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1993 volvo Transmission

(1993 Volvo 940)
in Stratford, CT on March 20, 2010
I have a 1993 volvo 940 Turbo. The car has been parked for about 4 years. I parked the car due to what I beleive was a transmission problem. I just started the car and the car once again started to check if it would shift to drive and reverse to my suprise everything appear to be working. I took the car for a drive even got on the highway. drove about 10 miles with speeds from 55mph to 70mph at first there was no signs of any transmission issues. The car was driving fine and then all of a sutton the transmission started slipping it would no longer continue. I parked the car when it was cool down again I started the car again and shifted the car to drive and was on my way again but the same issue continued. What could it be? Any info you can problem is appreciated.
Displaying 4 answers & 2 comments
Popular Answer
on May 13, 2010
"Replace" COULD POSSIBLY BE AS SIMPLE AND DIRT CHEAP as dropping the transmission fluid pan to get all the crud out. KEEP ALL THE FUNKY, chalky, GRITTY, GRAY, WHITish and all CHUNKS, too; IT ALL GETS SPOONED OUT OF THE PAN INTO A ZIPLOCK FREEZERBAG. Once you dump the oil out; get all the rest of it saved ; precious like evidence to justify either condemning or saving your tran$$mi$$ion. More on that later. You will save money, and see first hand what you are really up against; if you only pay attention. Cleaning the existing transmission filter (not typical, but applies here),replacing the gasket under the filter and the gasket under the transmission pan, and not much else besides fresh fluid might redeem the seemingly lost cause. There is no way to know without trying; literally. A fresh drain plug might be in order; magnetic if you can get it. A brand new, never been used drain plug washer (soft copper or nylon) will certainly be needed(pennies), as will the cheaper end of THE APPROPRIATELY DESIGNED and specifically tailored TRANSMISSION FLUID; and in adequate quantities. Buy a few extra quarts for mishaps, spills and leaks. A quality, well designed, EASY TO CLEAN transmission funnel is also a necessity, also fairly cheap.

Although it is alleged to "not sometimes be feasible" in a high end, fast paced, (money hungry) shop; this procedure of fluid and filter change is THE first best test; even if it seems to have major problems. Even if you don't get to avoid swapping a VERY expensive tranny; you know you have done all that is feasible; (short of pressure tests) to make absolutuly certain that the financial and logistical nightmares of a fresher tranny is unavoidable. IPDUSA's website has a "kit" to do this, but all you need is the right sized ID and length of CLEAR hose; although their website explanation might be more clear.

This is best done when car has not been driven; superhot tranny fluid is no fun; in fact; get it all ready THE DAY BEFORE, so all will not need to be even fired up, let alone moved aroud (it won't be hot, nor will the fluid). Use all safety precautions to get the car up higher for enough room to work SAFELY and comfortably; such as on Rhino ramps. Rugged,and indispensible; these are approx. $50/pair at a local discount big box or auto parts. AFTER YOU"VE CONFIRMED that you actually have an accurately adjusted and dependable Ebrake, set Emergncy brake firmly; chock all four wheels; be certain car is in park. Jack stands (plural) are also NOT overkill extras; but mandatory. A patient and cooperative good listener is the best kind of an assistant to have. Those prone to whining, tantrums or passive aggressive games are better left out back; this is dangerous if shortcuts are taken. If your help isn't helpful; you wil not only be able to do it alone, easily; it will be immensely satisfying to do it yourself.

Pre purchase about 4 feet of CLEAR hose that will fit over the RETURN line(from radiatior's trans cooler at frnt of car). Once all safety checks are double checked;pull the perimeter bolts of the drain pan under trans; expect to get some fluid all around. Best is to stay om the higher side and patiently, slowly with patience drip the pan's fluid into your floor drainpan. An upside down garbage can lid, if big enough, work swell if deep and wide enough in size. Clean gasket surfaces, filter and SAVE ALL SOLIDS AND PASTE LIKE SUMSTANCES. Clean all parts immaculate, and put NEW gasket for the trans pan back with dry (no goo; just dry!). all of htese bolts are going into very soft aluminum AND are merely covering a VERY fragile , soft usually cork styled gasket; therefore NEED NOT BE VERY TIGHT! If feasible; an inchpound(NOT foot pound) torque wrench might be in order from sears.

YOU MUsT INSTALL THE transmission pan before any oil can go in or out.

