1989 Volvo 340 1.4 from UK and Ireland


Other motorists don't cut-up a 13 year old Volvo


The first failure was the starter motor. I was able to get away with bashing it with a golf club for a couple of months before resigning myself to buying a new one (about £30 if I recall correctly). Fitting it myself was a doddle (I have NO previous mechanical experience).

The bush in the distributer cap became worn, so I replaced the cap (about £10).

The carburettor has a couple of screws which work their way loose over a period of a month or two. I had to retrieve one from inside the carburettor once! Solved this by coating the screws in a locking fluid.

The boot pistons are shot, so I use a golf umbrella to prop the lid up.

Clutch is starting to slip; got a quote of £127 for a new one today. Haynes reckons it's a "3 spanner" job, which should just be within my capability.

Fuel lines into the pump were starting to leak, so they were replaced.

Bodywork is starting to rust, but nothing structural, yet.

Exhaust fell off, but this too was easily replaced.

General Comments:

I was quite lucky because my 340 was previously owned by an old guy who covered about 2-3000 miles per year and had Volvo service it religiously. I'm pretty sure that the clutch wear is due to my driving style - so I'll be kinder to the new one.

The first time I drove it I couldn't stop laughing at how much guesswork is involved with steering. I've never captained an oil-tanker, but I imagine it's not too different from guiding my 340 along a wet motorway.

Beware of approaching roundabouts in the wet. I've never gone through a 360 (yet), but I've certainly scared myself a few times.

It's quicker than it looks; you can easily upset Wide-Boys in their Novas/Clios/Fiestas. The brakes are good too, which is fortunate because there's a lot of metal to stop.

Comfort is quite good; the seats are like armchairs and the cabin is large.

It's a very easy car to work on (even for a novice) and I'd recommend buying a Haynes manual.

Despite all of the above problems, I'm glad I bought a 340. I laugh at boy-racers who think they look good in Novas with lowered suspension, blue headlights and holed exhausts. I know the 340 isn't sexy, but I don't care. When I do finally enter the midlife crisis, then I'll get an Impreza and start harassing other road users. Until that time, I'll steam around in my tanker with a big grin on my face.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd October, 2003

5th Oct 2003, 13:45

Couldn't have said it better myself!! I've just posted a review on this site (5/10/03),and your 340 seems to have the same eccentricities as mine, as does your attitude to driving it. Long may your ugly tank rattle on!

Matt St. Lawrence.

1989 Volvo 340 GL 1.4 unlead from Portugal


The best choice for a beginner who wants the safest car!


The dashboard was in bad conditions.

The motor consumed almost one bottle of oil for each 4 months.

General Comments:

I simply love the car!

Its ultra safe!!! I'm not Kidding.

It saved my life in a terrible accident.

Very strong car and solid structure.

Very comfortable seats.

It could give 100 miles, quite fast.

It was very hard to park the car...

I miss my Volvo 340 very much...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th July, 2003

1989 Volvo 340 dl 1.4 from UK and Ireland


A well built car made to last


The alternator has needed to be replaced.

The clutch was worn when I bought it, but I still got 12 months out of it before I had to replace it.

General Comments:

If you want a cheap to run car that keeps going and going then look no further.

When I bought this car it had only one one lady owner and came with a full Volvo service history, that I am also keeping up.

I am a person who will drive a car very hard, but this car I am glad to say keeps taking the punishment that is my every driving.

The parts can be a bit pricey, but it seems to be hard to wear out or break any part of this car.

I fitted a tow bar to this car and to my surprise it towed my small carvan a hole lot better than I expected.

On long distance driving I have found that the car keeps going at any speed and for such a small car the comfort is very high.

This car is 13 years old, but looks and drives like a much younger car I can't see me replacing it in the near future.

Well done to Volvo.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th August, 2002

17th Apr 2009, 06:49

I also have a Volvo 340dl. I love it.

Because of its rear wheel drive, it is great fun. Mine is a 1989, and again just seems to go on for ever and never fails to start.

I want to get a tow bar for it if anyone knows where I might get one?