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Volvo V70 Transmission Problems



  • our 2004 XC90 T6 just had a new trans put in. 61k miles.
    Seems from transmission shops, the turbo model is known to
    have problems with torque. Volvo offered very little assistance to a very expensive problem.
  • I have a 02 XC70 in my transmission shop with the problem of the tachometer constantly changing at speeds between 35 and 40 mph only at a constant speed. If you try to accelerate the car the problem goes away. We thought it was the torque converter applying and releasing and we confirmed it my removing the Transmission Control Module and connecting a voltmeter to the lockup solenoid wire to monitor the TCC duty cycle. Sure enough the TCM is constantly changing the amount of current going to the solenoid. Next we checked out the accelerator pedal position sensor by connecting an oscilloscope to both outputs coming from it. Both signals looked good. We have heard that this trans is having lots of trouble with the Valve body wearing out as well as the solenoids going bad.
    The transmission designated the AW55-50 by volvo is essentially the same as the trans used in the 02 and newer Saturn Vue. GM designates this transmission as a AG23/33-5
    I have contacted both Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association and Automatic Transmission Service Group and neither one has seen this problem but they confirmed that the Valve bodies are wearing out. I sent the customer to the dealership to have the latest software installed into the TCM which fixed nothing. I obtained a scan tool(launch X-431) which was able to communicate with the TCM. I was able to watch all the parameters of the solenoids and inputs. I graphed the TCC solenoid current and it was constantly changing from 200 milliamps to 600 milliamps at the 35-40 mph range where I am having trouble. I graphed all the inputs to the TCM to see if there was a glitch in the APPS or one of the speed sensors and they all seemed ok.
    I drove a 2001 XC70 with the same transmission and watched the torque converter solenoid at the same speed. The TCM Sent a constant 600 milliamps to the solenoid until you accelerate quite heavy. This torque converter slips a little at slow speeds similar to GM cars. It is a designed slip so you don't feel the converter apply. After watching the 2001 I know how the system is supposed to work but know I want to isolate the cause and I don't think I can go any further without removing the valve body first to inspect the solenoids and Valve body bores for wear. Any one else having this trouble with their XC70? This vehicle has about 96,000 miles.
    I'm fairly convinced the problem is in either the valve body or the torque converter lining
  • We have a very similar story sans children or tow truck. It was my husband driving the car after the ET software download which was advised by Volvo(1.5 mos ago) had caused noticeable shifting problems. The 1st time the dealer told us it was normal - the ETM Software was adjusting to driving patterns. 2nd time - we got the news our tranny was shot and would only last 5k miles more. 2001 V70 2.4T with 90K miles,most highway driving, excellent condition. They told us that tranny's going out at 90K is very common and :mad: expected. We were floored. We asked about the coincidence btwn the ETM sftware (We had to purchase $200 additional sw to upgrade the transmission last week.)We have filed a complaint with Volvo NA and our dealer McKevitt in Berkeley, CA has declined to help saying it's past warranty. I would have never bought this car if I knew planned obsolescence was at 90K for a transmission. Really, really disappointing. We are already leaning in the direction of never going Volvo again. Not worth it.
  • In August, I brought my '99 V70XC (86,000 miles) to the dealer because the "Coolant level sensor" light came on even though I had enough coolant. (The ambient temperature sensor read 125 degrees while I was in stop-n-go traffic). While it was there they installed a "software upgrade".

    Over the next several weeks, I noticed what I thought was transmission slippage when going about 35-40 downhill. As that patch of road was rough, I tried to convince myself that's all it was.

    Last week, while going up a steep hill, the car would barely accelerate and both the "Check Engine" light and the "Up Arrow" light (indicating "a fault in the automatic gearbox. Contact your Volvo retailer" according to the manual). I brought it to the dealer, they cleared the light, "checked it out", road tested it and couldn't find anything wrong. They said if it happened again, I'd have to spend between "$4,000 - $6,000 for a new transmission".

