Volvo XC90 Problems

Hard Shifting, Erratic Shifting and Other Transmission Issues on Volvo XC90

Problem Description and Possible Solution

Many complaints have been reported regarding Volvo XC90 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:

(49 people reported this problem)

Volvo XC90 Vehicles With This Problem

RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 109,418 (47,773–238,000)
6 model years affected: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, more2007, 2008
Not Your Volvo XC90 Problem?
Brake problem? Or maybe a faulty head gasket cylinder?
Learn About Your Car Problems
Search For a Specific Car Problem
Viewing 1-20 of 25 comments
Transmission seems to sputter when switching gears on my 2007 XC90. Is there a quick software fix perhaps? Or some other cheaper fix other than replacing the transmission?
"Urgent Transmission Service Required" message; slipping; hard shifting; failing to upshift or downshift when appropriate.
Hard shift between 2nd and 3rd gear - was told valve body of transmission needs replacing. Worth the repair cost or time for new vehicle?
Bought a 2006 volvo xc90 took it to the dealer because of hard shifting at about 30 and 50 mph they did a software update. That is a total joke. Still have the problem and if the dealer would have been honest I wouldn't have bought a car with a broken transmission. So looks like we will be replacing the transmission. Volvo should be responsible sounds like it should be a recall!
Between 30 & about 45 the transmission starts jumping and also seems to be slipping...
Exactly as it says - hard downshifting - especially - coming fast downhill around a corner - auto transmission downshifts very roughly - jolting the car.
Hard shifting in warmer weather. Especially between 2nd and 3rd. All software is updated and transmission flush from the dealer was done 4 months ago.
Transmission, CV Axle, Transfer case. I have not driven any car with so much problem. Even Volvo dealerships can not have the right diagnostic.
Vehicle will hard shift at 1/4 tank of gas may be fuel related but also when tank is full but intermittantly
I purchased the car about a month ago and brought it back to dealership they said they put in a new transmission, but still having issues with loud noises, jerky when I put it in reverse or other gears. Shifting hard also. , ct dealership told me it was normal not to worry about it. It also has other issues that were fixed and some that are normal. I paid a good amount for it. I think I should purchase a warranty for it soon
Occasional downshifts are delayed and harsh, been to the dealer four times with no resolution. Unlikely to buy volvo again, service quality is terrible.
At 66,000 miles my transmission went out. After weeks of working with Volvo N America and local dealer they agreed to replace my transmission. However, the drive train was warn as a result of the defective transmission. They refused to replace the drive-train. Now, the car is making a rumbling rattle. Local mechanic said it's because they didn't replace drive-train. Both should have been done or the transmission will go out again.
occasional slipping began at 60k. Performed software update, no difference. Experienced problem an average of 10x per year and continue to get "transmission service due" message. I performed full transmission flush at 100k (2 month ago) and have problem once more since.
Our XC90 has hesitated since we bought it, now our "angle gear" needs to be replaced for thousands of dollars. We do not have AWD without the replacement. The car drives terribly erratic.
I bought this car less than a year ago and it starting having shifting problems right away. My mechanic tried replacing the transmission fluid and some other kind of treatment a few months ago that he didn't end up charging me for because he said it didn't fix the problem and I would eventually need to replace the transmission. That someday came and today he told me it will run 7,500 to replace the transmission. I am just sick. It doesn't feel right to have to put this kind of money into a car that I am still paying on. I bought it used from a dealership and it does not have any kind of warranty.