Last post on Oct 23, 2013 at 2:06 PM
You are in the Volvo XC70 Maintenance & Repair
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Volvo XC70, Transmission, Wagon
#3 of 84 XC70 No third gear
Jan 30, 2009 (12:38 pm)
I recently had my 2002 XC70 with 95,000 miles looked at because of driveline vibrations that seem most pronounced around 60 MPH. The mechanic and I went for a test ride and he said "The vibrations that you're experiencing are very common with XC70s built between 1998 and 2003. They're common, difficult to pin-point, and rather expensive to correct. What I'm feeling now is not that bad. I would continue to drive the car until the vibrations become worse. At that point they will be more easily identified which makes the diagnosis time/money less."
This was not the news I had hoped for. Because I had paid for an hour of diagnosis time, he went ahead and gave the car a thorough once-over and came up with $3,500 worth of needed repairs (none of which related to the vibration issue I even brought the car in for). One of the items on his check list was a recommendation that I flush the transmission fluid (removing the old fluid under force and replacing with new). I talked to a few people and all seemed to agree that flushing the transmission fluid can be a dicey proposition. Apparently, it's common for a flush to sometimes dislodge crud from within the transmission that creates more harm than simply leaving the fluid alone in the first place. I chose a compromise approach. Instead of a full blown flush, I would simply drain what I could, add fluid, drive the car for six months and then replace the fluid again. My thought was that this would replace most of the trans fluid without the potential harm of flushing all of the fluid at once. Yesterday I drained about a gallon of trans fluid, got in my chevy truck, drove to the dealer, purchased four liters of Volvo authorized trans fluid, added enough fluid to replace what I had drained, and then test drove the XC70. Much to my surprise, I had lost third gear. Reverse, 1, 2, 4, and 5 are just fine. Three no longer works. I've searched the internet a bit and apparently this is fairly common. I'm sick to my stomach. Short of $3,000+ for full-blown transmission work, does anyone have a solution? I want a do-over. Not just with the transmission fluid but with the whole car. It's too fancy, complicated, fussy, and expensive to maintain.
#4 of 84 02' xc70slipping and clunking
Feb 22, 2009 (6:43 pm)
I have a xc70 that has been slipping and clunking from the start of my ownership(49,000 miles). I purchased the extented warranty just in case of problems. When I discovered the problem, I brought it to the dealer and they said that it was not slipping, I had them put this on the receipt to prove it was there for this problem but I believe its too late anyway. It now has 112,000 miles and is happening more than ever. Is it just the fluid or computer?
#5 of 84 Re: 02' xc70slipping and clunking [volvong]
Apr 09, 2009 (2:40 pm)
I have a 2001xc70 that I bought in 2004. In Nov 2006 the transmission started slipping. The transmission service light and check engine lights came on. I brought it in to have it serviced (under extended warranty). The transmission was not replaced or repaired. The computer program was 'updated' for the third time and a new catalytic converter, etc. to the tune of $2300. 10 months later, same problem (imho), yet the dealer says it is not (car no longer under warranty) and that I need a new transmission - $5000. I did not have the transmission replaced or repaired at that time. what I have noticed is that when I am driving in hot weather in heavy traffic, the transmission performs very poorly. It must rev up to 3000rpm just to get the car moving from a stop and jerks. Once the car cools completely, this no longer happens. I think the computerized portion of the transmission is misfiring because it is and has overheated. I have replaced my radiator twice in three years. My mechanic thinks I am mistaken that the water pump could be a problem. I will try with this mechanic once more to see if he will replace the water pump, if not, I'll be looking for another mechanic. Btw: the transmission codes on my car have be cleared without repair.
How is the cooling system on your car? Does any of this sound familiar?
#6 of 84 Re: XC70 No third gear [cranky2]
Apr 10, 2009 (1:26 pm)
I don't have an obvious solution, but I do have a few comments and suggestions. I'll first address the vibration. I have a GREAT mechanic who worked at a Volvo dealership for over 15 years and he knows his stuff. My car had the same problem (2004 model) and so did a friend's CX90. It is likely a wheel bearing...rear also likely. The bearings go prematurely and are expensive. I think that we paid $300. just for the bearing itself. You can drive it until it gets too loud or your wheel seizes.
Volvo transmissions now cost $4200. for the transmission + labor (about $800-$1000. I was recently having tranny problems and need to have it repalced. I thought that having it rebuilt and saving $2200 was the way to go...but I was mistaken. Nobody really knows how to rebuild a Volvo transmission properly and if they do, you will still likely have other issues upon getting it back. I just spent $2300. and still have problems and need a Volvo transmission replacement.
#7 of 84 2002 XC70... many transmission problems?
