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New Volvo 850 Owners - Read This Important Thread... (Also applies to S/V70's)

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 Volvo 850 Owners - Read This Important Thread... (Also applies to S/V70's)

  #1  
Old 12-26-2006, 10:25 PM
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Default New Volvo 850 Owners - Read This Important Thread... (Also applies to S/V70's)

N00b here....some maintenance questions (Original Thread Title).

Hey everyone! Looks like a great, authoritative and mature forum ya'll got going on here. I'm a member at the Miata.net forums and have nearly 5,000 posts over there....check my homepage if you want to see my Miata.

Anyway, to the point -- my dear sister is in some trying times both financially and emotionally and she has moved back in with my mother. I have taken the task upon myself to ensure that at least her car, an 850 T5 ('97 I think...) is running well so she does not have to spend money on costly repairs. I want to do the preventative maintenance for her. I'm no stranger to mechanical work in general, or on cars. I'm a prototype machinist andI have always done all the work on my own cars.

I have just spent several hours reading the forums to see what should be done. The car is VERY nice, both in and out runs great, and is a hoot to drive. It's a different drive than my nimble small Miata, but fun in a different way. It has 157,xxx miles on it.

Anyway, she recently bought it from a lady who must have taken very good care of it, but I want to ensure there are no costly failures in the future. Unlike my Miata, this car does have an interference engine design so my priority is timing belt information.

Looks like the interval is at 70,000 miles. I think she said the lady who sold her the car just hada major service done before purchase....so I need to find out if the T-belt was changed. If I can't find out, I'm changing it. The change looks WAY easier than the one on my Miata (fewer removed parts), though very similar in sequence. Any hickups to worry about?

Here are some areas I would like more information on:

Best online parts suppliers? I checked FPCGroton and they look good and have decent looking prices. Not much more than Japanese stuff seems to cost for my Miata. Any others?

Obviously, anything else you can tell me about the timing belt.

What the hell is up with the "air pump" system? What does it do?

Why does the PVC system look so complicated? Is this for the turbo?

What oil is reccomended for the T5? I see that 10w-30 Synth (I use Mobil 1 in the Miata) is spoken of 'round here...I don't want to open an oil can of worms (as always happens with oil discussions), so just a general reccomendation please.

What other maintenance things should I look into? My priorities right now are:
-T-belt/water pump (just like my Miata, you should do them at the same time...same labor to get to)
-cooling system
-turbo system
-brakes
-possibly front suspension if time/money warrants

Oh, and the windshield sprayer doesn't work. I read on the forums there is a check valve or something in the hose T that can fail....ways to check it?

Thank you very much!
 

Last edited by rspi; 12-08-2011 at 09:40 AM. Reason: highlights
  #2  
Old 12-27-2006, 04:42 AM
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Default RE: Things new owners should do to their cars...

GENERAL MAINTENANCE ITEMS FOR VOLVO 850:

TIMING BELT:
I do mine at every 60,000 miles/5 years (1993 models do require replacement at every 50,000 miles due to narrower belt). I change it more frequently than is recommended, because the belt is cheap but the engine is not. If the previous owner had left a log book (maintenance record), great, but if no, then it is not a bad idea to replace it. Try visually inspecting the belt by removing one 12mm bolt that is holding the belt cover and wiggle it upward. Pay attention to the roots of each cog for cracking.

REQUIRED PARTS:
1. Timing Belt (Continental, German OEM)
*2. Idler Pulley (Continental, German OEM)
*3. Tensioner Pulley (Continental, German OEM)
*4. Hydraulic Tensioner Cylinder (Febi/Aisin, German)
**5. Water Pump (Genuine Volvo or German Hepu, I used Hepu)

Items 1-3 come in one package of kit. 4 & 5 must be bought separately.
* I replace these items at every other belt change.
**The Genuine Volvo water pump seems robust, but some cases of failure have been reported therefore it is not a bad idea to replace it at every other timing belt replacement, even if there is no coolant leak.

Haynes Manual & the following would be sufficient as instructions:
http://www.volvospeed.com/Repair/timingbelt.htm

PCV SYSTEM:
If engine oil keeps seeping out from oil filler cap, seals, and seams on the engine, you may want to replace the entire *PCV components (oil trap, flame trap, rubber hoses & clamps, etc...). You will also need a new intake manifold gasket, as the manifold has to be disconnected to get to the PCV components.

