I am still very pleased with my 1985 Volvo 740GLE, it has performed flawlessly, the engine just turned 360000 KMS, it's dependable and cheap to run, I was away on holidays for 3 weeks and it started right away -without any problems, I will recommend this car to anyone.
Update 366000 KM: the rubber timing belt snapped on a highway, it cost approx $300 to replace the timing belt and tensioner, which is not too bad. I was told I don't need a valve job, what a relief.
This car continue to be a reliable transportation for me, gas is a little expensive because the weight of the car, but overall it has been reliable.
I will still recommend this car to anyone who is looking for a cheap transportation.
2006-08-19: 367000KM, 09:32:31 My 85 Volvo 740 GLE failed AirCare in the morning, (failed Driving NOx reading) after a can of "Guaranteed to Pass" ($10 CAD) and a new CAT converter ($180 CAD), the car passed in the afternoon @ 15:50:30.
2006-09-12: 368000KM, I pour one can of Seafoam in the gastank, 1/2 bottle in the oil, 1/2 bottle thru the intake vacuum hose, significant improvements in throttle response and gas mileage. - I recommend Seafoam to anyone, it really makes a big difference in my 85 Volvo.
Original poster: The last few days I had opportunities to drive my Volvo in the snow/ice, since the car is rear-wheel drive and heavy, handling it in the snow can be tricky. I tried going uphill on a fresh layer of snow today, it was impossible. And if you give too much gas around the corner, the car will fishtail until it regains traction. I say if you live in the snowbelts, I will buy a front-wheel drive/light car instead. Overall my Volvo had served me well, it has been ultra reliable and solid as a rock.
- had the blower motor replaced.
- the heater is very warm, the sedan rear window defogger is a nice feature.
- front wiper blade fell off in rain during highway speed, I tighten the nut with a plier, now it works perfectly.
- replaced all 4 spark-plugs and did scope check, now it runs even smoother.
- need a set of brake pad soon.
- I suspect the front passenger bearing is making grinding noise, it might need to get replace soon.
So far so good, I drove the car for 24000 KM last year, my mechanic sold me the car Nov 2005, he was surprised to see the car lasted that long in such a good condition.
Just sold my Volvo, overall I was surprised on it's reliability and how comfortable it was to drive. The rust has started around the wheel well and the transmission was starting to slip when cold, it's about time to sell and look for something slightly newer. I got a older Corolla which is more presentable but I still like my old Volvo.