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Volvo V70 Transmission Problems



  • tshep2tshep2 Posts: 1
    Thank you lulu 4. I called the National Highway Safety number you provided because I went through an going through the exact same thing you did. I had the upgrade the fluid "additive" etc.. and on yesterday, the dealership is tell me new transmission. I have V70 2006 that I mostly put highway miles on and did not expect to have to ever do anything this major to my Volvo because of the "Volvo for Life" safety and reliability reputation Volvo has sold for decades.

    I have been truly disappointed with this whole ordeal. So I have voiced my complaint not only to Volvo corporate, the local dealership and now the NHS. Thank you and I am encouraging all Volvo owners going through this issue to complain. The more complaints the better our case of forcing a recall.
  • At what point do people take ownership of their vehicles? You cant expect a car manufacturer to stand behind there product on a case by case basis. Sounds like more people need to drive cars under factory warranty if they do not want any "major" expenses to happen!
  • Boohoo, unfortunately my car isn't driven very often so the years in warranty passed quicker than the miles. I don't think it's unreasonable to complain about a transmission that failed at 35,000 miles, even if my car was all of 6 years old. BTW, my car now has 49,000 miles on it and the replaced transmission is starting to make the same noises as the other transmission did before it died. Anyone want to buy a Volvo? I'm going car shopping this weekend. I'd love to trade it in to Volvo and let it be their problem but there's no way in hell I want another one. I drove a '77 Camaro from '77 to '80 and a Ford Ranger pickup for 10 years after that and had nothing but the usual wear problems. I don't expect my vehicles to never have problems, but I think this one is the manufacturer's. I ask everyone I encounter driving a V70 XC (2000-2002) if they have had transmission problems and about 1/4 of them have. Manufacturer problem or whiners? You decide. I have lost Volvo at least 2 sales (one was on their way to buy a Volvo when they happened to ask me how I liked my car). I just state the facts. I recently saw them driving a BMW wagon. Volvo would have fared much better by taking care of this unhappy driver. Which dealership do you work for?
  • lulu4lulu4 Posts: 10
    I don't understand your thinking. At 80,000 miles, one should not need to replace a $5000 transmission on a Volvo.
  • Not all of us can afford to replace a car every 3 or 4 years. I tend to keep mine until they die of old age. My Volvo only has 58,000 miles and I'm having the same transmission problems reported here. And gas cap. That was already replaced once, and broke again. And then there was the problem with the locks. I still love my car. I just need it to work right.
  • I too drive vehicles for a long time, but I also would not think of asking a manufacturer to pay for an item when my vehicle is 8+ years old or has 80K + miles on it! I dont work for a dealer though, I work for an independent shop that primarily services volvos, toyotas, and hondas. These tranny issues are not just on Volvos, let me assure you. Ask someone that has a late 90's model acura TL!
  • I have a 2007 V70 and I thought I was crazy thinking that I was having a transmission issue and I only have 38,500 miles on the car and now after reading all these posts, I've realized that I'm not imagining things. Has anyone had any transmission issues w/their 2007 V70?
  • Have had lock and gas tank door not unlocking problems with my '01 V70 2.4T Wagon.The trans problems,however won't go away.Had work done in shop (with 2 year warranty). Tore trans apart.Sent solenoids out to be rebuilt.New fluid. Some problems were fixed(2-3 flair,ie, trans no longer does not catch right away,normal shifting). Still has "hard 2-3 downshift" (big clunk). Going back to shop. BTW the mechanic was very interested in my mentioning a possible faulty ABS module causing this problem(I learned from this site).Fortunately the car keeps running well, except for the occasional hard downshift.01 V70's need to be e\recalled.
  • lulu4lulu4 Posts: 10
    Yes, V70s need to be recalled. Call the National Highway Safety Commission. If they get sufficient complaints, there will be a recall.
  • My 2002 V70 wagon is presently in the shop for a transmission rebuild. It has 145K on it. Though I've had almost a dozen Volvos over the past four decades, this is the first transmission failure. Can't really complain though, as I've had them all go over 145K. Expensive repair, but pales in comparison to replacing the car (which has otherwise been quite reliable and with updated components....most recent being a new fuel pump, timing belt). As with all the other accounts, this started in a rather benign way...a bit of hesitation off the line (at lights). My wife was much better at finessing it than me...when it was towed in yesterday, the trans was essentially cooked.

    I haven't experienced catastrophic failures like losing a trans @ 40K....however I did experience an un-rebuildable '88 Saab 9000 trans that almost took me to the nut house.

    I'd rather not be on the hook for 3 grand to replace the transmission. On the other hand, considering the service I've gotten from this vehicle and given that I have no intention of selling it..let the Blue Book be damned...I'll drive till one of us drops.
  • pete51pete51 Posts: 20
    I am kinda in the same boat as the previous member, my V70 has 140K and I am beginning to experience the problems other members are experiencing with their transmissions and air conditions. My dilemma is the car has high miles, but other than those two problems it seems to be running fine. I have replaced a transmission on a Benz E320 and it was painful. However, it now has over 250K miles on it and it is still running pretty good. Is the V70 capable of doing something like this or is it about to turn into a money-pit? BTW, I like the car and most of the cars that I would replace it fall into the 25K-30K+ price range.
  • Well, I am new to this forum. 2001 V70 T5. We have been having the jerk issue for 3 years. probably started around 75000 miles. What a joke that this issue survived into newer models.

