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Volvo V70 Transmission Problems

mea2120mea2120 Posts: 2
I was unsure how to start a new topic and apologize ahead of time if I am posting out of place. I have a 2000 V70 with 103K miles. I bought this car used (that's another story!) only about 6 months ago. I started to notice a little slip when I would hit the gas after being stopped at a stop light or somthing. Now the "jerking" happens even when I am sitting still. It really only occurs when I am just accelerating. I took it to one mechanic who told me it needed a new transmission and to another who ran the diagnostic and could not find anything wrong with it. Not sure what to think. I guess you could say I don't want to believe mechanic #1!


  • 2004 xc-70 (4300 miles). At low speeds when car has sat for a while (at least a few hours), it seems like tranny slips (its like in a manual tranny, depress clutch and rev accelerator). Only does it for a second then clicks into gear. Anyone else experience this? If so, what outcome? What has dealer said about it? Thanks.
  • jeffreycjeffreyc Posts: 1
    hello striker my 2005 XC70 does the same thing especially on hills; have you found out if this is normal? it feels like the torque converter is slipping then locking up for a split second. has anyone contacted you for answers, if so could you let me know because i may have a defective car with only 2300 miles on it; or maybe it's a normal result of having AWD,such as gear lash between the front and rear weels I DONT KNOW!!! someone please let me know, jeffreyc
  • Our xc wagon gives a kick when it shifts into high gear on the freeway. We've been having trouble getting the dealer to recognize the problem. Has anyone else experienced this transmission problem? Or have any ideas what may be the problem - I'd like to be more informed before I walk in there to state my case. By the way, an independent mechanic said the transmission was "trashed" but I don't believe it 'cause other than this problem the tranny performs ok. He also said this volvo model is junk and to get rid of it. Any feedback is much appreciated. Thanks!
  • I have a 2000 XC AWD and it just started a similar kick ... and I plan to have it checked out. I would ask around for a respected Volvo mechanic, not necessarily a dealer and get their opinion. Mechanics who call cars junk are usually not in the business of fixing those cars.
  • Recently had a similar problem with our 2001 xc70 after the 60,000 mile service, only when coming to s stop .
    took it back to Volvo they said there was water in a switch, dried it and put on di electric grease
    good luck
  • It may not be a transmission problem. It may be your electorinc throttle. Go to
  • Our 1999 XC70 did that initially, the dealer supposedly changed the trans. fluid and it seemed to have helped, that was 30,000 miles ago. I occasionally notice it shift a little hard. As far as the car being junk we have had a few problems with ours (one I am going to post to see if anyone has had the same issue) but overall the car has been pretty reliable. We had some issues under the extended warranty that were fixed (maybe $1,500) and have put about $1,000 in to it ourselves (not counting brake pads, etc)
  • I have a 2001 XC70. Somewhere around 57,000 miles, I started noticing a faint noise when the transmission shifted. Over the previous two months, it gradually become more noticeable. After the 60,000 mile service & transmission fluid replacement, the faint noise became a loud clunk when the transmission shifted. The transmission would also at times not engage when accelerating after a stop or a slow down. The problem only appeared after the car was thoroughly warmed up. The problem continued to worsen both in terms of frequency and severity of shifting. Three days ago, I received a "TRANSMISISON SERVICE REQUIRED" and a "Check Engine Light" from the car's computer.

    The Volvo dealer is telling me it could be a bad "sensor." It seems Volvo has extended the warranty on these sensors to 100,000 miles in lieu of issuing a recall. The dealer also says it could be a software upgrade issue. To me, it seems like a mechanical problem with the transmission. It is going into the shop tomorrow. I'll let you know how it turns out.
  • I too own a 2000 XC with 90,000 miles on it. One of the best autos I have ever owned. No issues at all. Tell your independent mechanic that I know junk (Toyotas,GM,and others) and this is no junk.
  • drtodddrtodd Posts: 1
    Deja Vu! My '01 V70 XC (with 96K miles on it) is doing the exact same thing(s) as yours, benson1617. I'm in denial about how serious this could be since I don't currently have $3K or $4K collecting dust in my change dish. I'd much rather spend for performance upgrades than on simply keeping it on the road. That said, I can't afford to develop a bleeding ulcer either, so I suppose I'll have to deal with it soon.

