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Volvo V70 Transmission Problems



  • Me 2!!! My transmission is about to drop and I need a new one. I have a 2005 S60 and wanted to drive this for a longer period of time. Still paying off the car and now I have to come up with 5,000 dollars. WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will call the number below so maybe they can recall these darn cars!!!!!!
  • pete51pete51 Posts: 20
    I posted earlier "Cross-Roads" about my 2002 V70 transmission beginning to have few problems slipping and making hard shifts. As I continued to ponder about getting rid of it, a weird set of events occured that might be a solution/answer to the problem of our beloved Volvos :) .
    For years I was only driver of my car, my wife drove occasionally to pick up large packages or a carpool. During that time, my transmisson would slip, it was nothing that would make me completely panic, but after reading different reviews I decided to have a transmisson service. This is a big deal because Volvo advertised lifetime transmission fluid (sounds stupid, but I was following the service advisor). In the last year, my daughter was learning to drive and the prefect car to learn how to drive is an eight year old wagon, my V70. My transmisson went crazy, it began to jump out of gear, hesitate when shifting and pause when going from reverse to first gear. I actually put the car up for sale because I did not want to get stuck with a car that would not move. During that time, I stopped letting my daughter drive the car and my wife refused to drive it. After a week of me driving the car, the transmission bug seemed to disappear. Through deductive reasoning, I have concluded if you have mult-drivers the transmission wizards inside the V70 transmisson go crazy and the car acts like it is on drugs. In simple terms, the transmission adjust to your driving habits, if you have multi-drivers like I did, it creates problems while it attempts to find a consistant pattern from one driver.
    No scientific data to support this theory, but my car is acting normal since I am the only driver. Advice: I would consider trying to drive the car with only one driver and little to no traffic for several days. Use your normal driving habits each time you drive after a few days you may notice a difference in your transmissons performance. Might not work for you, but it save me well over $30K , the cost to replace my car :D .
  • I read many of the posts here and didn't see any that quite match my problem. When driving in the mountains and attempting to pass on an uphill grade, my '98 V70 XC starts bucking when I press down the accelerator. It occurs when I would be expecting the transmission to kick down to a lower gear to give me more passing power. If I ease off, it stops, and eventually it does kick down and is fine. The car otherwise drives great. It only has 82K miles. I've been told elsewhere it might be a broken torque converter. Has anybody else had this experience, or have a clue as to what it might be? Thanks for any responses.
  • cub740cub740 Posts: 3
    Hi Pete51

    it is called the adaptive driving. Mine went absolutely going bezerk when someone else driving my 01 V70 T5
    When I drive the car , he is all fine and dandy :)

    Your can get this adaptive driving software remove if you wish by the dealer , of course at a cost of outrageous $$

