1996 Volvo 960 Wagon 2.9 liter 6 from North America


I feel like I have "Battered wife syndrome". I love it, it abuses me, but it must be my fault


Dash lights go out frequently.

The cup holders were broke when I bought the car. The used car dealer replaced them and they fell apart within a few months.

Headlamp washer check valves leaked when I bought the car. I did a do it yourself fix with electrical tape; no problems sense.

Sway-bar end links needed replaced about 75,000 miles.

The neutral switch caused problems from the beginning. Mostly in cold weather. If you didn't give the car time to warm up before you shut it off, it wouldn't restart for about 10 minutes. Finally replaced at about 110,000 miles.

AC clutch went bad around 110,000, and you can't just buy the clutch. You have to buy the compressor with the clutch. When the AC is on, air doesn't blow out the vents under acceleration.

Brake noise and had to replace front rotors.

Engine noise on the AM radio.

The remote doesn't work part of the time.

The drivers side door handle broke on the inside.

The top hose connection on the radiator broke off at 100,000.

I'm sure I missed something.

General Comments:

The car has good road feel, with the right tires the car handles like a slot car, and I can make a U-turn almost anywhere. It seems to have enough power and does well in the snow, and is fun on mountain highways. On the interstate you want to speed, 80mph doesn't feel fast enough.

The front seats are a little bit on the firm side, but have enough adjustments to make them quite comfortable, (unless you have a fat wallet, but repair costs will keep that from becoming too much of a problem). The back seat is good.

You can't afford to own one unless you can do some of the repairs yourself.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th February, 2009

1996 Volvo 960 2.5 gasoline from Sweden


Good V6 engine


The cooling system broke down at 13000km.

The automatic transmission is totally unreliable.

General Comments:

The good thing with this Volvo is the engine. It sounds really nice, and makes the car quick and fun to drive.

It is a pretty comfortable car, but I don't like the seats, they are too hard for me.

The road noise is low, but the wind noise is a bit worse.

Steering is extremely good and the turn ratio high.

The interior in its basic variant is very boring looking. Trunk is deep and roomy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th August, 2006

9th Dec 2006, 13:34

These cars do not have V6 motors. They are in-line 6's and very dependable at that.

11th Apr 2011, 19:29

Sorry to tell you, some had VW engines.

1996 Volvo 960 2.9L inline 6 cylinder from North America


Excellent second car!!


When I bought the car, the bottom (seat part) of the leather seats had already been replaced; lucky me.

At 115,000 the radiator blew; $200 for part and replaced myself. 30 minute job, no problem.

Service light comes on every 10,000 miles. You can clear that by removing the rubber plug on the display glass, and pushing the tiny button with a toothpick or paper clip.

Transmission: At around 118,000, my dash overdrive arrow and transmission buttons (Winter, Sport, Economy) all started to blink at the same time. First web find was the PNP switch had gone bad; $200. Three weeks later it came back; took it to the dealer and they wanted to replace the transmission (Volvo recommendation - $2500). Code was a sticking solenoid. I had flushed the transmission at 115K, the car drove fine, so I drove through it; problem vanished, lucky me!

Codes: I bought a code reader for my laptop. This, along with the web, saves a ton of money over these little hiccups. http://myscantool.com/


Rough idle/surging temp. gauge: At about 124K, the car started to rev at a stop and the temp. gauge would fall, RPM back to normal = temp. gauge back to normal. Finally, the car wouldn't even start. $50 temp sensor was bad, no signal, no start :-( This sensor plus a few others should start to be replaced at this mileage; when they fail, the car stops (read the above article).

Next I need to replace the engine mounts, the front suspension bushings and the timing belt; 1K parts and labor.

General Comments:

This car is a blast to drive, but with all things electronic, issues can arise.

The seal on the sun roof is a little loud at freeway speed, but the comfort and overall ride make up for most of the known issues.

I bought this car in excellent used condition, and when it runs, you love it, and when it throws codes, you fix it, or do your homework. This is a modern car that is still able to be worked on at home if you pony up for a code reader and do your homework on the web. If you mix and match your work with what you let your mechanic do, the costs have so far been reasonable, but track down a GOOD mechanic.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th June, 2006