milage question

Asked by May 06, 2009 at 03:41 PM about the 1996 Volvo 850 Turbo Wagon

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

I'm buying a 1996 turbo 4d 850 wagon volvo with 240,000 miles. if it's been matained well how much more life do you think this car has left in it?

2 Answers


Frankly I'm surprised it's made it this far. That engine (2.3L) is under a considerably higher level of stress than the naturally aspirated 2.4L version. The engine is certainly going to be worn out and seals are going to start to leak if they haven't already begun. You will more than likely need some serious engine repair/maintenance not too far down the road. I wouldn't expect much more than 15k before you'll need major repairs. Mine is a base model N/A 850 wagon with 230k and it still pulls strong, but I've put a lot of money into it keeping it up. In the last 20k miles, I've put more than $2000 into repairs and this engine isn't under the same kind of stress that the turboed 2.3L that you are looking into is constantly under. If you don't want to spend a lot of money in the next year or two on repairing this expensive to repair vehicle, look for another car. Turboed 850s are fun, but one with that many miles might be trouble (coming from someone with a 230k 850) good luck to you, hope this helped.


I have close to 200,000 miles on my 2.3 L turbo. I've run both the GLT (2.4L) and now the Turbo/R (2.3L) and I have to say that they hold up pretty good but routine maintenance is something that you will need to check into quite thoroughly. Find out when the timing belt was last done, check the suspension, and check to make sure that the a/c will work for you. But if it has been maintained quite well you shouldnt have a problem with it. Just be sure to have a compression test done on the engine, and if possible try to have the turbo inspected before purchase since those are semi pricey if purchased new but can be picked up very cheaply from certain sources. The one thing I would like to point out is have the car lifted and inspect the bottom! If there is any oil any at all around the RMS (rear main seal) RUN AWAY! No joke, that little seal will cost you around $1,000-2,000 to replace and it is only a $5 part. Overall 850's are good cars just have the car gone through very carefully before purchasing unless you have some extra money you are able to throw at it. And if you do purchase it and things start to go bad, don't get cheap parts to replace broken ones. The extra $5.00 spent on a part could save you $500 down the road. And in closing if you are looking for a low insurance rate they are quite low, for example mine without the "Good student discount" and when I was a teenager cost right around $25-35 a month. Hope this all helps!

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