    Good luck. Change that transmission oil on a regular basis and perhaps that will save the transmission longer
  • cub740cub740 Posts: 3
    Union Park Wilmington Delaware ?? wow ... they just totally robbed you ! This dealer sucks comes to customer service. They are so unfriendly to a customer. THey need to learn BASIC customer service 101 .
    Took my Volvo for a spark plug replacement and they left the eye hook and pretended it was not their fault for not putting the eye hook back in the car.
    I am done with Union Park Volvo/ BMW/ Jaguar
  • cub740cub740 Posts: 3
    AW / Aisin Warner trans is a great trans. My old volvo 740 with original AW71 Trans lasted me to 300000 Miles with a normal routine maintenance. It is the Transmission service for life is the problem. Not the manufacturer :)
  • grotogroto Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 V70 with AW55-50sn transmission and a white sticker Magneti Marelli ETM. I purchased the car used at 93000 miles and it now has 98000 and therefore I do not have maintenance history. My symptioms are that the car feels like the transmission disengages and/or goes into limp mode. I don't know which one it is. This issue started after I changed the transmission oil, which I suspect hasn't been changed in a long time. The disengagement happens more in the city when I am starting and stopping, but it still happens on the freeway. For example on the freeway at 70 mph, the car all of a sudden goes into limp mode or the trans disengages. At this moment, the car starts coasting and I step on the gas, but obviously no response - the rpms goes up slightly to sometimes to 2 or 3000 rpms, and then the car kicks back into gear. This disengagement period happens for a minute or it can go on for 5, 10 or 40 miles.
    I continue to change the transmission oil and use the correct oil (Mobil 3309). For each oil change, you only take out 3.5 quarts so after 10 or so trans oil changes that I have done the fluid is still coming out slightly dirty. Despite all the transmission oil changes, the car still seems to disengage.
    I have taken the car to Volvo and they did a TCM update which did not help. Also there were no codes in the system. They charged me $250 for this.
    I have also taken the vehicle to a transmission shop and they said this was not a transmission issue since at times it drives totally normal (shifts beautifully). Transmission shop said it was a throttle positioning module (ETM) issue because it is drive-by-wire and he said there was a Technical Service Bulletin (All-Data) that described the symptoms like they experienced with my car.
    I have also taken the car to an independent automotive shop. Their diagnosis was that the ETM had an ohm reading of 320 ohms, which was way out of spec. The spec they said was 1.5 to 3.5 ohms.
    I took the car back to Volvo after the appointments at the transmission shop and independent auto shop. Volvo once again put it on their scope and no codes came up in the computer. The also drove the vehicle and said it was the transmission that was the issue. Their quote for a new trans was $6000.
    I have been trying to drive the car as much as possible and recently my approach has been to drive it with a very slow accelaration method, meaning only push on the gas as little as possible as slow as possible to get up to speed. I drove this way for 2 days and the car did not acted up and go into this disengage mode.
    Also the disengagement symptoms almost never happens when the car is cold - 95% of the time the car shifts normally and stays in gear when it is cold. Also the disengagement happens more in the city at low speeds versus freeway speeds. One time I drove on the freeway for 20 miles and was driving very aggressively with the gas - coasting to 60 mph, hard accelerate to 70, coasting to 50 hard acceleration to 60 and did this for a good 20 miles and absolutely no disengagement of the transmission occurred during this time. But once I slowed down and got off the freeway, the car acted up and disengaged. 95% of the time when getting off the freeway and coming to a stop and then starting again, the trans disengages.
    Any input to these symptoms would be most helpful. Thanks!
  • malmloffmalmloff Posts: 1
    I would think that someone should be able to reco the gearbox alot cheaper than that, in Australia there are plenty of transmission shops who do repair these boxes alot cheaper than that, have you changed the throttle position switch or tried a second hand transmisson computer in the box. maybe a good auto transmission treament like Lucas or Rusline to see if it fixes it
  • grotogroto Posts: 2
    Update on my 2002 V70.... Volvo replaced my ETM for free and now my car never goes into limp mode! I bought a Autel MS609 OBDII scanner and looked at my Throttle position signal while driving and it flatlined at 12%, which at that same time the car would go into limp mode. I showed the data to Volvo dealer and they searched for codes and found an ETM code, but it didn't pass the death test (ETM signal was only 4.5 degrees from where it should be, Volvo corporate needs ETM to be off by 13 degrees for them to replace the ETM), but they replaced my ETM anyways. Now my car drives wonderfully and the transmission was never the issue. I would like to thank my service manager at the Volvo dealer who went to bat for me against Corporate Volvo.
  • ronsteveronsteve LooavulPosts: 437
    Weekend before last I had a transmission episode with my 2006 V70 2.5T. Wondering if it's a fluke thing, or a sign of something more sinister to come.

    I was driving on a through street in Madison, 30 mph speed limit and a bit hilly. Going up one of the hills at 25-30mph, I felt it "gear-hunting" for a couple seconds, after which it settled into 3rd. Didn't think anything of it until I got to the top of the hill, and it stayed in 3rd. I put it in manual mode and upshifted to 4th, which worked. BUT... when I went back to D, it shifted back into 3rd even though I was doing between 35-40mph on flat road. So back to manual mode and forced 4th again.

    A mile or two later, I came to a red light. Put it back into D, and it has shifted without incident ever since.

    The car has almost 97K miles on it, and the extended warranty expires at the end of the month. Is it worth leaving with them for a day to see if they can duplicate the problem and better troubleshoot it? Anyone else had this happen, and what were the eventual results?
  • I too have a broken transmission on my Volvo V70 2004 yet I have maintained it properly and only at Volvo dealerships. It started having trouble at around 150,000 miles. What can we do? This should be a recall.
  • ronsteveronsteve LooavulPosts: 437
    It's an 8 year old car with 150K miles on it. Stuff breaks.

    Once you're past 100K with anything, you kinda take your chances.
  • cub,

    YOu got your info wrong...

    It's the Neutral Stop features on 2001's that can be removed...most likely at high mileage it will do no good, as the damage is done.

