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S80 1G 6Cyl Auto Transmission Fluid & Filter Change How-To

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on the Volvo S80 model. Sometimes called an "executive car", the S80 was and continues to be Volvo's top-of-the-line passenger car.
vegasjetskier
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Volvo Repair Database S80 1G 6Cyl Auto Transmission Fluid & Filter Change How-To

Post by vegasjetskier » Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:16 pm

This is for the first generation S80 cars that use the GM 4T65E automatic transmission.

Volvo says that the fluid in these transmissions is "lifetime." What does that mean? I think it means just long enough to get out of warranty so that it's not their problem anymore. These transmissions fail at a very high rate, and I think that not changing the fluid may have something to do with it. I believe that a change interval of about 30,000 miles is reasonable. You need to get that old used-up fluid and shift-clutch gunk out of there and get some fresh fluid in.

Tools and supplies you will need:

Jack and jackstands.
12mm socket and ratchet.
10mm socket and ratchet.
New filter.
7 quarts of Dexron III or VI ATF.
Drain pan.
Disc brake cleaner.
Paper towels or rags.

Start by chocking the wheels and jacking up the front of the car. Position the jackstands to prevent the car from falling on you while you are working.

Slide under the car and remove the (7) 12mm bolts holding the plastic undertray on:
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Drop the undertray down and slide it out of the way. Move your drain pan under the transmission pan. Loosen the 10mm bolts along the rear of the pan, then loosen the bolts on the sides and the front until fluid begins to flow out at the back edge:
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Wait until the fluid stops flowing, then remove all 20 bolts. Remove the last bolt while holding the pan up to the bottom of the transmission. Slide the pan forward slightly to clear the subframe. Keep the pan horizontal and bring it down over the drain pan, then tip it so the remaining fluid flows into the drain pan. Set the transmission pan aside.

The dark area in the center of this picture is the filter:
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Grab it by the end and wiggle it back and forth while pulling down to remove it:
(32).JPG
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If necessary, pry downward at the other end where the suction tube goes into the transmission. It's just held in by friction on the rubber seal:
(33).JPG
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Once the filter pops loose, drain it into the drain pan and set it aside.

Here is a comparison of the old and new filters:
(37).JPG
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The filter on the right is the old Volvo brand filter that cost $37. The filter on the left is one I got at Advance Auto parts for $13. I told them I wanted a filter to fit a 2000 Chevy Impala 3800 (3.8 liter engine) and that's the filter they gave me. It looks pretty much the same and should work because both cars use the same transmission. Pep Boys and Autozone also carry the filter for the Chevy. Of course, there's no way to know what the filter media inside looks like, so if you're really concerned, you might want to spring for the more expensive Volvo filter. Personally, I think it's the same thing in different packaging.

The kit comes with a new rubber pan gasket. Use it if your car has a non-reusable gasket on it (like cork). If you have the rigid reusable gasket that has ridges along it's length and around the bolt holes, use that one and discard the rubber gasket. The ring in the photo is a replacement gasket for the suction tube that goes up into the transmission. You can pry the old one out and press the new one in, or reuse the old one. I just reused the old one.

Here's a closeup of the seal ring:
Filter suction tube and seal ring.jpg
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The back side of the filters:
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Position the new filter under the transmission and press it up into position.

Use the disc brake cleaner and paper towels or rags to clean the transmission pan. Here are pics of my pan before cleaning. You can see some very small black particles in the bottom of the pan. The magnet (the rectangular shape to the left) has a coating of particles on it. All this gunk should be removed.
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Clean the gasket and position it on the pan. Slide the pan into position on the bottom of the transmission and start the bolts but do not tighten them. Once you have all the bolts started you can tighten them in sequence around the pan.

Now remove the ATF dipstick.
(40)-1.jpg
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Insert a funnel into the dipstick tube and add Dexron III, Dexron VI, or equivalent fluid. DO NOT use Type F, Mercon, or 3309. Add a quart and check for leaks. If no leaks, add 5 quarts and check the level. It should take a total of about 7 quarts to refill it. The level is checked with the engine running and the transmission in Park. Shift through all of the gears first.
(51).JPG
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Reinstall the undertray, remove the drain pan, and lower the car to the ground. Recheck the ATF level. If you have some showing on the dipstick, drive the car a few miles to heat up the fluid and then recheck. It should come up to the HOT line on the dipstick. If it doesn't, slowly add more ATF until it does. Do not overfill.

This method replaces about 1/2 the fluid in the transmission (it holds about 13 quarts total). The rest is in the torque converter and the innards of the transmission. If you want more of it changed you can repeat the drain/fill portion by driving a few miles to mix the fluid, loosening the pan to drain, then tightening the bolts and adding more fluid. Each drain/fill cuts the old fluid proportion by 1/2, so after two drain/fills you'd have 75% new fluid and 25% old. After three drain/fills you'd have 87.5% new and 12.5% old. Or, you can use one of the "hose" methods here on the website.

Dispose of your old ATF in an environmentally-friendly manner. :D

PS. Just for grins I decided to open up the old filter to see how it worked.

The fluid goes through this rectangular opening in the bottom of the filter:
Flluid entry into bottom of filter.jpg
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Then up through this oval opening and into the filter media:
Filter With Bottom Deflector Plate Removed.jpg
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Filter media.jpg
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The media is like a vacuum cleaner bag - fluid flows into the center, then through the media and into the transmission through the suction tube. Here's a pic with the media "bag" pulled open at the seams to show the inside of the media:
Filter media opened at the seams.jpg
Filter media opened at the seams.jpg (114.83 KiB) Viewed 33471 times
This media looks really clean, but that may be due to the fact that it only has about 10,000 miles on it.
Last edited by vegasjetskier on Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:31 pm, edited 5 times in total.


