1986 Volvo 240 DL


It's time had come


Head blew and chewed up the valves. Odometer was dead. Not the car's fault, instead the fault of a ham-handed repair. Otherwise, car was doing well for it's age.

General Comments:

Bought this famous brick for my wife. She fell immediately in love with it. It's a popular model, iconic even, here in Los Angeles, where Volvo must have sold thousands of 240 sedans.

Solid as heck, with a paint job that looked almost new, a trunk that looked almost new (20 years later), and oodles of that certain Volvo 240...something.

Frisky still, fun to drive in a totally different way than my Mazda Miata, but still fun. A car to wear old clothes in. Wonderfully comfortable seats. Plus, the 240 just looks ethical.

Had the head not been poorly repaired, I'm sure we could have got another 10-20K out of it, with basic maintenance and repair (and assuming the tranny didn't go). It already had new brakes.

A family tragedy when she quit. Ample evidence that a car can be built for the long, long haul. If you'd bought this 240 DL new and been fussy about maintenance, I shudder to think what kind of lifespan you could have expected.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th July, 2005

1986 Volvo 240 DL 114 hp 2.3 Liter Turbocharged


Swedish cars rule!


There have been no major problems so far with my 240 DL.

There has been the usual wear and tear in the seats. However, they are still in reasonable shape.

The windshield has a huge crack on the left-hand side. However, it will be something that will be fixed very soon.

General Comments:

Not the zippiest car in the world, and the performance of the car is a bit anemic with the automatic. However, the Turbo provides some extra kick.

It takes a (very unimpressive) 9.5 seconds to reach 75 miles per hour.

Though performance is not totally BMW, it returns nice fuel economy. I average 24 mpg on the highway with it.

Inside, the snug cockpit fits like a glove. You can't ask for greater cabin quality for the price you pay. My 240DL cost me $1500, and the cloth is still in satisfactory shape. Instruments work well, also.

I give Volvo's, especially the 240DL, a passing grade for reliability and insurance costs.

Also, I should let you know. These 240DLs, as well as other Volvo's, are built like tanks and have earned top marks in crash test ratings.

One downside, everything that comes with a 240DL is analog--something I don't totally like. The radio looks like something found in cars of the sixties, but it can be easily replaced.

My 240DL is a great all-seasons car. It works especially well in my native Montana, where winters are harsh. Performance of my 240DL is not altered by this weather.

In conclusion, I have always love 240DLs (not only because I, myself, am Swedish), but because of their reliability over other luxury brands.

Our family has owned a score of these cars, and they have been among our favorite.

It is not a mystery that Volvo built nearly 3,000,000 240s between 1974 and 1993--and I own one!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th November, 2004

1986 Volvo 240 DL B230 F (2.3L)


I love this car, especially being in the shape it is in!


When purchased, the engine had a rod knocking due to the front seal blowing and losing oil on the freeway, which in turn spun a rod bearing. Thankfully, the engine didn't seize up. As a mechanic for many years, I was quite amazed at the difficulty in pulling the engine. It took nearly an entire day, mainly because of the way the wiring harnesses are routed through the engine. I originally intended to pull the engine in tact, with the intake manifold still on, but because of how the wires run through it, I found I needed to remove the intake. As much trouble as it took to replace a rod bearing, I sure hope I don't have this problem again! Volvo sure made the bolts on this engine hard to get to!

I've noticed from the original owner's records that she had a major cooling problem. She has receipts for having the cooling system pressure tested several times, flushes many times, and other tests done to determine why it was running hot. No problems were ever found, but eventually she had a new radiator installed, and the problem was cured!

As with most Volvo's I've seen over the years, the brakes squeel a bit, but this is easily fixed with new aftermarket pads.

General Comments:

This car is in extremely excellent condition on the interior and exterior! I bought it from a retired school teacher, who was the original owner. She maintained this vehicle like nobody I've found has in the past. She had regular detailing done, had regular oil changes, kept it mechanically top-notch, and never smoked in it. This car looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor!

Interior is in excellent condition!

Exterior (white) looks like a new car!

The trunk looks like a new car!

Like I've read in others' surveys, this car is a bit underpowered for being so heavy, but it is a very sound car. Like so many other people, safety is what I feel is the DL's biggest atribute.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 4th September, 2004

17th Sep 2004, 13:49

Hi there! I have a 240 gl 1985. When I got purchased the car, it had 150 thousand km with a knocking from the engine and also had a front seal leak which then was replaced, but further minor leak due to a small groove. I had no problems with it and still driving it after over 300 thousand km.


Ken from Alberta Canada.