Transmission fluid level check
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    1. #1

      Transmission fluid level check

      Can anyone tell me how to check the transmission fluid level in my 2001 V70 XC. Volvo tells me that this is a sealed system but the maintenance schedule requires that the level be checked and adjusted every 15K miles. Also I would appreciate any thoughts on fluid changes, Volvo says never change it (at least not in the first 150K) unless car is used for towing. My dealer wants to change the fluid now, at 30K miles. I don't want to pay the dealer to do something that I don't need.

    2. #2
      Global Moderator GrecianVolvo's Avatar
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      Re: Transmission fluid level check (staftek)

      YOU cannot check the fluid level...it is sealed. We recommend a complete flush every 40,000 miles.

      Yannis

      2001 Volvo V70 T5 M SR, Classic Red/Graphite Lthr, TME Stage II ECU, 3" Downpipe w/ Cat-back exhaust from MTE, Volvo Roadholding & Lowering Kit w/ Nivomats, 17" PEGASUS, Rear Spoiler, Dolby Surround Sound
      2014 Volvo XC60 R-design, Crystal White Pearl, Climate/Platinum/Enhanced BLIS/Connected Touch/RSE/Front Blindview Camera Polestar+software325 HP, 354 lbs/ft

    3. #3

      Re: Transmission fluid level check (GrecianVolvo)

      My dealer told me today there's a dipstick on my '01 T5, which the microfiche ventilated view confirmed. I have yet to find the damn thing in the flesh. There's also no mention of it in the owners' manual, which is annoying.

      A basic maintenance item like fluid level checks should be simple DIY-type stuff. Next thing you know, there will be a dealer-only computer code to open the hood...


    4. #4

      Re: Transmission fluid level check (TomW)

      Next thing you know, there will be a dealer-only computer code to open the hood..

      speaking of which...
      what idiot decided not to put a light under the hood on a 40k car?
      I don't buy the reason that Volvo doesn't want people to fiddle under their hoods at night on the side of the road, which is what the salesman said. ...and surely they didn't think these cars will never break down.


    5. #5
      Global Moderator GrecianVolvo's Avatar
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      Re: Transmission fluid level check (TomW)

      Quote, originally posted by TomW »
      My dealer told me today there's a dipstick on my '01 T5, which the microfiche ventilated view confirmed.

      If you find it, send me a telegram, will 'ya?

      Yannis

      2001 Volvo V70 T5 M SR, Classic Red/Graphite Lthr, TME Stage II ECU, 3" Downpipe w/ Cat-back exhaust from MTE, Volvo Roadholding & Lowering Kit w/ Nivomats, 17" PEGASUS, Rear Spoiler, Dolby Surround Sound
      2014 Volvo XC60 R-design, Crystal White Pearl, Climate/Platinum/Enhanced BLIS/Connected Touch/RSE/Front Blindview Camera Polestar+software325 HP, 354 lbs/ft

    6. #6

      Re: Transmission fluid level check (GrecianVolvo)

      Thanks for the advice on the dipstick or lack of same.

      I dropped of my car at the dealer yesterday for 30K mile service and agreed to the dealer recommendation for the trans fluid flush. The service manager told they could not tell me where the dipstick was because of liability issues! He told me that the only way I could get this information was to buy the service manuals. Okay.... so I when to the parts department and tried to purchase a service manual. Part manager said he couldn't get a service manual and asked me why I needed one..told him the story and he proceeded to the shop and asked about the dipstick. He informed me that there is one but is is "hidden" very low on the transmission but assured me that there is one. I am beginning to think that this is some kind of bad joke on Volvo's part.

      The best of all is that this morning the service manager called me back and said that they would not flush the fluid after all, it is synthetic and should not be changed until the 60K mile point. When the 30K fluid check was first recommended I questioned the need to change synthetic fluid so early. All I wanted was for them to check the level to satisfy the Volvo service recommendations since I could not figure out how to do it myself. I think I want my 740 back.

      I will be picking up my car later today and will make another run at finding out how the level check is done. I have looked all over the transmission and really don't think there is a dipstick, unless one counts the service manager. I'll let you know what I learn.


    7. #7

      Re: Transmission fluid level check (staftek)

      Here's what I know about the (reported) dipstick:

      It has a yellow handle, looks like sort of a short cylindrical shape with a serration or two for grabbing.
      It is at the front of the transmission case, under the air intake duct.
      It appears to enter the case at about a 30-35 degree rake from vertical.
      Scale-wise, it looks to be about half the length of the engine stick.

      I have no idea how the stick is marked, or how to read it. If they went to this much trouble to hide it, I have a feeling it's not intuitive.

      BTW - if you haven't been told about the fluid cost, check out my thread here on it (~$16/liter).


    8. #8

      Re: Transmission fluid level check (TomW)

      DIPSTICK FOUND!

      OK...this is on my '01 V70 GT, so I don't know about other MYs, but here's how to find it:

      Get a flashlight.
      With hood open (duh), stand on the left side of the car and look under the air duct, but to the left side (i.e. towards you) of the lower radiator hose. On mine, it's also partially obscured by a wiring bundle. You can't see it if you're standing in front of the car, since the plastic air duct is right over it.
      You should be able to see part or all of the stick head...it's yellow and quite bulky (almost the diameter of a quarter). It has a warning on it about special ATF - you know, the liquid diamonds.
      You can get an unobstructed view of it by leaning forward, over the engine, and pulling the lower radiator hose towards you.

      Now, once you find it, you'll next start to wonder how the hell to reach it and whether the specs call for a hot level check. If it's checked cold (not likely), it's much less of a problem, but if it's to be hot then the only practical solution is to get a spider monkey and fit him with a shoulder-length welder's glove. Failing that, you could try and talk your smaller-handed spouse into putting a glove on and grabbing it.

      Tomorrow morning with a cold engine compartment I'll see how hard it is to reach, yank and read.


    9. #9

      Re: Transmission fluid level check (TomW)

      Got my car back from the dealer and was able to find the ATF dipstick with the information in your instructions Tom. Thanks for the help. Now that I've located it I can't believe it was so hard to see.

    10. #10

      Re: Transmission fluid level check (staftek)

      A quick try this AM with a cold engine proved that I can barely touch the stick head with a fingertip, let alone pull it. The intake air duct is a major obstruction.

      One might be able to go in front of the duct, but then you're up against the fan (which will run when the engine is warm). Maybe pulling the fan fuse while checking the fluid level? I'll try some more access angles this weekend and see what works.


    11. #11
      Global Moderator GrecianVolvo's Avatar
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      Re: Transmission fluid level check (TomW)

      guys, it is out of the way for a reason....if the level reached an ubnormal level, you will get a message...compare this ATF dipstick with past Volvos...

      Yannis

      2001 Volvo V70 T5 M SR, Classic Red/Graphite Lthr, TME Stage II ECU, 3" Downpipe w/ Cat-back exhaust from MTE, Volvo Roadholding & Lowering Kit w/ Nivomats, 17" PEGASUS, Rear Spoiler, Dolby Surround Sound
      2014 Volvo XC60 R-design, Crystal White Pearl, Climate/Platinum/Enhanced BLIS/Connected Touch/RSE/Front Blindview Camera Polestar+software325 HP, 354 lbs/ft