1986 Volvo 240 DL B230F 2.3L 4 cylinder.


Rust bucket, but reliable


Starter went around 275,000 miles, replaced the distributor cap around.

The same mileage along with the spark plug wires. general things like oil.

And filters... all in all a reliable solid car... oh kind of a rust problem as.


Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th February, 2008

1986 Volvo 240 DL wagon 2.3 gas


Best car I've ever owned


The heater blower motor was replaced under warranty at 25,000 miles.

Replaced the water pump at 64,700 miles.

Replaced the ball joints at 80,300 miles.

The odometer quit at 114,500 miles and I replaced the gear.

I replaced the tailgate struts at 115,000 miles to keep from getting hit in the head any more.

Both windshield washer pumps went south and I replaced them at 115,500 miles. The internal gears were gunked up and seized. Lesson -- use windshield washer liquid and exercise the pumps once in a while.

I'm not including normal stuff like batteries, bushings, mufflers, windshields.

General Comments:

I bought this 1986 240DL Volvo wagon new. It is my first Volvo. I chose it partly because Toyota priced me out. Having owned three Toyotas previously, naturally I went shopping for a Toyota in 1986. And I wanted a wagon. I never did get into the SUV craze.

Disappointed with the huge price increases of the Toyota wagons from 1977 to 1986, I took a look at the Volvos. After comparing prices, features, and reputation, I went with Volvo.

This car has turned out to be the best car I've ever owned, considering price, reliability, endurance, and performance. Perhaps the word performance should not be applied to a 240 Volvo. But, hey, it's a little 2.3L four-banger engine and it performs better than expected.

Some of our friends made fun of "the box" when we first got it. But 21 years later the box still runs like new.

The B230F engine doesn't burn any oil and easily passes periodic Calif. smog inspections. The AW70 automatic transmission has been flawless.

The original factory radio is terrible, of course, and needs replacement.

Not a speck of rust on the body courtesy of the Calif. weather. However, the exhaust pipe, catalytic converter, and muffler were all replaced at around 85,000 miles due to corrosion.

We have driven this car only 11,000 miles in the last 10 years. So most of the maintenance items recently are due to age rather than mileage.

I expect this Volvo to be my daily drive because my 1993 Ford is falling apart. I'm thinking of improving the handling of the Volvo by beefing up the suspension, lowering the car an inch or two, and replacing the steel wheels with alloy.

With proper maintenance I'm confident I'll be able to drive it another 115,500 miles. But the car might outlive me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st July, 2007

1986 Volvo 240 DL


This Volvo makes other cars seem like toys


I replaced the alternator.

A wire broke and I had it replaced.

I replaced the water pump.

One tail light cover broke so every time it rains I have to replace the bulb.

General Comments:

This car drives like a tank. I ran into a light pole and the light pole fell down.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd September, 2005

4th Sep 2005, 23:14

Yes the light pole got back up and started doing the polka with a telephone pole.

1986 Volvo 240 DL Sedan 2.3 gasoline


Maintenance costs are definitely not zero, but the benefits of ownership far exceed the costs


This car has had mostly typical problems for older high-mileage cars. Alternator replaced in early 2000 with rebuilt model, and replaced again in 2005. New master cylinder. All brake lines replaced and two brake jobs. Rotors ground down, all new brake calipers. New struts (one new strut housing dew too bad pothole), spark plugs, muffler, exhaust piping, and catalytic converter. New taillights (due to cracked lenses) and front turn signal. New rims. Motor mounts replaced due to engine shaking. New radiator. New overdrive relay and solenoid. Numerous fuses and wire repairs. Most major repair was having the original automatic transmission rebuilt (overhaul) and reinstalled.

General Comments:

The transmission was rebuilt in 2002 for a bargain price of $1200. However, I must take personal responsibility for the damage necessitating the repair. The car was stuck in a snow drift, and I foolishly stripped the gears while trying to rock the car free (i'll never make that mistake again) The transmission now performs absolutely flawlessly as it did before the damage I caused. The car was one owner when I bought it and not everything was maintained perfectly, but the engine was. The engine is still cleaner and more pristine then most cars less than 5 years old. And the engine has never had any internal trouble and performs like new, never stalling and still getting 26 mpg highway. The body is heavy and rock solid. Aside from annoying wiring problems and the short life of the rebuilt alternators, this car is a real gem and aside from the routine maintenance required to keep the car running perfectly and safely, the car is extremely cost effective. Even including maintenance and the more major items like the tranny and radiator, this car is undoubtedly much cheaper then leasing a new car, and is much heavier and safer as well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th August, 2005

22nd Aug 2005, 05:09

Yea I had a 85 dl and I loved it unfortunately rust got to it and I had to sell it. I am having selers remorse.

20th Apr 2009, 01:49

I am surprised at all the people saying this car is underpowered, I pass at least one Lexus or BMW going up a hill or around corners on my way to work every day, but then again when I borrow my friend's Subaru I DEFINITELY notice I have developed a serious "Volvo foot" (sorry for the whiplash folks). This is the best car ever, I am searching for a new automatic transmission for mine (oops)!

And as an aside, considering the appearance of the car, while it may not be a "chick magnet", it seems to be invisible to police unless they have the radar gun on, and that's a magnet to this chick!!