    One thing to add to the symptom list: the sporadic "clunk" on downshifting from 2nd to 1st has a distinctive metallic ring to it and feels like hitting a pothole. Neither the delayed, free-spinning upshift from 2nd to 3rd when the car is really well warmed up or the low speed clunk on downshifting to 1st is present all the time.

    I'm considering an ATF flush and fill and supplementing the fluid with Lubeguard ATF Protectant ( It may turn out to be snake oil, but there are those who swear by it.

    So what was the result of your evaluation of the problem? Do I want to know?
  • I would be very interested in this!! We have an 01 XC that has 89K miles already a new motor and the trans is about to go out. We have the ext. warranty, but they are telling us we need a SW upgrade, NOT a new trans. I know good and well that we need a new trans. What can we do?
  • txcarnuttxcarnut Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 XC70, which is experiencing hard downshifts to 1st gear when slowing down. Per the 'dealer' there is an undetectable leak in the radiator (can't be seen, but it is there), which contaminates the transmission fluid, and the contamination has ruined the transmission. Suggested solution is to replace the radiator and the transmission (over $5,000). Note, leak must be really small, as there is no exterior evidence of lost coolant, and the sensors in the car have never reported a low coolant situation.

    a) Has anyone heard of this issue? can it be true?
    b) Any suggestions for trouble shooting this problem?


    Texas car nut (I have enjoyed my XC70 until now).
  • xcjimxcjim Posts: 1
    Our 2004 XC70 shifts erratically when you push the accelerator pedal "firmly". This is our third XC, plus one 245GL Turbo, so I am familiar with them.

    Last week I was entering the Interstate, going about 35mph, slightly downhill, and pressed the pedal about 3/4 down. The car momentarily accelerated, paused like the igniton was momentarily shutoff, downshifted momentarily, and then shifted back up and then continued to speed-up. This type of activity is more noticeable when I am driving up in the mountains.

    Was wondering if anyone has experienced this? Maybe software?
  • jomotojomoto Posts: 12
    I heard in another forum that you should take it to your dealer for a reboot or reprograming of the software, and this will solve the problem... I fact mine is 2002, and it seems the issue was not in those cars, nevertheless I can feel the "Clunk" when gearing down from 2 to 1.....Just that I am still scared of the proce I had to pay for ti and would not like to spend a single dollar by now... ;)
  • bristol2bristol2 Posts: 736
    Is there a manual transmission XC70 availible?

    Apart from improved mileage, it eliminates most of those transmission problems that some seem to be having.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    Keep driving it and see if it gets worse. Or take it to a third mechanic, but don't put in a new tranny until you are absolutely certain you need one. What is the state of the transmission fluid? Perhaps just a standard tranny service would remedy the problem. Do you know anything about the history of the vehicle?

    It could be a motor mount.

    If you put the tranny in low and accelerate, does the condition occur? etc. What happens if you are travelling 50 mph and then give full acceleration? Play around with it. Find the steepest hill you can, stop at the bottom, then accelerate up the hill with low accelerator pressure. What happens?
  • mea2120mea2120 Posts: 2
    To answer your ?'s:
    The problem has definitely gotten worse over the last month. I did take the car in and had the trans. fluid drained and refilled. History of the vehicle: purchased used just 6 months ago. Carfax report upon purchase showed no history of trouble. I thought about trading the car in, and when the dealer ran a carfax on the car, a wreck showed up. For some reason, the accident, which occured in 2001, was not reflected until May '06! The report said that it was a front end accident, so that could spell all kinds of trouble.

    If I am travelling 50 and accelerate, the car is completely normal. Accelerating at the bottom of a hill does result in some jerking.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Is there a manual transmission XC70 availible?

    Apart from improved mileage, it eliminates most of those transmission problems that some seem to be having.

