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Volvo 850 Wagons



  • begobego Posts: 1
    To volvoscott:
    Our dealership received the same car as yours: ash gold with tacky looking dark brown seats. I was so impressed with the overall look of the 2001 V70 XC that I ordered one. However, it will be ash gold with tan interior. I did see the java brown (very dark brown) exterior which had toupe leather seats. Don't think it will be much of a hit. The updated looks and great ride of the 2001 are what got me to stay will Volvo. My 3 year lease is just coming up on a 1998 V70 AWD XC. Test drove the Lexus RX300 which was same price. Ride and acceleration is better in the Volvo!
    This is a common situation that only requires regular lubrication of the steering tie-rod ends. It only seems to happen at full rotation right or left. Just get it lubed and it'll go away immediately.

    Best Wishes,

  • west3west3 Posts: 7
    what would the buyout ammount be for your v70xc? did you keep good records?
  • bwhbwh Posts: 76
    What I would be worried about is the level of maintenace preformed on the car. Running an engine out of oil does not speak well for the overall care given to the car. The fact that it also has a new transmission is good and bad. Sure now you have a new engine and transmission, now what about the brakes and suspension? Good luck, I just don't see cars like that as a good deal. If it was neglected from the start it is bound to be a continual headache.
  • Thanks for the replies. I should have made it more explicit that the wagon has been inspected by my very trustworthy mechanic and no other problems were found.I agree that running out of oil does not exactly equate the owner with good upkeep but this must have happened when "husband" was out of town as the rest of the car is fine.

    I was looking for specific info from 850 owners. Thanks flapjack27. We are familiar with frequent, and often costly, repairs with the Volvos and Saab but are still dedicated owners. P.S my last name is also Pohl.
  • Is there anyone out there with good things to say about the V70? I am the owner of a new 2000 XC. I like the car! It is solidly built, smooth running, and has appointments I was looking for - boosters, third row seat, AWD. I traded a 98 Outback. (Nice car, but it had some electrical and mechanical issues from day one...and was not as solidly built as the Volvo)
    Is the consensus from owners out there that I should expect to trade this one in 2 - 3 years - before maintenance gets high - just like my Outback!? I plan on trying to drive this car until my 5 year old son goes to college!
  • rollierollie Posts: 337
    Regarding post #126:

    yemi717, if you are talking about the 2001 Cross Country it's too early to know for sure. Fortunately the platform has been around for a couple of years now so many of the early issues were already found and solved. Personally, I suspect the 2001s will do at least as well as the outgoing 2000s but that is only a gut feel at this point as the 2001 is too new to gauge at this point. Unless you got a lemon, you could easily make either car last until your 5 year old heads off to college. The maintenance costs are not cheap but they aren't unreasonable. It will cost you more than a domestic car but not as much as other European brands or even the average Honda Accord or Toyota Camry for that matter (I was surprised to see their maintenance costs for visits aren't that cheap!)

    Good luck.

    [email protected]
  • lmeyer1lmeyer1 Posts: 215
    My two cents. Our 850 is FAR more expensive to maintain (on a per mile basis) than our Toyota Camry. The Volvo is unquestionably a nicer car, but the maintenance costs aren't even close.
  • Nobody buys a Volvo because they wanted a Toyota, Nissan, or Honda. This is obvious yet everybody seems to want to justify and rate their ownership experience in comparison to these marques.

    Let's be honest, you did not buy a Vovlo, or for that matter any other European brand of car, because you thought it'd be the most economical car to drive. If you did you were a fool. The last economical car to come out of Europe was the original V.W. Beetle!

    I respect any reliable automobile but that is not in fact the sole reason for my buying that car and I have a degree in Economics! I buy a car for a myriad of reasons and the Volvo fit us to a T. We've driven and owned two old Cadillacs and two Lincolns and they were no walk in the "cost of ownership" park.

