2005 S60 2.5t Transmission issues (help me)
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    1. #1
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      Exclamation 2005 S60 2.5t Transmission issues (help me)

      Hello everyone!

      I recently got a 2005 S60 2.5t, and didn't anticipate it having a transmission issue. When the car is warmed up (after driving for 30+ mins) shifting issues begin to arise. Firstly, the car will sometimes have a harsh downshift from 2nd to 1st gear, happens more often if it is a harder stop. There is an audible clunk and the car jerks forward very slightly. Secondly, the car will sometimes get stuck when trying to shift from 1st to 2nd gear. Either there will be a small clunk, or the car will seemingly be stuck in neutral as RPMs shoot up and the transmission eventually kicks into 2nd gear. This doesn't happen all the time, but it happens enough to be very annoying. Lastly, the car has some trouble shifting into drive. Either from park or reverse, shifting into drive will shake the car and there can be a 3 second delay. Again, all of these issues ONLY occur when the car is warmed up, the transmission works perfectly when cold.

      I have tried a couple remedies to fix these issues including: draining and refilling the transmission fluid twice (~7qts), going to the dealer and requesting a TCM update, putting in some lucas transmission fix, replacing the top engine torque mount and the transmission torque mount

      Is my transmission truly screwed? I've read a bunch about S60 transmission up to 02' being very unreliable, but very little from 05' since they had tried to fix those earlier issues. I really hope my transmission isn't toast .

      The transmission fluid seems to be a faint pinkish grey (but I am also a bit colorblind so I don't know how accurate that is) and is currently at the second to the top hash mark in HOT. The second issue I listed has gotten slightly better after all of these "fixes" but it still occurs, just less jerky (tires don't spin out anymore).

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    3. #2
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      Quote Originally Posted by Kartoffel View Post
      I recently got a 2005 S60 2.5t, and didn't anticipate it having a transmission issue.

      Is my transmission truly screwed?
      Unfortunately now you know why the car was for sale -

      The awXX trans used in the 5cyl 01-07+ cars have well known problems. That trans is also used in many brands of cars (with similar problems) . Some MIGHT be fixed with a valve body, or possibly just new or repaired solenoids as long as other internals are ok . DIY is possible, with the right skills and knowledge - or up to a couple of thousand for a dealer replacement.

    4. #3
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      I've had/have similar happenings with the trans in my '04 S60 2.5T Yes the newer ones should be better with this, as they will have the updated B4 servo cover. But, I'm nut sure what year the latest revision of that came out. I've been told by forum members that there's multiple revisions, and also been told by FCPeuro that my '04 should have the latest, so I'm not sure on that one... Not a bad idea to replace it though. I've done a fluid exchange by the gibbons method, and my trans was a bit smoother after that. It's not to the faint of heart, especially the higher the mileage is and if it's your first ever trans fluid change. Here's my experience and observations with the issues you describe and I can relate to. First and foremost, it's said that a lot of this is caused due to clogged or restricted flow paths through the valve body and debris imbedding in the solenoids. Many of owners have resolved issues almost completely by rebuilding the valve body and replacing the 3 main solenoids as well as the servos on it. Fortunately the V/B is removable without taking off really anymore than the trans fluid pan, and dropping the subframe about 30 or so millimeters if I recall. It's highly recommended to buy a decent condition V/B and then rebuild it on a work table and then just swap out with your original when ready.

      That all said, what my experience with the actual issue, my car seems to only do it when the coolant starts getting over 200F. I highly suspect heat soak from the radiator into the stock cooler which isn't actually a cooler at all. If I know I'll be stopped for more than just a stoplight, or in traffic, I'll run my A/C to keep the motor cool, and that makes the issue almost non-existent. Well, I always have the 2nd to first knock when stopping however. But the heat issue is with the shift flares from 1-2 and 2-3 more specifically. What some people have done, and I plan to do myself to help with the heat issue, is retrofit the trans fluid cooler from an XC90 into the mix for actual fluid cooling. I've done a bit of reading that this can really help things and even add life to even a maintained trans in our cars. Good luck with whatever path you go.
      2004 S60 2.5T - Stock for now...

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    6. #4
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      My 2005 S60 2.5T has about 125,000 miles, and the transmission works well. I have replaced the old, brown transmission fluid with fresh fluid, using the Gibbons method. This was done about 10,000 miles ago. I know that the transmission is pretty well worn at this point in the life of the car, and I may have it rebuilt when the time comes. It is possible to overhaul the valve body and keep the unit operating, but there are other wear points inside the transmission. Since the transmission in your car works normally when the fluid is cold, I suspect that there is mechanical wear causing some of your issues. The valve body should work when the fluid is warm. It is designed to do that.

    7. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by hoonk View Post
      Unfortunately now you know why the car was for sale -

      The awXX trans used in the 5cyl 01-07+ cars have well known problems. That trans is also used in many brands of cars (with similar problems) . Some MIGHT be fixed with a valve body, or possibly just new or repaired solenoids as long as other internals are ok . DIY is possible, with the right skills and knowledge - or up to a couple of thousand for a dealer replacement.
      Anyway to know if I can just replace the solenoids as opposed to the whole valve body?

