Volvo 850 Made from 1993 to 1997, this Volvo line was available in both a wagon and a sedan, both with were graced with several trim levels.

New owner

Old 02-03-2019, 07:23 AM
Junior Member
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 1
Default New owner

Hi everybody,
I just bought a 1995 volvo 850 2.0 20valves GLT. It's my first car actually, and I was asking my self a ton of questions. First, I want to do the regular maintenance like filters fluids and timing belt but I don't know what to choose. I have looked on skandix and ipd shops but I can't find stuff only for my motor (it is the B5204fs i think) for example, are all timing belts the same for all the non turbo motor on the 850 model or is there a specific belt for the b5204fs ?
I found online the Haynes manual for 850, do you recommend it ?
What else should I do on my volvo ?
I have seen some oil around the oil cap, i know it is common and can be related to the oil cap or the PCV system, how can i check ? Do i change both for good measure ?
I have a very bad stereo, which one do you recommend ? Are they specific stereo or does any stereo will fit in my 850 ?
I know that a lot of my questions were already answered in this forum but a lot of the links are obsolete.
Thanks everybody for your time.

P.S: English is not my native language so i apologies for my poor writing skills.
Old 02-03-2019, 10:50 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Ridgefield, CT
Posts: 4,793

Re the Haynes - its useful for specs and broad procedures like pulling the head but there's a lot of Youtube vids (search for RobertDIY's collection) as the most useful way to fix common 850 problems.

In terms of maintenance, the timing belt is the one thing to know the history of - older 850s were on a 7 year 70,000 mile interval (which ever came first). The service requires replacing the idler, tensioner and belt (usually a worn idler is what ruins the belt). If you are unsure, do the timing belt. Its a doable DIY job - the only special tools required are 1) a serpentine belt tool - its tensioner has a 5/8" square not common to other belt tools. some have noted they can get a 5/8in breaker bar in there - otherwise its off to eBay for a tool. 2) cam lock tool. IPD sells a simple box with pins for the front side but you can also mark the timing or use vise grips to hold in place. this model does not have VVT so its pretty much keep in place or line up the marks and go.

For other maintenance jobs, I'd recommend a "stage 0" tune up to start - rotor, cap, wires, plugs. Go with simple copper core plugs - older cars don't have hot enough ignitions to benefit from iridium/platinum multi-prong plugs. Then I'd recommend changing all fluids. Radiator - use a simple distilled water flush, refresh with "green" coolant. Consider replacing the thermostat and overflow reservoir cap as well. Check hoses and sides of the radiator for any staining. Power steering - I use a turkey baster to pull the ATF out of the reservoir, refill, start up and turn lock to lock a few times, repeat 3-4 times. Transmission - start with a simple drain fill. Each will replace about half the fluid so you need to do 2-3 fills to get mostly new. Make sure you use the proper fluid for you model - I'd expect it to require JWS3309 quality ATF. Brakes - bleed through the front and rears until clear clean fluid comes through. Power bleeder tools can make this a one man job or you can use a clear hose with a helper to pump the brakes while you toggle the bleeder valves.

On the timing belt, The 2.0 was not sold in the US, so you may need to look for Canadian or Europe based parts suppliers.

As to the oil cap, you can replace the caps seal but also do the PCV rubber glove test - if the glove inflates you need to service the PCV system. See RobertDIY's vid on Youtube for this procedure. This is the second most important maintenance job - if you fail to fix a clogged PCV, it will turn your engine into a bleeder (usually starting with the cam seals). If you need to replace the PCV/oil trap, make sure you have the block rodded out as the clog may be inside the block not the tubing or trap. Best thing to do is to have the oil pan dropped to clean as much gunk as possible as well as rodding out the ports, then the oil pump o rings can be serviced as well.

As to the stereo - there are two options here - you can replace with other newer Volvo "double DIN" radios and it will be plug and play for the connector. Just make sure if you buy another used Volvo radio, the seller provides the security code. You can also go after market with a double DIN or find an install kit for a single DIN - all volvos should be the same up to about 2004 so these can be easily found on eBay. Just make sure your issues are not with the speakers - if you are getting distortion and low volumes, it may be that the foam surrounds on the speakers are torn - you can rebuild or simply buy replacement speakers including after market to fit. just make sure to measure size and depth and match impedence of the originals (I believe Infinity car speakers were OEM).
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