    To own and drive a Volvo is a luxury, meaning a higher cost of ownership than all the other brands you could have chosen. Be fare why did you really buy the Volvo, don't later back track and say I thought it'd be the most economical car I could own. Our Volvo is one of the most utilitarian and comfortable cars we've ever owned period.
  • lmeyer1lmeyer1 Posts: 215
    I agree that you buy a Volvo for reasons other than reliability. But we apparently differ on one point. It wasn't always this way. That is, there was a time when you could buy a Volvo and, in addition to all its other fine attributes, you'd get a pretty reliable car.

    This change is what gets me, and also what causes me to look at other makes and wonder why Volvo can't seem to keep up. Of course, the reason I look to Japanese cars is obvious. They set the standard when it comes to reliability.
  • lmeyer1-

    We really are not as far apart as you think, because I too remeber those old 240's of yester year that were in deed nearly unstopable. I loved those cars and was sorry when they passed on to be replaced by the "new" 850 line.

    There were so many new things in the 850 that Volvo was not traditionally known for mainly a front wheel drive 5 cyl. platform. A lot of the 850's production parts were outsourced and there certainly was a lack of oversight and quality assuranced testing when Volvo was putting these cars together. But they were struggling just to stay relevant.

    A lot of the 850's problems stem from inferior outsourced parts that fail at alarmingly early life spans. I seriously believe that the 850 was an independent Volvo's last gasp at trying to stay competitive in an ever increasing consolidating auto manufacturing world and they basically failed and had to fall into the hands of a larger company like Ford.

    My hope is that Ford will through the $'s into the brand that is needed to assure its future similar to the way they've successfully brought Jaguar back from the brink. Volvo is a great brand and I hope to see them back on top of their game but remember the last century saw a lot of great margues bite the dust too. My 49 Packard is just one of those sad stories.
  • rollierollie Posts: 337
    Regarding post #132:

    newdog, '98 70 series wagons were plagued by two
    prevalent problems - early bulb failure and dash
    rattles. The bulb failures were cured by a
    replacement of the bulb sockets at the dealership.
    It's a simple job that takes less than an hour to
    complete and fixes the issue (and is of course
    free). Those cars that had rattles are a different story. It seems some owners found success and other didn't. I would highly recommend that you get the dealership maintenance records for the '98 and review them in detail. Then take the car out for an extended test drive to see if there are any rattles. If your review doesn't turn up any serious or recurring problems and you don't detect rattle I would highly recommend the '98 V70 over the '97 850 Wagon. Both are fine cars overall but the V70 benefits from a fresher design and about 1400+ refinements according to Volvo.

    Regarding booster seats, I'm pretty sure they were a different design for cars prior to the '01 V70. I would be shocked if it could be retrofitted (it would involve a complete replacement of the rear seat.)

    Good luck.

    [email protected]

    p.s. - Be careful with Consumer Reports data. For long term analysis I think it's about all we have. However, one of the biggest problems with CR is that a problem with say an ashtray or a bulb socket weighs the same as a transmission or engine failure to them!
  • I received a floral-upholstered molded plastic supplemental booster as a Volvo promotion with purchase of a V70 T5 in September. Looks like it will fit any car and route belts safely. It will be installed at the appropriate time in my bro's 850 wagon for the displeasure of my 4-yr-old nieces' tender butts (seems quite firm). I am appreciating the T5 in all facets but have experienced the occasional steering "clunk" on sharp turns from stop that is referenced in other posts. I also am contemplating fitting aftermarket brake dust shields inside the 17" rims.
  • rollierollie Posts: 337
    Regarding post #134:

    sondagsakare, if you are going to buy brake shield make sure you buy a couple of sets of extra rotors as well. The brake shields interfere with venting of the rotors and lead to warped rotors. You will have to learn to either live with the brake dust (wax your wheels once they are clean and then you can usually hose it off if you do it often enough) or get a different type of dustless after market pad (which usually means a compromise in stopping distances).

    Good luck.