    Anyway, please confirm that the only real solution is a replacement. Looks like everyone has tried all the same stuff I have been recommended.

  • it depends on how far gone the issue is. If you trans is shifting very hard between gears consistently, then you'll need it to be replaced, Volvo transmissions were not built to be "fixed" by a shop. There's a specific ECU that controls the operation of the trans and it is adaptive - meaning that it learns driving behavior. Once one or two of the shifting solenoids start screwing up...the brain tryies to compensate, but it actually magnifies the problem over time.

    The trans is made by a 3rd party vendor or rebuilt by a 3rd party, not Volvo. Even if you get a "ner" trans, it wii be a rebuilt unit and the problem may happen again. My '01 V70XC is on its 3rd trans & the wagon has only 90k on the odometer. I've been able to get Volvo to pay for both replacements, but it was a real hassle. I've now changed my driving style to compensate for this issue happening again & I think it has worked. I drive in an urban environment & I think there is a definite flaw in either the brain or the trans which is helped by the on/off gas, brake frequency of city driving. I don't think the brain can always react quickly enough and therefore, gets caught in a false neutral and a hard downshift between 3rd to 2nd or 2nd to 1st gear. I've been driving a bit more aggressively with this trans and it has helped. I'm "coasting" less between being on the gas and being on the brakes. I can feel when it wants to surge by going into a false neutral and either get on the gas or the brakes (depending on the situation) and everything remains smooth.

    It's not something I want to do, but I also don't want to buy another car right now. The rest of the car is great! The engine is very strong and I've added some nice suspension mods to make it more fun. It is what it is at this point.

    Good luck.
  • I have an 01 V70XC in need of a new transmission, any insight into how you got Volvo to pay for your transmissions is GREATLY appreciated. $3K will break the bank for us right now.
  • lulu4lulu4 Posts: 10
    Lucky, mine cost $5K. Volvo won't pay (at least I couldn't get them to) but contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They are collecting data about this issue. If enough people report this problem, there will be a recall.
  • Do you have a contact email for the NHTSA? My V70 has been to 2 mechanics, same problem with transmission. I bought the software upgrade, that did nothing. Now my car has the "Transmission Service Required" light on and refuses to move. I'm getting mixed messages from mechanics. One says do a valve repair on the transmission, the other says if I do that it may be $$ down the drain as the transmission could still die altogether. The mechanic who wants to sell me the valve repair (a dealership) says that it will fix the problem. The one voting this move down (a reputable Volvo repair shop) says just replace the transmission altogether (twice the cost at $4500). I want to file a complaint with the NHTSA. Obviously, I've got to fix the car to even sell it (nothing's wrong other than this HUGE problem), but I am eager to get rid of it once the repair is paid off. And I will swear off Volvos forever. :lemon:
  • lulu4lulu4 Posts: 10
    Not an actual email address but if you go to:
    you can send them email.
    I think to file a complaint though you need to call. They take a lot of information and then they send a form that needs to be filled out. It took a long time to receive so have patience.
  • rededreded Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 XC70 with about 140,000 miles. For the past 10,000 or so, it has behaved like the ETM was bad again. Take you foot off the gas to coast, and it bucks like the engine is missing. Now, when you start off, it almost has no power. A few months ago, I took the car to the the dealer to check the ETM (which was replaced under the recall). He said the car showed no codes at all. However, when he took it for a test drive with me, he said it needed a new tranny and it would be $5,000. Now, how come there were no codes for the transmission? My mechanic (a volvo guy) said it looks like the tranny to him and I have a few options. I can go with a Volvo tranny, a used or rebuilt one. Love the car, but hate the tranny and think it may go the same way again. I e-mailed NHSTA and got a response within 24 hours. Just got off the phone with them and they only have 14 complaints. They like to have 20 before they go to Volvo. Get this message out please. The more complaints the better.
  • klh5klh5 Posts: 2
    This started happening to us 12 months ago - first attempt by Volvo agent was just to replace fluid 12 months ago - problem presisted.

    Ours is an 2002 V70T5 with (just) 90K miles on clock

    Just taken it in again and they say full replacement of transmission is only option.

    Have only checked this evening - and it is quite unbelievable as to how many threads and posts on different forums are out there on this specific issue.

    Clearly, it would seem, there is a fundamental problem with the design of these transmission units / their integartion into the car - but no admission from Volvo (apart - at least from one thread it would appear) from secret internal communication within Volvo.

    having had Volvo's in the family for over 40 years, but now having read the many threads on this specific issue, I am highly unlikely to ever consider one again unless they come clean on the issue and sort out what appears to be a problem for many hundreds if not thousands of Volvo owners globally.

    Volvo any comment?
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