Volvo 850 Made from 1993 to 1997, this Volvo line was available in both a wagon and a sedan, both with were graced with several trim levels.

Cold Shift Problem

  #1  
Old 01-26-2009, 08:11 PM
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Default Cold Shift Problem

I've been having this issue for some time, basically what happens is when the temp outside drops below freezing the transmission does not want to shift out of first gear, usually I have to put it into neutral and then back into drive to get it to upshift. When the temps above freezing it shifts perfect. Any ideas?
 
  #2  
Old 01-27-2009, 07:23 AM
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Default RE: Cold Shift Problem

This could be because of the PNP switch going south. the oil film inside the switch tends to freeze and act as a insulator on the contacts and make the transmission act funny. Try ratcheting your shifter from extreame positons about 10 times and this might help.
 
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:27 AM
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Default RE: Cold Shift Problem

Some recommendations:

- PNP sensor needs cleaning/replacing.
- Check fluid level/condition.
- Shift solenoid response slow due to freezing temp.
- Fluid temp sensor on the tranny may not be working right.
- Check Mode Selector position (winter-mode).
- Pull codes from TCM.

If the car drives fine after the engine/tranny warms up, I would drive it as is. However, if it still concerns/bothers you, try using synthetic ATF but make sure it is compatible with Dexron-III/Mercon. Some synthetic ATFs, though they say are compatible, seem to invite troubles. I myself would not use synthetic ATF in my 850.

Wait for others opinions as well.


JPN
 
  #4  
Old 01-27-2009, 07:44 AM
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Default RE: Cold Shift Problem

Well, I know it's not a winter mode thing, because mine doesn't have one. I did try the gearstick trick with no success. A temp sensor going bad would be the logical choice, I suppose I should see if there is a code strored? Would I pull that the same way as an engine code, or is it a different terminal?
 
  #5  
Old 01-27-2009, 08:52 AM
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Default RE: Cold Shift Problem

+1 for JPN. Pulling the codes for tranny is similar process other then that you use A1 port instead of A2. If the shifting gets normal after warmup, I wouldnt suspect sensor going bad. Shifter solenoid might be acting lazy in freezing temperatures and that is quite normal for any machine to misbehave when the working temperatures are not reached.
 
  #6  
Old 01-27-2009, 09:24 AM
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Default RE: Cold Shift Problem

Low or really old fluid can also cause this. I would try the simple stuff first. SInce it shifts fine after warming up, I think it is something simple
 
  #7  
Old 01-27-2009, 05:26 PM
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Default RE: Cold Shift Problem

I don't think it's fluid related, I replaced the fluid with synthetic when I bought the car a year ago, and the level is always right on when I check it.
 
  #8  
Old 12-28-2018, 10:36 PM
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Default 850 automatic cold up shift issue.

Originally Posted by jmana View Post
I've been having this issue for some time, basically what happens is when the temp outside drops below freezing the transmission does not want to shift out of first gear, usually I have to put it into neutral and then back into drive to get it to upshift. When the temps above freezing it shifts perfect. Any ideas?
Hi Jmana, I know it's many years later, but I'm having the exact same issue with my 1996 Volvo 850T5. Did you ever figure out what the problem was? I have new fluid and runs great when warm outside or after engine warms up.I have only 140,000 miles on this 23 year old car that keeps on running fantastic. I have no codes or flashing lights.
Thanks
 

Last edited by redbeak1; 12-28-2018 at 10:37 PM. Reason: I want to add to reply
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