1986 Volvo 240 DL 2.3L from North America


A decent car if it has been well maintaned


Recently the heater blower motor has failed.

Three of the floor boards underneath the car are completely rusted out.

AC does not work.

One of the heated seats not working.

General Comments:

This is the first Volvo I have ever owned, and it has been pretty dependable so far.

The previous owner bought the car new, and was the only owner, had always had the car dealer serviced, and had all the maintenance records when I bought the car.

Overall, the 240 model is a decent car, but is well underpowered for being such a heavy car. The transmission seems to shift well and smooth, and handling is very touchy on wet and snowy conditions, and being rear wheel drive does not help.

The thing that upsets me the most, is that I did not know the underneath was so rusted, and it is going to cost me a lot of money to have repaired.

Also, the running costs are very high on these cars, and to have just the blower motor fixed is a $750.00 job, from the dealer of course.

When I look at the engine compartment, it does not seem difficult to work on these cars, so I am still puzzled about why they are so expensive to have fixed. I assume this is because since Volvo's are expensive to begin with, everyone, including the dealerships, charges outrageous pricing, because people have the money and pay it.

I bought a 1988 Dodge Colt to drive around, since it is small and cheap to maintain, and I plan on fixing what needs fixed on the Volvo, and then selling it or drive it around for a little while, since they are supposed to have a history of lasting forever, and since mine has been dealer serviced and has low miles, it may be worth keeping. The inside is also in very good condition, except for cracks in the dash, which I have found was a common thing on these models.

I would add that if you want a Volvo, then just be prepared to spend money when they need repaired, or try and get one of the newer models with a warranty left on them.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th February, 2004

1986 Volvo 240 DL 2.3 from North America


Cheap, reliable car


This car was purchased with a missing window. This was replaced and cost $217.

It was purchased for $325, which included tax, title, and license, so I knew it had problems, but I thought the problems would be major. All it needed a catalytic converter and a tune-up in order to pass the emissions part of the Texas state inspection. The repairs only cost $230.

General Comments:

For about $555, I have a car that runs very well.

My husband has to drive 120 miles each day to get to work; we have only had this car for four months and he loves it because he knows it will always start, is comfortable, built like a tank, and handles well in Houston traffic.

Even with the hard driving, it is doing well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st January, 2004

1986 Volvo 240 DL 2.3 gasoline from North America


I wish Volvo still made the 240


Fuel pressure regulator rubber diaphragm developed a hole/leak at about 170,000 miles--it would not start at all. I couldn't figure the problem out myself, and hadn't yet found my "trusted Volvo repair joint" so I paid an all-makes shop about $600 to tow the car in, diagnose, and repair.

A couple years ago, I had a mysterious electrical glitch that I can't remember. My trusted Volvo repair joint cleaned all the electrical connections under the hood and the problem went away. They only charged me about $50.

I put the air filter assembly back on incorrectly at 161,000 miles and didn't discover my error until around 180,000 miles. The lower fitting had somehow been creased, allowing unfiltered engine compartment air to leak directly onto the air mass meter platinum mesh screen, coating about one quarter of it with greasy dirt, which caused it the engine to run poorly.

The Bosch alternator/regulator assembly kicked the bucket just last week at 189,800 miles. The parts store wanted $290. My trusted Volvo repair joint did it for me for only $275 total parts and labor. I love that place.

Air conditioner was broken when I bought the car, and is still broken. Haven't needed to fix it with the mild weather here.

Had to replace the windshield at about 182,000 miles due to impact with large rock on the freeway. It sounded like a bomb and shattered an area the size of my hand, but nothing came through.

General Comments:

Other than replacing all four tires, the front brake pads, and changing the oil and filters I have spent no other money on this car since I purchased it for $2200 in June 2000. It has been an amazingly cheap and reliable car that I enjoy driving. All costs including purchase (but not counting gasoline) add up to about $3700. I could easily sell the car for $1000, so that's an expense of $2700 divided by 42 months of service for a monthly total of only $64. Can't beat it.

My favorite feature is the feeling of tank-like solidity. I accidentally backed into one of those concrete-filled steel post things in a parking lot. Was going a little too fast for reverse and the impact sounded like a dump-truck drove into me. I got out expecting to see a terrible mess. There was a small smudge mark on the bumper cover. That's it. When I rap my knuckles on the sheet metal, it is obviously much thicker steel than other cars.

I feel comfortable in the car and it goes amazingly well for only 114 h.p. At 190,000 miles it uses about two thirds of a quart of oil between 4,000 mile changes and gets 23 mpg in mixed city/highway driving. It'll cruise at 75 mph calmly, and is very maneuverable in tight city quarters.

The only thing I wish for is a quieter cabin, especially over bumpy pavement. Overall, it is an ingeniously designed and built car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st December, 2003