    8. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by Kartoffel View Post
      Anyway to know if I can just replace the solenoids as opposed to the whole valve body?
      They can be tested individually with VIDA or VIDAS.

      Sent from my Huawei Mate 9 using Tapatalk
      2004 S60 2.5T - Stock for now...

    9. #7
      Junior Member Orange's Avatar
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      At this point, I would recommend going to Volvo and asking them to put the transmission in Adaptations Relearn mode (read a little about this procedure). Wait for a warm day, drive on local streets for at least 30 min to warm up the transmission, then drive to the main dealer. To set the transmission the dealer needs about 15 minutes, but of course they will charge you some $200. Once they set the transmission, you drive off and will see a "Transmission fluid warmed message" and you need to drive the car for at least 1h on small streets - have enough gasoline. Important NOT to shut off the engine until finished or you will have to start all over again with a visit to Volvo (and another $200). See this video, read the description too - there is a detailed information for the procedure, but you may not get all points learned. https://youtu.be/qzXAdxZpjWU

    10. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by Kartoffel View Post
      Anyway to know if I can just replace the solenoids as opposed to the whole valve body?
      If you are a DIY person - Purchase a dice unit and find a copy of VIDA. You will need it to solve this and other future problems. If not, retail AWxx transmission repairs can be very expensive - more than the value of the car.

    11. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by Kartoffel View Post
      Anyway to know if I can just replace the solenoids as opposed to the whole valve body?
      I should have added that YES they can all be replaced individually, but the valve body needs to be removed to do so. As mentioned above, replaced solenoids and cleaning up the valve body should solve most if not all of your issues, so long as there's no mechanical damage or issues or excessive wear to the transmission internals.
      Start first with Orange's recommendation of getting the transmission setup into Adaption Mode to see if that resolves anything. Sometimes that may take a couple or few tries to iron out bugs. But at least try doing that once.

      Sent from my Huawei Mate 9 using Tapatalk
      2004 S60 2.5T - Stock for now...

    12. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Orange View Post
      At this point, I would recommend going to Volvo and asking them to put the transmission in Adaptations Relearn mode (read a little about this procedure). Wait for a warm day, drive on local streets for at least 30 min to warm up the transmission, then drive to the main dealer. To set the transmission the dealer needs about 15 minutes, but of course they will charge you some $200. Once they set the transmission, you drive off and will see a "Transmission fluid warmed message" and you need to drive the car for at least 1h on small streets - have enough gasoline. Important NOT to shut off the engine until finished or you will have to start all over again with a visit to Volvo (and another $200). See this video, read the description too - there is a detailed information for the procedure, but you may not get all points learned. https://youtu.be/qzXAdxZpjWU
      So just to be clear, I should try adaptions before messing with the solenoids?

    13. #11
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      We see these same issues in our shop as well with that transmission...
      I purchased a V70 from a customer that was in decent shape and needed some work. I figured eh, I can fix it up and give it to my wife. Well after I bought the car it too developed a harsh shift, flares between shifts and a hesitation when shifting from park to drive, that when it did engage it clunked into gear....Had I saw it coming I wouldn;t have bought it but up until that point the customer had ZERO issues with the transmission...go figure..

      I would say MOST all of the time when you have a pressure related problem, changing the fluid tends to accelerate the failure of the transmission. As the viscosity changes (thins) the shifting crap starts...SO, before I bit the bullet and slapped a different transmission in it, I thought what the hell. I get fluid at cost, whats it gonna hurt? I ended up flushing probably 50 quarts of fluid through it, replaced the B4 Servo cover with the updated version. Updated the software and reset the adaptations multiple times.

      What I've got now is a transmission that does a lot better when its hot but the underlying problem is still there. Once the transmission is up to temp and we stop, shut the car off, get back in (say like going into a gas station) when shifting from park to reverse it still clunks into gears. It doesn't flare between shifts anymore, but when slowing down to make a turn, and getting back on the accelerator, SOMETIMES it takes a second or two for it to decide which gear it wants. It's pretty annoying at times, but we've learned to live with it.

      Had this been a customers car we would have replaced the transmission, unless the customer wanted to go this route which normally has a VERY low probability of working when you have a pressure related issue - I would say I got a little lucky, but the issue is still there, just not as evident.

      Oh, and I had ZERO codes, lol... Just my experience, others may vary of course.

    14. #12
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      I have done flush and this fixed the problem. I some vehicles it did not. I went to the VIDA transmission calibration when this did not work. This has work and has not worked. Then I replaced the main 3 shift solenoids while transmission in car and did not have to pull the main control. Did have to remove lower and upper engine mount to Jack up transmission to pull pan. It is a PITA but can be done. This worked on one vehicle. But I had one vehicle it did not work. I ended up changing the transmission on the 2007 S60. I pulled the new solenoids out before scraping the transmission. If you would like the solenoids you can have them for shipping. I have all manual transmissions now and need them not. Anywho, Glück with the transmission.

