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1999 V70 XC AWD AW50-42LE no fourth gear

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 XC AWD AW50-42LE no fourth gear

Post by Katethes40 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:30 am

Hey all!

I recently purchased a 1999 V70XC. It had/has delayed engagement of drive. Previous owner had done two drain and fills so fluid was fairly pink. It was at the time (250 miles ago) throwing a P0756 and immediately engaging limp mode.

I drove it home. Cleared the codes. It threw P0756 a few more times which I cleared while driving around town. Then it started throwing P0751. P0756 has not returned. It was no longer going into limp mode, so I ventured onto the interstate. That’s when I learned 4th gear does not work.

I have tried clearing the P0751 while on the interstate. Nothing. I did a third drain and fill which now has gears 1,2,3 shifting like butter.

Low, 3, and winter modes are working as are the reverse lights so I doubt the problem lies with the PNP.

I also doubt it is a solenoid because looking at the firing order of the solenoids both a and b are used in gears 1,2,3. In fourth they are both “off” per the manual.

Any ideas on how to get 4th back? I have this wagon for our Wisconsin winter because I wanted AWD. If I have to drive it all winter in gears 1,2 and 3 I guess it is what it is. Thanks in advance!!

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Re: 1999 V70 XC AWD AW50-42LE no fourth gear

Post by ecbsykes » Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:36 pm

Hey there. How many miles on this beast? The transmissions on the 98-00 XCs are pretty robust and it's not super common to have issues on them for the most part.

First need to start with the basics, like do we know if the PO did drain and fills with the correct fluid? I would assume so, since it doesn't take anything super fancy, but doesn't hurt to ask.

Is the fluid level correct? (Must be taken with engine running in Park, and ideally fluid hot. Ignore the "Cold" marks)

If the transmission is in limp mode (flashing arrow) or feels like it's driving in 3rd only, do not drive. You will damage it after a while. Also never use winter mode unless necessary, it's very hard on the trans.

It could still be an issue with the PNP. Personally, I would disconnect the battery for a while and try and let everything reset. Row the shifter up and down thru the range quickly and repeatedly for a minute. See if conditions persist and go from there.

Also, not to be the bearer of bad news, but I hope you did your research on these cars and the AWD system. They are fragile and it's usually a matter of when, not if, something will break. Two most common issues are bad main drive shaft, and bad angle gear or angle gear sleeve/collar. If it all works right now, consider yourself lucky and do a good drain/fill on the angle gear with Volvo gear oil. Make sure your tires all match and have similar tread. Mismatches will fry that angle gear quick.

Anyway, welcome to the fun world of old Volvo ownership. They're a pain, but we love them.

2000 V70XC - 288,000 miles
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Re: 1999 V70 XC AWD AW50-42LE no fourth gear

Post by wizechatmgr » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:39 pm

Happen to be able to pull codes with VIDA? It will give you better information as to the stuck solenoid's status - how many times it has happened, if it is intermittent, etc.

It could be that dirt ended up lodged in the solenoid and the valve cannot completely open/close. If you have someone handy you could remove the particular solenoid and clean or replace it.

VIDA should also be able to tell you if the car is asking for 4th gear from the transmission module. It may not if the throttle position is closer to wide open or you're on one heck of an incline.

Wisdom requires knowledge as a prerequisite, but knowledge can be developed due to a lack of wisdom.
In order to learn how to fix something, you must first learn how to break it.
1999 V70 XC AWD - ~183k miles

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