The most common test to determine if this system is in need of servicing/replacing:
1. drive the car until the motor is at normal operating temperature.
2. Put the car in park and with the motor still running, open the hood.
3. With the motor still running, pull the oil dip stick out about 1/2 way.
If you see smoke coming out of it, the system needs servicing.
(NOTE: If you do NOT see smoke, it does not mean the system is fine. If you do not have recent records of the system being serviced, service it).

* Turbo & Non-turbo engines use different PCV components, so make sure to check the type of your engine, as well as the vehicle & engine VIN before buying parts.

OIL/FUEL RECOMMENDATION:
Oil/fuel selection is a personal preference. I would use full synthetic 10W-30 with OEM filter (MANN, Germany/Argentina) for turbo, regular oil for N/A. I try to avoid 5W-30 for turbocharged engine, but the difference may be negligible. As for fuel, I use 91/higher Octane rating, but some people use 87 and have no problem as the ECU retards ignition timing IAW different grade fuel. If you notice knocking/pinging, however, switch to 91 or higher.

COOLING SYSTEM:
1. All rubber hoses with new clamps.
2. Thermostat & seal ring.
3. Expansion reservoir tank cap (The new version is GREEN).
4. Coolant (50/50 mixture should do for most North America, but certain locations may require 55/45).
5. Expansion reservoir, only if it's leaking.
6. Heater core, if it is leaking.

When filling the coolant, fill up to FULL mark only for the first time, when the engine is cold. If filled up to FULL mark at cold later, coolant will overflow. I usually fill it at about 1 inch above the MIN mark. After coolant replacement and a few minutes of driving, you will see "low coolant level" warning on the dash. When this happens, park as soon as you can and refill the reservoir. Do this by placing a wet rag on the cap and turn the cap slowly to relieve pressure. Also, try doing this before the engine has reached normal operating temp to avoid burns.

TURBOCHARGER:
You may want to check for oil leak from oil drain line and oil cooler lines. If leak is found, replace O-rings, seals and gaskets. Small leak under the turbocharger is normal. Idle the engine for 1-2 minutes after hard driving. You never want to rev the motor of a cold turbo or cut the car off when the turbo has been worked hard, allow the turbo to cool off.

BRAKES:
Brakes on 850 are straightforward, here are the parts you will need:

GENERAL:
*1. DOT-4 Fluid (I use ATE Super Blue/Amber Racing).
2. Silicone-based grease or CV-joint grease for anti-squeak purpose.
3. A can or 2 of brake cleaner spray.
4. Large C-clamp or 10WR Vise-grip to push back the piston.
5. Sandpaper to clean rusty spots (use oil/WD-40 for sanding).
*I used Motive Products One-person bleeder and flushed the system by myself. Available at FCP Groton/Motive Products.

FRONT:
1. New rotors (Brembo, Zimmermann, ATE or any OEM).
2. New pads (Genuine Volvo, Textar (OEM) or any high-quality ceramic pads).
3. Synthetic grease for slider pins (The pins are hex (allen) bolts).
4. New caliper bracket bolts.
5. Bungee cord to hang the caliper.
*If calipers look too worn, you may want to buy rebuilt calipers loaded with OEM pads.

REAR:
1. Rotor (same as above)
2. Pads (same as above, I used Roulands-Dan Block OEM pads)
3. New caliper bolts.
4. New hardware (Retainer springs & pins).
5. New shims (half-size shims are highly recommended to stop squeak).

Notes on ABS Module (Electronic Control Unit):
The ABS module on 850 is noted for failure. For 1996~1997 models, there are quite a few places where they can repair & upgrade the module, for approximately $100. However, for 1995 and older models, there does not seem like anyone who provide such services; you would have to repair it on your own. However, the failure often seems to be due to cracked soldering on the circuit board, especially the ones for the connectors, so if you can use soldering iron and can solder electronic components, it is well within DIY's capability to repair the module/for '93-'95 models, the trouble is usually in some brake switches rather than the electronic module. Also, when soldering electronic components, do the job as quickly as you can, since many electronic devices are vulnerable to heat. Refer to the following thread:
https://volvoforums.com/m_58856/tm.htm

FRONT SUSPENSION:
1. Upper mount (bearing) with new nuts x 3 each side (total of 6 nuts).
2. Upper spring seat (notorious for wearing out & causing clunking noise).
3. Bump stop for strut
4. Special washer for strut
5. Top cap for strut
6. New bolts & nuts for strut lower attachment.
7. Ball joint/control arm with new nuts & bolts (Newer models cannot replace ball joint alone).
8. Sway bar (stabilizer) link rods (new parts should come with new lock nuts).
9. Struts (only if the car rolls too much or the car keeps bouncing after hitting bumps, but the ride & handling will improve noticeably for a car with 100,000+ miles). Either OEM Sachs or Bilstein Touring is good. Bilstein Heavy Duty seems bit too firm. Koni Adjustable seems to have good reputation too, as you can adjust the damping rate.