    No manual for XC70.

    Gas mileage between Volvo's w/ manuals and automatics is almost even. And, you don't have to replace a clutch or spill your latte when shifting!
  • Our 2001 XC70 turned 'five' on July 16th. On July 20th, with only 52,000 miles, driving along on the highway, the transmission suddenly 'shifted' into 'neutral' response to the gas pedal, down shifting, etc. And, importantly, no idot light and no message displayed. Luckily, and I do mean very luckily, I was able to coast to a stop...turn the car off, start it up, and then pull away in what felt like 'safe mode', a very labored first gear, which revved high, strained, and shifted into second and then, bang, into neutral again. Turn off car. Start car, same thing...a very shaky and repeatedly failing 'limp home' mode that would not allow me to drive faster than 10 mph, and even then it just randomly quit.
    No codes, no idiot lights. Limped about half a mile and parked, needing to shift to reverse to finish reverse, and then no forward, either. Shut off car, started it, and finally a "Service Transmission Urgent" message. Towed to dealer. Dealer says 'solenoid failure, but we can't reliably tell which one or ones are involved'. Options: 1) replace solenoids for $1,900.00 or 2) replace entire transmission for $3,400.
    No warranty. Volvo Corporate says too bad, so sad, sucks to be you.

    5 years, 52K. This car's rear shocks destroyed a set of tires (faithfully rotated), requiring new shocks and a new set of tires. The ignition key tumbler failed and had to be replaced, $450. Now a new transmission for $3,400.

    No dealer will give me a decent trade in once they check the VIN# and see the service record. Volvo's corporate customer service won't step up to the plate or acknowledge the serious hazard this sort of failure creates. "Try merging onto an urban expressway or passing on a two lane only to have your car lose all power", I said to the Volvo Corporate Service rep in NJ via phone. "Yeah, that would be bad", he said, "But what do you expect us to do?"

    We bought the Volvo for its reputation as a safe, reliable car.
    That's why our next Volvo will be a Subaru.

    Apparently, we're not the only XC70 owners who have been endangered and then screwed over by Volvo Coporate and Volvo Dealers. Wonder what they'll do when it gets a family with kids killed?
  • laj36laj36 Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 XC70 with 69k miles. Last night driving home from work my car started having issues. The car started fine, put the car in reverse and headed home as usual. Stopped and started at a few lights with no problems. When I went to accelerate from a stop light number 4, the car hesitated and sputtered, hard shifted and then moved on down the road. Next stop light same thing. At the intersection to turn to get on the access road for the free way the engine started to flutter and couldn't tell if the engine was on or not. Decided to pull over in a safe place before getting on the freeway. I decided to back into a parking spot in the event I needed to have the car towed. Put the car in reverse - NOTHING!!!, Put the car in drive NOTHING!!!. No lights during this entire time. Called my mechanic friend and they sent a tow truck.

    Mechanic called today... Asked if I had had trouble getting the car started - NO. He had difficulty getting the car started, but it did finally start. Put the car in Reverse and after 1 solid minute the car finally did a hard shift and would move. Then shifted to Drive to get into a bay another solid minute to shift into drive. No lights on indicating any issues with anything. He also asked if I or anyone else had added transmission fluid recently because the level seemed to be high. He was the last person to service my car and at that time all fluid levels were perfect. He hooked up to the computer (non Volvo) no codes of any sort and says the transmission is fine, but obviously something is wrong with the car.

    2 months ago the ABS Module went out on the car. The brake and ABS lights would come on intermittently. Finally, driving on the freeway the car suddenly shifted into low while driving 70mph and all the lights on the dash light up. Took it into my friends shop and he could not find anything. Took the car to an independent Volvo shop and they found that the ABS Module was failing. I asked why this ABS Module would cause the car to shift into low and was told that this module could affect different systems on the car. Had the module replace (still under warranty) and had the entire car checked out as my extended warranty would expire on 7/3/06. They said the car was in great shape including the transmission.