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Re: S80 1G 6Cyl Auto Trans Fluid & Filter Change How-To

Post by neworleans » Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:58 am

thanks for the write up vega.
did you not pump out the rest of the fluid after adding 7qts of fluid?
do we need to glue the new gasget to the pan before we bolt it back?
thanks..



vegasjetskier
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vegasjetskier

Re: S80 1G 6Cyl Auto Trans Fluid & Filter Change How-To

Post by vegasjetskier » Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:41 am

neworleans wrote:thanks for the write up vega.
did you not pump out the rest of the fluid after adding 7qts of fluid?
do we need to glue the new gasget to the pan before we bolt it back?
thanks..
No, I didn't pump out the rest of the fluid because I had previously done the drain/fill routine a few times and had mostly fresh fluid in there.

Do NOT glue the gasket to the pan. You should have the rigid reusable gasket on your car. Be careful when you remove it and just clean it and use it again. If you break it, use the new one supplied in your filter kit.


.

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Re: S80 1G 6Cyl Auto Trans Fluid & Filter Change How-To

Post by neworleans » Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:20 pm

what kind of ATF would be your second preference?
The one you used is 9bucks a bottle which is a little bit costly...



vegasjetskier
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Re: S80 1G 6Cyl Auto Trans Fluid & Filter Change How-To

Post by vegasjetskier » Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:33 pm

neworleans wrote:what kind of ATF would be your second preference?
The one you used is 9bucks a bottle which is a little bit costly...
Any Dexron III or VI. You can get Supertech @ Walmart for $2.77 a quart - less if you buy it in the gallon containers.


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SOLD - 2001 Volvo S80 T6: Mobil 1 Oil & Synthetic ATF, Brake Performance drilled and slotted front rotors, Akebono Euro Ceramic pads and Yokohama Avid V4S tires, 91K miles.

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Re: Transmission Fluid & Filter Change How-To (S80 1G 6Cyl Auto)

Post by BoomerSooner » Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:58 pm

Nice job Vegas. Thinking about tackling my transmission fluid/filter change soon. I bought my 2001 S80 T6 about two months ago and it has approx. 141,000 miles on it. I'm guessing our transmissions are the same since we have the same make, year and model?

I noticed my transmission fluid is sort of brown in color. Normally I'd think it should be pink/red...right?

Other than the color looking off, another reason I want to change the fluid is that the transmission tends to take a second or two to slip into first gear when I first start it up cold. After it warms up and I go from Park to Drive it does fine. Never seems to have this issue going into Reverse tho...should I be concerned?

The other thing I notice about the transmission is that when I accelerate quicker than normal, the shift from 1st to 2nd is pretty hard. Hard enough to get a decent chirp out of the tires (which are brand new). Concern there too?

Anyway, thanks for any insight you or anyone else here on the forums can give me regarding the transmission.

Boomer



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Re: S80 1G 6Cyl Auto Transmission Fluid & Filter Change How-To

Post by maframm » Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:01 pm

I'm having some tranny problems with my s80 2002 145k, reverse does not engage on uphill I have to turn off the car and try again and it will engage. On level surface no problem. Tranny is acting up with some rough shifting when driving off from a stop.

I did some research on tranny oils and found that some technicians highly recommend Mobil 3309 saying that it is one of the best oils for a volvo?

What do you think?

Thanks,

Mario



vegasjetskier
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Re: S80 1G 6Cyl Auto Transmission Fluid & Filter Change How-To

Post by vegasjetskier » Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:44 am

maframm wrote:I'm having some tranny problems with my s80 2002 145k, reverse does not engage on uphill I have to turn off the car and try again and it will engage. On level surface no problem. Tranny is acting up with some rough shifting when driving off from a stop.

I did some research on tranny oils and found that some technicians highly recommend Mobil 3309 saying that it is one of the best oils for a volvo?

What do you think?

Thanks,

Mario
3309 is a good fluid for lots of Volvos, however the first generation S80 used a General Motors transmission that takes Dexron III (which was replaced by Dexron VI). I would not put 3309 in my car.


.

SOLD - 2001 Volvo S80 T6: Mobil 1 Oil & Synthetic ATF, Brake Performance drilled and slotted front rotors, Akebono Euro Ceramic pads and Yokohama Avid V4S tires, 91K miles.

Help this site: Amazon.com link, Tirerack.com link, Donate

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Re: S80 1G 6Cyl Auto Transmission Fluid & Filter Change How-To

Post by jbrown122 » Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:50 pm

Nice guide!

I was wondering, since I am considering buying an S80, when you drop the pan, and change the filter, can you use the ipd kit and flush the rest of the fluid out with the pan dropped?

Or would you have to take the pan off, keep the old fluid, and just change the filter, put the pan back on, then flush it out? Does the ipd pump way even get the fluid out of the pan? Or no.


Thanks!



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Re: S80 1G 6Cyl Auto Transmission Fluid & Filter Change How-To

Post by natia » Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:24 am

Hello,

Thanks for the info on how to change the tranmission fluid.

Is there an transmission additive that can be used to help maintain the transmission other than just changing the fluid every 30k.

I have a 02 S80 with 95k and need to change the transmission fluid now..

I am on a budget cannot avoid a new car enjoy the one I have just want to help extend the life.

Can I use the Walmart Supertech ATF and get the same results... Whatever brand I start with I want to use the same each time.

THanks



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