REAR SUSPENSION:
1. Shocks (Sachs, Bilstein Touring or Koni Adjustable)
2. Upper shock mounts
3. New lock nuts

WINDSHIELD WASHER:
Replace the following items:
1. T-valve (hidden behind the hood liner, but easy to get to it).
2. Squirters (upgraded version available at FCP Groton).
3. In-line filter (located by the washer filler neck).
4. T-valve for headlight washers.
5. New wiper blades for windshield & headlights.

AIR CONDITIONING:
Like ABS module, A/C on 850 is noted for failure. Often the failure is either at the compressor or the evaporator. If the compressor keeps turning ON & OFF, the first thing to do is to check for correct system pressure. If low, the system needs to be recharged with R134a, NOT R-12. If the system cannot hold correct pressure, it may be leaking at the evaporator. Replacement of evaporator on 850 is difficult, as the unit is located in the deepest abyss in the dash. As for compressor trouble, it may need to be re-shimmed or replaced with a rebuilt/new unit. A/C Compressor Clutch Re-shimming - Volvo Forums - Volvo Enthusiasts Forum

TRANSMISSION, AUTO:
The transmissions in these cars can last a long time, however, there has been mixed messages of whether or not the transmission should be serviced. The owners manual makes mention of the fluid being checked at certain intervals. It is likely best to have the fluid replaced every 25,000 miles. I do a drain and refill method 3x. Some use a fluid drain system with a kit sold through iPd. Very few suggest flushing, most do NOT.

Changes made by RSpi
 

Last edited by JPN; 12-04-2012 at 05:19 PM. Reason: delete code errors, additions & revisions
  #3  
Old 12-27-2006, 10:58 AM
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Default RE: N00b here....some maintenance questions

Wow great list Mr. JPN! We should have that list pinned to the top.

Some notes: I have never replaced the Water Pump on any of my Volvo's and I have been driving them since 1985 (five different cars). Not saying you shouldn't, but they are not known to go bad.

I use nothing but 10W30 oil. I run 87 octane most of the time, but occasionally run 91 or 89. I see no difference whatsoever running different octane levels.

On the rear brakes on the 97 make sure you get a set of half shims and use OEM pads. I did my rear brakes and we could not figure out where the vibration was coming from. At low speeds it sounded like a subwoofer in the rear. Put on the half shims and problem solved.

If the timing belt has been done recently, which I would expect that would be the case at 161K on a well maintained car it should not need to be done again. Look for a sticker with a mileage and date on the cover that goes over the belt.

Wonder if the evaporator has been changed? They are known to go bad and expensive to replace! Just spent $1200 having mine done.

Don't know if the 850 Turbo has the Air Pump problem or not. Problem on my 98 V70 GLT with the low pressure turbo, I know that. It's stupid to pump fresh air into the exhaust for 30 seconds for cleaner exhaust, and costs $500 to fix it.
 
  #4  
Old 12-27-2006, 11:53 AM
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Default RE: N00b here....some maintenance questions

Cool guys, thanks. As soon as I get some decent weather and daylight to goof around with hercar, I'll look for a sticker on the t-belt cover and ask if she got any records with the car. Otherwise, it all sounds very straightforward. Thanks!
 
  #5  
Old 12-27-2006, 01:45 PM
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Default RE: N00b here....some maintenance questions

ROUTINE TUNE-UP ITEMS:
1. *Spark Plugs (Genuine Volvo, Bosch Platinum +4/Iridium, Champion (Turbo: RC7GYC/NA: RC9YC or Bosch FR6DC), NGK Platinum/Iridium, etc...). It seems best to go with genuine Volvo plugs.

2. Plug Wires (French Bougicord is the OEM).

3. Distributor Cap & Rotor (Bosch is the OEM).

4. Air Filter (MANN is the OEM).

5. Fuel Filter (Bosch is the OEM).

6. Pour a large bottle of Techron fuel system cleaner or equivalent into the fuel tank fill up
with fuel. Drive until the tank is near empty.

