, much more than I expected. The transmission was a bit overfilled from the factory. I replaced the o-ring with a new one, 6mm ID, 9mm OD, 2mm width.
    • Remove the drain plug (which is actually a tube about 3 long). I reused the same crush washer.
    • Replace both plugs and remove the fill plug on the top of the transmission. I removed the air box bottom then reassembled the air box up out of the way youll need everything connected back up to run the engine.
    • Measure the drained fluid then refill the same amount from the top. Mine drained ~3.5 liters where the shop procedure indicated 4 liters.
    • Remove the bottom cooler line from the front of the transmission. This is the return line back to the tranny. Slip the inch ID tubing over the hose, no clamp necessary.





    • My assistant (16 y.o. daughter) started the car and moved the gear shift through P, R, and D while I measured one liter from the return line into a container. She would turn off the car then add one liter of new fluid in the top. We repeated this for 8 liters then put everything back together and drove for a couple of miles. I then removed the small level plug and drained off about liter, just until the flow slowed from the level tube.


    Ill check the level after a few hundred miles then flush again every 30k miles.

    HTH,
    Tom
    2010 T6 - Climate, Convenience, Premium Audio, RSE, Moonroof, ABL
    2002 V70XC, sold to move to Japan


    2014 Moto Guzzi Stelvio

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Oakville
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Thanks for sharing. Question, did you use a scanner after the flush to reset things? I am asking because the dealer told me I needed a scanner to tell the ECU that a transmission flush was performed. I find this odd, because I am not sure what the ECU is going to do differently after transmission flush or even cared about reporting transmission service. I have a 2011 XC70.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    IAD => NRT => IAH
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    210

    Default

    No scanner here or ECU reset done. I may disconnect the battery overnight to try to get the ECU and TCM to reset just to relearn any new driving characteristics, but I'm not at all worried about that.

    I noticed that when I removed the level plug initially, about 200ml of fluid came out which means the tranny was slightly overfilled from the factory. I'll probably try to replicate that when I check the final level with a warm transmission, not hot.

    Pretty simple process, just measure what you take out, refill with the same, then check the level at the end.

    Tom
    2010 T6 - Climate, Convenience, Premium Audio, RSE, Moonroof, ABL
    2002 V70XC, sold to move to Japan


    2014 Moto Guzzi Stelvio

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Oakville
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by toma nova View Post
    No scanner here or ECU reset done. I may disconnect the battery overnight to try to get the ECU and TCM to reset just to relearn any new driving characteristics, but I'm not at all worried about that.

    I noticed that when I removed the level plug initially, about 200ml of fluid came out which means the tranny was slightly overfilled from the factory. I'll probably try to replicate that when I check the final level with a warm transmission, not hot.

    Pretty simple process, just measure what you take out, refill with the same, then check the level at the end.

    Tom
    Great. Please report back if it needs to be overfilled slightly... I noticed you have a T6. I have a 2011 w/3.2 engine. According to what I am able to conclude my car needs AW-1 fluid which is the Volvo part number 31256774.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    IAD => NRT => IAH
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    210

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TrueNorth View Post
    Great. Please report back if it needs to be overfilled slightly... I noticed you have a T6. I have a 2011 w/3.2 engine. According to what I am able to conclude my car needs AW-1 fluid which is the Volvo part number 31256774.
    Same transmission. I did tons of internet research before deciding on 3309. You will not find any cross reference for the Volvo number. What settled me on the 3309 is that Toyota uses the Aisin transmission and specs Type-IV which is known to be relabeled 3309. For complete peace of mind, you can buy the Volvo fluid from the dealer, but I chose a case of 3309 from Amazon instead.

    I checked the fill today and brought it down to a trickle from the overflow plug. Essentially no overfill, but I did not let it drip dry (like I would for an oil change). I'll post if there are any issues.

    Tom
    2010 T6 - Climate, Convenience, Premium Audio, RSE, Moonroof, ABL
    2002 V70XC, sold to move to Japan


    2014 Moto Guzzi Stelvio

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    22

    Default

    The additional info over the "Gibbons method" posts are much appreciated. Long time RWD Volvo guy here, just acquired a 2008 XC70 with 105K on it, so a trans flush is high on the priority list.

    Just a procedural note, based on the scars on my butt: whenever you set out to replace the fluid in any trans which has a fill plug, open the fill plug BEFORE opening the drain plug. Perhaps my experience (war story, no need to describe it here) was an unfortunate, rare occurance, but I will never, ever drain a trans again before I know for a fact I can get fresh juice in it!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    IAD => NRT => IAH
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    Default

    2018 update:

    I used the same method as previously with no issues. I did have to replace the level / drain plugs as I could not get the level plug out (stripped the torx head). The fluid after 40k miles was a bit brown and cloudy but still smelled fresh. I had used 3309 in 2015 but splurged for Aisin Type-IV from ipd this time.

    I was getting some flaring on upshift so with this new fluid, I will also go to the dealer for a TCM reset and relearning. I'm also considering Polestar for better shifting performance but will see if fresh fluid and software will deliver the crispness I'm looking for.

    Tom
    2010 T6 - Climate, Convenience, Premium Audio, RSE, Moonroof, ABL
    2002 V70XC, sold to move to Japan


    2014 Moto Guzzi Stelvio

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    73

    Default

    Coming from the RWD VOlvos. The factory AT replacement procedure was pretty much the same, except there was a fill-in tube with with the stick. But I used a widely popular method of just disconnecting a AT line at the radiator, running a transparent tube from it into the bucket with labels for every quart. Pimp out and refill one quart at a time, then reconnect the tube back. No need to even get under the car, never bothered with the drain plug and draining the fluid either. Is a similar way possible here too? Is the drain and refill really necessary, or can it be accomplished by just running AT from the disconnected line?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Great! However, does this mean that the oil flow through the cooler is opposite of earlier versions? Descriptions I’ve seen says return is from the top of the cooler... Definitely doing this!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Gloucester County, New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Hi,

    I'll add a related comment to Smitty's. The overflow or "l level setting snorkel tube" has a Torx 40 w/ a neoprene washer in it. In my car, the torx head plug seemed like it was made of pot metal and I oogled out the corroded torx "facets" when I retightened it and it was a big PITA to get it out even with very little torque on it. My suggestion is to order yourself a new replace,emy overflow plug and washer .........before you do a drain..... and know that you won't be screwed wasting a lot of time getting that overflow bolt out. I ordered 2 of them. Crazy price at $4 or so each but you know the drill already. The new replacement Torx head bolt feels harder than the original. Good luck.
    Mike

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