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Andy, Volvo Expert Technician
Category: Volvo
Satisfied Customers: 3818
Experience:  One of only a handful of ACTUAL Volvo dealership technicians on JA, ASE Master Certified with L1
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96 850 and the winter mode is stuck on... the dash light is flashing

Customer Question

I have a 96 850 and the winter mode is stuck on... the dash light is flashing
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Volvo
Expert:  Andy replied 7 years ago.


The flashing winter mode arrow indicates there is a trouble code stored in the transmission control module. You may be able to read the codes yourself. Check under the hood on the passenger side, right behind the headlight for an A/B diagnostic box. It looks like this:



If you have one, remove the cover for the A side and insert the jumper lead into pin 1. Turn the key on and press the button one time for about a second. The red indicator will blink any trouble codes stored. For example, blink blink, pause, blink, blink, blink, pause, blink, blink, pause would be code 2-3-2. After each code, press the button for about a second to go to the next code until one repeats. Once you have read all the codes, you can reset them. Press and hold the button for about 6-7 seconds and release as soon as the light comes on. Then press and hold the button for another 6-7 seconds. Then push it for about 1 second to re-read codes. You should get 1-1-1.


Just clearing them isn't going to fix the problem, it is likely to happen again. Post the codes here and I will tell you what is likely the problem. One very common failure is the gear position switch but it could be any number of switches and sensors or an internal problem in the transmission.


If you do not have A/B box, you will need to have the codes read at a shop with a scanner that can read transmission codes.

Andy and 2 other Volvo Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
The issue is that it is in winter mode... It requires 2000 rpm to start to move... reverse is good
Expert:  Andy replied 7 years ago.
The transmission is actually in limp home mode, which limits the transmission to certain gears to prevent damage when a component fails. It flashes the winter mode arrow to communicate there is a problem.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
If I clear the faults will it drive properly or is there a hard fault and it will stay in limp mode?
Expert:  Andy replied 7 years ago.
If you clear the faults, it should drive properly until the fault reoccurs. I couldn't say how long that will last since I do not know exactly what part has failed.