Volvo Aisin Warner AW50/55 SN is a great auto gearbox, but can struggle to cover the high mileage most Volvo’s normally easily achieve. We would expect a v70 for example to make it to at least 200,000 miles without major issues, but sadly the gearbox can start to give trouble as early as 120,000 miles. Whilst Volvo would have you believe this is a sealed unit, it’s not and can be reconditioned or sometimes repaired.
There are three stages that can transform the way your car drives with it’s auto gearbox.
- Problems normally start with what we would call harsh shifting and this is usually characterised by a thump into drive on initial pulling away. Should this start, the first job would be to check that the software is up to date. Known as a TCM upgrade, this alone can transform your gearbox and costs around £50 to do. It’s also important to check a few other factors at the same time. We would always advise a gearbox oil change and it’s also important to check your thermostat is working properly and your gauge needle is sat in the middle as it should be, as this can upset the information your car needs to do its job properly. This first relatively cheap task should improve your gearbox, but, if it doesn’t, we would then add a treatment to the gearbox oil which is surprisingly effective. An American company, Lucas Oils make a treatment for modern automatics. It’s approx £25 + Vat, and is added to new gearbox oil with surprisingly effective results.
- Should you still be having problems you could be looking at a new Valve body, and this costs approx £900 + vat. Aisin Warner valve bodies are weak mainly because the pistons inside them are steel sliding in alloy body….not the best arrangement.! This is an expensive option in the long run but it can permanently cure a faulty gearbox that has early symptoms of wear.
- If your gearbox is slipping in drive or loosing drive totally, then your only option will be a rebuilt gearbox which is £1350 + VaT and fitting – we give them a 12000 mile or 12 month warranty and it takes just over a week to do from start to finish. After many years in the trade we have found an excellent company to carry out this work on our behalf.
It us always worth talking to us if your car has been condemned by another garage, we can always help, even if it’s just advice you need!