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Volvo 850 Wagons



  • lesholesho Posts: 3
    To the person who wants to know if anyone is happy w/ their 850, I am. I bought my 850 GLT wagon two years ago after researching Consumer Reports and Edmunds. CR listed the 850 as a "good buy" and I was attracted by the fact that the cars seem to hold their value for awhile. I did go into the purchase expecting my maintanence bills to be higher than my previous Honda Accord, but I've driven Volkswagons before and felt the tradeoff to Europeon styling, etc. was worth it.

    I was lucky to find a standard. One local dealer told me that they did not import standrads to the U.S. so I'd have to get a standard. I found the car at a Ford dealership and paid $4000 below book value. The car had upgrades like leather seats, all power seating, and side airbags. The car had one previous owner.

    Since I've owned it I've only done the recommended maintanence and oil changes. I DO NOT take it to the dealer. I found a great auto shop that only works on Mercedes, BMW, Volvo, etc. He stamps my book so I can maintain all service records. I did get some of the previous repairs on the car from the Volvo dealer and was surprised that the entire dash board had been replaced as well as several other major items. I'm hoping that the previous owner was very picky and pushy and got stuff done while the car was still under warranty.

    The only problem I've had with the car is it not starting due to the battery dying. In fact, the car wouldn't start this morning (new Diehard put in three months ago) and my husband was unable to jump it. We had to remove the battery and take it to a shop to see if there's a problem with it. I'm hoping to hear very soon that it's only the battery. Both times it's died it's been cold out and I hadn't used the car for several days.

    That said, I love driving the car. It still looks almost brand new and it's a nice solid car. I don't necessarily agree that it's really comfortable. I rode in the back set once and thought it was a rather stiff and unforgiving ride. My sister has a Mercedes staion wagon that's a year or two newer than my Volvo. I'd take the Volvo any day over the Mercedes. My Volvo is roomier, nicer looking inside (and out I think) and seems to be much more reliable. (The Mercedes is constantly in the shop w/ expensive repairs). Overall, I've been highly pleased with the car. I'll remain that way as long as the reliability continues. I do agree that it's critical with these cars to maintain them religiously.
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    Couple things-
    One, 850s and S/V70s were sold with manual transmissions here in the states. The dealer you spoke to is wrong. It's hard to find them, especially the wagons, but they're out there. They were available in the non-turbo and high-pressure turbo models, but not the low pressure turbo.

    Two, it sounds as though there might be a small current draw on your battery-- could be something as silly as the glovebox light staying on when the door is closed. If the battery checks out OK, you may want to see if there's any current being drawn when the car is off (of course, there will be a very small amount drawn for things like the clock and radio memory, but your repair shop will know what's appropriate and what's excessive.)

    You've got a real find with that 5-speed wagon; I've been looking at Volvos for months now, and have only seen one 5-speed, and it was a sedan. Happy motoring.
  • the fuel door locks shut intermittently on my 96 850 turbo wagon. I have to take apart the inside right tail light and pull a little lever to get it to open. One mechanic told me the "motor" to the door may be going out, but couldn't be sure unless he saw it while it was inoperable. Another mechanic told me he thought it had something to do with my automatic key....I should "click" it a certain # of times to remedy the problem....any advice??
  • norge003norge003 Posts: 11
    Can anyone tell me why the XC doesn't come with DSTC like the V70 (as an option).....I am looking hard at buying the 2001 XC but was surprised that the option wasn't available. Even with the XC having an AWD (at times), it still seems to me like it should be available. Any help would be appreciated.
    Bought a used 96 850 base model auto two plus years ago and we love the car. We had teething pains at first with little problems that our Volvo dealership immediately took care of under warrenty and provided us with a nice loaner Volvo car each time. We bought the extended 5 year 100K mile warranty before the car got over the 50K mile mark but we've never had to take the car back to the shop since.

    We're only at 57K now an moved to S.F. last year where we drive the car much less than we used to in L.A. but it definitly is our vacation hauler. The Volvo is the car both my wife an I most enjoy taking when the ride is going to be long. I have a lot less fear of how our ownership expereince is going to pan out now because it's been quite a while without any problems and the warrenty gives us peace of mind.