7. Clean/service PCV system (different for turbo/non-turbo, as well as vehicle & engine VIN).

8. Cleaning the throttle body (Not sure about the service interval).

9. Serpentine Accessory Drive Belt (Continental Tech is the OEM). Longer belt is recommended.

10. Clean/inspect/replace EGR valve.

11. Tyre Rotation (watch out for the rotation direction arrow on the sidewall).

12. Exterior/Interior Light Bulbs.

13. Checking for Transmission Fluid Level & Condition (should be clear red and no burnt smell).

14. Checking for Power Steering Fluid Level.

15. Checking for Brake Fluid Level (replace once every 3 years for maximum safety).

16. Checking for Coolant Level (should not be at MAX mark when cold, it has to be about the middle between MAX & MIN). Should you decide to replace coolant, use high-quality coolant and avoid cheap/generic brands. I use Prestone, as Volvo genuine coolant was $20/gallon. 50:50 will suffice for most regions, but colder regions may require 55/45 or 60/40.

17. Checking for the Condition of Battery (Do multimeter & S.G test).

18. Retrieving & reseting codes in the ECUs ('96-'97 requires OBD-II scanner or Volvo tester).

The above replacement items have different intervals, some may need replacing soon, some can be deferred until later. Also, it may not be a bad idea to do the alignment, if there is no servicing record. However, if the car runs straight with the hands off the steering, it probably is OK and can be deferred until later. Check for unequal tread wear on each tyre.

If the alternator is original, I personally would replace it asap. Even though many alternators on 850's last a very long time, mine failed at 130,000 miles/12 years, and safety factor concerned, 100,000 miles/10 years is about the life for the original alternator. Replace it with a rebuilt/new Bosch (I recommend rebuilt Bosch with lifetime warranty; I got mine from Pep-Boys, about $220). If the alternator dies while you're driving, you will lose power assistance to the steering & brakes. Since Volvo's are very heavy, much effort is required to navigate the car without the engine running. You also don't want be stranded in an unknown neighborhood.

SMOKE CHART:
Here's a quick chart for the colour of smoke from the tail pipe:
Blue: Burning engine oil.
White: Normal water vapour, or coolant is entering the combustion chamber (should have coolant odor).
Dark gray/Black: A/F mixture too rich, fuel/emissions control problem or time for a good tune-up. Also, diesel engines sometimes put out black smoke and it's normal for them.
Other colours: Improper additives in the fuel/oil, or just a poor quality fuel.

HOW TO CHECK FOR TRANSMISSION FLUID LEVEL:
1. Drive your car for 15-20 minutes. This allows the fluid to reach normal operating temp.

2. Park your car with the engine running, set the parking brake fully and chock wheels.

3. With your foot firmly on the brake pedal, go through each "detente" of the shifter, starting from "P", and stay in each gear for 4-5 seconds. The sequence is: P-R-N-D-3-L-3-D-N-R-P.

4. Open the hood, pull out the transmission fluid dipstick, wipe clean with lint-free cloth (NEVER get even a tiny piece of foreign object fall into the dipstick tube).

5. Insert the dipstick, then pull it out again. If the fluid level is correct, it should be within the "HOT" mark or between 2 lines. There may be 2 different level marks on each side of the dipstick, and you want to use the "HOT" or "Warm" side, whichever shows higher level. When you do this, be careful not to burn yourself as there are some hot engine components around the dipstick.

If the fluid is low, add just enough fluid to bring the level up to "HOT" or between the 2 lines. Do not overfill. Add fluid through the dipstick tube; a funnel with extension hose is very helpful for adding fluid. There are a few different transmission fluids available, and the one specified for 850 is "Dexron-III/Mercon". A quart is about $2-$4. There are many brands, but as long as the label on the bottle says "Dexron-III/Mercon", you can use any name-brand's product.

Lastly, the old adage "You get what you pay for" absolutely applies to maintaining Volvo, so when it comes to parts, you want to go with OEM or of higher quality. For complex problems, it pays to go to Volvo dealer/shops that specialise in Swedish/European cars, even though they charge more than other average town garages. Have an ASE Master Technician service your car.

*Note on Spark Plugs:
Bosch Platinum +2 seems to have poor reputation, though I myself never had trouble with them. For turbo (B5234T), Champion RC7GYC is specified, whereas Bosch FR6DC/Champion RC9YC is specified for non-turbo (B5254S?) IAW the factory manual. The easiest way is to buy genuine Volvo; Turbo $32 (approx)/NA $13 (approx).

Platinum & Iridium plugs are pre-gapped and re-gapping is generally unnecessary. If re-gapped, the centre/ground electrode may be damaged. Some people have been gapping platinum/iridium plugs successfully, but they have the required experience and know how to avoid damaging the electrodes. If you do not feel comfortable, leave it as is, but if you are confident, gapping may help engine performance.

