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1999 V70 Transmission issues. Topic is solved

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

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1999 V70 Transmission issues.

Post by Twopointfourturbo » Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:58 am

Very new Volvo V70 owner here. I just picked up a 1999 V70 2.4T AWD, 135'000km/ca. 83000 miles with a late model automatic trans (Don't know the exact model but it has no "L" position on the trans, instead you can manually shift into 1/2/3 gear and it has a W/winter setting)

After driving on the highway for around 20mins I heard a deep thud from the middle of the car, and then both the check engine light and the transmission light (upward poining arrow) came on. The check engine light stayed illuminated and the transmission arrow light kept on blinking constantly. In addition I noticed that the car responded very sluggish, no kickdown, and towards the end of that journey accelerating at a stoplight the car was so slow that it almost felt dangerous. At another light the chassis and wheel began to shake/vibrate, getting more and more violent, until I shifted the car out of D into N which instantly ceased the vibrations. Driving with the manually selected gears yields the exact same result - I had the lever in 1 (gear) and it felt like it was trying to accelerate in 5th gear. I had no problems whatsoever before today and the previous owner (1-owner car befor I got it) had absolutely no issues with the engine or transmission. He even told me that new vehicle software was installed last year. After stopping the car and driving it after having it turned off for a while the problems seem to be reduced in severity but after a few minutes they come right back. Will be bringing the car in tomorrow to a Volvo garage, but I was curious if anyone here on the forums would also know or recognize some of the issues at hand.

I really hope it's a minor issue, such as a calibration or software reset... I don't want to waste upwards of 3k just days after driving it for the first time.



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Re: 1999 V70 Transmission issues.

Post by scot850 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:50 am

I am sometimes confused by the definition of a 1999 vehicle in Europe over a 99 in North America. As far as I am aware only the 2000 model year (sold from late 1999) had 5 speed automatics, and even then only the V70R and non-turbos although it is possible some late V70XC's may have had them also. Otherwise the V70XC/V70AWD and FWD turbos still ran the 4 speed auto.

For me the easy identifier is the dipstick for the transmission. The 4 speed auto has the long dipstick tube that runs about half way up the back of the radiator, and the 5 speed auto has a short dipstick that is almost hidden by the the main wiring harness and sits just proud of the top of the trans.

Either way, has the car ever had a transmission flush done on it? Due to Volvo stupidity, they originally said these transmissions were sealed for life, as long as you only planned less than 100000 miles or so to failure. They have now recommended a 80,000km service particularly on the early 5 speed autos, but there is good advice to do on all the transmissions.

There is a well documented way of doing the oil flush that does NOT include a pressure clean of the oil which will almost 100% guarantee an immediate transmission fail with gummed up solenoids and valves.

What is happening is your car is not happy about something, it could be low or dirty oil overheating in the simplest cases which is sending it into limp mode and reduced power to save the trans and engine. Normal advice is to flush the oil in the first instance and check for metal in the oil. Do a drain first to get any crud out of the bottom of the trans (replace the seal washer). This usually gets about 3.5 liters of black horrid oil out. Top back up through the dipstick tube the same amount as you removed. Run the engine up to temp and check the oil level is correct which can be a challenge as the oil tends to run down on the dipstick.

Then do the regular flush that is written up here on the repair section. You will need about 12 liters of trans oil to get the oil back to red colour. Then try and run the car and see what happens.

Make sure you use the correct trans fluid. $ speed and 5 speed autos use different oil specifications. 5 speed use a 3309 type oil and 4 speed use an ATF (Dextron 3? please check). These are not interchangable.

The fact that the previous owner had a software update done was probably to try to overcome a fault that was there and probably the reason he sold it.

Neil.
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2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
2006 XC70
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 Limited
2015 Kia Sportage EX-L
1993 850 GLT -Sold
1998 V70 XC - Sold
1997 Volvo 850 SE NA - Went to niece in California - Sold
2000 V70 SE NA - New project and test bed - Sold

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Re: 1999 V70 Transmission issues.

Post by Twopointfourturbo » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:16 pm

Thanks for the quick reply neil. I'll relay the info to the technician tomorrow. Quick question, what does the check engine warning light has to do with this? As I mentioned, both lights are up and the trans light is flashing but the CEL is constantly illuminated. Is that just another symptom of the same trans problem you mentioned?



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Re: 1999 V70 Transmission issues.

Post by abscate » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:20 pm

The transmission code will probably also trigger a CEL or check engine light, so read that out and see what that says
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Re: 1999 V70 Transmission issues.

Post by scot850 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:19 pm

+1 to what abscate says. As the car has gone into limp mode it will trigger the CEL (engine check light). It is most likely (but not 100%) that it was triggered by the transmission issue.

Neil.
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2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
2006 XC70
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 Limited
2015 Kia Sportage EX-L
1993 850 GLT -Sold
1998 V70 XC - Sold
1997 Volvo 850 SE NA - Went to niece in California - Sold
2000 V70 SE NA - New project and test bed - Sold

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Re: 1999 V70 Transmission issues.

