I'll have to throw in my two cents worth and support Volvo as an above average machine. Yes, they break, require maintenance, and repairs can be high. I continue to advise car buyers that, if they cannot work on their own cars, to buy a Honda or Toyota and keep to the maintenance schedule religiously. I myself have lots of wrenching experience, having had a number of street rods, motorcyles-including a drag bike, and lord knows how many cars and trucks. I love my little 240 wagon, and really appreciate how its designed and assembled (it's my parts-go-getter for the other projects, as well as my dependable transportation). Were I king, I would design some things different (my experience replacing the heater core comes to mind), such as the wiring harness, provided cup holders, provided decent rear speaker locations, etc., but I am constantly amazed at the construction quality of a car that sold in its price range. For the mechanically inclined it's a great machine, and you don't mind "feeding" it when you know it'll take you into that unreachable-for-Detroit 300K zone. Its no hot rod, but I do think a second one with a small block Ford would be a fun sleeper, and I do happen to have such a motor on an engine stand in my garage...hmmmm...trouble is, you seldom find a "good body-blown motor" 240 to start with. On eBay, one salvage yard had a lot of Volvo 240 motors for sale CHEAP... explaining they get them from wrecks, but there is just so little demand for the motors because they "just don't break!". Good car-and I didn't even get into safety.
I think most of the 1984 plus 240's systems are good for at least 100,000 miles. That was generally not true of their US made peers. Now Many modern cars have power steering and electronics that can go the distance, but I don't think that was always the case. Peek under fairly modern cars and trucks and look how the various components like axles, springs and oil pans are finished/painted. In my opinion under-car naked steel and iron are an indication the manufacturer is muttering "screw you" under her breath to her customers.
I have "brought on" internal radiator/heater/head gasket Corrosion failures by not changing my Volvos' Antifreeze every few years. At 233,000 miles my plastic tank radiator was junk. I don't think that was rust related.
I own an 87 Volvo 240 DL Sedan, and I've never been more pleased. I purchased the car 4 months ago for $300; it had 300000 miles on it. I'm now at 320000, and no major issues.
I'm the original owner of a 1984 240 GLT turbo intercooler stick with 2 doors. It's my every day car with 400,000 miles. No major problems, just do the maintenance and don't blindly trust a mechanic, you must QA their work. Get the repair manual from IPD, read the forums and do most of the work yourself and the car will keep on running.
Just purchased a 1984 GLT 2dr, love this car, good old Swedish steel. Love its simplicity and function.
I bought an 87 245DL off of Craigslist for $850. The best money I have ever spent on a car. It's taken me and the family on long road trips without a hassle. I change the fluids when I bought and had a few smog issues, but overall it is a great reliable machine. It just works.
The cost to fix my dead Mitsubishi was way more than the cost of most 240's. The best part is the WWW is full of Volvo knowledge. If you want to fix it yourself, go for it. Someone else has already done it. Just look online and save yourself major $$$ on repairs.
I have two Volvo 240's. Wilma has 165,000 and Stormtrooper has 327,000. Amazing cars! The younger Wilma definitely has more power and shifts smoother, but what impresses me most is that the difference between the two is so minor with double the miles.
I have a 1984 Volvo DL with 210,000. The car runs and drives great, delivering 26 mpg on the highway. I have lowered the car, completed complete tune up, installed K&N air filter, replaced heater core and blower motor, and drive it everywhere. The durability of these cars is truly amazing. Can't complain about anything, considering I only paid $100 for the car.
Hello all. Great discussion. I have a white 1990 740 and a white 1983 DL Wagon. I love these cars for how they handle in the mountains, and for the fabulous visibility for changing lanes, backing up, and so on. I've had both cars for over 20 years. Both look and run great. But I am sure tired of poor repair jobs, whether by dealers or independents.
Thanks very much for the Forum.
I have a 1987 Volvo 240 DL. I can say it's the best car I have ever owned. It has 215,000 miles, never lets me down, is quiet, solid and good on gas. An amazing car!
OK, here's the real deal!
I had a 1997 Chevy Cavalier that ran great for 94K miles, and then died because of some "in dash security codes " problem, which made the car not start unless the ambient temp. was 100 degrees or more.
Out of necessity I bought a Volvo 240 wagon. This is the first car I have actually liked since I was 20 years old! This Volvo is solid, all the pieces work, and are simple enough that I can actually work on it myself. This Volvo may very well be the best car I have ever owned, reliability-wise.
If you don't have one, you need to get one. I'm not selling mine, so find your own. It is slow and dorky like me, but it will not quit running!
Great detailed review, this was very helpful and encouraging. I bought a 1987 240DL yesterday and I'm kind of nervous about the cost of maintenance; your review soothed my fears.
Thanks for taking the time to write this review!
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