1987 Volvo 240 DL 2.3 liter, B230F from North America


Expensive to maintain, even if it is reliable


Not included basic scheduled preventative maintenance, I...

Replaced the rear shocks at 98,000 miles because they had firmed up and didn't give anymore.

Replaced the trailing arm bushings at 98,000 miles.

Replaced the radiator at 110,00 miles because car was overheating.

Replaced the transmission seals at around 115,000.

Replaced a bad right front wheel bearing at around 140,00 miles.

Replaced the taillight light bulbs more times than I can count. Moisture gets into the lights and shorts them out.

Replaced the overdrive relay switch at about 150,000 miles.

Replaced the mass air sensor around 160,000 miles.

Replaced the catalytic converter around 175,000 miles/

Replaced the transmission seals again at 200,000 miles.

Replaced the radiator (again), also at 200,000 miles.

This is just a partial list; I've had to sink a lot of cash into the car to keep it in good shape.

Oh, the driver's seat cushion is wearing out now.

General Comments:

First, I would not consider buying any other used car with the high mileage this one had at time of purchase.

Second, my dealer experience was great, they treated me like I was buying a new, expensive car, and I yet I got a good price.

Third, the car was fun to drive and didn't give me many unexpected problems for the first 4 years of ownership, or to around about 160,000 miles. It has always been underpowered, however.

Fourth with age, the car does not perform as well, there have been undiagnosable small engine problems and rattles.

Fifth, it has more than 200,000 miles on it, and it has led a pampered life over the 7 years I've owned it. But they have not been trouble free years. One thing after another has given out as the car has aged.

Sixth, while it still looks great (the paint job is original an is holding up well even after 15 years, and the interior is holding up well (except for the driver's seat), even basic maintenance is expensive and you'll note from the list above that one thing or another has broken about every 10,000 miles. I have an independent Volvo mechanic I've used for about the past 6 years, and I trust him. In other words, he has never tried to sell me on a repair. He only has fixed what I've asked him to look into. But keeping the car running has been expensive each year. In hindsight, I should have sold the thing about 25,000 miles ago.

Seventh, I see that a lot a people have raved about the car, but from perhaps a more objective point of view, there is a point of diminishing returns, where you start throwing in good money after bad, just trying to keep the car in decent shape.

Eighth, since the last 240 was built in 1993, I doubt many low mileage examples can be found at this point. I think that if you are willing to pay a premium for maintenance, then if you can find one with about 100,000 miles on it, you will have a good car for 4 or 5 years, depending on your annual mileage. After that, only your level of patience will determine if it's still a good car.

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

Review Date: 18th November, 2002

19th Nov 2002, 12:29

All the trouble you have mentioned are in fact in line with the age and mileage of the car -- even Japanese cars will go through that. I'm surprised you haven't replaced the water pump yet. You're right about diminishing returns, but at least every problem you have can be attributed to age and wear more than anything. My previous '86 Audi 80 GTE started to have a problem every 6 months/8,000 km, like a water pump or a nut under the subframe (needing 6 hours of labour to access and fix properly), a steering rack, a wheel bearing, and it was just age really. Bought another Audi. What would concern me is design faults or common problems such as failing engine electricals, constant transmission problems regardless of maintenance, etc. You've had a good run out of your car.

1987 Volvo 240 DL from North America


Practical car, very lovable


(Through 15 years of use, numerous parts have broken, I'll list the most recent.)

Replaced transmission about 2 years ago (ouch).

Pump for rear window is broken.

Odometer stopped at 215,088 miles.

(about 1 year ago)

Tailgate re-wired.

Rear suspension is wearing out.

Had to duct-tape driver's seat, the vinyl was cracking and splitting.

General Comments:

This car is very practical. It is roomy, but not monstrous.

I especially like the visibility out of the windows.

Braking takes some getting used to, but works well.

The acceleration could use some work, but if you are patient the car does not seem to mind high speeds.

There should be a tachometer.

Fifteen years of sun has faded the yellow paint to a dull beige.

I was two years old when my mother bought this car, and it has been mine for a bit over a year. I love it to death; I'd take it over any of the "rice-rockets" my friends drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th October, 2002

1st Nov 2002, 03:19

Good to see another proud young volvo owner, judging from it being an 87 model and your mother has had it since you were 2, I'm judging you are 16/17? Anyways, as a 19 year old owner of a 20 year old volvo 244 GLE, its damn good to know other young people like these cars. Check out my review on the 1982 244 GLE :)