Causes of Transmission Overheating in Your Volvo in College Station
In order to ensure your Volvo is in good running condition, your transmission must be operating within a temperature range that is neither too hot nor too cold. Of course, a vehicle generates a lot of heat, so the problem of it being too cold is not really an issue in this case. However, overheating is a very real possibility due to a variety of factors.
A transmission that is too hot can cause damage to its components. Transmission rebuilds and/or replacements are very expensive to have done at a shop in nearly all cases. In order to avoid such costly bills, it is important to regularly have your Volvo serviced and inspected so potential problems are remedied before catastrophic damage occurs.
Let’s go over some of the causes of transmission overheating in Volvos, along with the accompanying signs, as this is an important problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible to avoid serious damages and high repair bills.
Causes and Signs of Overheating Transmissions in Volvos
A transmission requires fluid, known simply as transmission fluid. If the fluid is too low, there is not enough fluid to provide sufficient cooling, and it is highly likely your Volvo’s transmission will overheat. Additionally, transmission fluid has a limited lifespan, meaning as the miles go up, so does the chance that your transmission’s fluid is worn, and possibly even burned, due to age. This also leads to insufficient cooling and possible overheating.
Another cause is a broken or defective solenoid. Solenoids are responsible for the fluid’s operation. If this solenoid fails, it is likely that enough fluid will not be pumped through the transmission, leading to conditions favoring overheating.
Additionally, the weather and other conditions like the type of driving you do can impact the transmission temperature. Obviously, the hotter the outside temperature, the more likely it is that your Volvo will run hotter overall. This is not necessarily a problem, because vehicles have systems in place to ensure cooling, but note that the presence of already-insufficient cooling due to things like low transmission fluid combined with a hot summer day can increase the chances of overheating.
In terms of driving conditions, if you do a lot of urban driving, requiring frequent stops and idling in traffic, your Volvo has an increased risk of running hotter than it should. Once again, frequent urban traffic driving is not an automatic sentence to your Volvo’s transmission that it must overheat. However, if you drive this way often, you do put more wear and tear on the vehicle generally, so keep this in mind when scheduling service/maintenance, as it is likely to greatly benefit you to perform more frequent maintenance when driving in particularly hot and/or congested conditions.
Signs of an Overheating Transmission
It is helpful to know the accompanying signs so you can get your Volvo to a specialist for help if you see the following:
- Abnormal fluid color: Normally, transmission fluid is a light color (pink or bright red), and is likely to be relatively translucent. If the fluid is darker, such as dark red, brown, or black, this is a sign of old, worn, burned, or contaminated Note that some vehicles require the transmission fluid to be accessed from under the car, which should be done by a professional with the proper tools and training to go under a vehicle after safely raising it.
- Burning smell: Some people describe burning transmission fluid as a burnt toast or burnt plastic scent. If you notice this, or just that your Volvo smells hot, you should urgently take it in for service. It could be the transmission overheating, the engine too hot, or something else. Overheating is always a dangerous condition for cars, as internal components can be damaged, warped, or even fail completely.
Autowerks for Your Volvo’s Transmission Service
Autowerks in College Station, Texas is a family-owned, independent business specializing in European vehicles since 1975! We also serve the surrounding areas of Brenham, Bryan, Caldwell, Madisonville, and Navasota, TX.
Our team is dedicated to providing high-quality, affordable service that is dealership level without the high dealership prices. To schedule an appointment, please call 979-690-3032. Our address is 4000 Victoria Avenue College Station, TX 77845 and our hours are Monday through Friday 8AM to 6PM and closed on weekends.
* Volvo XC 90 Car image credit goes to: Oleg_0.