Harsh 1-2 upshift & check engine light


I got a 2000 Volvo V70 XC Turbo about 2 months ago. It has just over 100,000miles on it. I had to replace the radiator (ouch) and after I got it back a day later the check engine light went on & will not go off. It is still jerking into 1-2 upshift, though less & sometimes not at all after its warmed up. My mechanic said he can’t do anything 'til I take to a Volvo dealer to do software download to turn off check engine light. My parents bought me the car. I haven’t told them about any of this cause I feel bad they may of put their good money into bad. Anybody have similiar situation and how did you handle it & how much did you have to spend in fixing?


The ‘Check Engine’ light means the car’s computer has detected a problem and set a trouble code. These post-'96 computers do their own emissions checking, and will set a code for engine problems like mis-fires, or emissions problems, like a loose or leaking fuel cap. A radiator replacement will not force you to reprogram the computer. I just did a head gasket replacement on a 1999 S70, and no computer download was necessary.

Who is your mechanic, the friend of a roommate that has a socket set? Most mechanics shops have code scanners that they use on a regular basis as part of the repair process. Before you freak out, get the codes read at a parts store, like Autozone or O’Reilly’s. Or, go to a legitimate shop, and pay them a lot less to read the codes. Once the code is read, you’ll have an idea of what the problem is, and maybe how much it will cost.


Your check engine light could be related to the transmission and your mechanic is right. Your best bet would be to take it to a Volvo dealer and pay for a diagnostics, usually it will cost you one labor hour but it will be worth it. You can have your mechanic do the repairs if you want to after.


That CEL (check engine light) is just a kid in class waving her hand trying to get you attention because she has the answer. You need to have the codes read. Some places will read them for FREE. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Get the exact code (like P0123) not just their translation into English and post it back here.

Regarding warning lights:

  1. if the coolant temp light comes on, shut off the engine ASAP

  2. if the oil warning light comes on, shut off the engine ASAP

  3. if a FLASHING MIL/CEL comes on, shut off the engine ASAP

    ASAP means driving to the berm of the highway right now and not waiting for the next exit.

But if the MIL/CEL is not flashing, then it’s not an urgent indicator.


Is your transmission fluid at the right level? Is it clear and pink or is it dirty and brownish? Does it have a burnt smell?