    I didn't drive it again until today. On my way into work, slippage became noticeable after about 15 min of both highway and stop-and-go traffic. The 2 lights came on again. I made it into work where I'm posting this.

    After reading some of the above posts, it seems there may be something amiss with that "software upgrade". Does anyone have any advice on what to do now? (Needless to say, I don't have "$4,000-$6,000" sitting around).
  • We just purchased a 2001 V70 XC and noticed the transmission shifting funny under certain conditions. For example, if I slow down hard, then the car will "thunk" back into gear when I hit the accelerator.

    I am very, very interested in your diagnosis, and I think your work method is brilliant, thanks for posting your information, it's extremely helpful. Let me know if I can help in any way.

    An open question, having seen posts from others having this problem, is it worth buying the extended warranty on the powertrain for this car? They are asking around $2500. Seems like a bit of a gamble either way...

  • stmssstmss Posts: 206
    (Needless to say, I don't have "$4,000-$6,000" sitting around). - Ouch and I bet a 99XC is only worth 10k?

    Does anyone have any insight on whether this is a AWD or XC only problem?

    I have 90,000 miles on my 99GLT with no problems - but if I was faced with this bill it would likely be retirement. I am willing to put in $500 here and $500 there as the car is like new but major repairs would not be justifiable.
  • What are the trouble codes from the trans computer and the engine computer? You paid for them so get them from the dealer. A lot of times when a trans starts to slip after extended driving it indicates the filter is getting plugged.
    But it could be about a 100 other things as well. These filters should never ever get plugged even if you ran it for 500,000 miles, so if it is plugged it indicates the trans is coming apart. Don't worry this is speculation. please find out the codes so we can diagnose further.
  • laj36laj36 Posts: 2
    Thanks for your response to my email. The transmission was replaced by an independent Volvo Shop for 3400.00 with a rebuilt Volvo tranny. Called volvo and nothing they would do for me so I didn't let a Volvo dealer rip me off. Tranny has been in for about 5 weeks and today noticed transmission fluid on my dirveway so now the new tranny is leaking. I don't know if I am over sensitive due to the transmission going out, but the newly installed transmission has had a kick to it and still feel like there is another issue going on causing the transmission to fail in my car.

    Really love the OLD VOLVO's. Have been a faithful owner for the safety and reliability of these cars, but I have now concluded that this is just a Volvo Body with FORD under the hood. I will miss the safety of the Volvo, but have to wonder if the reliability has changed and if Ford is in financial trouble now, then will they continue with the safety of this line of cars or is it just a FORD all around.

    Cleaned out the car today and will be trading in for a Honda Accord next week. Just can't dump any more dimes into this car
  • hi, nanasxc70

    Has the solution to your problem with the "kicks when moving to higher gear" ever been found?

    Looks like I've got same problem. Suddenly.

    I have 2001 XC70 2.4 with AW5 at 99k. The car has been perfect until last week: when moving from 2nd to 3rd gear it "gives a kick" - pulls badly. This never happened before, shifts used to be very smooth. This started last Saturday without any apparent reason. And this is only on the 3rd gear. Otherwise car performs as usual.

    I had maintenance work done on my car two weeks ago though, INCLUDING transmission flush.

    Can anyone help?
    Shall I blame the guys who did the oil flush on my tranny?

    Any info is greately appreciated.
  • sacco1sacco1 Posts: 3
    I am trying to diagnose an intermittent issue with my '01 V70 2.4T. I have read several descriptions about EMT or transmission ailments and wonder if I am experiencing these problems now. There are two distinct symptoms:

    1. Occasionally after driving at freeway speeds and then slow at a stoplight, the engine looses its idle. The engine speed will drop below 500 rpm like it is going to stall, then rev back up to 1000, and then back to 500, and so on. As soon as I accelerate, the issue goes away. Occasionally it stalls completely at a stop. A few times the car has stalled at speed (20 to 50 mph).
    2. Downshifts can be rough: when pulling up to a stoplight or other, very occasionally, there is a noticeable vibration as the car downshifts.

