My Volvo S90 started losing pulling power as I was driving today and eventually entered in winter mode. Water temperature was normal, but I had to get higher and higher engine RPM to get any drive out of the car.Changing gears did not produce the usual feeling of changing gears.Eventually I stopped the car and couldn't get it to move forward as I didn't want to above 4000 RPM.After turning the engine off and sitting like that for a while the car started and had mostly normal pull which again started disappearing after a short while.It does that ever since this morning.Error codes were 733 and 740, after clearing them it only gets to 740 now.It's not like many others describe a situation where it just wouldn't want to start until the gears are changed 10-20 times to clean the gear switch conatct.It is clearly transmission related, but what bugs me is why does it work fine after cooling down? Could it be the transmission cooling system has failed?How can I check that?
Country: United StatesMake: VolvoModel: S90Year: 1998Engine: V6
Transmission liquid appears normal level and substance.
Hello, I will try to help. Go look very closely at your coolant resevoir, see if you see any globs of what could be transmission fluid soaked with antifreeze. Problem I have seen with these, is that the transmission cooler ruptures in the radiator, and then the fluid swaps, so you get transmission fluid in the cooling system, and antifreeze in the transmission fluid. I know you said the fluid looks fine on the dipstick, but take the cap off the expansion tank for the cooling system and see if the antifreeze in the expansion tank looks good. let me know. thanks.
It *looks* like you are right. The coolant color is definitely oddly reddish and has viscosity.I have to admit this is the lead I was looking for and it's well worth the money, simple as it was.
What's the recommended action from here then?
Can I have the radiator replaced and the two systems flushed and hope to be OK?
Can I risk driving the car carefully to a service center or should I have it towed?
BTW Eagle Transmission today quoted me $2000 for transmission rebuild service.
*if* you are correct - and I think you are - those are one of the wisest spent money for advice I have ever spent.
OK, here is what you can try. I have gotten lucky before, BUT, if the transmission has been slipping for a while, it may be too late. Just giving you the worse case scenario, because the worse case scenario is definitely a probability. If the fluids have swapped. (and if you see globs in the expansion tank, most likely they have), you need a new radiator first and foremost, because that is the source of the fluid contamination. you will need to drain the transmission pan, the tourque convertor is full of contamination too, so the corrective action is to flush the transmission, cooler lines, tourque convertor, everything the transmission fluid runs through. The way I do it, is a take the cooler line off the radiator, one is the supply line to the cooler, and I believe it is the top one. Get somebody to look as soon as you turn the engine over, because if it's not the supply line, you'll make a huge mess when tranny fluid spews out of the radiator. But what you wanna do, is get a few feet of 3/8 fuel line, and a 5 gallon bucket, and drain the transmission and then put in a fresh 4 quarts. then run the engine at idle. What you wanna do is pump the contaminated transmission fluid out of the cooler line into the 5 gallon bucket. when the transmission is pumping nothing but good clear red transmission fluid. Then you've done all you can do as far as flushing it goes. you can pour the transmission fluid in while the engine is idling. And keep pouring it in until the fluid runs clear out of the cooler line into the bucket. Replace the radiator and refill the transmission. I might even add about 1 ounce of friction modifer, (what they use in positive traction rear ends) to help those clutches grip a little more. It will take about a case of ATF before you start running clear fluid through it. This is really the only way to flush the system. I wish it were easier but I don't know of any other way. It's worth a shot before replacing the transmission. However, that may be what it takes. Depending on how much the transmission was slipping and if you caught it in time.
I have one very last question. Took me a whole night to bring it down to just one, so please try to appreciate the effort on this end as well :-)
You will get excellent rating either way.
I am not going to do the job by myself. The mechanic is about 10 miles from here and my question is if you think it's worth towing the car to there or should I make it on my own?
I believe it is capable of doing it, but of course the more I drive it the higher the transmission exposure to fried oil.
At $350 total for flushing and radiator replacement I am not steep for paying another $100 for towing...if it makes sense.
So should I do it or is it all the same?Car has already driven 40 or so miles after this first happened.
In my opinion, you could drive the vehicle 10 miles and if the transmission wasn't slipping. ( I would be very easy on it ). then it should be fine, However, if you notice the transmission slipping at all, then I would have it towed, I might would put the friction modifier in it before the trip. as it will give the clutches some extra gripping power. As long as it doesn't slip heading to the garage, it should be ok. 350$ for replacing radiator and flushing the transmission sounds reasonable to me. Don't forget to tell him he will need to run about 12 quarts of fluid through the transmission and to pump out the contaminated oil out of the cooler line leading to the radiator. also, tell him I recommend putting some friction modifier in the transmission after it has been flushed. It isn't a sure fire 100% way to save a burned clutch in a tranmission, but in my opinion, it is worth a shot.
I've had 10 years of experience on the car line at 2 Volvo dealerships, Quality level Volvo tech.