Question about 1994 Volvo 850

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1996/volvo/4 dr/850/GLT I bought this car used last year..sine i purchased the abs-check engine-service lights all come on ..i have taken back to one mechanic about 8 times and he kept telling me i needed all different things. but problem still occured-took to 2nd mechanic problem never fixed-took to 3rd who is specialty in foreign cars and now the whol panel doesnt light at night and abs/check engine lights some on and off when they want to at no particular time. please help car is past due inspection and i dont know what to do now.

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  • hairgirl24 Jun 10, 2008

    the third mechanic does have the volvo software. i was told and paid for a new alternator with one of the other mechanics. i tried adjusting the dimmer. the last mechanic i went to who has the diagnostic machine said the so many things were set off id have to drop it off for another whole day, for him to determine the problem. i read another complaint of your page that talked about the faulty abs in these cars.. i am also experiencing delayed braking . i guess i purchased a lemon and was taken for ride......any input? thx

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First, all these mechanics that you took your car to, did they have the full Volvo diagnostic software? In other words, were they able to access ALL computer systems that the lights were on for? If not, take your car to the Volvo dealer or a shop that has the proper software.
If the alternator does not charge or drops out while the engine is running, it will cause ALL the warning lights to come on.
Did you try adjusting the dash light dimmer control?

Posted on Jun 10, 2008

  • Dan Shay Jun 11, 2008

    The power brake booster has been a common problem with these Volvos. You may be hearing a hissing noise coming from under the dash. Also, make sure that you have a good vacuum to the booster.

    Common problems with the ABS is the wires to the front wheel sensors break where they flex when you turn.

    The service light must be reset to turn it off after the vehicle has been serviced. Special Volvo software is needed to do this.

    The fuse for your instrument lights may be blown or missing. If the cluster was removed or the headlight switch was removed, maybe the lights weren't plugged back in.

    When the ABS or check engine lights come on, there should be fault codes stored in the computers. After accessing these fault codes, a competent mechanic should be able to follow the factory troubleshooting diagrams and solve the problems. If there are multiple fault codes centered around common areas, the problem may be as simple as a loose or disconnected ground wire. After a car has been involved in an accident, many times I find that the body shops forgot to connect some wiring or didn't connect it correctly. Look for evidence of body damage if you are uncertain if the car has been wrecked. Look for wire splices that have been made with Scotch splices and/or the crimp type connectors. The factory never uses these and the proper way to repair wiring is to replace it or solder it.

    Also, if an aftermarket alarm or stereo has been installed, they may have damaged the wiring or made cheapy splices. I have never known many stereo installers who could do it right.

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You definitely need a new ABS ECU, or repair old one. I can fix this, but I live in Estonia. but if needed, I can help: tazavi@gmail.com

Posted on Apr 15, 2009

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