14th Apr 2005, 00:11

I bought a 1987 740 two years ago for $3,300. It needed new tires, hoses, and brakes, which I obtained. Thirty thousand miles later, I've not needed to do anything, but scheduled maintenance. It looks new and sounds tight, and I expect an indefinite reliable future. The key, I think, is to follow the maintenance schedule. This is my sixth Volvo; based on my experience to-date, I'll not consider another make.

22nd Jan 2007, 08:01

I own a Volvo 740 (1987) since 2002. Since then the car has done 110.000 kilometers. I had to replace the tyres, the timing belt, the brake shoes, the gearbox (once)... otherwise I had to do only the routine maintenance (replacing the air filter, spark plugs... etc...). I must say the car is just reliable. In this crazy world everything can happen!

5th Apr 2007, 14:33

I own a 1987 Volvo 740 GLE (203,000 miles) and a 1985 Volvo 240 Wagon (230,000 miles). It's not that the cars are cheap or unreliable at all. How many 20 year old cars do you still see on the road, looking good and remaining durable?

The key to owning an older Volvo like these is that you HAVE to be able to a) find parts cheap and b) do basic maintenance yourself.

There are MANY sites on the Internet where users always are parting out old cars and places like FCPGroton.com are the WalMart of Volvo parts. Volvo parts are cheap once you know where to look.

If you can do your own brakes, and are handy doing minor repairs - then these cars are truly fun to work on. In sum, the B230F (red block) engine can easily go to 400,000 miles. The bodies are rock solid - but the wiring and plastic just get old after 20 years.

Don't own one of these cars if you have to let a repair shop do all of your work. These are are for do-it-yourselfers, or I fix these cars up to near new quality and then sell them to families who want something safe as a daily driver or for their kids in college. These cars have 4 cylinder engines, and both of mine are automatics and get 25-28 MPG on the highway.


Commerce, TX.

27th Jun 2007, 18:21

I have 1987 740 GLE Volvo inherited from my father. First, I had to replace the complete harnessing or wiring throughout the vehicle. The brakes which have been somewhat testy. What I mean by that is that every time I replaced the brakes, turned rotors and replaced worn rotors, there was terrible squeaking and squealing like if the brakes had not been replaced. Finally, it just simply stopped. Recently, there was a loud noise coming from the air conditioning fan. It as well suddenly stopped. Now I am having problems with the a/c. It stopped cooling. My father replaced the compressor twice and it seems like the compressor isn't kicking in.

I do enjoy driving it. The motor feels like it's gonna go forever. Of course, I know it won't, but I like it.

Terry from San Antonio, Texas.

19th Jun 2008, 22:29

I have a 1983 760 diesel. I know the engine is a VW motor that Volvo used, but its been pretty good so far. Purchased at 180k.

Changed on my own:

Water pump

Timing belt


Main wiring harness driver side

Power antenna

Brake lines

Brake booster

Rear rotor

All the window switches

Many many other bits all the time

I'm a big DIY guy

I put most cars in this order; Japanese as most reliable, longest lasting, best quality etc

Euro cars somewhere in the middle, depending on years and what country it's made in. I'm not talking Germany; I'm talking Eastern Europe, South America etc

Finally american cars near the bottom in those terms.

If this car wasn't a diesel, it would have been junked a long time ago.

13th May 2009, 16:16

I have a Volvo 740 1987 4 valves VIN YV1744833H1106370 and I consider that is the very best car ever made. Now I must replace the A/C compressor but I am facing difficulty to choose the truly correct replacement because vendors offer products with different specification (w/wo clutch, w/wo diode,etc)

Although I have the original Volvo parts catalog, A/C compressor was not included by the manufacturer, so I do not know the original part number, which would help me to buy the correct replacement. Who can help me?

Etienne Somogyi - Costa Rica.

2nd Jun 2009, 02:30

I purchased a 1990 740 in 2003 from an aunt who bought it band new. It had a little over 100,000 miles on it. I changed all the belts, except timing, put on a water pump, and new breaks, and a a/c compressor (in 2005). I have had no serious problems with it and it's approaching 235,000 miles. The interior is starting to go, cracks in dash, and headliner going. Heated seats and clock still works good. Thinking about sinking about 1,500 into it and trying to make it last for another 5 or 6 years. Great car in my opinion.

3rd Mar 2010, 16:50

1991 740. 313,000 miles and still ticking. I live in WI and this car is used in the snow and salt. I only have 1 spot that is rusting (front driver lower door panel). Volvo service maintained. It's a machine! Things do wear out and need replacing.

Sounds like a few posters here bought cars that were not maintained.

27th Oct 2010, 12:56

I have a 1987 Volvo 740 GLE with 118K on it and it's a great car.

The only thing I've done to it was replace the front brake pads and front struts (first time replaced). All the electricals work just fine (even the factory cassette deck!). The headliner needs replacing and I'll get around to it in the spring.

I've had several 240s in my 57 years and like those models better but, this car is a 3600lb tank. It also gets about 24 MPG highway.

Not bad for a car that's 23 years old.

27th Sep 2012, 21:18

Greetings Volvo Folks!

I am a newbie to Volvos, but I was blessed by getting a 87 Volvo 740 GLE station wagon given to me. I have invested a few dollars to get this vehicle up to my safe measure standard. I replaced the battery, all new brakes, replaced the high beam lights and the passenger side turn signal. It makes a funny noise like paper tearing when I put pressure on the gas pedal. I don't know what that means... anyone have any ideas?

By the way, interesting thing... when I am going at a 55 miles per hour, the steering wheel shakes really bad... once I get to 60 - 70 mph, no shaking at all.

Again, anyone know what that means... please school me. Thanks for your help fellow Volvo owners.