what does a flashing arrow light mean

Asked by Aug 23, 2007 at 04:57 PM about the 1999 Volvo S70 T5 Turbo

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

30 Answers


Hi dustremover1, Unfortunately, there's no one reason you might have the "flashing arrow". At this point, it simply means there is something wrong with the vehicle. I would take it to your Volvo dealership to at least have the computer trouble codes read. This should give you a hint as to what is wrong. Then you can make your decision to have it fixed. Good luck!

17 of 17 people found this helpful.

The arrow in the dashboard usually means that your car is in w"winter mode" or in third/low gear if you have an automatic, with a manual there should not be any orange arrows in the dashboard. If you have an automatic it is possible that your transmission is going into :limp mode" this is where the transmission starts in 3rd gear instead of first because it has detected a problem with itself, many times this happens because of a bad solenoid in the transmission.

38 of 38 people found this helpful.

It is a up shift light,It is telling you it does not like the way the tranny is shifting.

16 of 16 people found this helpful.

if your flashing arrow is flashing all the time, it means your transmission is toast, or else it's your PNP switch. to see if it's the PNP switch, row the shifter back and forth 15-20 times to clear the contact... and it should help. but if it still does it you need to replace your transmission

13 of 13 people found this helpful.

I had this problem on my V40 and found an answer in a response to someone with the problem on an 850. It seems to be all around the Volvo line. Try to reset the switch to normal. Turn the car off then turn the key to ON but do not start the car. Move the shifter back and forth between Drive and Park. My wife was doing it so I didn't see exactly what she did, but I think it took about 10 times before the arrow stopped flashing. We were told to expect it to go off, but instead it stayed on. When we restarted the car we were able to switch it out of Winter mode and all was well. Good luck. Thanks go to Jon whose answer this was.

45 of 45 people found this helpful.

Hi there- So im slightly confused. I just recently purchased a 1998 v70- The arrow does come on when I put the car in W (winter) mode... Does this arrow have a double meaning? Does it mean to shift if im not in the right gear... and that im just simply in W?

17 of 17 people found this helpful.

On Automatic Volvos the arrow light will appear if you have W(Winter/Wet) mode engaged. OR if you have the car in another drive gear besides D selected. On Manual Volvos equipped with the arrow light, this is your shift light. On an Automatic Volvo, the shift light flashing means there is a problem with the transmission. The most common problems are a bad shift solenoid or bad PNP switch. www.fcpgroton.com has the parts relatively cheap. The good news is both can be replaced without removing the transmission.

35 of 35 people found this helpful.

My 99 v70XC (215,000 miles) has the flashing arrow and high gear only (unless I manually shift to low and get a small downshift). I changed the PNP with no success. I took to Volvo dealer in Tulsa who charged $80 to tell me they needed another $100 to update the diagnostics software before they would even do the diagnostics. Is there a way to test the solenoid to see if that is the problem? i have spent $250 so far and am no closer to finding a resolution. I would prefer not to spend $125 on the solenoid to find out it was also not the issue. Thank you.

19 of 19 people found this helpful.

Who installed the PNP switch? The new switch may simply be out of adjustment. I beleive the car needs to be in neutral when this is installed. Cycle through the gears repeatedly as well, this sometimes resolves the issue. The only way to test the solenoids would to be pull them and take an ohm meter to them. I do not know what the readings should be. It would be easier finding someone that would scan the transmissions codes for free...or purchase a diagnostic tool for a laptop that supports all of the modules in the Volvo.

10 of 10 people found this helpful.

I have a 1999 S 70. The arrowon was blinking in my car as well. I put the key to the on position without starting the vehicle and moved the shifter approximately 12 times from park in to drive. It took the transmission of winter mode.

11 of 11 people found this helpful.

I have a 1999 S 70. this car has 290,000 miles... and this is the first time that the arrow is flashed in my car. The arrowon was blinking in my car as well. I put the key to the on position without starting the vehicle and moved the shifter approximately 12 times from park in to drive. It took the transmission of winter mode. I did talk to the person that was driving the vehicle when the arrow light came on.. he told me that he accidentally was driving the vehicle in 3. Which force the "winter"mode to kick in on the car

9 of 9 people found this helpful.