Never drop a plug onto the floor/ground. Platinum/Iridium plugs generally do not require cleaning, as they are designed to self-clean, and are generally good for 60,000 miles/100,000kms. Upon installation, apply anti-seize compound on top few threads (closer to the hex), hand-tighten (extension bar may be used) until tight, then tighten an additional 1/4 turn for gasket-type or 1/8-1/16 turn for non-gasket type, or use a torque wrench to specified torque. Refer to a service manual for specific procedure for your engine. Replace plugs only when the engine is stone-cold.

Some selections at FCP Groton & eEuroparts:
http://www.fcpgroton.com/volvo850tuneup.htm
http://www.eeuroparts.com/searchresu...6&cat=1010 (adjust search criteria for your model)

JPN
 

Last edited by JPN; 11-30-2012 at 07:16 PM. Reason: delete code errors
  #6  
Old 12-27-2006, 03:16 PM
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Default RE: N00b here....some maintenance questions

How can I remove the service light? And what does this mean?

According to the manual, it's only an indicator and it goes on every 5k miles. So something is not necessarily wrong...
 
  #7  
Old 12-27-2006, 03:46 PM
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Default RE: N00b here....some maintenance questions

That is correct.

You can turn the Sevice Light out via the ODB-II port, but it takes a higher price scanner than what I have. Mine comes on every time I start the car on both my cars. I play a game to see how far I can get before the light goes out. It's always out within the first two miles. If there is traffic I only make it to the stop sign at the end of the street I live on. I guess I'm easily entertained.
 
  #8  
Old 12-27-2006, 04:56 PM
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Default RE: N00b here....some maintenance questions

Yeah, her service light comes on when first driving the car....I'm not sure for what. I don't have an OBD-II scanner, my car is OBD-I.
 

Last edited by rspi; 09-14-2012 at 05:40 AM. Reason: code errors
  #9  
Old 12-27-2006, 07:06 PM
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Default RE: N00b here....some maintenance questions

ORIGINAL: JimKW

That is correct.

You can turn the Sevice Light out via the ODB-II port, but it takes a higher price scanner than what I have. Mine comes on every time I start the car on both my cars. I play a game to see how far I can get before the light goes out. It's always out within the first two miles. If there is traffic I only make it to the stop sign at the end of the street I live on. I guess I'm easily entertained.
According to the online manual, it's 2 minutes.

Miata, you don't have OBD-II? It's located right by your shifter in the center console area....

Will a dealer wipe this clean for free? Because this is really annoying. I went to Checkers today and they didn't have the right head to wipe it.
 
  #10  
Old 12-28-2006, 10:03 AM
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Default RE: N00b here....some maintenance questions

Will a dealer do it for free? That's funny.

If your car is 96 or 97 it's ODB-II. Year 95 was a split year so some are and some aren't and they have both ports in the car.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Added by RSpi
 

Last edited by rspi; 11-18-2014 at 10:55 AM. Reason: video placement
  #11  
Old 12-28-2006, 11:13 AM
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Default RE: N00b here....some maintenance questions

Hi Mr. Miatamon,

Clearing Service Light for OBD-I:

1. Insert test lead at the OBD-I terminal to socket A7.
2. Turn the ignition switch to the 2nd detent (ON?).
3. Press the test button for 4 times. The LED should light and stay on.
4. Press the test button once and release, wait for the LED to light.
5. Press the test button for 5 times and release, wait for the LED to light.
6. Press the test button for once and release.
7. The LED should flash, which indicates the Service Light has been cleared.

Check to see if there is 16-pin DLC receptacle, by removing the coin holder in front of the shifter. If you see an electrical connector-looking device, that's the OBD-II receptacle. AutoZone can reset dash lights for free, except for emission-related codes.

I hope this helps.

PS: What was I thinking,forgetting to mention Accessory Drive Belt for Routine Tune-Up Items (there may be more items I forgot to mention). Working 12 straight days must've damaged my organic processor.


JPN
 

Last edited by rspi; 09-14-2012 at 05:42 AM. Reason: Order
  #12  
Old 12-29-2006, 05:35 AM
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Default RE: N00b here....some maintenance questions

JPN, JIMKW:

Thank you for this useful information.

I just came across a 96 850R with about 83,000 miles. 2nd owner. Seems to have the car in decent shape with full records.

