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Volvo 850, Brakes, Electrical, Engine, Sedan
#9 of 23 My 1995 Volvo 850
Aug 03, 2002 (9:08 am)
I have a turbo sedan with automatic transmission. It came with low-profile tires and 16" rims, which were a disaster. This has been a common problem among lots of manufacturers who sell cars with low-profile tires in the United States, where city streets are often in bad condition.
There was a class-action lawsuit against Volvo on the issue (as well as against other manufacturers). I got a check for $500, which covered about half the cost of replacing the wheels and tires. Now I have 15" tires and a smoother ride and no more flats.
The AC crapped out at 38,000 miles, 4-1/2 years into my ownership. Volvo replaced it under a "secret warranty." Now I have 60,000 miles on the car and the only problem is that the seat heaters don't work. For all I know, it's a bad fuse. I think I can let that one ride until December.
Other than what I've mentioned, I am quite satisfied with the car. It's fast, comfortable and reliable. The ergonomics and controls are fantastic, and it's impossible to lock yourself out of the car. The climate control is great. Set it and forget it. The stereo is unbelievable.
In some areas of the country Volvos have become very common vehicles, which has depressed the resale values. This is good news for the buyers of used Volvos. From what I've read, I think the 1995 Volvo 850 may well be the highest quality car those people built in the past 15 years, the AC issue notwithstanding.
I'd highly recommend that year's model for a used car, but I think there were more problems in 1994 and 1996, and when they renamed it the S70 in, what, 1997 or 1998?
#10 of 23 850 and side impact protection
Aug 04, 2002 (1:08 pm)
Does anybody know what year the 850 met the U.S. 1997 side impact standards? I am assuming they actually met the standards a year or two ahead of schedule. The NCAP site has no side impact data prior to 1997. Thanks for any help!
#11 of 23 help needed with check engine light!!!!!!!
Aug 12, 2002 (4:30 am)
My 1995 volvo 850 station wagon non turbo 112,000 miles has had a check engine light going on for the past 3 months. The first time my mechanic hooked it up to his computer he said it was the EGR valve. That was changed and 300 miles later the light went on again. This time he said he took it to a friend of his at a volvo dealership in town and they diagnosed it as an EGR switch. That was replaced and I am now into this for about 500 dollars. 200 miles later the light went on again. I asked my mechanic if I should just take it to volvo, and he said no,, it would cost too much. He brought it to Volvo again and he told me that he should have reset the light after the part was changed and not before..so he just reset the light and well 200 miles later guess what? The light came on again. This time it actually went off for about 50 miles on its own but now it is on again. Can anybody point me in the right direction please. I should say that the whole time that the car seems to be running fine. The only thing I do notice is that when I go to add gas, I do not hear the sound of escaping fumes when I unscrew the gas cap. Should there be a hissing sound when the gas cap is loosened? Does anyone think that replacing the gas cap will solve the check engine light problem?. I ran this by my mechanic(non-volvo) and he said no, that it would not help. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you
#12 of 23 Check Engine Light
Aug 12, 2002 (3:41 pm)
My 1996 850GLT 104K also has the same problem with the Check Engine light. Car runs fine . Dealer says gas cap code keeps setting light off and I may need about $350 in repairs to get light to go off. That was a year ago and check engine light is still on. My solution was to take a small black piece of paper and cover the light on the dashboard. If the car runs fine I wouldn't worry about the light. The computers are very sensitive and doesn't take much to set that light off. If you need to turn the light off temporarily you can always disconnect the positive cable to the battery and then re-connect it, however about 2-300 miles later the light will come back on .
Aug 12, 2002 (5:23 pm)
I'm pretty sure the 850 met the side impact standards right off the bat--the 850 was basically unchanged (save minor cosmetic changes in '94) and became the S70. I'm almost positive they built '97 side impact standards in from the get-go.
#14 of 23 help needed with check engine light!!!!!!!
Aug 13, 2002 (3:53 am)
thanks cbgrfx for your input. You say that you are getting a gas cap code. Wouldn't replacing the gas cap help? Does any one out there think that replacing the gas cap could help my situation since I don't hear pressure escaping when I loosen the gas cap?
#15 of 23 850 GLT 1993 engine problem
Aug 23, 2002 (11:39 am)
I have a 1993 Volvo 850 GLT with 198,000 mostly highway miles.I've had the car serviced regularly, and was just informed that the engine compression is too low. I was advised that engine needs to be rebuilt or replaced with another rebuilt engine ($5-6K?). Other than a few difficult starts, the car seems to drive well, it passed the NJ emissions test in May. How much longer can I expect to drive the car? The car is due for a timing belt change at 200,000 miles.
#16 of 23 Looking for mid-90s used volvos wagon.
Sep 20, 2002 (2:24 pm)
So here's the dilemma. I have $10k to spend on a mid-90s wagon, and I want the 850. I've been focusing my efforts on the 850GLT, and found one. It's a one-owner '95 GLT model with 88k miles, is immaculate, and the service records bear out that it's been babied for 7 years, at the dealer. It has about 80% left on the tires, new timing belt and brakes, and everything seems to be in order. They won't budge below $9800.
I also just found a '94 Turbo with 88k, from a second owner who has no records. This one, also with new tires and very clean, has some perks the other doesn't--top-of-line trim package, CD changer in the trunk, hands-free phone set, and drives like a bat out of hell. It has some minor damage to the front spoiler and some door dings. The owner says it was the 'sport package' for '94, but I can't find any documentation that says there even *was* a sport package. (?) He's asking $9500, and I suspect will go to $9k or just below.
My dilemma is that I've heard so many times to NOT BUY A TURBO. Everyone keeps warning me about the woeful horror of the turbo, but I have to say, it is extremely fun to drive. I'd certainly like any knowledge people have on turbo vs. non-turbo, and '94 vs. '95. Also, I've heard that the '94s had flakey electrical systems. I ran a Recall check on Edmunds, and there's a list a mile long for the '94, but virtually nothing for the '95. Any input anyone? Help!
Sep 20, 2002 (2:50 pm)
And I'll bet you 99% of the people who warn you against turbos never owned one.
DON---I don't see how your engine could have low compression and still pass emissions. I am suspicious of this diagnosis. Have a shop do a compression test with a tester that makes a graph, or watch them do it. Also, can the valves be adjusted on this engine? If so, do so.
As for the 200K mark, a car is getting pretty tired at this mileage, and I certainly would not put another engine in it under any circumstances unless it has some huge sentimental value. After 200K, all kinds of weird things can (and do) happen, either structurally or with more than usual number of failures.
If it's just a belt, sure, you can do that, drive it to 225K-235K or so and then bail out. This is about the reasonable end of a car's life--the outside end.
#18 of 23 Mr. Shiftright:
Sep 22, 2002 (1:41 pm)
Currently I am looking for a second Volvo just to go back and forth to college and home on the occasional weekend. I test-drove a 1996 850 wagon at the local Volvo dealership this weekend. It has 138k miles, and it's an automatic. Here are the known problems with it:
Brake pedal almost goes all the way to the floor
Pulls sharply to the right when braking from high speeds
Harsh, and I mean, really harsh upshifts from 2nd to 3rd gear
Smokes a little bit on startup
The dealer's asking $8500 for it. This is the exact same Volvo wagon that I wrote to you about over the winter a while back. It was used by my acquaintance, and she put all highway miles on it until she traded this one in on a new '02 V70.