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Automatic transmission fluid on 2001 volvo s40

I just bought a new “used car”: 2001 volvo s40. Now, i just realized that volvo did not make too many of them because i cannot find haynes or chilton’s repair manual.

i tried but it is not too clear on automatic transmission oil change. i asked local volvo dealer but their answer is ‘vague’ at best because they want me to put the car for 90k service for $450.


1. it uses regular/generic atf. i do not have to use special volvo. right?

2. can i change tranmission oil at anytime?

3. where is the dipstick or location to drain and refill ?

4. is there any better repair source other than for this car?


Info I found recommends Mobil 3309 or Toyota Type T IV. Neither is exactly generic. Understand that the Volvo branded ATF is much more expensive.

Since this vehicle is out of warranty, change ATF whenever you desire.

If you want to do much of your own work or fluid changes, cruise the Volvo forums and join a couple, to get more specific info on your chosen vehicle.

Just based on the answers you got from the dealer’s service advisor, I would find an independent mechanic who is very familiar with Volvos, to do the work you can’t do. You need to at least review all the items that are recommended at the 90K service and determine if they need to be done. Since this is a “new” car to you, starting off with the equivalent of a 90K service is not a bad idea. It provides you with a future baseline for your maintenance.

A new transmission for a Volvo would be very expensive. I’d suggest being completely certain you have the correct trans fluid for the car. If it means buying the Volvo brand fluid, expensive as it may be it is cheap compared to a new transmission.

I have the same car, with about 103,000 miles

I have had a Volvo specialist guy change the fluid. I’m running on a synthetic fluid. At about 60K, I had slow up shift under light loads. The fluid was reported as dirty/dark. The fluid was checked again at 90K, it’s clear.

The dip stick is apparently under the battery. It is not shown in the owner’s manual. There is data on AllData. Check the owner’s manual, there might be a Volvo shop manual available. You are correct, this was a low volume car.

Thank you very much. i have ordered haynes manual ( british edition ) and it is due to arrive any days now. it may give me more insights.

meanwhile, i will give it a check under the battery.