1990 Volvo 740 GLE 2.4 Liter from North America


A reliable older car that rivals even todays levels of comfort


The car has been in my family since it had 70,000 miles on it. Since then it has had only one major servicing after my sister forgot to put it into Park when shutting off the car. It rolled down the main street in our town right into a UPS delivery truck. The cost to repair that was quite expensive. But other than that, problems that are solely of the cars own origin are it's persistent consumption of various lights and bulbs...i.e. blinkers, headlights, taillights, etc... But this seems to be a problem with event the newer cars. (My mother's 1998 V70 t5 has the same sort of appetite for bulbs.)

Other problems are normal wear and tear. The leather seat stitching has started to become unraveled. Various trims pieces have decided to come undone. Like the trim on the dash and door. Also the power mirror on the drivers side shakes at highway speeds making it virtually unusable.

General Comments:

I bought the car, from my father, on the 7th of January of 2003 and then drove the car over three thousand miles out to Nevada. The car worked great. Cruise control worked great and in addition to the great seats, it made for a comfortable trip.

The speakers still sound great, but they are nothing to impress others with, for it seems that Volvo never put a huge importance on sound systems.

At one point during the trip I encountered high winds in Wyoming. The cars power, or lack of, made it almost impossible to maintain its designated cruise control speed of 80mph. Especially up at altitude.

During these same high winds the right hand blinker assembly fell off. This was already the second assembly we had replaced. Now I am faced with paying a lot for the new blinker.

All in all, the car handles well. And could maintain 80mph on the highway very well with still plenty of passing power.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th January, 2003

1990 Volvo 740 GLE 16-Value 2.3 liter, DOHC, 4-cylinder, Sixteen Valv from North America


A long living car if properly maintained.


I've recently purchased the car after my 1986 240 DL Sedan had a bit of an accident. I purchased the car with high mileage and a lot of work was needed to bring it back up to the proper specs for only $550. One owner and the body was almost flawless. I could not say no. Though I knew that at that price, there would be many problems to get it up to spec. This is the items and cost.

Timing and Balance Belts need to be changed: ($430) (installed)

Complete brake job in rear: Calipers, rotors, and shoes: ($458) (installed)

Rear right taillight circuit board: ($44) (Part)

Valve cover gasket replaced: ($94.58) (Installed)

O2 sensor: ($247.95) (Installed)

Control Arm Bushings: ($135.90 x 2) (Installed)

Fuel Filter ($28.97) (Part)

Engine Treatment with ZMAX ($34.95) (Self installation)

Front Rotors and Brake pads ($274.55) (Installed)

Front passenger caliper ($128.33) (Installed)

Right front signal assembly: ($75.00) (Self installed)

General Comments:

I've only purchased Volvos most of my life. Always had a 250 sedan. This move to the 740 seems to be pretty good once you get it back to it's proper maintenance level. Should be able to squeeze another 100,000 miles out of the motor and transmission.

Prior owner was from Florida and put massive miles on it within 4 years of over 150,000. I believe once all the repairs are done and it finally gets the once over and the local Volvo dealership, it should be one car that I should keep for a very long time.

The only problem that I have with this car is the length of the seatbelts. They are not long enough for a rather large guy like myself though the 240 was never an issue in this area. The 740 seatbelts does not fit and I'm in the market for extensions for myself.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd November, 2002

25th May 2010, 02:43

What's the deal with the timing belt issues on the 16-valve motor? I've heard it is the engine's one major shortfall. I don't quite understand what the problem is though, but have always heard to replace the tensioner when replacing the timing belt. Any clarification on the problem and how to resolve it would be great.

13th Jan 2011, 01:15

Regarding the 16 valve motor - it's an interference design.

If the timing belt breaks (or something causes it to jump teeth) on the 16V, the valves hit the pistons and at the very least, valves will be bent. Engine will need head work, and new timing belt.

On the 8 valve - it's not an interference design - if the belt breaks, no damage will be done. Need new timing belt.

'Spose that's the cost of performance.