Volvo S40 Transmission Issues

davidp158davidp158 Member Posts: 16
Our 2006 S40 T5 with Auto transmission has just over 1,100 miles on it. A week ago, my wife said the car made some jerky motions when starting from a stop. She described it as if the car was about to stall when cold, but then started took off suddenly with a jolt. It happened twice, and after the car had been driven (so it wasn't cold).

I hadn't experienced this until today. I drove the car to pick up some take out food, got back in and while leaving a stop light, the car completely slipped out of gear. I could see the tach reving, but the car appeared to be in neutral. I checked the position of the gear shifter, thinking I may have not engaged it properly, but it was secure. I pressed the throttle again, and it continued to rev and then abruptly slammed into gear. As I was leaving a stop light and wanted to get across the street, so I continued to give it gas. It appeared to be driving OK, but less than 15 seconds later, it slipped out of gear again, and then abruptly back into gear. Once I was out of traffic, I stopped the car, moved the shifter through all the possible positions, returned it to drive and took off. All good for about 3 minutes, and then it did it again. It did it one more time before reaching home; all 4 times in less than 10 minutes.

Has anyone reported problems with the auto transmission in the S40? If so, could you please send me links to info on this. I will contact my dealer tomorrow morning, but curious to know if there are any known problems.

thanks for reading,


  • guestguest Member Posts: 770
    Wow, I'm sorry to hear this, what was the outcome? I have the S-40 2.4.
    JD Las Vegas
  • davidp158davidp158 Member Posts: 16
    JD - We left the car with the dealer, who put about 60 miles on it. The problem wouldn't repeat itself, and hasn't happened since we got it back. When it happened the first time, it was a very distubing event, but after nearly 1,200 miles of trouble free driving, I'm wondering if it was just a freak thing. I wondered if the car was partially out of gear, but the dealer's mechanic said that the car wouldn't drive at all if the auto transmission wasn't fully engaged. I'm baffled by it, but its one of those things that they couldn't detect and won't "fix" until its "broken".

    If anyone has had any similar experiences, I'd like to know about it.

    Fingers tightly crossed,
  • breckerbrecker Member Posts: 1
    Hello dave,
    I am a potential prospector for a 93 940 s volvo, from an acquaintance, it has been park for a couple of months and he does not want to deal with the repairs. When asked what was wrong, virtually told me...runs for 2 min, then slips out of gear, not stalling, just not going. Stop/ Start restart normal but again in 3 more min. the same thing.
    I was researching the issue, and i just got off another web sita that mentioned this type or problem especifically.
    what it lookis like , some electronics from the trany , sends info to the main car computer or the computer does not send to transmission the right signal to advance gears, if you revv'it, new data is procesed by computer then engages..but the other failure was on a 1996, i looking at a 93 and yours is a 2006, most of the volvos today have common ancestor mechanically in the 740 /760 series, but, several engine suppliers and transmission were used. I dont know this fur what the solutions is, but i have invested 6 horus in research, and will go in deeper. as soon as i know more data with more specifics, will let you know.
  • bettybe33bettybe33 Member Posts: 1
    Hi Dave,

    I recently brought my 2006 S40 in for transmission problems. When coming to a near stop and then quickly stepping on the gas (ie when a red light turns to green) the transmission would have a reaction similar to dumping the clutch in a standard vehicle. This also happens when slowing around a corner and giving the car gas again. When i brought it into the dealership they said my car needed software updates which they said should solve the problem. Well it has made it slightly less severe but it is still noticeable and now i have a new problem. When starting from a complete stop the transmission jolts into second and third gears much like what you described.

    Sorry I don't have a solution to the problem. I am hoping maybe you have found a fix for this problem since your post. I'll be bringing my car back to the dealership this weekend so hopefully they'll be able to fix it.
  • carscars2carscars2 Member Posts: 2
    First off I have a 2004 S40 the back brakes are making a loud grinding noise just like all of yours and when I back up and brake it is horrible. It isn’t just embarrassing it is disgusting to think that one owns a high end luxury auto and has to deal with that noise. I don’t really care why it is doing it. I also took it to the dealership once and was not told why it is making the horrible noise.

    I am taking it in again this Sat. for an oil change and again I will address the issue with them. I believe I am still under warrantee but I tell you right now, with the stupid issues I have had to deal with? I want to trade it in already! I have had it! I expect so much more from a Volvo!

    Second of all, the radio sometimes doesn’t work. It is on but nothing can be heard, then I park it and later I go to drive it and the radio is working, the window to the driver side will go up and then down it will not stop in the up position, and then it will be fine. One day I got in put my seat belt on and the beep noise when you have the keys in the ignition came on and I drove like that till I got home and then parked it. The next time I went to drive the car; it didn’t do it any more.