    [email protected]
  • ...since Volvo rotors might cost a couple of dollars, I'll save my money to address another gripe--the V70 grille. I want a black mesh grille fabricated to replace stock. Any reason I couldn't do this? Years ago I worked for a design consultant to Volvo America (we designed the old lighted blue-and-white "hockey stick" sign program). At the time, we had Sweden almost convinced to ditch the grille diagonal for a diagonal-themed hood ornament, thus isolating the "motion-contrary" slash and preventing it from mucking up the front of the car. At the last minute, after admiring our ornament models, etc., they balked. It was a near thing, though! I'm still fighting that battle 20 years later. Do your opinions extend to aesthetic issues? I live on the West Side of Chicago near myriad fabricators and figure I could get the job done for under $500.
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    Don't need any stinkin' hood ornaments. You might snag it on the belt loop of someone you're mowing down, and then you wouldn't make a clean getaway! j/k.

  • rollierollie Posts: 337
    Regarding post #136:

    Regarding that black mesh grill, I received IPD's ( latest mailer about 2 weeks ago and I remember a specific article about their new mesh grills! You might want to check their site to see if the grills are listed there yet. If not you can order a catalog from them and see the choices for yourself. I recall that there were other color choices but I don't recall what they were since I'm not in the market for one.

    Good luck.

    [email protected]
  • I've cross-filed your response under "Wonders of Technology" and "Milk of Human Kindness." When requesting a catalog online I noted that IPD doesn't have 2001 models in their subdirectories yet (or the grilles), but the company will be a valuable resource (<--addressed to another valuable resource). Color choice! Unbelievable. I will follow-up post.
  • I've been investigating and have found several Web forum references to faulty "subframe bushings" and clunking noises from SD80s and new V70s. Seems to have been going on for some time. My new T5 also makes this noise occasionally when cornering.
    My impression is that it's fixable, and I intend to raise the issue with my dealer (supported by printouts of postings). I would appreciate your characterization of this problem. My apology if you have previously addressed it.
  • rollierollie Posts: 337
    Regarding post #141:

    sondagsakare, my take is that this is a very minor issue at worst. It shouldn't occur but in cases where it does it doesn't affect any functionality or safety feature of the car. Personally, I would hold off on a trip to the dealer until you've seen multiple posts here or on the BrickBoard from owners who have had a successful fix and have put some miles on their cars afterwards. Early on it looked like Volvo was guessing at solutions. It sounds like they have finally diagnosed and fixed the issue but unless you like going to your dealer for minor reasons I would probably wait until some future scheduled maintenance trip myself.

    Good luck.

    [email protected]
  • Thanks again, Mr. O. Patience will serve well. And I must take pity on my poor Volvo agency: I live two blocks away. Heh heh.
  • bert99bert99 Posts: 5

    We are considering buying a '01 XC but are concerned about the hassle of bringing the car to the dealership numerous times, even for minor items. For example, we've heard that if the gas cap is not turned three clicks, the "check engine" light comes on and can only be turned off at the dealership. We live in a state where there are no self-service gas stations; so, this might occur.

    For those who have bought XCs in the last several years, how often have you needed to bring the car in for non-scheduled maintenance?

    How bout for those of you who have Subarus or Passats?

    Thanks so much!!!

  • Flapjack27, the 2 lights blinking are indicating a fault code(s) in the automatic climate control system. Resetting the code will not likely do you any good. If the fan is not blowing then it sounds like you need a fan or a fan resistor. More than likely the resistor is bad. Take it in and get it properly diagnosed.

  • tim106tim106 Posts: 1
    Hi-my husband and I are considering purchasing a 95 850 turbo wagon with 87,000 miles. it's loaded and in mint condition (with 3rd seat) and the asking price is 15,000. any comments/concerns? our children are 2 and 5. thanks.
  • I'm looking at the new V70 with S80 platform and when I read your 10 Top problems list, it brought me back to my dearly beloved 240 wagons and 740 wagon, which suffered from every one of those problems. Nevertheless, each car lasted for 140,000 miles and carried me safely through two crashes.
    In spite of all their faults (and they are expensive to repair)all were safe and reliable driving machines.
  • scotianscotian Posts: 1,064
    I just saw a big Volvo station wagon (it had a 70
    in its name) that had a full passenger side
    muffler/exhaust w/ bumper cutout, but the driver
    side had a removable exhaust cutout (with the
    cutout still in place), no exhaust, and what
    appeared to be a muffler, just like the other.
    Would this be a fake muffler to balance out the
    looks, and if so, why stop short of an exhaust?
    What gives?
  • Scotian, I am guessing you either saw the V70 AWD Cross Country, or the V70R AWD. The bumper for these 2 had a cutout with an option for a dual exhaust. Apparently the one you saw didn't have the exhaust option on it.
  • Does anyone know if there is Tech Bulletin from Volvo on the cause and fix for the dreaded "tranny thump". You know the one where when you lift off the gas and it feels like someone hit the transmission with a 2 X4.

