1989 Volvo 240 DL


Loved it so much I'm buying another one!


Replaced: exhaust system, rear hatch lock, new timing belt, alternator, fuel pump, radiator, and rear bumper.

The car was slightly rusty when I bought it, but that quickly turned to major rust over the last 4 years. I live in the Northeast where winters are severe, so I suspect salted roads have contributed heavily to this problem.

Suspension is about to collapse, it seems, but this is likely due to the very poor condition of the driveway where I live (I rent, so I can't easily remedy this!).

These cars are not cheap to fix. Replacement lenses for the lights are astronomically priced. Fortunately, I have the world's best, most honest and decent mechanics who service only Volvos and Saabs, and they've gone out of their way (many, many times) to help me find the cheapest solution (used parts!).

General Comments:

I love this car and am sad to see her go, but she's become too expensive to maintain. I've always felt very safe and comfortable driving this car, and haven't cared a whit that it accelerates about as quickly as an orange. Rear wheel drive has given some difficulty in certain winter scenes, but with good snows it's manageable (whereas my ex's hoity-toity BMW 3 series couldn't spin it's way out of an ice patch if its life depended on it!).

In the immortal words of folksinger Greg Brown: His old Volvo didn't die, it just completely rusted away...

Of course... I AM about to buy a 1993 240. What better endorsement is there?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th June, 2005

1989 Volvo 240 DL


For the money this has been a reliable, stylish, classic car


Thermostat needle malfunctions-randomly droops to cold.

Several issues with clogged flame trap causing oil to blow out cap on engine.

Small leak at water pump; stopped with Barr's 20K ago.

Hydraulic arms to hold rear door do not function.

Rear engine seal has been leaking for 45000K miles.

Front struts are wearing, but still functioning.

Rotors have been turned until thin.

Random electrical problems, such as the rear defrost is always "on", sometimes when car is switched off it will continue to run, and at random times when the car is "off" and the brake is pushed the rest of the car will behave as if ignition switch is on AC.

Driver's seat looked like a large gorilla had driven it then tried to break it; replaced with a junk one that is a bit better, but still pretty broken down and heater does not work.

Random body hardware issues.

Air conditioning is puny, but heat is killer.

Brakes wear easily and quickly.

Body trim falls off easily.

General Comments:

This is now a fifteen year old car and is still going strong. I paid $2200 for it three years ago and have put about $400 of non-routine repairs into it. I will soon sell it for $1500 to a friend who knows it works and wants to keep it going while I search for a newer Volvo wagon.

This 240DL Wagon just keeps on ticking with minimal mechanical problems. If it did not need a rear engine seal, I would not hesitate to drive it from North Carolina to California (except for the bad seat).

It drives great, has amazing pickup for a car this heavy and a four-cylinder. I live in the high mountains and this car will simply fly up the steepest hills you can find, passing many newer cars with apparent ease. It feels like you're in a boat instead of a car. I like this!

The body hardware is bad news, with door panel storage units either gone or missing. They are placed where it is too easy to kick them as you get into car. Other buttons feel loose in their sockets or simply don't function anymore. I should say that all the needed hardware is still working fine, with the exception of a visor bracket that broke last year.

The driver's seat was shot as mentioned and replacing them with new is cost prohibitive, meaning they cost more than the car is worth! What I have is very uncomfortable, as the lumbar support is gone. The seat heater on this side has not worked since I bought it.

The car is generally creaky and squeaky.

Some sense of roll-over when cornering at any speed over 10 MPH.

The electrical problems make me feel like there's a poltergeist at work, but I just ignore them as they don't seem dangerous yet.

I have mud-bogged this thing and driven it on the highway, and she never ceases to blow mine and my friends' minds with her prowess!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th November, 2004

28th Dec 2004, 18:19

I have a 1990 240 DL sedan, and when I purchased it the driver's seat was shot. Instead of replacing it I went to a local car reupholstering shop, and got the metal structure of the seat fixed, had new padding installed, and got a tear in the cloth sewn back up all for $75. Having this done is a much cheaper alternative, rather than buying a new or used seat. The seat is now very comfortable and supportive. I hope this information can be of some assistance to you. Good Luck.