Volvo automatic transmission fluid flush & replacement, made easy

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Our expert insights into automatic transmission fluid flush & replacement

What does Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) do?

Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) provides the lubrication to the moving parts, wear and corrosion protection and is there to transfer the mechanical power of the automatic transmission.

What are the symptoms of requiring an Automatic Transmission Fluid Flush & replacement?

Usually, there a few signs you can look for:

  • Transmission grinding or strange noises

  • Problems changing or selecting Gears

  • Slipping gears

  • Failure to change up or down smoothly

  • Jolts or a delay as you change from Park to Drive

  • Transmission overheat warnings

  • Transmission Control Unit warning lights

What happens when we do automatic transmission fluid flush and replacement?

  • The gearbox drain plug will be removed, or a syphon pump inserted down the filler tube.

  • The old fluid will be removed and replaced with new fresh transmission fluid.

  • Once refilled to the correct level and run through its selection routine, the vehicle will be test driven before returning it to the owner.

Daniel, from LondonDaniel, from London

Hey Fixter, how often should I have my automatic transmission fluid flushed?

Most manufacturers recommend replacing transmission fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. If you tow anything, or do mostly city driving with more frequent changes of gears, it may be wise to change your ATF even more often.

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Want to learn more about Volvo automatic transmission fluid flush & replacement?

What does Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) do?

Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) provides the lubrication to the moving parts, wear and corrosion protection and is there to transfer the mechanical power of the automatic transmission. This is why regular servicing of an automatic transmission is vital to change this fluid (and its filter where fitted) in line with manufacturers recommendation. Failure to do this can result in many issues, such as transmission overheat, solenoid failure, jerky gear changes and even total gearbox failure.

What is an Automatic Transmission Fluid Flush?

A transmission fluid flush is a process in which the fluid in an automatic transmission is flushed out of the transmission (gearbox) and replaced with new Automatic Transmission Fluid (AFT). The flushing process, when done correctly, replaces nearly 100% of the old fluid with new fluid, including fluid in the torque converter and oil cooler lines.

Volvo

Volvo Cars is a Swedish luxury vehicle manufacturer, established in April 1927, over 90 years ago.

With around 645k cars on the roads in the UK today, Volvo is a considerable contributor to the UK motor industry.

With a steady rise in status from the boxy estate models popular in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, Volvo now produces a strong, executive range of luxury, performance vehicles.

Luxurious executive saloons, estate cars and SUVs

Sticking to the market they understand best, Volvo produces a small range of estate cars and a selection of bang-on-trend SUVs, complimented by 2 luxury saloon models. In other words, Volvo makes cars for ‘grown-up’ drivers where it knows its customers inside out.

Volvo: Exceptional aims for in-car safety

One of Volvo’s key visions is to provide a level of unrivalled safety inside their vehicles and has proven to be a dedicated leader in the field. Their current vision is that nobody should be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo car by 2020.

Pursuing perfection through Volvo technology

The ethos behind Volvo reaches further than just selling units and making a profit. By putting their customers first, they have committed to creating vehicles where ownership gives quality time back to their drivers, are environmentally efficient and exceptionally safe.

Using modern technology and striving to develop the systems to lead the field, is something they take very seriously. After all, this is the company that brought drivers:

  • The 3-point safety seatbelt

  • The Lambda Sond emissions detector responsible for reducing harmful fumes by 90%

  • Side impact, whiplash, and roll-over protection

  • Blind spot systems

  • City safety scanning

  • Pedestrian detection

  • Auto-braking

How often should I have my automatic transmission fluid flushed?

Most manufacturers recommend replacing transmission fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. If you tow anything, or do mostly city driving with more frequent changes of gears, it may be wise to change your ATF even more often.

What happens during an automatic transmission service?

There are many different processes required depending on the manufacturer, some of which may include all the following or just some:

  • Mechanics will raise the vehicle and increase the gearbox temperature if required by the procedures.

  • The gearbox drain plug will be removed, or a syphon pump inserted down the filler tube.

  • If the vehicle has a filter, the sump is likely to be removed so the filter can be accessed.

  • The parts will then be cleaned before a new filter is installed and the sump refitted with a new gasket or sealing compound.

  • The gearbox will then be refilled with the correct ATF for the gearbox and application in accordance with the manufacturer's procedure.

  • In some cases the refilling operation requires diagnostic input as well as manual.

  • Once refilled to the correct level and run through its selection routine, the vehicle will be test driven before returning it to the owner.

What are the symptoms of requiring an Automatic Transmission Fluid Flush & replacement?

Usually, there a few signs you can look for:

  • Transmission grinding or strange noises

  • Problems changing or selecting Gears

  • Slipping gears

  • Failure to change up or down smoothly

  • Jolts or a delay as you change from Park to Drive

  • Transmission overheat warnings

  • Transmission Control Unit warning lights

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