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Volvo V70 Transmission Problems



  • Very true -- it's all about the dealership.

    I only focused on the dealership that sold me my Volvo lemon. I never went after the brand. The dealership has the control in regards to addressing your issue...fixing the problem or replacing the part. It's true that they make a small margin on a used car, but that isn't the it. They are responsible for selling a solid automobile. You buy from a dealer because you want a reliable purchase process.

    The dealer is all about their bottom line.

    If they truly sold you a lemon...a car that had pre-existing issues that they did not disclose, then go after them and post your opinion and issue with the car on every car blog and forum you can. After a while, make them aware that there is increasing negative press (that could affect their sales traffic). Don't threaten, just continue to spread the word of this negative situation that they put you in. Write to corporate and make them aware of this dealerships bad practices:

    Anne Belec
    President and CEO
    1 Premier Place, Irvine, CA 92618

    It may take some time and may also take a lot of energy on your part, but for was eventually worth it.
  • I have a V70 with about 87,000 miles. My transmission began slipping - revving up and then jerking forward - about 10,000 miles ago. I asked my Volvo dealer to check out my transmission when I went in for my regularly scheduled maintenance and was told that the transmission was "within guidelines." Today, the "check engine" light and the "transmission needs service" warning came on - and my car stays in 2nd gear. I would be happy to join a Call Action Suit and will be sure to document all my interactions with my dealer. I will also write Volvo and the BBB.
  • I've got a 2001 V70 T5 wagon: after 4 years of surging and lurching, volvo finally caved in and replaced the throttle module -- 5 dealer visits and numerous "software uploads" later.
    a few weeks ago the locks began randomly locking and unlocking themselves. phantom warning lights flickering on and off.
    now, a couple months later, the surging and lurching is back -- this time with afresh warning codes "service engine" and "transmission needs service." and a scary second gear freeze that nearly caused an accident.
    I'm guessing it's like "game over"
    As a newspaper editor, I've put twice the mileage 220,000 on my 1997 honda accord -- and it still runs beautifully and cost a fraction in repairs. what is this car company thinking-- are all Volvos this glitchy?
    Love comfort, design, but mechanics are nightmarish. I'm thinking major investigative reporting on this ;-)
  • You are definitely not the only one - all Volvo dealers know of this weekness in the 2001 - 2004 models. There 2 issues, the ECU brain of the car malfunctioning and a few of the transmission solenoids. If you've been having this problem for 4-years, your transmission is done. The ECU malfunction for this long in the transmission has caused permanent damage to your transmission and both need to be replaced. Volvo dealers will not admit to this issue been a common problem, but I'm sure every dealer knows and will try to sidestep it so that they/Volvo doesn't have to pay thousands in repairs to each car.

    You should at least post your complaint on the NHTSA site:
  • I have the same issue. My transmission was replaced at roughly 95,000 miles with a used transmission (my extended guarantee refused to replace the transmission with a new one). I'm now at 120,000 miles, my Volvo is in the shop and it appears that the transmission will need to be replaced again. The repair shop says this is a very common issue with this particular year and model. If you filke a class action suit, I'd be glad to support you in this
  • Hi,
    A year ago I put in a new rebuilt transmission. I have filed a complaint with Volvo of North America ( no ownership of the problem) I also filed a complaint with the Attorney Generals office stating there needs to be a recall on the failed transmissions. I suggest you all do the same, file a complaint and request a recall. Whether you decide to replace your transmissions is up to you. Save your receipts.
  • Thank you for the information and advice. Can you tell us how to file a complaint with the Attorney General's office?
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Every state is different. Just do an internet search for your state AG office.
  • Hi, did you ever manage to fix this? I have the exact same problem? What was required to fix it? Thanks!
  • The fix depends on how long the problem has been going on. If in fact you have the issue of the engine surging between gears and then clunking into the next higher gear. There's a good chance that you'll need the entire transmission replaced as well as the TCM (transmission control module). There is also an upgrade for the TCM that sometimes helps to "fix" this problem. It's part #30677036. Whether or not you get the transmission replaced, you should have this upgrade installed. Most of the time the problem goes on long enough that the transmission is too far gone internally. One or a couple of the internal solenoids become damaged. I've never heard of Volvo taking apart the transmission to fix this - they seem to just replace it. I can only assume that every Volvo dealership's service dept. knows of this issue and will recommend the replacement. Volvo corporate has not stepped up to the plate to address the issue and will (in most cases) not offer any financial assistance to get this fixed.
  • My 2001 Volvo has 123,000 miles and started acting up about 5,000 miles or so. Clunking, not getting power between 2-3, I was afraid my transmission was going to fall out of the car at any moment. After the first two mechanics telling me it was my transmission I found this blog site and was utterly amazed. Upon my third mechanic he drove it around for days and had several other mechanics in the car with him. He was positive it was not my transmission. He replaced all 4 wheel bearings, my engine mount and a few bushings and now my car is as good as new. I just couldn't understand how I was getting all those noises and clunking and bucking and it was just the wheel bearings. He said they were so bad that coming off the line the back of my car couldn't get enough power. My Volvo is running as smooth as the day I bought her now. I'm hoping this might help a few other people out there, although I could have just been lucky it was not my tranny. Let me know if this helps anyone else out!
  • Please describe your "clunking" in more detail. It would be great to compare to what I am seeing.

