My Tranny Adventure…

I’m an American living in Poland, and in 2006 we bought a Volvo V70 T5 wagon (“kombi”), year 2000. It was salvaged from an accident had by it’s Italian speaking Swiss owner and fixed like new by my cousin and his brother-in-law.

The car has a 2.3 litre engine with around 250 horsepower.

It has a 5 speed automatic transmission, and it has the option to switch into a semi-manual shifting mode. That is, an electronic shifter and no clutch.

Right now it has about 225,000 km (around 130k miles).

About two years ago, the transmission problem light came on the dash, and the shifting was hard and unsmooth.

A tranny oil flush and refill was done, making things pretty much back to normal.

But not long afterwards, very sporadic hard shifting would occur, and slowly it got to the unbearable point where we are today.

And the transmission problem light recently came back on on the dashboard.

So I took the car to my cousin Piotrek, who has an auto repair business connected to his house.

On the way to Piotrek’s, which is about a 2.5 to 3 hour drive, the car started out driving ok.

But it seemed that after it warmed up a ways into the trip, the problems started up and gradually got worse: hard gear shifts, rpm shooting up for couple seconds before finally engaging in gear, hard jolt when coming to a stop, for the most part.

It got to the point that I was a bit worried whether I’d make it or not, thinking the car may go into that dreaded Limp Home Mode or something.

Well I finally made it Piotrek’s despite the massive road construction going on everywhere, getting me lost for a while.

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Piotrek took the car for a test drive later on but the problems weren’t there, probably because the engine was cold and he only went for a short ride. This was repeated a couple times.

I searched around online for folks who had similar problems, reading a bunch of Volvo enthusiast forums and such.

The theme there seemed to be that you need to replace the tranny for problems of the type I was experiencing.

The average cost was around $4,000, that’s all (sarcasm intended).

Some folks commented that a tranny oil flush/refill or an updated tranny software from the dealer may help, but just as many refuted the idea.

So after a couple days of inaction trying to figure out what to do next, we brainstormed and made a decision.