Car trouble is never a walk in the park—it always interferes with our day, week, month, or even year. It generally costs us time, money, effort, and energy that we can’t get back; however, the cost of fixing car issues is usually a small price to pay for ensuring our safety on the road or protecting our financial investment. Transmission issues are especially troubling to Volvo drivers, as once problems worsen it can lead to one of the most expensive repairs, besides a total engine replacement.
Recognizing the signs of transmission trouble early on is your best bet for avoiding more serious issues down the road. Transmission problems never get better on their own, and symptoms usually worsen a time goes on if they go unaddressed. Many drivers typically ignore car issues for an extended period of time, which can cause the other parts and systems of your Volvo to become affected or damaged, increasing your repair bill significantly as time passes. In order to properly determine if your Volvo needs transmission work, or if the transmission is close to failure, we’ve compiled a list of the most commonly recognized transmission symptoms in Volvo cars:
Difficulty Shifting Gears
Since the transmission is responsible for regulating gear shifting, it is quite common to notice it having issues shifting gears when problems arise. Whether you drive a manual or automatic Volvo, the transmission is still in charge of gear shifting. The cause of the problem could be related to the type, quality, or level of transmission fluid. It could also be related to specific transmission parts like the clutch.
When you hear concerning noises coming from your car, it’s always a good idea to have it checked out right away. When your Volvo exhibits odd noises, like grinding, clunking, whining, or loud humming, especially while in neutral, it’s quite possible that the transmission is on its way out, or at the very least experiencing some problems. The source of the issue could be due to any number of problems with the suspension, but mostly concerning noises are related to worn out parts that need replacement.
Gear Slippage and/or Shifting Hesitation
While your Volvo might experience difficulty shifting into gears, it might also more specifically encounter gear slippage or shifting hesitation. In an automatic car, transmissions are designed to shift gears intuitively once the car reaches a specific RPM; if the car doesn’t naturally do this, or it hesitates between gears shifting, this is problematic and dangerous. In manual cars, the same applies, and it might slip into neutral on it’s own, making it especially dangerous and unpredictable.
Check-Engine Light Illuminated
Hopefully your car alerts you of transmission trouble in other ways before signs of failure are noticeable. The check-engine light is one way for your Volvo to indicate that you need to have an inspection performed. When the car detects a performance issue, the check engine light becomes illuminated and emits a specific code that tells you what the specific problem area is. Specialized Automotive professionals have the proper tools and equipment to read such codes, diagnose the problem, and put a treatment plan in place for repair.
Transmission Fluid Leaks or Burning Smells
The transmission fluid is what makes it possible to shift gears smoothly and keeps unnecessary friction from causing part failure. When your Volvo’s transmission springs a leak, it loses the fluid that keeps it running smoothly. It is common for drivers to notice the burning smell of an overheating transmission, or visibly see pools of transmission fluid beneath the car.
Why It’s Important to Address Transmission Issues Right Away
Transmission issues, among a few other performance problems, are some of the most daunting to drivers. Transmission repairs can be costly and time-consuming, leaving us wondering if we’ll ever get our old, reliable cars back. Here at Fast Lane European in San Jose, CA, we have an extensive background working with a variety of Volvo vehicles models and years, making us one of the top-rated specialty automotive shops in the area. If you’re experiencing any of the aforementioned troubling symptoms in your car, it’s possible that the transmission is about to fail. To prevent catastrophic damage, maintain your safety, and keep your repair bills lower, it’s critical to address these issues right away. Please contact us to schedule a transmission inspection to ensure your safety and keep your Volvo in good condition.
* Volvo V90 Engine image credit goes to: teddyleung.