Car Problem Reports

Volvo V70 XC Erratic Shifting or Loss of Transmission Operation

Volvo V70 XC Problem
45 Reports
Me Too

Model Years Affected: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002

Drive Trains Affected: AWD, FWD

Average Mileage: 130,313 mi (16,389 mi - 310,000 mi)


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:

  •  Rookie

    when I shift to drive there is a lull then a kind of thunk before it starts to move.

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  • , , AWD, 94,000 mi

    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

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  • , , 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.

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  • , , AWD, 102,000 mi

    doesnt happen in reverse, only when I shift from reverse to drive.

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  • , , 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?

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  • , , 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?

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  • , , AWD, 174,000 mi

    Hard, erratic shifting and slow shifting that causes car to lunge forward.

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  • , , AWD, 106,000 mi

    same problems as reported by others posting here. Will never by Volvo car again.

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  • , , 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!

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  • , , 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.

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