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Volvo 850 Wagons



  • I have just started shopping for a 95-97 850 wagon, and went to look at a couple today. One of the things that struck me is the apparent lack of a retractable cargo cover for the rear as I have in my Yukon and my wife has in her Liberty. Have the cars I've looked at just been missing the cover, or does such an animal not exist?
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    If memory serves, the cover was optional.

    YOu should be able to get one through your dealerships parts dept.
  • How essential to change brake fluid?Manual sad:to change every 2 years.
  • Thanks very much. I have since looked at three more, and two of them had the cover and the other did not. I just have to get lucky and find 'The Car' and hope that it has one (or spend $250 and buy one....)
  • I've determined that the 850 has the best combination of safety and price for my daughter's first car. Had decided on on 1997 until I found that it required premium gas.... now looking at 1995s.
    Does anyone out there use regular gas in their 1996-1997? Any problems?
    After reading as much as I can find on problems and repair costs for this car, I'm not so sure I've made the correct choice.
    Would appreciate all advice!
  • Last night I was driving back from VT in my 97 850R Wagon...on the mountain it just died. Let it sit for 10 minutes, started right up and died three miles later. Almost got killed waiting for police and wrecker (never thought I'd see the day this was getting towed). I had an 85 RX Turbo (subaru) and had a similar experience, in that case the turbo overheated.
    Is the any experiences out there that sound like mine? Could it be the fuel (93octane) or a sending unit perhaps? I am stuck.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Volvo recommends premium for all 850's.
    You can use lesser fuel, but you will get less performance and worse mileage.
    Its up to you.
  • rcrearcrea Posts: 1
    Most any scrap yard will have a cd/fm radio in thier lot. This is a plug and play replacement. A unit from a 96 and up will work. Make sure you obtain the set code for the unit otherwise it is useless. A respected volvo deal will decode the serial number and give you a code
  • strobelstrobel Posts: 1
    I'm 23 years old and for Four Long Years I have been saving for a Volvo 850, and Driving my Volvo 240 Wagon, with well over 450 thousand miles on it. Which starts at any temp outside.

    Its a 1995 850 MT Base Model. I bought in Florda, and on way north to Minnesota, this past week as the outside temps are only aound 30-50 in the early am hours it will not start. But when I break for lunch during school around Noon-1pm its 60+ outside it will start. But if its Raining or below 60 or so it will crank and fire then die right away.

    I bought it to the Volvo Dealership, when the check engine light came on and, Payed 375.90 to run the codes and do a tune up. The check engine light has gone out after that, then at 3:30 am when I leave for school the next day no start, and the check engine light came back on, back to square one.

    Thank goodness I live only 70 miles from a Huge Volvo Salvage yard, so I have replaced the following hoping to cure the problem: New OEM Cap, rotor, plug wires, spark plugs, battery, Mass Air Flow Sensor, Cam Postion Sensor, RPM Sensor, ECU. I'm about broke with the parts and the many trips to differnt repair shops.

    I need help with the Car! Like I said it will not start in the am around the time I go to school, but when I come home for lunch at noon or so and it 60+ outside cranks ups great and loves to be driven.

    Could it be the Fuel Pump or Filter?
  • techcoordtechcoord Posts: 2
    I am the guy whose 850R broke down on Easter turned out to be a bad fuel pump. $379.00 for the part, $75.00 for the tow and $50.00 to put it in. Car runs awesome now.
    This is a safe and reliable vehicle. I wish there were a better indicator of a failing fuel pump but overall this car is worth every penny (I mean dollar) I dump into it. Keep the faith.
  • Hello everyone, brand new owner of a 1995 Volvo 850 GLT. This one has the SC-710 radio in it. My question is... if I upgrade to the SC-815 or SC-816 can I hook a subwoofer up to it? I'd like to stick with factory volvo equipment, especially for the overall look of the dashboard. Is it possible? Thanks.
  • gfm2gfm2 Posts: 1
    I am going to look at a 97 850glt wagon tomorrow for possible purchase. It was a trade in at a Acura dealer. It has 78k miles. I have been a vw guy for many years...and have had enough. Can anyone recommend certain things to check for while inspecting the car above and beyond standard things like oil filler cap/color smell of automatic trans oil..etc. I do not think any service records are available...
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Check the timing belt and the turbo return seals, if you can.
  • vlauvlau Posts: 1
    Hello Jackie

    I have the exact same problem. After much searching, I believe the culprit is a faulty ignition swtich. Apparently the contacts wear out, and when it does it prevents the items that you have listed from functioning. The good news is that your ABS module has not given out (yet), and the fix is relatively affordable. A quick search shows a new ignition switch could be purchased for under $100 and the install seems pretty simple.

    Good luck!

  • brian18brian18 Posts: 1
    I recently purchased this vehicle. I love the car and the sporty ride it provides. I do have a problem with a very musty odor that appears after the car sits in the heat and humidity closed up. I feel like it may be related to the air conditioning. It disappears quickly once we are on the road. Does anyone have any ideas of how to approach the problem?
  • koankoan Posts: 1
    Hi - I think I may know what this is. check the seal in the back roof area of the hatch - it may have to be re-glued - solved my musty odor issue
  • maxillomaxillo Posts: 12
    Hello folks,

    I've been lurking on this forum for a couple of days b/c I am considering getting an 850 Turbo. I'm going to take a look at a '96 wagon with 100K on Friday.