    Just about two days ago, I stopped at a mini mart, put it in park it was running and a co worker was in the car and told me that the air conditioning came on as soon as I got out of the car, by itself. She was a little taken back. So on and so on….I would think it would be a long process to declare this auto a lemon but that is what I think it is at this time. So instead of going through all that hassle I would rather go to the Mitsubishi dealer and trade it in. I have owned a Mitsubishi and never had all the problems that I have with this Volvo. Volvo let me down. They are not doing any thing about my car because they know it will be a matter of time when it will be out of warrantee and then they can start charging me good! Well? I was looking into Audi?

    Bad idea! If you read the write ups in this site just about all the people that have had the A3 and all the problems they have had? Well lets just say I am not getting an Audi either. I am disgusted at the luxury manufacturers who think that the name speaks for itself and the quality can be ignored. Well? I guess I have to thank each and every one of you for sharing your experiences on this forum because we all work hard for our money and why should we give them away on poor quality? We disserve better, I disserve better don’t you?


    PS. I have a sportstronic and when I slow down but do not come to a complete stop and then go to take off again the car jolts and drops the transmition. It goes back to 1st and it is so annoying....too many issues as I said....
  • steph5147steph5147 Member Posts: 2
    I don't know if you have read up on the Volvo transmission problems but its ridiculous. I wish I would have before buying mine. It's been happening with volvo's as old as 7yrs. Mine is 6yrs old w/only 60k miles and the transmission went out. Please read up before deciding to keep your car. And the volvo dealerships are not interested in fixing the problem, but prolonging it until your warranty runs out by performing useless software upgrades.

    Consumers with the same problems just to name a few:

    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.

    When my warranty expired, I was given the option to purchase an extended warranty in September of 2006. I believe the price was $1,800. I opted to put $200 down and make the contracted payments of $89 or $99 a month. After not receiving an invoice/bill for four months I finally called to see why they haven’t come. Volvo contacted the place who handles them and told me its all fixed I would get a bill in the mail within the next few weeks. I got the bill almost a month later stating that my payments of $250 a month could be sent to the address listed . . . etc. I called Volvo once again to question why my payments had gone up to $250 a month and he stated that it was a problem with the way he sent the information and it was his mistake. Being a single mother with three kids, I can’t afford a $250 a month payment so I was given the option to cancel and get a refund of my deposit (which by the way took me 3-4 months to get back).

    On October 30, 2006 I brought my car to Stillman Volvo (now with no warranty) 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?

    Consumers with the same problems just to name a few:
  • anti1anti1 Member Posts: 1
    I had transmission slipping for almost 2 months. Several visits to the shop, several rental cars, days using loaner cars and lots of inconvenience and headache.

    I was told that the waranty purchased to take care of car problems after 60k miles was not going to fix my car until they could duplicate the problem. The gear slippage was intermittant and they wouldn't fix the problem because it wasn't repeatable at the dealership. An independent mechanic told me I needed a new transmission.

    My car had only 63K miles on it at 3 years old. I will never buy another Volvo and would recommend Kias. I bought a Kia, got a great deal, have a great warranty, and am not looking back. I wasted over $20 K on the Volvo S40 and will never do it again.

    Volvo does not stand behind their warantys!
  • jessreds40jessreds40 Member Posts: 21
    Sounds like you got lemons. I hope I have no problems.
  • jk47jk47 Member Posts: 3
    when i put my foot to the floor from a stand still it makes a noise that sounds like its comming from the front passenger side. there is a loss in power and it seems boggy. it only does this in first gear. i took it to volvo and they had readings on the dsa on the diagnostic. has anyone had problems with the dsa system or simaler trany problems. let me know.
  • permgirlpermgirl Member Posts: 6
    About a month ago my check engine light went on. I stopped into a place like Pep boys and they determined it was a defective gas cap which I replaced. The light went out. Last week, the light came back on and I replaced the cap AGAIN, but this time the light didn't go out. Any thoughts?
  • permgirlpermgirl Member Posts: 6
    PS..I have a 2002 S40
  • subearusubearu Member Posts: 3,613
    The CEL will not automatically go out immediately after a fault is cleared. It can take several driving cycles.

    You really should get the codes read when there is a CEL to help determine what the problem is. Just because the CEL is on doesn't mean it is the gas cap. However, not tightening the gas cap is the most common cause of triggering the CEL.

  • permgirlpermgirl Member Posts: 6
    Thank you for your response. I have an appt.with Volvo next week to get checked. Happy Holiday
  • subearusubearu Member Posts: 3,613
    By next week the CEL may be off if things are ok again. But they might be able to pull codes.

  • winterson5650winterson5650 Member Posts: 2
  • winterson5650winterson5650 Member Posts: 2
    Hi There, Can anyone help? I have a Diesel 2008 S40 R-Design with a manual gearbox and it is hard selecting reverse. There is no crunching and the clutch does not slip. What can it be? Thanks.
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