1989 Volvo 740 GL from North America


A trusty ol' gal


It's an old car. I've had to replace the usuals, like tires, a hose, two bearings and the muffler. The only breakdown I've had is when the bolt that attaches the alternator belt fell off. I had to replace the window regulator on the driver side, but that's pretty standard in older cars as well.

General Comments:

I love this car. I have a thing for square, boxy cars and this one definitely falls into that category. It runs well, I've taken it from Lansing, Michigan to New Orleans, Louisiana with little trouble (except a minor oil leak at the cap... and losing my tailpipe in Kentucky).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th May, 2002

1989 Volvo 740 turbo from North America


Just bought it and all it needed was a tune up and an oil change.

We changed the timing belt and three other belts just so our daughter could be on her merry way without concern.

General Comments:

If you want an inexpensive car, buy a Yugo.

Otherwise, you are in for the ride of a life in your Volvo.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th April, 2002

1989 Volvo 740 GL 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Down to earth, value for money motor


Nothing has gone wrong so far, although I only paid £400 for it, and it included 6 months road tax and MOT.

The exhaust is blowing at one of the joints, hopefully not going to be too expensive.

There is a bit of vagueness on the steering which is probably just worn bushes/bearings and I'm hoping shouldn't be too awkward to resolve.

The fuel gauge is having a party! The needle bounces all over the place, can't tell how much fuel is in the tank. I'm hoping a replacement sender unit will resolve this.

General Comments:

Solid car, very minimal rust only where stone chips have gone right through to the metal work.

I'm primarily a motorcyclist and got the car for winter motorway use. It has big road presence, other cars give it plenty of room.

Big solid care, give good feeling of protection.

Engine seems willing to 'go', but is held back by the weight of the car. Not a problem though as I didn't want a sports car. :-)

Interior is dark, and typical 80's angles and switches. But on the plus side it's solid and everything still works as intended.

Fabric seat material is lasting well, no scuffs or tears.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st October, 2001

12th Mar 2005, 16:06

I had - and to a degree, still do have - problems with my fuel gauge. It started when I ran out of petrol half-way along the A50 to Derby... even though my fuel gauge told me I still had best part of 1/3 of a tank. Following the replacement of the sender unit, it still doesn't seem to be the most trustworthy thing in the world, unless I completely fill the tank. Also, the gauge doesn't seem to settle down to a semi-accurate reading until the car's been running for a while. Very annoying when you're stuck in a mile-long tailback because of road works!

Also, is it just my car, or do Volvo's not particularly enjoy cold, damp starts? My 740 seems very sluggish in these conditions, particularly in the morning; as if it's being partying a little too hardy the night before and doesn't really want to face the world the following morning!

Also, the steering can be very heavy when you first get going; you need to round a few corners to get the power-steering fluid worked in again.

Would I ever get rid of it though? Probably not... unless someone was offering me an XC-90!!

6th Nov 2005, 06:07

740s have been known to have a problem with the printed circuit board in binnacle that holds the gauges, speedo rev counter fuel gauge e.t.c The soldered printed circuit develop dry joints which cause faults. The most common one is the fuel gauge going crackers. Only solution is get a secondhand set of clocks from a scrapyard and swap them about. Its not a difficult job to do at home.

Try to get the same model year, as they plugs are different on some.

25th Mar 2006, 20:49

I thought I'd comment here because I've had most of the problems described.

As regards the fuel gauge, I've bought a second hand sender and fitted that, and bought a second hand instrument cluster and fitted that, and nothing will solve the fuel gauge bouncing around. I think it's just the way it's supposed to be. I've tried no end of things to get it working, as I don't fancy running out of fuel. The only solutions I've come up with are to top the tank up after 200 miles of "spirited" driving, or/and carry a small can of fuel in the boot.

As regards the steering; the rack will eventually need replacing. Many people have this "morning stiffness" with the power steering - me included. But don't pay £150+ for the racks from car garages. There are always a few floating around eBay for £50 odd.