Transmission / ABS - Somehow Related?


Asked by Aug 19, 2010 at 10:31 PM about the 2000 Volvo S70 Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2000 Volvo S70 with roughly 130,000 miles on it and recently had some work done (alignment, oil change, ball joint replacement). Over the past couple months, the ABS and traction lights have been coming on intermittently due to what I was told is the ABS control unit beginning to fail. Today, the overdrive light began flashing and the check engine light came on. While at a stoplight, the car reved for a moment and refused to move for around 30 seconds, but has been running fine otherwise. Could the impending failure of the ABS or the recent work have anything to do with the overdrive issue? If not, other thoughts?

Thank you very much.

9 Answers


The ABS/Trac light issue has nothing to do with the blinking transmission light. The ABS/Trac lights come on intermittently because the solder joint on the circuit board of the abs control unit crack over time. A blinking Shift light is the transmission computer telling you there is something wrong. In most cases its the PNP switch, you can try cleaning it up, but its better to replace it. With the car off and your foot on the break take it move the ear shift rapidly through all gears, sometimes this will fix it. Heres a good link.

8 of 8 people found this helpful.

I had a similar problem with my 2000 S70 Volvo. Mine started as the cruis control not working (failing to engage when I pressed the switch on the directional signal arm). Months later the odometer showed dash lines instead of numbers, then would wok fine an hour later. Then the speedometer started to drop to 0 MPH from time to time. Then the ABS and various other lights would come on and stay on for various amounts of time, or unitl the car engine was stopped and started again. Then, the transmission started shifting crazy. The symptoms got progressively worse and more complex over a period of weeks while I tried to diagnose the problem and researched for solutions. The culprit turned out to be the electonic ABS module which is bolted onto the ABS pump unit and master cylinder. This assembly is located up against the firewall on the drivers side of the engine compartment. You can barely see it thru the maze of other engine controls and components. I sent the ABS control unit off to a guy in California named Victor Rojka (my spelling may be off a little) for testing and fixing. He charged approximately $125 including the postage. It worked like a charm for the 12-16 months I owned the car after I I mad the fix. You will find Victor on-line and his website will show you how to remove the ABS unit etc. and give you some diagnosis tips. You can drive the car while the ABS unit is off the car. Having said ALL of that, I CANNOT tell you definitively that you have the same problem I had! The problem with the new generation of computer-controlled cars is simply that "everything connects to everything else" and it is often difficult (even for the professionals apparently) to isolate problems down to the faulty component. However, try the following. I did this on my S70 before I actually removed the unit and sent it to Victor. Go to Victor's web-site and follow the directions about how to reveal teh ABS control unit (remove air filter box, etc, takes about 5 minutes and minimum tools). Unplug the big electrical cable connector as Victor describes. Get a spray can of electrical contact cleaner at the auto parts store. Clean both faces of the electrical connector with this cleaner. YOu may want to use a small acid brush with shortened bristles to work in the contact cleaner, being careful not to leave any stray bristles in the connectors and don't use and brush woth plastic bristles!). Reassemble the connector halves and wiggle them vigorously as you re-seat the halves, perhaps reseating, disconnecting and reseating a few times in the process. Replace air filter, etc and test drive the car. Do you notice ANY change in the symptoms? Maybe not all symptoms will be gone but some symptoms maybe. IF so, the ABS module is most likely your problem. That's where Victor comes in! Once I replaced mine, the check engine light would not go off, even after following Victor's post-installation instructions ( the ABS has to "re-learn" your driving habits). It turned out the main computer had logged some "transmission errors" which the normal procedure of resetting the check engine light will not clear. I brought the car to my local independent Volvo repair guy and he was able to quickly reset these codes and the check engine light with his Volvo-specific OBD computer program. Victory at last!!! The conquest of human ingenuity and persistence over "smart controls" (i.e. excessively clever computers designed by over zealous, perhaps bored, automotive engineers). That's the big problem with all of this computer-controlled stuff: IT ALL WORKS GREAT WHILE ITS WORKING - but when it breaks, pity the poor sucker who owns the thing! It seems the clever folks who designed it aren't so clever at figuring out what it'll do when it breaks. The Volvo dealers themselves seem to be woefully lacking in the ability to diagnose this stuff and will quickly migrate to selling you the most expensive repair they can think of, or better yet scare you into buying a new Volvo with even more computerized time-bombs lurking under the hood or hidden behind a trim panel. There's a lot to be said for KISS.

