Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Have you recently switched from a luxury sedan to a luxury SUV?
A reporter would like to talk to you; please reach out to [email protected] by 7/25 for more details.
Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Volvo 850 Wagons



    So that is your dirty lil secret.

    My car is on it's second set of rotots since new. The first set was resurfaced just before we bought the car the second set I assume was Volvo certified since it was done at a dealership. Where did these slotted rotors come from Jav and how much did they cost?

    My car's brakes still hum when you apply moderate pressure while stopping on a decent but I've been assured that this is most likely the ABS working. The car stops no problem and there is no shudder felt in the steering wheel so I left it alone.


  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    Why Fredrick, I got them at none other than... Link coming... It'll be your favorite Volvo shopping spot if you don't already know about it.

    I have metallic pads, and they're pretty noisy. They squeek nicely when cold, but they stop nicely, for stock calipers. The rotors are about $200 a pair.
  • kcc455kcc455 Posts: 33
    I am interested in a 96 850 R with 137K miles and I am new to Volvo's and looking for advice. One owner, with all maintenance records. No Major repairs like trans. or engine rebuilds. It does not have the original 17" Volan wheels. Body is in good shape but has some scratches, fading, etc. A VW dealer has it listed for $8,900. I am thinking $7,500 is my top dollar. Any advice on future maintenance items to be wary of? What do you think about the price?

    Thank you.
  • ivyfchuivyfchu Posts: 21
    I own a '94 850 and I have the same brake shudder problem as described by cap99. The first time it happened was a couple of years ago and it cost me around $1000 to fix it at the dealer. (I believe they replaced all the pads and rotors). Now it is happening again.... I tried to be cheap and just replaced the brake pads at a local Firestone but the shudder is still happening. I really don't want to spend $1000 at the dealer again... Any suggestions?
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    Do not, repeat do not, bring it to the dealer for service. Find a reputable independent shop that specialized in imports, or even better Volvos in particular, that will do the work. The shudder is very likely caused by a warped rotor, which can be caused by any number of things, like if you've had the tires replaced or rotated. If the wheel nuts aren't torqued evenly and to factory specs, the rotors can warp. There are several brands of aftermarket rotor that will stop better and resist warpage better than the factory Volvo units. I replaced mine with Brembo rotors and haven't had a problem (though my independent shop torques the wheel nuts by hand, with a torque wrench, not an airgun.) For reference, I spent a little over $700 (including labor) for Brembo rotors and PBR brake pads, both of which are an upgrade over the factory parts, and it still wasn't as much as the dealer's price. My feeling is, if it's out of warranty, don't waste your money at the dealer.

    You are looking at a rare bird on that VW lot but I'm affraid I already see a lot of potential road kill with buzzards already circling in your future with this car.

    My recomendation, since you obviously have not deeply researched the past history of 850's posted on this board is that you not buy this car.

    Here are my reasons: You state it is being sold by a VW dealership, i.e. a total "As Is" purchase. Heck, I'd bet even they would not have a clue as to what potentially could be wrong with this car nor would they likely disclose it to you anyway.

    2nd: If you are going to buy the car used from a new car dealership they will not disclose anything to you about the true condition of the car beyond the summary of it starts, it drives, and the brakes and blinkers work. They will not have any of the previous owner's records on what repair history this car has been and if they did they would have immediatly chucked them in the trash for legal reasons before they put the car on their lot for sale.

    Potential Problems in a Nut Shell with 850R's:

    1. Transmission, has this been replaced?

    2. Evaporative Cooler/Air conditioning unit,
        has it been replaced, and now does your
        dashboard now squeak?

    3. Does this R still have all the orginal rims
        with the low profile tires and are the rims
        all in good condition?

    KCC- these are the major problems you'd need to know about before buying an 850. If any one of them becomes a problem after you own the car you are looking at an additional 1/4 of the bargain price you think you are gonna pay in repair bills. If you still want think you want to this car go to really qualified independent Volvo mechanic and get a total no $'s spared inspection on the car.

    If I were to hazard to guess, the owner of this Volvo traded it in for a new Passat Wagon or Tourage and probably knew some hefty repairs were lurking under the hood of this car.

    So think about it and research, research, and research this car some more.


  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    I'm w/Fredrick on this one. I'd pass, if only b/c the tranny is original. I hate automatics and am just stuck w/on one my T5, but that's some serious mileage, even though the '96 trannies were stronger than the early year specimens.

    Be wary of this particular car, and have it looked at very closely. You said it doesn't have the Volan wheels... I wonder why. What kind of rims are on it? Some nice HREs or some cheapo rims? That will tell you volumes of what to expect from the vehicle, imho.

    Still... pass. There are others out there in seriously fine shape for good money.
  • kcc455kcc455 Posts: 33
    The VW dealership also specializes in used imports and provided me the service records since 10,000 miles. The salesman faxed me 20 pages of maint. records. The story is the original owner was unhappy with service at the local Volvo dealership. The 17" Volan were replaced with 16" Borbet wheels after the owner had two or three of them worked on or replaced for getting bent or warped. This was in the service records. The trans. was serviced, and all scheduled maint. seems to have been performed. It seems the owner (supposedly a local doctor) took it in for everything including simple things like light bulbs. The salesman even offered to call the previous owner and let me speak to him about the car. Despite all this I am leary about the 137K miles and should probably search out a local Volvo mechanic and get a Pre Purchase Inspection. I did not find any records of shocks/struts being replaced. Any idea how much shocks/struts are for the 850R?

