850 TDI Station Wagon Automatic weak points?

Discussion in 'Volvo 850' started by viktor, Dec 9, 2006.

  1. viktor

    viktor Guest

    Trying to make an upgrade from my 745 TD year 1989. Candidate is an 850 TDI
    Station Wagon with automatic gearbox, year 1996, 210.000 km (about 140.000),
    tempomat, automatic air conditioning, only one owner, car regularly serviced at
    an official Volvo repair shop etc etc. I will have it checked at an automobile
    club also, but - what are the typical weak points to look for at this car?? I
    usually practice according to the "Troise Big-Fix Theory" (Joe Troise - Drive It
    'Till It Drops - Ho To Keep Your Car Running Forever), so I expect a certain
    amount of repairs immediately after purchase - what would it be?

    Thanks for any input,
    Viktor, Vienna, Austria, Europe
    viktor, Dec 9, 2006
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  2. I am amazed that the automatic transmission has made it to 140,000 miles.
    They often fail catastrophically around 50Kmiles and every 50Kmiles
    thereafter. Some don't have this problem but, if you search back on this
    newsgroup, you'll find dozens that did, many under warranty.

    You should also look out for all the usual 850 problems as well: failed air
    pump, climate control (if installed), anti-lock brake control module, and AC
    compressor clutch and evaporator. For little things, expect to replace the
    shifter microswitch, the rear hatch supports, the headlight switch, and the
    power seat cables.

    Both of my 850s had electrical problems (drained battery overnight in the
    winter) which, in both cars, turned out to be the glovebox door not
    depressing the switch once it got a little old and loose.

    By the way, my wife has a new Honda Fit on order. If anyone in the Boston
    area wants to buy her '96 850 GLT wagon (110 kMiles) for $2500, drop me an
    Email. Then we will have no Volvos (after 30 years), and I can spend my
    weekends with my kids, instead of fixing the cars.
    Robert Lutwak, Dec 9, 2006
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  3. I thought they fixed that in '95 by increasing some tolerances.

    Michael Pardee, Dec 9, 2006
  4. Cambelt belt and diesel pump belt need to be changed latest at 240.000 km,
    must be ready to pay EUR 1000,- for a such a swap including the water pump,
    which is a good idea to change as well.
    The engine is similar to Audi A6 2.5 TDI and is a great engine - long
    lasting. The diesel
    pump must be adjusted from time to time to make sure that engine starts well
    and to prevent
    too much diesel smoke.
    The automatic gearbox should shift completely smoothless including when the
    car is standing and
    gear lever is changed from D to R.

    ....Gruss aus Kopenhagen
    Per Groth Ludvigsen, Dec 9, 2006
  5. viktor

    HAL9000F Guest

    Can you please tell me how much money should I expect from a Volvo shop
    or non-Volvo shop to charge for adjusting the diesel pump, and how long
    (in hrs, minutes?) is the job?

    THNX a lot.
    HAL9000F, Dec 9, 2006
  6. viktor

    viktor Guest

    Friends of mine happen to have an Audi with the same engine. The belt has to be
    changed after a certain amount of km OR TIME, which is important. Their belt
    broke and they had a 6000 € damage to the engine. Also with my old 745
    Volkswagen LT Diesel engine my mechanic changed the waterpump at 300.000 km
    together with the two belts.
    You probably mean smoothly :)
    I get the impression after reading the on the net, that the automatic gear box
    is a weak point in this car. If that is really the case, I would not even think
    to buy it. There are very few automatic gear boxes for such a car at the
    vehicle-butchers' yards and maybe very expensive. My 1989 745 TD manual gearbox
    with overdrive works fine at 370.000 km. The only thing I did between 245.000 km
    and now was in spring when I changed the overdrive electric relay.

    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    viktor, Dec 9, 2006
  7. The gearbox'es in 850 TDI and V70 TDI Classic should be pretty ok. The new
    V70 D5 with the original aut. trans. you should stay away from. Tranny only
    last shortly
    because they are too weak build. In general high speed autobahn drive is not
    the best
    for an aut. tranny - this is the reason to check if the oil pressure in the
    tranny still is
    ok - e.q. smoothly shifting. You should expect about tkm. 300 with optimal
    of this tranny.

    The problem with broken belts in Volvo 850 TDI was to due the belt tensioner
    causing the
    belt to vibrate too much - a service procedure fix is made for this problem
    at volvo.

    Cheers Per
    Per Groth Ludvigsen, Dec 10, 2006
  8. Forgot to add: aut. tranny problems only on early releases of the new shape
    V70 D5.
    Per Groth Ludvigsen, Dec 10, 2006
  9. I have had 10 Volvos with AT's and only two AT's failed. The '87 240 AT
    needed work around 100K miles, but a routine overhaul fixed it. The '93
    850 AT failed at 145,000. It needed a factory rebuilt unit. I drove my
    240's and earlier models 120,000 miles and drive my 850's 180,000 miles.
    I don't see any sign of AT's often failing around 50k miles.
    Stephen Henning, Dec 13, 2006
  10. viktor

    Tim.. Guest

    50k is abit mean, but the Aisan Warner AT in the 850's and V70 classics can
    and do fail at around the 120k mark *unless* they are given regualr fluid
    changes. Volvo decided not to specify any fluid change in the maintanance
    schedule and this is the root of the problem

    Early 92-95 850 AT's are much more prone to failure than later units.

    Tim.., Dec 13, 2006
  11. Do you have any documentation or are you just winging it. If you check,
    I think you will find that those that fail have a failure centered
    somewhere around 120,000 miles, but many of those that are properly
    maintained with dealer service don't fail during the life of the car. I
    know 80% of mine didn't fail during the life of the car.
    And my '93 850 transmission (the worst year for Volvo transmissions)
    lasted 145,000 miles, so I would say they are pretty good. Not many
    clutches last that long.
    Stephen Henning, Dec 14, 2006
  12. viktor

    Tim.. Guest

    If you speak about the 800 / 70 series manual gearbox clutches, there are
    *plenty* of them about with upwards of 150k miles on the clock still on the
    original clutch (T5's slightly less so)

    Tim.., Dec 14, 2006
  13. viktor

    mjc Guest

    It would be pretty remarkable if every single one of the '93
    automatics had failed early. Be grateful you had a good one, but
    don't take your experience to be the last word on the subject.
    I'm pretty sure I saw a Yugo on the road this year...
    mjc, Dec 15, 2006
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