Volvos are known for their reliability and safety, which you know if you are a proud owner of one of these amazing vehicles. However, without regular maintenance, even the most dependable cars will encounter problems along the road. Volvos with all-wheel drive have a component called a transfer case, which is critical to the proper functioning of the vehicle’s wheels. Problems with the transfer case will noticeably impede the performance of your vehicle. In this article, we will discuss the reasons for and signs of transfer case failure in a Volvo as well as advise you of what can be done to fix it.

Function of the Transfer Case

The transfer case is a part that is directly responsible for enabling all-wheel drive on your Volvo. It helps to balance all four wheels equally and uses the energy from the transmission to ensure the proper coordination of the wheels on both the front and rear axles. It is essentially a box of gears that distributes the energy from each shift of the transmission. Naturally, the transfer case has lubricating fluid inside that allows all of these gears to move smoothly without causing too much wear and tear via friction. This fluid, like antifreeze or brake fluid, can become contaminated in time, leading to premature component failure.

Common Causes of Transfer Case Issues

There are a number of issues that can lead to transfer case failure, though, and here they are:

Worn Down Parts

Over time, all car parts get old and wear out. The more central to the vehicle’s mechanical functioning, the more vital it is to maintain these parts, and the more costly it will be to replace them. Regular maintenance and inspections by a trained professional can help you to avoid unnecessary expense in fixing your Volvo.

Leaky Seals

The gears in the transfer case are synced up with the drive shafts to distribute the energy from the transmission. The connections between the transfer case and shafts are secured by seals, which keep the hydraulic fluid inside the case. If this fluid leaks, you will encounter issues with shifting.

Driving Too Fast

If you love speeding or you have gotten into the habit of using all-wheel drive on perfectly paved freeways, the drivetrain system can basically become confused. What this means is that the transfer case will fail to engage, and you will experience serious performance issues.

Signs and Symptoms to Know About

It is always prudent for a vehicle owner to know about the potential signs of problems that they might experience over the lifetime of their car. Luckily for you, we know the symptoms of transfer case failure in a Volvo and are here to share that knowledge with you.

Odd Noises

You should take your Volvo to be serviced any time you notice abnormal noises coming from under the hood. When it comes to the transfer case, you are likely to hear grinding noises when shifting between certain gears or all gears, and that should indicate to you that it’s time to take the vehicle to be serviced.

Difficulty Shifting Gears

Although transfer case failure is not the only possible cause of shifting difficulty, it is definitely a possibility. A qualified technician will be able to properly diagnose the reason for any problems you experience with shifting gears in your Volvo.

Leaking Hydraulic Fluid

As discussed earlier, a faulty drive shaft seal can lead to fluid leakage, causing failure of the transfer case. If you notice any lubricant fluid leaking from the undercarriage of your vehicle, then you transfer case could be failing, and it needs to be looked at by a mechanic.

Cerrone’s European Can Help

At Cerrone’s European, we have specialized in servicing, repairing, and maintaining Volvo vehicles since 1976. With our accurate diagnostics and state-of-the-art software tools, we are ranked No. 1 for automotive service in Redwood City, CA, and the surrounding areas. Our team of Volvo specialists is prepared to quickly and efficiently bring your vehicle up to speed. Experience the quality and value that the professionals at our specialty shop can offer you. To inquire about establishing a regular scheduled maintenance program with us or to have your car diagnosed and repaired, call us today at (650) 365-4145. We look forward to earning your business and knowing your vehicle is in its best condition when you drive your Volvo off our lot.