    Neither of these issues are regular enough to warrant a trip to the mechanic, but I am wondering if this is just a sign of worse things to come...Any help would be great!
  • dewetdewet Posts: 2
    I too have a 2001XC70 with gearbox problems. Volvo refused to look at it and would only replace it. Symptoms are gearbox going into Neutral while driving as you try and accelerate after haveing taken your foot off the accelerator pedal. Sometimes on deceleration engaging lower gear with audible "cluck" and jerky gearchange. Problem was also intermittent. Took it to Gearbox specialist who stripped the box and found that one of the bushes had seized and the planetary has to be replaced. Cost of repair South African Rand 20,000 (approx. US $3,000) as opposed to Volvo replacement gearbox for SA R35,000 (US $5,000). Recommend you have gearbox checked by specialist repair shop, as I was given the opinion that driving it can cause further damage. Unless you prefer to replace gearbox through Volvo, in which case you might as well drive it till it breaks!
  • My 01 xc70 just turned to 110k miles. The transmission has be clunking and bucking for about the last 10k miles. I am so fed up with all of the money I have dumped into this car. Its a shame too because its comfortable, looks great and when its running well, gives a great ride. After reading all the previous posts about this tricky transmission problem, I know mine has it bad. I guess its time to give up and turn it in. BUT NOT ANOTHER VOLVO!!! I think Im going for a Toyota or Honda.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,966
    Use this discussion to work out any transmission troubles you may be having.

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  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,966
    As part of the forums reorganization, the Volvo XC70 has been separated out into its own group, the Volvo XC70 Group

    I've moved posts concerning XC70 transmission problems to the new Volvo XC70 Transmission Issues discussion, and you may continue the discussion in that new location.

    Please continue your discussion of the XC70 in that new group. This group and dicussion will now deal solely with the V70.

    Edmunds Moderator

    Need some roadside assistance? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

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  • How long after the SW download did you begin to have the shifting problems again?

    I bought a 2003 XC70 2 months ago and have been experiencing shifting problems that are associated with 1 to 2 gear during heavy acceleration. I just took it in and the dealer told me about the SW download... My thing is the warranty is 5,000 miles from running out and I am afraid this sw download will fix the problem temporarily but then I will be SOL after the warranty runs out.
  • Yes it does happen that the transmission cooler inside the radiator does develop an internal leak and will put water into the trans. One obvious sign is that the trans fluid will look like a pink milkshake. When you get water into the trans it causes the glue on the clutches to delaminate and fall off the metal plates they are bonded to. I have seen water damage in the trans without seeing the pink milkshake color too. So if it looks pink it is for sure water but if you have a small amout of water it may not turn pink but cause clutch damage.
  • ebebebeb Posts: 1
    Did anyone find out what the cuase of the slipping was, it's happening to my 02 xc70? please help!
  • We all seem to have the same problem - slipping, surging whatever...

    The Throttle Recall hasn't solved it... Anyone with any success stories?

    Software re-installed? New modules? Transmission replacement?

    New owner of 2001 XC70 w/ 58,000 miles - same symptoms - no one seems to know what to do - my independent mechanic thinks I should have the transmission software re-installed... Then perhaps have the Throttle and or Transmission modules (if I'm not mistaken here) replaced.

    Thanks for any stories in advance.
  • Did you find anything out either from the board or from taking it into the shop? We're having the same issues on our 2001...
  • We had problems with 2001XC 70 from about 55K and just before owning the car for 5 years. Hard shifts and clunking sounds during shifts frequently occured.

    A computer program was run to fix it, but the fix didn't last more than a week.

    Transmission fluid was replaced, but that didn't fix it.

    Was told to "watch it."

    At 75K, transmission was replaced for about $3200. Still some problems after driving for 2K miles more, both in town and on highways. Supposedly, problems would "smooth out" after about 2k-3k miles of driving. Intermittent hard shifting from 2nd to 1st when deaccelerating. Never had this with brand-new car, so very suspicious that it would happen with a "new" transmission.