    15. #13
      Junior Member deano66's Avatar
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      I've had good luck with correcting 3 poorly behaving Aisin Warner units by only removing 3 main solenoids and sending them for rebuild here https://www.transmissiontechnology.ca/
      Jay and Carlos know their stuff. They will rebuild and calibrate them to factory spec on their Dyno, plus add "self cleaning" drain holes in the back cover of the solenoid.
      I personally don't think you can't flush the problem away with the "Gibbons Method".
      Once those Solenoids are at the point where they're sticking I believe it's game over.
      Remember solenoids create a magnetic field and as the clutches wear the particles are definitely attracted to that field and with no drain holes it just builds up inside the body.
      Now getting to the point where you can access those solenoid involves as others have mentioned dropping sub frame.
      NOT for entry level DIY ,,,do your research Over 90% of the cost will be labor. cost to rebuild the solenoids $200.MAX.
      Stay curious
      Cheers
      Last edited by deano66; 04-23-2020 at 08:46 AM.
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    16. #14
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      The key to the issue is that with everything as stock, particles and debris collect in the stock solenoids and have no where to go but make them stick causing various shifting issues. The rebuild company noted above will clean, rebuild and recalibrate them as well as the key with being adding drain holes to them for free flowing operation. Rosta replacement solenoids come with drain holes already Incorporated in. Yes the trans in our cars are notorious for these shifting issues, but it's rare to hear of actual mechanical issues, unless you blatantly abuse it. These solenoids are what most of the problems tend to be with our AW55 transmissions due to the solenoid design and not being able to pass particles and debris through and sticking instead and causing pressure issues.
      Yes if you research, these trans often have issues somewhat early on. But research further for resolutions, and V/B rebuilds with ported solenoids comes up more often than anything else when retaining and fixing the original trans.

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      2004 S60 2.5T - Stock for now...

    17. #15
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      How many miles does it have on it? That'll play a big factor in repairing or replacing.

    18. #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by ImportService View Post
      How many miles does it have on it? That'll play a big factor in repairing or replacing.
      The car is at 148k miles

    19. #17
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      Thanks for all of the suggestions guys! I'm going to get it checked by a mechanic friend and probably get the solenoids replaced since it seems the likely culprit and not bank breaking like a valve body replacement.

    20. #18
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      If you drive the car in winter mode easily, you can skip gears 1 and 2 to help save trans from more stress. My brother did this until he could get the car to my house which is 1200 miles. Glück

    21. #19
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      Well, this thread has my attention, because I’m noticing some slightly clunky shifting into reverse and drive, and some hesitation on inclines at around 45-50mph. Zero rev flare, and no issue engaging from a standstill.

      The car is a 2007 2.5T with just under 54k total mileage, and I drained and replaced the old fluid about a month ago. The shifts themselves seem fine except for the hesitation in third gear going uphill, when the transmission seems to be unsure what it should do, so I’m guessing it’s the solenoids.

      It seems clear that if I want to prevent real damage to the trans, I should jump on the solenoid replacement pretty quickly, if I’m reading this correctly..

    22. #20
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      Not at that mileage. Our 2004 XC70 had some clunking 1-2, 2-3 upshifts and to a lesser extent downshifts. For the second time (at 190 K miles, first time at 150 K miles) we flushed 12 quarts of Mobil 3309 through it using a modified Gibbons method (we weighed fluid going in and out, as temperature effects fluid density).

      Then two pan drain and refills with Genuine Volvo fluid at the suggestion of another member here. Cleared it right up, still haven't added the third gear servo cover. By the way the latest servo cover has a stamp of 4AK and there are reports of P2 transmissions as new as 2005 that don't have this cover. If going into third gear clunks you can get a longer 3rd gear band actuating pin from General Motors,, if the servo cover doesn't cure it.

      The folks having servos rebuilt are in the over 20 K mile category, generally..

    23. #21
      Junior Member JonE1976's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by deano66 View Post
      I've had good luck with correcting 3 poorly behaving Aisin Warner units by only removing 3 main solenoids and sending them for rebuild here https://www.transmissiontechnology.ca/
      Jay and Carlos know their stuff. They will rebuild and calibrate them to factory spec on their Dyno, plus add "self cleaning" drain holes in the back cover of the solenoid.
      I personally don't think you can't flush the problem away with the "Gibbons Method".
      Once those Solenoids are at the point where they're sticking I believe it's game over.
      Remember solenoids create a magnetic field and as the clutches wear the particles are definitely attracted to that field and with no drain holes it just builds up inside the body.
      Now getting to the point where you can access those solenoid involves as others have mentioned dropping sub frame.
      NOT for entry level DIY ,,,do your research Over 90% of the cost will be labor. cost to rebuild the solenoids $200.MAX.
      Stay curious
      Cheers
      Thank you for this link. Filing it away for future use. Trans has 200k miles on it and still knocking on wood that this doesn't jump up and bite our 2005 2.5t.
      2005 S60 2.5T AWD
      2014 XC60 T6 AWD

      Didn't learn from the 2005s repair bills and brought home a second. I'm a glutton for punishment I guess

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