    The adaptive driving cannot be's a process to adjust the transmission post server or software upgrade...and then it also continually changes (adapts) to a driving style to smooth out shifting...I to noted different (hard shifts) after my wife had ad the car...
  • concerned26concerned26 Posts: 1
    edited July 2012
    Making a purchase on a 2002 Volvo V70 wagon. Really clean and in good shape. However did notice there was a slippage in the transmission. Salesman stated it was the transmission mounts and they agreed to replace them. After reading some of the blogs I am feeling like I might be in for a rude awakening. Here is the link to the car. Any thoughts on what else I can check to be certain I am not getting taken for a ride.

  • ronsteveronsteve LooavulPosts: 437
    Making a purchase on a 2002 Volvo V70 wagon. Really clean and in good shape. However did notice there was a slippage in the transmission. Salesman stated it was the transmission mounts and they agreed to replace them. After reading some of the blogs I am feeling like I might be in for a rude awakening. Here is the link to the car. Any thoughts on what else I can check to be certain I am not getting taken for a ride.

    I'd suggest a thorough pre-purchase inspection at an independent shop. If you have a shop in town that specializes in Volvos, even better.

    Buying a used car carries inherent risk. Buying a 10 year old car with 140K is definitely risky. Buying a 10 year old Volvo with 140K, and lots of moving parts that are over-engineered and expensive to fix, is even riskier.
  • ronsteveronsteve LooavulPosts: 437
    Updating my 2006 V70 tranny... I had it checked out at the dealer, twice. They could not find any transmission codes stored in the car's brain, nor has the transmission misbehaved since that one time.

    On a probably separate issue. they did find a broken crankcase breather hose, which they replaced (for $150) and then recommended replacing the crankcase ventilation system (~400 to repair) because it had about 1psi of positive pressure in the crankcase. Claimed these were maintenance issues not covered under my extended warranty. Hopefully my next car will be something a bit simpler. :/
  • rockginxcrockginxc Posts: 13
    Don't buy it....

    If the car "surges" between 2nd and 3rd gear and you feel a clunk as it either shifts up or down. The the common solenoid problem with these transmissions that seem to occur on models made from 2001-2004. The mechanics in today's dealerships cannot "fix" the transmission - they can only read the error code and replace the entire unit - in a sense, they're not really mechanics anymore.

    My 2001 V70XC wagon is on it's 3rd transmission and it has less than 100k miles. Also, once the transmission starts to fail, the adaptive control unit doesn't work effectively to correct the issue - it just makes it worse over time. However, I have found that you can change your driving behavior to reduce or eliminate this issue, but my recommendation from you would be to not buy it. Find a new model, post 2005 or an earlier model made before 2000.
  • sbe79sbe79 Posts: 1
    I just purchased a 2001 V70 T5 with 135K. I have had ongoing problems with the "Check Engine" which has prevented it from passing state inspection thus far (the dealer has had the vehicle a cumulative total of 7 days, I have it until Wednesday when they take it in again). As soon as I purchased it, I noticed something in the transmission, but figured it was a fluke. It has intensified. It has trouble going from reverse to drive. Stopping at a red light or stop sign is an anxiety moment because 30% of the time it skips now as you accelerate. I bought it from a crappy dealership that guarantees nothing but an inspection sticker. Before you tell me I should have bought it from someone reputable, know that I don't have a whole lot of money but wanted a reliable car for my family and bought it based on two trouble-free test drives and reputation. I had a 95 850 for years before I passed it on to my step-daughter. It has 252K and is going strong. Can the transmission be causing the "Check Engine" light?
  • klh5klh5 Posts: 2
    edited September 2012
    have seen many similar posts on several other boards over many months - I have V70 2002 T5 auto, bought as ex-demo model from officilal dealer (<10K miles on original purchace) , fully seviced by Volvo. - Same automatic transmission 'cut out issue' (only 85K miles) - they deny it is a common problem (not from what the boards seem to say it seems) - insisting we need a new car. This is in the UK. Any ideas?

    Current car sat on the drive for 6 months after they (Volvo) declared it unsafe:-))- with only option to buy another car as new transmission unit and fitting is 3-4 times valuue of car! Yeh - right a Volvo that dies at 85K miles, fully Volvo serviced and only 10 years old with what appears to be a clearly known Volvo problem on those auto transmission units?

    Why would ever I buy another one? And this is from a family that has grown up with Volvos for 40 years.

