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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Volvo S60

This is my first post; however, I have been viewed this forum for quite some time. I must say that I am pretty disgusted with the transmissions issues and the lack of repair I am experiencing with my S60. This is my third Volvo and more than likely my last.

I have a 2012 Volvo S60 T5 Red. The car was purchased in May of 2011 and currently has 55,000 miles (I drive constantly for work). Approximately one month ago, I began experiencing transmission delays, hesitations, and extremely rough downshifts. When stopping, my RPMs will surge and I will get a slight burst of acceleration. I have had several passengers notice the "kick."

I brought the car to Volvo of Memphis last Thursday, September 6. I drove 1.5 hours to get there and waited 4 hours until the 52,500 mile scheduled maintainence / TCM Software Update to be performed on the vehicle. They told me the update was applied and the transmission was fine. Upon driving the vehicle, I noticed that nothing was different about the harsh transmission behavior. I took the car back and the service manager said he forget to tell me that the problem will correct itself in 2-3 days due to the adaptive nature of the transmission. It has been 10-days since the TCM and the transmission is still stalling, hesitating, delaying in acceleration, and downshifting abruptly. I am calling the service manager tomorrow and discussing the issue with him. I am sure I will have to take another full day off of work and drive 80 miles to wait 4-6 hours and then drive 80-miles home for what? the same results. I will complete the e-mail survey and discuss the issue with VCNA. I only have 5,000 miles left on the warranty and I need the issue fixed.

I previously owned a 2004 Volvo XC90. I had it for two years and then noticed the exact same transmission behavior that I am experiencing now. I took it in the Bergeron Volvo of New Orleans. A service advisor told me that it just needed a new TCM upgrade and it would be fine. The update was applied. The XC still exhibited odd patterns of shifting but the service advisor assured me this was "normal." Two weeks later I was stranded on a highway 50-miles away from home with a completely broken transmission. The entire transmission needed to be replaced ($6,000) so I just traded the car in for a S40. I owned a S40 that was problem free until I traded it in for this S60.

All other issues I have had with this car are minor except the transmission.

2012 Volvo S60 Issues Thus Far: 55,000 miles currently on vehicle

1.) Sunroof Leaks Inside Vehicle During Car Wash (Attempted Repair 3 x with no solutions) - Finally Gave Up
2.) Front Rotors and Pads Replaced at 35,000 miles
3.) AC Compressor is very loud and makes a churning noise (Not Reported)
4.) Major Transmission Issues (TCM Update Performed to no avail)

I am throwing in the towel on Volvos. I am 27-years old and I am confident I will never again purchase a Volvo. The funny thing is that I have asked around and transmission problems are very rare. My father and mother (Both in their late 50s have never had transmission problems). I have owned 3-Volvos (Two purchased New) in ten years and have experienced transmission issues with TWO! Ask around and see how many people you know who have had multiple vehicles with transmission problems. Volvos simply lack quality.



2004 Volvo XC90 T6 Black (Transmission Failed at 65,000 miles)
2008 Volvo S40 Black
2012 Volvo S60 T5 Red (Transmission Issues Continued and Unresolved)
Future: No Volvos
 

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Sorry for your troubles. The XC90 T6 was known to have a weak transmission so I'm not totally surprised by that. You may want to take your car to a different dealer if the problem is still uncorrected and elevate to a regional service advisor (or whatever the title is). Sometimes it's good to take a break with a brand of cars to see what else is out there - you may be happier with another make.
 

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mine still has a harsh down shift too. i also had the tcm flash done,no help.
 

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I had my TCM flash done and it's a lot better than before. Still the occasional rough shifting, but otherwise a lot smoother than before. I got the sunroof leaks and yea, just give up. Volvo doesn't care. First year lemon cars imo.

Since you guys got the lemon laws, use it.
 

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As far as the XC90 T6 AWD killing its transmission I'm sadly not surprised by this (why Volvo chose a 4 speed from Government Motors I have NO idea). As far as the new issues with the transmission I am at a loss for words, and the only lame excuse I have to say is that it was a 1st model year car. I've had my 1999 V70 XC (supposedly one of the more problematic models) without anything going out other than a fuel sensor. Though, if you will for sure get rid of your S60 I will give you the advice to stay completely away from VW or Audi (they're the reason I've owned nothing but Volvos after those cars...) as they are a constant nightmare of problems from any year any model from either brand. According to JD Power & IntelliChoice BMW is slightly above average for reliability and Volvo is the most reliable european auto maker with MErcedes Benz coming in at 2nd place. Undoubtedly the most reliable of luxury brands is either a Lexus or Acura (as far as overall Lexus is 1st, Acura 2nd, Infiniti 6th, Volvo 10th, Mercedes 11th, BMW 23rd, VW 59th, Audi 62nd...) Hope everything works out in the end for you!
 