To be honest, I've done so much research on so many different cars lately, it's exhausting. 3 different forums and at least 6 different cars.. (I was looking into a T-5 earlier)


Wondering if you can help:

The items listed above. Are those pretty much the "major" items to keep an eye out for when inspecting the maintenance records?I know this is the standard noob question but ...
"What should I look out for when purchasing an 850R"

I know the evaporator is pretty expensive. and Timing belt is a must.. but what about the other "major and expensive" items? Head Gaskets, etc?
Turbo cars always make me nervous, because it's another item of concern.

I was all set to pick up a 97Mercedes E320, but after doing some research, it turns out it's a maintenance nightmare.. bad head gaskets, leaky seals, electronic nightmares.. had 60k miles, asking 10k.. clean car, drove like silk..but....nightmare.


I'd really like a 850R. Always loved these cars, but.. I don't want a moneypit for a Daily Driver.


You two gents seem to have a lot of knowledge and experience with these cars. Any help is appreciated. Thank you.
 
  #13  
Old 12-29-2006, 10:31 AM
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Default RE: N00b here....some maintenance questions

I've owned five Volvo's and never had a problem with a Turbo and all five have been Turbos. I would ****** up a 96 850R with only 83,000 miles on it in a minute. Where is it? What color is it? In 96 the R's came with a special orangeish-red color that is pretty rare. Personally I don't care for the tan interior that much, but some like it more than the charcoal. I think that's the only two interior colors available. Head gaskets are not a major problem with these cars and changing the timing belt is a must.

Remember when you read these forums, most people come here with problems. That does not mean the cars are problematic. Most people that have no problems at all never come here. All European cars are going to be more expensive to maintain than American or Japanese cars, but you get what you pay for. I have heard that a Mercendes is about twice as much to maintain as a Volvo and BMW is about the same as a Volvo for maintenance expense. BMW would be my 2nd choice, but they are all RWD, which has it's advantages and disadvantages at the same time.

You really should buy the 96 850R for that price!!!
 
  #14  
Old 12-29-2006, 01:11 PM
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Default RE: N00b here....some maintenance questions


Thank you for the quick reply. I sent the guy another email. It's a California car. The exterior is red and interior is unknown. I'm hoping it's charcoal.

I'm going to try and look at the car today or tomorrow and review his maintenance records to look for the last timing belt change. If it was done around 70k, then I have some time before I will need to do it again.

So to confirm:

Other than the items that have been mentioned in this thread already, are there any other "areas of concern" I should keep an eye on?

Almost forgot.. How are the trannys on these cars?

Thanks again, I really want this car.
 
  #15  
Old 12-29-2006, 02:51 PM
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Default RE: N00b here....some maintenance questions

Hello Mr. Ovlov 13,

Greetings from Chicagoland.

In general, German cars seem to be a maintenance headache, which is one of the reasonswhy many drivers switched to Lexus/Acura/Infinity (Japanese cars seem more durable, though safety & performance have always been better on European side). However, even Japanese cars fall apart prematurely if proper care is not taken (which happens too often but provides job security to technicians/dealers).

Personally, I feel that European products (not just automobiles) seem to have poorly engineered electrical/electronics systems, so this is the area you want to watch out for, and don't be surprised to see some diagnostic codes stored in the ECU.

Anyway, the 850R does seem an attractive alternative, with its low mileage (many modern cars go well over 200,000 miles/20 years, if proper care is taken). I agree with Mr. JimKW's opinion. Turbocharged engine is indeed under a bit more stress than NA engines, but if proper care is taken, the condition would be about the same. Oil management (use of high-quality oil & regular replacement with OEM filter) is the most important care forturbocharged engine (same for NA's). I personally change oil & filter at every 3,000 miles/3 months. 3 months may seem a wastefor some, but with highpressure & heat produced by turbocharger, I want to make sure that the engine gets clean oil. Oil is cheap, engineisn't. That's my philosophy.

Gearbox on 850 seems ok (auto). My 850 (actually, it's my boss's and I'm just renting it, I've saved him a few thousands in labour) once had a flashing arrow and mfg code for incorrect gear ratio, but it seems to have been due to low fluid, as the arrow never came back after I added Dexron-III/Mercon. Otherwise, the gearbox is responsive and seamless (some people reported of not being able to shift from PARK, due to faulty micro switch). If standard, it may be a bit more reliable but the clutch disk/pressure plate/release bearing may need replacement, depending on the maintenance record.

