Transmission fluid flush or fill?

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2001 - 2007 V70
2001 - 2004 V70 XC (Cross Country)
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2004 - 2007 V70 R

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rookie-Mechanic
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Year and Model: V70 XC 2002
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Transmission fluid flush or fill?

Post by rookie-Mechanic »

Hi,
I am not new to this forum as I have always utilized the info here to do repairs on my car but as a member yes. Thanks to all the people who give their inputs here and help us out.
I just wanted to get some opinion on transmission fluid change in my 2002 Volvo V70 XC. I don't really have a problem shifting my gears but certainly its not the smoothest. I wonder if that's just because the car is old and also the owner I bought it from did not take good care of the car at all. So, should I do a transmission flush at this point or just the drain out the old fluid and top it off with a new one?
Thanks!

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oragex
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Post by oragex »

How many miles on it? You may want first to check the transmission dipstick see if the fluid looks clear pink.

The easiest way is to disconnect the return line to the radiator and remove 3l, refill 3l, and so on. There is just no real need to crawl under the car to drain the pan.

Just don't expect miracles, it is rather the solenoids that got clogged causing harder shifting. Fresh fluid won't fix the solenoids.
Last edited by oragex on Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by oragex »

2x post

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Post by precopster »

If you use Gibbons method which is drain 3.5L and then use hoses to extract more then you can more or less do the whole transmission crankcase safely.

You'll need some hose, new O rings and green clip as well as some milk jugs marked at 2 quarts.

A reset of transmission adaptation and fluid reset through Vida may bring a marked improvement but no promises.
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Post by Georgeandkira »

This is what you do.
Get 4 quarts of suitable transmission fluid, an 18mm drain plug gasket (looks like a thin washer) and a 24mm wrench.
Graduate an old gallon jug (by pints) and drain the trannie's sump.
Measure the volume of the drained fluid (it'll be anywhere from 3.25 to 3.75 qt.) and refill.
You can adjust the level over time.

Doing this drain & fill will let you see how dirty the fluid is. OBVIOUSLY a visual examination is no substitute for an oil analysis but it'll get you started. Wiping the dipstick on a white rag affords a misleading diagnosis. The wipe always looks redder.

If the oil is filthy you can then decide to do additional sump drains or go for a pump out as oragex suggested.

If you want to cover all the bases, have 16 quarts of fluid ready and be prepared to do the pump out IMMEDIATELY AFTER the first drain & fill. This way you won't be doing successive sump dumps; an inefficient but not entirely bad way to go.

My '07 had had a pump out performed 42,000 miles/42 months before I got it. Three D&Fs got me back to clear red.
What condition your '02's fluid is in remains to be seen. I'll bet it's jet black.

Here's where the arguments start.
Some say strike hard and fast by doing a complete pump out. Others say the poor old trannie will die of shock and that successive D&F's gently clean its inwards.
Still others say that the fluid is good for life. These people are deranged.....basically because I say so.
STILL OTHERS will insist that crud in transmissions seal them internally and doing anything will make the units die.
This camp has been known to concede that MAYBE a little clean fluid is OK.

The absence of data is a bit frustrating. Lots of weak transmissions are going to die as a matter of course. New fluid in these neglected units will not restore 'em. Then, when they die, people claim the new fluid killed them.

To me your trannie sounds like it's still going strong but showing a sign or two of either aging or sticking or both.
As oragex said, damaged solenoids won't be mended by new fluid but sticky ones can free up.
Too many people have experienced improvements with fresh fluid. Poo-pooing the idea of TRYING clean fluid is fatalistic and defeatist. It simply doesn't cost that much to try.

This is why I'd go for an initial D&F as an economical first step.

FCPeuroparts has an attractively priced kit which included 4 quarts of Aisin fluid and a sealing gasket (the 18mm washer mentioned above). I needed stuff which got me across their $49 FREE SHIPPING threshold. It's the way to go if you need, say, an engine air filter and cabin air filter.

I've tended 4 of these AW 55-50X units and haven't had a problem using Toyota T-IV, PetroCanada's Universal synthetic, Wolf's Head Super Universal Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid, Valvoline MaxLife Dex/Merc LV (a synthetic-gotta be the LV) and Mobil's own 3309.

Others will jump up and down and scream about only using Genuine Volvo fluid (kinda expensive at ~$20 per qt.) so buy what you want.

Before I added the LubeGard I had my '02's TCM reloaded at a Volvo dealer. It was the very first thing I did as the PO flushed the transmission several times and the fluid was as clear as I've ever seen. The stupid "Stop neutral feature" may have been turned on in my car during its youth. This stupid feature (thank you Ford) was not employed by any other car maker which purchased these transmissions from AW.

If the oil is clean or you get it to clean I recommend adding LubeGard (red bottle) at the recommended dosage of 1 oz. per quart capacity. It further smoothed the shifting in my '02.

There you have it. PM me and I'll send you an 18mm washer just because I'm a nice person AND I want to read a report from you about your rejuvenated trannie-poo. Kira

ps This is the part where you post back that you're 128 years old and have no arms. Then, since you aren't comfortable dealing with local garages you're just going to dump the car anyway. Best of luck. K

rookie-Mechanic
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Post by rookie-Mechanic »

Thanks so much for all the suggestions especially Georgeandkira! I am still trying to absorb all of it and play it out in my head so that I understand it well. First of all, I am not even sure if my transmission has any problem. It shifts fine and well but not like a honking new car. It also could be other components of the stick that makes it feel lil tight sometimes but nothing that has bothered me.
I just want to change the fluid because I don't know what the past owner did.
Lemme check the dipstick tomorrow as my car is parked a mile away from where I live:)
Thanks again!

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Post by erikv11 »

Yay to Kira for a spot-on post. The fun part is, even though the trans is not acting up, it will shift smoother once you get all new fluid swapped in there.
'95 854 T5-R, Motronic 4.4, 185k
'96 855 NA, 145k
'98 S70 NA, 220k (living out west)
'98 V70, T5 tune-injectors-turbo, LPT engine, 293k
'06 S60 R, 167k
'07 XC70, 170k
'99 Camry V6 :shock: 130k
gone: '96 NA 850 210k, '98 NA V70 182k

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Post by Georgeandkira »

But "all new fluid" doesn't have to be the goal necessarily.

The existing fluid could be clean (though I doubt it). It's just that an easy <4 quart drain & fill is a great place to start.

To the rookie from Ft. Collins (CO?): How many miles are on this vehicle?

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Post by abscate »

Just don't go looking for a gibbons in the local zoo and you will be fine with either drain and fill or a swap we just did wizechatmgr via the top trans oil line and it went great
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