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The Birth, Life & Death of an XC90 T6


Ok, that title was a little dramatic, but that’s the idea. MVS member XVTer bought a 2004 XC90 T6 a few years ago for his wife. In between the buying date and selling date he posted some of the best tune-up, Stage 0 and restoration info for XC90s I’ve ever seen. This is his XC90 T6 story.

Beware Transmissions on XC90 T6 Models

XVTer didn’t know about the notorious XC90 T6 transmission problems, but after learning about them post-purchase, he felt he could rebuild it if/when it came to it.

The Repair Life of a XC90

We’ll start at the end (sale), and work back.

June 10th, 2013:

Just wanted to give a final update to this thread.

My wife and I have decided to sell the XC90 as-is with the slipping transmission. The mechanic who we sent the car to gave us an offer, and, though it was less than we wanted to get for the car, we decided it was time to part ways with the Volvo.

I have a few parts left over like all-weather mats and a set of aftermarket wheels which I may list on here, but I really don’t like shipping things so they may just go up on craigslist.

It has been many years, but I no longer own a Volvo right now. Hopefully one day I will have another but until then, Happy Modding.

June 2013, trouble hits:

Well, i finally got the dreaded “TRANSMISSION SERVICE URGENT” warning. Seems to be slipping a little in the 3-4 gear change. I inspected the fluid and it’s already black (changed fluid/filter last fall). Did two drain/fills with SeaFoam Trans Tune and it seems like it’s better, but I am not taking any chances. Having a guy look at it to see what the problem is. My ScanGauge gave me a general P0700 code – just states a problem with the transmission.


May 15th, 2013:

The VOLVO battery finally gave out and I went ahead and replaced it with a group 49 battery which is slightly larger than the original.

December 26, 2012, new shocks:


December 17, 2012

The XC90 is a great rig. Ours currently has 131,000 on it.

Here’s an update. In order to pass the MA state inpection this past week, I finally needed to address the exhaust. i had Lou’s Custom Exhaust in Portsmouth, NH fabricate a custom cat-back exhaust with a dual square tip for the euro-look. I am really happy with it and it has a bit more of a throaty sound when you get on the gas, and is quiet at idle without any drone.


We also had to put on a set of tires due to a bad alignment; I hadn’t had a chance to get snow tires on it yet, so I just bit the bullet and bought another set of all-seasons for our 18″ ‘Atlantis’ wheels. I’ve got the 17″ Sport Edition wheels which I will eventually mount some 235/65-17 tires on.

June 21st, 2012

A couple weeks ago, we got a Check Engine light. When I used my Scangauge II to read the code, it came up as a P0465, which is for an EVAP leak. I decided to start with the most basic problem, which is a leaky fuel cap. Upon inspection, I noticed that the cap seal was severly weather cracked. I stopped by the volvo dealer on my way home from work one day, but found that they didn’t sell the seal separately from the cap. I decided to stop by AutoZone and they had a cheap cap in stock. I simply took the seal off of the new cap and installed it on the Volvo gas cap. After clearing the code, we haven’t had an issue since.

In fall 2010, my wife fell in love with a 2004 XC90 and we had to get it. It was a huge step up from the ’01 Civic she had at the time and, since I’ve always had good luck with Volvos, I saw no problem with it. It had a full dealer maintenance history and had around 85k miles.

Unfortunately, I didn’t do very much research on it to determine that the T6 is the least favored due to transmission problems. My wife likes the car enough, though, that I think it would be worth rebuilding the transmission when it comes time for it.

Since I do most of the work on my cars myself, I figured I would start a thread for this car listing some of the things I have done and lessons learned along the way (and future lessons). I will continue to update/edit these posts as I go along (and as I find more of the old pictures)


  • 2004 Volvo XC90
  • 2.9L Inline 6-Cyl Twin Turbo (B6294T)
  • 4T65 4-speed Transmission
  • All-Wheel Drive
  • 18×7 Volvo Atlantis Wheels
  • 336mm Front Brake Rotors
  • Brake Bulbs: 7506
  • Reverse Bulbs: 7506
  • Rear Blinker: 7507
  • Rear ‘Position’ Light Bulbs: 2825
  • Taillight Bulbs: 7225

Parts List:

  • AMSOIL Signature Synthetic 0W-30 Engine Oil
  • AMSOIL Synthetic Multi-Vehicle ATF
  • AMSOIL Synthetic Power Steering Fluid
  • AMSOIL Synthetic DOT4 Brake Fluid
  • Powerstop Rotors (Drilled/Slotted/Zinc Plated)
  • Volvo Brake Pads
  • Volvo Parking Brake Shoes
  • Volvo All-Weather Floor Mats
  • Volvo All-Weather Cargo Mat
  • Volvo Cargo Cover
  • Volvo Roof Cross-Bars (Thule)

See a review of the 2004 XC90 T6 when it was still relatively new.

XVTer’s 2004 XC90 T6 AWD

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