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Volvo 850 Wagons

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Comments

  • FREDERICKFREDERICK Posts: 228
    Our base 96 850 hit 60K recently so we took it into our old So. Cal. dealership while we happened to be down south on a vacation. It was basically a lot of "we will inspect and look at that" kind of service but of course they found something that they wanted to replace.

    The brake pads and rotors needed replacing. Now they did the pads and probably resurfaced the rotors back at 34K so I was slightly surprised except that I've read around a lot amoung these forums enough to know that those very very grippy Volvo brakes do not come without a cost.

    My wife was a little torqued at a $1,000 "Well look at that" and replace the rotor and brake pads kind of bill. The funniest thing to me was that what torqued her the most was that the dealership did not clean and detail the car before returning it to her. She was seriously looking forward to finally having a clean car more than the service that they were suppose to perform.

    Now I am a little surpirsed that the dealership slipped up on this concept but I'm gonna call the sales manager to let him know how much this kind of service means to my wife and probably a whole lot of other female Volvo drivers. Hey we can live with a $1,000 60K service as long as you give us back our baby totally spotless. She did of course once again receive free use of a Volvo day rental from the dealership so I kind of had to giggle. They did what they had to do and gave here a car to go see her old friends with but when she came back and they could not find her car and had not even cleaned it really torqued her.

    Well guys we do drive Volvos, we do expect more. Oh yeah they'll charge us for everything we expect, but God forbid that Volvo does not deliver. I will make my phone calls because I actually believe it'll make a difference at least the next time we go back there. This really is where we all expect a Toyota, Honda, Ford, or another plebian automotive choice to differ with our Volvos.
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    If it makes you feel any better, my "plebian" Honda dealer always gives my apparently proletariat Accord back in spotless condition after any service larger than an oil change... :-)
  • FREDERICKFREDERICK Posts: 228
    That is exactly why we do not own one. Good car but plebian as well as the very obvious fact that they no longer sell a wagon in the States! Now go figure that marketing strategy. I'll get my 10 year old nephew to wash the car for a couple of dollars and stick with the Volvo. Even he thinks to Volvo is cool, what does he think about a Honda, I don't know!

    Hey, I never said I bought the car because it was a Honda.
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    Yeah, I noticed that. Don't tell me the comment wasn't deserved, though.
  • umnercumnerc Posts: 1
    We recently bought a 1997 Wagon 850 GLT. Unfortunately there is an annoying squeak caused by the metal latch which locks the rear seat in the upright position. Does anyone know of any tricks for eliminating this minor annoyance?
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 331
    Well, generally when I have a squeak like that, I try to reproduce it so I can see which parts are rubbing or bending to cause the noise. You might be able to see this by getting in the back of the car, and rocking the seatback back and forth.

    You could then try lubricating the parts that are rubbing together, and causing the squeaking with a lube containing Teflon or a heavier conventional lubricant - like reel grease spray.

    My 2 cents.
  • jav1120jav1120 Posts: 8
    I have a 98 V70 since Aug 99, I bought it as a demo with 6K miles. The only problems I had were
    the blinker's contact going, one washer jet and a check engine light. This was all corrected in one visit and they even fixed my broken cup holder under warranty, (we broke it). My wife loves the car.

    I bought a used 96 850 sedan with 35K miles and I had 3 check engine lights and a major oil leak.
    The leak was the main engine seal between the trans and engine. Good thing the car was certified or else it would have been at least $1,600 for all this work. When the warranty ran out I sold it. When I drove it it ran fine.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    This discussion has just been moved back from our Archived Folder and is now open for discussion. In addition the information here, be sure to check out the Helpful Links box on the left side of this page. You'll find direct links to other related Volvo features, articles, and discussions. Hope this is helpful. Happy Motoring!

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • We bought our 850 wagon,w/3rd seat, 5spd manual trans, in Feb 2001. We loved it. The operative word is loved. On Jan 1, 2002 while my family was loading up, I was sitting in the driver's seat(seat heater on), engine running, when I smelled and saw smoke coming from underneath the driver's seat. I told everyone to get out of the car, and checked underneath the driver's seat and saw the underside of the drivers seat on fire. With no fire extingusher all I could do was get the family out and away, call 911 and watch the Volvo go up in flames in about 6 minutes. Since none of us are smokers,and the seats were manually adjusted, I can only conclude that the seat heater overheated and caused the fire. Fortunately no one was injured, but this event scared us and our children. Does anyone else know of a similiar experience with Volvo seat heaters?
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    I am so happy that you and your family weren't harmed! I've not heard of this happening before in a Volvo. The owner's manual states that you shouldn't use the seat heaters w/o someone sitting in them, but I don't think that would matter.

    Could there have possibly been anything under the seat, some tissue paper or something, that could have ignited from the heating elements? Those heating elements can get really hot and I can easily imagine some thin, highly flamable item like Kleenex going up in flames quickly.

