Transmission Will Not Shift Properly on Volvo S80

Many complaints have been reported regarding Volvo S80 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 so 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: 112,214 (13,200–201,000)
11 model years affected: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, more2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010
61 people reported this problem
34 people shared problem details
2000 Volvo S8056,000
I am having a problem with my transmission. I put the car on drive, I accelerate it, and it starts moving very but very slowly , then it gradually starts moving. I stop for the light and again I start to accelerate and now it does not want to move. Just sits there has if it is on neutral. I sent my vehicle to get the transmission overhauled, changed everything but the solenoids. I started driving it. It worked perfect for 15 to 30 min. Then it started to do the same problem again.
2008 Volvo S8035,000
when coming to a stop or slow rolling stop, the car is sluggish downshifting into first gear and often the car is not in forst or second gear when I step on e gas causing it to harshly downshift into first causing a "kick" before it goes. Also,I quite often fell a kick or bump when the car does downshift into first gear when stopping. It often is sluggish or eratic upshifting. So far the dealer has updated the software, but that did not fix the problems, and they tell me this is all normal and pretty much act like I'm crazy and there is nothing wrong with the car. Sorry, I've been driving automatic and stick shifts for 48 years...this is Not normal.
2001 Volvo S80122,000
Transmission went out completely in Automatic mode. I could still shift manually. Bought a $10 OBD II diagnostic tool to read the codes - Solenoid B issue. I reset the codes and the problem went away. Best tool I ever bought! Saved myself a $4k transmission repair.
Gear shift will often get stuck in park and will not budge into other gears.
2004 Volvo S80159,000
Transmission death code (Transmission service urgent) went on. Upgraded software. came back 1 week later.
Long shift time between 2 and 3 and I get very hard shifting when trying to slow down
2000 Volvo S80117,000
Shifts fine under hard acceleration, putting around town, it doesn't like to stay in 3rd.
2003 Volvo S8013,200
Started by what seemed like confusion between 2nd and 3rd gear car seemed like it was going back and forth between gears. Then would go into limp mode. Now car wont shift into upper gears 1st and reverse all that work. S80 T6 automatic 2003 dealer wants 6000 for repair volvo should assist not gouge if they want repeat customers.
1999 Volvo S80155,000
I changed the fluid and the problem was deferred for about 2 weeks. Readdressed the issue with a transmission fix (Lucas) at about 170k. Now the problem seems to be returning. I will try the software update per this blog. Thank you all for the great input.
initial pickup hard take lot of rpm
2001 Volvo S80170,000
transmission not shifting properly
1999 Volvo S80179,000
Transmission will not shift out of first gear.
the transmission has failed totally.Only the Park, Reverse and neutral Gears are functional
2004 Volvo S80138,353
Having some issues with the amount of time between shifts from 1st to 2nd,2nd to 3rd.if ishift myself everything goes great,no issues,only when in true auto.I have changed fluid and chang e
2000 Volvo S80123,654
Put car in gear rolls for about half of a mile then no power to gear as if transmission issue, shut down car start up car again same problem car goes for about half mile then no power to gear throttle and Rpm's responsive just no gear auto or manual
2006 Volvo S8080,000
Car stalls & it is getting worse. I have had it at Quantrell volvo repair shop several times & the problem is never fixed & the bill is always high.
2008 Volvo S8085,000
Sluggish, hard, ill timed up and down shifting at normal around town driving.
2006 Volvo S80102,000
Rough shifting on most gears.
2006 Volvo S8086,000
Downshifting and reverse clunking
2003 Volvo S80187,000
same issue with transmission. mine is transient though.
Related Items:
My 2001 S80 has started to show some problems. The automatic transmission finds it difficult to...
This is the only code that appears. The car runs and shifts properly.
The automatic transmission may develop shifting problems and/or the Check Engine Light may illu...
Transmission issues related to shifting have been reported. Software upgrades available from Vo...
How is the best and easiest way to get to the bolts at the fire wall to replace the shift cable...

Related Content