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ATF renewal[850/1995] posted by Paul Elliott on
Friday, 1 May 1998, at 11:00 a.m.

Well, after almost 22,000 miles, I took the plunge and performed that controversial (for Volvo 850s) service of draining and refilling my ATF! I replaced that portion of the factory fill which I could drain out, which was about 4 qts, with Mobil 1 synthetic Dexron III. And the results are excellent. There is a noticeable increase in shift smoothness, both when I manually shift the gears, and when the automatic does it. The color of the discarded fluid was a dark redish brown. And was obviously visually quite different from the new stuff.. .Now, Volvo does say in their literature that the 3 cases where they *do* recommend fluid renewal are: if the fluid burns as noted by the logging of a fault code, if the fluid has been discolored signifying hard useage, or if the vehicle has been used for taxiying. It seems to me that most Volvos with over 20K miles will have fluid which at least, to some degree, is discolored, relative to the new stuff.

Anyway, the hardest part, if you can call it that, is determining when you have added the correct amount! My yellow dip stick does not easily show you the current level, as it seems it scrapes some fluid off the sides of the very-skinny tube, so its hard to tell....Of course, its crucial that you turn the motor on, and manually move the shifter through the gears, stopping at park to take the reading....Before doing this, after adding just 2 qts, the dip stick appeared to show max level, which quickly dropped after turning it on and moving through the gears.

Anyway, I'm pretty confident that the right amount is in there. If anything, I think there might be .5 qt too much, as after 15 minutes of idling, the level appeared to be near the max mark of the Hot range. It should probably be at the min mark for 'hot' at this temp, but I think its close enough, and really wouldnt qualify as over filling. --
'95 854T - 21000 mi; IPD: sport exhaust-ECU-Sway Bars;K&N;Repco;Michelin XGTV4

Re: ATF renewal[850/95] posted by Dave on
Saturday, 2 May 1998, at 2:18 a.m.

I believe the preferred/professional method for this is to
disconnect the ATF hose at the radiator/cooler and to force
fresh fluid in, with the engine running, until the fluid
coming out is fresh/clean. (Heaven knows what the fluid
level is during this operation!)

To do otherwise is to leave the bulk of the old ATF in the
transmission('s torque converter). Kind of like changing
the engine oil but not the filter, only worse.

On my last A-W tranny there was a metal mesh fine screen that
collected dirt nicely, as well as two bottom oil pan magnets
that were full of metal filings (the first time only), but
I'm not sure about the 850's...

I am having the flush done to my tranny early next week, at 61K
miles. At the dealer. (Will probably do pwr steering fluid
too, using similar method. Sometimes the last bit of left
turning lock isn't there on the first try. I'm not sure if
I'm going to go with their 'special'/recommended fluid/additive
package [BG? for extra $22] or just fresh Dexron. Opinions?)

The most advanced/exotic service facility around here wanted
to do the running flush using synthetic ATF, but that would
have cost about $200. Since Dexron III is probably already
the most over-engineered fluid in my car, I declined to use
the expensive synthetic as a flush(/fill)... (I've long
dreamt of using synthetic ATF, but never found Dexron lacking.)

Last year, I wrote that I was unable to feel the torque converter
lockup occur, as I could in my previous A-W tranny. Since that
time I have begun to be able to feel it. However, I suspect that
this is due more to a ruptured (upper, to firewall) torque arm
bushing than to old fluid. (I'll let you know. I ordered a new
torque arm, having wussed-out after hearing that bushing replacement
can be a bitch... One local shop wanted $14 for the bushing and $80
for the labor to cut out the old bushing and press in the new one!
Cost of new arm? List: $66, my dealer: $72, Nils Sefeldt: $45.)

- Dave
about to rid myself of Volvo "sport suspension" (sic) springs/struts

Dave's Cars, Computers, Links

Re: ATF renewal[850/1994] posted by Richard Outten on
Sunday, 3 May 1998, at 4:44 a.m.

How to change the ATF
Reference: Haynes Service and Repair Manual Volvo 850

Indicates to replace ATF if:
High temperature fault code registers
Fluid is discoloured or smells burnt
Car is used for Taxi work or continuous towing

I checked mine and it smelt burnt and is redish brown.
I will replace with Synthetic if I can find it.

Raise car on jacks
Remove splash guards
Remove drain plug on RHS of casing and allow to drain
Refit and tighten drain plug using new seal if necessary
Refit Splash guard
Lower car
Remove battery and battery tray
Clean oil cooler return hose union on the transmission
Disconnect the hose at the transmission union
Suitably plug the open union on the transmission
Attach a clear platsic hose to the oil cooler return hose
Lead the hose into the draining container
Temporarily refit the battery tray and battery
Apply the handbrake and move the gear selector to P (park)
Add 2.0 Litres of ATF via the dipstick tube
1. Start the engine and allow to idle
2. Fluid will flow into the draining container
3. When bubbles appear in the fluid, stop the engine
Add a further 2.0 litres of ATF via dipstick tube
Repeat 1. 2. 3.
Remove battery and tray
Remove plastic tube and reconnect oil cooler hose to transmission
Refit Battery tray and battery
Add a further 2.0 litres of ATF
Start the engine and allow to idle
Move the gear selector through all gear positions stopping for 4-5 seconds
Return to P Position, wait for 2 minutes then check the fluid level
Use the "Cold: markings on the dipstick
Top-up as necessary

Capacities: Drain and refill: 7.6 litres
Torque Wrench Settings: Drain Plug 40 Nm

Suggest you buy a copy of the Haynes service manual. For $39.95 it is a great investment. --
Regards, Richard Outten. 1994 850 T5, SuperChip, Bilsteins & Eibachs (soon)


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