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Should I keep my 1996 Volvo 850 GLT wagon

1 have a 1996 Volvo 850 GLT wagon with the following problems and issues. Should I pay to get the major issues fixed, or use the money towards another car? This is my second car, it gets driven on a once-a-week basis, and I would probably replace it with another 10-year younger Volvo wagon or similar.

* Check Engine light with “incorrect ratio” code - my mechanic suggests replacing the speed sensor, flushing the transmission, and hoping for the best; will cost at least a couple hundred dollars. Web searches turn up PnP replacement might fix this.

* slow battery drain - replaced the battery harness as per Volvo’s instructions, but there is still a slow battery drain that kills the battery in a few days, which I cannot diagnose. If I want to use the car, I make sure the battery is charged the night before. Unknown cost to permanently fix - solar panel in the front window?

* odometer broken - the odometer broke at 125 K, the car has approximately 130 K miles on it. Mechanic estimates fixing the odometer is $500.

* due for a new timing belt - Last timing belt change was at 52 K; mechanic estimates $800 after doing “everything they like to do at this time, like the water pump.”

* various and sundry broken interior cosmetic panels

Should I do the repairs and hope to get to 160 K miles, or put the money towards a new car?

timing belt/water pump are maintenance items, not repairs.
Your mechanic says to flush the tranny, replace the sensor and hope for the best. Sounds like you need a new mechanic.
If you are having finance issues trying to keep this current Volvo running, why on Earth would you consider getting another 10+ year old Volvo? Would you be hoping for better/different results from an unknown Volvo?

As Volvos age, they get more and more expensive to keep going, how long can your finances keep it running?

If you have some particular affinity with Volvo’s (especially this particular 15 year old one), then dump everything necessary into it. However…

For a car you only use once a week, if you’re not going to the opera, I’m sure there are far more suitable vehicles for you. Consider one of the many Japanese vehicles out there (Nissan, Toyota) or decent American metal (like a Chevy or GMC). Depending on the model you choose, they’ll easily roll you in front of the snobby crowd, and pull your groceries around, too. Unfortunately, every Volvo I’ve had to deal with has had multiple problems, and none of them are cheap to fix. Once the warranty is done, all the repairs fall to the owner - and there are a bunch.

With the issues you list, I can’t see how fixing the 850 for another 30K miles can possibly be worth it. Trade it in on something else while it’s still running.



Battery Disconnect switch to take care of drain, You don’t need an odometer or interior trim pieces, drive it until the timing belt breaks. Aren’t you just a little curious to find out how long that will be?

Don’t spend a dime on it. Drive it until it drops. Start saving your money for another car. If the next car must be a Volvo, also save up a lot more money for repairs on it.

Or, take both of those funds(car AND repair money) and buy a brand new Lexus :stuck_out_tongue: