1994 Volvo 850 Automatic Transmission NonTurbo

volvo
850

#1

Quote

I have a 1994 Volvo 850, Automatic transmission, non-turbo.

  1. In the past year, it’s been a little more sluggish acting on start-up sometimes, acting as though it was in too high of a gear. That is, it sometimes acts like it was starting out in 3rd gear, instead of 1st. I’ve tested it my manually moving the gear shift lever, and it does seem to act differently, but it is not a fix.
    I’ve tried giving it more gas to get a better pick-up, and while not perfect fix, does seem to overcome that issue.
    I’ve been told that at least the left and right lower motor mounts are bad, and read somewhere that was a potential issue. Haven’t had them replace. I’ve not seen that there’s any issue with the engine, and had it checked - no problem reported.

In the past 6 months, I’ve flushed out the transmission with about 2 1/2 gallons of ATF, until it came out clean, and in past month, added a big container of Lucas AFT additive (for slipping).

2 In the past 3-4 months, the real demon has appeared. It’s getting progressively worse - In reverse, if there’s any resistance (on dirt, backing up an incline), instead of moving the car smoothly, there is a “brr brr brr sound”, a mild vibration, and the car either won’t move at all, or will hesitantly move.

Giving the car any gas at all makes the issue worse - the car won’t back up at all, and gives the mild sound and vibration instead. Best way to back up is even smooth pavement, no acceleration.

This started out with a clunk when going into reverse. Now, going into reverse doesn’t give the clunk, just this business.

I’ve gotten 3 inputs: 1) The mounts won’t make a difference, if it is the transmission itself, that’s not repair item 2) The mounts are flat, maybe that will help, but they can replace the trasnmission, 500 for the two mounts, 1500-2000 to replace, save about 100$ if I get both jobs at same time 3) The mounts won’t help, remove and rebuild transmission and mounts at same time, no number available yet. 4) Mounts may help, but suggest replacing the transmission and mounts at the same time, will check around for replacement and get back to you

Ideas? Inputs? More diagnostics?

I believe the mounts, there is the vibration, rear main seal leaking for about 2 decades (told soaking mounts in oil isn’t a good idea, and oil gets on them).

Know anyone in my area who will give another opinion (only #2 has actually been under the car, and #4 did a sit in driver seat test (and hasn’t gotten back to me in a month).

And which way to go: Rebuild or replace?
Thanks


#2

94 Volvo?

I think you’re beating a dead horse.

Tester


#3

All your inputs seem to agree, replace (or rebuild) the transmission, and might as well fix the mounts at the same time.

Or junk the car.


#6

Why put more money into a vehicle than it’s worth?

Tester


#7

Everything can be repaired; worse case, it is replaced. Is he saying you can’t drop in a new or rebuilt or used transmission (if you can find one)? Finding one, or the parts to rebuild the one you have may be the problem, but the other mechanics didn’t seem to think so.


#10

A replacement is probably a rebuild anyway, unless you get a used one, which is cheaper, but could be just a source of new problems. I doubt you would find a new one.

compare availability, price, and warrantee and time with no car. A rebuild, you will could no car for a long period.

They will take the tranny off the car to rebuild it anyway, so the issues with connections, etc, would apply to both. But there could be a compatibility issue, the new unit may not be identical to the one you have.

Don’t forget, even transmission experts have probably seen very few or zero 94 Volvo trannys. (although the tranny was probably made by someone else, perhaps Ford)


#11

Just a thought, is there a trans fluid filter, and if so has it been changed?


#13

“Why put more money into a vehicle than it’s worth?”

This question keeps coming up, and it really misses the point. Unless one is planning on repairing their car for the purpose of reselling it, the repair costs vs. Blue Book value are really immaterial.

Many people have cars with styling and features that simply don’t exist anymore, and want to keep driving them. Just because the Blue Book says that a 1990s car is only worth $1500 or so does not mean one should never spend more than that to keep the car running. If you like the car, and the rest of it is in good condition, it might make sense to repair it–even if the cost exceeds its Blue Book value.


