1982 Volvo 245 DL Wagon 2.1L inline 4 from North America
Slow, reliable, cheap wagon, passing 300k
The fuel pump relay failed because it got wet. It was $40 for a new one at NAPA Auto Parts, and it just plugged into place. These fail commonly, so before you replace a fuel pump, check out the relay first and save some $$$
The air conditioning doesn't work, and the driver's side keyhole stopped working.
The radio doesn't work, so I wired up some nice 2.1 computer speakers to a 400w inverter. It works great, and sounds better than any integrated system I could have installed.
The overdrive on the "4 speed + OD" transmission stopped working because OD (5th gear) is activated by a button on the top of the stick. There is a wiring problem, and I can't get OD to work.
The front left brake seized after I wore the brake pad down to the metal backing (oops, my fault). I had to replace the front rotors, calipers and pads, an easy fix and cheap if you go somewhere like AutoZone. Don't underestimate AutoZone brake parts, they work great and have a "lifetime warranty", which really means lifetime replacements, for free, regardless of wear.
Here's a really helpful DIY instructional video on the brake job:
I am a college student, and bought the 245 Wagon for trips to the grocery store and weekend trips to go camping or skiing; things it does well. My only complaint is gas mileage, usually around 15-20mpg. These cars turn heads and are very common in certain areas. Girls call the car cute.
Even with rear wheel drive, it handles really well in slippery situations. I drove around in the snow and ice for abound 2 weeks this winter (Pacific Northwest) and never got stuck. When it slides, recovery is really controlled and easy. Drifting around is a lot of fun!
Despite a few hiccups, it's been a great car. I bought it for $500 after hearing 140/240/740 Volvos were "invincible." With a total investment of about $1000 over a year, it has been a good bargain.
They're not invincible - but they are big, slow, and reliable. With the exception of the fuel relay problems I mentioned, the wagon has started every time since I bought it almost a year ago. It is super easy to work on, to change parts and do regular maintenance. If you have basic mechanic skills, your 240/245 will run for a looooong time.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 15th May, 2011