Question about 1994 Volvo 850

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1994 Volvo 850 2.4L Auto transmission

The transmission suddenly locked in winter mode. I was driving and didn't touch the switch on the console. The big arrow started flshing on the dash and the car is starting from a stop in high gear. What could cause this?

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  • sirron2000 Oct 09, 2008

    My Gearbox fault arrow just started blinking also....and the "economy/sport" switch light is blinking also.......what do I need to do to resolve this.

  • s40knb Nov 14, 2008

    stepped out of the car for one minute to unload some recyling, left the car running & when i got back in, it was in winter mode and the check engine light was on and the winter button was flashing..........the car won't drive.

    2000 s40

  • moorercmoore Nov 15, 2008

    sticks in wintermode when motor is cold/operates fine when warmed up.



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Clear your engine and transmission codes, its a small box in the pass side engine compartment right behind the headlight. Search "Bay 13 Volvo" and that has all the information to check and clear the codes. It also has a list of what the codes mean to help you.

Posted on Oct 11, 2008


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It sounds like you are either in "winter" mode, or "failsafe mode". If it's winter mode, you should see the word "winter" somewhere on the display. On my 1998 Saab 900, the winter button is on the console. Pushing it turns the winter mode on and off. If it's in failsafe mode, you're going to need to take it to a GM dealer.

May 11, 2014 | 2003 Saab 9-3

1 Answer

What is the wse butens for

Winter,Sport and Economy gearbox modes.
Winter locks the gearbox into 2nd while in drive
Sport shifts at higher RPM
Economy delivers the best mileage.

Nov 13, 2011 | 1994 Volvo 960

1 Answer

I have 3 buttons by my gear shift.(auto) they are S, W, E. what are these button for. I notice when i have the W pushed in i save on gas. Thank you for your time

" S W and E" are Sport,Winter,and Economy. In "S" your car should change gears at a higher RPM allowing for quicker acceleration. In "W" your car should shift so that it puts out more torque and maintains a better grip on the road in slippery conditions and is generally not used for high speed driving. Winter mode was the precursor to traction control. In "E" your car should shift at normal RPM this mode is designed to save your gas. I'm not sure exactly why your saving gas in W, but Volvo has allot of electronics in their transmissions. If you are not the original owner of the car, the trans may have needed electrical service and the switches were hooked back up wrong. If you want to confirm this try using the other modes and see what the car dose. If the tranny dose not preform as I described above that may be the case. Also consult your owner's manual. If you don't have one e-mail me and I can help you out. I have a 1994 940 base (non turbo) wagon that has been family owned and still has the original owner's manual. Good luck and happy "Bricking"

Jan 22, 2011 | 1994 Volvo 940

1 Answer

I just bought a used Volvo and do not know what "W" and "S" on the middle console are used for. Also, the radio does not work. Is there a way I can pull radio out to check for problem?

Hi. I own a 99 Volvo S70 and on the shift console, there's a button with a "W" on it which is used for winter driving. It basically tells the transmission to be soft and not as responsive as it should be which helps you keep more traction in winter driving. If you're used to driving in winter conditions like me, I don't use mine much.

The "S" is a shift overlock button which prevents the transmission from going into overdrive. Often times, when people pull a trailer or have heavy loads, it prevents the transmission from overheating resulting in premature wear.

I hope this helps.

Nov 05, 2010 | 2000 Volvo S40

1 Answer

Volvo 850

The blinking arrow is an indicator that the automatic transmission is in the limp mode. Sometimes this problem will go away. Other times you must take it in and have the error code on the transmission read. This will explain what is causing the transmission to go into the limp mode. The limp mode is the same as the WINTER mode where it starts in 3rd gear.
The dash board gauges are controlled by a dimmer switch that is above the rear fog light switch which is above the headlight switch. If this dimmer switch doesn't work, then have it replaced.

Dec 04, 2009 | 1995 Volvo 850

1 Answer

Transmission takes off in 4TH gear

Hi, chk ur rear transmission mount.

Aug 26, 2017 | 1993 Volvo 850

1 Answer

Mode w engaged

when the arrow light is flashing it means the car is in what they call "limp home mode" its supposed to reduce power output in order to prevent further damage to the vehicle. usually kicks in when you're "hot rodding" the car for a long period of time. however i have no idea why it would come on if you just shifted from 3 to L unless the computer felt you were endangering the transmission

Jan 01, 2009 | 1994 Volvo 850

1 Answer

Mode w engaged

u try to check gear position switch and may be u can get the DTC is easy to troubleshooting .Thanks

Dec 07, 2008 | 2002 Volvo S60

1 Answer

Car judders when in drive also switches on cetre console with S E and W flash. also an arrow flashes on bottom right of instrument cluster

Your automatic transmission is in limp mode. It detected a problem and set itself into limp mode which is basically the same as W or WINTER mode. It's computer should have stored a code that will tell the service technician what caused the error. Sometimes shutting the engine off and restarting will reset the transmission.

Oct 02, 2008 | 2001 Volvo V70

1 Answer

Volvo S40 1.8i 1998

It is for Winter driving. When pressed, it doesn't allow you to take off suddenly/accelerate from dead stop.

Sep 25, 2008 | 2000 Volvo S40

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