    A few weeks after having the ABS Module replaced, I received a letter from Volvo on the recall for the Electronic Throttle Module. I have not had that fixed yet, but am wondering if that could be part of the issue that occurred yesterday. Called Volvo today and they said to have the car towed to them and they would take care of the ETM and check the car out to see what the issue is.

    I am taking it back to the independent Volvo shop first so the dealership does not try to lie to me about what the real issues are with the car.

    I have not called Volvo NA yet with this issue as I want to confirm what the real issue is, but is there a way to find out how many Volvo's have had this same issue and if it might in fact be a defect in the transmission or some other part that should be recalled?? This car has only 62k miles and Volvos are supposed to run forever. That is why I have bought Volvo's in the past.

    Have you had the ETM taken care of on your car yet?

    Sorry to be on a rant, but I am really not looking forward to car payments again or a large bill for a transmission.

    Unhappy XC owner
  • cccobxcccobx Posts: 2
    Our transmission began to shift would float between shifts then engage hard...never the same way twice. Took it to the dealer who made some software adjustments but really no change just some minor change in shift intervals. So, of course, we took it back with the result being that a new transmission is suggested but also that we could choose to drive it this way for as long as we are comfortable doing so.
    Price for replacement is $3852.00 ouch.
    One thing I found surprising is that there is nothing internally to repair that the only choice is replacement. Is this actually the case?
  • The dealer in Maine who replaced our transmission stated that the problems with stuck/malfunctioning solenoids could be 'replaced' separate from the entire tranny, but that they wouldn't guarantee that the entire tranny wouldn't have to be replaced, either pay the big fee up front, or pay the smaller ($1,900) fee and THEN still pay the $3400 later.

    The 'new' reconditioned transmission downshifts into lowest gear when slowing to a stop
    with a very, very noticeable 'clunk'.

    I'd make sure your problems were entirely transmission related and not also tied to the Electronic Throttle problems that are the subject of a class action filing.
  • cccobxcccobx Posts: 2
    Thank You appreciate your comments. I am many miles did you have on the car when you needed to replace your transmission?
  • IN response to your question about the ETM, Goodwin's Volvo of Topsham, Maine, where our XC was towed and who replaced the transmission, did the 'software update/upgrade' on the ETM...but did not replace the part...which, apparently, is the source of the ETM problems. The reason stated for not replacing the part(s) and only doing a software download was that the appropriate codes did not appear..YET. Yep, that's what they said..."...,YET". Implies that they KNOW it WILL code in the near future. And they knew we were needing to drive this car from Maine back to Iowa. Do go to the vedex site. There are links there to the class action that was filed in CA.

    Also, make sure you keep very accurate records of everything done...and make Volvo Dealers put everything they tell you in writing. Do not let them give you verbal information diagnosing your problem..or upon which you're expected to make a decision regarding repair or replacement...make them put it in writing and keep a record. File a complaint with NHTSA and with Volvo N.A., it's the only way anything will get done on Volvo's dime.
  • I originally thought it was 52K...but I was wrong. It was 50, less than 1K over the mileage warranty, and Volvo still refused to acknowledge any culpability.
  • 2001 XC70, 50,900 miles: Transmission failed by repeatedly slipping into neutral...requiring ignition shut off and restart, which allowed marginal 1st gear driving w/o any acceleration to between 5-10 mph, then, bang, back into neutral. Towed vehicle to dealer (we were 1,200 miles from home). Only fix was to replace with Volvo Certified Reconditioned transmission. $3,400. We paid full price, Volvo N.A. refused to acknowledge any responsibility. "Too bad, so sad, sucks to be you."

    Repairs take 2 weeks. Goodwin's Volvo in Topsham, Maine claims 'parts lost in shipment' is what caused 'unusual delay'. Volvo N.A. finds this 'curious' and responds with disbelief that any 'parts were lost in shipment.'

    Drive 1,200 miles over 3.5 days. Arrive home in early evening. Next morning,
    drive way is awash with pinkish transmission fluid. No idiot light. Drive car to local mechanic with 35 years of Volvo experience. He says, "Tow to nearest Authorized Volvo Service Center. Do not drive this vehicle. It's leaking transmission fluid too quickly and won't make the drive."

