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NHTSA — Engine And Engine Cooling: Cooling System Problems


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,342 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Volvo XC70 cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2002 Volvo XC70 Owner Comments

problem #2

Sep 222009


  • 82,885 miles


Slipping transmission while driving on straight aways and up hills on both of my Volvo's purchased as certified pre-owned vehicle's. the first vehicle (2002 Volvo S60 AWD) was traded in but the second one (2002 Volvo XC70 AWD) was repaired - both after 2 years of ownership and with warranties that had just expired. The slipping transmission occurred constantly while driving and would cause the car to slam into gear when accelerating and propel the car forward once the transmission engaged. I took the Volvo to the service shop and was told there wasn't an issue then when I brought it back again they explained that I would need a new transmission. When I took the xc 70 to a certified Volvo transmission specialist (not the dealer) we tested the transmission fluid and the test came back as positively showing the existence of radiator fluid which had leaked into the transmission fluid. The Volvo specialist explained to me that in recent years Volvo had made a change to how the transmission fluid was cooled. As a direct result of this design change to AWD vehicles (all AWD's) the transmission fluid was cooled by flowing through a pipe directly attached to the radiator. Over time the radiator fluid caused the cooling pipe to corrode and as a result radiator fluid was leaking into the transmission fluid causing the transmission to fail. Besides rebuilding the transmission the radiator also required replacement because we had to fix the leak at the source or it would continue to happen. Even though the repairs were made the problem could present itself again over time. It took only 80,000 for my Volvo XC70's transmission to fail. This seems like a serious design flaw and according to the multiple transmission specialist I spoke with they are seeing this problem more and more with all AWD Volvo's from 2000 to present day models.

- Issaquah, WA, USA

problem #1

Sep 042005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,800 miles
The caller said while driving at 55 mph coolant light on dashboard came on and the vehicle broke down and caught on fire. She said the light came on before she left for a trip, and the dealer said they fixed it. The caller said while on the trip the light came on again and she called dealer, and was told as long as the temperature was not rising the vehicle would be okay. The dealer said the problem was the coolant sensor. The caller stated the temperature did not climb before the vehicle lost power, stopped running, and caught on fire. There was a report filed by the fire department. Vehicle was totaled. Vehicle was badly burned to determine the cause of the fire.

- San Anselmo, CA, USA

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