Last post on Nov 13, 2013 at 5:32 PM
You are in the Volvo XC90
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Volvo XC90, Suspension, Transmission, SUV
#911 of 920 4T65E Transmission
Nov 05, 2013 (8:55 pm)
The 99-05 Volvo S80 and 2003-2005 XC90 models use the GM 4T65E transmission. They are prone to failure. The early versions (pre-2003) used a 4th clutch hub that didn't have hardened splines on the input side. They are quite common to strip out. The result is no 4th gear and whining from the debris going through the pump. The 2nd clutch drum is also prone to failure on all units. The forward band is also prone to wear and breakage causing a slipping when going forward (when worn) to no forward movement at all (when broken). I've found that certain reputable rebuilders like Certified Transmission are the way to go for replacement. The O.E. replacement from Volvo (read GM) are built to early specs and don't last any longer than the first unit. The rebuilds from companies like Certified actually modify the build specs to tighter tolerances resulting in a longer lasting unit. Unfortunately, Volvo believed that the 4T65E was necessary because the tried and true Asian Warner 50-42 that was used for years wouldn't be able to withstand the power and curb weight of the full size Volvos. They phased out the 4T65E beginning in 2006...
#912 of 920 Re: 4T65E Transmission [abdknsn]
Nov 06, 2013 (2:03 pm)
Hi, How do you know all this? Is there anywhere you can point me to where this information is documented?
I am not doubting you for a moment - clearly you know what you are talking about but I am in the UK and when our vehicle died we referred the matter to VOSA - the government department that investigates vehicle issues. They have the power to instruct Volvo to recall a defect and rectify it. The official response from Volvo was that they had no knowledge of any issues with the XC90 transmission at all, ours was an isolated incident and they would not inspect the vehicle and so could not comment on specific cases. VOSA accepted their response and the matter was closed.
#913 of 920 Re: 4T65E Transmission [diggers253]
Nov 06, 2013 (7:41 pm)
If you go deep in this site to the myriad of letters, you will see the same problem confirmed over and over and over again---and in some cases Volvo offered help to the dealers and in others they denied it. Yes, the vehicle absolutely should have been recalled---those early years of the XC90 the cars transmissions were "lemons." Disaster. And why the car wasn't recalled officially is a miracle to me---along with why Volvo did not get more bad publicity from what they did. This problem seemed to be an exception to their normal high quality--(I have an XC 60 now that is great).
#914 of 920 Re: T6 Transmission [jettblack]
Nov 09, 2013 (3:54 pm)
I just bought a 2006 Volvo xc90 for $14999. Has 62,167 miles on it. I have driven it 650 miles and just found out it needs a new transmission. $7,500!!!! I haven't even made my first car payment! My 30 day or 1,000 mile warranty ran out 7 days before I was able to take it to a certified mechanic. I am trying to work things out with dealer. Volvo of America says they can't help. I am trying to figure out if I should try and rebuild it or replace it. I don't want to spend another $7,500 when my car gets to 125,000 miles. Is this car worth holding onto?
#915 of 920 If the '06 had the same transmissions as the earlier xc90's,then its doom
Nov 09, 2013 (4:46 pm)
Did the 2006 cars have the same transmission? If they did----and I'm not sure if it was fixed by then with a different transmission----then sorry---get rid of it. I already had TWO new transmissions by that point and knew that there would soon be a third transmission coming up. As you can see from hundreds of postings here---this car should have been recalled a long time ago or only been sold with a huge caveat. I loved my XC90 and I had intended to keep it for a long time---but defensively knew I had to dump it before my final extended warranty was about to expire lest I pay for a third transmission--. Good luck.
#916 of 920 Re: 4T65E Transmission [abdknsn]
Nov 13, 2013 (3:16 pm)
Looking at buying a used XC90. I have been told this problem is mostly with the XC90 T6 and V8 models but not the I5. Should I stay away from all XC90s, just pre-2006 models or just the pre-2006 T6 and V8? Any advice would be appreciated.
