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.

Perpetually in Limp Mode

  #1  
Old 10-14-2011, 03:37 PM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 5
Default Perpetually in Limp Mode

I've just returned from my 6th visit to the shop to get my 1997 850 gtl out of limp mode. I've had a PNP switch replaced and the neutral gear shifter (I believe that's what it was called) replaced and spent well over 600$ so far with no results. In fact, they re-ordered the parts again (thanks to a warranty) and replaced them assuming maybe the parts they received were damaged. The car was back in limp mode after the 7 mile drive home from the shop and the mechanic has no idea what to do. Has anyone had this amount of problems? I know today they have checked the computer, the wiring, and even the grounds all came back okay. Said there might be a problem with the wiring harness but that would be a lot more money and I can't afford much more.

I don't know what to do and I hate to invest more money into this car. I'm a broke college student who uses the car just to get by. Would it be wise to just shut off the "limp mode" feature all together? If anyone has advice for me please let me know.
 

Last edited by volvoma850; 10-14-2011 at 03:52 PM.
  #2  
Old 10-14-2011, 06:56 PM
rspi's Avatar
Administrator
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 15,762
Default

What codes are in the system? The transmission will cause limp mode quick, when was the last time the transmission was serviced?
 
  #3  
Old 10-14-2011, 08:39 PM
MattyXXL's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 1,267
Default

Was the PNP switch aligned correctly?
 
  #4  
Old 10-15-2011, 01:32 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Posts: 203
Default

My 94 850 is not in limp mode, but its been flashing the arrow for some time now. The trans sometimes give a good thump like its looking for a gear.
So heres what Ive done on the search to kill the flashing arrow.
First and foremost, the radiator trans cooler leaked and my trans ended full of water. I believe that was the start of the problem.
I did flush the trans, way too many times and way too much trans fluid to turn it from chocolate milk colored to a decent shade of red.

I checked the codes and A1 gave me 232 which was faulty trans speed sensor.
Changed and nothing different happened.
Changed the TPS since sometimes its fooled, no change
Next will be the solenoids at the front of the trans, theres three of them.
PNP in my case is fine and I could fix it if not.
I hace a good list of what Ive done tracing the blinking arrow.
i still in the quest, but I hope the pointers can help you out.
BTW, I did all the work myself with simple tools and using the various forums.
But first, get the codes..
 

Last edited by Elchopperfreak; 10-15-2011 at 01:53 AM.
  #5  
Old 10-15-2011, 09:35 AM
rspi's Avatar
Administrator
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 15,762
Default

I've always heard that anything in the transmission will cause quick transmission failure. So, if coolant got into the transmission it would damage it real fast.

IMO, if the transmission is not shifting at the right time due to damage, the sensor will tell the computer that there is a problem and toss the code. Is there something wrong with the speed sensor, no, it's doing what it's suppose to, tell the computer that the transmission speed it wrong so you'll go get the transmission tested. The transmission is suppose to change gears at certain speeds. In E or S there is set speeds that the shift is suppose to happen in connection to throttle position. If it shifts 3 mph later, it will toss a code.

On another note, I'm still stumped on how a radiator can transfer fluid. How in the world does the coolant leak into the tranny section of the radiator? I'm really blown away by that. Is this an after market radiator or oem? How does that happen?
 
  #6  
Old 10-15-2011, 12:10 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Posts: 203
Default

Its an OEM radiator.
By research Ive found that in due time the trans cooler inside the radiator fails, mostly by time and lack of coolant/radiator maintenance ( flushing every 2 years or so)

Somehow, the coolant/water seeped and was sucked by the trans via trans oil cooler hoses.

Likewise I had a fountain of chocolate milk colored oil/water at the overflow coolant tank ( thats how I noticed) So a major flush has been goin on for quite some time.

I am going with an external trans oil cooler, my car was almost ready to go and that problem has set me back and of course, brought all the other trans problems mentioned here..
 
  #7  
Old 10-15-2011, 08:04 PM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 5
Default

I can ask my mechanic for the codes just incase. I will flush the fluids and get them checked. I bought the car this summer and as much as I'd like to assume the dealer checked all the fluids before he sold it, I might just redo it myself. I've heard this from a couple of people before.
 
