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Volvo 850 Wagons



  • I was driving my 1986 850 back from LA tonight and midway through the trip after about 200 miles while on HWY 5 in the middle of the valley, i.e. flatland nowhere, the ABS light came on and did not go off till I stopped the car for gas and turned of the engine. The light stayed off for about another 100 miles and then came back on again. This is the first time I've had this occur and it seemed rather strange when no brakes had been used for nearly 100 miles before the light came on. The car has 106k miles on it and is scheduled for a certified mechanic maintenance stop next week. Whadda think this ABS light is all about. The brakes of course worked just fine after the light came on.
  • I just bought a Volvo 850 Turbo wagon w/200,000 miles.The car is pristine in appearance but probably needs new struts. Other than this web page where should I go to get up to speed. If the car makes it for 12 months then I paid $100 a month for this experiment. I am mentally prepared to put $1500-$3000 in it to get it to 230,000 miles. Is this realistic or I am just being hopeful.
    Volvo Newboy
  • Robert-

    Great to hear your car made 200K. There are many possible troubles with any car that has that many miles but if yours was decently maintained you could be happy with the ownership experience. A couple of the major troubles, of which I've never had with my own car w/ 107K, are transmission failure, and aircon failure. These things are expensive enough that most people just give up and get rid of the car. There also is also continuing niggling little problems that some people just cant handle dealing with. If you have complete repair records you will be able to research this forum for possible problems you might want to have checked out. At 200K who knows what is yet in store for you. The 850 was a whole new platform for Volvo and nobody yet knows if they'll still be tootaling around towns in 20 years the way the old 740s still do. :confuse:

    I have had a very pleasant ownership experience myself and plan on driving this car into the ground whenever that finally occurs. The car was paid off several years ago so I feel like every trouble free year after that is one more at no additional cost. My car is still crisp and enjoyable to drive and gets decent gas mileage to boot. :shades:
  • Did you mean a 1996 850? More than likely your ABS Module is going bad. It carries a cost of about $500 to replace at the dealer. If you can change parts I would be able to direct you where to get it fixed at a fraction of the cost. There are a few other causes for this to happen but it sounds like the module.
  • The car has about 160k on it worked very well till the radiator blow up .I got a new radiator but when the mechanic fixed he said there maybe a cracked headgasket. After he told what it would cost I decided just to take the car home which it began to emit white smoke. Since then I have only been able to start it once. Where can I sell this car as it is? I know someone can give new live to this car.
  • I've noticed on my 94 850 turbo that the abs light comes on at random times as well. i just had my brakes replaced and so far it hasnt come back on. i think that it is more of an electronic thing than it is actual wear and tear.
  • The way my light comes on seems to be totally at random and sometimes it does not occur again for several months. I have not yet determined what sort of driving conditions bring on the light but I generally find that if I turn the car off and then start it up again the light stays off. Sorta weird but not a constant irritation to be becuase the ABS still seems to be working just fine. I drive a lot of city miles around the hills of SF but mostly those are brief trips and then the car will sit unused for several days at a time. So whether this is a failing module or what I dont yet know. I guess I could have our Volvo mechanic check it out the next time we send the car in for a brake job.
  • 9585095850 Posts: 1
    can anyone tell me is there a way to reset my ECC fault with out taking it to a dealership ? when i start my car both my rec and A/C light start flashing and my blower wont engage ?
  • First off..........our 850 has about ten years till death by my calculation.

    LOL- my wife and I had this discussion last week and I thought it was pretty much brand indicative. My wife, who is from Japan, has a very high expectation for what her personal automovite transpertation will deliver. She thinks Volvo has sunk into the Ford Owned abyss.

    Now think......this currently is an automotive nightmare. I dont like mini vans, SUV's, or any or their kissing cousins.......I like a frickin Wagon. If you had to replace your 850 wagon with something else......what the hell would that be?
  • Hi, just a few questions. I have a friend of mine who was recently promoted and was given a car allowance through work. Fortunately for me, he asked if I would be interested in buying his car. He has a 1995 volvo sedan. I am not sure if it is a turbo or not. It has 160k miles on it, but looks and drives as if it is in mint condition. He is only asking for $1500. Is this a fair price, and are there any serious concerns when buying this model this old, or with this many miles on it? Thank you for any and all input!!! :)
  • Hi there, you can also check Used Car Prices/Reviews to see if that is a good price.
  • I bought similar wagon for $1250 but it had at least another 80k miles. I also knew that I would have to put at least $1200 in it. Am at $650 so far. My plan is to get it to last at least a year and sell it for 1000-1500. Assume that you will spend $2000 within a year. If you are cool with that then you are probably going to be happy. Especially if you don't spend it.
  • hi thanks for the info. I appreciate it!!!
  • I am a newbie, so please bear with me.
    A friend of mine has a 95 850 man.tran. wagon that will go up for sale as she is doing the Volvo tourist pkg. The timing is good for me to turn in my lease vehicle when her old volvo comes available for sale in August. She is a meticulous person and has taken care of this car.

