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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to all!

i am about to become a private car owner after many years after numerous company cars. No matter what i look at i keep coming back to the early 850 (circa 93-95), would like newer but the bugit is tight.

Most cars advertised have between 90k and 130 k miles on the clock, but worryingly anything with say 160+ on the clock is claiming major money spent on it recently, usualy things like hydraulic tappets, ABS etc. So if i buy one with around 100K what can i expect to fail in the next few years, also what should i be looking for when viewing a potential purchase?

Any help greatly received.
 

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If you could try to find a 96 or 97 they are the best of them.If the car was well maintianed you will be finwe if you keep up the maintaince till about 300,000.It will have the typical abs module problem like most of the 850's/S70's.But now there is a company that rebuilds it cheap.Make sure the timing belt was done at 70k and make sure you keep up with the timing belt.If not will cost you about 3k to fix.Overall as long as they were maintained well you should be fine.There will always be some minor problems happens with all cars.
Also to touch on the valve tappets issue alot of people change them when the car is having a problem with oil pan o-rings and they never know it.
 

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I just bought a 97 850 GLT TDI with 127,000 miles & FVSH from PGi in Farnham who do nothing but Volvo estates. Tehy have a range of 850s from about 94 (L) on and V70s from 98-04, prices anything from £2500-£12,000. Straight people, been dealing in Volvo estates for 15 years I think they said, take lots of trouble, know their stuff inside out & only handle clean cars. (I ain't on commission honest!) 850s had mechanical odometers, V70s digital ones, draw your own conclusions. Look for as complete service history as you can find, if any major unexplained gaps
 

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sorry hit the wrong key ... if any major unexplained gaps JUST WALK AWAY ... the world is full of 2nd hand cars & in the January/February doldrums the customer is king, esp. if he's brandishing a wad of cash. Check for cambelt changes at 80K; check for clunky or jerky auto boxes (been thrashed, £2K+ to rebuild); check for steering rack leaks (£400+ to replace); watch out for cracks in the bracket holding the drive belt tensioner (bent bracket shreds belt in seconds); be prepared for electrical niggles, expensive switch replacements, knackered rear wash/wipe assembly. Buy a pair of headlamp protectors for £35, better than £80 per headlamp unit to avoid MoT failure! Fit the best tyres you can afford (don't pay more than about £90) - the 850 ride is firm, the T5 is like driving on rocks (I quote my local Volvo service manager) and good tyres are ALL you can do to soften it a bit. Soft or wallowy suspension = knackered shockers. If I think of anything else I'll let you know! Oh, one last thing - give the gutless 2.0 litre a miss, the trade's favourite at the time was the 850 GLE 2.5, sweet (VW Audi) engine, if a little busy at times, that'll return you 250K+ miles if you look after it
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks so far guys, its been so long since i had to look at cars i think im just a little nervous


A good list of check points there, and the comments about the slightly later cars v/s early models, 2L v/s 2.5L, and full service history ring true with the homework i have done so far.My problem is the bank account is not as flush as i would want, so i want to get it right first time.

There are other makes of large estate out there which can be had for hundreds, rather than thousands of pounds, but i figure unless i am very lucky one of these will most likely be scrap heap fodder 12-24 months down the line, im hoping you get what you pay for, and my past experiances of Volvo's have been +ive.

I notice people always seem to talk about the petrol models with these volvos, am i right to assume any fuel savings may well be offset by higher servicing / repair costs? i have certainly found this with many lesser makes of car?
 

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Over the years we've had 2 240 estates, 2 940 turbodiesel estates, 2 850 estates, 1 petrol/lpg & 1 diesel, and a petrol/lpg V70, all automatics. They all did high mileages (210K in the V70 before it was written off) and none of them was perfect but the one I'd go back to would be the 940 - not necessarily turbodiesel, which only returned 28 m.p.g. from its noisy & smoky VW straight-6 2.4, though it was in every other respect indestructible, but probably a 940 Classic - 1998 R 2.3 petrol was the run-out model loaded with goodies. I hankered after a juice-sucking 960 (or V90 in its final form) but that's no working car or everyday driver - more of a mobile living room with full leather three-piece suite. About £4K should get you into a perfectly good late high-than-average-mileage (don't be afraid of it - just get the service history) 940 which, trust me, can do more than any other estate car known to man. We took the family on camping holidays to Italy in them, they clocked up hundreds of thousands of miles as fleet cars in our company, we moved house with them, and if looked after they're good for 300K miles and/or 20 years - and although big and boxy, they're still a classic, probably the last 'proper' old fashioned Volvo. Hundreds of pounds? Forget it. You'll just end up with endless hundreds more pounds' worth of grief. Lay out the proper money to start with and feel the fear melt away as year after year of trouble free motoring goes by. Happy hunting!
 

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QUOTE(big_ben @ Jan 29 2005, 03:57 PM)Hello to all!

i am about to become a private car owner after many years after numerous company cars. No matter what i look at i keep coming back to the early 850 (circa 93-95), would like newer but the bugit is tight.

Most cars advertised have between 90k and 130 k miles on the clock, but worryingly anything with say 160+ on the clock is claiming major money spent on it recently, usualy things like hydraulic tappets, ABS etc. So if i buy one with around 100K what can i expect to fail in the next few years, also what should i be looking for when viewing a potential purchase?

Any help greatly received.
[snapback]2743[/snapback]​


You will want to know when it had the A/C evaporator replaced. Check the transmission oil for color. If it is not red but a deep black/brown color that may indicate it was poorly maintained nd may soon require work. Check for oil leaks.

I have a 95 Turbo and after driving regularly aspirated Volvo's...I would only want a turbo. I am hoping to get about 5 more years out of mine...I hope...I hope. I have 124,000 miles on it now.

You can go to www.volvospeed.com and I think there may still be a list of typical problems with 850's. Bay 13 has repair tips on that sight. The Brickboard is another good source of information. There are extensive archives to search.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I know im dragging up an old thread here but it seems appropiate given that i have finaly landed one


A 94 2.5L manual in (dark) red to be exact, 108K miles, FSH and absolutly stunning given its age. Its about as good as i could have hoped for given my budgit.

Thanks for the advise folks, without which i may not have said no to a couple of lower price sheds on wheels.

Fingers crossed for the future
 

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Welcome to the club, Big Ben!


I read fwb44's messages with interest and tried to see if they are applicable here, but well, nothing's perfect. Hahaha.

In terms of Ringgits and Sens (in US, Dollars and Cents?) a friend once told me, to set aside about 7% of the total cost of the car for repairs, when you first get it. Anything more than that, you should realise that you're screwed.


So far, mine has gone to 3.1%... Praying hard it doesn't even cross the 5% mark.

 
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