Volvo Service Culture

Calling all 2005 XC90 Owners…


A couple of things for you XC 90 owners...

1)  We need to make sure that you have no water leaks at the base of the windshield of your XC90. There is a condition that may develop on certain cars from 2005 where a piece of plastic designed to keep water out of the interior of the car doesn't do it's job. There is a re-designed plenum available from Volvo that will prevent water intrusion, and for about $50, it is an update well worth performing. The alternative is wait until the water migrates into the computer, then you get to change the thousand dollar computer as well as the $50 plenum!

Give us a call if you own one of the 05 XC90's and we'll check it out which plenum your car has.

2) Transmission troubles -

We've had more than a few of the T-6 (Six cylinder turbo) models with intermittent "transmission failure" warnings on the dash, as well as some failure of the transmission itself. These transmissions are manufactu

red by General Motors, and have definitely been a weakness of the T-6 XC 90's. The good news is, if you've had no troubles with the transmission, bring it in and we'll change the fluid and filter, and put an additive in the transmission fluid and hopefully, you won't experience any future problems.

For those of you that have more serious problems, we've worked out a solution with a transmission re-builder. Basically, we install modified hydraulics into a re-built transmission that prevent slippage on gear changes (the cause of failure on these units). The cost of this is over $1,000 cheaper than Volvo wants for a rebuilt transmission that will likely fail again for the same reason the first one failed. (Just go ahead and Google "Volvo xc90 transmission problems"). Many multiple-failures are reported.



8 Responses »

  1. HI there , can you advice if its possible to use CEM from a one car to another. Volvo XC 90.
    Is there company out there that factory resets CEM ?

  2. Hi there in Iceland!

    I'll get there one day...

    As far as I know, the CEM can't be installed from one car to another. However, we have installed other used electronic parts and had mixed results. Recently I installed a new speedometer head assembly into an S60 that worked fine (according to Volvo, this won't work). If you have a CEM that's good, I'd just plug it in and see if it works, but don't expect much. At present, I'm not aware of anyone that can program the CEM to work from one car to another. If you do find someone, please advise me, as I would likely give them a try.

    Good luck,
    ps - don't forget to fix the water leak after CEM replacement!

  3. Hi,
    I saw your post on the forums about this. I have an 2003 XC90. Until very recently after the fuel recall, Volvo SLC had diagnosed my intermittent cluster failure problems as the cluster.

    After the recall they found water under the driver side carpet. They said the water was from the sunroof. Now that they have found this water they aren't sure why I have an intermittent cluster, and have told me to leave it with them, and it will probably take many hours to find what the cause is with this cluster.

    I have mentioned the CEM to them. The CEM from visual inspection looks fine, so they really don't know.

    It only fails in the morning, and on rainy days, and it only fails in the morning when I park outside. Most times it is a stutter, and sometimes it completely shuts down, and on rare occasions it pops back on.

    What are your thoughts on this? I am going to book it in, but I though perhaps you would have a thought.

  4. Hi there,

    There is a Volvo-released service bulletin which the dealer has access to, which outlines the specifics of water leaks in the plenum. I would encourage the dealer to look up this bulletin and apply it to your vehicle, especially as you are having problems when it rains.

    In order to properly assess any water damage to the CEM, it must be removed and partially disassembled so that the circuitry on the top of the CEM is visible. I encourage you to have this looked at ASAP as the result may be that you need a plenum updated as well as a CEM (hopefully not!).

    Instrument cluster intermittent problems are also not uncommon. If there is no fault found with the CEM, there is a possibility that the cluster will need replacement/repair. I have had success with a cluster-repair specialist who warrants his repairs as an alternative to expensive replacement.

    Good luck,


  5. Hi Les! Got Volvos?

    How's it goin eh? Our XC70 has reached the critical 10 year, 250,000 km plus mark which has got us thinking about a newer car (not necessarily a Volvo, though) so naturally got me thinking of you which in turn got me into yout website. I see you are dispensing your car guru wisdom to points as far away as Iceland of all places.

    We're still in Canada and probably won't head south until early December it looks like now. Still havbe Saltwhistle which is being stored in Titusville.

    Hope you and yours are all well.

    All the best,


  6. Can you supply more details on the plenum that requires to be changed? I have a 2003 XC90 D5SE (UK spec), I have water ingress under the amp under the drivers seat and also to a lesser degree on the passenger front footwell, I also have an intermittent passenger side xenon dipped beam headlight that flickers on and off. Any help you can give me would be much appreciated as I could really use some help to try and fine the leak and also sort out the headlight issues, I'm guessing they may be related. Many thanks, Jim (Scotland)

  7. This sounds like this might be my problem on 2003 XC90. I'm having trouble finding further information on the plenum. Where can I get ahold of one of these? Would this be easy to replace myself?

  8. For those XC 90 owners that are interested, you can be part of the 2004 volvo xc90 class action law suite by registering at the below webiste:


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