1990 Volvo 240 DL Fuel injected 2.3 inline four (no turbo) from North America


With a little care and a grand, this Swedish sedan can last forever. Buy one if you see it


After buying it, I had to fix many things that weren't very hard to do. Even if this list shows a lot of fixes, I'm proud to say that I fixed mostly all of them myself, without even setting foot on the dealership lot.


Odometer froze at 193000 miles, but after talking to a few other owners who've had theirs break at 170000, it's a predictable problem.

Had to replace the battery that was made around the early 2000's.

Pieced broken center console back together (it's predictable for 23 year old plastic).

Passenger seat wobbles a little and can't be adjusted.

Fixed a open short in the horn.

Short in one of the speakers.

Needs a front end alignment, and the tires need to be rotated and balanced.


Replaced the spark plugs.

Replaced the spark plug wires.

Replaced the air filter.

Changed the oil.

Going to do a rear end flush, a transmission flush, and a radiator flush when I can.

General Comments:

I came across this car at the end of 2012, after the daughter of a woman who was retired was selling it for her, because she didn't need it for driving anymore.

I consulted one of my relatives who used to sell Volvo's from the early 60's to the early 70's, and he basically said "In Switzerland where they were made, they aren't bought, they're handed down. Buy it, it's still got some more miles left on it".

So I bought this car to commute in for a very low price of 500, because it had been sitting under a carport for the last few years. It has a little bit of a slow takeoff, but it has no problem getting on the highway. Gas mileage on this brick-like tank isn't very great, especially for a car with a four cylinder with only 12 gallons to the gas tank, but I can't complain for something this old.

It has never died on me in drive or in park, nor refused to start despite its young age of 23 years. If I haven't mentioned it already, everything that was wrong with the car was not out of my ability (I am not a mechanic).

When I discuss the car with my friends, they don't believe me and usually say "ugh.. a Volvo?" until they see it. When they finally see it, they love the way it looks and how "Fancy" it is compared to their newer cars, that usually cost more and are sometimes in the shop.

I love the car, and I would take it on a long trip because:

- It's comfy.

- It's roomy.

- It has plenty of trunk space.

- It takes bumps pretty good, despite its age.

- It's built like a tank.

- It's reliable.

- It even has seat warmers THAT STILL WORK.

You would have to pull a cash-4-clunkers (salt/sand water in place of engine oil) on it for it to actually die. I would recommend a Volvo 240 from this time era hands down, despite its age. Buy one if you need a dependable car. I wouldn't settle for a different car in this price range and age.

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

Review Date: 24th January, 2013

25th Jan 2013, 14:00

"Odometer froze at 193000 miles, but after talking to a few other owners who've had theirs break at 170000"

This always results from a small plastic gear behind the odometer breaking; it's an easy fix if you have the right screwdrivers.

I want to note that Volvos were made in Sweden.

The gas mileage could indeed be better, but I've noticed that if you run the car on premium, the gas mileage and performance improve a bit, I tried this after reading the owners manual, it suggests only plus or premium fuel.

25th Jan 2013, 17:36

Fuel tank capacity for the 240 was 15.8 gallons. If yours only holds 12 gallons, there's something wrong with it.

1990 Volvo 240 DL 2.3 4-cylinder from North America


A tank, literally!


Overdrive solenoid was dead the day I bought it.

Power antenna motor dead.

Speakers were poorly wired.

General Comments:

I bought this car off the original owners last year (2012), and I loved the condition in which it was kept. The last owner put only 6,000 kilometres in the last 9 years, and had it rust proofed annually. The car was literally free of rust. It had all service records, and was driven with care.

Fuel economy is very poor, given that it's literally a box, which has 0% aerodynamics. The 4 cylinder engine really picks up, due to the massive amounts of torque, and the tranny shifts very smoothly!

Most of my friends hate the styling, but love the comfortable seats and the vault sounding doors. Some say it looks like a car that would be owned by the mafia; others think otherwise!

I've now listed this car for sale, but unfortunately it's tough finding a buyer. It's got a very niche market, exclusive to only Volvo owners or people who have only bought classic Volvo's for the past 40 years of their lives and never anything else (must have very boring lives). There are more cars out there than just Volvo's, they're tough, but how about performance and handling? Don't Volvo owners want to try something different? BMW's, Jag's, Lexus, Infiniti, Toyota, etc? I mean I saw it as an alternative from your regular Honda Accord/Camry from the 90's! It's just as reliable, and 1000 times tougher!

All in all, it's a great car, no doubt about it! As Volvo owners say "if you haven't owned one, you won't appreciate one."

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st January, 2013

24th Jan 2013, 17:06

"but how about performance and handling"

Some people just want comfortable transportation, plus those old Volvos are very easy to service compared to most of the cars that you listed.

Volvo did release a few performance models in the 70's-80's, but they're pretty rare.