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Volvo 850 Wagons



  • cap99cap99 Posts: 4
    I have lost the little black clips from the inside back hatch that keep the black plastic horizontal piece atached to the rear hatch (It is the cover for the rear lights, etc. midway up the back hatch). Without them the plastic piece vibrates and makes an awful noise everytime you shut the back hatch. The Volvo dealership said they only sell a kit to replace these that costs over $100. Does anyone know where I can get these 5 or so little plastic black clips?
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    Well, I've had good luck at the following vendors in obtaining odd parts:

    Borton Volvo - Great service. Email them w/Qs.

    Erie Volvo - Good recycler, great guys. Cheap parts.

    Volvo World - they're not cheap tho

    Hope that helps out.


  • I know well of the problem of which you speak. This is a common problem with the 850 wagons. Mine came loose but I only lost one of them. $100 seems rediculous for a bunch of plastic so please anyone who's solved this problem help the rest of us out.


  • I have an 850 turbo wagon with the 16 inch alloy rims. My complaint is the ride is too firm and bumpy. The tire pressure is to the manufacturers spec for the vehicle.

    I do not know if it has the auto leveling suspension. How would I determine that information?
  • Anyone have any experience with using 3 car seats in a V70 or 850?? We are considering looking for a 1997 or 1998 to replace our 1989 740, and will need to use 3 car seats soon (#3 due in 4 weeks). I checked our car and 3 car seats seemed to fit ok. Wondered if either of the models we were considering would also work. Also wondered if any experienced parents had any general words of advice on fitting 3 kids into a wagon. Should we just bite the bullet and get an SUV? We really like wagons, though. Budget restraints limit us to a Volvo at least 4 or 5 years old. Any comments welcome. Thanks.
  • Skip the SUV and no I do not have kids. Honestly, go out and drive a few.

    Best of Luck,


    P.S..: Don't know about third seats except that I have the option.
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    I've had two car seats in my 850 with my 7yo in between w/o a carseat. That's doable, but I think that 3 carseats would be a squeeze. The 70Series cars would be the same. Having a third row option in the wagon would work well. I agree w/Fredrick: avoid the SUV route. You will have less overall space (seriously), not to mention the multitude of other issues...which are left for another forum. :)

    What about a not-so-expensive minivan? Seating for seven, better fuel economy than an SUV, and cheaper than a new SUV to boot.
  • I'm not positive on this, but I'm pretty sure the 850 never had auto-levelling suspension as an option like the older 760/940/960 series did. I'd say you can do two things to modify your ride: get a set of 15" alloys from the non-turbo 850 (yes, they'll fit just fine) or find a set of softer springs and shocks. Either way, you're looking at a few hundred dollars; you'll also be compromising the handling of the car.

    Good luck.

    re: Seating.

    I think I must disagree with my esteemed fellow Volvophile Javadoc in regards to the third seat issue. I'm not crazy about the idea of putting my kid (or someone else's) in a rear-facing "tail-gunner" seat. I've never liked them, even in Volvos. If I needed third seat capability, I'd look no further than a Honda Odyssey. I will agree with him (and others) about avoiding SUVs, though. Please do so! :-)
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    You're right Lancer, the third row isn't great, but an option, imho. However, it doesn't provide stellar protection in a rear-ender type crash, for certain.

    Some 850s came with the auto-leveling rear suspension. IIRC, all 850R wagons 'could' have it (as an option I believe), and some of the Turbo/T5 wagons, but not the sedans that I know of. I'll have to do some digging to provide years that it was available.
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    Okay, after some research... the 855R cars, aka 850R Wagons, came with the Nivomat automatic load leveling rear suspension, standard equipment. Possibly, but I'm not sure, the Platinum version did as well.

    Lancer's correct that a way to improve ride is to go to 15" rims. I noticed that the ride improved on my T5 sedan when I replaced the OEM shocks to Bilsteins, although they're much firmer. Also, you can check your control arm bushings. Depending on mileage, they could be worn, and this will contribute to a harsh ride.

    What size tires do you have on the car? If you have 205/55-R16 tires, then it will ride a bit better than 205/50-R16, but they'll rub slightly on full lock... this only if you have a Turbo. If you have an R, you should have 17" rims, and switching just to 16" rims will improve your ride. Hmmm, I know where you could get 16" rims. ;)
  • Javadoc or others-

    I finally need a new set. We've got Michilins on the wagon now and they seem pretty deccent. This is not a race car and we don't drive in snow or a lot of wet weather. Just get more of the same or do any of U have a different idea and why?