    Thank you.
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    My Bilstein HDs just cost me about $500 plus install. FWIW, they're awesome. They feel awesome... a tad stiffer than stock but the ride actually improved over stock b/c the shocks seem to take a bit of the 'crash' out of bumps. 80k miles is about all I'd say you want to go on the stock rims anyway. Does the car have the Nivomat air-ride rear suspension? If so, I'd say go w/conventional shocks, b/c the Nivomats are very expensive.

    I also recommend getting some good rotors (Brembos or Zimmerman slotted rotors), or warped rotors will be the norm.

    Still... I'd be wary of this car, service records or not. The motor should still have tons of life left, but the miles worry me for the transmission. It'll set you back $3k-$4k if that goes out on you.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Given that you've seen the records, and that the dealer is trying to calm your fears(in spite of what Fred thinks of them) I think if you can get the car for @ $7000 its a good deal.
    Alot of people replaced the low profile tires on those cars because of ride and tire issues so no concern there.
    ANY car w/ 137,000 miles isn't going to be a paragon of reliability, there will be things that need to be replaced.
    I'd have an experienced Volvo shop look the car over and go from there.
  • cap99cap99 Posts: 4
    Thanks Lancerfixer for the advice on the rotors. One other thing. i've also lately been getting the ABS and Tracs Off lights come on the dash from time to time. This happened a couple of years ago on a long trip and when I took it to the dealer, they couldn't find anything wrong. The brakes do their shudder thing occasionally. it all seems totally random. Also the check engine light is on all the time. I have 70,000 on the wagon. Is it true that that light will come on if you don't change the timing belt after so many miles or is it totally bogus?
  • ivyfchuivyfchu Posts: 21
    Just got new rotors and brake shudder problem seem to be gone... Keeping my fingers crossed. Thanks for the advice guys!
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    Did they torque the wheels down with a hand torque wrench, or an air wrench? If it's the latter, prepare for the rotor warpage problem to return. It'd be worth your while (and a few bucks) to have them hand torqued at an independent shop or tire place when you get the opportunity.
  • Personally I never ride in the rear of my 850 but recently a bunch of friends wanted to tour Napa and they all choose the Volvo Wagon over their own PT Cruiser rental and a VW Golf. Ours was the only decent 5 passenger car.

    The problem was that the right rear passenger window would go down no problem when my friend activated the switch but it would not go up unless I activated it from the forward console.

    Any good cheap ways to maybe solve this problem without ripping out the entire interior door panel? I hate doing that sorta stuff cause invariably there are fragile plastic clips that you don't have a clue how they opperate until you break a few. Then the panel never seems to fit back into its orginal position.

    Questions: #1 Can the rear door window switch be easily pulled without removing the panel? #2 What are the tools and tricks? #3 Is it possible to just lie to you friends and tell them you'll bring your Yugo next time they want to go touring in Napa?


  • Looking @ a 96 850GLT in what appears to be very good condition w/ 132k miles on it. The price is about $4000 or so (negoatiated). Also comes with the "Cold Weather" package. Anyone have thoughts on this particular model and price?
  • Start reading @ about post #291

    Your potential purchase concerns will be nearly identical to KCC455's except for the rims.

    I have not comment on the price because beyond price and mileage nothing else is listed. It is within the ball park though.


  • Frederick/Javadoc - Especially interested in your views on the following (anyone else please feel free to chime in too - I appreciate the information):

    I'm considering buying a 1997 Volvo 850 wagon ("S" model? Probably the base model - 168 hp, no sunroof) from an individual (the current owner). Current owner bought the car from Volvo in 1998; it had apparently been an "employee" car before then. I do not know the seller.

    Car has almost 68,000 miles, new catalytic converter, new O2 sensor, new brakes and rotors about 15,000 miles ago, transmission was serviced about 10,000 or 12,000 miles ago, owner claims no electrical or AC problems. Car looks very clean on the outside and my gut tells me it was probably pretty well maintained, but I haven't yet looked under the hood or driven. Owner wants just shy of $9000.

    1) Any general thoughts?

    2) Anything to be concerned about other than the general possibility of big repair bills as the car gets older?

    3) Does the asking price seem fair, high, etc.?

    Thanks very much!

    -- Doug
  • I am looking to buy and 850 Wagon...mid to late 90's. What is all this talk about the transmission problems in these cars? Any year that this was not a problem? What years of the 850 Wagon are better than others? Have found a bunch on the net around the $10-$12k price range...generally under 100k miles. Also, how are the factory CD players in these cars? I would really appreciate any advice and guidance. Thanks!Jason
  • Doug-

    The 97 reads like it is pretty norm in the miles and brake department. The O2 sensor and catalytic converter replacement on top of the brake and rotor job probably killed the "joy of ownership" for this Volvo owner.