    Any suggestions appreciated.

    Manufacturing fault would seem to be clear to me on transmission unit. I believe I read on other boards in the US class action suits are being coinsidered/might have been started. Doesn't help my wife with no car mind you!

    Going to Audi I think for the next one next week!
  • lulu4lulu4 Posts: 10
    Does anyone actually know of a class action suit?
  • I had an XC 70 2001 loved the car and just had to purchase another car because of the transmission. The mechanic drove it and hooked it up to the computer could not find anything wrong. But driving it convinced him that it needed a new transmission. He said that there was another XC 70 with the same problem at the shop. I almost had the car paid off. The mechanic made me a really good deal on a V50. So I bought it. Why do I think I need a Volvo? They have been money pits over the years.
  • I called Volvo and complained and the woman acted as if it was my problem and had never heard of the transmission issue. Ugh!
  • I know of so many people including myself who had the same problems. Volvo said it needed an upgrade, never worked, did a second upgrade, nothing, until the trans finally gave out. Spent alot of money to try and correct this. Nothing worked except I got plenty of bills to show. Love the car, but will never buy another Volvo again. I felt they gave us all the run around. Not sure when Ford took over but it is suspect. I have been on line and reading more and more stories like yours. So Volvo has done nothing to fix it, so I feel they do not care about their customers. NSo more Volvo for me.
  • I'm in same boat. I just dropped nearly 2k after a "dealer" tried to tell me it was a computer sensor issue. We found they replaced solenoids in the valve body with used ones (rather than the entire unit) which I just had replaced. It's still not shifting correctly from what seems to be 2nd to 3rd. I just need to sell this car at what is going to be a huge loss. I got completely ripped off on this one.
  • I've had 2 transmissions fail because of faulty solenoid issues. Unfortunately, these transmissions are adaptive, meaning that the software "learns" and then adapt. So, the problems only get worse as the gearbox gets caught in between 2nd & 3rd. I've actually have been able to understand when this issue is starting on my 3rd transmission & adjust my driving and accelerator control to compensate for the beginning of the surge in between gears so that it doesn't clunk into the next gear. However, this isn't the point to my reply. I didn't pay anything for either transmission, the dealer/Volvo corporate did. The original trans started to go about a year after I bought the car had 70k in it then.

    Basically, I made a huge enough stink with the dealership & with Volvo corporate that they paid for a new one to be installed. The 2nd one started to go 13 months after that, just after the warranty ended. The dealer said the wouldn't replace it & that warranty wasn't valid. I again complained in a big way, posting negative things against the dealer & Volvo on any appropriate car blog & site I could find. Within 3 weeks, they replaced it again for free. The adage is true, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

    Volvo and all the dealerships know this issue exists. However, no deaths have been linked to it, so no recall. Be the squeaky wheel...don't let them push you, the consumer the rely on, over.
  • Bought a 2002 V70 cross country about 1.5 years ago. Made the mistake of not getting it checked before purchasing (it was from a dealer) and have had to put thousands in to it. The transmission needs overhauled (quote is 3500-4000). It's got about 101k miles. Does it make sense to put this much money in to an 11 year old car?
  • try to do solenoid kit replacement. i heard it will fix the problem. i have to do it to mine's too. you can find it on ebay for $220 made by rostra.
  • vtreschvtresch Posts: 1
    I've seen a lot of posts talking about the V70 transmission problems but most mention a clunk or slip from 2nd to 3rd. Mine is fine after engaging in 1st but shifting from park or reverse to drive you get a big clunk. Always need to keep foot on the brake and wait a second for 1st to engage. Dealer checked fluids, firmware version and error codes. All were fine or current. They said a new transmission is needed and that it may last years or days before changing.
    Anyone have the same experience? This isn't what I would call the best dealership so I am suspect that they know what they are talking about.
    Can it be something else? If I decide to move forward with changing the transmission I am reluctant to go with Volvo since they seem to have a recurring problem. Anyone know of good remans or a better vendor?
  • damb0rgdamb0rg Posts: 1
    With the ATF at working temperature (a must!), try out the 'relearn' procedure here: go to page 52: Transmission Relearn. This is for the TF80-SC auto box, but the procedure is similar for older units.

    2007 V70R
  • bknoxbknox Posts: 1
    Did you replace the transmission? How has that worked out? I have a 2000 V70 at 137K and am starting to have some symptoms.
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