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  • How to Detect Transfer Case Failure in a Volvo

    Posted on June 21, 2018 | By Greg Phillips

    Although Volvos are some of the most highly respected vehicles in the world, they still have their fair share of common problems. When these issues arise, it is critical to pay close attention to the symptoms your Volvo exhibits so that your Volvo specialist can best re-create they symptoms for accurate diagnosis. One problem that Volvos commonly run into is failure of the transfer case. If you’re not sure what a transfer case does for your car, don’t panic—this article will briefly go over the importance of the transfer case and how to detect transfer case failure in your own Volvo. We’ll start with just the basics.

    What Does the Transfer Case Do For Your Volvo?

    Volvos with all-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive need a means to transfer the energy derived from the transmission to both axles of the vehicle rather than simply to the front of the car in a front-wheel-drive. The transfer case is responsible for this important function by way of the drive shafts; however, it also is responsible for balancing all four wheels to work in harmony with one another. When problems arise with the transfer case, it can lead to serious performance concerns.

    Most Common Signs of Trouble to Look For

    As with any change in vehicle performance, it’s important to be aware of any noticeable differences in your Volvo’s performance. When you bring your car to your trusted Volvo specialist, they will perform a differential diagnosis to determine the cause of the issue. In order to do that, they attempt to replicate the symptoms you describe to them. These are the most common symptoms to look for with transfer case failure:

    Concerning Noises Coming From the Engine Area

    Any odd noises coming from your car should be checked out by an automotive professional; however, you are the expert on your Volvo’s performance, as it attunes to your specific driving style. If you notice any suspicious noises, like grinding in specific gears as the car begins shifting, then the problem could be related to a failing transfer case and should be inspected by a Volvo specialist right away.

    Problems Shifting Gears

    Diagnosing issues related to any transmission component can be tricky, as many of the symptoms mimic one another. If you’re experiencing problems shifting gears in your Volvo, then the transfer case could be failing. A differential diagnosis can isolate the transfer case as the source of the issue.

    Transfer Case Fluid Leaking

    Your Volvo is equipped with several different types of fluid that help it run smoothly. For instance, the transmission fluid helps lubricate all the gears and components from grinding together and causing friction. Similar to transmission fluid, the transfer case fluid keeps all the internal components working properly. If the transfer case fluid begins leaking, or you notice any fluid beneath your car (ever), it should be inspected right away.

    How to Prevent Transfer Case Issues

    The best way to keep transfer case failure from occurring is through preventive care and maintenance. Ongoing inspections can help ensure that the transfer case is working properly and that there are no fluid leaks. Following through with diagnosing any concerning symptoms can help keep repair bills from ganging up on you. And finally, follow your manufacturer-recommended maintenance plan for your Volvo. This can keep your car running optimally and prevent any major repairs.

    First Step: Hiring a Specialist

    The first step in getting your transfer case issues accurately diagnosed is hiring a Volvo specialist to handle your automotive needs. Getting the best care for your Volvo means finding the professionals who are specifically trained to work your particular vehicle brand. They can help you prepare for big maintenance tasks, prevent common issues Volvos experience, and they have access to the highest quality replacement parts.

    Volvo XC60 R-Design

    How We Can Help You

    At Autobahn Automotive Service, serving San Antonio and Longhorn, TX, we make it our mission to provide the highest standard of care for our Volvo clients. We have a passion for European imports, and dedicate our careers to continuing our education about the newest advancements in automotive technology and the Volvo brand. We consider ourselves experts in the field, and can spot the signs of transfer case failure by performing a thorough differential diagnosis. For an accurate, honest diagnosis and estimate, please call us today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping restore your Volvo back to its original self.

    * Volvo Steering Wheel image credit goes to: huettenhoelscher.

    * Volvo XC60 R-Design image credit goes to: gargantiopa.

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