XC60 2006 xc90 2.5T issues - gearbox TCM update?

kwahodiSteve (@kwahodi) Traralgon
edited July 2018 in Troubleshooting
First and foremost I want to thank all members of this forum for the great advice offered here. This is my first post so please be nice :) as always. My normal runaround is a 1998 Volvo V40T which I've had for the last 6 years and apart from 1 or 2 small issues, has been going well.
We recently got a 2006 xc90 2.5T for my wife. I purposely avoided a T6...:) It had 162k on the clock and the price was really good - was abit worried that the price was too good. Had no service history with it but a sticker "Bilia Volvo". Called them and they told me they last serviced that car 5 years ago. Nothing major done on it. Anyway, when I got it, I changed the following immediately:
- Timing belt
- Water pump
- Front brake rotors - had some brake shudder
- Engine oil and filter (Penrite full synthetic and Bosch filter)
It has now done almost 15,000kms with really no issues, however recently I have noticed a few things on it. Having searched this forum (and others), I have listed a few things below with the possible fix/issues and will be glad if you guys can point me in the right direction:
- When cruising at 100 -110 km/h, if you gently throttle up, there is a bit of shudder...like a miss fire. But if you put your foot down, it down shifts and goes well again - possible fuel pressure sensor issue?
- There is a "rapid clunking" sound when turning that happens intermittently. Usually happens at slow speeds when turning. Have checked drive shaft boots and there is no tear or leaking grease. Some people on the interwebs have described it as "Axle ping"? - possible issue with axle bolts? need replacing?
- Now for the big one...sometimes, its missing a gear. Usually when you slow down and turning into an intersection - it feels like its gone into neutral then picks a gear. This only started happening recently. Its very intermittent and happens once or twice a week - possibly requiring transmission fluid flash? TCM software update?
I'm quite handy with cars and usually able to fix/replace a few things here and there. However, if I require software updates, etc then I guess I will require to take it somewhere. I'm based in Traralgon - about 2 hours East of Melbourne.

Appreciate all advice offered to keep her ticking along.



  • edited July 2018
    With those KLMS, don't flush. If it's never had a transmission service then every knowledge base I've been able to read says not to flush once a fair few KLMs are racked up.

    Definitely give it a drain and fill (there's a nice easy to access bolt on the bottom of the transmission, although the fill tube is a bit more of a PIA). Make sure you use JWS3309 fluid. I understand that Mobil makes the stuff for Volvo and I just purchased 2x20L drums from the distributor in Melbourne for something like $180 a drum. From Volvo you might get about 2L of the same stuff for the same money.

    For the drain and fill I've been able to extract about 3.5-3.7L and I just measure it and replace with exactly the same quantity.

    Can't comment on software, but worth a try.
  • Thanks for this - so the fill tube goes into the dipstick hole or the fluid line that goes into the radiator? Cheers!
  • Into the Dipstick hole.. bit about it on my 2.5T xc90 thead.. 3rd page in on the drain n fill.

  • That misfire thing.. may need the software to help narrow that one down first or it'll be a long frustrating guessing game. I had exactly that carry on with my audi and was all mass airflow sensor related in the end.
  • @bigal - that's exactly what I needed to see about the ATF drain and fill! Will be going through that entire thread as well as I can see some little things you've address as well - looks like a great thread!
  • kwahodiSteve (@kwahodi) Traralgon
    edited July 2018
    I've also just done a bit more investigation of the "Clunking" sound. Was under the car and it seems like there is some play between the propeller shaft and bevel gear :( . Sounds very much like the sound that I'm hearing. Possible bevel gear failure? How do we test this? I've taken a video of the play but not sure how to upload this here.
  • Ex850RSnoopy (@Ex850R) Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.
    Don't drain and fill.
    Do get to the hoses that come from the gearbox to the cooler in the radiator, take off the return line, put into a measuring receptacle, start vehicle and run till it pumps out a litre or so, add that amount of new fluid, repeat till clean fluid comes out.
    The fluid used by tech guys is Penrite, Valvoline, Castrol or genuine volvo, if you buy it from USA it's probably motul or Liqui Moly it's all synthetic.
    FCP is part #KIT-AW55TF80SC at 76 usd for 4lt but may require up to 12 possibly to clean it out. It's worth getting from FCP as you can get the oil replaced FREE, dunno about sending used oil back though, better talk to them about it..
    My man used Valvoline on my 150k v60t6, it made it heaps better and he declared it a good gearbox, he services many cars that use this type of box. Berry's in Mitcham use it too iirc. We had the s80d5 box done by them, no issues
    cancer sucks
  • Thanks @Ex850R - can you remember which Valvoline fluid he used and is it JWS3309 rated?
  • edited July 2018
    Mobil ATF3309 = Volvo genuine and also the same "Toyota" spec that suits the Aisin Warner tranny's, I believe. These transmissions were in many cars and are not Volvo or Toyota.....but they do need JWS3309

