A popular choice for modern families for many years due to its clever and functional designs, and stylish exterior, Volvos are hardworking luxury cars, designed for excellent performance in everyday life.
For many years now, Volvo has manufactured vehicles that are both four-wheel and all-wheel drive, allowing for increased functionality and an improved driving experience on a variety of terrains. To achieve this, these multi-drive Volvos are fitted with a transfer case, to allow switching between four-wheel and all-wheel drive.
But what happens if the transfer case fails? What causes it to fail and how can you tell? In this article we’ll be taking a closer look at the reasons behind transfer case failure in your Volvo.
What is a Transfer Case?
Found as part of the drivetrain of your Volvo, the transfer case is responsible for metering out power to the wheels that corresponds with selected modes and drive settings, such as four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.
What Will Happen If it Fails?
It’s hard not to notice if a transfer case fails, as the entire drivability will be affected, sometimes to the point where the car is completely undrivable. Driving without a working transfer case can also be very dangerous, as your vehicle is not able to correctly adapt to varying terrains such as snow or black ice.
Causes of Failure
1. Miles on the Clock
As with many things, some parts on your Volvo will start to fail with age. If your Volvo has driven you safely for thousands upon thousands of miles, then it is at an increased risk of transfer case failure. Of course, failure may never happen; many Volvo drivers go through their car’s entire lifespan without a single major issue. However, it is worth keeping in mind that a car with heavy mileage is more at risk than a newer model.
2. Shaft Seal Failure & Hydraulic Leaks
The transfer case’s shaft seal is what prevents leaks of hydraulic fluid, which can cause a whole host of gear-system issues. If the shaft seal fails and the fluid is able to leak, it can also cause damage to the transfer case as a whole, causing trouble shifting between the different drive modes.
What are the Signs of Transfer Case Failure?
There are several signs of transfer case failure to keep an eye out for. However, as every car is different, this in no way is meant to represent an exhaustive list, and if your gut is telling you there might be an issue with your Volvo’s transfer case, then it really is best to err on the side of caution and seek the services of a mechanic.
1. Grinding Noise
As a driver, it’s never nice to hear angry noises coming from your vehicle, but they certainly shouldn’t be ignored. If your transfer case is lacking hydraulic fluid due to a leak, then its parts will become dry and unlubricated, causing the parts to grind together. This issue will only get worse and worst the longer you drive without repairs, so it’s best to seek out a remedy quickly.
2. Not Staying In Gear
The inability to stay in gear definitely constitutes one of the more dangerous of issues relating to transfer case failure. If you find your Volvo is shifting in and out of the gear you need, then it is typically sign of a serious issue with your transfer case, and should be fixed as soon as possible.
Any Issue involving your Volvo’s transfer case will require immediate repair. Finding your car isn’t safely changing gears can be a scary experience, and naturally you’ll need to locate a mechanic you can trust.
If you are experiencing these kinds of issues and live in the Santa Cruz, Aptos, Soquel, or Capitola areas of California, then Hayes European is there for you. With amazing customer service and highly experienced mechanics, your Volvo will be safely shifting gears once again once we’ve had a chance to take a look at it! With a 4.5 star rating on both Google and Yelp as well as a 100% satisfaction guarantee, our team at Hayes European are sure you’ll drive away happy.
* Volvo XC90 image credit goes to: cansab.