Apr 15, 2009 (9:30 pm)
I am looking at buying a used 2002 XC70, and I have heard both good and bad thing about the transmission in that year; any advice/horror stories? I know to stay away from 2001, but are most of the kinks worked out in the 2002? Also, do you know if it is very easy to work on yourself, or is there to much computer mumbo-jumbo to get around?
Any advise would be a help! Thanks!
#8 of 84 Are you crazy?
Apr 16, 2009 (4:41 am)
I think it's safe to say that the 2002 transmissions are just as fragile as the 2001s; at least the one in my 2002 was. Beyond the transmission, the cars are prone to expensive bearing failures, expensive and difficult to diagnose driveline vibration problems and from what I've heard, wiring issues (thought I have not had problems myself). My 2002 does not have third gear. It simply went away when I changed the fluid. I've been quoted $5,000 to have the transmission replaced. I'm just driving the thing around in "manual mode" skipping over third gear and keeping my fingers crossed that they'll pass this "Cash for Clunkers" program and that it will somehow allow me to recoup some of my loss on buying a piece of shit 2002 Volvo XC70.
#9 of 84 Re: Are you crazy? [cranky2]
Apr 16, 2009 (4:46 pm)
Thanks for your help! "Good luck with your clunker".
#10 of 84 Volvo Transmissions are a weak point
Sep 15, 2009 (4:17 am)
I have experience with 3 volvos, two purchased new which I still have - 2006 xc70 and 2002 s60. I used to have a 2004 xc70 which I bought a year old. All were automatic trans. Overall I have been very pleased with them but the trans in all 3 had quirks:
2004 xc70 - car had a tendency to shift gears somewhat harshly, not a smooth transition. purchased used with 20k miles, sold a year later only because I got more than what I paid. mpg was about 24
2002 s60 - 28 mpg was great. At about 70k miles the trans would shift more harshly into first. What I do is manually downshift coming to a stop, saving the brakes a bit (it does work). Apparently the car does not like that and developed that harsh shifting after a while. I don't do that anymore with that car. Then starting at about 95k miles going into gear after backing out of my driveway, it takes a couple seconds to engage into forward gear. Usually you hit the gas as soon as you shift from Reverse to D but doing that jerks the car at engagement. Since then I have been waiting those seconds with foot on the brake. With care I think the car will last a few more years. Now about 25mpg. OEM tires were replaced with Goodyear tires rated at 80k miles and after 40k the fronts are shot. I discovered after some research after the fact that the same tires can perform differently on different cars.
2006 xc70 - bought new with extended warranty, given the experience with the 60. When manually shifting this trans is exhibiting the harsh shifting as the previous 70 but not quite as harsh. I stopped the manual shifting since I startred noticing it at around 45k miles, now has 60k miles. At purchase, mileage was under 20mpg and slowly crept to 21, 22, and at 40k miles was getting 23.6mpg overall. The Pirelli Scorpiion oem tires were replaced at 60k just this past week and performed very well. I replaced with Michelin Harmony with the same size. A weekend trip of 800 miles resulted in 24.6mpg, a very notable and happy improvement! Purchased at Belle Tire $517 out the door with lifetime balancing, rotation, flat fix, inflation, etc. And I also asked if there were any senior discounts available and I got another $20 off! You don't have to be a senior.....don't ask, don't get.
Long post but I hope this will provide some insight to someone. Other than the trans, I've found these cars to be pretty good and the wife loves her 70. I just hope Volvo (Ford) recognizes this.
#11 of 84 2002 Volvo XC70 Transmission slipping from 1st to 2nd
Dec 02, 2009 (7:06 am)
I am feeling a "slipping" when the car shifts from 1st to second gear. What happens is that from a dead stop when the car shifts out of first gear (around 10-15 MPH it goes into a quick "neutral reving mode" in other words I feel a hesitation with the engine racing in neutral for a few seconds while trying to find second gear which then kicks in with a jolt. There is no problem going from 2nd to 3rd. If I'm in a driving situation where I am constantly going under 20 MPH this is a constant problem (the kicking from 1st to second gear). If I'm at a stop and have a clear approach such as entering a highway and flooring the gas from 0 to say 40 I don't feel and kicking as the gears shift from first to third rather naturally.. This only occurs when going slow at a spped of under 20MPH. Can anybody offer some suggestions? Could it be a computer problem?--I sure hope so.
The car has only 55,000 Miles!
#12 of 84 Re: Volvo Transmissions are a weak point [bad_trannies]
Dec 02, 2009 (8:42 am)
No offense but I've never understood why people use their transmission in an effort to save their brakes. A brake job costs what, maybe $500 for rotors and pads? A trans job costs $5,000+. I'll gladly wear out my brakes in an effort to prolong my trans.