    I am fully aware of all the problems that this forum presents as the norm to the average reader here but I no longer consider them to be inevitable to our own ownership exerience. Battery power drains, squeaky dashes, sticking window switches, failing transmissions, replaced airconditioning pumps, sticking gas door locks, etc. etc. seem to plague the GLT and R owners but that has not been our case. We just plug along in our wimppy little five and are happy we own this car.
  • asfan1asfan1 Posts: 4
    We purchased this car because of its performance and safety features. When the car is in working order, it is hard to beat. The problem is the car has been very expensive to maintain. Our mechanic has told us that the evaporator coil for the air conditioner has to now be replaced to the tune of a thousand bucks. I am not necessarily complaining about the cost(I guess I am a little) but does it make sense to make the repairs on this car and keep the car or should I trade it in. I hate to just keep throwing money away that could be used towards a new car. I know other car manufactures have caught up with volvo as far as safety features. If I do trade it in what do you recommend in the 25-30k range.
  • vovonutvovonut Posts: 1
    My experiences with Volvo's goes all the way back to 1984 when we purchased our first Volvo, a 245 Turbo (oop, that's a 240 series wagon for the non-Volvo speaking) new from the dealer after totalling a Ford. It served us well for 185K miles until it was totalled. I too took the extended warranty and used it well; replacing the Turbo at 100K miles. Lots of other electrical repairs, oil leaks, and the odometer going out at 12K miles were all done under warranty. After the warranty period I found a local independent Volvo shop and have been using him ever since for the last 15 years. He is the main reason I still drive Volvos.

    Our next two Volvo's, a 1985 244GL, and a 764 Turbo were purchased used from non-Volvo dealers with about 35K and 58K miles respectively. Both cars had problems which I attribute to the previous owners giving up on and trading for BMW and Mercedes Benz. My mechanic found about $1000 worth of repairs needing in each. My point here is if you not maintain them, they will cost you later big time! Both cars were sedans but never handled and performed like our first 245 Turbo. Each was totalled in accidents (front end collisions) which I'm very thankful resulted in my wife only being brused in each. This is what makes me such a believer in Volvo safety!!! It also makes me purchase 5 to 8 year old Volvo's for her to crash :>)

    Our current 2 Volvo's are a 1992 965 and a 1996 855 TLA. We have had the 1992 for 15 months now and find it a pleasure to drive. It is much heavier than the 850 but is very responsive with it's 6 cylinder engine. It is my wife's car and she loves the response and turning radius (as compared to the 850's).

    I just purchased the 1996 855 for 40% of its original cost for myself! Yes it has 73K miles on it but I expect to go to 250K miles with proper maintenance and care. I just spent $700 doing the 75K mile service (a major one on the 850's) which included time belt (a must), spark plugs, all fluids changed, and a new upper motor mount. I really love the performance and handling of this car. (It reminds me of our first 245 Turbo.)

    What I've learned from the previous owner is tires must be rotated EVERY time you do your oil change if you expect them to last long. The previous repair records show them lasting about 20K miles and they were not very faithful on rotations. Brakes were also consumed quickly. With the increase in performance goes increased tire wear and costs (performance tires cost more than touring tires).

    Bottom line is this: I agree with post # 163 that you must maintain these cars. If you're used to hopping into your Honda, turning on the key and driving it until then next oil change, than these are NOT the car's for you. If you're complaining about repair costs than don't go to the dealer!!! Find a good independent shop; you'll save 1/3 the cost on maintenance/repairs! Remember the main reason you purchased the Volvo was for the safety - it don't come cheap! If you want fun factor (Turbo models like T5 or T5R) thrown in also, then it will cost even more. Just remember, it costs even more to own a Mercedes, BMW, or Porsche (I know I owned each also) and I still prefer the Volvo's because of their safety, longevity, and I can purchase a used one for much less than the comparable Mercedes or BMW! It all comes down to trade-offs; ya want performance and safety, or do ya want a little metal box that gets ya from point A to B on 35mpg and you want survive in a nasty crash, or do you want to complain?
  • go_oskigo_oski Posts: 1
    My wife and I just purchased a 96 850 Wagon, and about the only thing wrong with it (so far!) is that the stereo is anemic. I believe its the SC-710 model. Has anyone installed a CD changer in this model? I saw the the discussion for and know that the Alpine kit costs about $300. Any tips on installing one of these without the dealer's help? Thanks!
  • asadorianasadorian Posts: 23
    I solved the fuel door problem by spraying WD-40 on the locking pin. Open the door with the manual release, and lock the doors with the fuel door open. The locking pin will extend and can be lubricated. The lubrication seems to solve the problem.

    We have a 1995 turbo wagon, and the battery is three years old. Last time I had it tested, I had driven about 80 miles the day before, and the charge was too low on the battery to test it. I charged the battery, and then it and the charging circuit tested out fine. I periodically charge the battery as a preventative measure, and we haven't had any problems.

    The car has 112,000 miles and runs great. I just added up the maintenance and repair costs, and it worked out to be about 5.5 cents per mile. Adding the expected cost for new tires and major tune-up and servicing at 120,000 miles, the maintenance cost increases to 6 cents per mile. We used the Volvo dealer up to 90,000 miles and now use several independent shops. This seems pretty reasonable. We use Dunlop W-10 performance tires, and they have lasted 40,000 miles. The brake pads have lasted 55,000 miles. We replaced the rotors at 110,000 miles. We have a top-rated 1999 VW Passat, and the Michelins on it lasted 15,000 miles with frequent rotation.

