Timing belt should be replaced if performance is sluggish, otherwise a waste of time. 1990 and on, usually are ECM, which is a Bosch Ignition system, that sets timing based on O2 and MAP sensor information. The BF version of the engine is the engine that was more commonly used, and if the timing belt breaks, no harm is done to the motor. Other versions however will likely (YMMV) destroy the engine if the belt breaks. It is not a tough job to change, but follow the procedure, as you do have to line up 4 pulleys to the correct dots/lines on the new belt. Also be cautious removing the plastic covering, which on mine, had to be repaired (used silicone) because it had warped over the years and wore holes in it.)
Yes, this car is by far the easiest of all modern autos to work on. Purely a joy, as most everything is just easy to get to, easy to replace, and easy to maintain. You could easily stuff a small block V8 in place of the slant 4, and some have actually. Mine is hitting 420000 miles, and still can get it to wind up to 100 MPH, and it has reasonable acceleration, but is slow off the line. It just never was a performer, although the turbo version is a bit better there. 3560 is the listed weight on mine.
About the only thing I complain about, is that it does lack legroom a little, and the pedals are too close together, and the keys hang down at your knees. Also not a car if you're well (well rounded) large. I suppose the swedes are smaller people.
They love cold weather, even more so than summer. Handle reasonably well, has a very tight turning so you can get out of a parking lot, and for the time period, has a ton of innovative well thought out features. And they are a tank, so you feel safe. The doors are not tinny, and everything tends to be "over engineered".
The 2 reasons they have survived so well.
Galvanized Body Panels.
Many complain about mileage, but considering the spare, weight, and solidness of the car, it's about equal in size to a Toyota Camry. I get 24 hwy and about 21 city. Compare that to an SUV, which you probably can't get much more stuff into, and it's fine. The key is just don't try to outrun on takeoff, it's not for people who want to outrun everyone. It's not a sports car, but it does handle well, just goes where you point it, and the brakes are awesome, and all 4 discs, so ABS really isn't needed. Horrible on ice, but OK in snow, but you need snow tires to really go places.
The same 2.3 L 4 is still being used in Inboard Motors for speed/pleasure boats.
I couldn't agree more about all the things the last poster said.
I have a 1988 240 DL Wagon - bought it when my daughter was 3 months old. It is now her car - 22 years later (165,000).
The only main issue now (besides the dings the car now has since my daughter starting her driving career 4 years ago) is passing emissions inspection. Unfortunately, I don't live in an area that has a grand-father clause for older cars. As such, will probably have to retire her next year when the inspection time runs out :(
The culprit is the NOX (coming in at over 7%). Any suggestions on what to look for to - how to hedge my bets are welcomed. Maybe it is that emissions standards have changed a lot recently, as the car never had issues like this until 4 years ago.
To the guy that posted 1/11/11. The 240 DL won't pass emissions. Drive it on highway for 20 minutes and then take it for the test.
We have a 1989 240 that we bought new when my daughter was 5 and my son 2.
They both learned to drive in it, and both used it as their car in high school - it now has 166,000 miles on it, the kids are out of college and gone, and it still runs like new. My hobby is doing repairs myself and keeping it in perfect mechanical order - pretty easy and rewarding.
We're in the process of doing a general refurb on it, and we plan to keep it forever.
Our other cars are an Audi and a Mini Cooper, but the old Volvo is the best car we've ever owned.
Hi, I wanted to know if you had/have a manual or automatic transmission on your Volvo 240 wagon? I am wanting to know, because I can't decide which to get for pulling my 2500 pound boat up the boat ramp. Thanks, Norman.
I agree! I have owned five 240 Volvos through the years. Now I own a 1987 240 wagon with over 200K on the odometer. I bought her for $1500 twelve years ago, and during that time have only replaced a battery, tires, a clutch cable and rear brake pads last year! She is my daily driver, and takes me to work in Colorado blizzards and ice. You are spot on, though, YOU NEED SNOW TIRES on a rear wheel drive Volvo!
What a tough old war horse! Who could ask for anything more! We love our Volvos!
Bump up your timing, you may have to tinker with it until you get the right mixture, but it makes it possible to pass emissions, and then move it back after the test.
Don't be too skeptical on this one. Back in 1994 my VW Rabbit gave up the ghost after many miles and I bought a 1984 Volvo wagon. I was surprised and pleased at the way it handled at speed. I now have a 1986 wagon (with only 120,000 miles on it), and it is VERY sure-footed on turns, as tight as they may come. And I am not unacquainted with good handling characteristics. A lot of years ago I owned as Triumph TR-2, and after that a 1954 Morgan Drophead Coupe. If you know anything about Morgans, they are as stable as a railroad car in turns (and as hard-riding!). Volvo wagons have very impressive handling.