Car Problem Reports

Volvo C70 Hard shifting from transmission and other issues

Volvo C70 Problem
44 Reports
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Model Years Affected: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006

Drive Train Affected: Automatic Transmission

Average Mileage: 122,237 mi (53,000 mi - 224,142 mi)


Several complaints have been reported regarding Volvo C70 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 fix this issue so if available, the software should be updated before any repairs are made.

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:

  • gilcupples, , 149,000 mi

    I was experiencing the long shift times from 2-3 gear. I researched and discovered that this model transmision has this known problem and most likely if you have not experienced the problem yet, you will at some point. I did discover that there is a fix for it. apparently the bands get in a bind and one does not release. I found a pdf file that explained 2 procedures, one by removing the trans and one without removing it. the transmission shop replaced my trans and it worked perfectly, until the 2-3 slip occured in this one as well. I have not been able to get the car back to them yet to try the fixes.

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  • Visitor, , 100,000 mi

    The shifting began very subtle in the lower gears, mostly the up-shift. Now, I am experiencing a hard jerk when up and down shifting in lower gears. The car is great on the highway, but a nightmare in stop and go traffic. I have contacted Volvo customer service, and they won't help because i used a Volvo repair shop (not a dealer) after my warranty ran out. This is my 3rd Volvo, and I thought they were great cars until my C70. I am not sure what to do. The dealer says I need a new transmission at the cost of $5,100. I am not in a position to purchase one now, and honestly I resent having to pay that much at only 106, 000 miles. I buy the care because they last well beyond 100,000 miles.... or so I thought. Please let me know if there are any recalls, or class action suits. I am very disillusioned with Volvo.

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  • Visitor, , 82,000 mi

    Hard shifting between gears after engine warms up, especially happens in stop and go driving, long pause when accelerating then drops hard into the next gear. No problems at highway speeds drives smooth.

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  • Visitor, , 94,000 mi

    Long shift that turns into hard shift between 1st and 2nd gear. Happens more after the car is warmed up. I'm going to try replacing the transmission fluid and see if that helps. I really, really, REALLY don't want to have to get a new transmission...

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  • Visitor, , 53,000 mi

    Second time we have had transmission issues in less than a year. Volvo insisted this was only a minor issue in need of an 800 dollar transmission fluid replacement. We did that, but now more issues. Very disappointed in Volvo and especially in the dealer repair people.

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  • Visitor, , 135,000 mi

    I wrote a post last year when the same happened to me.
    My Volvo c70 had hard transmission problems, around 120,000 miles.
    After considering replacing the transmission, a guy suggested me to change the transmission fluid.
    It was not sure it would fix the problem but for maybe $300 it was worth trying.
    I did try and it worked! not any transmission problem since that time

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  • John KAF, , 126,000 mi

    I took it to the volvo dealer where they told me my "check engine" light was one because of the Airflow meter censor and the ETM system to be upgrated. Some cleaning had to be done too.
    When I took it to another place (more affordable), they told me that my transmission actually has to be replaced... Can you send me the PDF? Maybe there is another option than replacing the transmission...

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  • Visitor, , Automatic Transmission, 144,000 mi

    Hard shifting first gear automatic, will try fluid change first

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  • Visitor, , 100,000 mi

    Had transmission flushed in hopes of it being the fix, now it is undrivable due to slippage. I wish I had just left it alone and lived with the hard shift:(

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  • Visitor, , 135,000 mi

    I purchased this car from a car auction with over 120,000+ miles on it. The car would have difficulty shifting in the lower gears but did quite well in the higher gears. I had the transmission fluid changed but no help. I consulted with a Volvo specialist that recommended to get a rebuilt transmission. I was unable to afford a new transmission at the time.

    Solution: I changed my gasoline to Premium gas(octane rating of 92 or 93) from Texaco or Chevron only. I tried the other premium gas but it didn't stop the hard shifting. I believe the Techron in Texaco and Chevron gas is what is helping the car. I noticed the hard shifting has decreased about 90 percent. I occasionally get the hard shifting if I am in heavy stop and go traffic for a long period of time. Otherwise, it rarely happens.

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