    Another friend (male) says don't buy an old volvo they are too costly to repair. My husband knows I want to try volvo ownership (I have admired the cars forever), but essentially says the same thing. I love volvo's unconventional but durable reputation. What do my male friend and husband know that I don't know? Will I really have to put this car in the shop on an every other month basis? Will it bleed me dry in repairs? I have a hope to keep this car for another 8 years and teach my son to drive it in three years and for it to be his "wheels" in high school. Am I dreaming?

    Please advise. :confuse:
  • enginoneenginone Posts: 20
    It depends -- what has the repair history been for this particular car? Everything wears out over time, so routine maintenance is to be expected. What you don't want is a car with "gremlins." If the previous owner has a good record of the service history, that should help determine the reliability to date. Volvo did have some problems with electronics in the late 80s/early 90s -- that may be what the guys are concerned about and rightfully so. The records will tell the story of whether you should go forward or not. You can always take it to a garage you trust for a pre-purchase inspection too. Well worth the hour or so of labor for peace of mind, and to know what a good mechanic thinks it needs.

    Everyone has personal tastes and experiences that can bias their decisions. Ours have been favorable with Volvos, but I have had friends who were less fortunate. I have a 2006 XC90, and we bought a 96 850 for my son specifically because we knew they were durable, safe, and have had positive experience with an 82 and 87 240 in the past.

    Regarding repairs, they all seem to cost about the same now between parts and shop rates. Again, it comes down to the overall reliability of the car you're interested in. Much of the maintenance and basic repairs can be done by the owner if you buy a Chilton's or Haynes manual and you're relatively handy.

    Finally, they can't be beat as cars for teen drivers. Not very glamorous, but they do a wonderful job of protecting their cargo. My wife and son have both had accidents in Volvos -- a rear ender on the 82 and low speed head-on in the 850. Both Volvos fared (much!) better than the competition, and were still drivable afterwards, though needing repairs. We trust them, but it's still important to find one with a good history.

    Hope that helps.
  • rick83rick83 Posts: 1
    Another Volvo Wagon!!!
  • momonlymomonly Posts: 1
    Silly question but here are the details. My daughter is looking for a car for about $2000 which is what she has saved up. Our choices at this point are a Volvo 850 wagon, 1994, 203,000 miles which a friend will sell her for $1500. It has a new transmission, brake pads and calipers. Her other option is a 1986 Plymouth Horizon with only 40,000 miles for $2000.
    Any advice out there? The volvo is obviously a much safer car but how many more miles can we expect to get out of it? She is moving to Fargo, ND in August.
  • brucebinbrucebin Posts: 1
    Why don't you check your 850? Maybe theres a problem with your power steering pump, power steering hose, or probably the Rack And Pinions
  • It may be a longshot, but the noise you have described is similar to one that I have had on a BMW 523i. It came from a small stone trapped in the front brakes. It sounds horrendous, but apparently does little damage. Easiest way to remove it is to go between reverse and forward a few times to dislodge it and hope it pops out of where it has stuck. I have had the problem a number of times - always after driving over road surfaces with loose blue metal.
    Good luck.
  • 96850glt96850glt Posts: 20
    I looked back to the first post for an answer, and I didn't see this before. Maybe I was in an altered state from staring at the screen for so long. If so, I'm sorry. I've got a '96 850GLT with 126K. Occasionally, throughout the operating envelope, the car will shudder, rpm drops, black smoke comes out of the exhaust, and at it's worst the engine dies. Sometimes, the car will not start/re-start right away, but it will eventually start. Again, lots of black smoke, and the smell of an over-rich engine. I get an OBD II code of P0103-MAF/VAF high input. I tested the MAF sensor and got a signal ground circuit:ground resistance of .008 ohms (should be 0 ohms), a battery voltage of 11.89V (.02V below actual batt voltage), and a backprobe of the signal ground:signal return wires of .15V (should be 0.1-0.2V). Any ideas before I bite the bullet for a 3-figures MAF sensor?

    I'm all ears! On my previous '98 V70, I got a similar shudder, but it was very infrequent, and it never persisted to engine shutdown. Portland (ME) Volvo said it was probably the MAF sensor($350 + labor), so I'm leaning toward that in this case. I'd like to make sure before I dump more money into this car. I have recently replaced plugs, rotor, dist. cap, and ignition module/coil. Mayday, mayday, mayday!
  • 96850glt96850glt Posts: 20
    I thoroughly cleaned the PCV valve and associated hoses, but it still ran poorly. I broke down and paid Volvo $225 for a new MAF sensor, which I installed in their parking lot. The car runs like new.