    Its driving my wife and I crazy and we're honestly thinking about dumping our 99 XC (only 20K miles) and getting a 325 wagon.
  • The "Check Engine Light" will come on if you fill the vehicle with the engine running. To clear, remove gas cap, step on bumper to lower car and use a long slim object to open the gas fill line to relief the pressure imbalance!
  • Ok, I love my Volvo. I think that my '94 850 Turbo is a fantastic commuter combining speed, safety, looks and comfort into a solid package. Here, unfortunently are my recent problems. One, begining this November (and I feel like this started when it became colder, granted I live in ATL and cold is under 50) upon staring the car in the morning and even with a good 5 minute warm up the vehicle would be very slow in coming out of first gear... either I would have to drive almaost a full mile before it seemed the transmision warmed up and switched into 2nd or I would have to flip the auto gear shift into N then back to D to "coach" the car into 2nd.. What gives? After an early morning incident, and even a long day at the office with equally cold temps, this problem does not happen again till the next am. Second, the vehicle has gone through (last two weeks) the habit of not starting at rare times. Case... drove to the grocery store one cold evening.. came out with groceries... vehicle would not turn over. No burnt fuses, strong battery... just a click from the ignition switch but no engine turn. Came back next night started no problem with no adjustments.. this has happened three times now in last couple of weeks.. any ideas? Well, Merry Christmas!!!
  • ray71ray71 Posts: 4
    I recently took my 2000 V70 AWD Cross Country in for its first service at 7500 miles. Cost=$187 dollars and I provided the Mobil 1 oil. When I took my 98 Suburban 2500 AWD in for its first service at 7500 miles the cost=$59 and I provided the oil. In both cases the service included the cost of tire rotation and the initial prices of the vehicles were within $1000. The hourly mechanic rate for my Volvo dealer is $82. Can you believe that rate for a tire rotation? Costco only charges $9 per tire for lifetime balances and rotation. I sent an e-mail to Volvo asking about the first service cost. It took two e-mails and a month before I received a reply. This is my third and last Volvo. I have been recommending Volvo to my friends since 1985. That will never happen again.
  • cnaucnau Posts: 4
    Hello...I am in the process of evaluating an 850 R S/W for purchase. I found this 1996 car at a Volvo dealer with only 49,750 miles. I spoke with the previous owner and he confirmed no history of problems. He did add some brake and suspension performance upgrades though. My questions are these, with proper maintenance is this a 250 to 300K capable car? Is it worth $16,500 in clean condition? Are there any potential problems with this particular model? Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Chris
  • rfd2rfd2 Posts: 2

    I have been researching the same model year Volvo wagon (and the '97 year). My father called to tell me that he looked it up in his archive set of Consumer Reports magazine in the April, 2000 volume and he says it is listed as one of their "good buys" in used cars. It also gets good ratings in Edmunds and the safety crash test ratings were very good. I, too, would love to know just how far the engine will go since I put about 22K miles per year on my cars and don't want to pay that kind of money unless I know the car will last. I am particularly looking for the AWD version of the Volvo 850 Wagon that premiered in 1996 or 1997 and was available in Europe and Canada. The 850 version of the Volvo AWD wagon is reputed to be much more reliable (although not as fanncy) as the V70, (which is listed by CR as a car to avoid at all costs!) but was unavailable in the US and is hard to find in Canada. I did find about 7 of the them listed as "Estate Wagons" in England all with fairly high milage, but certainly none above the 200K mile range, yet. Good luck!
  • cnaucnau Posts: 4
    Information for all you shoppers out there.
    I have just taken delivery of a 1996 Volvo 850R wagon. I bought this car from a Volvo dealer with 49750 miles with all the bells and whistles for $17038....Good luck in your search.
  • This is been a great car and I love it and hope to keep it for 10 years. My wagon is a fully loaded GLT that I bought as a demo with 6k miles, I have 22K miles now.

