Over the past few months, I have noticed that my 2002 XC70 slams into gear while I am driving it. I want to have the transmission fluid flushed however I am reading horror stores about these cars are losing their 3rd gear when they flush the tranny. Does the car just need a computer update or is the tranny going?

How many miles on this Volvo?

What is the interval for replacement of the transmission fluid, according to the maintenance schedule that came with the car?

Has the transmission fluid been replaced according to the schedule?

Do you periodically check the level of the transmission fluid? Is it full? If not, what do you do?

Without this information it’s really hard to say anything about the transmission.

The car has 98000 miles on it.

I bought the car with 60000+ miles on it and do not know what maintenance had been done to the car. I think the tranny needed to be flushed at 75000-that is what Jiffy Lube told me when I had the oil changed however they said they could not do it because it was “sealed”???

Today is the first day that I checked the tranny fluid level-only because I could not find the stick until tonight.

The fluid was a dark brown, level was fine, smelled burnt.

One repair place told me without seeing the car, that the tranny needed flushed and the car needed to have a software download.
Thank you

First I would suggest totally avoiding any contact of any kind with any fast lube place.  We see far too many problems from them.  

Certainly that fluid is bad.  You could get extremely lucky and changing fluid now might help.  However I fear the damage is done. 

Even "sealed" transmissions can have their fluid changed.  It seems few manufacturers are listing changing the fluid these days as regular maintenance.  However I feel that changing fluid every 30-40,000 miles is wise and cost effective. 

There is a myth that changing fluid (or flushing it) will cause the transmission to fail.  The true fact is so many people don't change it until it starts to fail, so it fails shortly after the change, which it would have done anyway. 

 That said I can't say a thing about the computer software issue.  It may or may not be needed.

I’d have that fluid replaced ASAP, but NOT by J-lube or any other such quick-change joint. Find an independent mechanic. Preferably one with Volvo experience. Changing the fluid will not damage the transmission.

And cross your fingers.