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I had my TCM flash done and it's a lot better than before. Still the occasional rough shifting, but otherwise a lot smoother than before. I got the sunroof leaks and yea, just give up. Volvo doesn't care. First year lemon cars imo.

Since you guys got the lemon laws, use it.
+1. The TCM software upgrade resolved about 90% of the rough shifting problem on my S60. I can live with the occasional slight thump.

Geo, there is a new recall #253 in the States on AC problem caused by mis-adjustment of the thermal expansion valve. If your AC is still acting up, you might want to check into it.
 

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This is my first post; however, I have been viewed this forum for quite some time. I must say that I am pretty disgusted with the transmissions issues and the lack of repair I am experiencing with my S60. This is my third Volvo and more than likely my last.

I have a 2012 Volvo S60 T5 Red. The car was purchased in May of 2011 and currently has 55,000 miles (I drive constantly for work). Approximately one month ago, I began experiencing transmission delays, hesitations, and extremely rough downshifts. When stopping, my RPMs will surge and I will get a slight burst of acceleration. I have had several passengers notice the "kick."

I brought the car to Volvo of Memphis last Thursday, September 6. I drove 1.5 hours to get there and waited 4 hours until the 52,500 mile scheduled maintainence / TCM Software Update to be performed on the vehicle. They told me the update was applied and the transmission was fine. Upon driving the vehicle, I noticed that nothing was different about the harsh transmission behavior. I took the car back and the service manager said he forget to tell me that the problem will correct itself in 2-3 days due to the adaptive nature of the transmission. It has been 10-days since the TCM and the transmission is still stalling, hesitating, delaying in acceleration, and downshifting abruptly. I am calling the service manager tomorrow and discussing the issue with him. I am sure I will have to take another full day off of work and drive 80 miles to wait 4-6 hours and then drive 80-miles home for what? the same results. I will complete the e-mail survey and discuss the issue with VCNA. I only have 5,000 miles left on the warranty and I need the issue fixed.

I previously owned a 2004 Volvo XC90. I had it for two years and then noticed the exact same transmission behavior that I am experiencing now. I took it in the Bergeron Volvo of New Orleans. A service advisor told me that it just needed a new TCM upgrade and it would be fine. The update was applied. The XC still exhibited odd patterns of shifting but the service advisor assured me this was "normal." Two weeks later I was stranded on a highway 50-miles away from home with a completely broken transmission. The entire transmission needed to be replaced ($6,000) so I just traded the car in for a S40. I owned a S40 that was problem free until I traded it in for this S60.

All other issues I have had with this car are minor except the transmission.

2012 Volvo S60 Issues Thus Far: 55,000 miles currently on vehicle

1.) Sunroof Leaks Inside Vehicle During Car Wash (Attempted Repair 3 x with no solutions) - Finally Gave Up
2.) Front Rotors and Pads Replaced at 35,000 miles
3.) AC Compressor is very loud and makes a churning noise (Not Reported)
4.) Major Transmission Issues (TCM Update Performed to no avail)

I am throwing in the towel on Volvos. I am 27-years old and I am confident I will never again purchase a Volvo. The funny thing is that I have asked around and transmission problems are very rare. My father and mother (Both in their late 50s have never had transmission problems). I have owned 3-Volvos (Two purchased New) in ten years and have experienced transmission issues with TWO! Ask around and see how many people you know who have had multiple vehicles with transmission problems. Volvos simply lack quality.

