XC90 Torque converter lockup issue

kyrilkyril @kyril Bendigo Victoria

Thought I would post this here first for thoughts.

Looks like my 2007 V8 XC90 had torque converter lockup issues reading other forums, And correlating my symptoms. Not the valve body issue

Shift changes are fine it is more a low rpm light throttle shudder especially when going uphill.

My question is to our resident experts it looks like replacing the torque converter is an option that is much cheaper than doing a complete rebuild, is this the case and have any of you had this done and if so where?

Thanks in advance!!😁


  • How many km? When was the last time the plugs were replaced?

    Is the shudder continuous or just a brief period of time as you see thr revs fall down?

  • kyrilkyril @kyril Bendigo Victoria

    Hey Bear,

    Plugs are brand new. New trans fluid. Made no discernible difference. More pronounced after good warm up.

    Not continuous just on point before shift change. Shift changes are not harsh at all. Not noticeable in hard acceleration.


  • When was the last time it got a software update from Volvo? They change the shift patterns for the better significantly around 2015-2016

    Also.... engine mounts last done? and with OEM mounts or solid mounts?

  • kyrilkyril @kyril Bendigo Victoria

    Engine mounts all done at190k. Hutchinson oem.

    I'll look into the software . No Volvo dealer near me. Nearest is melb somewhere. Ruled that out initially as it's getting progressively worse and reading swedespeed it seems exactly like a few people's torque converter lockup. The drive seems to be inconsistent too.

    Appreciate the suggestions!👍👌

  • It does sorta sound like the TQ lockup clutch

    What happens when your doing around 80KPH on the highway and go into manual mode and force it into 6th (should end up around 1500/1600RPM) and then apply none and light and medium and full throttle?

    you should be able to force it in and out of lockup to really see if it is the lockup

  • kyrilkyril @kyril Bendigo Victoria

    Haven't tried that. But I can see what your getting at.

    I'll give it a shot on the way to work tomorrow.👌

    I haven't noticed it at the higher gears. Mainly between 30-40 kmh it's pretty prevalent in that 3 gear light throttle range

  • kyrilkyril @kyril Bendigo Victoria

    So I tried what you suggested Bear

    At 80kmh into 6th manual.

    Let it coast and coukd feel point where revs fell to 1000 quickly.

    At 80 in 6th on light medium or full throttle the revs rise quickly then drop just as quickly and not much acceleration.

    Not sure if this helps you.

    But I guess if it is the TC what is the feasibility of replacement of TC given age km etc. May give Berry a call @iceton1975 see what they think too.

  • So if the revs rise and then fall as the TQ unlocks and then locks back up, it sounds like it may not be the TQ

    (The revs dropping while under load is the TQ locking up)

  • kyrilkyril @kyril Bendigo Victoria

    Hmmm ok. it may be then that it's not so far gone that at those higher speeds it's still functioning ok .

    I'll continue to monitor and try and sort a way to perhaps get a software update.

    Thanks again!

    Anyone else feel free to comment if you have had any similar goings on!!😁

  • Had 2 V8 XC90s do exactly the same thing not long after flushing with Mobil 3309, both around 100-140,000km (new to me - friends who were impressed with my 270,000km V8... ).

    More out of curiosity than desperation I looked up forums on the Mazda CX-9 which I believe runs the same TF-80 transmission and fluid. Plenty of posts (particularly USA) about converter shudder, cured by adding Lubegard Instant Shudder Fix.

    Bought two tubes on ebay. Not instant - took around 2-3 kms before it fixed the shudder completely.

    No financial interest, but highly recommended as easy to do and much cheaper than a TC.

  • kyrilkyril @kyril Bendigo Victoria

    Guess what I ordered 2 days ago?😁

    The other half isn't too keen on pumping dollars into it at this stage of its life.

    I know it may be masking an underlying issue but the ol girl owes me nothing and if this can get a few more Kay's out if her great.

    There is nothing else wrong with her. Yet....😂😂😂

    Did you use two tubes? And add straight to it through to he filler below the airbox?

  • Hi Kyril,

    I picked up my V8 by accident with 184,000km on it 3 years ago. Poor guy before me had been the victim of an incompetent local mechanic. The car was dirt cheap because the front suspension was shot, the timing cover was gushing oil, the transfer box howled and the engine was running on 6 cylinders. The main selling point was that the transmission had just had $8000 spent on a rebuild (and I bought it for just over half of that.) By the time the mechanics had piled silicone over the cam covers to "fix" the oil leaks and broken two coil earths in the process, the poor previous owner got sick of piling money into it. To be honest I piled a heap of cash into it myself but it's been quite trouble free for 100,000km and still drives like new.

    Two of my mates with large families and tight budgets did it the proper way, and spent $10,000-$12,000 on much nicer examples with half the kms... they are the two I had used the shudder fix on after flushing the original transmission fluid several times. Only one tube each car. I did the first one, then mailed the second tube to the other owner with photos on how to do it himself - also successfully.

    So only one tube, and yes straight into the T55 fill plug under the air filter.

    Apart from the typical Japanese timing cover and cam cover seals shrinking with age every 10 years, the stupid serpentine belt tensioner set needing replacement every 150,000km and the phenomenally stupid plastic fuel pressure sensor housing design, the engine is delightful in every way and the whole package has been faultless. I've been light offroading, towed the family van around most of Vic and NSW and love the old bus now more than when I dragged its sorry ass home the first time.

    The real problem is what you'd replace it with. My V8 will keep up with most sports cars at the traffic lights, is the best tow car I've owned, works as a people mover for adults and gets me 10.5L/100 average. (13-14 with the caravan). What else could I do that with ?

    One "issue" from the financial side is the "semi-regular servicing": it seems the car was built to be endlessly refreshed and will last forever: every 150,000km they seem to need a front end rebuild and serpentine belt kit. The parts aren't too expensive from USA (stupid money locally) but there's so much time involved. I've done a remove and reinstall 3 times on an angle drive and can do one in 3 days now, but I shudder at the thought of ever doing one again. I have VIDA/DICE (clone) and do all my own work but would hate to be paying somebody like the last guy did.

    I am planning on getting another 250,000km out of mine now - like you say it owes me nothing and the only rational reason to ditch it will be to pick up another bargain V8 with less wear.

    All the best. Don't bail on the old girl yet.

  • kyrilkyril @kyril Bendigo Victoria

    I agree, the main dilemma is what to replace it with. It's just such a good mix of vehicle.

    There's not many people on here that would disagree with the points you have made. I've done front end refresh and serpbelt. Haven't had to worry about the FPS as yet. I do most of my own servicing like brakes oil filters etc but leave the big stuff to my trusted spanner. More a time poor thing than the ability to do it!!

    I love my V8 but the financial controller may decide ultimately if she stays or goes!!😁😬

    I'll see how I go and keep you posted.

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