1996 Volvo 850 GLT 2.5 10 valve from UK and Ireland


Comfortable and reliable motoring


Nothing major went wrong. A very well made and reliable car.

General Comments:

Very reliable and comfortable. Not ultra quick, but quick enough.

Well built and dependable car. Quite thirsty 29 mpg.

Had to let it go due to its fuel consumption. Sorry to see it go.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th December, 2009

1996 Volvo 850 GLT Sedan 2.4L from North America


A comfortable luxury car with high costs


Previous owner's records indicate electronic issues with the transmission and brake calipers, and that the car was maintained regularly until I bought it for $1,600.

The alarm does not engage.

The remote does not work. This is likely a problem with the car.

The AC does not work. The car holds a charge, but the compressor disengages after a few minutes.

The climate control is inconsistent and quirky, occasionally fails completely.

The driver's side power seat does not move forward/back, and the back rest does not recline up or down. The seat is stuck all the way back and the recline is also stuck, and cannot be forced by hand to new positions. I can deal with it because I'm tall, but other people have trouble driving it as a result.

The power antenna was broken. I bought a new antenna/mast for $17 and installed it myself in 20 minutes (the plastic piece that hoists the antenna up had broken off inside the motor).

The ABS light is on, and the ABS/traction does not work except when it is very humid out. This caused the speedometer to occasionally fail as well. I removed the unit and sent it to one of the many services that repairs them.

The front left brake caliper seized the same day I bought it, and cost $120 to replace.

The brakes vibrate very badly (a problem noted in the P.O.'s records at 100k as well). I should have replaced the brake shims, but the problem went away on it's own after a few thousand miles.

At 165k the welds on the driver's side door hinge broke and the door made a loud cracking sound when moved. I do not know if it was a critical repair, but it cost $400 to have a professional mechanic and welder repair it.

General Comments:

This is a high maintenance luxury car. The drivetrain is solid, but there are many noncritical issues to be had. The car's large size and weight results in poor mileage, but the more substantial construction is appealing and improves safety over more conventional choices.

Without a turbo, this car is very slow. I get 20 city and 26 highway. Handling is acceptable but the car is fairly heavy.

The sport/economy modes on the slushbox help a little bit with city driving (upshifting sooner for more power), and winter mode is supposed to make the auto drive better on the snow.

The (original) transmission shifts very well, and the automatic is smart and relaxed.

The interior is in extremely good condition for such an old car, the high quality grey leather is hardly worn at all (especially given the high mileage) and looked almost new with some basic conditioning.

The driving position is very comfortable and high up, it's a good car if you're tall.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th October, 2009

24th Jun 2010, 11:52


I've had the same problem with the remote. There are a number of probable causes, but I'm sure that you have already changed the battery in the remote controls to try to solve the problem.

The next most probable cause is that sweat, water and dirt has entered the remote.

To remedy this follow this guide:

First: When dealing with electronic circuits, electrostatic discharge is a killer. Thick carpets and trainers are sure killers. If you have a stainless steel sink somewhere, or an other place with a connection to the ground, then do the disassembly there.

1. Remove the battery from the remote control.

2. Use a small screw driver to separate the two plastic parts, - be careful, and be patient, there are sensitive electronics inside.

3. Remove the printed circuit and the silicone pushbutton pad.

4. Wash everything with dish washing soap (not the stuff you use in the electric dishwasher, that would kill the electronic circuit). Use a brush, even an old tooth brush, to clean the contact surface on the silicone pad and on the electronic circuit. But be gentle with the electronic circuit.

5. Rinse with plenty of tap water and, if possible, use compressed air to remove the remaining water. Getting rid of the excess water before it dries is important.

6. Let it dry. It's better to leave it for one more hour than being in doubt.

7. Assemble with care. It will take a little force to make the two plastic parts that makes out the housing to come together, be careful. Make sure that all parts (circuit board and silicone pad and the strip for key ring) are positioned correctly before pressing the two halves together.

8. Buy new batteries for all your remotes, since the sweat and dust you have removed might have discharged the old ones (even if they 'new').

9. If they still do not work, put the remote close to your ear and listen for a 'click' when you depress the door button. If it's there the remote is most probably working.

10. There is a way to program new (or "forgotten") remotes to use in your car. As I remember, you should turn the starting key from position 0 to position III and back 5 times. The last time it should be left in position II. Then you have 5sec to activate the button on remotes you would like to be able to open the doors in your car. I'm not exactly sure here. If it doesn't work then return with a comment in this forum.

Good luck.