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How to change and flush Automatic Transmission Fluid / oil


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#1 Nickshu

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 08:55 PM

Replacing the Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) is recommended by Volvo at intervals of 55-100K depending on how hard the car is driven. I think this is way too long of an interval, considering that the transmission has no filter, and the 5-speed models shift all the time, so much that they require an oil cooler to maintain ATF temps in a normal range. So my philosophy is that 1.) Clean oil is always better than dirty, and 2.) Oil is cheap, transmission's aren't.
3.) Your transmission will probably last 100K without much of a problem on the original oil, but it's longevity from 100-200K miles which is determined by how well you take care of it from 0-100K...which is true for many things on your car.

So here's the procedure, step by step, to change and flush the ATF at home. This is per the VADIS procedure. You can only drain 35-50% of the fluid, and the rest must be flushed out. This procedure only dilutes the remaining 50% of fluid as you flush thru new fluid, so the more times you flush, the cleaner the remaining fluid becomes. This may not be as effective as the use of a professional ATF flushing machine, but I venture to guess it replaces 80-90% of the fluid effectively. So if you start early (30-40K) and do it every 30K, you will maintain oil that is plenty clean. If you are at 100K+, and you have not ever changed it, then I would consider the use of a flushing machine to get a 95-100% change out, but you may be able to do the same thing using this procedure, and just flushing thru several more quarts than I call for below.

Step 1: You will need the following items:
1.) Mobil 1 3309 synthetic ATF (for phase 2 5-speed automatics) - about 12 quarts -- A case of 12 is about $55 from http://store.avlube.com/mobilatf3309.html
2.) Some clear flexible tubing size 7/16OD / 5/16ID (I got this a Home Depot in the plumbing section, about $5).
3.) A new hose clamp size 20mm
4.) Empty milkjugs
5.) A drip pan/oil bucket
6.) A 24mm open end spanner wrench (I don't recommend a cresecent wrench, and there's not room for a socket)
7.) A long funnel with an end with OD less than 12mm to fit in filler tube
8.) Rubber gloves (optional)
9.) Paper Towels (lots of them)
10.) Brake parts cleaner (optional - to degrease/clean your spills)
11.) Duct tape
12.) Other normal tools (screwdriver's, etc)
http://s40concepts.net/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=11763

Step 2: Raise the front of the vehicle SAFELY, set the parking brake and block the rear wheels for safety:
http://s40concepts.net/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=11778

Step 3: Identify the ATF dipstick/filler tube. Loosen the dipstick to provide a vent, but don't remove it (you don't want dirt falling in here)
http://s40concepts.net/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=11755

Step 4: Locate the ATF drainplug, passenger side of the transmission, right next to the subframe. There is not enough room for a socket here, so you need a 24mm spanner wrench.
http://s40concepts.net/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=11756

Step 5: Cut the end of a milkjug to make a deflector so that the draining ATF doesn't run all over the engine subframe (Less mess to clean up)
http://s40concepts.net/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=11764

Step 6: Postion your deflector so the fluid will run down it, away from the subframe. There's plenty of room for your wrench and fingers next to the deflector...it worked great!
http://s40concepts.net/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=11765

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"Wagons Rule!"
2004 Volvo V40 (SOLD 9/2011); 2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R; 2009 Ford Flex SEL; 1982 Porsche 911SC

#2 Nickshu

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 01:48 AM

Step 7: Position your oil drain pan, wear some rubber gloves and have papertowels nearby. Remove the drainplug and allow the ATF to drain. It will drain 3-4 quarts, so make sure your drainpan is big enough.
http://s40concepts.net/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=11768

Step 8: Locate the two lines to the transmission oil cooler in front of the transmission (from under the car). They are both hard metal lines which connect to flexible tubing. The hard metal line which is a J-shape is the return line. Cut off the hose clamp with large wire cutters and remove the hose.
http://s40concepts.net/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=11769

Step 9: Clean the magnet on the drainplug and reinstall it in the transmission. Torque it to 40Nm if you have a crow's foot for your torque wrench, otherwise tighten it carefully, no need to overtighten this. Also here's a picture of the hose clamp, cut off the return line.
http://s40concepts.net/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=11810

Step 10: Cut a section of your clear tubing and attach it to the rubber return line with a hose clamp. No need to tighten excessively, just enough to hold it. Then cap off the metal return line to protect it from debris getting into it. I used a plastic baggie, some foil, and a ziptie. Place the other end of the clear plastic tubing into an empty milkjug, and make sure you tape off the top with duct tape...it will spit and sputter as you flush the fluid out, so you don't want it to get all over. I also taped the empty jug to the garage floor, to keep it from tipping over as it starts to fill with ATF.
http://s40concepts.net/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=11816

Step 11: Place your funnel into the filler tube.
http://s40concepts.net/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=11771

Step 11 (cont'd): My funnel was too short, so I used a larger funnel to connect the two. Now add two quarts of clean, new ATF.
http://s40concepts.net/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=11772