  • I like a firm ride BTW- I want the car to handle well when it's fully loaded.
  • ...but I've heard good things about the Bridgestone RE950.
  • I'm sure everyone here has had the precise problems they indicate.

    However... market research has shown that if someone has a BAD experience with a product, they will tell 20+ people, vs the ones who have a good experience telling 1.5 or so.

    This was done before the power of the internet made telling 100,000 people so simple.

    Thanks for the listen.
  • This is an interesting choice only becuase it is Japanese and they have a direct connection to to Firestone, infact they are the same comapany. All this time I thought I was driving on Michelins but they were Firestone Firehawks.................oh K thank U Jesus.

    I'm just kidding but I will consider the Bridgestone choice. My wife is a fanatic about tires now so she'll have her own oppinion. And no....we never owned or drove an Explorer. My wife did a project of the whole mess and came away knowing more than anyone would ever want to know about tires. I however being the man of the house would never confir to her supperior mechanical and technical knowledge on such an I have to ask all of U first. LOL-


  • So here's the dilemma. I have $10k to spend on a mid-90s wagon, and I want the 850. I've been focusing my efforts on the 850GLT, and found one. It's a one-owner '95 GLT model with 88k miles, is immaculate, and the service records bear out that it's been babied for 7 years, at the dealer. It has about 80% left on the tires, new timing belt and brakes, and everything seems to be in order. They won't budge below $9800.

    I also just found a '94 Turbo with 88k, from a second owner who has no records. This one, also with new tires and very clean, has some perks the other doesn't--top-of-line trim package, CD changer in the trunk, hands-free phone set, and drives like a bat out of hell. It has some minor damage to the front spoiler and some door dings. The owner says it was the 'sport package' for '94, but I can't find any documentation that says there even *was* a sport package. (?) He's asking $9500, and I suspect will go to $9k or just below.

    My dilemma is that I've heard so many times to NOT BUY A TURBO. Everyone keeps warning me about the woeful horror of the turbo, but I have to say, it is extremely fun to drive. I'd certainly like any knowledge people have on turbo vs. non-turbo, and '94 vs. '95. Also, I've heard that the '94s had flakey electrical systems. I ran a Recall check on Edmunds, and there's a list a mile long for the '94, but virtually nothing for the '95. Any input anyone? Help!
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    Definitely avoid the Turbo models at all costs; I mean all of them from the regular to the T-5R. The maintenance costs won't be forgiving to you in the long run. I have a '93 GLT sedan that I just love to drive, but I'm going to attest to the fact that many '93-'95 850s had questionable electrical systems. I know, because I've had a few problems with mine. If you want all-around reliability, definitely try to look for a '96 base model wagon without any frills.
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    What is wrong w/ a turbo model? The days of costly turbo repairs is long gone. If a turbo actually fails, you can pick up one from a junkyard for about $100, but I've seen 850 turbos w/250k on the original blower. Trannies and electrics were not as good thru '95, but mostly bulletproof for '96/7. My '96 T5 has been the most reliable car I've ever owned aside from the wife's MPV van... at 80k miles, and I drive it 'spiritedly' to say the least.

    Personally, I'd shop for a 96/7 model for reliability-sake, and a turbo model for good power.
  • Lingon-

    I agree with your research on earlier 90's 850 Turbos. In years past I've read much of the same sort of posting you've discovered on the problematic issues with the early 850 turbos but they also seemed to be a general malaise of Volvos built in those years. 96-98's seemed to be the better years from my own research. I bought a base 96' because I'm a simple sorta guy.

    These days when I drive freeways it's more for the long haul so the base 850 is good enough for my needs. We've had little problem with the car and we're happy with our purchase. We did however purchase a long-term warranty before the 50K mile mark just in case, $1000 is an extra peace of mind. Transmissions have been a major problem with all of the 850s. $3,000+ is the usual repair cost.

    My final comment is that you need to be ready to spend serious $'s for regular and general upkeep of your Volvo. The 850 is not a Swedish version of the old American family beater wagon you remember from your childhood. I of course would take our 850 over any of those pieces of ........ any day.


  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    How do you know that it costs $3,000+ just to rebuild or replace a transmission? And are you talking about the automatic versions?
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