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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought this '86 240 Sedan, (my 2nd Volvo) The wiring does look cracked and worn in places and it has been taped in some places. I am having intermittent electrical malfunctions in the interior of the car. Sometimes my blinkers don't work. Once in a while my radio works (mostly it doesn't) and it did burn one fuse; I'll have to wait to see if it burns out another one but first it will have to actually work once in a while.
It is obvious that the brake light clusters have been replaced, the wiring circuit board is new.
While I have this space open.... Could you please tell me if I used the wrong thing to fill my power steering well? I used what it said to use in the Haynes repair manual, automatic transmission fluid type F. But now my trans seems to be slipping and not changing gears right. (No, I did not add the fluid while the engine was running because I read that it could cause air bubbles in the system.) I didn't even start the car again until the next morning.
My First Volvo-'85, was ugly and worn to the bone, but it ran and ran and ran. I never had to do anything to it. Over 270,000 miles on the engine and trans. Finally the trans had a problem leak that never got fixed and the poor thing just ran itself to it's limit. It still runs good but when the trans heats up it won't reverse and shudders when accelerating (even slowly) from a stop.
This "new" '86 Volvo has so many little annoying problems. It only has 170,000 miles and has already had a transmission change and the engine just doesn't feel as strong as the '85 did. It looks very pretty and shiny but I am very disappointed in it.

Premium Member
19,953 Posts
Re: Electrical oddities (judylyn)

Welcome to Swedespeed, Judy.

Most all '86 240's had/have wiring problems.

If you plan to keep your current '86 then expect to put at least $2,000 into the car to rid it (and yourself) of all the nagging inefficiencies.

New engine wiring harness - $300, labor $350+.

Rework fuse box - $50, labor $200+.

Troubleshoot entire electrical system (ignition, body, etc.) and replace/repair as needed - $$$$.

Once the bugs are gone and the car is up to original specs then the performance will improve and the joy of Volvo ownership will return.

If you attempt to address each problem individually it is possible to spend big dollars and still not have a reliable and fun Volvo.

BTW, perfect one-owner 240/740/940 Volvos are available for under $3,000 so keep an eye on your expenditures on the '86 or...

George Dill

3,169 Posts
Re: Electrical oddities (gdill2)

Quote, originally posted by gdill2 »

New engine wiring harness - $300

Closer to $800 for a new Volvo harness, George. Unless you're talking about an aftermarket replacement, which I wouldn't recommend.
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