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850 starter makes whirring noise

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

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Year and Model: 850 1995
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850 starter makes whirring noise

Post by parbar » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:56 pm

My 850 automatic, turbo cranks over about twice and then makes a whirring sound and does not start. Once in awhile it will start normally. Is the starter clutch going bad?

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Re: 850 starter makes whirring noise

Post by scot850 » Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:04 pm

It certainly sounds like it. Have you had the battery checked recently to make sure it is good and all the connections?
Sounds like the Bendix spring is going.

2000 V70 R - still being an endless PITA
2006 XC70
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 Limited
2015 Kia Sportage EX-L
1993 850 GLT -Sold
1998 V70 XC - Sold
1997 Volvo 850 SE NA - Went to niece in California - Sold
2000 V70 SE NA - New project and test bed - Sold

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Re: 850 starter makes whirring noise

Post by misha » Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:22 pm

'97 850 2.5 20v / fully equipped / Motronic 4.4 from the factory / upgraded with S,V,C,XC70 instrument cluster / polar white wagon
'91 Citroen XM 2.0 SI /fully equipped/mandarine red metallic
History of Volvos in the family:
'71 144 S
'73 144 De Luxe
'78 244 DL
'78 244 DL
'79 244 GLE
'85 340 GLS

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Re: 850 starter makes whirring noise

Post by splats » Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:17 pm

I agree with the other folks. My 850 did the same thing - it starts to turn over, but then just whirrrrrrs, then maybe a clunk as the starter re-engages as it spins down. It's the clutch in the bendix gear. Replace the starter (before it knocks teeth off of your flywheel!)

If you replace it yourself, be aware that there's a bracket on the end of the starter that bolts back onto the engine block (at least on my '96 there was). This bracket was abandoned after a starter redesign, and won't fit and/or line-up with the new starter. So, if you have that old-style starter, the bracket won't fit on your new starter. I'm told that even Volvo doesn't sell the old style anymore. (Just an fyi sort of thing.)

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Re: 850 starter makes whirring noise

Post by Ozark Lee » Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:41 pm

I searched for just a Bendix and the only ones I could find were much more expensive than just replacing the stater motor with a rebuilt Bosch from the auto parts store. I have had to replace a couple of them but it has been a few years ago. At that time the rear support bracket fit just like the original when I installed the rebuilt part.

'94 850 N/A 5 speed
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
1999 V70XC - Nautic Blue - Totaled while parked.
1999 V70XC - RIP - Wrecked Parts Car.
1998 S70 T5
1996 850 N/A
1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe

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