Volvo dealer cautions against ATF change. Ever.

Messages
2
Location
Connecticut, USA
Thread starter
My son just bought a used 2018 Volvo S60 Cross Country with 22,000 miles. It has the 8 speed automatic, Aisin, I believe. I stopped by the dealer to get quotes for replacing ATF, transfer case fluid and differential fluid. Two service guys and one mechanic strongly cautioned me not to change the fluid. Ever. Something about the transmission adjusting to the changing viscosity of the fluid... This sounds like absolute nonsense to me, but they were adamant on this, saying they've seen too many problems caused by changing the fluid. I'm thinking about doing drain / fills at around 50 or 60k with factory atf, but don't want to give my son bad advice. I will be eternally grateful for your thoughts!
 
Messages
297
Location
Rainville, USA
Lexus/Toyota say the same thing, but IMO it's all nonsense and I've chosen to ignore it and I'm still motoring happily in my rigs in the sig. Once upon a time Mercedes said the same thing (for my sig era CLK) and they revised their recommendation later to ~39k drain/fill/filter changes after a series of autobox failures due to lack of service. I'm not surprised they are parroting what their Volvo overlords tell them, however. We're in a throw away era and this helps them drive to total cost of ownership for the fist owner (on paper) and makes the "OMG 3 years free maintenance" commercials that lure buyers in a bit worthless as in those three years all they'll do is 3 oil changes. Aisin units are known to be extremely durable and reliable long-term with just basic fluid changes, so I think you're on the right track, and definitely stick with OEM juice.
 
Messages
3,888
Location
SW Ohio
Does the transmission, diff, and transfer case have drain and fill openings ? If they do, Volvo must want to accommodate changes at some point. Otherwise, why not skip the drilling and tapping operations as well as save the money on plugs, gaskets, etc ? Some might say "those only cost a couple dollars" and they're right and that's all the more reason to eliminate them. This dealer says it can be changed and sometimes should be: https://www.volvocarsgilbert.com/se...fluid-service-information-gilbert-az.htm
 
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2,497
Location
wv
According to Volvo website https://www.volvocars.com/en-eg/sup...ts/transmission-fluid---grade-and-volume "The transmission fluid does not need to be changed under normal driving conditions. However, it may be necessary under adverse driving conditions" Here is their definition of adverse driving conditions towing a caravan or trailer in mountainous regions at high speeds in temperatures colder than -30 °C or hotter than +40 °C. The above also apply to shorter driving distances at low temperatures.
 

TTK

Messages
668
Location
TN
I changed my 2010 Volvo v70 (Aisin 6 speed) at 60k, multiple drains and fills. The fluid still looked good(bright red), but I don't drive under adverse conditions. One Volvo dealer recommended that it be changed before 80K even though Volvo says a lifetime fluid. Also, the transmission has a "fluid Counter" and an "adaptation" that can be reset with VIDA software. I reset the counter but not the adaptation. The Volvo fluid counter counts the number of times the ATF temp exceeds a certain temperature, and if this counter is tripped, the car will go into limp mode.
 
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9,875
Location
USA
welcome You are right. It is nonsense! Someone else on here posted a video from ZF explaining how "lifetime ATF" is a myth. The video is in German, with English subtitles.
 
Messages
468
Location
Newport News, VA
The dealer knows if you dont change it, the trans will eventually self destruct long past the warrantee and give them a way of making more money off you. They dont desire transmission to last too long. That is in their interest not the owners interest. And about the temperature counter, consider using Lubegard red, it lowers fluid temps. And lowering even 10 degrees is a very good thing.
 
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Messages
744
Location
New Hampshire
Lexus used to say the same thing on their 8 speed Aisins, but the funny thing was, that was ONLY for the US...all other countries were every 60,000 miles. So I changed mine every 40,000-60,000 miles. Simple drain and fills...did one pan drop with filter once. Never had an issue. My first service I did it at 70,000 miles (bought the car used) and the fluid was almost black. After that first one it was always clean. Check and see what Volvo says to do in other countries, because the "lifetime" fluid thing here could just be to meet CAFE regulations (keep oil wastes down).
 