    I did learn that Volvo had a TSB which called for removing the PCV Flame trap (mine was missing), but it had been superceded by a newer TSB which called for re-installing the flame trap. It's good to ask questions at the dealership.
  • ralph18ralph18 Posts: 1
    I recently removed my ABS module. I used a 4 mm socket with 1/4" drive ratchet. Its quite difficult to maneuver your hands into the space to get to the bottom screws but its possible if you are dexterous and patient - don't drop the driver. A small ignition wrench might work (Sears sells). I didn't use the Torx socket as I didn't have one; standard socket worked okay.
    I sent the module to Victor Rocha (website below) after reading a testimonial and also checking another similar website. He tested, repaired, and returned the unit in about a week - very professional. I have been driving the 855 for about 2 weeks and all seems "good". Cost about $140 and 1 hour to remove/reinstall.
  • hi i own a 1995 volvo 850 estate,ive got a couple of problems with the lights, my sidelights dont work,even though the main beam and full beam are ok,ive checked bulbs and fuses and all is ok,also my dash lights flicker on and off for about 2 mins then cease to work altogether,any advice from a volvo mechanic or someone with sound knowledge would be much appreciated,im a panel beater to trade so im not totally clueless with the workings of the car but im just a little lost as where to start with the electrics on this one!!!!
  • I'd check this Volvo 850/70 engine stalling thread or look in the Volvo repair database .

    That site has the most 850/70 info I've seen on the web. Sharp people.
  • Over the weekend my car developed a very noticeable tapping sound that appears to be internal to the engine. I can't tell if it's coming from the top or bottom of the engine... The problem occurred while accelerating to enter the interstate while the turbo was producing about 15PSI. The tapping sound is consistent with increase and decrease in RPM's. Other than the tapping sound, the engine appears to be operating as normal - no misfiring , hesitation, knocking etc.

    The car has 96,000 original miles on it and has been maintained very well. The current oil is Penzoil full synthetic 10W30.

    Can anybody offer suggestion as to where to begin? Is this a known problem with this engine? Any info will be greatly appreciated.

  • In the used market there are many Volvos with 250,000 miles or more that are still commanding 'big bucks'. For that to happen, two things have to be present: the cars have durable drivetrains, and the have to be cosmetically acceptable eg no rust. The Horizon was not a good car when new and likely only worth more than scape metal pound rate because it 'only' has 40,000 miles on it. Eather car will likely get another 50,000 miles out of them which is more than you will drive them before getting a different car, so the desision is what is left of mid-size luxury for a couple of years or econobox junk when new for $500 more.
  • I have owned a 97 Volvo 850 Wagon for over 5 years without ever having an interior water leak. Recently I have had 2 inches of water on the passenger side but the drivers side was dry and then just the opposite water on the drivers side and not the passenger side. Both sides are dry now even after a heavy rain but my wife made this comment to me; "while you were gone last we had a heavy rain and when I was driving the car I thought I heard water sloshing around" The last time I had work done on the car was last summer when I had the AC repaired and the evaporator replaced. Could there be any correlation between replacing the AC and my current leak problem?
  • ocfj40ocfj40 Posts: 3
    i am working on my neighbors 850 wagon she said it wont start. i went to her house on new years day to look at it went to fuel pump it works,air filter it was claen, wires still read 94 volvo on them. i told her to tow it to my house ii wanted to look at inside of dist cap.pulled it in garage cap and rotor were built up with corosion,replaced cap,rotor,wires,plugs still no spark.took my ohm's tester to coil and igniter they test good. i am looking for some help on what else to look for to test or replace,can anyone help? thank you john ">
  • tedgmctedgmc Posts: 1
    On my 850 the reflector that carries the bulb has dropped. I will have to remove the front lens to access the reflector assembly. how do I remove the Lens. I know I have to remove the wiper assy. but from there on I'm lost. Thanks for any advice . Ted
  • 850850 Posts: 2
    I have an 850 turbo that cranks, but won;t start. when i turn the key i don;t hear the usual ticking noise.. Vehicle has a new starter and i checked power to the starter, alt and to the ignition. I'm at a loss and can't seem to find any issues. I've ripped through the wiring looking for bad grounds and cut wires. So far i can;t find anything wrong. Any ideas on wear to go from here? i tried accessing codes from under the hood with side "A" pin six and the socket is dead. all other sockets will retrieve codes though. i have a newer cam sensor and rpm sensor. any help would be grateful thanks mark.
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