    I know about the ABS module issue, the reports of tranny problems, and fluid leaks.

    Are there any signs and symptoms I should look for to diagnose these problems? the car is being sold by a reputable used car dealer, with a clean CarFax report (3 owners), and is cosmetically is very good shape.

    I obviously like these cars and can afford to put $1-2K into repairs, but would prefer to avoid that. Also, I will only need this car to get me through the next 18 months / 15K miles or so before I move out of state and likely have to sell it.


    Any advice is appreciated.

  • My sister has offered her '96 850 turbo wagon to me. She says it needs @ $3000 worth of work so it is NOT really free, ha ha.

    The most costly (@ $1500) and most mandatory fix is the replacement of the turbo. She says it burns oil and that a shop said she needed a new turbo. Does this sound right?

    Other issues are: sunroof "issues", rear hatch struts, controls on electric seats, radio, cv boot.

    I am willing to put this amount of cash into this car as it only has @ 130k on the clock and is in otherwise decent condition.

    Any comments are welcome. Is this a /emo_lemon.gif

  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Sounds like your sis cooked the turbo.

    Sorry, but ANY car w/ 130k cannot be a lemon. that term refers to new cars that develop issues that cannot be resolved.
    Hatch struts and cv boots are wear items.
    Personally, I'd pass on the car. Cooking a turbo on an 850 takes work, most of the time it stems from not changing the oil often enough or racing the engine and not letting the turbo cool.
  • Hi - I just purchased a '95 850 GLT with 107k miles. I am "downsizing" from a mini van. Love the car - it almost drives itself. Please could you answer a few questions as I am not familiar with these vehicles (our other car is a suburban). When it shifts into first you can almost hear it go clunk. It is very subtle, but a noticible shift. Higher gears are fine. It seems louder than my other cars, but not like it needs a new muffler. It smells a little like gasoline, not strong, but could this indicate a problem? And.. how much $$ to replace rear hatch struts? The hatch has a hard time staying up on its own. THANKS!!! Oh, and I'm Swedish and my grandfather worked for volvo way back when! About time I bought one.

  • My post made it sound like perhaps it was a manual, which it is not. It is an automatic. It really is not a *clunk* just a very noticible and not very smooth shift into first. Thanks again. (The dealer thought it was just a volvo thing -he used to sell Mercedes and said they did the same thing) Again, once you're up to 30mph it's very smooth.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    The clunk is a volvo thing.
  • I've started to look for a replacement for my 91 240 wagon ('I'm not dead yet!'), most likely an 850 wagon. I'd love to get a turbo version, but wonder if our driving style (short, stop-and-go trips, usually non-highway) would be asking for trouble? Would I be better off looking for a non-turbo? I think we averaged 3,000 miles per year over the four years we owned the 240.

  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Won't make a bit of difference.
  • Looking for an 850 wagon for the family car. We have three toddlers (ages 3-1/2, 2 and 7-months). I have several questions:
    1) I understand that three car seats fit nicely in the back. And that there is another seat in the way back?? Is this standard, or an option that I have to ask about?
    2) What are the benefits or disadvantages of turbo? Do you pay extra for it?
    3) Do all models and years recommend premium gasoline? If not, which ones don't need it?
    4) I'm hoping to spend no more than $2000 - $2500 - which year do I need to be looking at?
    5) How does the wagon handle in the snow?
    6) I have always been a manual transmission lover - but never have driven a wagon with it. Any concerns?
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    1 3 car seats will fit, if a little snugly.
    A rear facing jump seat was available as a dealer or factory option.
    2 Turbo offers quicker acceleration w/ a smaller motor. The 850 Turbo is more expensive than the standard 850 wagon.
    3 Volvo recommends Premium unleaded in all their cars. However, you can use regular. I don't recommend regular for older engines.
    4 If you find an 850 wagon for $2000, keep looking. A good one will run $5-7000.
    5 Wagon is FWD, w/ proper tires snow is not a problem.
    6 The Turbo was never available in the US w/ a manual. Regular wagon was available w/ a manual but extremely rare. Auto tranny is a good one, early years shifted a bit harshly for some.
  • jdialjdial Posts: 1
    We recently bought a 95 850 :) and our dealer said that BGK44 fuel clearner was the best. Has anyone used it or heard of it?

    PS-We need to use premium gas, what is regular unleaded bad, for 850 wagons? :confuse:
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Regular gas will cause knocking and pinging in the engine.
    The 850 has a high compression engine that will cause the cheap stuff to partially combust prior to ignition.
    This is not good.
    The 850's computers aren't as advanced as new Volvo's in dealing w/ the cheap stuff.
  • The last Volvo I owned was a 1971 wagon - drove like a tank, but loved the safety. Switched to Subaru for lower cost in the '90s and that drove it's last mile at 240,000 recently.

    Now we're debating between '93 940 rear-wheel drive wagon with 107,000 for $5000 and '95 850 with 197,000 miles for $3000.

    Pros and Cons of each model from those of you with recent experience?

    many thanks -
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    I'd take the 940 simply because it has alot fewer miles.
    It is also a simpler car to repair.
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