    Wow. Hopefully the host won't delete my post, but you should also post this on www.brickboard.com, a highly regarded Volvo enthusiast site where you could get alot of help on your problem.

    Again, I'm very happy you and your family are okay.

    /javadoc
  • kkcymrukkcymru Posts: 48
    Any suggestions on replacing the radio/cassete player in 94 850. The current one, an SC-710, quit accepting the anti-theft code, and dealer says only option is to send it back for a refurbished one at a cost of about $300, or roughly twice what you'd pay for a brand new non-Volvo receiver of similar specs. I also went through three refurbished models under warranty before the dealer installed one that actually worked.

    I've checked Crutchfield for aftermarket cassete or CD receivers, and nothing fits, except with modification, and they don't make a installation kit. I've also found a source for an SC-816, which adds a CD player, but the cost is $830.

    I like the looks of the Volvo radios compared with most of the garish aftermarket models and the sound is acceptable, but the Volvo prices are ridiculous. I also don't want some hideous "make it fit" installation and overly complicated design to ruin the generally nice looking dash of the 850. [That would be like building a great minivan and ruining it with a wimpy 2.5L Duratec engine, right Javadoc?]

    Any suggestions or places to look.

    Thanks.
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    lol on the MPV comment... I remember you from earlier last fall. Did you end up w/ an MPV? We're seriously considering a 2002 ES, trading/selling our 2000 LX.

    Re: your stereo question, if you're willing to spend $300, I'd spend some time searching the classifieds at www.brickboard.com, and also ebay (my favorite car-parts shopping grounds). A friend of mine bought a slightly used SC-816 on ebay for just under $300. It sounds great, has radio/cassette/cd function and cd changer control. The search may take weeks. I found a replacement SC-815 on brickboard.com, last year, by posting some queries in their "aftermarket" thread and was inundated with assistance. One other source that I use is erievolvo.com, which is a Volvo recycler. They're based in NY state and seem to have a good inventory an okay pricing...and the fact that they have an extremily helpful staff does help.

    Other than the OEM route, many bricksters have put in single-din (std size) cd players and sourced a single-din cubby/pocket to fill the space. I did this with my Saab 9000Turbo, and it looked great (same double-din type of radio). I just was reading about that on the bb this week, but can't recall if it was in the 850 or aftermarket board.

    You'll find a great solution, just give it some time. A quick look on ebay (searched using "volvo radio") found an SC-816 for $440, and what looks like an SC-811 (AM/FM/Cassette/Changer control) also, and that's at $25 with a day to go. Changers (Alpine-made) cost $200-300 and are everywhere for these radios, btw.

    Best of luck,

    /javadoc
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Hi kkcymru- Glad to see you're getting some helpful advice here from Javadoc. For more feedback, you may also want to copy/paste your message into our Accessories and Aftermarket Audio system upgrades discussion. Good luck.

    Hi Javadoc- Thanks for your helpful feedback! You participation on this board is very much appreciated.... Happy motoring! ;-)

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • kkcymrukkcymru Posts: 48
    I have not yet got my MPV. I'm hoping my 87 Golf keeps running until the new ones are available (transmission is starting to act a little odd. I'd like to wait until late spring/early summer to get the MPV. I'm hoping by then the supply catches up with pent up demand and prices are reasonable. I'm leaning more towards an LX now, as some of the EX additions are things I don't really want (like power sliding doors), but I'll have to do a full comparison.

    I saw the SC-816 on E-bay, with what seemed to be an unreasonably high first bid of $440. This one is refurbished, and based on past experience I don't trust Volvo's electronic refurbishing. Of the four replacements I got, one had no left channel, the second had intermittent channel outages, and one just plain didn't come on, period - a subtle flaw that escaped the dealer when they installed it. The fourth worked well for about a year.

    The SC-811 sounds good if the price stays reasonable. I did check brickboard after posting, but spent most of might time learning to navigate around it. There was some useful information on installing a standard DIN receiver I'll follow up on.

    Thanks
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    There was obviously a very serious defect in your 850 wagon, as evidenced by the faulty heated seat. My father bought our '93 850 sedan in the fall of '97. Any problems to date? None whatsoever, and I mean none. It replaced a problem-plagued and dreaded '87 Celebrity sedan. By the way, what year was that 5-speed 850 wagon of yours? If I was going to get another 850, I'd probably go for a '96 or '97 for maximum reliability. Otherwise, I'd buy a cheap used Caprice.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    A journalist with a major magazine is looking for consumers who recently purchased 3-5 year old vehicles. If you are interested in participating, please respond by Wednesday, March 6 at [email protected] It is always helpful if you provide your phone number, type of vehicle purchased, and city/state of residence.

