2012 S60 Transmission Problems
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    1. #1
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      2012 S60 Transmission Problems

      There seem to be some chatter here about it but wanted to raise some specific questions ...

      So I had what was described here as the "driveway clunk" with more details here https://forums.swedespeed.com/showth...ing-into-Drive

      About 6 months ago per recommendation here I took it to the dealer, had them set the car in Adaption Mode and that fixed the problem... However, the last 2-3 months I've been experiencing the "hill" issue: when I'm at a stop light on a hill, when I lift my foot off the brake pedal, the car doesn't engage right away but in a second or two engages very violently - the same was as it did when it had the "driveway clunk" issue.

      Has any body been able to solve the issue? Maybe gotten it fixed under the warranty? My car has about 85K miles and it's now 9 years old.
      2012 S60 T5, original purchase date May 2011

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    3. #2
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      yep...I had it....I totally replaced all of the fluid...added an auxiliary cooler in the front....and then used vida to reset the tranny.....it has shifted fine since..

    4. #3
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      Can you share more on adding the auxiliary cooler? I think I understand the rest
      2012 S60 T5, original purchase date May 2011

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    6. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by jlh3rd View Post
      yep...I had it....I totally replaced all of the fluid...added an auxiliary cooler in the front....and then used vida to reset the tranny.....it has shifted fine since..
      Did you just reset the transmission service counter afterwards or did you go thru the complete adaptation process?
      09 XC70 T6 "Maxamoose"
      Many, many Miatas

    7. #5
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      I reset the counter as I found out from experts on this site. I do not know about " adapting mode" .My understanding is that the tranny learns itself, but that is only with a new tranny installation only.....
      Installing an auxiliary cooler is/ was experimental because of having to deal with the "plastic" hard oil lines and the transmission thermostat that volvo uses.....and is never mentioned in any thread I read.....so I just couldn't recommend my install to anyone....but I have had no problems or leaks in 8500 miles.
      The unknown factor was how to splice into the " hard lines" ......So, i heated up the cut ends with a variable temp. heat gun and was able to insert those metal, barbed connectors. In afterthought, I should have warmed up the connectors also which might have made insertion easier, but regardless, they went in and hose clamps were used to secure the lines. I don't know how the factory accomplishes making up these lines, I'd sure like to know.....
      In all of my other vehicles, I used a hand pump to add new fluid to the return lines as the tranny pumps out the old fluid, engine running of course. But the thermostat arrangement wouldn't let me, so by knowing what the capacity is, I just added new fluid from the top through the fill hole until I got within like a quart and a half...stopped the engine, buttoned everything up, and then added fluid using the proper method ( vida) for correct fluid level....I bought extra quarts, just to be sure....
      The cooler is one you can get from various manufacturers, but I always get the high end ones, not the " tube" ones. Also, the front bumper cover, grill has to be removed,....and the hoses from the auxiliary cooler come around the side , so i had to " modify " a plastic part to allow the hoses to come through without rubbing .......you can't see it once everything is put back together.....I'm sorry, no step by step....

      edited..I think I remember adapting mode is NOT recommended for fluid change...just for new installation.
      Last edited by jlh3rd; 06-30-2020 at 06:42 AM.

    8. #6
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      Wow, that's some creativity for you.

      I'll definitely start with changing the trany fluid. I'll probably skip the cooling modification, though I definitely see that the problem is more evident when the engine is hot.
      2012 S60 T5, original purchase date May 2011

    9. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by npn View Post

      I'll definitely start with changing the trany fluid.
      +1. It sounds like the level might be a tad low, even more so when you're on a hill.

    10. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by npn View Post
      Can you share more on adding the auxiliary cooler? I think I understand the rest
      Here is a video I found covering the install

    11. #9
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      I'm about to embark on doing the drain and refill of my transmission based on this video

      Before I do that, I have a couple of questions:

      - Would it be a problem if I don't reset the transmission counter?
      - Any tips on reaching the fill plug? The video doesn't show much on that except that it was difficult to remove/install the air intake
      2012 S60 T5, original purchase date May 2011

    12. #10
      Senior Member Wayne T5's Avatar
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      I just did this service on my XC70. I have VIDA so I was able to set the level appropriately and reset the fluid counter. How will you set the fluid level without some means to measure the ATF temperature? Do you have another OBD2 reader?