    After reading Consumer Reports info about Volvo 2001 XC transmission info, I steeled myself and complained to my local service shop and Volvo of North America.

    Went to "main" service shop of three-dealer business and left car for head of service to drive to duplicate the problem for himself. They still would not acknowldge that problem wouldn't go away over time, but they are replacing my transmission as I type. Sounds like an acknowldegment of a problem to me. :lemon:

    I am going to pass on new Volvo ownership for the forseeable future, even though our first Volvo did what it was supposed to do -- i.e., saved our lives!!! Maybe I'll reconsider when Volvo comes out with a hybrid and has ironed out the kinks of that kind of a car.
  • This probably isn't going to make anyone feel any better but maybe volvo will hear and heed an obvious problem. I bought a 2001 V70 XC (geartronic trans) because of the design, options, safety and reputation for getting 250K miles or many more without serious problems. It had over 90K miles which according to all the previous Volvo owners (of older vehicles) was not a problem. It tested OK but after an extended drive - several hours - I noticed a transmission possible slipping and slight vibration. Had the fluid changed by Volvo and checked and nothing was obvious. In less than 1000 miles the trans got worse and finally would barely move from a stopped position, had all kinds of shift problems and would not go into 5th gear. I have the dealer to thank for a more than fair agreement to swap the amount paid for the Volvo on any other car in his inventory. I'm going to have to know that this is a better transmission than I've been hearing about before I buy another or recommend Volvo to any of my friends. I loved the car :) but it wouldn't be much fun just sitting in my driveway in it. :sick: Do you think this is a problem with mostly the geartronic trans?
  • mkeamymkeamy Posts: 1
    I recently traded in my 2003 xc-70 with 51000 miles. was intermittently missing the shift from first to second and spinning up. My independent mechanic told me this was not uncommon, and that the new replacement transmissions had not been redesigned and had a variety of similar problems. I called Volvo prior to deciding to trade; a sympathetic fellow thee told me that there were no known automatic transmission problems in that era... Goodbye Volvo! Somewhere on line I saw that a volvo mechanic said that the shif solenoids become "sticky" and can be rebuilt, but that it costs about $2000 to do. I have never found anybody on any site who has had any luck with computer upgrades for these shifting problems. I hear people with xc-90's are beginning to experience similar problems. I have friends with v-70's with manua transmissions who have no problems, so maybe that's the way to go if you just have to have a volvo wagon...
  • 35divg235divg2 Posts: 15
    My transmission failed the day I took the car to the dealer for its 60K mile service. The dealer felt sorry for me and discounted the part and labor, so I'm out USD $3600. I'm very disappointed because I treat the car very well, drive moderately and have all the services at the dealer. The transmission should not fail at 60K miles. There are too many instances of this issue to let it go.

    I'm interested in heading up a complaint group to Volvo NA and cc the AG in NJ, where Volvo NA has it office; and my AG in MO. I will establish a website, soon, and track complaints. Is there an interest in this? Any advice?

    More to follow....Lee
  • I have a 2002 XC70 and my transmission was just replaced at 102k and $4700 LATER. The transmission shop notified me that a software update was due as well for $295 from the dealer for the transmission. Now that all of that was done my XC70 runs worst than before the new trans & SW were done. I took it back to the Trans shop and drove it with the owner and he's dismayed at the whole thing. Just like the other forums mentioned between 1st & 2nd a hard shift at a cold start and then between 2nd & 3rd the rpm's race up like a miss in the shifting and then drop back down again? The trans shop says it seems like a SW issue and is concerned that it may tear up his new transmission under warranty. Has Volvo NA responded to anyone about these issues? Please let me know? And yes, I would be willing to get involved with creating a solution to fix this problem or to cause enough waves to get answers from Volvo.
  • davesn1davesn1 Posts: 7
    I'm very interested. I posted a few months back...