14 of 14 people found this helpful.

Thank you both for your replies.... However, I am not nearly knowledgeable enough to attempt to remove or replace the ABS Control Unit myself. I have decided to go the route of getting it replaced. That said, I have found a repairman who is willing to put on a part I bring him, a rarity. In doing some research, it appears the best quality will of course be an OES part, but they are incredibly expensive. Is OES the way to go? Should I be fearful of the remanufactured or rebuilt? Suggestions???? I am trying to get my car fixed on a budget, and being unable to do it myself, am appreciative of any advice. Thanks in advance....

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Do it yourself! it is so easy, the only problem is if you have a turbo model then the space is a little tight to work on and will have to do do some acrobatics with your hands, you can do it, don't have to be an expert, find the web site, (sorry, english is my second language and I am trying to make sense as much as can) might have to buy a a couple of tools if you don't have them but it will cost you no more than 30 dollars for tools. Google "Victor Rocha s70 ABS" and at least in this website it will tell you how to do it if you have the part already. I heard good things about him, so you might want to send the ABS unit to him and have fix. I fixed mine for about 50 dollars or so. Mine ABS unit actually caught on fire and burn my wire harness. Don't let this happens to you but I waited a long time if not years before I fixed it, it kept just getting worse and worse...ABS light on from day one a bought it and breaks doings funky stuff, speedometer going off sometimes. well I after the fire, I took the wire harness off and the ABS unit off, I could still drive the car but I had no speedometer. you could tell how fast you going by the rpm meter if you get good at it. well make this story short I went to the junk to replace what it got burned, harness and ABS unit. I got the part number from my old ABS unit, (luckly I still could read it) I wanted to get the same part if I could so I could send it to Victor Rocha but since I don't have a lot of money and a already spent some money is this whole problem. I decided to give the junk part a try. I replaced everything the got burn, luckly it was just the harness and the abs unit, I was able to stop the fire before it got worse (the car alarm starting going off when it happened, I was already in bed!) well it worked like a charm, NO ABS light, my speedometer was working again, and my car quit acting up. I wish I would done it sooner. If my ABS light start messing up again since it was a unit I got from a junkyard, I will send it to get it rebuild.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Go for a rebuilt. The OEM will fail just like the original as the solder that was used by Bosch does not hold up to heat or vibration. An E-socket set is less than $10 at harbor freight. 4 small E5 screws, and two wire connectors and it comes right off... Or explain this to your mechanic... it should take them no longer than 15 minutes to remove the module and install the "new" one.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I had all of the symptoms mentioned above , abs light ,trac light ,flashing arrow , brake light and the speedometer not working when the brake light came on. It was all due to a faulty abs module . I contacted Midwest abs .com and purchased a refurbished one for $99.00 including shipping ,it was a very simple install and he warranties it for as long as you own your vehicle. All they ask is for you to return the old one , he even sends you the tool to install it which is a t-5 socket

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

I am having The Exact Identicle problem to the same vehicle which is my mothers 2000 ,s70 Volvo and the transmission started to slip but before that happened the abs light would go on ,and then the slipping started also the arrow light came on and the odometer would drop out and goes to ( o ) ,Is there a step by step resolution to this fix if not I will try and document my endeavers and ake sure it is posted here and everywhere I go ,but if one is already posted I sure would appreaciate a link to it , eighther way I will go to victors web site and see what I can find out from him ,----my e-mail address is ------> I am also member of my user name is :jrwhite3230


It's been about 3 months since I replaced the abs module on my 2000 volvo s70 and the car is running like new . My car had all the symptoms mentioned by Jrwhite3230 , I purchased the module from Midwest for $99.00 with lifetime warranty compared to 1400.00 quoted by a dealer. And there was no need to reprogram it either like the dealer said it had to be.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

was it a Bosche remanufactured or was it OEM ?

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