1988 Volvo 780 2.8 from North America


Probaby not the car's fault. The previous owners absolutely did not care for this car


Failed items:

R/H window motor

Power antenna

Power seats

Dome light


Unknown source battery drain

Unknown source electrical power cutting completely out

Water still leaked into interior after many attempts to find the source

Oil pan gasket

Timing chain cover gasket 2X

General Comments:

The BIGGEST POS I have ever owned. It drove and handled very well, I have to give it that. I liked driving it, that's the only reason I kept it so long.

I took it off the road twice for months and attempted to fix the electrical issues. The Swedish schematics left a little to be desired. I should have gotten rid of it after the transmission failed. After the second timing cover gasket failure, I could not justify putting more money into it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th November, 2009

25th Nov 2009, 16:54

This is a 21 year old car, what did you expect?

I had a 740 and had a lot of issues, but she was 18 years old and had 175,000 miles on it.

26th Nov 2009, 00:31

If you have owned it from 1998, and all that has gone wrong is what you stated, it was a highly reliable vehicle.

I'm sure you needed to replace tires and other routine wear parts like brakes, coolant, oil,... etc.

As for the electricals, you should have found a good automotive electrical specialist and they would have found your issue.

I have a 91 turbo 4 with 226,230 miles and it is in near perfect condition, mechanically, and cosmetically after nearly 19 years. It has its original paint still, Blue Pearl (407). These cars were built by Bertone in Turin Italy and yours probably sold for $39,000 US dollars when new in 1988. The materials and quality of construction reflected this price tag. The entire interior was covered in leather, including the side panels with real wood inlay panels. It was a top notch touring car, and as you noticed the ride and handling reflected this fact.

With ordinary proper care and maintenance, these cars are nearly trouble free, but the V6 needed meticulous oil changes and gasket checks as you found out. My Volvo mechanic loves mine nearly as much as I do. So, you're right, it's not the car's fault...

1991 Volvo 780 Coupe B230FT+ from North America


Bulletproof durability


Alternator bushing at 156,000.

Brake pads at 170,000.

Ignition ballast at 198,000.

Transmission center mount 210,000 (found at 210K service).

Fuel pump at 212,000.

Plastic heater valve blew at 219,000.

Normal routine maintenance plugs, wires, wire clips, oil changes, tires,...etc.

General Comments:

Great handling and riding and quite peppy for a 2.3L four. Not so great gas mileage, 18 town, 22 highway.

Interior is roomy, luxurious and comfortable for four.

The Blue Pearl exterior paint is original and still looks brand-new.

Rock solid reliability. The best car I've owned, and I've owned a Lexus LS400, Cadillac ETC and have owned Honda, Toyota, Nissan and other Volvos.

The turbo in the car is the original as are the Nivomat rear shocks. The dealer was amazed that these were still in good condition when they inspected it at its 210K servicing. I use nothing other than Mobil 1 Extended 5-30 on a 1yr/12,000 mile change interval.

I love driving this car, and intend to own it until either it is totaled or I am...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th May, 2009

12th Feb 2014, 12:43

Well here it is, 5 years later and I still have the car. It has now clocked 247,000 miles (395,000 Km) and still looks and runs flawlessly. Does not use a quart of oil between extended length change cycles (10,000 miles Pure Synthetic) and still is the original turbocharger.


Heater core: $984 (and the mechanic said it was the worst job ever).

Heater control valve (plastic, blew out) $185.

Pads/rotors replaced (with slotted performance type) $215.

Tires $428.

Transmission mount & solenoid $312.

Upper surfaces professionally repainted (hood, roof, trunk) $2140.

Lower radiator hose assembly $175.

Air conditioning high pressure hose $285.

Average cost of ~$79 month over the last five years. But, the car still looks and drives like new... Without counting painting, the mechanical repairs & upgrades averaged $43 per month. The good news is, now they are increasing in value.

4th Dec 2014, 10:36

I have a 91 780, my little Swedish Muse! I've got 208K miles and just now have to replace a bunch of parts (the original owner used it as a daily work car with ZERO maintenance. I've owned her since 192K).

Where did you get the slotted rotors and pads??? I need to replace mine ASAP. Please let me know at driver@dcemail.com.

6th Dec 2014, 01:35

Still have the car. I got my slotted (and not drilled) discs (all four) on the internet...

4th Jul 2016, 04:45

I am the original poster. It's now been 16 years and @252,673 miles and it still running great. Still the original turbo, Nivomat shocks, driveline, and front shocks. In the last two years had to repaint the upper flat surfaces (hood, roof, trunk) due to sun fade & clear coat failure and constant idle controller. The passenger seat leather is now splitting at the sewn seams on the bottom section and needs replacement. Will do that soon. Still drives like a new vehicle, wow.

4th Jul 2016, 09:27

Good to hear! Mechanically or electrically, I suppose they are like most cars (last if maintained, or luck of the draw), but I do notice that Volvos of that era don't always hold up with the bits and pieces inside like plastic trims and other parts. I hope yours continues to prove exceptional.

4th Jul 2016, 21:28

Yeah, that's great to hear. True Volvo plastics aren't great at that era, but at least their bodies and engines are. Here in the UK, there are hardly any Japanese cars left as they have all rusted away!!!