Let me see what I've done to my 850 in the last 6 month, in addition to regular tune up items (and the car was NOT taken good care of):

ENGINE:
1. Cooling System:
1. Coolant (Prestone, 50/50).
2. Radiator hoses, upper & lower and expansion tank hoses (APA, seems OEM).
3. Expansion reservoir tank (Volvo).
4. Expansion tank cap (Sameer, OEM).
5. Thermostat (Vernet, OEM)
6. Water pump (Hepu, German)

2. Oil System:
1. Oil cooler return hose (Volvo) with new O-rings, seals & retainers.
2. Oil thermostat housing sealring (Volvo).
3. Filler cap O-ring (Volvo).
4. Dipstick O-ring (Volvo).
5. Turbo oil return line gasket & O-ring.

3. Fuel Induction Systems:
1. Fuel filter (Purolator, but OEM Bosch should be used).
2. A bottle of fuel system cleaner.
3. Air filter (Purolator, but OEM MANN should be used).
4. Cleaned the throttle body with carburetor cleaner & a tooth brush.

4. Electronic Engine Control Emissions:
1. Cleared codes via OBD-I.

5. Ignition Electrical Systems:
1. Spark plugs (Bosch Platinum).
2. Ignition wires (Bougicord, OEM).
3. Distributor cap & rotor (Bosch, OEM).
4. Alternator (Rebuilt Bosch. If the 850R has the original, I would replace it without even thinking. Alternator fails around 100,000 miles/10 years).
5. Battery (Interstate Megatoron).
6. Replaced passenger-side engine mount (US mfg).
7. Accessory drive belt.

6. Timing Belt:
1. Belt (Continental, OEM)
2. Idler pulley (Continental, OEM)
3. Tensioner pulley (Continental, OEM)
4. Tensioner hydraulic cylinder (Febi/Aisin OEM)

TRANSMISSION:
1. Added about a half qt of Dexron-III/Mercon fluid.
2. Cleared code via ODB-II at AutoZone.

BRAKES:
1. Replaced rotors (Brembo, OEM)
2. Replaced pads (Front-Textrar/Rear-Roulands Dan-Block)
3. Replaced fluid with DOT-4 (ATE Super Blue Racing).
4. Replaced rear brake hardware (retainer springs & pins, Scan tech).
5. Replaced rear pad shims (Scan tech)

SUSPENSION:
1. Front Suspension:
1. Upper mount with new lock nuts (Sachs, OEM)
2. Upper spring seat (Sachs, OEM)
3. Strut (Bilstein Touring).
4. Strut bump stop (German mfg).
5. Strut special washer (Scan tech).
6. Strut top cap (Scan tech).
7. Ball joint with new nuts & bolts (later '94 or newer models require replacement of the entire control arm).
8. Sway bar link rods (Hamburg technik, German).

2. Rear Suspension:
1. Damper (Bilstein Touring).
2. Upper damper mount.

CLIMATE CONTROL:
1. New blower motor (Behr, German).
2. Added some R134a.
3. Cleared codes via OBD-I.

MISC:
1. Had wheel alignment at Volvo dealer (rear is of eccentric design and generic shops may not know the calibration procedure).
2. Replaced a number of light bulbs, including the tiny ones inside switches by soldering.
3. CV-joint boots replacement (outer is tricky).
4. Replaced windshield washer squirter, in-line filter, T-valve for both main & headlight.

The cost for above parts wasapprox. $2,000 plus.

COMMON PROBLEMS TO 850 I KNOW:
1. Faulty ABS module (can be repaired, if later than '96 models).
2. Fault codes stored in ECU (expect at least a few).
3. Hissing noise around accessory drive belt area (seems negligible).
4. Rear brake squeal (can be stopped with half-size shims & silicone/moly-based grease).
5. Oil leak (usually negligible, and minor leak under the turbocharger/oil cooler return line hoseis normal).
6. Front suspension upper spring seat wearing out (noticed by noise).
7. Faulty A/C compressor.
8. Battery drain due to glove box light stuck ON.
9. A/C blower motor that makes squeaking noise.
10. Attracts certain Volvo enthusiasts and subject to parts thieves (just kidding).


Please note, that cars with over 80,000 miles/10 years require pretty much the same amount of $$$ to make them as good as they should be, in my opinion (Ranging between $500 and $4000 in parts alone). Again, this is due to normal wear and owners' neglecting regular maintenance.

I wish you find your car in good condition. Lastly, the best car out there is the one you like (I wish I could afford Honda/Acura NSX). Make sure to test drive it before buying it, and if possible, take it to a shop for a quick assessment.