2004 Volvo XC90 T6 Black (Transmission Failed at 65,000 miles)
2008 Volvo S40 Black
2012 Volvo S60 T5 Red (Transmission Issues Continued and Unresolved)
Future: No Volvos
A few thoughts:

1. As long as you REPORT a problem before your warranty runs out, if the eventual resolution involves a part that was under warranty when you REPORT the problem, then you won't have to pay for the resolution even if the warranty has expired by the time the dealer finally fixes it.
2. I'd suggest that you ask the dealer for a loaner while they work on your car. This is very common for cars purchased at the dealer and/or under warranty. I used to live 1.5 hours from my dealer and I'd bring my car up first thing in the morning one day and pick it up on a later day so I didn't have to miss any work.
3. Don't GIVE UP. As long as the dealer can reproduce the problem while they have the car, they should be obligated to fix it. This applies to #1, #3, and #4 in your list. #2 is a wear item, depends on your driving style.
4. If they dealer claims they can't reproduce something, ask to take the service manager or lead tech for a drive and reproduce the problem yourself with them in the passenger seat.
5. Could there be something odd about your driving style that kills transmissions? ;)
 

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A few thoughts:

1. As long as you REPORT a problem before your warranty runs out, if the eventual resolution involves a part that was under warranty when you REPORT the problem, then you won't have to pay for the resolution even if the warranty has expired by the time the dealer finally fixes it.
2. I'd suggest that you ask the dealer for a loaner while they work on your car. This is very common for cars purchased at the dealer and/or under warranty. I used to live 1.5 hours from my dealer and I'd bring my car up first thing in the morning one day and pick it up on a later day so I didn't have to miss any work.
3. Don't GIVE UP. As long as the dealer can reproduce the problem while they have the car, they should be obligated to fix it. This applies to #1, #3, and #4 in your list. #2 is a wear item, depends on your driving style.
4. If they dealer claims they can't reproduce something, ask to take the service manager or lead tech for a drive and reproduce the problem yourself with them in the passenger seat.
5. Could there be something odd about your driving style that kills transmissions? ;)
+1. I would also highly recommend contacting VCNA if you are having problems getting specific issues resolved.
 

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I feel your pain. I had serious transmission issues with my 2001 XC70 which required me and my car to spend a lot of time at the dealership. Unfortunately, I have to confess I'm too concerned with crash safety to buy anything else. Sorry you're having so many issues with the S60. On the bright side, at least this problem is less common as years go by.
 

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Well, I´ve had 5 Volvos now including the new V60. They are not perfect, indeed, such thing doesn´t exist, not even Toyotas, but they have all been great cars provided you take care of them. I find it funny when people just sign in a forum just to complain about their problems in their cars, when truth is, many times its how you drive your car that ends up breaking up things.

The vast majority of people in this forum have cars with no issues or only minor things, so perhaps you had bad luck, or its your driving style.
 

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The vast majority of people in this forum have cars with no issues or only minor things, so perhaps you had bad luck, or its your driving style.
Actually, 3 of the 4 items that he complained about others here have also complained about. I only have the quirky shifting issue but by no means am I disgusted by it. Every automatic that I've driven has a bit of quirkiness even the coveted DSGs. I just acknowledge the deficiency and move on. If it starts to interfere with drivability then you should pursue a solution with VCNA.

I've had my Volvo (my first) for about a year and half now (20,000 miles) and I'm very happy so far. Only issues are software updates to Sensus (software is an area Volvo does need to work on). It is a bit more quirky than other manufacturers but it meets all my requirements better than the competition so for me it's Volvo for now :)
 

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I have 25K plus on my car and it has been basically trouble free. I had a few occasions of the clunky downshifts, but since my last service at 22K miles it seems to have dissapeared, so I guess the dealer worked his software magic and took care of it. We just returned from a 3800 mile trouble free trip averaging 30+ mpg on the road. This is our second Volvo to own since 2009, and I couldn't be happier.

Sorry to hear about your problems and good luck with your future car owning experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think what I am disgusted about is my experience with Volvo Transmissions.

In 2006, I purchased a 2004 Volvo XC90 T6 that lasted two years until the transmission completely malfunctioned. It cost me $6,000 on my trade in.

I purchased a 2008 Volvo S40 and it was fine with no major problems.

I then purchased a 2012 Volvo S60 T5 and I am experiencing transmission issues again that were not resolved with the "patch."

I guess 33% is pretty lucky. I can assume based on prior experience that 1 out 3 Volvos that I purchased might not have transmission issues.

As far as it being related to my driving style, THAT IS GARBAGE. I drive normal and accelerate in a stable manner. I have owned two Jeep Grand Cherokees and a mustang with absolutely NO problems.

