12th Dec 2009, 18:45

I just bought a used 1994 Volvo 850T that looks like new, for a second car to keep on the west coast for our winter car, we are from ND. Many of the comments I read here make me wonder if I made a mistake. This car has 119K & seems to work well but I have noticed when it is cold the transmission does not want to shift up until it warms up a bit, then it works fine. I wonder if this is a sign of problems to come. The trip computer digital display is not working, haven't had it checked yet. I hope I don't have all the problems mentioned here. The car seems to have been well cared for. ND Bill.

5th Feb 2010, 09:45

Hey, I'm looking at what may be my third Volvo, but my first 850. I've owned two 740's, (87 & 90) both still run, sadly, the 90 was stolen. The 850T seller said the odometer was not working when he got it, it says 150k+. He wants 1200 obo.

I'm sold on late model Volvos, they're cheap, easy to fix, and you can drive the crap out of em. I'm not opposed to putting a little money into it to get it up to snuff, and then stay on top of it, but with this particular model, is it worth it?

11th Feb 2010, 16:00

I have a love/hate relationship with my 850 Turbo wagon. I love the way it rides, especially on long trips, lots of room, the turning radius is great, and it gets good mileage however; I bought it for 3K, and in 2 1/2 years, I have put about 8K into it.

I am stubborn... I keep thinking, that will be the last thing. Within 2 months of owning it, the transmission "went out", which I don't think it really did... that is another story, but I had it replaced for 3K, the water pump and timing belt and oil separator box needed replacement for 2K, the motor mount has been replaced twice surprisingly, 1K.

Really, the number of times I have paid to have the codes read on the check engine light, or because the tranny went into fail safe mode, certainly reaches 1K.

The thermostat has been replaced... accelerator too, everyone who looks in that engine says it all looks like new. Well of course, because I fixed everything.

Of course the ball joints and the tie rods on one side have been replaced... the other side is up. It has been non stop... that isn't even everything.

However, since I found volvospeed.com and learned to turn off my own engine light and get a quick diagnostic, I have saved a ton. Knowing what is imperative to fix and what not. I kept getting the same codes indicating long term fuel trim and misfires... I recently just added injector fluid into my gasoline to see if that would help, and what do you know, no more problems.

I say, it is a good car, just don't be ignorant like I was. Get the little things fixed first, and make sure you find a quality mechanic you can trust (which is the hardest part).

I say the cleaner and shiner the workshop, the more arms and legs you are going to have to have to have a car repaired from people who can just read computer data and don't really know the car. When you have a car with that many issues... you know the car better than the mechanic. It really runs like a charm... for about a year now.

7th Jul 2010, 09:46

Just purchased my first 850 in the last few months from a crooked dealer on Ebay. The car looked great in the ad, but upon the 2000 mile journey to pick it up, I noticed quite a few minor and major issues, but hey, it was a RARE North American 5 speed non turbo, and I'm not prone to automatics, though I am of course American.

Drove the car over 2k miles back to the West Coast, and it ran flawlessly.

Took it to my mechanic to find out neither the timing belt nor the water pump were changed, contrary to the dealer telling me that these were changed. If I had lost the timing belt, the car would have been dumpster fodder. Luckily enough, it didn't snap, though after the Volvo mechanic looked at it, he said it was damn close!

I knew I had to put some money into a 14 year old Volvo, and that it is NOT a classic rear wheel drive like my previous 700 series, which needed almost zero maintenance (sold it with 224k miles!), but I wanted better fuel economy and a front wheel drive for the snow.

The 96 850 N/A (i.e. non turbo) starts and runs like a champ, and though it's a bit on the slow end, the 5 speed sort of makes up for it. On the highway, long trips are very very comfortable; when the cruise is engaged, this car just sails into the sunset, and the piece of mind about Volvo safety is priceless. It's truly comfortable, and the seats are tops.

Now onto those darn oil leaks!

20th Nov 2010, 15:50

I bought a 1995 Volvo 850 off craigslist for my kids to share over 3 years ago for $1700 with 220k on it.

Other than a couple repairs to the front end - normal wear and tear - the car has been great. It now is over 250k and still going strong. The best $1700 I ever spent!

I went back on craigslist and bought another 1995 850 5 speed for myself 18 months ago for $2000 with 148k. I have put 25k on this one and I love it.

Nice comfortable car. I don't mind putting a couple hundred of dollars of repairs each year into each of these cars. It is a heck of a lot better than a new car payment.

23rd Dec 2010, 09:05

My '94 850 Turbo is now 17 years old. There is not one spot of rust on the entire car. I bought it for CAD$2,300 with 210,000K on it, EXPECTING to put another $3,000 into it the first year (timing belt, H20 pump, cam sensor, fuel pump). I've done that, I found a great local HONEST Volvo mechanic, and the car is awesome.

I drove Volvos mainly through my young life - a 244, and 242 Turbo, a 760 Turbo and a 1969 P1800S modified to a twin carb 2L. I left Volvo for Honda in the 90's, only to find that every used Honda I bought ALSO needed thousands in maintenance, even with low KMs. At the end of the day, an old Volvo maintained is STILL way cheaper than a lease, and I would much rather be in an accident with a Volvo than ANY Japanese product. I crashed a Volvo in '98 (write-off), and the car did exactly what Volvo said it will do, it crumpled and left the passenger cage completely intact. You can put all the airbags you want in any car, but you'll always be safest in the car with the strong frame and passenger cage.

Even if this car 'becomes' a lemon, my devotion to Volvo has returned, and will stay. I'll simply buy another.


11th Feb 2015, 23:01

I'm agreed, maybe a bad egg. Volvo is not for any hands, Volvo for life!