1983 Volvo 240 DL Wagon from North America - Comments

7th Nov 2002, 19:16

I'm also from Australia, and we own five 240 series cars, two 140s and a 164. If you find one with a B23 (anything after about 1981) they are not slow. We have a couple of B21s too and they are a little on the ponderous side, but not what I would call dangerous, and we live in the country.

I'd also make the comment that given the target market of the 240 it is infinitely preferable to set the car up mainly for understeer, as it is generally safer for the average "mug" driver. We occasionally take one of ours, which has been modified, to the racetrack, and after some basic modifications find the handling to be delightful and very neutral. Given provocation, the car can be held sideways for extended periods.

I love my Volvos and every time I drive or ride in something else (including many new cars) I am very very glad to get back in to the Volvo. There's just nothing else that gives you that feeling of security.

10th Dec 2002, 21:19

If you go to www.ipdusa.com, you can find stiffer anti-sway bars for your car. They're around $250 though, so if you want a much cheaper deal, you can just get the bars from a turbo model, which are thicker than lower model cars. If you want to make it more neutral, swapping in a thicker turbo rear bar may be all you need.

23rd Feb 2003, 02:48

I have an '82 Volvo 244 GLE saloon in New Zealand and bought it in 1987. In 2001 it began to start poorly and perform poorly. I spent multi bucks on tuning and spare parts, but with no better performance. In October 2002 it just stopped and after a lot of tinkering I discovered that the engine oil was under pressure. I used it once more and all the oil shot out of the oil filler tube. What a mess; you can imagine.

I took off the manifold and all the injection gear and finally got to the crankcase breather. It was absolutely blocked with something akin to concrete. Even the tube connecting to the underside of the manifold was blocked and I had to drill it out.

Anyway, after unblocking the whole system and putting it together it is ticking over like a new one. All I need now is a tune up.

Has anyone else experienced this type of event??

21st Jun 2003, 08:39

I have just bought a 1985 240 DL volvo with 406,0983 km on it and it still runs!

Not well mind you, it doesn't come up big hills... and it doesn't accel well @ all and the 1st problem I just had today... for some reason... it won't start...DAMN..someone help me!

2nd Nov 2004, 12:11

I have an 85 240DL it has 210,000 mile and still runs excellent! It gets around 24mpg driving 35 miles each way to work. No it isn't the fastest car, but it is fine for a commuter car. Yes there are cars that have more power and get mileage, but I don't think you can get one for the price you can get a 240 for. Brakes excellent handling fair and performance adequate. You can get a decent one here in California for $800-$1400 decent mileage and comfort and great safety. I would buy another one anytime.

15th Apr 2005, 12:28

I just purchase my second Volvo. This one a 1983 240 DL Wagon. When I tell people how much I paid they all stand there with their mouths wide open gasping. It was a one owner, well maintained wagon with 219,000 miles showing. Passed it's California emissions test the first time, started the first time after being parked for 3 months. The factory air conditioning is still blowing icy cold, everything is working except the power door locks seem to have a mind of their own. While driving I hear a click and they will subsequently lock on their own, and unlock on their own. A small price to pay for a good looking, functional, safe Volvo which I paid $550 for here in Los Angeles. I highly recommend a 240 series Volvo for reliable, safe and stylish transportation.

22nd Aug 2008, 07:36

I have a 1989 240 wagon that we have owned for 13 years. The car is now 19 years old with 242,000 miles. It has been extremely reliable.

We have replaced the usual problems, the computer when we first bought the car, O2 sensors, wires to the tailgate twice.

Just this summer we have had some major failures; the five speed manual trans gave out before the original clutch did. We now have a new clutch and used trans with only 180,000 on it. I just finished replacing the blower motor myself and yes, it took forever.

IPD is a great source for performance and regular maintenance parts, but I have not done any upgrades on the car, and as I have been using it to commute to CT from my home in Western MA a 120 mile trip each way for the last couple of months, and the car can hold 80 mph unless there is a steep hill all the time. That is with about 300lbs of tools in the back of the car.

The 240 has been an amazingly strong and reliable car, and although it is not as fast as a Camaro, it is not designed to be a sports car, it is meant to be safe and reliable transportation, which it has been for my wife and family.

Also our car without the extra weight can get 30 mpg on the highway, and is getting 25 mpg with my tools in it. So I do not understand why your mileage is so low empty.

The only draw backs to this car are those related to the sensors for the computer, otherwise except for my 1983 Mercedes 300D, I have not had a more reliable and long lived car.

6th Dec 2008, 19:50

I am very pleased with my 85 245DL Wagon. The engine performs well. My question is what can cause the left tail light assembly and tag lights to malfunction? The bulbs are all good.

Thanks.

26th May 2009, 12:19

Probably the spare rubbing up against the housing...

2nd Mar 2010, 14:16

Totally right. I wish I had read this page before spending months trying to diagnose the computer problem. The only thing I don't get is the comment about acceleration. My B23F engine still passes BMW 3 series on the highway and during acceleration, although I admit I do have the 244. Still, it can't make that much of a difference, can it? Maybe your car had lost some compression.

23rd Nov 2010, 20:22

My 1983 240DL wagon stopped running. The fuses started popping and lights went dim and eventually died. I replaced the alternator and battery and it will not hold a charge. Could it be the coil? Or the overdrive? Or some circuit malfunction?

Please help, I love this car and I've put a lot of money into it and would like to have it for a while.

26th Jan 2011, 00:26

Your engine harness could be totally rotten, and the wires are touching each other, causing short circuits, blowing off fuses etc. There might be some wires already bonded some how?

Check out the harness where it goes to the distributor, or the wires going to the starter, to see if there is any isolation missing and exposed wires. Also some rusty ground cables have been a frequent issue in cars with lighting/starting problems (non blown fuses with these problems though).

For the guy with the rear light issues... The plaques with the circuits for the rear lights tend to wear off the copper contacts. My best fix was use some electric conductive painting (like repair kits they sell for the windshield heater). Just paint on the worn contact and it should be OK.

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