#14

Focus on getting a pro-assessment of the transmission’s condition. Ask your normal mechanic who’s the best transmission shop in town, and have it assessed there. Once you have that info, assuming the cause of most of these symptoms is transmission is out of whack (which seems likely), you can then get some price quotes on rebuilding the existing transmission, or installing a replacement from either a wrecked Volvo, or one that has been rebuilt. If it makes economic sense, then schedule the work done. I had the transmission rebuilt on my Ford truck 20 years ago, and it has worked flawlessly since then. Replacing all the mounts will be a mere doodle if done as part of the transmission replacement.


#15

The way I look at it is, if the vehicle has some real value because it’s a collectible or is rare, then yes, it’s worth investing the money to keep it running.

But if there’s nothing special about the vehicle, then I think of it as an appliance that has served its purpose.

All too often I’ve seen people waste their money replacing a major failed component on a vehicle, and then have another major component fail soon after.

This happened with my 95 Nissan pickup.

Owned it for ten years. Provided good service over the years. Was in good shape for 200,000 miles.

But when the transmission failed, and a USED replacement was going to cost $600.00, I knew when it was time to let go.

I really liked that truck.

Tester


#18

Thanks!

I haven’t gone to transmission specialist. Only to mechanics who I’ve used in the past.

I figure going to a transmission specialist about a transmission, is like going to a surgeon about a shoulder rotator cuff - odds are on the surgury

Tom


#19

There’s many advantages of owning a car from the early 90’s. I consider that era the golden age of cars. Electronic fuel injection, without all the gadgets, gizmos, and gimmicks that came later. Good for you for keeping your Volvo on the road. Have you inquired about the possibility of replacing the automatic with a manual transmission?


#21

There is nothing wrong with doing a repair that costs more than the car is worth and you realize it. If you are willing to spend the money because this particular car,s comfort suits you, all well and good.
Just don’t be so thin skinned that you tell someone to delete their post when they point out the obvious.


#22

That suggests the the governor is not working usually because the fluid supply to the governor is plugged with clutch material. That is an indication that the torque converter clutch or clutches in the transmission are coming apart, a transmission overhaul will be needed.

I don’t know what the obvious is, I have taken a few $100 cars, replaced the transmission or repaired the engine and used them for 5 years. Buy a new car and you will lose at lease $3000 the first year.


#23

I agree, you don’t know what the obvious is.

When you rescued a car on the way to the junkyard for $100 and replaced the transmission and got 5 years out of it, you added greatly to the value by replacing the transmission. Such is not the case with your Volvo.


#24

That’s great if you’re doing all that work yourself.

Your labor costs nothing.

But if you pay somebody else to do the same thing?

$$$$$$$$

Tester


#25

Thank you Nevada - a suggestion about what is happening, a diagnosis.

That’s one thing I was asking.

Then, there’ rebuild vs. replace. I see so many of these available. But I’m not yet sure who would do the job that way, and give a reasonable price, time schedule for doing a replacement. I’d be gambling a chunk of the labor cost - I still need to get the mounts replaced either way.

Tom

Nevada_545

    July 22

alt Tom_Maida:
it’s been a little more sluggish acting on start-up sometimes, acting as though it was in too high of a gear. That is, it sometimes acts like it was starting out in 3rd gear, instead of 1st.

That suggests the the governor is not working usually because the fluid supply to the governor is plugged with clutch material. That is an indication that the torque converter clutch or clutches in the transmission are coming apart, a transmission overhaul will be needed.

alt oldtimer_11:
Just don’t be so thin skinned that you tell someone to delete their post when they point out the obvious.

I don’t know what the obvious is, I have taken a few $100 cars, replaced the transmission or repaired the engine and used them for 5 years. Buy a new car and you will lose at lease $3000 the first year.