      To reach the fill plug you need to remove the airbox, which is really pretty easy. Just make sure you can remove the fill plug before you drain any fluid. My fill plug was pretty tough to remove - I needed a breaker bar. Good luck!
      Past: '94 854, '99 S70 T5 SE, '99 S70 GLT, '04 S60R M, '12 S60 T5, '13 S60 T5, '15 S60 RD, '05 V70R GT
      Present: '95 854 T-5R, '06 XC70, '15 XC70 T6, '15.5 XC60 T6, '16 V60 P*

    13. #11
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      I do have the ELM 327 reader so I'll use that for the temperature check.

      I assume you did a drain and fill - how many times did you drain it? Also, at what millage? Mine is at 92,000 now and the gear slippage described above has gotten really bad.

      Btw, my dealer service wants $401 for a complete flush and they kept repeating that they've had customers who had really serious problems after that like the transmission not engaging at all or not shifting properly. Hard to believe that's the case by just changing the fluid.
      2012 S60 T5, original purchase date May 2011

    14. #12
      Senior Member Wayne T5's Avatar
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      Just make sure that the ELM reads from the TCM because that's the correct module to read ATF temp from. Some folks have said their generic readers were giving them coolant temps, which is not correct.

      I just got this car 8 months ago, have only driven it maybe 1,500 miles in that time (now has 106k) and I had noticed a little "hitch" when the transmission was downshifting from 4th to 3rd or 3rd to 2nd. Nothing major (most drivers probably wouldn't notice it but I have three of these cars with similar drivetrains) and I assumed the ATF had not been touched since new.

      I got the change kit from FCP which includes 8 quarts of Aisin WS fluid which is what is prescribed for my car and pretty much followed the Volvo Sweden Youtube instructions. Since I only used 8 quarts my plan is to do it again in a few k miles. I wanted to be a little gentle with the fluid change given the miles on the car and unknown prior service history.

      Nice thing about the XC70 is that access is pretty easy, I just pulled the car up on some 2x8 pieces and there was plenty of room to do the fluid change and level set.

      Thus far I've been really pleased with the result. The "hitch" I was feeling when the transmission was downshifting is gone and the transmission's overall operation is very smooth, just like it was before.
      Past: '94 854, '99 S70 T5 SE, '99 S70 GLT, '04 S60R M, '12 S60 T5, '13 S60 T5, '15 S60 RD, '05 V70R GT
      Present: '95 854 T-5R, '06 XC70, '15 XC70 T6, '15.5 XC60 T6, '16 V60 P*

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      I was planning to order the FCP kit too, but I'm thinking I'll do one extra drain and fill so I'd need 4 more quarts. Rockauto sells them for $5.94 and $11.99 to ship all 12 quarts so not too stiff total of $83.

      I started reading the VIDA threads and I'm totally lost... I see there are some units for sale on craigslist - any particular one you can recommend?
      2012 S60 T5, original purchase date May 2011

    16. #14
      Senior Member Wayne T5's Avatar
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      There's a member on here who sells VIDA set-ups from a facebook page called Volvo VIDA Laptops. That would be the easiest solution.

      I didn't go that route - I bought the software and DICE unit on ebay and installed on an old laptop - it's a little finicky but it does work great.

      That's a great price from rockauto for the ATF.
      Past: '94 854, '99 S70 T5 SE, '99 S70 GLT, '04 S60R M, '12 S60 T5, '13 S60 T5, '15 S60 RD, '05 V70R GT
      Present: '95 854 T-5R, '06 XC70, '15 XC70 T6, '15.5 XC60 T6, '16 V60 P*

    17. #15
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      What is the the easiest and cheapest way to reset the fluid counter?
      2017 S60i T5

    18. #16
      Senior Member Wayne T5's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Ilovedoughnuts View Post
      What is the the easiest and cheapest way to reset the fluid counter?
      Find somebody near where you live who has VIDA and can log on and do it for you. Otherwise it's a trip to the dealer and your guess is as good as mine what they'd charge to do that - a few hundred?
      Past: '94 854, '99 S70 T5 SE, '99 S70 GLT, '04 S60R M, '12 S60 T5, '13 S60 T5, '15 S60 RD, '05 V70R GT
      Present: '95 854 T-5R, '06 XC70, '15 XC70 T6, '15.5 XC60 T6, '16 V60 P*

    19. #17
      Member p.rico's Avatar
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      The software is on here (Swedespeed) for free. Installation instructions for running it in a VM are also listed. It's really simple.