    Thanks much!

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • srfrgirlsrfrgirl Posts: 3
    Looking at an 850T Wagon. Mechanic noted that compression was 180 on 3 of cylinders and 150 on the other two.

    Is that bad? and what kind of problems could this lead too?

    Thx!
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    A good general rule of thumb to go by is the "75 percent" rule. The lowest compression number should be no lower than 75 percent of the high number. For your car, you pulled down a 180 on three cylinders. So, 75% of that would be 135, basically telling you that there is nothing to be alarmed about. Of course, uniformity is best but as time passes and miles are accumulated, the cylinders will move away from being identical w/regards to compression. A 150-180psi range should be fine, really.

    Another type of test is a leak-down test, which a mechanic would most likely have to do for you, so it'd be more expensive. There's a specific machine for this that tests leakage in your cylinders. It's a great tool to use to see the condition of your engine.

    A neat test to do on those two low cylinders, but really only if they were below say 120psi, is to put a tablespoon of oil into the cyl. through the spark plug holes then retest the compression. If the compression rises after this, that means the rings are worn (not so good). If it drops more, then the valves aren't seating properly and you need a valve job, or the head gasket could be blown However, I think the numbers you got were nothing to really worry about, as they're still w/in specs.

    Sorry for the longish post... just a few items I picked up along the way. Can you get service records for this car? Those are extremily helpful when making a decision so you can see how (if at all) a car has been maintained.

    /java
  • srfrgirlsrfrgirl Posts: 3
    Thanks javadoc. So we took it in for the leakdown test and the results were 8 to 10% leakage for the 3 cylinders, 22% for one, and 28% from the weakest. The mechanic said that 30% would be considered a pretty bad/high level and would be a high risk engine: he thought we had a 50% chance of no real problems and a 50% chance of problems ranging from a dirty engine to an engine replacement over the next several years.

    Other than this the car seems to be in excellent shape and runs really well. The seller isn't in a position to drop the price to make up for the possible risk.

    We have also heard from another mechanic that sometimes the volvo 850 just has erratic compression/leakdown test results and that this shouldn't really be an issue. So one mechanic says use a lot of caution the other says don't think twice.

    Help!!!
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    I called my trusted inde-Volvo mechanic... always nice to shoot the breeze with him. I've been going to him for, gawd, 14 years now. Anyway, we discussed this, and he says, "Pass on it. There's lots of other ones out there." He also thought the test results were marginal, but why take any chances, right? How many miles on this car anyway?

    Personally, your leakdown results could be from a dirty/crusty valves even. But I think he's right, there are lots of others out there... unless you're looking at a RARE pale yellow 'R' wagon, I'd keep looking. My $0.02.

    /j
  • srfrgirlsrfrgirl Posts: 3
    Thanks javadoc.
    Yep, we passed on it. The mechanic thought the valves were ok and that it was more the rings, so we passed.

    It had 73k mi on it and was otherwise beautiful. Yes, pleny of other cars out there, just not that many me and my sweetie seem to agree on!
  • mikenkmikenk Posts: 281
    Last year I sold my '94 850 turbowagon at 80K miles. My wife and I really liked the car and had planned on keeping it well past 100k miles. However, as it got older more things kept breaking; nothing really major, but expensive and time consuming. I consulted with a well respected local volvo repair shop as to what should be expected for the next 30K miles. His matter of fact response was rather sobering: rear main seal, evaporator unit, major transmission repairs, and a few more I have forgotten. The cost of these things were thousands.

    I think he was saying that you buy Volvo because of the name, safety, and maybe engine durability, but not for low cost of ownership. Personally, I want to feel unlucky if I have car repairs, not lucky if I don't. I have been spoiled for too many years by toyota, Honda, and Subaru.

    just my opinion,
    Mike
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    I stumbled across this '95 855 Turbo. If you're still shopping for one, this is what you want to look for. The guy religiously maintains his car. Price isn't horrible either... if you live in PA, and '95 through '97 models are the ones to want, imho.


    /j

  • After searching for about 3 months, we purchased a '97 850 GLT Wagon from an Acura dealer in Brighton, Ma. I obtained the name of the previous owner who informed me of a problem with the keyless entry. Sounds minor, but it was a chronic problem which prevented the car starting on more than one occasion. The problem, apparently, was never solved. Right before they traded it in, they had a problem with the back-up lights, also. The dealer I bought from claims this was rectified. (I guess I'll know for sure when I take delivery in two days!) I would like to know if anyone has experienced these types of problems and knows the correct fix. The previous owners live in Wellseley, Ma. and say their Volvo dealer was HORRIBLE. They never even got close to solving the problems. Does any of this sound familiar to anyone?? Thanks in advance for the help!
  • Is is possible to put system with a CD player in a '97 850 Wagon without a major adaptation???
    Thanks!
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    while you're waiting here for more feedback, you may want to check in Edmunds' Maintenance Guide for any TSBs (technical service bulletines) that may be related to your car's starting problem. This guide will only give you an abbreviated description; however, you can get a full service report from nhtsa or alldata.com. Read this article for more details.