    The Volvo requires tune-ups every 30,000 miles while many other cars go a lot longer between tune-ups. That the major maintenance inconvenience with the Volvo.
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    I'm not a 855 owner, but an 854T owner, and was just passing thru, looking for good discussions on the 85x series Volvos.

  • Thank you so much - I'll try it!
  • watsowatso Posts: 2
    Does anyone know of a place either mail order or on-line where I may get Volvo part and accessories.
    I am considering beefing up the braking system, does anyone have any favorite braking components?
    I am also interested in finding a metal cargo divide and the cargo cover.
    I wouldn't mind buying these used, if I could find a seller.

    Thanks James
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    I'd say you should checkout these two sites, and for what you're looking for. You could try ebay for the cargo divider, or most good pet supply stores carry this item. Hope that helps.


  • jmwatjmwat Posts: 5
    I've got a '98 V70 w/ 53K miles. Lately I've been hearing a "whining" noise from the engine compartment, usually shortly after starting the engine. The noise lasts for anywhere from 5-30 seconds, but it seems to be getting progressively longer. The dealer says it may be the air pump. The fix would be to replace it at about $700.00. Have you heard anything about problems w/ air pumps? Any advice?
  • goonargoonar Posts: 2
    I realize that the following is not necessarily a question about Volvos, but...does anyone know the name of and/or the performer of the great song Volvo used in their ad campaing for the new Volvo V70 station wagon? The commercial shows how a father travels back and forth from his son's swin meet to his daughter's soccer game. The lyrics are something like, "Keep movin' boy..."

    Again, I realize I may be violating some canon of Edmond's by asking such a question, but this is my last hope and am relying upon the kindness of strangers who, I would think, would be able to lend a hand considering Volvo drivers tend to be polite and helpful (shameless groveling...sorry).

    Thanks a bunch.
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    "...does anyone know the name of and/or the performer of the great song Volvo used in their ad campaing for the new Volvo V70 station wagon?"

    If you don't get a response here soon, you should also try asking (copy/paste) your question in one of these New & Views discussions: Best Car Songs and Car commercials- the good, the bad, and the annoying. Good luck with your search. ;-)



    Hatchbacks/Station Wagons Message Boards

  • garo2garo2 Posts: 1
    We own a 1992 Volvo 745 Wagon. We have loved the car (although its handling in the snow is more than a little scary), and our dog is especially fond of the large trunk.

    We're getting ready to get a newer Volvo wagon to replace it, and have noticed that the cargo area in the current models is substantially smaller than our 1992. Does anybody know what year was the most recent model of Volvo wagon with the larger cargo area? Does any other wago have a similarly large rear storage?
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    Well, the 855 and V70 (mk1) cargo bays are still pretty big...but the new V70 is really roomy...but it'll set you back something uncomfortably close to $40k...more for the XC version.

    The V40 is a smaller car, competing more directly with the Audi A4 Avant and BMW 3 series wagon offerings, is that what you're thinking of in the smaller category?

    We had possibly a similar problem with a brief whining sound occuring under the hood. The sound seemed worse in the morning but would quickly go away after driving just a block or two. As it turned out for us the sound was from a worn alternator bearing. Our problem was solved by our dealer under the normal 50K mile warrenty with about 48K on the odometer. One thing that I was very adiment about was that since it only seemed to occur when the car was started completely cold I insisted the dealer keep the car over night and check it in the morning. Notice very carefully where and when this noise is occuring. I was able to locate the general area the noise was coming from but not the exact culpret.

    The problem I'd have with you dealers "may be the air pump approach" is that unless they agree to find and replace the exact part causing the problem God knows how many different things they might replace before they find out what the problem is.

    Best Wishes
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 318
    The V70 has 34.5 cubic feet (ft3), the Mercedes E320 37.0 ft3, the Saab 9-5 wagon 35.0 ft3, the VW Passat 38.5 ft3, Subaru Legacy Outback 33.5 ft3, Volvo V40 28.0 ft3, Saturn LW2 33.5 ft3, Audi A6 Avant 32.5 ft3, BMW 5-series wagon 33.5 ft3.

    These vehicles are from a wide range of price points, and some require premium fuel. This depends on the particular engine, so it's best to check for the particular car you're looking at. The sources are Consumer Reports August 1999, March 2000. A generally good source of hard data, although I usually write up their reviews with little notes to myself (e.g. test drive and decide for yourself) on areas where they get subjective. e.g. "...the ride was busy, even on the freeway..." I can determine that in a test drive.
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