Messages
1,223
Location
Indiana
Originally Posted by slacktide_bitog
welcome You are right. It is nonsense! Someone else on here posted a video from ZF explaining how "lifetime ATF" is a myth. The video is in German, with English subtitles.
I'd wager if you could ask the Aisin engineers and/or service people they would say the same thing.
 
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7,815
Location
Champlain/Hudson Valley
GENERALLY SPEAKING: I see a "blackening" in new fluid after 50-60K. Refreshment fixes that. Mazda3's in the family take Mazda type FZ. It's pale blue. Any connection to ZF?
 
Messages
2,073
Location
America's Dairyland
I have the same Aisin in my Buick/Opel/Vauxhall. GM's severe service is 45k miles. 2 fill holes, one drain with a stand-pipe to check the level between 35-45C. In 7k miles, I've changed the fluid twice now, it's easier than the 6-spd Aisin that was in a MINI R53. First time I used Toyota WS, 2nd time Castrol Multi-vehicle. Hit me up if you want a how-to. I have Toyota and GM documents.
 
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3,066
Location
Parts Unknown
VW used to say the same thing about the 6-speed Aisin transmissions, and they were rewarded with numerous transmission issues, so they changed to a ATF drain & refill interval. the 8-speed Aisin VW uses also has a ATF D&R interval, iirc it's rather high at 80,000 miles, but better than nothing.
 
Originally Posted by slacktide_bitog
welcome You are right. It is nonsense! Someone else on here posted a video from ZF explaining how "lifetime ATF" is a myth. The video is in German, with English subtitles.
'Lifetime transmission oil' is this the video you are referring to? coffee
 
Messages
5,124
Location
Atlanta,GA
There are a couple of reason why dealerships recommend against it. Due to warranty and maintenance intervals set by the automaker the dealer technicians just don't have the experience doing this type of work. Customers simply are not going to bring their 7 yr old Volvo into the dealership to have the transmission fluid changed. It's just too expensive. The automaker/dealer don't want to be on the hook for a poorly performing transmission which was, allegedly, working just fine when it came in. Personally I would wait. Transmissions, the filters, and ATF used today are not designed to require a change at such an early mileage as 22k. There is not one logical reason to have it done, however there's no harm in following the "severe service" interval prescribed by the transmission manufacturer. For the record I just had my ZF8HP serviced last week (53k miles) which is right in the middle of what ZF considers their "severe service" interval. I'm out of warranty so I did it simply because it'll help with resale and provides with me piece-of-mind in the event I elect to keep the car. Oh, and keep in mind with the ZF video above. Some context, that's in Germany where they drive at autobahn speeds which would qualify as "severe service".
 
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Messages
492
Location
South Wales, UK
I have an AW AW71-SC in my Volvo which Volvo recommends the fluid is fit of life. I changed it out at 20k with a universal ATF. Factory ATF was still bright red and clean.
 
Messages
80
Location
Philippines
I have AISIN A750F on my FJ Cruiser and I change every 30000 with AISIN AFW+ synthetic oil, I do a complete flush with machine. I have an oil cooler and Magnefine inline filter as well.
 
Messages
413
Location
Southeast
Originally Posted by RoyFJ
I have AISIN A750F on my FJ Cruiser and I change every 30000 with AISIN AFW+ synthetic oil, I do a complete flush with machine. I have an oil cooler and Magnefine inline filter as well.
I looked up AFW+, it's a little thicker than WS, but if Aisin recommends it for WS applications I'm sure it'll work no problem, they made the A750 after all....
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Messages
21,304
Location
Iowegia - USA
Originally Posted by Silvertone2000
...Something about the transmission adjusting to the changing viscosity of the fluid...
Most transmissions work on specific pressures at specific points in the transmission, plus or minus a few percentage points, so I call this misinformation. Depending on how the vehicle has been driven, in my experience most FF fluids are looking pretty bad by 35k, i.e., the fluid is black, oxidized, increased in viscosity by 3-5 cSt points, with a lot of solid, particulate matter. Find a good local mechanic who has the correct tooling to do a proper fluid and or filter job.
 
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