#918 of 920 Re: 4T65E Transmission [767fr8k9]
Nov 13, 2013 (4:09 pm)
I think most of the issues occurred with the 2006 and earlier models (mine was the 2006 V8 model, only 60,000 miles with all service requirements completed on time and on schedule ). But I, and it sounds like most people posting on this forum, were treated so poorly by what we thought was a reputable car company that I will NEVER own another Volvo again. They have proven they do not care about their customers, leaving us to take on a costly burden that was due to their negligence. Learn from this and DO NOT BUY A VOLVO, no matter the model, because they do not care about their customers, or doing the right thing.
#919 of 920 Volvo Transmission / Which models to avoid?
Nov 13, 2013 (5:32 pm)
This is just my opinion. Its informed - based only my my own experiences. Others may have different opinions.
You ask which models to avoid. My opinion is that you should stay away from Volvo full stop.
The issue isn't that their cars don't last or that their gearboxes fail after about 50,000 miles or even that a new gar box costs more than the value of the car - all cars wear out and some are better than Volvo and some are worse. The issue for me is that they are putting their profit ahead of customer safety and appear to be doing so in plain sight. Its the opposite of what I thought I was buying when I spent £50,000 on my XC90.
In the US there is a class action suit for this issue. There are customers from the UK, Australia, South Africa and Canada also experiencing the same problems but although its the same vehicle and the same gearbox and the same fault they will not admit that its the same problem even when Volvo drivers are at risk and could cause risk to others.
In my mind that is simply not good enough. Volvo in Sweden would not even discuss the matter. I bought my Volvo because I thought it was safe and I have a young family. When I approached them after the gearbox fault left us stranded in the path of oncoming traffic Volvo told me that this was the first time they had ever heard of the fault. I called them because the patrol guy had correctly guessed the exact defect in the most minute detail from the side of the road based only on the make and model of the car and its mileage.
Then when the accident inspection service in the UK asked Volvo to comment Volvo said they had "no knowledge" and the matter is on hold pending further 'incidents'. Someone else has to suffer or get injured or die before the defect is looked into further. Then it transpired that at the very same time they said they had no knowledge, Volvo were in court in the US over the exact same issue.
This is not about trying to find a decent model Volvo from those available, its about how safe you and your family are in a Volvo. Volvo have chosen not do something about a gearbox defect that can suddenly and completely incapacitate your car as you are driving along even though there is a risk to you, your family and other road users when you come to an unexpected stop. They knew of the defect while the vehicles were under warranty and did actually extend the warranty because of it, but did not warn drivers and did not recall the cars. Instead they have chosen to profit from the repairs to the original gearboxes and the replacements which also fail.
In my case the "gestures of goodwill" after the event were not enough. Its my opinion that Volvo should have told me or my dealer that they were aware of a problem - before the catastrophe struck. They should have addressed it before the accident and before anyone else was put at risk, but they didn't. Ours came to an abrupt stop at around 56000 miles - just a few hundred miles after a main dealer 96000 mile service. The incident was avoidable and its unforgivable when they knew already that the fault was there.
The closest they ever came to giving a warning was instructing the dealers to carry out extra work during the service if the vehicle is used for towing caravans, although we have never been asked what we tow with the vehicle.
It appears that Volvo were already dealing with hundreds of other drivers who had hit the critical mileage and experienced the defect well before we did yet they took no action at all to prevent the same happening to us.
These and many other forums are full of Volvo customers and victims that have unwittingly bought Volvos only to find themselves stranded, injured or facing repair bills well in excess of the value of the vehicle often very soon after buying the car and its not fair or decent.
The bottom line? A new gearbox costs around £4000 - £5000 (retail price) and to Volvo that money was more important to them than the safety of my family.
As I said, thats just my experience and just my opinion.