1991 Volvo 745 Car not working properly

  • 1991 VOLVO 745
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • 175,000 MILES

I just purchased a used car for around $2000. It seemed to be in excellent condition, and I bought it from a reliable owner.

I drove with him for about 30 minutes in the car and the car drove well. At one point when we were at a red light, I felt and heard a very slight vibration coming from the drivers side door. I asked the owner what the noise was from and he told me that it was normal from that car and is the transmission. He showed me that when he switched gears (I think to neutral) the vibration went away.

I purchased the car, and drove it for about an hour on the highway. When I stopped at a red light at one point, I was not able to continue driving in D at all. I switched to 1 and was able to slowly drive. The car was making noises and almost shaking.

I let it sit for a few minutes. At one point, it would not drive at all in D, R, 1 or 2. Now it seems to work a little bit but I am afraid to drive it so as not to cause any further damage.

Do you think that this is a transmission issue? If yes, is there any way to determine if this was an issue that existed before or if it just lucked out on me on my first drive?

I want to point out that I found out that the speedometer only clocks up to 80 km. I was not aware of this while I was driving. At one point while I was going up a steep incline, I thought I was only going 80 and could not get it to go any faster by giving gas (or so I thought), so I switched to 2. When I did this the car made a real loud revving sound which sounded like I was straining the car, so I switched back. If I was really going 120 up an incline (possible) and switched to 2, could that of caused damage to a healthy transmission, or only to a sick one?

Is there any way for me to determine that this issue is a transmission related issue and not something else?
Do you
have the same problem?
Saturday, January 16th, 2010 AT 2:01 PM

1 Reply

Hello maskatz

I believe it is transmission problem.
The first thing to check is the fluid level. For an automatic transmission to function normally, the fluid level must be between the "full" and "add" marks on the dipstick. If the fluid level is low, the transmission may slip or engage slowly. If the level is too high, the fluid can become mixed with air (aerated) causing shifting problems, slippage
Check the level when the transmission is hot. On most vehicles this is done with the engine idling and the transmission in Park. Moving the gear selector thorough each gear position prior to checking the level will help assure an accurate reading.
Put a few drops of ATF on a clean paper towel. Wait 30 seconds, then examine the spot. If the fluid has spread out and is pink, red or even light brown in color, the fluid is in satisfactory condition. But if the spot hasn't spread out and is dark brown in color, the ATF is oxidized and should be changed.
Most people keep a vehicle until it starts to cause them problems, then they sell it or trade it. Consequently, when you buy a used car you may be buying somebody else's problem.
Remember, most people don't sell or trade their old car unless they are having problems with it, spending too much on repairs or just plain hate it. An older car that still runs and looks good is usually a keeper. A used car or truck that is nothing but trouble becomes a trade-in or a for-sale-by-owner.
If you are buying from an individual or a car dealer, always ask for test drive. The drive should be long enough to get a good feel for how the vehicle runs, handles, rides, brakes and accelerates. If something doesn't feel right, sound right or smell right, walk away from the deal before it is too late.
Most used cars are sold "as-is, " which means if anything goes wrong with it after you buy it, so sad too bad, you are stuck with it.
Was this
Tuesday, January 19th, 2010 AT 11:47 PM

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