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1996 960 Station Wagon 1 year 3 weeks ago #4194

  • Jswammy
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I was recently gifted a 1996 960 station wagon that has been sitting unused for 2 years, and I'm looking for any advice on what to look out for.
The alternator caught on fire after a quick initial test start, so I'm sourcing one from rockauto.
I'm COMPLETELY new to cars and cutting my teeth on this one, so any and all advice would be very appreciated, particularly in the "you'd usually do this to a car in disrepair but DONT do it to Volvo" category (I saw someone talking about foregoing fuel additives in another thread, does that include seafoam/heet?).
It's in a sad state, needs a complete cosmetic overhaul. Mechanically it looks like a pandoras box. Great learning experience though!
I had a Volvo for a first car and have had several since, and am looking forward to learning.
My dad has not one but TWO red 1994 850s sitting in equal disrepair that I'm welcome to lay hands on if can aquire the know-how.
Joining this club may have been unusually premature, but I've always learned best by making sure i was the dumbest person in the room.
Thanks in advance for any help!

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1996 960 Station Wagon 1 year 3 weeks ago #4195

  • gdill3
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I was recently gifted a 1996 960 station wagon that has been sitting unused for 2 years, and I'm looking for any advice on what to look out for.
The alternator caught on fire after a quick initial test start, so I'm sourcing one from rockauto.
I'm COMPLETELY new to cars and cutting my teeth on this one, so any and all advice would be very appreciated, particularly in the "you'd usually do this to a car in disrepair but DONT do it to Volvo" category (I saw someone talking about foregoing fuel additives in another thread, does that include seafoam/heet?).
It's in a sad state, needs a complete cosmetic overhaul. Mechanically it looks like a pandoras box. Great learning experience though!
I had a Volvo for a first car and have had several since, and am looking forward to learning.
My dad has not one but TWO red 1994 850s sitting in equal disrepair that I'm welcome to lay hands on if can aquire the know-how.
Joining this club may have been unusually premature, but I've always learned best by making sure i was the dumbest person in the room.
Thanks in advance for any help!


Welcome to the Forum, Jacob;

For starters here are the manuals for your 1996 Volvo 965...

volvo.custhelp.com/app/manuals/ownersmanualinfo/year/1996/model/960

You are the lucky owner of Volvo's final RWD luxury wagon.

Now to spend some time AND money...

In the center console is the OBD download connector.

As a starting point toward getting the wagon on the road you will need to download ALL the codes.

The code readers at your local auto parts will download some codes but to dump all the codes a Volvo-specific reader is required.

You might find an independent repair shop with a "reads all models" version.

Given that the wagon has been dormant for some time you should prepare rusty brake cylinders and clogged fuel components.

Meanwhile, at this time don't bother with any additives just change the engine oil and filter, replace fuel filters, flush the fuel tank and all fuel lines, install new fuel injectors, replace the engine air filter, clean the throttle body, service the entire intake system including the mass air device, flush the entire brake system including the master cylinder, resolve any and all vacuum leaks both under the hood and under the dash, service the entire ignition system to include replacing wires, sparkle plugs, etc.as needed, confirm that all lights are functioning both outside and inside the vehicle, replace all wipers, test the sensors in the exhaust system and replace as needed, repair the exhaust system as needed, confirm that the sunroof operates properly and check for leaks, confirm that the driver's seat is properly mounted on the seat rails, and lastly...

Share the VIN so we can check for any recalls and/or technical notes.

An aside - when I retired in 2009 my wife gave me a new car to celebrate the end of 65 years of manual labor and 45 years of wrenching on old Volvos.

The trade-in was a 1996 Volvo 965 wagon and the new ride was/is a 2009 Subaru Forester.

Let us roll!

George Dill

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Last edit: by gdill3.
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