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Volvo 850 Common Faults: Breakdowns, Defects And Solutions!

The Volvo 850 is a popular compact car loved for its competent performance that generally remains reliable over time. Many 850 owners find it a reliable vehicle due to its responsive handling and long life. However, like any car, this one also manifests a few problems, we recommend you read about the common faults of the Volvo 850, in case you want to buy one.

There’s not much data on the 850, but Volvos generally depreciate quickly, with some models losing up to 21% of their value after a year. The 850 will most likely depreciate at roughly the same rate.

How good is the Volvo 850?

Many Volvo 850 owners have said that the 850 is a reliable vehicle that can last for decades. There is no specific information on the reliability of the 850. However, some pages gave the Volvo a reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5.0, ranking it 17th out of 32 car brands.

Volvo models, including the 850, are probably just as reliable. According to owner reports, the 850 can go over 200,000 miles with little to no problems . Some owners have shared that the 850 can go up to 300,000 to 400,000 miles as long as you take care of it and keep up with its maintenance and service schedule.

Common faults of the Volvo 850

The Volvo 850 may be a reliable car, but some models have certain problems. Here are common Volvo 850 failures, based on model year:

1. Boot and shutdown issues

Fuel pump problems on the 1993-1997 Volvo 850 can cause your vehicle to stall and be difficult to start. These problems usually occur on vehicles with a lot of mileage, around 152,000 miles, but don’t replace your fuel pump yet.

Some owners have shared that the problem recurred despite having their fuel pump replaced. According to them, the real cause may be a faulty fuel pump relay . They have shared that there can be a big difference in replacement cost between the two components. If your 850 stalls excessively and has a hard time starting, see a mechanic immediately to avoid spending a fortune on unnecessary repairs.

2. Ignition switch failure

Some 1993-1997 Volvo 850 vehicles may have faulty ignition switches, causing your dash lights to stay on. This problem usually occurs when the car reaches 140,000 kilometers.

Some owners have shared that their dash lights went on and off intermittently. Moving the ignition key can reportedly help temporarily fix your dash lights .

Some owners have reported that erratic lights clear up on their own over time. However, it is best to have your 850 checked by a mechanic to make sure that the lighting problem is not related to a serious problem.

3. Oil leakage problems

It is common for 1993-1997 Volvo 850 vehicles to develop oil leaks over time, specifically at the turbocharger return pipe seal. This problem can start around 138,400 miles. The leak may start out very small and perhaps be barely noticeable, but it can grow larger.

Some owners have shared that they were only able to diagnose the problem because their turbochargers were overheating and producing smoke. Experts recommend that your 850 be serviced as soon as you notice the slightest oil leak . You can also have your car inspected regularly. These problems will be more manageable if you catch them early.

4. Odometer failure

The 1997 Volvo 850 odometer problem can be related to a number of different issues including electrical complications, Vehicle Speed ​​Sensor (VSS) issues, and other component failures. This problem usually appears around 120,000 miles and can also affect your mileage counter.

The odometer and mileage counter may suddenly stop working for no apparent reason . It is best to see a mechanic as soon as the problem starts to get an accurate diagnosis.

However, some owners have shared that you may be able to fix your vehicle by replacing the rubber gear that drives your odometer and mileage counter. It can be difficult to do it on your own, so don’t hesitate to get a professional to do it for you.

5. Air Conditioning (A/C) Problems

1996 Volvo 850 A/C problems can take any driver by surprise. It usually happens around 71,000 miles, with no warning signs. Some owners have shared that A/C failure is related to a bad evaporator, which can leak and require expensive repairs.

This is a common problem with other 850 model years as well. Some owners were disappointed that the repairs were not covered by their dealers. Evaporator repair is considered a major repair , but coverage may vary depending on several factors. If you have this problem with your 850, you should first confirm with your dealer whether or not they will cover the cost of replacement.

6. Overheating due to component failure

The 1996 Volvo 850 can have overheating issues, which can happen with other model years as well. The most common cause is a component failure somewhere in the cooling system, such as the radiator assembly, thermostat, and water pump.

Overheating can be accompanied by slowdowns and coolant leaks, depending on which component has suffered damage. If your engine is running hotter than usual, it is better to check if any component of the cooling system has gone bad . Overheating can cause extensive engine damage, which can be avoided if these problems are nipped in the bud by prompt replacement of faulty parts.

7. Transmission failure

The 1996 Volvo 850 is known for its transmission, which may not shift correctly. Symptoms usually start around 133,000 miles. Some owners have shared that their transmissions are unresponsive or shifting at all. According to them, the only way to solve this problem is to get a new transmission, which can be expensive .

It can cost an estimated average of $2,200 to replace your faulty transmission with a new one. It’s best to regularly inspect your transmission to prevent component damage and keep larger problems at bay.

In conclusion

Even if your Volvo 850 is reliable, it can have various problems, depending on the year of your model. Whether you buy a new or used 850, you need to know its most common problems so you can fix them if they occur. Be sure to find out what model year you are interested in and clarify all the details with the seller before you decide.

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