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"Wagons Rule!"
2004 Volvo V40 (SOLD 9/2011); 2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R; 2009 Ford Flex SEL; 1982 Porsche 911SC

#3 Nickshu

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 01:50 AM

Step 12: After adding your 2 quarts of clean, new ATF, start the engine with the gear selector in park. Run the engine until the two quarts have flushed thru and you see air bubbles in the clear plastic tubing. It only takes about 20 seconds to run it thru. The Volvo procedure says to repeat this 2 times. I repeated it 4 times. I would say the more the better....I would repeat it as many times as you can, based on how much fluid you have. I had 12 quarts, so I used 8 to flush, and had 4 left over to refill, which was plenty.
http://s40concepts.net/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=11775

Step 12 (cont'd): Notice the dark, dirty ATF coming out. Make sure you change the milkjug after every 2 flushes...otherwise you'll overflow and have a big mess!
http://s40concepts.net/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=11774

Step 12 (cont'd): This photo was taken on my 4th flush. Notice the clean, bright red ATF compared to the above picture on the first flush.
http://s40concepts.net/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=11776

Step 13: Remove the clear hose and replace the oil cooler return tube. Tighten a new hose clamp in place. Clean the area with brake parts cleaner to get any spilled ATF off.
http://s40concepts.net/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=11815

Step 14: Now you need to refill the transmission. This can be tricky, and you have to get it right. Add 2 quarts of ATF. Start the engine and with your foot on the brake, switch thru all the gear positions, stopping for 3 seconds at each. Now back the car off the ramps, so it is sitting on a level, flat surface. Check the level on the dipstick with the engine running. BE CAREFUL OF THE ENGINE COOLING FAN, IT CAN START AT ANYTIME AND IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE DIPSTICK AREA!!!
The level on the dipstick should be in the cold range, or below the hot range if the engine is warm. Add ATF a little at a time until you get this, repeating the gear switching maneuver each time. See the Volvo guidelines below to get the level right. If you overfill the ATF, you can get overheating after driving on the highway for awhile, so make sure you get this right (this happened to me several years ago on another car, not fun).
http://s40concepts.net/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=11802


Step 15 (if needed): If you over fill (which I did a little), you can raise the car again and loosen (don't remove) the drainplug and let some drain off. I used an empty ATF bottle b/c it has a level indicator on the side so I could measure how much I was draining. According to VADIS, just 0.2 L is the difference between the high and low marks on the dipstick.
http://s40concepts.net/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=11777


I hope this helps!!! Good Luck!!

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"Wagons Rule!"
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#4 xcites40

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 06:14 AM

Nickshu wrote on Sat, 13 January 2007 17:48


Step 8: Locate the two lines to the transmission oil cooler in front of the transmission (from under the car). They are both hard metal lines which connect to flexible tubing. The hard metal line which is a J-shape is the return line. Cut off the hose clamp with large wire cutters and remove the hose.
http://s40concepts.net/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=11769





Very good write up. Anyone else planning to do a how-to, please follow this format.

For some reason, my two transmission lines are tighten by a push type clamp so we just use a small vise grip and able to slip it off the hard line Rolling Eyes
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#5 Nickshu

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 01:23 PM

Yes, as you can see, mine has a removable clamp on one hose, and a non-reusable on the other. It seems like they put the removable clamp on the wrong hose at the factory, it should be on the return hose!!!
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#6 Nickshu

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 01:25 PM

Also, here is the VADIS procedure (same as above) for your reference.

http://s40concepts.net/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=11807

http://s40concepts.net/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=11808

http://s40concepts.net/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=11809

http://s40concepts.net/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=11817

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___________________________________
"Wagons Rule!"
2004 Volvo V40 (SOLD 9/2011); 2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R; 2009 Ford Flex SEL; 1982 Porsche 911SC

#7 asian01

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 10:11 AM

Nice write up, I may do this next weekend
RIP BTCC S40, going back to a more stock form...

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#8 B.G.

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 05:15 PM

asian01 wrote on Tue, 16 January 2007 04:11

Nice write up, I may do this next weekend

Ditto, great writeup!! and this is something i need to do asap Very Happy
*2001 Panama Yellow s40*sold
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*2007 Gsx-R 750*sold
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http://s40concepts.net/forum/index.php?t=getfile&id=14676

#9 Tracy

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 04:34 PM

100% FANTASIC Write up!!!

I'm going to change mine soon, Its been 85K.
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#10 m4gician

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 07:37 AM

Only part I need more info about is that deflector, how would I mount it so that the fluid deflects down, and could u possibly take more pics of the mounting point (or post them sorry).
2005 Volvo V50 T5 AWD - Metallic Silver

SOLD:2002 S40 1.9T

EST Open Air intake system | Borla 2.25 Complete & custom exhaust (no 2nd cat)| Volvo Front Strut Brace | Aluminum Wrapped IC-TB Pipe | Falken tires

Owner/Operator of:
AP Auto Detail & Care
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d78/aaronprakash/S40/S40%20-%20bucket/Untitled-5.jpg

#11 Nickshu

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 05:36 PM

It wasn't mounted....I just stuck it between the subframe and the transmission. Friction alone held it in place just fine.
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"Wagons Rule!"
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#12 m4gician

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 12:11 AM

blah I'm an idiot. So how much fluid would you expect me to use before it turns red again? I'm estimating anywhere from 3 bottles to 5 (assuming each has about 5 litres).