    I'm planning on buying an extended warranty in the next few days and taking it in to the dealer shortly after. Same issues as everyone else - intermittent transmission issues between 1st & 2nd and 2nd & 3rd - exactly as described above.

    Funny, I just realized someone I know from work also has an XC 70 - only 1 year newer than ours (which is 2001)... I asked her if she's had transmission problems and she said "funny you should ask - I just had it replaced under warranty 2 days ago!!!"

    We just bought the car w/ 56,000 on it in October - now up to 61,000 - things come and go, but when they come they seem to be getting progressively worse. We want to solve this ASAP and it seems as if the warranty will take care of us for the next for years at least (and perhaps by then Volvo will have fessed up to some sort of across the board failure)...
  • steph5147steph5147 Posts: 2
    Purchased my 2001 Volvo S60 2.4T in April of 2005. Car had 32k miles on it at the time of purchase. I had Stillman Volvo in West Chester, PA give the car a complete look over before I bought it.

    Still under the original warranty, less than two months later, I brought it to Stillman Volvo again to have service on vibrating when braking and transmission problems (clunking/jerking when switching gears). The fixed the vibrating problem, and said they checked the transmission problem and there was nothing wrong with it.

    Invoice # VOCS131212 states: (.30) hrs - When going from reverse to drive there is a clunk, also when going from brake to gas. Technician identified neutral control activating and banging and heard axle ping. Technician checked vehicle for diagnostic codes. None stored. Performed TCM upgrade to remove neutral control. Applied adhesive to hug/axle interface (1hr)

    In driving the car over the next few months, nothing changed. I still had a jerk when shifting from gear to gear. I mentioned it on my next oil change at Volvo and the service manager said it was just checked and there was nothing wrong with it. He said "It may be the way you drive, I should hold try leaving your foot on the break a little longer when switching gears."

    So I believed it may be me. And let it go even though it was still a problem.

    On April 3, 2006 I brought my car into Stillman Volvo again for Inspection. The other day I noticed a Recall 155 (.30 hrs) on invoice #VOCS147881 which states "This vehicle is subject to recall 155. Technician performed an ETM software upgrade to improve drivability. Recall 155 completed"

    I wasn't told anything about this when I went and I wasn't charged since it was still under warranty. Being a woman, since it said it was something to improve the driveability of my car I figured it was fine. Until now, I've read the problems people have had with this upgrade and Volvo may just do it so that your car lasts long enough to outlive the warranty before it breaks and you are responsible for payment. I'm concerned now that even if I can fix this transmission that this will cause a problem and cost me more money.

    On October 30, 2006 I brought my car to Stillman Volvo once again because not only was I having the transmission problem, but my engine light was on. I took it in and on invoice #VOCS159332 it states - "Check engine light is on, check codes ECM 4801/checked 02 sensor. First time fault / cleared codes and RESET CATALYTIC CONVERTOR" (.50hrs) @$49.98. When I returned to pickup the car the engine light was still on. The service guy told me they checked it and nothing is wrong. He actually showed me how to make the engine light go off by pulling/pushing on one of the buttons in the dash where the speedometer is.

    On Friday, June 1, 2007 while driving down highway 291W my car failed to accelerate. I glided to pull over and tried to hit the gas. It felt like I was in neutral, so I tried reverse and nothing. My car now was not able to move at all.

    After having it towed ($150) to Stillman Volvo they told me they couldn't look at it until Monday. Opening at 7am, I waited until 10am to call. No one had looked at it yet. I sent an email to the service department at 2:00pm, and at 2:25pm I received a response saying they didn't want to call me until they got proper diagnosis.

    After not having a car now for 5 days Paul (service manager) called me this afternoon at 4pm to tell me it was an internal problem with the transmission and it needed to be replaced for $3,400 with a refurbished transmission.

    After expressing my dissatisfaction with the outcome and how they never fixed the problem while under warranty. He disagreed and said my only option was to pay the $3,400 and have them replace it. I did tell him that under no circumstances should I have to pay #1 for a refurbished transmission at a rate of $3,400 #2 due to the fact they never fixed the problem when originally brought to their attention.