    Nearest dealer is 60 miles. Tow will cost $200. We pay tow because 'warranty' on 'reconditioned transmission' does not cover tow.

    In less than 2 weeks, 2 transmission failures. And no one, I and mean, NO ONE at any level of Volvo Customer Service is willing to do ANYTHING.

    Poorly designed, poorly serviced. I think the reason no one at Volvo is willing to 'stand behind' their work or their products is that they have the well-founded fear that said product will slip out of gear and roll back over them.
    :lemon: :mad: :sick:
  • On Wednesday, August 23, 2006, with my 2 children in the car, my 2001 Volvo XC70 suddenly shifted into neutral *in the middle of an intersection*. Coasted to a stop, and tried to shift into other gears, to no avail. I turned the car off, then back on, and was able to drive another couple of feet, but then the car stopped accelerating (effectively into neutral again).

    Had some assistance in pushing the vehicle into a nearby convenience store; called AAA, and had the car towed to my local Volvo dealership (Noble Mercedes/Volvo in Fredericksburg, VA).

    This morning, the Volvo repair representative told me that the car needs a new (Volvo rebuilt) transmission, at a cost of $3569.00. Volvo (upon my request) offered to pay for 75% of the part, and the dealer offered a 10% discount on labor -- but the total is still around $1900.

    This car has been dealer-maintained (same dealer as above) on a regular basis since we purchased it. We had just had the Electronic Throttle software download (recall) done 2 weeks ago (after having to have it towed that time, as well).

    A car that has been regularly maintained with mostly highway miles should not have its transmission fail after 5 years -- especially in light of the fact that others are having the same problem.

    While the incident did not result in an accident, it very well could have, as we were traveling through a very busy intersection.

    I just wanted to share this with you all -- I am grateful that I am getting some assistance with this repair, but my gut tells me that Volvo should pay for all of it.

    I would be especially interested in hearing from others who have filed reports with NHTSA, Volvo NA, or both.
  • The reconditioned transmission we paid $3,496 to have installed after the first failure (at 50,850 miles), itself failed after less than 1,200 miles. We had to have car towed 60 miles to dealer. Dealer stated that the 'reconditioned transmission' supplied by Volvo North America was defective and that our rear main engine seal had also been ruined at the time of install. Volvo North America is replacing the second transmission under warranty. But we will be without a car for two weeks w/o any compensation, same as when the original tranny failed and took nearly two weeks to 'repair'. We're out the $3,496, as well as over $2,000 in car rental fees...and that amount is rising as we still have no fixed date when our XC70 will be repaired. The local dealer here is honest...but they can't get Volvo North America to respond quickly, either.
  • Luckily I had an extended warranty to replace the transmission. Same signs as everyone else. I lived after being hit and rolled in a 1999 several times and that is why I drive one. How do you even check the transmission fluid in a 2001 v70. Service rep said I need a special tool...
  • Reputable dealers and experienced Volvo mechanics would never recommend that you flush/replace the transmission fluid anywhere near 50K miles. There is nothing in the service & maint routines that calls for this. The automatic transmission is NOT a 'servicable' part. When it fails, it needs to be replaced as a unit...not just as a solenoid pack, etc.

    Volvo N.A. refused to acknowledge culpability. They could not ship replacement parts in a timely manner. Our 'second' transmission failed and was deemed to have been defective at the time of installation. That was two weeks ago. The dealership contacted Volvo N.A. immediately that a warranteed part was defective and needed to be replaced. Our car was towed to the dealer. Only today was the replacement part 'cleared' by Volvo N.A. to be shipped to the dealership. This means it will take nearly 3 weeks for us to have the repair, under warrantee this time, completed. In the meantime, our out-of-pocket expenses have risen to $7,000. Today, August 30th, was the first time anyone at Volvo N.A. actually returned a call...some 6 weeks and dozens of calls into the entire process.

    I think the special tool your Service Rep is referring to here is called a 'Magic Wand'.
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