2005 Volvo V50 T5 AWD - Metallic Silver

SOLD:2002 S40 1.9T

EST Open Air intake system | Borla 2.25 Complete & custom exhaust (no 2nd cat)| Volvo Front Strut Brace | Aluminum Wrapped IC-TB Pipe | Falken tires

Owner/Operator of:
AP Auto Detail & Care
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d78/aaronprakash/S40/S40%20-%20bucket/Untitled-5.jpg

#13 Nickshu

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Posted 29 March 2007 - 01:53 AM

I ran 8 quarts thru it. It was clean after 6, so I ran an extra 2 more. The Volvo procedure says to put in 2 quarts, than run it until air bubbles show up in the hose, then do it again. They recommend only 4 quarts total flush, so I figured more is better.


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"Wagons Rule!"
2004 Volvo V40 (SOLD 9/2011); 2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R; 2009 Ford Flex SEL; 1982 Porsche 911SC

#14 m4gician

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 01:44 PM


Last question, basically when you say plug the return port? You mean just stuff it so nothing gets in it? I mean nothing is going to come out of it right?

Lastly, how do you reset the counter for the ATF as per VADIS?
2005 Volvo V50 T5 AWD - Metallic Silver

SOLD:2002 S40 1.9T

EST Open Air intake system | Borla 2.25 Complete & custom exhaust (no 2nd cat)| Volvo Front Strut Brace | Aluminum Wrapped IC-TB Pipe | Falken tires

Owner/Operator of:
AP Auto Detail & Care
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d78/aaronprakash/S40/S40%20-%20bucket/Untitled-5.jpg

#15 Nickshu

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 01:13 AM

1.) One Liter = 1.056 US Quarts, so it's about the same.

2.) Yes plug it so no dirt gets into it. I just covered it with foil and plastic wrap

3.) My car doesn't have an ATF counter. Is this a Canada thing? I've never seen this in VADIS.
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2004 Volvo V40 (SOLD 9/2011); 2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R; 2009 Ford Flex SEL; 1982 Porsche 911SC

#16 m4gician

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 01:20 AM

Hey guys, just did this, and wow the car feels so much smoother during accelleration.

What I'm concerned about is how would I reset the TCMs or transmission oil counter?

According to VADIS, I have to use VCT2000 to reset it, is there another way to do this without having to run to the dealer for VCT2000?

I don't think a OBD-II reader will do it right?


2005 Volvo V50 T5 AWD - Metallic Silver

SOLD:2002 S40 1.9T

EST Open Air intake system | Borla 2.25 Complete & custom exhaust (no 2nd cat)| Volvo Front Strut Brace | Aluminum Wrapped IC-TB Pipe | Falken tires

Owner/Operator of:
AP Auto Detail & Care
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d78/aaronprakash/S40/S40%20-%20bucket/Untitled-5.jpg

#17 Ted02S40

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 11:33 PM

There is a way to reset the counter.I watched my volvo guy do it when he swapped out my tranny fluid. What you have to do is push and hold the trip odometer reset button with the car off. Now while still holding the button down turn your key to the number 2 position (just before turning the engine over)Then you wait for the "Service Engine" light to go off. I believe there is one more light that has to go off but I can't remember. Nonetheless they go off at about the same time. Turn your ignition off and turn it over and viola your counter has been reset. On a side note I also Have an 02 S40 Twisted Evil
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#18 m4gician

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 01:23 AM

that's the procedure for engine oil isn't it?
2005 Volvo V50 T5 AWD - Metallic Silver

SOLD:2002 S40 1.9T

EST Open Air intake system | Borla 2.25 Complete & custom exhaust (no 2nd cat)| Volvo Front Strut Brace | Aluminum Wrapped IC-TB Pipe | Falken tires

Owner/Operator of:
AP Auto Detail & Care
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d78/aaronprakash/S40/S40%20-%20bucket/Untitled-5.jpg

#19 Ted02S40

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Posted 26 September 2007 - 06:26 AM

I was told it would take care of both. I'll double check on it when I can get a minute
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#20 m4gician

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 05:31 AM

It does,

it also kills a check engine light.
2005 Volvo V50 T5 AWD - Metallic Silver

SOLD:2002 S40 1.9T

EST Open Air intake system | Borla 2.25 Complete & custom exhaust (no 2nd cat)| Volvo Front Strut Brace | Aluminum Wrapped IC-TB Pipe | Falken tires

Owner/Operator of:
AP Auto Detail & Care
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d78/aaronprakash/S40/S40%20-%20bucket/Untitled-5.jpg