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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
39,833 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Volvo XC90 Owner Comments

problem #3

Jun 232010


  • 70,000 miles


Vehicle has already had the transmission replaced at least once by previous owner. It went out again on us at about 70,000 miles. Had transmission replaced with "new high class Volvo parts" transmission. Now the engine is 3 times louder than before and we're in some serious money for our car. We're very disappointed.

- Ogden, UT, USA

problem #2

Dec 172008


  • 15,000 miles
Transmission replaced two times, at approx. 38,000 and at about 48,000 miles. Units start slipping when shifting to second gear and leave you right where you are until they decide to rengage. Ball joints and all four hubs replaced by 50,000 miles. Axles (front) need replacing now at 70,000 miles. Sway bar ends replaced at 55,000 miles. This is the neediest vehicle I have ever owned. Front bearings on drive shaft replaced last month, worn since abut fifteen thousand miles, finally got so loud that we could shake the drive shaft and get a quarter of play at the bearing set.

- Augusta, GA, USA

problem #1

May 012007

XC90 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,500 miles
I have my 2004 XC90 T6. At about 34K miles a noticeable 'thrum' began somewhere in the drivetrain. Original diagnosis was worn tires. After replacing tires, the noise has become worse. Now at 35K miles is very loud. New diagnosis is failing wheel bearing. A bit of research indicates I am not the only XC90 owner with a wheel bearing failure. Wheel bearing failures at 35K miles this should be declares a defect and recalled. Please research this problem.

- Westborough, MA, USA

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