1988 Volvo 244 DL 2.3 from North America


A Solid, dependable, safe vehicle


I've had the typical Volvo issues.

The overdrive (automatic) operates intermittently. The relay has been replaced, as has the solenoid. Ergo, it's a wiring problem. IPD now makes an overdrive bypass kit that eliminates the switch for the overdrive, and allows it to operate on it's own, with no option to turn it off. I plan on trying that as soon as I can order one.

The odometer stopped working immediately after I bought the car. It's a $26 fix for the new drive gear, but I haven't gotten to it yet.

The driver's seat is broken, which I hear is common.

The door map pockets and the center console are made of the plastic version of balsa wood - they break frequently. Replacements are expensive. (Hint: Check ebay)

Rear main seal is leaking, which doesn't appear to be common from my research.

All plastic light lenses are cloudy, broken, or in some way bad. Expensive to replace. (Again, check ebay)

Exhaust fell off. As was mentioned in another review, this gives the car a little more power. (It was only the second muffler that fell off). I just put a glass-pack and tailpipe on it. Sounds pretty good, and a little more power than stock.

General Comments:

For all of it's problems, I can't complain too much about this car. I've always wanted a Volvo, and I couldn't pass this one up. A co-worker had bought it at a Goodwill auction for $200. He sold it to me for $200, and he let me take whatever I wanted from his collection of parts cars. So, I have a spare engine, transmission, 4 doors with power windows, seats, etc.

The 240 is a very solid feeling car. Acceleration won't thrill many, but it just keeps running no matter what you do to it.

The 240 laughs at bumps, scrapes, and direct hits. Other cars don't fare as well when they hit it.

When the AC fails, and it will, the cabin can be a little hot and steamy. Air circulation isn't great, even with all the windows down.

For all of it's faults, the 240 is a fun car to drive. It's solid, it cruises on the highway effortlessly, it's pretty quiet, and it has enough creature comforts to make a person forget that it's 17 years old.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th September, 2005

7th Oct 2007, 12:28

I have owned quite a few Volvo 240 DL sedans and wagons --ten in all. I currently have two '87 244 DLs. They are extremely reliable and cost effective, 25 MPG cars. The 1985-1988 models come without EGR (trouble) and with adjustable air mass meters so are the easiest to maintain, most reliable 240s. If the cars have had regularly scheduled maintenance and repairs, they will easily go to 300K before you need any engine work, u-joints, or even auto trannny work, and they will still pass California smog tests!