Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Volvo Betrayal

I have a 1999 Volvo S80 with 150,000 miles. Last week the transmission warning came on and I took it to a local Transmission shop. They told me the 4th gear was out and it would cost $4500 for a new transmission and $2800 for a rebuilt. A Volvo repair person said forget the rebuilt - this transmission has had too many problems and no one can effectively rebuild one. I currently have a couple additional problems with the car - vacumn seal on the brakes, uses oil - so is it worth fixing and/or can I still drive it for short errands in the neighborhood?

I thought it was good for a lifetime.

Well, no car is ‘good for a lifetime’, never plan on much more than 250k. A transmission is one of those ‘life ending events’ that would have me looking for a replacement for an 11-year-old car.

Volvos used to be durable cars many years ago, mostly because they did not rust much when other cars were biodegradable.

However, many other cars have caught up and passed Volvo in virtually all araes, and now Volvos are expensive to maintain and repair cars without any specific long life virtues.

If you buy one at age 90+, you probably have a “lifetime” car.

In your case I would shop for a good used transmission from a wreck, and hope to get a few more years out of the car.

Good luck!

150,000 miles. How many times was the transmission fluid changed?

If you went 150,000 miles without changing the transmission fluid, I agree with you. YOU betrayed your Volvo

I wouldn’t fix it. Volvo’s will last but the costs of repairing them are just outrageaous. You’ll spend thousands on a new transmission and in a few months it will need something else to the tune of $2,000.

I think the best way to drive Volvo’s if that is the brand you must have is to lease it to get the lowest monthly payments and be sure to turn the car in before the factory warranty expires. Once the warranty expires and you have to pay for repairs yourself, Volvo’s are a family budget buster. I’ve owned several Volvo’s so these comments are based on actual experience.

Great cars when they run properly. Awful cars when the don’t. And they don’t run properly all too often.

So in this 12 year span of 150k miles how many times did you service the transmission?

If the answer is zero or hardly ever then your transmission did not die and this is not an exclusvely Volvo problem . It was murdered; by you.

For short errands you do not need to spend any money. The engine is very good, you just need to keep the speed down. If you have a tachometer, try to keep the rev’s below 3,000 RPM’s.