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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! I am new to Swedespeed so forgive me if this is in the wrong forum or anything else. I don't know much about cars and figured this would be a good place to come for some advice.

I am 21 years old and getting ready to graduate college. My parents bought me my 2000 S70 for my 16th birthday and I love the car. It is dark blue with a dark gray leather interior, pretty rosewood inlay and nice heated seats! I am very sentimental about it and all the memories I've had (and had hoped to make in the future) with it. I have driven it from the Pacific NW down to Georgia where I am now, to Florida, New Orleans, Charleston....so many good memories. It has 182k miles on it and the interior/exterior are perfect.

A little over a year ago, I noticed that occasionally, when I went up a hill or accelerated to get on the highway, the transmission (automatic) would have some hard shifts that scared me. It would also "zoom" forward (sorry, don't know the technical term) when this happened. The shop basically told me that the transmission was on its way out and to just keep driving the car.

A few weeks ago, I took it in to the shop because the air dam plopped off (I hit a parking berm a little roughly, oops) and mentioned that the hard shifts had been getting harder and more frequent. The owner took it out for a test drive and when he came back, told me to start looking for a new car because the transmission was going to croak any day. He didn't even want to take my money for an oil change.

My question is, should I rebuild/remanufacture the transmission? Or say goodbye and start looking for a new-used Volvo? My original shop was pretty nasty about insisting I ditch the car and that I would be "stupid" to put any more money in. Another shop (which was much nicer to me) quoted me 3300 for the rebuilt transmission which includes parts & labor. Another thing to consider is that I need a new catalytic converter which the nice shop quoted at 1200. Final thing to consider is that I am paying for everything myself (broke scholarship student) and am scared about taking out an auto loan.

Any advice is appreciated! Thank you for reading! Hug your Volvo today :(
 

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Well you have a few options...

Change the transmission fluid... it might help.

Buy another used Volvo (I would suggest another 1999-2000 turbocharged S70/V70/V70XC or a 2004-2007 V70/S60/XC70).

Buy a used transmission... it's an AW50-42, because it is turbocharged, not the problematic AW55 IIRC. Shouldn't be more than a few hundred dollars to do. Labor is the killer with transmission swaps because everything is mounted sideways. If you could do the labor yourself that's what I would do.

As for the catalytic converter $1200 is steep. A catted downpipe is $700 and the labor is a few hours... If it was AWD then you'd have some issues because of subframe, angle gear, downpipe clearance issues.
 

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I would have a used one put in. The 4-speeds are pretty robust and the only real killer is the fact Volvo says it's a lifetime service, which means you don't have to ever change the fluid...total crap. Used, decent mileage units are anywhere from $200-$400 at reputable salvage yards, if you are in Georgia there are a few good places I can recommend. Only thing is if you can't do the job your self, the labor can be costly.
 

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Cat from FCP is like 450. Thats a whole new down pipe turbo to muffler section. Not the easiest job but its the down pipe to turbo bolts (use pb blaster for a week first to get them unstuck you dont want to break these), two oxygen sensors and the muffler connection. Couple hours if you have tools, pretty self explanatory if youre comfortable working on your own vehicle.

2000 may or may not be a 5 speed auto. Figure that out before making any decisions. If its not the 5 speed, worth a swap. If it is, find another GLT same colors and you have a parts car for it.
 

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Your shop probably could have been nicer about it but these cars are just about fully depreciated and expensive repairs won't have much, if any impact on their resale value. However, if you like it and you can see yourself driving it for a while then it might make sense to fix it. The catalytic converter can probably wait unless it's keeping you from passing inspection or getting the car registered. As for the transmission I'd see if you can find a good used one, as others have suggested. The labor to have it installed will still be expensive, but it should be considerably more affordable than a rebuilt one and with good fluid it should last for at least as long as the rest of the car.

That being said, you could probably find a similar S70 that doesn't need nearly as much work for less than your shop would charge just for the transmission replacement, so I'd probably shop around on Craigslist and see what's out there before committing to the repairs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Should I be worried about how long a used vs. rebuilt transmission will last? The shop quoted me 1650 parts and labor for the used w. 6 months of warranty.

Also I realized, I was looking at the wrong estimate! The cheaper catalytic converter estimate I got was actually $960. I do need to fix it since GA has strict emissions standards and I want to get it registered here.

I don't know how to do anything on my car...not even changing the oil! Shameful, I know.
 

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Should I be worried about how long a used vs. rebuilt transmission will last? The shop quoted me 1650 parts and labor for the used w. 6 months of warranty.

Also I realized, I was looking at the wrong estimate! The cheaper catalytic converter estimate I got was actually $960. I do need to fix it since GA has strict emissions standards and I want to get it registered here.

I don't know how to do anything on my car...not even changing the oil! Shameful, I know.
A *good* used transmission should last the serviceable life of the vehicle. I'm sure there are low mileage units out there from wrecked vehicles that will provide years of quality service. I have a used transmission in my V70. Shifts like new, not sure of the exact mileage, but probably around 100K, while the rest of the car has 220K. $1650 is a fair price, considering its about 8 hours labor for the transmission removal & replacement, fluids and the transmission it's self. Wouldn't hurt to replace the rear main seal while in there. Just make sure they are doing quality work. There are a lot of hacks out there who will screw your car up making it a constant problem.

I see this more often, you get a $2000+repair bill for your old car which isn't worth much to the used car market-but then again you like the car, it's paid for, it's well kept, it would be worth it to fix rather then starting over with another used car, or worse a new car that comes with a monthly wallet sucker payment.
 

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Buy a used tranny with a warranty, obviously change out ALL the fluid.
Buy a used DP with a CAT converter
Should save you thousands
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A *good* used transmission should last the serviceable life of the vehicle. I'm sure there are low mileage units out there from wrecked vehicles that will provide years of quality service. I have a used transmission in my V70. Shifts like new, not sure of the exact mileage, but probably around 100K, while the rest of the car has 220K. $1650 is a fair price, considering its about 8 hours labor for the transmission removal & replacement, fluids and the transmission it's self. Wouldn't hurt to replace the rear main seal while in there. Just make sure they are doing quality work. There are a lot of hacks out there who will screw your car up making it a constant problem.

I see this more often, you get a $2000+repair bill for your old car which isn't worth much to the used car market-but then again you like the car, it's paid for, it's well kept, it would be worth it to fix rather then starting over with another used car, or worse a new car that comes with a monthly wallet sucker payment.
Sorry to reply so late! When considering used vs. rebuilt and the 'serviceable life' of the car, are you getting at the fact that well, in 2 years or however long the used transmission will last, something huge will probably also go wrong that will be so expensive that it will be truly time for a new-used car? And therefore the rebuilt transmission would be a waste because it would outlive everything else on the car?

Thank you so much for explaining all of this. Otherwise I would've initially dismissed the used transmission as a bad idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If anyone ever digs up this thread someday or comes across it with Google, I did end up replacing the transmission with a used transmission. So far, so good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes, still automatic! $1650 for parts and labor, and I let the mechanic find the transmission. He said when he took mine out it was completely black and everything was worn down. Just hoping to get a few years out of it so I can save up for another used Volvo...
 
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