For those who continue to suggest that the transmission issues are related to my driving style, continue to bury your head in the sand and "hope for the best"
 

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I think those driving style comments were aimed more toward your brakes than the transmission. While I certainly understand your worries given your past experience with the XC90 but do keep in mind other manufacturers have had major problem with transmissions as well. The Ford Taurus, Honda minivans, and VW DSG for few years were all causes of major headaches. Of coarse that doesn't excuse the problem. I have not read anything here about transmission failures with the S60 and I believe this transmission is made by a reputable company and used in other vehicles. I have only experienced occasional rough downshifts that really do not concern me but if your transmission is acting worse you should press the issue. Maybe take it to a transmission specialist to get a second opinion. At least you could gain some ammunition to fire at VCNA.
 

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You bought a 2004 XC90 in 2006, and 2 years later, the transmission crapped out. That should have been covered by warranty. (4/50 std or 6/100 CPO).

I think you need to find a different dealer.
 

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Driving style should have no effect on transmission reliability. This isn't a manual where you can burn out a clutch by riding it too often. I think the OP has just had some really bad luck ... and not been helped out by his dealers' service departments.

Volvo does, in fact, have a pretty solid overall repair record and is well rated in Consumer Reports' surveys. Although there have been some issues, as with any car, they are not particularly common. As others have suggested here, I think a trip to another dealer or a complaint to Volvo directly might be the way to go. I personally would not tolerate this type of poor service from any car dealer.
 

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Driving style should have no effect on transmission reliability.
If you are hard on the transmission, it will heat up and die young. Automatic transmissions tend to especially build heat in stop and go traffic, mountainous terrain, and when towing. Aggressive driving can also have this effect. The transmission in my 2001 V70 didn't start to have a fit until I beat the hell out of it in manual mode when I was bored. These things are not indestructible, and the way you drive and the situations you put them in will have a significant effect on their lifespan. But I'm not saying OP's driving style is to blame - some are just defective, and some people do just have bad luck.
 

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I think what I am disgusted about is my experience with Volvo Transmissions.

In 2006, I purchased a 2004 Volvo XC90 T6 that lasted two years until the transmission completely malfunctioned. It cost me $6,000 on my trade in.

I purchased a 2008 Volvo S40 and it was fine with no major problems.

I then purchased a 2012 Volvo S60 T5 and I am experiencing transmission issues again that were not resolved with the "patch."

I guess 33% is pretty lucky. I can assume based on prior experience that 1 out 3 Volvos that I purchased might not have transmission issues.

As far as it being related to my driving style, THAT IS GARBAGE. I drive normal and accelerate in a stable manner. I have owned two Jeep Grand Cherokees and a mustang with absolutely NO problems.

For those who continue to suggest that the transmission issues are related to my driving style, continue to bury your head in the sand and "hope for the best"
Well, yes the transmission in the XC90 T6 was bound to break (it was taken from a Cadillac... Why, I have no idea). But as far as the transmission driving style it could (though not stating it's common or your fault) be a cause because none of those other cars had adaptive transmissions which "learned" your driving style. As far as Volvo's transmission reliability it's an extremely common problem on the XC90 T6 and almost unheard of in the S40 and S60. Sorry.
 

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Owners of older Volvos are used to being able to put 250K-300K miles easy on Rear Wheel Drive Volvos without transmission issues, I've never had to replace/rebuild a transmission on a RWD Volvo. My first FWD Volvo transmission failed (1998 C70). I personally would recommend changing the transmission fluid at least every 2 years/30K miles especially if you aren't using a fully synthetic transmission fluid. I rack up at least 20K miles a year on my Volvos and ever since my first FWD Volvo experience I have learned to keep the transmission fluid fresh. Unfortunately it seems the newer the Volvo model the harder it is to renew the transmission fluid.

I've drained and refilled the automatic transmission fluid in my 2005 S60R 3X over the past year (3.5 quarts to 3.75 quarts per) with Mobil 3309 but plan on doing a complete flush and refill with Redline Synthetic D4 before the year is out.
I think the compactness of the newer FWD Volvos transmissions and high torque of the powerful turbocharged engine make them experience more heat related wear. I would imagine the greater surface area of transmission cases in older RWD Volvos and their positioning allowed for them to be cooled better by air flow.
 
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