servicing an Aisin TG-81SC 8-speed transmission
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    1. #1

      servicing an Aisin TG-81SC 8-speed transmission

      Hi all. I have a 2015 Volvo V60 (I purchased it from Avis Rent-A-Car at 36k miles, thus it may have been driven hard at times during its early life, and I do some city and mountain driving on occasion) with the T5 Drive-E with the 8-speed transmission. I am unsure about the recommended servicing/care for the transmission.
      Volvo technically doesn't have a recommended interval for transmission fluid/oil replacement/considers it lifetime. My service advisor at the Volvo dealership says she often sees people running into/starting to experience transmission issues after insisting on a transmission fluid change/service.
      Yet at the same time the 'old school mind' in me, and my independent mechanic makes it hard to believe a transmission fluid could trully be lifetime in a good way. Perhaps I do a service, and keep doing it regularly throughout the life of the car. I know the Volvo tranny oil is really expensive, what is an alternative I could use for this transmission/what type of tranny oil does it take?
      Our 2012 Volvo S60, mostly highway driving, with the Aisin TF-80SC 6-speed auto is still on it's original transmission fluid at 93k miles.
      So I'm not sure how much I should really take Volvos word on this, or be proactive and take care of it.

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    3. #2
      Member KCCM's Avatar
      Join Date
      Aug 2011
      Toronto, Canada
      Having had two successive Volvo AW transmissions fail on me (a 5-speed in an '02 S60 AWD and 6-speed in an '07 V70R) 'lifetime' seems to be about 330k km or 200k miles, irrespective of transmission flush & fills (V70R had one at about 200k km). The weak point seems to be solenoid valves getting worn and/or sticky resulting eventually in rough/balky shifting and failure.

      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      KECA Kombi - Now '16 V60 T6 AWD R-Design - Just a K&N filter so far, but love the PoleStar tune.

    4. #3
      Within the past month, I drained and filled (3x) my 2013 S60 T5 transmission (TF-80SC). I found a way to replace it from the top.
      My reason was my own insurance as I would like to keep the car to "old" Volvo standards, like 300k miles and beyond.
      At only 34,000 miles, the fluid was medium to dark brown. For my own insurance (this is a CPO vehicle but that does nothing for me after 100k), I had the fluid analyzed. It was high in various metals, especially copper and aluminum, low in lead, indicating lead free bearings or bushings, perhaps.
      If these "sealed for life" units were drained and filled at perhaps 20k miles to remove materials from the "wear-in" period, then maybe they all could go 50k or so between changes.

      Bottom line ... how the #^$&# can Volvo say these are good for life (change if extreme use at around 50k though) when Aisin, the maker of the transmission, is saying it should replaced at a third of this (several years or so)?

      The materials present are abrasive. It doesn't matter that the fluid still has adequate hydraulic properties when your transmission is being slowly ground down

      My dealer (good people but still a Volvo dealer) wants $30 a quart for Volvo fluid (AW-1 spec). I spoke directly to Aisin's product specialist and he indicated that their own "WS" fluid met the AW-1 requirements. I bought it for $9.95 per quart and am about to get more on order on a sale at $8.95 (I'd rather now advertise where, just do a search for Aisin WS.

      It only cost me 12 quarts to replace (to a reasonable percentage of fresh) and I plan on repeating at 30,000 miles (may extend this if it looks good). That and prayer are all I can do to make it last


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    6. #4
      My opinion also is "lifetime" fluid = lifetime of the factory warranty.

      Whether you do it yourself or pay someone, make sure they know for certain how to check/fill these transmissions.

      A few times now, I've had cars come in with transmission warning messages after having a "transmission service" from a quick lube shop or some such. The shops that did it didn't know how to check the fill level and overfilled them.
      2007 S40 T5

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