2000 Volvo V70 with Slipping Transmission

During Christmas/ New Year of 2007 I got my 2000 Volvo V70 stuck crosswise in the icy ruts in my alley while I was attempting to back into my garage. I had to take it off traction control to rock the car out of the ruts with a fair amount of wheel spin. I finally got the car into the garage and put it away for the night. The next day my wife had to use the car and upon her return the car behaved as though it had dropped into neutral even though the gear lever was in Drive. A passerby helped her push the car and it re-engaged sufficiently allowing her to limp home. She called me on her cell from the alley to tell me of the problem and I drove the car around the block successfully, thinking, “Problem? What problem?” But as I got back to the garage the transmission started to slip and I was barely able to get it back into the garage. I figured that I had burned up the transmission the previous day, and I had the car flat-bedded over to a Volvo agency where they looked at the transmission fluid and told me they saw metal flecks(I didn’t see them, but what do I know?). They told me that they would rebuild the transmission for $5K. That was too much for me, so I had the car flat-bedded over to a smaller garage with a good reputation in my neighborhood who told me that they could rebuild it for $2K, but I would have to wait a few days because their transmission subcontractor was

very busy. I left the car with them and rented a car for a few days. About four days later, I called them and they said that when they took my car to their transmission shop, they started it and put it in gear and since things seemed normal, they drove it over with no problems. The transmission guys went over the car and weren’t able to find anything wrong. They told me to pick up the car-no charges except for flat-bedding and a change of transmission fluid a couple of days later. Their advice was just to drive the car. So I did-the rest of that winter, through the spring, the summer, the autumn with no problems. Now it’s winter 2008 and the car has started to do that disengaged transmission thing again. I took it back to my mechanics and basically they told me once again just to drive it. They can’t diagnose what’s the problem because it worked for them and no trouble lights have lit up on the instrument panel. After I picked up the car from their shop, I drove it for a couple of miles on Chicago city streets with no problem, but when I got home and spun the wheels a bit in the snow and ice in my alley, it popped out of gear into neutral once again. I turned the car off and waited 10 seconds then started it up and I was able to get it into gear to finish putting my car in my garage. I called several smaller foreign car repair shops describing the problem to them and discovered that not one wants to touch the car because since no trouble lights have come on on the instrument

panel they can’t get a code. They don’t want me to spend $2K or so to rebuild the transmission if something else is causing the problem. They don’t want me coming back to them after a rebuild to complain that the problem wasn’t solved. THelp! What do I do with this car?

Have you ever heard of paragraphs?

Your post is nearly unreadable, and only the very desperate are going to wade their way through it.

Good luck.

OK, maybe I’m desperate. Perhaps the problem is not in the transmission. Suppose the traction control, or something similar (ABS,maybe) is causing the problem.

I’m just guessing, but your post makes it sound like the transmission is not the problem. This is very good for you, since a Volvo transmission is not something you want to pay to have rebuilt or replaced.

I think you should thank your mechanics for not making you pay thousands of dollars for something you don’t need.

You bought a Volvo. Didn’t you do any research into the reliability of these vehicles? My guess is, no, you didn’t.

I suppose you decided to buy this vehicle based on the reputation Volvo cars earned many years ago, when they were basically bullet-proof. My, how things have changed.

I’m sorry I can’t offer better advice. I wish you the best of luck, but there’s no way I would ever own the car you own.

Thanks a lot for the comment on how my post got formatted by the website’s software. Much appreciated, bless your heart. I love that there is always the kind of person on these sorts of forums who won’t address the stated problem, but will comment on the style of the submission. With regard to the second responder’s answer, thanks to you for at least addressing my issue. I did research the car back in 2000, and for years afterward during the life of this car I would check with Consumer Reports to see if my model and year would be mentioned in their annual list of good used car models. I was heartened to see that It would show up on those lists(the CrossCountry of that year would not and other models would not) so I thought that my car was “one of the good ones” and that I had dodged a bullet.
I must say that for 9 years, it has given me very little trouble. I needed it because I needed a vehicle which I could load up with my cooking equipment(I am a personal chef), and I didn’t want a top-heavy SUV and didn’t need a mini-van. There were only a few station wagons that were roomy enough for my purposes and the boxy Volvo V70 of that year fit the bill. I am going to get rid of it, because in checking with the Blue Book, I discovered that the value of a 2000 V70 in Excellent condition is only $3500, Good condition is $3125, and Fair condition is $2525. Obviously you don’t sink $5K or $2K into a car with that value on the market. Talking to the nice people at USAA who gave me that information was the most helpful part of solving my puzzle about what to do with my Volvo. I also was informed by a friend to check with Edmund’s.com forums about Volvos with transmission slippage problems. I did and was horrified to read about 300 submissions about later model Volvo(T5’s, CrossCountries, and XC 90’s) that basically self-destructed. There were frequent calls on that forum to organize a class action suit against Ford and Volvo. I learned that these problems once they start are mainly insolvable and that generally the car won’t work right after a transmission rebuild. Time to pour a quart of Bardahl in the transmission fluid and get rid of it.

It was only after I submitted my reply that I noticed that I didn’t get two replies from two different people, but two replies from the same person. So, sorry, and thanks to mcparadise for actually coming back and addressing my question. I would like to add that at the time of my purchase there were Passat wagons, Subaru wagons, and Vovo wagons. I hated the whole SUV thing. And at that time(9 years ago) there was very little negative information about Volvos and the price(mine was a demonstrator) was about the same for each of the three. Passat seemed like a cramped tin can to us, and Subaru also seemed cramped with a really crappy back seat(like a plank with a half inch of foam on it). That’s why the Volvo won out. I lament the demise of the station wagon. I had two leased top-of-the-line Honda Accord wagons in a row before I got into the Volvo. They were terrific cars; Honda stopped making that model; if they hadn’t I would have bought/leased another one of those.

Hey it’s hard to read,I blew it off just because of the way you formatted your post,others get it right.