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Very strange transmission behavior 98 V70XC

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quarl
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Very strange transmission behavior 98 V70XC

Post by quarl » Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:39 pm

OK so I've searched and searched and I can't locate anything like what I'm experiencing.

I'm having an issue with the transmission refusing to shift into higher gears. Not always 4th, sometimes at takeoff, sometimes on the highway at speed.

And sometimes it will kickdown on the highway at 70 MPH.

There is absolutely no predictability on conditions when it happens or doesn't happen - cold or hot, slow or fast, ambient temps low or high - makes no difference.

Adding to the mystery, if I switch to winter mode it will shift into the higher gear. Sometimes, after I've hit high gear and turn off winter mode it will stay in high gear, sometimes it will kickdown.

I can go weeks with it shifting fine and then have weeks where it won't ever shift right without winter mode. (I suppose I could just leave it in winter mode but it's like swimming through peanut butter.)

I've run 2 gallons of ATF through it with drain and fill (gravity version). The first time I did it, maybe 6 weeks ago, the fluid was pretty nasty and it drove great for a week or so and I assumed that was it. But then the shift issue returned. Just did another 3.5 qts last weekend and it made no difference.

The ol' girl has over 200K on the clock but there's almost nothing I haven't done to keep her on the road in the 9ish years I've owned her. I've utilized this forum every step of the way and can usually find what I'm after. But this one has me completely flummoxed.

Any ideas???

Carl



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abscate
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Re: Very strange transmission behavior 98 V70XC

Post by abscate » Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:45 pm

If a drain and fill series doesn’t help you pretty much have to decide between a valve body job or a trans swap.

Also a high end scanner mit pick up TCM codes for guidance even if the check engine light is off
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Re: Very strange transmission behavior 98 V70XC

Post by quarl » Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:04 pm

Abscate, thanks for your speedy reply. I've been wondering if this might point toward solenoids, which you didn't mention.



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Re: Very strange transmission behavior 98 V70XC

Post by MoVolvos » Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:49 pm

What brand of fluids did you put in? At that age it makes a difference. It did initially which was a good sign.


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Re: Very strange transmission behavior 98 V70XC

Post by quarl » Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:44 pm

MoVolvos, I used El Cheapo Wal-Mart brand. I figured that if I was throwing it away I didn't want to use expensive stuff.



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Re: Very strange transmission behavior 98 V70XC

Post by MoVolvos » Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:16 pm

-
Not good, but great since you can consider that a flushing fluid. Get a case of this JWS 3309 Full Synthetic ASAP before it goes up. Can use the MVS link to help with this website at no cost to you. Additives in the fluid matter!

https://www.amazon.com/HAVOLINE-2265364 ... svolvo3-20
Price: $53.08 & FREE Shipping

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=91541&start=10#p522327

Additives in the fluid matter! My GoTo transmission oil for a dying transmission but it's really expensive now and I've found thus far the Haveline is working out fine.

viewtopic.php?t=46720#p231111
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Re: Very strange transmission behavior 98 V70XC

Post by quarl » Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:38 pm

I've got my fingers crossed that someone will have some insight as to what the symptoms represent and why the winter mode switch makes it shift. That seems like a tasty clue to me...



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Re: Very strange transmission behavior 98 V70XC

Post by MoVolvos » Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:09 pm

quarl wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 8:38 pm
I've got my fingers crossed that someone will have some insight as to what the symptoms represent and why the winter mode switch makes it shift. That seems like a tasty clue to me...
I think your transmission is working fine believe it or not, especially Winter Mode. It makes the car go into top gear so in a snowy situation it does not spin the tires starting in low gear. Since you are already at speed pushing the W button override other parameters and just puts you in the top gear, confusing you about the real shifting issues.

Do a flush with a quality fluid to fix your other problems as it did initially and don't pay attention to the normal operation of the W Mode.

http://volvoxc90site.com/w-button-xc90- ... ode-heres/


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Re: Very strange transmission behavior 98 V70XC

Post by quarl » Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:35 am

MoVolvos, thanks for your feedback but I believe your description is inaccurate. Winter mode starts in 3rd gear, not "top" gear, which would be 4th. If I'm in 3rd on the highway and it's refusing to push into 4th there's no obvious reason W would push it into 4th.

That's what makes it so mysterious.



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Re: Very strange transmission behavior 98 V70XC

Post by MoVolvos » Thu Oct 31, 2019 4:44 pm

quarl wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:35 am
MoVolvos, thanks for your feedback but I believe your description is inaccurate. Winter mode starts in 3rd gear, not "top" gear, which would be 4th. If I'm in 3rd on the highway and it's refusing to push into 4th there's no obvious reason W would push it into 4th.

That's what makes it so mysterious.
May want to check your manual for specifics. Is your Shifter D, 3, 2, L? W Mode may shift from 3rd from a stop but if you are at freeway speed and accidentally depress the W Button one would think Volvo would be smart enough to let it shift to 4th or stay in 4th in order to make driving normal besides safe. Imagine WOT at 120mph (on a track please) and you accidentally push the W Button.

Not sure how much it will cost for a shop to diagnose the problem but at $55, beside putting in the right fluid, it's a pretty cheap way to find out if a quality ATF is the fix.


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BKM

1998 S70 T5 - Donated
2003 S80 T6
2003 GS300
2003 Odyssey
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2019 Atlas SE 4 Motion

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