      A good DICE unit will cost you anywhere from $60-100 shipped from China.
      2012 S60 T6 AWD - Vibrant Copper - Premium Package - Climate Package - Multimedia Package - BLIS - Polestar Optimization + Mods galore
      Running intro/install/DIY thread: https://forums.swedespeed.com/showthr...w-S60-T6-Owner!

    20. #18
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      Quote Originally Posted by npn View Post
      There seem to be some chatter here about it but wanted to raise some specific questions ...

      So I had what was described here as the "driveway clunk" with more details here https://forums.swedespeed.com/showth...ing-into-Drive

      About 6 months ago per recommendation here I took it to the dealer, had them set the car in Adaption Mode and that fixed the problem... However, the last 2-3 months I've been experiencing the "hill" issue: when I'm at a stop light on a hill, when I lift my foot off the brake pedal, the car doesn't engage right away but in a second or two engages very violently - the same was as it did when it had the "driveway clunk" issue.

      Has any body been able to solve the issue? Maybe gotten it fixed under the warranty? My car has about 85K miles and it's now 9 years old.
      I had the "hill" issue. After much testing and communication with Volvo, dealer said it was a "know, though infrequent" issue and replaced the transmission under warranty. Issue seems to be the failure of an internal valve.
      2017 V60CC AWD

    21. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by Wayne T5 View Post
      That's a great price from rockauto for the ATF.
      Napa actually has a better deal now with their "flash sale". I just ordered 12 quarts for total of $61
      2012 S60 T5, original purchase date May 2011

    22. #20
      Senior Member Wayne T5's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by npn View Post
      Napa actually has a better deal now with their "flash sale". I just ordered 12 quarts for total of $61
      Just make sure you're using the correct fluid for your transmission. I think I've seen a few posts to stay away from Valvoline MaxLife.

      The stuff from FCP costs a little more but the fluid is labeled/sold under the Aisin brand, which is the manufacturer of the transmission.
      Past: '94 854, '99 S70 T5 SE, '99 S70 GLT, '04 S60R M, '12 S60 T5, '13 S60 T5, '15 S60 RD, '05 V70R GT
      Present: '95 854 T-5R, '06 XC70, '15 XC70 T6, '15.5 XC60 T6, '16 V60 P*

    23. #21
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      Personally, I went to the dealer and got the Volvo transmission fluid. At least I have a reciept/proof of the correct fluid in case I have issues. Apparently the Volvo fluid is created just for this transmission in the S60. I believe its a synthetic. And its expensive too. Its about $100 for a large jug of it. I used to use mobil 1 ATF in my S70 GLT for many yrs. It was only $20 a bottle, way cheaper. Now it costs me about $300 for a transmission oil change. I also went to Aisin in CA to ask about lifetime fluid. They said, they never designed the S60 transmission for lifetime fluid. You have to change it over time. When I drained my fluid at 30k it was brown. What does that tell you?
      2017 S60i T5

    24. #22
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      Quote Originally Posted by Wayne T5 View Post
      Just make sure you're using the correct fluid for your transmission. I think I've seen a few posts to stay away from Valvoline MaxLife.

      The stuff from FCP costs a little more but the fluid is labeled/sold under the Aisin brand, which is the manufacturer of the transmission.
      Napa sells the same Aisin fluid as FCP. I've been researching it for a while.

      My car has nearly 100k miles on it and it's 9.5 years old. I've had numerous problems with it, from the oil consumption to serious front suspension problems (not so common) all documented here. If the transmission problem doesn't go away or it gets worse, oh well, it may be a time for a new car.