    I have not had to replace an O2 sensor or catalytic on my 96 w/ ~84K miles so I don't know what that costs. Probably a pretty penny or two.....or three. Not a happy experience I imagine.

    My guess is that after the last repair bill for this O2 sens., catalytic convert. on top of brakes and rotors this owner got wet feet about the up-coming ~70K mile scheduled maintenance. I don't remember exactly but I think ours was a timing belt on top of the second set of brakes and rotors. Call a Volvo dealership and find out what and when exactly that maintenance is and how much they charge for it. I'd deduct this from the selling price and make an offer.

    The 168 HP engine is the "base" non-turbo engine like my 96. If the car U R looking @ has leather, dual power seats, in trunk CD player, moon roof, alloy wheels, third row seat etc. then the $'s U state R maybe close to market value but still maybe on the high side.

    Best Wishes,

  • J-

    If you are gonna spend $10-12K, may I suggest you spend a while and read maybe half of the prior postings. The tranny problems mostly relate to 93 and older models. In the late 90's the 850 Wagon became the V70 and that is a slightly different bird.

    In the 850's the CD player was only a single CD w/ an up-grade remote trunk unit available for multiple CDs. The system won't blow your sock off if you R an audiophile but it works pretty well.

    94-97 is the 850 you want. 97 is the last year it was called and 850. After that it became the V70.


  • I own a 1997 850 s/w. It came with a factory cassette radio. I can exchange it for a Volvo in dash CD player for a couple of hundred dollars. Anyone know if this is the way to go?
    Also check engine light is on. New O2 sensors and major tune up were done. I also changed the mass air flow sensor. I'm thinking it is a vacuum leak. Comments? (90,000 miles, auto trans, non turbo.)
  • I own a 1996 850 GLT. Recently my ABS/Tracs Light came on. After changing the ignition switch the dealer told me I needed an ABS Module $550.00. I pulled out the module myself and sent it to Victor Rocha.

    $130.00 later everything works fine. He was prompt and I would recommend his service.

    Swapping out for a single CD player unit should be no problem. I'd get one out of a junked 850. Seems like only the base 850 came with a cassette only unit so U should have no problem locating a since in dash CD unit.

    Happy New Year,

  • Hello Volvo people. I'm new around here. I looking at a 1994 850 GLT w/122,500K. Price is $3950.00. The car looks brand new from the outside. Color is almost Candy Apple Red. Told me he had it detailed. He also says the horn doesn't work, and the timing belt was done at 75K. My wife saw it coming home one day. She drives a 1993 940 SE, 106,500K. I would appreciate any help. Also, I'm looking at 1994 960 with 76K, $5500.00. Thanks again. Charles.
  • klarckklarck Posts: 8
    What kind of options do these cars have?
     On the 850 I would check the following:

    1. Timing belts should be replaced every 70,000 miles; $260.00. At the same time you’ll put on a new serpentine belt, about $75.00.
    2. Brake fluid flush? $105.00.
    3. What is the condition of the brakes?
    4. If he has not replaced the ABS Module, chances are it will go bad in the next 5-10,000 miles. Cost at dealer about $550.00.
    5. I would pressure test the A/C.
    6. Why doesn’t the horn work?

    I would try to get the car for as close to $3,000.00 as possible.

    I’m not as familiar with the 960.
  • klarck: The 850 GLT has all the options. The car was bought with 24000 miles on it in 1995. The horn stays ON, so it was disconnected at the horn itself. The ABS Module has not been replaced. The brakes have been done in the last 12000 miles or so. I drove the car on the highway and there is a little shimmey or chatter from the front end. The brakes stop the car real smooth. There is a static noise in the volume dial of the radio. He told me he replaced 3 or 4 bulbs in the dash board. The transmission lights do not work (P,R,D etc) on the shifter. The a/c seems to work. The outside temp was 25 degrees at the time. The interior is leather and in great shape. Bottom line. No less than $3800. Thanks again for your help. Charles.
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    Is the 960 a sedan or wagon?
  • I test drove it and is smooth as silk. The only problem is the switch for the reverse lights is being replaced. Is there any thing else I should look for? On the ABS, VICROCHA says on the 94 850 GLT & 94 960 Wagon are not prone to faliure, again any help would be great. Chazmatic.
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    ...all things being equal, if you don't mind the RWD (I prefer it, personally, and I live in a snowy climate) my personal preference would be the 960. It's all up to what you like best, really. I think maintenance and repair costs will be about the same. One of the things to check on the 960 is the condition of the rear self-leveling shocks (Nivomats)...the replacement cost for those is pretty frightening. Of course, make sure other maintenance (especially the timing belt) has been done. I think you'd do fine with either wagon.
  • dwinerdwiner Posts: 13
    My '96 855T also "hums" at times when braking, yet the hum lingers a bit after the car has stopped. This only happens when the cabin blower is on. I figure it is not brakes at all, but the bearings in the blower starting to go. Load on the motor shifts when braking, putting different strain on the bearings. Thoughts?
Sign In or Register to comment.