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My poor old volvo

Hi everyone, I own a 1996 Volvo 850, which due to financial reasons and many problems I had to let sit for about a year. Today I cranker her up and she started up like an old champ. The main reason I stopped driving her was because the oil started disappearing on me (on a 20 mile drive) then water started to appear in there too, not to mention the oil lamp coming on as well. Needless to say that there is some damage somewhere, I am just curious if you guys would have heard of something similar happening. The other thing happened today after starting her up and shutting the engine off. Curiously, the battery light and the oil lamps both faintly blink with the engine stopped. if I turn the engine back on, they both go off and stay off. I turn the engine off, and again they glow! any suggestions?

Thank you!

Sounds like you had some problems with it before you parked it.

Is this a new battery, or did you just charge the old one? Was it on a battery tender for that year?

With the oil and water getting mixed, that sounds like a head gasket to start with. The lights may be due to a low battery…although evidently it seems to have enough power to start it, which in and of itself is slightly baffling. Maybe more information is called for.


Oh yeah, I did have some trouble before parking it. As a matter of fact, the battery was discharging due to the stereo/alarm system which I had to eventually disconnect.

The battery is not new, it is the one it had when I parked it. I did charge it, but let it sit for a couple of months, so now it is back on the charger getting equalized.

The oil water thing has me a little perplexed is where is all my oil going? one of the last times I drove it, the oil lamp started flashing all of a sudden, so I pulled over and checked the oil, and the dip stick measured none. I had some oil in the trunk, so I filled it to the point where it showed slightly and went home. on the way home, the oil vanished again… I looked everywhere for signs of a leak and found nothing, it was as if I never put any in in the first place. Maybe I am just going nuts, I dunno!

check your antifreeze reservoir, it might be mixing with that. If not, it’s probably getting burnt somewhere.

This will likely be an expensive fix, but you probably knew that when you bought the Volvo.

Your old Volvo is very sick. Get some prices on a new head gasket and see if you want to spend that much on the car. The red lights going on when the motor is off is normal.