      BTW, I read another post here - someone recommended drain and fill over a period of 2-3 weeks. As in, drain-fill, drive a week, do another one etc. Thoughts on this?
      2012 S60 T5, original purchase date May 2011

    25. #23
      Senior Member Wayne T5's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by npn View Post
      BTW, I read another post here - someone recommended drain and fill over a period of 2-3 weeks. As in, drain-fill, drive a week, do another one etc. Thoughts on this?
      That's good you got the right fluid - I checked their website and didn't see it.

      I think that's a good approach for a car with 100k miles that has had no prior ATF changes. I plan on changing mine again after 2 or 3k miles.
      Past: '94 854, '99 S70 T5 SE, '99 S70 GLT, '04 S60R M, '12 S60 T5, '13 S60 T5, '15 S60 RD, '05 V70R GT
      Present: '95 854 T-5R, '06 XC70, '15 XC70 T6, '15.5 XC60 T6, '16 V60 P*

    26. #24
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      Quote Originally Posted by Wayne T5 View Post
      Just make sure you're using the correct fluid for your transmission. I think I've seen a few posts to stay away from Valvoline MaxLife.
      Any links to those threads, or no? Iíve been running it in our XC90 for over 100k, flushed twice with it in that time. Granted, itís the AW55, but same fluid requirement as the early TF80. I only WISH my XC60 shifted as nicely at 85k as the XC90 does at 186k...

      Joe
      2013 XC60 R-Design Platinum - Ice White
      2006 XC90 2.5T AWD - Willow Green - Wife's, all stock

    27. #25
      Senior Member Wayne T5's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by jschaefer7406 View Post
      Any links to those threads, or no? Iíve been running it in our XC90 for over 100k, flushed twice with it in that time. Granted, itís the AW55, but same fluid requirement as the early TF80. I only WISH my XC60 shifted as nicely at 85k as the XC90 does at 186k...

      Joe
      Post 100. YMMV.

      https://forums.swedespeed.com/showth...=1#post7441983
      Past: '94 854, '99 S70 T5 SE, '99 S70 GLT, '04 S60R M, '12 S60 T5, '13 S60 T5, '15 S60 RD, '05 V70R GT
      Present: '95 854 T-5R, '06 XC70, '15 XC70 T6, '15.5 XC60 T6, '16 V60 P*

    28. #26
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      I've had the "driveway clunk" issue for the past 2 years/20,000 miles. When the car is warm and you shift into drive, about half the time is SLAMS into drive. It never did it prior to me having the dealer do a trans service on the car about 25,000 miles ago, no clue if that's just a coincidence. My trans has otherwise been solid, what you describe happening on hills with your car sounds horrifying.

      I've twice had the trans put into adaptation mode, and each time is cures the clunk....the first time for about year, the second time was just about a month ago so the jury is still out, lol. My understanding is that there are no other software updates available for the trans in a 2012 s60. I'll likely have another trans service done soon as its leaking fluid at the transfer case, my indie repair shop said to fix it we might as well do another trans service as well.......so great!

      I understand where NPN is coming from. My Volvo has been very reliable, but its unfortunate that as great as I've taken care of my car its already needed its fair share of suspension bits replaced and now I have a trans fluid leak.....all with just 83k miles on the clock.
      2012 Volvo S60 T6 - IPD Rear Stabilizer Bar and IPD Rear End-Links
      2005 Pontiac GTO - Corsa Sport Exhaust, GMM Ripshift Shifter, Pedders Stage II Suspension

    29. #27
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      Couple of interesting posts from other threads:

      Quote Originally Posted by chefricky View Post
      This is always a HOT topic. I'll tell ya the real reason why a dealer doesn't want to change transmission fluid. It's because IF they do change it, and for some unknown reason afterword you have an issue, they don't want to be held responsible. Now I bet if you bought a brand new Volvo from a dealer and it was still under factory warranty, with 30,thou on it, they would gladly change the fluid. And charge you an arm and leg for it. They would hit you with parts/labor/and software "counter" update. And BTW, a counter/adaptive update is NOT at all necessary. It's the same thing as resetting the oil change reminder. How in the world would your transmission know if new fluid was put into it? Transmissions don't have AI yet!
      I know transmissions. Almost all of them. 25 + yrs. in the rebuilding business. Retired last year. Do this. go ahead and change your fluid. Do it in increments,"drain and fill" weekly for 3 weeks. Do it so that the temp of the fluid is the same going in is the same as going out. Carefully measure what is drained out and replace with the same amount back in. Make absolutely sure of that and also use only Volvo original fluid that it calls for.
      Being at 80 thou is ok as long as you have not overheated of abused it. Continue to change the fluid now that you have a new baseline every 30thou. I can pretty much guarantee you will never have any issues except possible sensor problems.
      https://forums.swedespeed.com/showth...=1#post7472885

      Quote Originally Posted by riderdedication View Post
      Also, get the correct fluid. What I mean is, stay away from JWS3309 fluid (when it says AW-1) as Volvo switched their whole fleet over to JWS3324 in 2012, for all makes and models. I get tired of reading others saying to use JWS3309 in their 3.2 engines. if it is an engine in 2012 or after, no, you don't use JWS3309. Quit telling others to do this. Volvo engineers (I live here in Belgium, near Ghent, where most Volvos are made for export to the USA and other places) made this crystal clear in 2012 and so did Aisin, whether it was 4, 5 6 speeds.
      https://forums.swedespeed.com/showth...=1#post7678353

      And another very useful thread buried in history:

      https://forums.swedespeed.com/showth...=1#post7657891
      Last edited by npn; 09-21-2020 at 10:51 AM.
      2012 S60 T5, original purchase date May 2011

    30. #28
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      well, the counter/adaptive reset is not like an oil change reminder, assuming by oil change reminder he means a mileage counter only. The tranny is programmed to adjust hydraulic pressure in accordance with the mileage put on the fluid. The more mileage, the more pressure applied. It's not that the transmission" knows" new vs used, it's just being told there is new fluid, so it "knows" to apply the appropriate pressure....Techs can reply on here if I have it wrong.
      I know my s60 started the slamming into drive on occasion at around the 53,000 mark, so i completely flushed and refilled with the correct fluid, added an auxiliary cooler, and reset the tranny per vida/dice. So far, with 62,000 miles now, no tranny issues.....

    31. #29
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      Update...

      Did the drain and fill with pumping 2 liters through the hose that goes into the thermostat as described in the video somewhere here... And drumroll... The issues described in my OP remained.

      The old fluid was dark, no surprise there... I drove the car for about 45 minutes and watched the temperature stay under 200F, so decided to pull up on a parking lot and drove around until it got to 210F. I shifted to R in order to test it fully, back to D and SLAM! Was able to reproduce it about 2 more times but Inconsistently. One thing is clear - when the car is hot ie over 210F tyranny temp, the problem starts occurring more evidently and consistently.

      Who knows, maybe with over time will improve? Probably not...

      I'm really disappointed in this car. Under warranty I had tons of issues with the front suspension, they persisted over the warranty and I got most good willed by Volvo and my dealer. Then the oil consumption problem. Then the transmission problem. It's the final nail in the coffin. This was a $50K vehicle, and it couldn't even make it till 100k miles... I'm at 95k now, how long before the tranny totally gives up?
      Last edited by npn; 09-27-2020 at 08:30 AM.
      2012 S60 T5, original purchase date May 2011

    32. #30
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      did you reset the tranny counter? ...so the advice given here is an attempt to show common fixes for problems that show up, hoping that it does fix the problem. This is assuming that you don't have a deeper problem, which will not be fixed by these suggestions.
      If you have replaced the fluid and reset the tranny.....per vida/dice (volvo) ....and the problem persists, then, unfortunately, the problem may be deeper than what a simple drain, refill, and reset can fix...

    33. #31
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      Quote Originally Posted by jlh3rd View Post
      did you reset the tranny counter? ...so the advice given here is an attempt to show common fixes for problems that show up, hoping that it does fix the problem. This is assuming that you don't have a deeper problem, which will not be fixed by these suggestions.
      If you have replaced the fluid and reset the tranny.....per vida/dice (volvo) ....and the problem persists, then, unfortunately, the problem may be deeper than what a simple drain, refill, and reset can fix...
      I didn't reset the counter as I don't have the tool to, but from what I've read here the counter reset is not totally necessary - the tranny would just take longer to "learn". That is my only hope. But reset or not, if the slam into drive issue is evident right from the start, IMHO, it's a deeper problem as others ('riderdedication') have suggested.