    In our 2001 XC, 100K miles, the car will lose the power to the wheels, as if it is suddenly interrupted. Then WHAM, the power to the wheels kicks back in with a neck snapping jolt if you don't get your foot quickly off the accelerator. It seems to do this in random situations, though most often when coming out of a turn.

    One would assume this is the transmission, which is perhaps why no mechanic (until yours) tried another approach. If this is all true, you may have to name names so this mechanic can try fixing my car.
  • My car did the exact same thing regarding the power. The clunking was heard mostly when I would move the car from park to drive and vice versa both always making me feel like it was the tranny. My mechanic who happens to be a Subi mechanic was the one that figured it out and sent it down to his mechanice who fixes Volvos. I found him in Sacramento CA, don't know if you are close or not, you could always give him a call. Let me know. It was such a cheap fix as opposed to a new tranny.
  • Are you serious? You're saying replacing bushings made clunking and jerking go away??? I am amazed.
    Can you tell what exact parts were replaced? How much did it cost you?

    And what kind of problem you had with 2-3 gears you mentioned?
  • I replaced all 4 wheel bearings, a few bushings (I'm a chic not exactly sure which ones.) and the engine mount. My total cost was $1300 (a very inexpensive mechanic.) I had major clunking and jerking between 2-3. If I was at a stoplight and came off the line at about 20-25 my car would almost give me whiplash and sound as if it was missing gears.
  • Alas, I am in Texas, so Sacramento won't happen. Still, if it's a phone call I need to pay for so _your_ mechanic can tell _my_ mechanic what to do, it would be worth it. Please let me know who did the fixing. You can send msg to my userid at gmail.
  • Oh my god,, I have a 2001 Volvo V70 T5 Wagon and I am having problems with car jerking and clunking noises,,,,when I take off,, its not getting any power,, it feels very sluggish and jerks between gears,, also when I hit bumps in the road I hear a rattle :cry:
  • You know what is really amazing, I bought my car at 82kmiles, and drove fine for more than a year. I had no problems whatsoever.

    After a year I decided I'd do "some maintenance" on the car, although honestly there was no real need for that. But I took it to a shop and they advised to replace front lower BUSHINGS (! ding!), they did ATF flush (transmission fluid) and something else minor. Total bill was close to your figure, $1200 (ding ding!).

    When I drove out of the shop the car was fine. But after about two weeks after that one morning it started doing just this: starts going fine, but when it comes to upshifting from 2 to 3 it (damn!) gives a freaking kick accompanied by loud metallic clanking somewhere underneath. This is so annoying.
    I was at around 98kmiles I think. This was 2 years ago.
    I drive like this up until now.. it's 120kmiles almost, and it's neither going away, nor getting worse.

