Notes: The XC90 took its “freshman 15” of transmission complaints and turned it into a “sophomore 45.” The 2004 XC90 saw 3X as many complaints about the transmission failing as it did in its inaugural North American model year! By the following year, transmission complaints fell back in line with the 2003. That sharp spike in complaints means we recommend avoiding the 2004.

On top of transmission complaints, the 2004 XC90 also has problems with a sudden loss of power. The lucky ones are met with a “reduced engine performance” message, while others are left stranded on the side of the road waiting for a tow.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,775 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.

2004 Volvo XC90 cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2004 Volvo XC90 Owner Comments

problem #4

Jun 062010


  • 57,100 miles


Purchased an '04 Volvo XC90 T6 on May 1st from a private seller. Did research on the vehicle through msn reliability, Volvo, etc. Only issue highlighted was engine concerns, not transmission. It wasn't until the transmission went out on June 6th that I found numerous consumer complaints about the transmission going out at around 60K miles. Mine went out at approx. 57K miles. I've contacted Volvo and asked about recalls, etc. And was told I should've driven my car, or had it towed 40+ miles to the dealership to have it diagnosed to then have it repaired at the dealership so that I might get a reimbursed. About two weeks prior to the "transmission service urgent" message on the dash I received a "coolant low stop engine." I've taken my Volvo to a certified Volvo repair service where the cost is going to be $5,335. The transmission went out after getting off the interstate and coming to a stop at a red light. When I tried to accelerate the car just wound.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #3

Apr 262000


  • 92,000 miles
1. I was driving my vehicle when the transmission did not shift from 2nd gear up on the highway. The check engine light came on, coolant low and urgent service of transmission. 2. the transmission issue was constant. 3. we took our vehicle to the Volvo dealership garage. It was determined that we needed a transmission replacement as well as coolant and other engine parts replaced. We were told that the faulty transmission damaged these other parts. We spoke to Volvo customer service and they originally acknowledged a problem with the T6 transmissions and said that Volvo would pay for the parts but not labor. We found out the labor would be $2000 or more. We called Volvo back and spoke to a debbie that threatened us if we pushed for Volvo to pay for labor, she might take back the original offer of paying for parts and told us she might have been willing to pay for labor if we had used a Volvo dealership for all of the inspection or other service saying "money in and money out of Volvo".

- Seneca Falls, NY, USA

problem #2

Jan 162010


  • 70,000 miles
Failed transmission; sudden/unanticipated loss of acceleration; at dealership for complete transmission replacement including required replacement of radiator and fuel lines.

- Saratoga, CA, USA

problem #1

Jun 032008


  • 76,000 miles
Transmission replaced June 08 front control arms and bushings and coolant reservoir replaced Sept. 08 thermostat & housing & temp sensor replaced Jan. 08 brake vacuum pump replaced for 2nd time Jan. 08 brake vacuum pump replaced Sept. 07 gasket, O-ring, hose clamp recall Sept. 07 power steering pump and brake vacuum pump installed July 07 steering rack solenoid replaced July 07 - (recall May 3, 08?) new Bridgestone tires May 07 upper engine torques mount replaced March 07 recall wiper arm 156, ball joint 157 Oct. 06 brake pad & rotors replaced Oct 06 upgrade software a & C July 05 ABS brakes warranty fix May 06 front pads & rear pads & rotors replaced Dec. 05 exhaust rubbing on driveline, install kit to hold exhaust off driveline Dec. 05 left rear wheel bearing & hub, rear pads & rotors replaced June 05 4 new tires June 05 turbo control valve replaced March 05 front pads and rotors replaced Oct. 04.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

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