    My only problems have been the right and left side blinkers working intermintitly, brake light once, driver side windshield washer jet stopped working and a low engine idle at times.

    These were all fixed in one visit while under warranty. Replaced jet, fluid for the brakes, replaced contacts for blinkers. The idle problem was fixed by an software upgrade to the engine computer, don't know if it was a recall. My dealer Red Bank Volvo in NJ was very nice. Also where I bought it was very nice Garden State Volvo. Great car and like it much better than my 2001 Sienna.
    Believe it or not that sickly Nordic Yellow that they used on those introductory 850R's I think is hot. Matching that ugly color I/ the rocket of an engine in an I wagon and you're are bad and ugly too boot. Watch out for those early low profile tires though because they really seemed to hate the pot holes. Enjoy that peddle cnau because that ant your father's Volvo.

    We're nearing 55K now on our 96 base 850 wagon that we bought in 1999 I/ 34K on it. We had a few minor teething problems I/ our car just after we bought and I really began to wonder but they were all taken care of professionally and promptly by the dealer. Nothing since and we both still love the car.

    I had to laugh when my 11 year old niece was making derogatory comments about having ride around in her family's Ford LSD station wagon. I reminded her that her aunt and I drove a wagon too, and she said "but your's is different, it's at least a cool car." I think we can all identify to some degree with thoughts and feeling like that about the kind of cars our parents drove us to school and soccer practice in and yet hear we all living it all out again as adults driving around in station wagons! Isn't fun to watch what we've all become and what SUV's are trying to metamorphic themselves into these days.
  • We have over 110,000 miles on our wagon, and it has held up well. It is developing rattles and some small problems but still looks and drives like new. We have used regular rather than premium gas without any problems and average about 24 mpg based on the trip computer. It is one of six cars we own, and we like it so much in comparison to all the cars we own or have owned that we plan to keep it running until it dies.

    We replaced the brake pads about every 55,000 miles. We replaced the brake rotors at 110,000 miles. We use Dunlop W-10 performance tires, and they last about 40,000 miles. My wife ran over a 2x4 on the freeway, and it split the wheels in half. So be careful with potholes and objects on the road.

    I expect that this car will last for a long time.
  • cnaucnau Posts: 4
    Thanks for the avice on the 17" rims. I actually got the dealer to switch them with a 96 used sedan, also an 850R, with 16" tianium colored 5 spoke volvo alloy rims. I made the deal contingent on the wheel switch and he did it.

    I did this to smooth out some of the harshness in the ride, to help in snow conditions and because I didn't want to spend big $$ for high performance tires that only last about 40K miles. I only found out recently about the possability of bent and/or broke 17" rims. I really loved the look and the "emergency situation handling" of the 17" rims on the car but it just wasn't quite pactical enough for me.

    Thanks again and I wish you many happy motoring miles, Chris
  • The Dunlop Sport W-10 tires are pretty cheap for Z-rated tires. They were about $100 each. Michelins and other brands were close to $200 each for the 16" tires. I consider 40,000 miles to be very good for a Z-rated, high-traction tire. I have gotten as low as 15,000 miles on some tires on other cars.
  • scragescrage Posts: 1
    I am considering buying a 97 850 T-5 and i am having trouble discerning the wholesale price. Kelly's blue book has it at $25,000, but lists it at $20,000. The dealer is offering it at a 'special' sale price of $25,000, should I go lower?

  • cnaucnau Posts: 4
    I have a hard time accepting 15K to 40K out of a set of tires that cost over $100 each. My last set of Michlen's cost $100 each but I got over 100K. I understand it is a game of give and take with regards to size, speed rating and performance. I just find it hard to believe the average person drives their car at a level that justifies and allows them to appreciate the capabilities of high performance tires on an every day driver car.