    Other fluids claim the same spec, perhaps rightly so.... But best I could research a few years ago the Volvo fluid "is" Mobil ATF 3309.
  • Sorry but don't waste your money or time the gearbox will be toast if its dropping out of gear on deceleration whilst turning
  • I don't think its toast @timbo. Its very intermittent. As I said, only happens about once or twice a week and the car is used daily for various tasks...shopping, school dropoffs, weekend trip to Melbourne - all these times, the gearbox has been quite smooth. I'm leaning more towards changing the fluid at this stage then reviewing :)
  • Do a few drain and fills with JWS3309 and it'll be valuable knowledge to others if your able to get a few more decades out of the tranny that is "supposed" to have lifetime / warranty period fluid.
  • Sent enough of these boxes to be rebuilt/cars to scrap to know flushing and software are not gonna fix your issues. If it's intermittent enough then sell it while it still drives would be my advice. Don't mean to sound overly negative just realistic. Ive tried everything thing you're about to do with numerous customer cars but it only delays the inevitable at best, or makes it worse
  • @timbo you seem to suggest these transmissions have a serious and fundamental durability issue...... The T6 GM tranny's are known to be a serious issue, but are these Aisin Warner tranny's in the same basket?
  • Ex850RSnoopy (@Ex850R) Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Melbourne.
    @timbo you seem to suggest these transmissions have a serious and fundamental durability issue...... The T6 GM tranny's are known to be a serious issue, but are these Aisin Warner tranny's in the same basket?

    At least the GM gearboxes can be rebuilt with a kit from USA to be bulletproof.
    In reality you should have gone for a T6 with the GM box, rebuilt it and converted to single turbo, it is what I really want to do with an xc90 at some point.

    If moving it on isn't good atm then maybe live with it? Leave it alone? Or if you must, just use any synthetic atf to change, my guy was doing lots of cars with the same transmission, internally at least, uses valvoline suited to the box, Wether rated jws or not.
  • @timbo you seem to suggest these transmissions have a serious and fundamental durability issue...... The T6 GM tranny's are known to be a serious issue, but are these Aisin Warner tranny's in the same basket?

    Did you miss the numerous gearbox failures of the early 2000's models? Our local dealer was sending one a week up to the transmission rebuilder. Most were lasting 60-80,000kms.
    Whilst the later model (post05) aw55 will last longer than the earlier models they are fundamentally the same box and if they're never serviced they will fail around these KMS especially in the AWD models.
    It sounds like, in this case, the internal filter in the valve body is starting to block up
  • edited July 2018
    I was aware of the early boxes from 2000/01 failing regularly but thought they were failing up around 150+ and no maintenance?

    We did have an 01 S60 2.5T (which I understand is essentially the same box) which did 140K until an accident and the box was perfect.

    I have read of very high mileage 2.5T cars from later years with owners vouching for the the cars trouble free drivetrain. Always thought with drain and fills on a regular basis (for me that means at least every 30-40K) I'd expect the 3-400K that the AW70/71 and AW50-42 transmissions easily achieved.

    Anyone out there been able to achieve high Mileage on the 2.5T tranny with maintenance?

    Also, if the internal filter on the valve body was clogging up then surely several drain and fills over a few thousand KLMS would possibly resolve the issue given all the cleaning agents in the new fluid breaking up the crap?
  • @kwahodi I think the 2.5T is a good bus. They are a bit of an enthusiast car (a bit of diy to keep the cost down). I wouldn't have the 6 due to fuel economy alone.. the 2.5T is only just acceptable - my personal view.

    Plenty of high km 2.5T's about with original trans as examples of what they are capable of. Trans not perfect but a hell of a lot better than the pre 03 xc70's which had the neutral stop-start feature which was a big contributer to their early death.

    I suggest just keeping it simple, a gentle introduction of new atf like I did, cross fingers it helps and budget in a refurbished trans one day. Keep us posted on your diy adventures 👍
  • Will perform a a drain and fill as soon as I get the fluid and closely monitor. Im really not in a position to offload the car ATM. I'm pretty sure that a drain and fill has not been done on it and at 175k, I would say that its performing quite well and has had a good run. Will keep you posted on my adventures. Appreciating all the input. As for the Bevel gear noise, you can view the video here -
    Any thoughts appreciated. Cheers!
  • Just a quick one on engine oil level. Is the ideal level between the XX reading? i.e. is below the XX's low level and above them too much?
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