Well, from the very beginning...
At the time of purchase, the odometer read 191,096 miles. That was in November of 2007. It's now August of 2008...and the odometer STILL reads 191,096. Yeah.
The car would stall while idling and while in motion. After extensive research I discovered that the problem was no more than a dirty throttle body housing and a faulty fuel pump relay. $50.00 and an hour of my time fixed that. No stalls since. And just for added performance I changed out the spark plugs, wires, rotor, and the distributor cap... that added about an additional three miles per gallon.
The car was missing the lower front bumper valence at the time of purchase... and it's still missing. it hasn't affected the car's ability to function whatsoever, however...
...the missing valence exposes the bottom of the radiator. Living in north Georgia involves having to deal with an atrocious highway infrastructure, and part of that involves dealing with intersections that will make you bottom out your car, no matter how much you decelerate. That radiator has taken a couple of hits, and now there is a teeny weeny coolant leak. Nothing prominent, but just enough to keep the lower end of the radiator constantly soaked with coolant.
The only time I had a problem with this car was during its little stalling episode. Otherwise, this car has been the BEST $750 I have ever spent. That's right...$750. Yes, a testament to great value shopping, indeed!
I purchased the vehicle from an independent dealer in Gainesville, Georgia. I had just lost my job and my 2006 Corolla was becoming quite the financial burden. So I decided to "downsize" and reduce my monthly expenses. I walked into the dealership and asked what they had on the lot for $750...they pointed me in the direction of a Volvo that was sitting all by itself in the very back of the lot. After further investigation and a test drive, it was a no-brainer. Sold.
And because of that purchase, I have vowed to drive nothing but Volvos for the rest of my life. This car has to have somewhere around 275,000 miles on it, and it feels better than the Corolla I owned. The transmission shifts are a tad rough, but that is perhaps the only issue with the car, and I do not doubt that it is due to the age of the vehicle.
This Volvo has proven itself to be a worthy vehicle time and time again, but I wanted to give it the ultimate test. So, I took a week off from work and went on a little road trip. The car made a journey from Atlanta, GA to New York City to San Angelo, Texas and back to Atlanta... with not one single problem. I fully understand now why they say "Volvo For Life."