  #8  
Old 10-20-2011, 03:51 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 1
Default

Originally Posted by Elchopperfreak View Post
My 94 850 is not in limp mode, but its been flashing the arrow for some time now. The trans sometimes give a good thump like its looking for a gear.
So heres what Ive done on the search to kill the flashing arrow.
First and foremost, the radiator trans cooler leaked and my trans ended full of water. I believe that was the start of the problem.
I did flush the trans, way too many times and way too much trans fluid to turn it from chocolate milk colored to a decent shade of red.

I checked the codes and A1 gave me 232 which was faulty trans speed sensor.
Changed and nothing different happened.
Changed the TPS since sometimes its fooled, no change
Next will be the solenoids at the front of the trans, theres three of them.
PNP in my case is fine and I could fix it if not.
I hace a good list of what Ive done tracing the blinking arrow.
i still in the quest, but I hope the pointers can help you out.
BTW, I did all the work myself with simple tools and using the various forums.
But first, get the codes..
Hi elchopperfreak,
have a 99 s70, had the same up arrow light flashing after a bad battery. suspected the pnp and so bought the kit (3 copper prongs) and change the parts, and did some sanding of the contact bars, and extending the 3 springs. The car is still in 3rd gear mode. arrow still flashing. the guy at swedish car parts suggest checking for pnp functionality at the connector using voltmeter..not sure how?

you have any idea for the next step in trouble shoot, besides at the connector open/short investigation.
 
  #9  
Old 10-20-2011, 08:14 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Posts: 203
Default

What I did ( and recently) I started reading all the forums of what might be the reason I keep getting the dreaded arrow, since I am only getting one code.
So first, you should get the codes, any autopart store will read those for you.
There might or might not be a difference in the 98-99 trans and electrical system ( 98 and 850's are pretty similar if not the same)

Was you trans working fine? no loss of gears of slippage?
Codes will help a lot.
Could be a solenoid, could be a faulty speed sensor..
By any chance is your trans mode selector, clean, working properly?
 
  #10  
Old 10-23-2011, 11:34 AM
Kiss4aFrog's Avatar
Administrator
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Hudson, WI
Posts: 4,423
Smile

Originally Posted by rspi View Post
On another note, I'm still stumped on how a radiator can transfer fluid. How in the world does the coolant leak into the tranny section of the radiator? I'm really blown away by that. Is this an after market radiator or oem? How does that happen?
I'm surprised you're surprised. The radiator on a Turbo has both an engine oil cooler and transmission oil cooler inside it. They are like small radiators themselves and can either corrode and develop a pin hole leak or have a seam loosen. The engine oil cooler is inside the passenger side of the radiator and the transmission cooler is on the drivers side. Each side has two hoses leading to it, one in and one out. Depending on pressure and temperature you can get almost any mix of engine oil, transmission fluid and coolant between the three. It can fool you into thinking you have a bad head gasket when actually it's coolant being pushed into the oil cooler and then to the pan after the engine is shut down and there's pressure in the coolant and not the oil. Leaking the other way you can get engine or transmission oil in your expansion tank.

I don't have an answer on the transmission but I find it curious they are telling you wiring too!
https://volvoforums.com/forum/volvo-...09/#post293306

Is it a dealer you are taking it to?
Is the PNP what they have been saying all along is the problem? Had they tested it or was it just their best guess?
As far as the PNP being adjusted, when you shift through the gears does it seem to be centered on the "letter" when you shift "R", "N" and "D"?
Are there any codes?
How long have you had your 850 and how long ago did the arrow start flashing?
 

Last edited by Kiss4aFrog; 10-23-2011 at 11:54 AM. Reason: addition
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
dcorless
Volvo S60 & V60
1
03-16-2008 04:05 PM
surferbro05
Volvo S60 & V60
4
01-19-2008 05:59 PM
deathbots
Volvo 850
3
01-01-2008 02:44 PM
RedTurbo850
Volvo 850
7
02-26-2007 10:22 PM
swede850T
Volvo 850
2
07-04-2005 03:44 PM


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Perpetually in Limp Mode


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.