Erratic Shifting or Loss of Transmission Operation on Volvo V70 XC

Many complaints have been reported regarding Volvo Cross Country transmission shifting issues. Long shift times between gear shifts, hard shifting, hard downshifting and a loss of transmission operation all together to name a few.

If the issue is minor, a transmission software update may address this issue. If available, the software should be updated before any repairs are made. After a software update or repair, the shift adaptation needs to be reset. A good quality Volvo repair shop will know how to perform this task.

There are several technical service bulletins (TSB's) available from Volvo that address these shifting issues and they should be consulted by the repair shop during the automatic transmission diagnostic process.

Regular servicing of the transmission fluid can help with preventing transmission failure, but not in all cases. Follow the suggested fluid replacement interval recommended by Volvo. You will find this in your owners manual, or find it here:

RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 138,282 (2,490–310,000)
Drive Trains affected: AWD, FWD
5 model years affected: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, more2002
69 people reported this problem
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Viewing 1 - 20 of 30 problem details
2002 Volvo V70 XC - AWD 176,000 mi,
Seems like everyone with this car has this problem. I bought my volvo yesterday for 2500 and the guy told me that everything is working perfectly with the car. During the test rive we dodn't notice anything wrong, but today we just noticed that the tranny slips. While downshifting there is a sudden loss in power and then a violent lurch when it goes back into gear.. I Don't know if I should demand my money back or what. The car was sold to me under false pretenses, so if anything I should be able to get my money back right?
2002 Volvo V70 XC - FWD 127,000 mi,
There is a delay when shifting from reverse into drive and the car rolls a bit. Seems to be getting worse. Had the transmission fluid flushed with last oil change and it seemed to start after that. Just had the transmission fluid checked and was fine. Not sure if transmission is just wearing out? What will happen if I ignore this? I really don't want to put more money into repairs for this car.
2001 Volvo V70 XC - AWD 140,000 mi,
Transmission stopped working on the middle of the interstate. Acts like its in neutral no matter what gear it's in.
2002 Volvo V70 XC - AWD 96,000 mi,
My transmission feels really jumpy during acceleration between 30-40mph, sometimes the RPMs go above 4000rpm while the transmission is sticking, and then something slams into gear and it makes this loud thump noise when that happens. When I took it into the shop, they changed the fluid in the transmission and cleared out the error codes but said that the transmission should eventually be replaced. I cannot afford to get this problem fixed.
when I shift to drive there is a lull then a kind of thunk before it starts to move.
Love this car but the transmission was replaced under warranty after five years and now its starting to show the same symptoms as before such as hard downshifts into 2nd and long upshifts into 3rd
2001 Volvo V70 XC - AWD 226,000 mi,
Just recieved a Transmission needs service warning from the message center. Car was running perfect then wham! I get the warning. So I park the car and the next time I start it the tranny is slipping makes no sense whatsoever!
2001 Volvo V70 XC - AWD 88,000 mi,
I purchased 2001 XC at Al Martin Volvo in Burlington in 2006 with 50000 miles. The day I drove off the lot... the ABS light glared at me fifty miles down the road. It took years for someone to finally figure out the problem, involving going to an expert in the field (not a Volvo dealer). The dash had by this time become a light show. A bit of history: I purchased my first Volvo at seventeen and am now fifty-nine. Volvo is the only kind of car I have ever driven. I have had a wonderful romance with these cars (driving them for 200000 plus miles) until now. Today with 89000 miles on my car I am in need of a transmission, which of course I cannot find due to the fact that these transmissions are all bad. It is apparent that this issue is well known yet Volvo makes no attempt to recall these cars to remedy problem. I inquired about rebuilding transmission: $4000.00. I am disappointed that Volvo will not stand behind their cars therefore I have decided to not buy another Volvo again. It is such a shame that I will not be able to drive my 2001 XC to my usual 200000. I have a car which will not shift, therefore entirely worthless. This car is in excellent condition for a fifteen year old car...well loved and taken care of...but transmission less. It is evident that this problem is common and well known yet Volvo does nothing...I have lost my faith due to disingenuous behavior of Volvo....
2001 Volvo V70 XC - AWD 174,000 mi,
Hard, erratic shifting and slow shifting that causes car to lunge forward.
My beloved Volvo had transmission problems when it was only two years old. The Dealership said that they couldn't see what was wrong . I asked them to put that in writing . They asked why . I said so when the thing dies on me in traffic and I'm killed my husband could show his lawyer the letter. They repaired the transmission. ( I believe but am not sure that there may have been a class action suit in another State ) Many years later after the car has warmed up a bit and I've been driving a while I notice a hesitation to get into gear after a stop. Then there's either a shudder or thunk as it engages. It's very unnerving . My mechanic who only works on Volvos has sent me to a Transmission Center to get the programming checked and , hopefully , fix the problem.
2001 Volvo V70 XC - AWD 150,000 mi,
I noticed that going into 2nd gear was a little off, but not all of the time? I took it to a volvo repair shop and they told me that I need a new transmission? I have always changed the transmission fluid every 30,000 miles and now after leaving the shop, my volvo shifts really hard in every gear, everytime?
2002 Volvo V70 XC - AWD 102,000 mi,
doesnt happen in reverse, only when I shift from reverse to drive.
2001 Volvo V70 XC - AWD 106,000 mi,
same problems as reported by others posting here. Will never by Volvo car again.
2001 Volvo V70 XC - AWD 139,476 mi,
2001 V70 XC - i am currently experiencing all of these problems are intermittently. Long shifting between gears, hard shifting, shift into drive there is a lull then a thunk, transmission service light on. My three Hondas are much more trouble free and reliable.
1998 Volvo V70 XC - AWD 135,000 mi,
Will go into gear and shift fine. Turn key off and back won't go into gear. disconnect battery worked a few times. in shop now
2002 Volvo V70 XC 2,490 mi,
I have a 2015 Volvo XC and it keeps saying shift up or slow our speed and if we shift up we would be in neutral, if we shift to the left we would be in sport. I can't believe Volvo named it "cross country," we're towing a Uhaul and we are driving 20 miles an hour up a hill cross country. 20 miles an hour. 20 miles. We're trying to figure out the paddles and it's not working. Oh well we now know what it feels like to be a pioneer driving a covered wagon.
2000 Volvo V70 XC - AWD 224,000 mi,
The gear position sensor was broke car limped home I rebuilt the sensors and flushed tranny still having problem with sensor position keeps going to limp mode and cant get this problem fixed
We also have the problem of delayed shifting between gears and jerky shifting with our transmission. The transmission seems to work best when it is cold outside, but if driving when the car is warm and durning city driving it can start to act up by slipping and not going into gear properly. Not sure what to do since this seems like a common problem for everyone.
2002 Volvo V70 XC - AWD 189,000 mi,
Trany stopped working
2001 Volvo V70 XC - AWD 212,000 mi,
Lose of transmission in intersections when you need it. So you panic, step on the throttle and when the transmission decides to kick back in, it slams in.