Best wishes,

JPN
 

Last edited by rspi; 11-16-2011 at 06:01 PM. Reason: delete code errors
  #16  
Old 12-30-2006, 12:23 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location:
Posts: 23
Default RE: N00b here....some maintenance questions

Ok so I just came back from the test drive.. wow.. beautiful car.. Red on charcoal... clean interior!! paint is awesome..

It seems like maintenance has been kept up. However, it seems like it's a "I'll fix it when it's broken" thing.. which is ok, in some aspect. Timing belt was replaced at around 52k miles, and the car has 83k miles. Some hoses, and rings, here and there.. new waterpump. Oh yeah, new brakes and rotors.

The only real problems I could find with the vehicle:

1) The dash seems to rattle..ever so slightly.. nothing major.. might be some loose screws.
2) It seems like the car really wants to pull to the right. The tires are pretty bald, especially the driver's side (inner) Could be an alignment thing..
The car feels a little light also in the front, I'm thinking it could be because the car is FWD, and I'm used to RWD cars...
This is the one thing that concerns me. What could it be?
3) There seems to be a burnt out bulb .. somewhere.. can't find it.. no other warning lights apply.
4) He says the radio wires are loose and sometimes over bumps the speakers disconnect from the head unit.. After a couple of "shakes" everything works again.. radio worked when I was test driving it though.
5) He says the driver's side wiper blade "loses contact" towards the top. Could be bent? I'm not too worried though.
6) Engine bay is dirty.. motor purrs though...
7) Evaporator and alternator have not been replaced.

So yeah, other than that, and four tires that will need to be replaced, the car is in great shape.



I've agreed to purchase the car tomorrow afternoon... JPN..JIM... one last chance to help me out. Any last thoughts?
 
  #17  
Old 12-30-2006, 12:30 AM
tech's Avatar
Administrator
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Orlando, Florida
Posts: 36,351
Default RE: N00b here....some maintenance questions

1. The mounting tabs are known to break. Check out my post about them in the 850 section
2. Torque steer on the 850 if it happens on acceleration. Also could be alignment if it pulls right all the time.
3. What is the bulb failure light on? If so 2 Non Matching bulbs will make it light up.
4. Did he say the display went out as well? If not slide the radio out and check the plugs. (But get Radio code first)
5. There is a post somewhere where I explained how to fix the Arm by bending it a little.
6. Only tip is DON'T SOAK THE ENGINE WITH A HOSE!!
 

Last edited by rspi; 09-14-2012 at 05:46 AM. Reason: Spacing
  #18  
Old 12-30-2006, 12:37 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location:
Posts: 23
Default RE: N00b here....some maintenance questions

ORIGINAL: tech

1. The mounting tabs are known to break. Check out my post about them in the 850 section
2.Torque steer on the 850 if it happens on acceleration.Also could be alignment if it pulls right all the time.
3.What is the bulb failure light on? If so 2 Non Matching bulbs will make it light up.
4.Did he say the display went out as well? If not slide the radio out and check the plugs.(But get Radio code first)
5.There is a post somewhere where I explained how to fix the Arm by bending it a little.
6.Only tip is DON'T SOAK THE ENGINE WITH A HOSE!!
Tech:

Thank you for jumping on this thread.

1) I'll check out the thread, thank you.
2) The car pulls , not during acceleration, just all the time.. So I'm thinking it's just an alignment thing. (Hopefully)
3) Not sure which bulb.. not a deal breaker though.
4) O, the display stays on.. just the speakers stop working.. so there is power to the unit, just unit doesn't communicate with the speakers.
5) Ill chk out the post, thank you.
6) Don't worry, I'll clean it the proper way.
7) I added this last thing after the original post.. Evaporator/alternator.. thoughts?

Thank you Tech, anything else?

Thanks again Tech JPN and JIM...
 
  #19  
Old 12-30-2006, 12:39 AM
tech's Avatar
Administrator
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Orlando, Florida
Posts: 36,351
Default RE: N00b here....some maintenance questions

Alt will usually last quite a while.
Evaperator is Common to go bad on all the 850's.
But if you have skills I made a post of a walk through of replacing it.
 
  #20  
Old 12-30-2006, 12:55 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location:
Posts: 23
Default RE: N00b here....some maintenance questions

Let's just say I have no skills... because Volvos in general are foreign to me.

How will I know if I need a new Evaporator.. and how much do you think it will cost for me to replace it with a "professional?" I think you mentioned around $1200?

The owner has never even heard of an Evaporator.. what does it do? Is it critical to the performance or is it something that can be ignored?
 

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