    I took it to same shop and two other dealerships. They keep saying it's solenoid in the transmission, and whole transmission needs to be replaced.

    But, I've lived this world for to long not to see correlation between the "maintenance" they've done, and transmission starting doing this thing. It's not just a coincidence. Things just don't happen by themselves.

    You made me very curious, because two things they've done on my car were: ATF flush and bushings. So, either they screwed with changing the fluid, or it's really suspension that makes the car act like this between gears.
    But that would be really weird if bushings or other suspension parts can affect the way transmission works etc.

    HAD ANYONE here on this forum who has similar problem with transmission (kicking and jerking between gears) done any work on suspension / bushings shortly before they started noticing these symptoms??? Anyone recalls something similar?
  • I have a 2001 v70 2.4T wagon. It consistently had a weird lurching problem after a took my foot off the brake at a stop sign. Recently had 2 separate software upgrades done (adaptive road + tranny) and the problem went away. BUT b/c of how long it took for this to get figured out (6 different mechanics saying i needed a new tranny, 2 of them being volvo dealers), my fluid was burnt which could've led to other problems. Make sure that you get the fluid changed to help your tranny! Also most transmission guys just check the fluid to find out if there is a problem with the system. Volvo fluid, even though it's synthetic, gets darker and can be flushed. Talk to multiple sources b4 investing thousands!
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    The transmission fluid for these cars (JWS 3309 or Toyota T-IV) is mineral based, not synthetic.

    Don't top off or flush these transmissions with regular or synthetic ATF unless it specifically states it meets JWS 3309 specifications. If you do, you will likely void your warranty and probably ruin your transmission.

    If you buy a CPO or used car with an Aisin AW transmission that requires this fluid, make sure it's been serviced properly. If it hasn't or you don't know, start saving for a new transmission. :blush:
  • Your suspension bushing and transmission issue are not related. Since they did a transmission flush at the same time - there may be some correlation there. I would get the transmission control module replace ASAP as well as a firmware upgrade if it hasn't been done already by the dealer. There is a chance that your upshift issue has been going on long enough that the faulty solenoids in your trans. are too far gone and that the trans. needs to be replaced. You may also want to have the throttle control module replaced as well if you find the car lurching forward as you're coming to a stop. Next time you go to the dealer, make sure that they are hooking your car up to their VIDA diagnostic system and request to see the fault codes that are being spit out to back up their claims that you need a new trans. Good luck.
  • I bought a 2005 V70 wagon 3 weeks ago! Carfax report showed no problems and the regular service/checkup at 60,000. The car had 70,000 when I bought it. I just started noticing that it seems to have trouble shifting around 40mph - not bad, just like it could not decide if it wanted to use 2nd or 3rd gear....Took it to a Volvo dealer and was told the transmission had "an internal failure, there was no service available, could not change out fluid, etc and we needed a new transmission at about $4500." We decided to just keep driving it until there were more problems, save up the money and fix it when it became absolutely necessary.
    Has anyone had similar reports of "internal failure" and is this a reasonable price to pay???
  • jmar2jmar2 Posts: 1
    I've experienced a jerk with my 2001 V70 T5 when accelerating from a stop light especially if I don't release the brake wait a moment and then give it some gas. I have heard it said it is a problem with the torque converter. Any comments?
  • "I would get the transmission control module replace ASAP"
    all firmware upgrades on the car are up to date, I had it to 3 dealers.
    what do you call a "transmission control module"?? are you sure such part exist?

    and what is VIDA? is it same as ODB II?
    ODB II doesn't show any error codes.
    I did computer diagnostics once, a couple of years ago (before the problem with the tranny started). for about a hundred bucks I got like 12 pages of printouts. they were useless, there were warnings like "door sensor is not sending signal" etc. may be that was the VIDA thing. but I doubt it would report solenoid problems if
    they exist.

    "You may also want to have the throttle control module replaced as well if you find the car lurching forward as you're coming to a stop."
    no, my tranny doesn't have any problems downshifting, or when coming to stop.
    the jerk is only when it goes upshift from 2nd to 3rd.
  • welcome to the club!
    you are not alone.

