how do i check the transmission fluid in a 2002 volvo v70cx?

First step is to consult the owner’s manual.

There’s a little yellow plastic dipstick, held in place by a metal clip. The plastic can break fairly easily, so be careful when removing it.

Get in the manual and see what the requirements are to check it. You can’t just pull the stick and look. Normally it needs to be running, warmed up, and in either Park or Neutral.

the manual says take it to the dealer. a catach22

Here's a soft copy of the Owners Manual: It doesn't address the transmission, but I though you might appreciate the link.

This thread from the Volvo Forums has some info that might help.

Guess they turned off HTML tagging. Bummer.