    I have read up on Volvo transmission problems all night now and I wish I would have done so before purchase. How is Volvo not being held responsible for endangering people on the road by installing faulty transmissions and trying to cover it up with petty upgrades to prolong the use until warranties expire? The majority of these vehicles with the same problem as mine are only several years old with between 35k-60k miles on them? For a $30-$50k car that projects itself as such a high end, reliable, safe car don't you think that is stretching it?
  • tater70tater70 Posts: 1
    Sounds like we all have the same problems. We should take action. Anyone know a good lawyer?
  • We bought the 2001 XC70 in January. It had 60K miles on it and was in fantastic shape. Immediately after purchase, slippage began. After reading this forum I am blown away that Volvo has not upgraded a "computer" issue. Honestly, unless it is an actual mechanical thing, if it were a software issue, it wouldn't take anything for them to update the software until it works correctly!
  • alastairsalastairs Posts: 1
    :lemon: I bought my 2001 XC70 Last year with 75,000KM and drove it to PV, Mexico from Whistler, BC, Canada. One part of the journey I drove it for 27 hours straight doing 2,600KMs it was wonderful. I was getting over 700kms to a tank on regular fuel drving between 80-130kph on the high way. I thought the car was a dream, wonderful and I was very happy with all aspects of it. Even the AC seemed to keep up when it was 44C outside!
    After doing 12,000kms, I was home and things started to go wrong. The transmission did everything everyone else is reporting here. I had all the upgrades to the software and changed the tranny fluid. It is terrible, my local dealers shop foreman said these cars have a problem with the solenoids and if I wanted to change the tranny it would be close to $7,000 with taxes. Well I chose just to keep on driving it and so far I am at 107K and it is still sliding and slipping but because its tiptronic I use the shifter to lock it in gear at certain times. One of these days it is going to self destruct and then I am hooped. This car also has the drivers door lock stop locking and instead pops up again when trying to lock.
    The trunk lock decided to lock itself while I was traveling and not unlock. I had to crawl in the back door remove all the luggage, take out the rear panel and pull the plug out to stop it from locking. The drivers window goes up automatically and then starts to go down again when it reaches two inches from the top unless I hit the button twice.
    The power sunroof sometimes stays open and even though I pull the fuses and check it makes no difference. Then suddenly it seems to work again.
    The power steering fluid started to foam up and sometimes when it gets hot it just wines. Most of the time it is fine.
    The power breaks for some strange reason on occasion start to make a hissing noise like a loss of vacuum and then that problem goes away.
    The stereo periodically makes a clicking noise like the tape is switching from side A to B and back again, even if there is no tape in it.
    The head lights have burnt out like they are free. The dealer has been good to replace them for free.
    This is my forth Volvo in a row, I am so disappointed that I will never buy another Volvo and I have sworn an OATH that I will never by any automobile that has been even looked at by Ford, since Ford took over Volvo they have turned to garbage. So my dreams of owning an Aston Martin, or a Jaguar XJR Supercharger have gone out of the window too as Ford owns them also.
    I love the way the car drives, it is a dream, but to spend all this money for a Lemon :lemon: and then have the prospect of spending another $10,000 in repairs, well I am going to just ride it out till it breaks.
    Now I own an advertising agency and have actually thought of putting an ad together with a lemon and my car in the middle of it. Or maybe I ought to have the car wrapped so it looks like a lemon. I wonder how long it would be before I hear from Volvo North America to solve these problems.......
    My next vehicle is going to be a Lexus as everyone I know who has one has not spent a dime on them since they bought them. :)
  • ronbo1ronbo1 Posts: 2
    Hello.......what is the status of your action with Volvo and Mo AG? I live in Boonville, MO and my transmission on my 01 v70 w/ 60k just went out!!! Failed shifts a couple of times then nothing but slippage. Unreal!! Can you advise of where you are now or ended up? Thanks for your assistance...........ronbo
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