Before taking the car to a garage, CHECK THE AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION FLUID LEVEL. Low A.T.F level is often the cause in older autos of the gearbox not properly functioning. also, have you had the automatic transmission oil filter replaced ? I bet most people do not even realise there is one. There is one, usually accessed via the sump of the gearbox. Remember, oil matters, and oil does not last indefinetely

17 of 17 people found this helpful.

i was installing a stereo n grabbed the wrong fuse.the tranny fuse and when i started my volvo 960 1994 the light came on... what could that mean?

8 of 8 people found this helpful.

I tried the suggestions here - with no luck I'm afraid. I have still to take the car for a drive after 'rowing' the gear change lever a dozen times or more. The light is till flashing when I start the vehicle. Does anyone know an 'action sequence' to turn off the flashing light - since I do not have access to a laptop to do the job !

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

Here's some good news .......................... My 'flashing up arrow' issue has been solved AT ZERO COST AN EFFORT. It appears that the "W" Winter driving switch had been engaged at some time and remained ON despite all efforts to turn it off. Vigorous efforts and some lubricating oil finally 'unstuck' it - and now ALL IS WELL! A 600 mile trip due this coming week will give me a chance to thoroughly test it !! I hope this helps someone.

15 of 15 people found this helpful.

today my 1998 volvo check engine light and flashing orange arrow came on and I sure hope its not the transmission!!!

15 of 15 people found this helpful.

There is a way to turn it off ... I've done that a couple of times and after the second time it stayed off for months. Then, it came on again ! You'll find that trick on the internet - and I may have it in the car somewhere. Google it; and send me another shout if you don't succeed. When this happened ... I used the old trick of covering it with a small square of sticky black tape and forgetting it. After about 200 miles it went off again of it's own choice !! It appears designed to annoy you ... and not much else ... if you can; try to forget it is my best advice. I've done at least 4000 miles with it doing it's best to annoy me

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

when I had the relay switch put in yesterday the orange arrow stopped flashing and it went on again this a.m. First going to get it checked out by autozone and it is free.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Mine was the tps not plugged in all the way after servicing the oil trap. My fault. Also could be a bad tps too. Thank you guys so much for your web site.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Mill gate what exactly did you lubricate to get it to "unstuck"

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

Where is the solenoid located at ??

23 of 23 people found this helpful.

I have a 1998 Volvo s70 bought 2weeks ago..a week later the up arrow come on...the dealership I bought it won't help me even figure out what's wrong..its also flashing from winter mode to economic mode too..once in awhile the lights will turn off but come back on later that day.ever places is stumpped..I read it couple b the tranny.. And i read i shouldnt flush the tranny..the PNP switch or a solenoid..idk..how would I pinpoint what is wrong..I'm new to volvos..

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

run the gear shift back and forth and a few times, but mine was the plug on the throttle position sensor plug was not all the way in. or maybe dirty? I have had very good luck with mine after the cam seals were replaced for the oil leaks. good luck my volvo friend.


I will check that..I've ran the gears back and forth and it turns it off buy maybe later that day it will turn back on..buy thanks IMA check that out ..and my tranny fluid is dark and they say u don't need to flush them..but mine looks like I should..should I?..thanks a lot tho IMA look into that soon

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

In order to change the fluid completely you would have to tap into the cooler and drain and fill at the same time until the fluid is clean, or drain, fill, drive 50 miles, drain , fill, several times. This is what I,m doing.


I had an on going problem with the traction warning arrow coming on and putting my 960 auto into "limp mode" My Volvo mechanics tried all sorts of tests to resolve the issue and this included many computer diagnosis attempts. The problem was solved when the mechanic suggested that the speedo instrument panel could be the problem as that sends info to the engine/gearbox management regarding speed and gear matching. This problem was solved when I had a replacement used complete instrument panel fitted. I have 230000 miles on the clock now and there is never a flutter. The second hand instrument panel cost me £40 and Volmech of Thornaby on Teesside fitted it for £50. No more problems encountered. Thank you Volmech.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Wow, remind me of this when I ask again, everything is connected. Thank you!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I have a 1998 s70 volvo when you see check engine light take off your gas cap and put it back on that's usally the problem it may not go out right away if it doesnt keep trying it and always check your tracking modes to make sure you you're in the right gear sometimes if you disconnect the battery that will reset your car but make sure that you have the code to your radio if its the original radio cuz you will have to have that code to turn your radio on i got my code from the dealership hope this helps


I was just pulling into O'Reilly when the orange arrow stated flashing. My girlfriend and I bought this car used and this happened once before and I tried rocking the shifter which worked, until now. They read the codes and now the battery and oil light are on too and it won't even start.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Might me the ABS control module.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

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