Post by tmmaida » Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:39 am

I wonder why so many discuss just draining the transmission for a fluid change.
I found a great set of instructions about 10 years ago, for DIY flush of the transmission:

It was at IPD, where they have a "kit", that helps:
Disconnect the output of transmission fluid where it goes into the radiator (I ended up getting the tool specificially for removing that clip, and the kit came with replacement o-ring (that is easy to get at any local shop).

They include a length of tygon tubing to attach to that drain that's been detached, and suggest dropping the free end into a gallon container where you've labelled volumes on (to track amount removed, to add precisely the same amount).

Put a funnel into the fill / check level tube for transmission fluid.

Turn on engine (that was already warmed up (along with transmission) briefly, and then add as much transmission fluid as was flushed out into the container.

I did this alone, so I put the collecting container where I could see it, and only let about a quart come out at a time: Keep repeating, adding as much as has been drained.


And keep it up, with as many containers as it takes, until it runs clean and correct color. I've done it twice, and I've used between 2 and 3 gallons each time - I overdid it, but the setup, while easy, can be messy, takes an intellectual hurdle for me to start, so might as well overdo the cleansing.

I wonder, with this simple method, why people still drain?

I used a similar method about a decade ago, on an American car. Seems so much more kind than the drain 1/2 ideas, or those forced flush methods sold by shops, that cost more, and seem harsher.



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Re: 1999 V70 Transmission issues.

Post by scot850 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 12:16 pm

The flush does not guarantee to get any heavy particles out of the bottom of the transmission. That is why I do the drain for the first stage (replaces about 3.5 liters). You can then check for any metal parts in the oil.

The flush only will only pull out what the pump pushes through.

Neil.


2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
2006 XC70
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 Limited
2015 Kia Sportage EX-L
1993 850 GLT -Sold
1998 V70 XC - Sold
1997 Volvo 850 SE NA - Went to niece in California - Sold
2000 V70 SE NA - New project and test bed - Sold

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Re: 1999 V70 Transmission issues.

Post by FLXC90 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:48 pm

The Deep thud as it went into limp mode concerns me more. sounds like something got real unhappy.
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Current Volvos:
1998 V70 T5, 112k sat 5 years, still in mechanical coma (for sale )
2004 XC90 T6 AWD: 186k, 60 on transaxle ( traded in today)
1998 POS70 N/A: DD/training aid, 236k but really about 240k, I think...ABS module( passed on to son who sold it)

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Re: 1999 V70 Transmission issues.

Post by Twopointfourturbo » Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:33 pm

Update: A small-ish Volvo garage near the pick up location did a transmission flush and I tried to translate to them the process described by Neil, however I am not 100% sure they exactly followed it but they did run it up in between the different flush stages - anyways, afterwards we ran the car and it worked fine, I was not sure what you meant exactly by running up the temp(erature) but I assumed you meant according the temp gauge - it was at around mid level when I drove afterwards. After a short drive everything turned out fine, with both warning lights and the service light all turning off. After another drive (non-highway, ca. 20mins) we parked the car and on the next morning we planned to drive the car back to my home.

But wait, theres more! So after the flush, the next morning on the highway back everything seemed fine, car accelerated and revved fine but then after around 10mins of highway driving (with increased trans temp I assume) all the same aforementioned warning lights came back on in the exact same way, with the car again entering limp mode and again having a weird juddering/shaking coming from the wheel and chassis when in gear. With some work of putting it in N and then back I managed to get off the road gently and park.
Because I had to be back at home that evening (we were 4 countries across, thats Europe for you) I decided to have it transported back to my town after being assured that my insurance would cover the tow.

Now the V70 is sitting at the nearest local Volvo center/workshop and waiting on them to properly diagnose /check the problem, although I'm already considering to have the trans replaced (its the 4-Speed auto, confirmed by the dipstick), probably not worth rebuilding considering the original didn't have a flush before I got it (seeing as the garage showed me the brown/ black sludge which was flushed out and the original owner also stated that despite regular service intervals he didn't remember having the trans fluid flushed) and also based on the clunk I heard which I mentioned in the original post.
Another auto box aside, I saw that you can do a manual swap, or is that only possible on FWD models? Also do I need to find the exact same model of the auto box or can the 5 speed or pre 1999 gen1 V70 autos be adapted without much problems?

Finally, thanks for all the varied responses. This is my first time on a forum specific to one car brand and it's great to see all the concern/enthusiasm/interest.



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Re: 1999 V70 Transmission issues.

Post by abscate » Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:26 am

We did not get the AWD manual combination in the US but CANADA did. I’m not sure they got it on 99 but they probably did , in which case I’m sure it was available in EU.

The 99 is more electronic so you will have to get the ECU reprogrammed to not be looking for an AT if you do a swap.

It also has to be married to the car correctly or it won’t work


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