    I think you have exactly same problem as I do.
    my 2001 XC70 started jerking at around 80k. upshifting from 2nd to 3rd gear, which is usually at around 40mph as you stated.
    I had this problem for more than 2 years now, and it's not going away nor getting worse. so just prepare to live with it.

    if you find the solution to the problem, be sure to let me know :)
  • how did you know to use Mobile ATF 3309? are you confident this is the same as the Volvo fluid? I have a 2001 V70 and I am told the Mobile JWS 3309 is required, and even then, I'm reading that its not 100% synthetic - its a blend. ugh! I really want to buy the fluid myself, but I am so concerned about buying the wrong type. Anybody know for sure??
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    This Mobile site makes it pretty clear what the application is for Mobile ATF 3309:

    Meets key OEM requirements:

    For many Toyota, Lexus, Volvo, Saturn, VW and other imported and domestic vehicles where Aisin transmissions are used.

    Meets key Type T-IV for Toyota/Lexus vehicles

    Mobil ATF 3309 is recommended for use in transmissions made by Aisin AW requiring a fluid approved against Type T-IV, JWS 3309, GM 9986195 and Audi G-052-025-A2. These Aisin AW transmissions are used in CERTAIN domestic and foreign vehicles, including Toyota, Lexus, Audi, Saturn, Ford, Volvo, Volkswagen, Saab, Porsche, and Mitsubishi.

    The unique formulation of Mobil ATF 3309 is designed to provide excellent lubrication of transmissions in specified Aisin AW slip-controlled lock-up automatic transmissions. These outstanding performance capabilities translate into significant operational benefits. . .

    Mobile ATF 3309 might actually work better in the Aisin trannys used in the Volvos than the Mobile 1 ATF. Although 3309 might have to be replaced more often than the Volvo fluid.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Arlene, JWS 3309 is the "specification" of the oil to be used in these Aisin transmissions. Any oil that meets this spec is safe to use.

    The Volvo brand JWS 3309 oil is very expensive, so the alternative is to purchase the Mobil 3309 over the internet (which is what I did), or you could see how much your local Ford, GM, or Toyota dealer sells it for.

    IPD sells it by the case: - search&numSearchStartRecord=1.

    You can get it for less money here (I've heard of them, but have never done business with them):

    One thing I would check - I drive a company-owned Ford Taurus and have it serviced at the local Ford dealer's "quick lube" bay. They offer a transmission flush service for $120. Last time I was in for an oil change, I asked them if they would flush my Volvo transmission next time around and they said they would. It is definitely worth paying $120 to have them use their machine rather than doing it yourself (It's a relatively straightforward job, but it's messy and tedious work).

    If you have a nearby Ford or GM dealership that has a "quick lube" bay, ask them if they'll service your Volvo transmission with their version of 3309 (WSS-M2C924-A). It's the same (or similar) transmission found on the Ford Fusion - should be an easy job for them.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    JWS 3309 is a specification, not a type of oil.

    Mobil is a corporation that markets oil. Mobil ATF 3309 is the name of the 100% non-synthetic transmission oil that Mobil markets to specifically meet the JWS 3309 specification.

    Aisin not only builds transmissions for Toyota, Aisin is OWNED by Toyota.

    Toyota Type-IV, Mobil ATF 3309, Ford XT-8-QAW, GM 9986195, Volvo 1161540, Audi G-052-025-A2, etc. are all the same spec oil.

    Clear as mud... :sick:
  • you guys ROCK for sticking with me on this thread. hey, I'm just a girl, trying to not be taken advantage of by the dealer$$. I appreciate the education you are providing, I'm reading it all. you sent me to an older thread that had the following link to Mobil's website. F.aspx

    right on the bottle on their website it says: SYNTHETIC
    so why do you and some others insist that this is NOT synthetic? the msds sheet for this is dated 2007. Is this the "new" product you speak of? geez, why is this so hard? :cry: I just want my car to be safe and happy and not cost a fortune :-)
    Can I trust a transmission shop like AAMCO to put in the oil that I bring?
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