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Q: Transmission Leaks on 1998 Volvo V70 XC


Last spring, I purchased a 1998 Volvo V70XC, which now has close to 160K miles on it.

I drive the car for both long and short-distance road trips. While I drove the car to San Francisco last Fall, I began noticing a smell that seemed bo be tranny fluid. Indeed, when I parked the car overnight, a small drip or two of tranny fluid was noted on the ground.

I drove home, and as I did, I noticed that the fluid level was a little lower, but not significantly so. I took the car to the Volvo dealer, to have the car checked out.

Volvo told me that a seal on the transmission was leaking, and that a "rod" was bent, and I needed to repair this, at a cost of nearly $900, to replace the seal and also replace the rod.

I then took the car to an independent garage, for a second estimate. The mechanic there found no bent parts, but said he could replace the leaky seal, for about $400, which is what I then hired him to do.

I drove the car out to New Mexico, and back, no problems. About a couple days after I arrived home, I noticed a spot of fresh tranny fluid on the driveway, and I once again took the car to the independent mechanic. He said the seal didn't take hold, so he replaced the seal once again (at no cost to me--CA state warranty). He told me that while the car was on the lift, he checked the car for other possible leaks, since he found fluid on the other side of the tranny, apparently unusual. The result of this investigation was that the tranny fluid pump seal was leaking.

Since the car has nearly 160K miles on it, the mechanic told me to seek a tranny expert, since the pump is internal to the transmission, and it might require a overhaul fo the tranny.

I'm seeking help finding yet another opinion of this. Right now, I'm using a lot of tranny fluid, and the last trip, the tranny seemed noisy on turns and also uphill. I go through a quart of fluid in less than 1,000 miles.

Any good mechanics in Palm Springs or Desert Cities?
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These models had quite a few problems with the transmissions, so I'd be cautious with spending too much money on it if the trans has 160,000 miles on it. I haven't seen too many places these will leak, but if it is the pump seal, the transmission will need to come out and at that point I would consider a reman transmission.
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