    I spent some time as a salesman at a Ford dealership and found that the dealer seldom lets a customer leave without giving the lowest price. However, most people would be very amazed at the price that you can get by saying "I will buy this car right now for $???????." Trust me you will know what their lowest price is. But, Realize you have to be ready to buy it for that price, period. Also realize, a dealers used car lot is not suject to the actual cost of the vehicle. The cost they paid for a car is usually only dependent on what they had to pay to put the deal together. So they may have got the car very cheap, as is usually the case.
    Happy shopping, Chris
  • taratara Posts: 30
    Hello! I just wanted to introduce myself, my name is Tara and I've just started working for I'll be your new host for Station Wagons:)
  • Does anyone know where I can find 17 or 18 inch Volvo Rims? New or used..

    Miami Florida
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    check for the 17 Volvo wheels.
    Tara, welcome, don't know what you drive but Edmunds thought well enough to hire you so, welcome.

    gman- Do these guys sell orginal equipment stock? I need just a basic Volvo mag that got seriously chipped in God knows what kind of parking incident. It bad enough that I'd like to replace it but I ain't going to Volvo to get it done.

    scrage- I'd say that you should press for lower. The economy is headed south and believe me you can press that issue with the dealership. Some where in the lower region of 20's is probably more realistic in this market. Only miles would put me up or down on this thought. If it is the "car" you want then you adjust up, but only slightly and I mean slightly. It's a very, very tough market out there for car sellers of any type right now. Press you advantage at a bad sales time of the year.
  • taratara Posts: 30
    I drive a 2000 Ford Contour. I've only had it for a month but it seems very reliable which is all that I wanted. Prior to Edmunds I was working for Ford, so I'm very familiar and impressed with the volvo lineup.

    Station Wagons Message Board
  • Just breaking you in Tara. Volvo is a passionate forum as you can see by all the catagories within the wagon forum. I love our wagon but drive a Ford product myself. If it's gotta be American I'm pretty well set on Ford. I drive the Ford because it is cheap but I know and feel the difference. Our 850 most likely will become my car in a few years and a new Volvo purchased for the wife. She likes them and I feel like I know the difference enough that I think they really are a value European purchase. Yes, even the 850.
  • taratara Posts: 30
    but I had to settle for the plain old SE:)

    Station Wagons Message Board
  • I have a 1997 Volvo 850 GLT Wagon. We truly enjoy this car with a dog and one year old. Ever since the warranty was up at 50K, I firmly believe that a time bomb has went off in this car. Here is a short list of repairs in the past 6 months. Catalytic converter $1065. Air Bag sensor $400. Ventilation blower motor $400. ABS sensor $400. Rear brakes $200. Engine cooling temp sensor $175. Complete transmission $2300. This is the major list and I've rounded some prices off to the nearest $100. In any case it is insane. We have absolutely babied this vehicle, including every singe 5k maintenance performed on the dot. The car has been 100% serviced at the dealer. It is not raced. It doesn't tow. We don't live in the mountains. We do absolutely nothing to warrant this type of failure of every major component. At last count the car has been serviced 21 times in the last 6 months. Every time the chech engine light comes on (bi-weekly) it costs $75 to diagnose. (approximately 2 minutes with a hand held device) I've written letters to Volvo of North America in NJ. and have spent way too much time on the phone. Is there any type of consumer protection agency or any form of lemon law type of thing that could help us out. I've never had such a terrible car. The funny thing is, we love the size, the ride, the acceleration etc, but the only thing that hasn't been repaired is the radio. Any help is greatly appreciated. You may email me directly at [email protected] I will gladly call anyone back to discus my options. Please help. Thank you all in advance. I've gain quite a bit from this board in the past.
    Chris Fairman
  • taratara Posts: 30
    Have you spoken to the Volvo Representative that calls on your dealer? I believe they have one person that calls on both the Sales and Service Departments at a dealership. They should be able to offer an Owner Loyalty Certificate to buy you out of your current vehicle and put a certain amount towards your next Volvo purchase. It usually takes a great deal of effort on your part and several phone calls to the customer assistance center to document each repair.

    I hope that may provide some insight... do you have any warranty remaining?

    Station Wagons Message Board
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