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Need to untangle transmission/engine problems, please advise! (S60 2001)

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musje83
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Year and Model: S60 2001
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Need to untangle transmission/engine problems, please advise! (S60 2001)

Post by musje83 »

Hej (Swedish for Hi 8) )

(I'm Dutch and my English should be sufficient but when it comes to cars & technical info, my skills are a bit unproven so please forgive any mistakes or unnecessarily long sentences :lol: )

I owned a 2000 S60 (manual) for a year before upgrading to my current 2001 S60 (170BHP, automatic, 375.000 KM or 235.000 miles). I love this car a lot, besides having the Volvo virus since I was a boy, the car just fits my needs and budget perfectly. To me, it's something of a project, intending to upgrade and modernise it in many ways. LED-conversion, full touch 2DIN HU integration (done), speaker upgrade, exterior detailing, you name it - but tempting as all that is, the car has some mechanical issues I need to fix first.

Now, many smaller gripes are on my to do list but my main issue is, surprise surprise, the automatic gearbox.
Many problems are also possibly, somehow, connected to each other, for example the TCU uses information from the engine(-sensors) to determine when to shift, and if that information is bad I imagine shifting becomes erratic.
I am a bit lost in where I should start and where to end. So i'll try and list all issues and hope you guys can tell me which should be addressed first so I can avoid a trial & error approach as much as possible.

From what I've read, there's dozens of approaches & solutions, including tranny replacement (not going to happen), rebuild (not happening), solenoid replacement/upgrade, magnefine filters, oil flushes... so here's my list:


The symptoms:


- The automatic transmission sometimes works well, sometimes it doesn't. Hesitation between shifts, slight vabrations in shift 2-3, sloppy downshifts, hard shifting (clunks) after taking tight turns or roundabouts and when accelerating quickly after cruising at low speeds. It all comes and passes, sometimes the car drives relatively well for 5-10-15 miles on end and the next day the issues come back, some or all, sometimes cold, sometimes only when warmed up.
- A lot of times it feels like i'm missing a lot of power, like driving with 100-120 BHP instead of 170. At times the car accellerates like it should, many times it feels 'castrated' somehow.
- General driveability is acceptable, as in: it always takes me where I need to go. I never experienced limp mode or errors in the display. When driving normally, the symptoms are there but I drive it daily for at least 40-50 miles.

Work done so far:

- Removed the neutral engage clunking by updating the transmission software (the dealer ofc. didn't know what I was talking about :roll: )
- Previous owner did a drain & fill at 185k miles, I did a Powerflush by a specialist at 225k miles (+ adding conditioner and resetting oil degradation counter). 5k miles later, I added Dr. Tranny Shudder-fix.
- About 5k miles after the flush, I had the B4 Server Cover replaced but the old one was still intact (although some silver-colored oil came out of the opening, it was contaminated by metal even though the ATF on the dipstick looks red and smells normal)
- Replaced three main engine mounts(?) for new OEMs.

Current mechanical issues I know of:

- My car runs on LPG (similar to the Bi-Fuel edition, only with an after-market installation). The injectors are placed on top of the inlet manifold and one has a small vacuum leak (the O-ring doesn't seal properly anymore). Spraying brake cleaner on that injector stalls the engine, the other 4 are fine. I already bought a special sealant, hope to fix it soon. Click for image from the web of a leaking injector, for those who never heard of LPG :D
- When starting the engine (cold), the cabin often reeks of (petrol) exhaust fumes. When the car switches to LPG more quickly, like when the weather is hot, there can also be a gas-smell. It disappears after a minute or two, but comes back when the car has to struggle (Italian small & steep alpine roads) or when accelerating fast at traffic lights.
- The above is probably related to the ECM 4201 error code in VIDA and the 'emission' orange light in my dash. Erasing the code helps for 20 minutes before it comes back. Something in the exhaust manifold and/or catalystic converter?
- There's too much leeway(?) in both front driving axles, according to the mechanic.
- CV joints need replacing (noisy in tight turns, some clunking)
- Wishbones/struts/strut-bearings/bars etc. all need replacing
- Car battery is only so-so

Now I am also an active member of the Dutch Volvo community but I get the feeling they got a little stuck in the 'powerflush will fix everything', two flushers actively sponsoring that forum probably contributes to that) so after reading loads of useful tips on this site, I thought I'd ask you guys for help :mrgreen:

Hope you are willing to assist, share your thoughts and/or ask your questions below. Much appreciated!

Cheers,
Marius
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Re: Need to untangle transmission/engine problems, please advise! (S60 2001)

Post by chrism »

What brand and type fluid are you currently running in the transmission?
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Re: Need to untangle transmission/engine problems, please advise! (S60 2001)

Post by jonesg »

Leaking injectors will cause other problems, the computer senses a lean mix and adds fuel, causing a rich condition, that affects the O2 sensor and cat converter. Fix the injector , clear codes and other problems might go away.
musje83
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Year and Model: S60 2001
Location: the Netherlands

Re: Need to untangle transmission/engine problems, please advise! (S60 2001)

Post by musje83 »

@Chrism: I believe it was Mobil 1 - JWS3309 spec. Not 100% sure though, let me double check.

@Jonesg: Thank you - I was afraid something like that. Just wondering if it's just the leaking injector or a damaged Cat and/or leaks in the exhaust manifold (i've read the bolts used for the exhaust can also start leaking over time). Question is, would that also affect the TCM and transmission behavior?