    Btw, we also have a Volvo Owner's Club here that you may be interested in. Look for a direct link in our Helpful Links on the left side of the page. Also, if you have a chance to stop by there, please take a moment to say hello in our Volvo Owners - Meet the Member's discussion. Good luck and please keep us posted on your Volvo 850 experience.

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • javadocjavadoc Posts: 1,167
    Yes, you can easily put a receiver with a cd player into your 855 (850 Wagon), especially if you wanted to stay with a factory unit. You'd want to look for either model SC-815 or SC-816, and these two units slide into place where your radio is now, and just plug in. It takes about 1min to do. These are the "Premium" units, and have am/fm, CD and tape players in them. I'd suggest keeping an eye open over on ebay for these two units. Also, they have CD changer controls built-in for a factory (or Alpine) 6disk changer. Plan on spending around $300 though, but it's factory and they sound great, imho.

    You can get a listing of what Volvo recommends for service intervals on your car at any Volvo dealership, basically you'd get a single sheet of paper with a chart on it. I have a copy for '96/'97 cars if you come up short, and can post the link. Primarily, you'll want to make sure the timing belt was changed, if you have over 70k miles, if your car's past that point. If there's no proof (dealerships put a sticker on the ECU box, passenger side of engine compartment, behind the headlight) that it's been done, you'll need to have that done right away. Breaking the timing belt is bad, so changing it is of prime importance, and costs around $350.

    Re: the issues you stated... reprogramming remotes is easy, if that's the issue, and something the owner can do themselves usually.

    Some 850s have had issues w/ the a/c evaporators, but that is mainly a problem w/ cars prior to '97. Mine leaked and I fixed it w/a $40 a/c sealant/recharge kit. There are a few smaller issues like the PNP switch (shift interlock switch) needing replacement. The rotors can warp if someone over-tightens the lugnuts (ie: tire shops w/air wrenches), but that's not just a Volvo thing. Be mindful to flush, not just change, the tranny fluid every othere year, regardless of what the maintenance guides say, using good synthetic tranny fluid. It's cheap insurance.

    Oh.. Welcome to Volvo ownership! :-)

    /javadoc
  • FREDERICKFREDERICK Posts: 228
    Sorry I missed that opportunity. I've learned a lot and enjoyed reading the many different comments on Edmunds over the years. I was a regular at Brickboard for many months before choosing our Volvo. My wife and I bought a three year old used 96, 855 base w/ auto ~38K miles on it from a So. Cal. Volvo Dealership back in 99. I shopped about 8 - 10 different So. Cal dealerships looking for the exact car I wanted.

    We both really like this car. I like the firm secure handling, my wife likes the "pleblian" security of the whole package. We load the stuff up and just hit the road, the car works very well in total utilitarian way. We did not go for the turbo and it honestly has not bothered either of us one bit. Not that I wouldn't totally enjoy that sick Pale Yellow 855 R that was on all the bilboards at the 855's debute but we didn't need it and at that time $'s were tight for us.

    My own car, a 1982 Lincoln Mark VI, is begining to aile and my wife was thinking that since we're now looking to buy a home/condo in the near down town S.F. area she could get a new smaller car and give me the Volvo. I use the wagon's cargo capacity much more often than she does and that is why I insisted on a wagon from the get go.

    We're specifically looking for a home with a garage for the Volvo, if you're unfamiliar w/ the SF realestate market a garage is a bit of a luxury around here. A very smal, safe, compact car would be just the ticket. I'm seriously hoping a new Mini is in our future. The Volvo S40 is probably not small enough for 9 out of ten open street parking spots in S.F. I came to really appreciate the concept of the Mini when I traveled to Paris a couple of summers ago.

    That'd be two enjoyable, safe, and fun cars to drive and own in SF. We'd park the Mini on the street and keep the Volvo in the garage for the quick weekend getaways from it all. The Volvo could also make the numerous trips to Home Depot that we'll inevitably need to make for the total fixer-upper that is all we're gonna be able to afford in the S.F. housing market.

    Peace,

    F-
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    This discussion is now linked to our Volvo Owner's Club! Look for a direct link at the top of the page. While you're there, please take a moment to say hello in our Volvo Owner's: Meet the Members discussion. Thanks for your participation.

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • Thanks for the info - everything you talked about is exactly what I've been reading for the last couple of days. Car is going in to be checked out Thursday. I'm going to do EXACTLY as you suggested and have the tranny fluid flushed and possibly do the timing belt now (I'm at 59,000 miles). Thanks again for the help.
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