Loosen return line and insert the now loosened return line into the clear hose and clamp it off. Open the hood, insert Trans funnel into trans dipstick tube. Bump engine over; possibly even start the engine; but don't run it more than a minute or two; WATCH FLUID LEVEL CLOSELY AS RUNNING A TRANS WITHOUT FLUID WILL RUIN IT BIGTIME. It's not rocket science; just be patient, careful and conscientious. Once you see a few quarts of the nasty , bnurnt smelling, dark fluid running through the clear hose into the waste pan; shut it off and add accordingly. Better safe than sorry; always. You may have to do this more than a few times. Continue on, patiently until the very second you see pretty, fresh, clean fluid become visible in the clear hose. Immediatly shut the car off( to prevent wasting fresh fluid), and raise the end of the clear hose up high enough that it no longer slurps liquid money out into the dirty stuff. Get the return line wrench handy, pull the clamp off the clear hose and reinstall the return line back on the transmission; GENTLY> this is no time to cross thread; nor does it take king kong twisting force to have it tight enough. With all the expensive trouble you might have, used to have or may have just barely; for the moment, PERHAPS dodged, a loose fitting is the least of your worries. you can always snug it up IF you haven't already tightened it too tight. It is difficult to UNRING the bell.


This does not mean almost, nor "that's close enough". For example; stick a pencil in a gass of water, and use a marker to signify where the water level was( while level). The, now that the pencil is marked, slowly tip the glass to one side, and you will see why the car being level is not going too far; but indeed imperative.

Double check everything; get the car ready to drive, get it level and get the dipstick levels ALMOST up; but NOT YET,anyway. Get engine AND transmission up to normal operating temperature by a close to home test cdrive. Loops around the block are easier to get back home if it breaks down, than to get only two miles away. If need be, let the neighbors think you are nuts, and make your mileage all VERY close to home; even recircling the block; make several rounds to get the temps up but still close to home.
Once all seems well, get ALL 4 corners, like in a parting lot, (not slantad for rain drainage); truly level; then recheck the trans fluid level NOW THAT IT ISALL UP TO NORMAL TEMP. It is also crucial for the trans to have been in each gear; whic you did repeatedly and gently on your neighbor considerate test drives.

If this didn't fix it, decide if you really have the right amount( too much is real bad) of the correct fluid, at a truly level setting, and in adequate temps; is it too risky to drive it for a second opinion. At this level of potential expense, even a salvage torque convertor, trans and self induced labor is no cheap affair; so a shop's WRITTEN ESTIMATE of not just a trans removal and replacement; but now a full blown "buyer's check" is now in order. Why be upside down on a car that has lots of problems; potentially more problems to fix than the car will ever be worth?

I need to BUY a couple of Volvo 940, 740, or 760 WAGONS; (765) 401-4872; OR < DadSONvolvoProjectAThotmailDawtCawm
on May 27, 2010
I appreciate the info, I took down the transmission pan and replaced the dirty filter along with the gaskets. Everything is in working order. The car is back on the road, running great! Took it on the highway drove over 100 miles with no issues. Your input was right on the money. Thanks!
on July 23, 2010
I had excactly the same symptoms. the answer was that the intercooler was leaking so water from radiator was getting into autobox. it has been sitting outside for past 3 years and become a doner vehicle.
on July 23, 2010
Does anyone know how to help me find GREEN FACTORY Volvo Service Manuals out there? (ph765-401-4872or by Email). I wrote the very LONG transmission solutions answer #2 above. I still highly reccommend (nearly any older/problematic/poorly maintained) current car owner to actually invest ($40-$100) for a legitimately brand speciallized shop's WRITTEN "buyer's check;" and for it to start with a compression test; maybe even a leakdown test for "upside down" reasons explained above in ending of very long # 2.

I am still actively wanting TO BUY FOR CASH a PRISTINE Volvo 940, 760, or 740 WAGON: TURBO with MANUAL trans preferred; autos/non turbos/FOUR DOORS/ 780 TWO DOORS are still PARTS CAR potentials. Only interested in (RWD) wagons unless parts cars. A car that needs very little is worth more to me; and I am WILLING to even pay "too much" rather always be chained to rehabbing a less than maintained , or a "less expensive" constant project vehicle. I still will need to BUY dead parts donor Volvo 940, 740 and or 760; preferably a Turbo WAGON with a manual transmission. Hot rod or upgraded parts won't scare me, dead or alive. Obviously, your self described "donor vehicle"; from "Answer # 3" (immediately above) is a potential parts car for me; auto or not. I am in central Indiana currently; at < DadSONvolvoProjectAT hotmailDAWT Cawm > later in central Texas. Ph NOW/ALWAYS:765-4014872 againcheap enough to make it an actual savings and not a hassle of a hustle. Thanks!
on March 21, 2010
Best to have a trans. specialist get involved. Internally you have seals, servos with springs, clutch plates...there's a multitude of temp. related issues this could be. Is the fluid burnt, brown color and stinks? If so, it might serve you better to replace.
on March 17, 2011
it sounds like the tork converter is going out
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