One other thing that might be a sign - the small pipe on the exhaust muffler broke off (muffler and the rest of the exhaust are still good), and a portion of my rear bumper melted away because of it - could that be a sign of a bad (rich) fuel mixture or could 'normal' exhaust fumes melt a piece of bumper even under normal conditions?

Finally, the TEMP gauge never gets beyond the exact middle of the gauge (12 o'clock), shouldn't it be slightly over under certain circumstances? I know the sensor is something of a troublemaker, my previous S60's temp gauge wouldn't go beyond 11 o'clock and replacing the sensor fixed that.
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Re: Need to untangle transmission/engine problems, please advise! (S60 2001)

Post by abscate »

Normal exhaust will melt plastic if it goes directly onto the bumper cover

The temp gauge should sit at 12 o/clock and basically never move - they are not true temperature gauges but basically have three states -

1. Warming up - (which should take 2-3 minutes regardless of outside temperature)

2. Normal

3. STOP YOUR CAR right now and fix your overheating problem!
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Re: Need to untangle transmission/engine problems, please advise! (S60 2001)

Post by vtl »

Your transmission crappy shifts for the most part is aftermarket fluid, plus you mentioned extra additives... I was living with crappy shifting transmission for 4 years since bought the car, went through 5 different JWS-3309 fluids - no good. Finally convinced myself to flush with OE fluid, since the car was shifting fine when I got it, and - ta-da - shifts totally fine now.
05 XC70 265k, 16 XC60 45k, 19 Tundra 5k
musje83
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Year and Model: S60 2001
Location: the Netherlands

Re: Need to untangle transmission/engine problems, please advise! (S60 2001)

Post by musje83 »

Really? Strange thing is that -according to many Powerflush customers on the Dutch V70/S60 forum- both the chosen aftermarket oil and the additives solved most their shift issues instantly. I'm not 100% sure if he used the 3309 but i am positive he didn't use OE fluid (= OEM/original volvo, right?), I remember seeing large yellow Kroon Oil barrels. Should be either one of these (in Dutch but specs are universal):

https://www.kroon-oil.com/nl/catalogus/ ... -2062/686/
https://www.kroon-oil.com/nl/catalogus/ ... 4026/5221/

Both listed as 'Aisin Warner JWS 3099' . So what I don't understand is how this could be worse than simple Volvo fluid that should have the same specs?
Do you know the Volvo OEM Part ID for that particular fluid?
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Re: Need to untangle transmission/engine problems, please advise! (S60 2001)

Post by vtl »

1161540 for 1l jug
1161640 for 4l jug
05 XC70 265k, 16 XC60 45k, 19 Tundra 5k
musje83
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:20 am
Year and Model: S60 2001
Location: the Netherlands

Re: Need to untangle transmission/engine problems, please advise! (S60 2001)

Post by musje83 »

The Flusher I went to last June can flush using OEM fluid but it'd cost nearly twice as much as the one he uses. Also he says it would make no sense changing fluids back to OEM as it supposedly won't make it shift any better. He is convinced that his fluid is of superior quality, based on over 1.000 flushes over the years, using a few dozen different fluids. And because he does offer the possibility to flush using OEM fluids, I'm not convinced he's trying to simply sell me what's good for him, he just adds powerflush costs to the fluid costs. Should I believe him?

Oh and he told me he uses Ardeca full synthetic, not Kroon. I believe it to be this one (translated from Dutch), the characteristics are listed at the bottom of the page, no idea what they mean though :oops:


He is also convinced that tranny's over 175k miles are mostly goners. According to him, I should replace my entire valve body.

And there's the problem; each repair might or might not fix the issue. So where to go from here? Should I put the gearbox in adaptation mode again after I've fixed the cat/fuel mixture and leaking injector issue so it'll re-adapt to the new circumstances? Or does the TCM not rely on the ECU that much?

Also, if my issue is caused by 'debris' (could explain why the problems come and go) pumping through the valve body and solenoids, could a magnefine filter fix this or are they meant for preventive use (after a flush)?

For me, the most confusing bit is that the problems are far from consistent. No error codes appear (in display nor VIDA), no day is like the other: shifting fine, shifting bad, shifting so-so, different every day.
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Re: Need to untangle transmission/engine problems, please advise! (S60 2001)

Post by vtl »

I tried 5 JWS-3309 fluids* in two P2 cars in last 6 years. The cars were shifting properly prior replacing fluid. The original idea was, as usual, to save money, but I ended up with spending like a grand on fluids, 400 for Rostra solenoids et al, 1200 for VB replacement, not to mention a few years of driving in a frustrating car.

One car ended up with replacing a valve body. It had Idemutsu before repair (works best within aftermarket fluids in my experience), topped off again with Idemitsu after repair. Valve body was a rebuilt one, using Sonnax kit. Shifted ok after that, maybe a bit harsher with pedal to the metal than it used to before ATF experiments were started.

The other car is still with the original valve body at 156k miles. It has a much stronger 2.5T engine, I love to pull, it shifts perfectly with OE fluid. Besides 3 gear, which still gives me an inconsistent slight jolt sometimes. Almost sure it's not ATF-related, need to look at B4 band and servo. With aftermarket fluids it had jolts in every gear, so annoying.

ATF compatibility discussions are over for me: stick with original.

[*] Amsoil Signature, Mobil 3309, Idemitsu Type-TLS, Valvoline MaxLife, Aisin 0T4.
05 XC70 265k, 16 XC60 45k, 19 Tundra 5k
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