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Transmission Fluid change on 93 850 automatic 85K mi[ALL/1998] posted by mark e. barron on
Wednesday, 7 May 1997, at 1:03 p.m.

Corky at Ann Arbor SwedishEngineering says, it is not necessary to change ATF. Can someone confirm this. I am the second owner -- I would feel a lot better if I had fresh ATF. Can someone support the use of REDLINE ATF (synthetic) in an 850 ? Is there a filter involved? What do you think of the following two procedures. 1. back out the screws on the transmission pan and pump out the ATF before dropping the pan. 2. This is a bit wild. Remove the two hoses running from the Transmission to the radiator. Put return line in container with fresh ATF, Put other in empty container and start car to pump in new and out old. The filter does not get changed here (if there is one).

Thanks, Mark

Re: Transmission Fluid change on 93 850 automatic 85K mi[ALL/1998] posted by Garth Gullekson on
Wednesday, 7 May 1997, at 2:39 p.m.

At 85K miles, you should have the fluid changed.

The Volvo service manuals indicate a change if: - the color of the fluid has changed - the transmission has ever overheated (should result in a check engine code raised - or 75K miles if in a severe service situation (trailer towing, taxi service, etc). You really don't know how the car has previously been treated, so its better to be on the safe side and have it changed. I've also talked to the local Volvo dealer service manager (Carling Motors, Ottawa, Canada) and they recommend changing the fluid every two years or 48,000 KM. They have found with high mileage 850s that that the fluid has darkened considerably.

Regarding synthetic transmission fluid, its main benefit is being much more tolerant to overheating that conventional fluid. Heat is the key enemy of an automatic transmission; when the fluid overheats varnish will form. I have had good success in my non-Volvo car (okay, it's really a mini-van!) with Castrol Syntec ATF (reasonably priced and readily available at places like WalMart). I haven't yet switched to synthetic my 850 only because it is still so new (only 12,000 km). I don't know much about Red Line ATF, but remember one posting in that indicated that one user had experienced a "jello-like" sludge in the trans oil pan (obviously I can't verify this story). I think it is safer to stay with big name trans fluid companies.

I won't offer any suggestions for transmission fluid replacement other than to indicate that the 850 does have a drain plug, and that most of the fluid remains in the torque converter and trans oil cooler. To do the job right, you should either have a dealer do it, or follow the procedure in the Volvo or Haynes service manual carefully.

I hope this is of assistance.

Garth Gullekson

1996 850 Turbo Wagon (12,000 km)

1991 Mazda MPV (90,000 km)

Re: Transmission Fluid change on 93 850 automatic 85K mi[ALL/1998] posted by Theddy Cassaras on
Wednesday, 7 May 1997, at 2:59 p.m.

Change of ATF is not within the service recommendations for the 850 in normal private use, unless the oil has changed colour or anything like that. However, for heavy duty like taxis etc Volvo recommends an oil change every 75.000 km (47.000 miles). For the first 850:s we got in my taxi company (in Gothenburg, Sweden) there were not yet any special service schedules made up, and as a result no oil change was made on the first cars. As a result, the automatic transmission broke down on nearly every one of the earliest 855:s, all of them of -93 model.All transmissions broke down in the neighborhood of 20.000 - 25.000 km (12.500 - 15.625 miles).

As you do not know, what happened to your car earlier, I would recommend you to change the ATF and be on the safe side, at least if you passed 75.000 km (47.000 miles). Better safe than sorry!


Re: Transmission Fluid change on 93 850 automatic 85K mi[ALL/1998] posted by Theddy Cassaras on
Wednesday, 7 May 1997, at 3:13 p.m.

Sorry, error! The tramsmissions broke down by 200.000 - 250.000 km (125.000 - 157.000 miles).


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