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Looking at a t6- 2005 150,xxx mi

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on Volvo XC90s. The XC90 proved to be very popular, and very good for Volvo's sales numbers, since its introduction in model year 2003 (North America).
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Looking at a t6- 2005 150,xxx mi

Post by volvooh »

May be going to look at an XC90. Unfortunately its a T6, which I understand draws the short straw for potential transmission issues.

I would like to assume if its made it to 2018 it would have exhibited the problems before this time, but who knows. I have the VIN number and called my local dealership who said they are only able to look at service history at their location. No clue where this was purchased at and received its service over the years.

Is it possible by VIN to see if it is susceptible to transmission issues? Was the transmission issue ever resolved a fix brought to market?

Love the vehicle, but want to proceed cautiously.
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Re: Looking at a t6- 2005 150,xxx mi

Post by ggleavitt »

GM 4-speed issues were never resolved to any extent by Volvo. Even with replacement, the fundamental issues never go away, it was a poor engineering choice on Volvo's part (regardless as to reason).

Can see http://www.tripleedgeperformance.com/Vo ... -XC90.html for some reference, only real long-term "fix" that I am aware of is to harden the transmission with a rebuild (and a new cooler).

Entirely possible that you won't have any issues, if you do then you'll know what you have for options.
2005 2.5T AWD-201k
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Re: Looking at a t6- 2005 150,xxx mi

Post by oragex »

As above, this transmission fails after 40-60000 miles. For sure the car is on its second of third transmission, you need to drive the car for 30 min and pay attention for any shifting hesitation, slipping, kicks, etc. Replacing the transmission is about $6500 at Volvo, used ones are a guessing.
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Re: Looking at a t6- 2005 150,xxx mi

Post by SuperHerman »

Couple of thoughts regarding the transmission as the owner of a 2004 XC90. Transmission life, excluding coolant leak issues and hard mechanical failures, depends on how the car was operated. If the XC90 lived the life of mainly cruising the highway without a lot of start and stop shifting the transmission will last longer. Hilly terrain and stops and starts are very hard on the transmission.

The main problem with the transmission is the clutch packs wear. This is for two main reasons 1) The XC90 is big and heavy; and 2) the 4t65E transmission, used in the XC90 and various other cars, was designed for softer shifting which increases wear rates of certain clutch packs and the design does not have a good system to adjust for this wear.

Fortunately rebuilding the transmission in car is not very difficult and can be done for under $500.00 if you are a DIYer and the failure is clutch pack wear. I have done it and there are some write ups on the S80 forum. During rebuild one can replace certain steels with thicker ones which improves long term wear. [Note: Volvo rebuilds do not have this change - as another posted mentioned Tripleedge performance has great information on the subject plus Dave is an excellent person to do business with].

To evaluate the transmission you should look at a few items. First how is it currently driving. Second the transmission fluid service history. Third the current state of the transmission fluid. As the clutch packs wear they turn the fluid dark, towards black. If the fluid is nice and clean you have to consider my second point. The prior owner may have just changed the fluid, hiding a pending failure. On the other hand, if the fluid was routinely changed, and it has been 10-15k miles since the last service, the fluid condition will tell you the state of the transmission. You have to look at all three of these things to judge the transmission.

The final factor to consider is the prior owner's driving environment - the stops and starts and terrain (hills).

At 150k, if the transmission was recently rebuilt, the car would be worth in the $3500-5,000 range. If the transmission was not recently rebuilt, the price would be closer to $1500-3000. This of course assumes the rest of the car is in proper order.

One other thing I would look at is the state of the turbos. You can do this by taking off the plastic charge air pipe and looking at the aluminum air tubes for oil. Usually Bank 2, drivers side, starts to cause problems at 150k miles. You will see oil in the aluminum tubes. I just encountered this problem and rebuilt my turbos. You can find a write up I did if you look at my posts.

The XC90 2.9T is a great SUV, and for the right price a good buy. Just make sure the purchase price reflects potential transmission issues. If you can do the work yourself and the purchase price is on the lower end I mentioned you will be happy. Otherwise I would not recommend the vehicle because a transmission removal, rebuild and replacement will cost from $2500-4000.00.

Two final items, first the XC90, regardless of year, transmission and engine is very hard on suspension parts. Second the XC90 has an awd system that needs to be maintained. Drive shaft, differential fluids and seals all need servicing. Check the paperwork for this plus do a visual inspection.
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Re: Looking at a t6- 2005 150,xxx mi

Post by wanderdüne »

My '03 has 178K mi., Trans was rebuilt at 49K mi. by a local shop not using "beefy" parts. I had read somewhere that when the trans was reprogrammed after the rebuild, that the new programming alleviated the potential for damage somewhat by reducing power to the engine from a stop. Probably read it on the internet. Anyway, great otherwise.
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