      This forum has been nothing but great, I've learned so much and have saved a ton. This is a fresh example - to do this at the dealer it would've cost me just over $400. I did it for about $100. So no complains there...
      Last edited by npn; 09-27-2020 at 08:31 AM.
      2012 S60 T5, original purchase date May 2011

    34. #32
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      Quote Originally Posted by npn View Post
      I didn't reset the counter as I don't have the tool to, but from what I've read here the counter reset is not totally necessary - the tranny would just take longer to "learn". That is my only hope. But reset or not, if the slam into drive issue is evident right from the start, IMHO, it's a deeper problem as others ('riderdedication') have suggested.

      This forum has been nothing but great, I've learned so much and have saved a ton. This is a fresh example - to do this at the dealer it would've cost me just over $400. I did it for about $100. So no complains there...
      I did this trans-flush yesterday afternoon using Ravenol. Per Vida - any service to gearbox involving its fluid, WOULD require a Counter Reset. This is in regards to the new fluids properties. So, Totally Necessary, for me, maybe not you.
      2012 S60 R-DESIGN AWD T6 - PoleStar / 2018 S60 T5 - HERS

    35. #33
      Senior Member Wayne T5's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by npn View Post
      I didn't reset the counter as I don't have the tool to, but from what I've read here the counter reset is not totally necessary - the tranny would just take longer to "learn". That is my only hope. But reset or not, if the slam into drive issue is evident right from the start, IMHO, it's a deeper problem as others ('riderdedication') have suggested.

      This forum has been nothing but great, I've learned so much and have saved a ton. This is a fresh example - to do this at the dealer it would've cost me just over $400. I did it for about $100. So no complains there...
      Sorry for your troubles - sounds like yours is too far gone. Sounds like you used the JWS3324 fluid and set the level correctly but just didn't reset the counter.

      What do you plan to do next to address it?
      Past: '94 854, '99 S70 T5 SE, '99 S70 GLT, '04 S60R M, '12 S60 T5, '13 S60 T5, '15 S60 RD, '05 V70R GT
      Present: '95 854 T-5R, '06 XC70, '15 XC70 T6, '15.5 XC60 T6, '16 V60 P*

    36. #34
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      I'll leave the counter as it is. Not feeling like spending $80 or so to get it reset...

      As far as the actual tyranny issue - I'll drive it, not much options in reality and hope that it improves by learning/adapting. The cooler seasons are approaching and it should be mostly OK; the issue really comes up on hot days.

      Depends on what people report here, if the tranny lasts say another 30-50K, then I'm keeping the car. I may also install an auxiliary cooler.

      By the way, this may have been discussed here, but wouldn't a simple fan properly installed on or near the tranny cooler work? If you think about it, even the auxiliary cooler is most effective when the car is moving fast. So in my case, in stop and go traffic, it would only make a marginal difference.

      As far as software update goes, I researched here and I haven't found a solution that may work for me.

      See, I did spend tons of hours (and money) on this car, been so many times at the dealer that all the guys know me by first name. That is actually very sad. But the do always give me 10% off on everything and wave the diagnostics fee.

      So as all things on life, the more we are invested in something, the harder time we have letting it go.
      2012 S60 T5, original purchase date May 2011

    37. #35
      Senior Member Wayne T5's Avatar
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      Nov 2002
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      Russell Twp, OH
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      12,302
      Maybe I missed it but if you have a good relationship with your dealer what advice did they give you on your transmission issues?
      Past: '94 854, '99 S70 T5 SE, '99 S70 GLT, '04 S60R M, '12 S60 T5, '13 S60 T5, '15 S60 RD, '05 V70R GT
      Present: '95 854 T-5R, '06 XC70, '15 XC70 T6, '15.5 XC60 T6, '16 V60 P*

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