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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, folks... new to Swedespeed. I'm looking at a couple of older 240's. One is a manual shift, 1990, with about 265K miles. The other is a 92, automatic, with 151K. <p>What kind of mechanical issues, if any, can you advise as being problematic or concerning that I should especially look for when investigating these vehicles?<p>Many thanks for any advice you can offer!!!! <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/confused.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Re: In buying an old 240, what should I be alarmed about? (Wonderwall)

Welcome to Swedespeed, Kerry.<p>Do you now own a Volvo? Ever?<p>What is your max budget?<p>Are you in a hurry to buy?<p>Do you like nosey Volvo Nuts asking many dumb ? ?<p>My direction here would be to look again at the 240 market both near and far from you. A one-owner, garaged 240 (wagon?) with less than 100k and in perfect shape (all records) is out there waiting for you. Most go for less than $3,000.<p>If you must choose from the two mentioned then the '92 would make a good school/commuter if all is well with the car.<p>George Dill<p>
 

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Re: In buying an old 240, what should I be alarmed about? (Wonderwall)

ok 1) make sure they have records of service. 2) these two models shouldnt have the electrical gremlins that the earlier volvos had 3) welcome to swedespeed. 4) make sure that they have good vaccum lines and a good flame trap. 5) dont act on anything i say before someone else says it to because im still learning and have been wrong many a time. 6) how much do they want for them? give us some details 7) make sure that they dont have rust. rust will be your number one enemy. 8) these are actually the newest 240s ( production ended in 1993), old would be 79 or older. they are all good cars. 9) are they wagons or sedans? again more info would help. 10) answer these and you should get more help<p>welcome to swedespeed again. youll find many a smart cookie here.<p>camyman <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/smile.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Re: In buying an old 240, what should I be alarmed about? (Camyman)

If a '91-'93 has rust, it's generally been hit or repainted. The galvanizing process and new paint technology that came in the '90s was excellent. It's a good reason to go with the newer model. I would highly recommend a manual transmission, although the automatics are quite solid, they're ponderous. A 240 with a 5-spd is an extremely charming car to drive.<p>I'd check for A/C records, timing belt changes, vac lines, and flame trap history for sure. Also, Volvo owners were either meticulous or lazy...get one driven by the former...this is especially apparent in the 5-spd models. I would also buy a wagon over the sedan as they are more desirable, better looking and extremely functional. Remember, that is the purpose of the 240...function. Don't tune it, don't mod it, just drive and enjoy.
 

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Re: In buying an old 240, what should I be alarmed about? (gdill2)

Wow... I think I've come to the right place!!! This has definitely got me thinking... and worrying about biting off more than I can chew, so to speak. I will try to hit on the questions you have posed, as briefly as possible, and whatever info you feel inclined to provide would be welcome. I apologize for the length but appreciate any advice, if you have the time!<p>Regarding George's question about nosey Volvo people asking many questions, actually I prefer whateve knoweldge you can impart. No, I do not, nor have I ever owned a Volvo. I frankly can't afford new models, and besides that the older ones hold much more appeal to me. They are just too darn cool, and I've wanted one for some time (I'm in my mid-30's). I can't claim to be a mechanical genius, but I have mechanics in the family, none of which by the way has worked on a Volvo, much less an early 90's model. This is not to say that I'm naive to the fact that buying a 150K, '92 Volvo will require diligent maintenance to keep it in prime condition, which I am willing to do.<p>Regarding a max budget, I'd say I'd like to keep it below $5,000 if possible. I have no desire to be tied to car payments any longer, yet I want a reasonably reliable vehicle. Obviously, Volvo has a huge reputation for longevity and reliability, and I like the 240's. I'm not in a hurry to buy, but would like to do so before the clutch gives out on my current crappy Jetta. It's not going to pass PA emissions requirements at inspection (in May), which is going to run me several hundred to a couple of grand to repair the clutch and replace the catalytic converter / oxygen sensors... money which I'd much prefer to sock into a Volvo 240. Where can I find the dream 240 sedan or wagon that you mention waiting for me, George.... the ones with meticulous repair records, one owner, garage stored, under 100K miles, and around $3000? I'd be very interested in working with someone on this if you can guide.<p>More info on the two I was looking at. Well, the '90 Sedan appears to have sold. So the '92 is out there still. It is a silver 240 Sedan, and I drove it today. Unfortunately, the guy who owns the garage where it's being sold was out, so I have a list of questions to ask him. However, people in my area (Gettysburg, PA) give the owner/mechanic good references, and he's been in business for 35 years, but is not strictly a "Volvo garage". The car started without a hitch, ran without any odd *boinks*, clunks, noises, etc. It accelerated steadily, did not sputter. All the accouterments seemed to work (heat, A/C, lights, windows, etc.). The exterior paint appears free of rust/holes, but I need to ask if there had been any body work done on it. There were a couple of scratches, but nothing out of the ordinary for a 14-year old car. <p>I will surely ask about the ownership and service history, especially about such things as a 'flame trap'! Until today, I had not heard of one, but it seems to me that it serves the function of a PCV valve, is that correct? And that you need to make sure you clean it or run the risk of blowing the engine seals. There was no apparent leakage from this car.... no oil to transmission fluid pools under the car. I'd need to ask and look at the undercarriage for rust. The muffler was rusty on the outside, but did not have holes, but I could not see under the rest of the car. I'll ask about the vac lines, flame trap, timing belt, etc, etc, when the I see the owner tomorrow or Monday.<p>Thanks again for all your help, Volvites!
 

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lmao yes a flame trap is the pcv valve on a volvo, if its clogged your engine will build up ALOT of pressure causing some damage that is expensive to repair from what ive heard. this 92 sedan is sounding pretty solid from the short description, however check on those things. also ask if its been upgraded to R134a because the old R12 is very expensive. <p>this is the manual correct? i have a 90 manual and i must say i have fallen in love with its charm. ive abused that thing to the point that it would be destroyed in most other cars but it doesnt slip or anything like that at all. my dad thinks it slips a little but i think hes just used to driving a brand new nissan with a hydraulic clutch and enough torque to tow a boat (he drives a 350z, great car)<p> these cars have alot of charm to them and they are instantly recognizable as volvos. personally i dont like wagons as i find them too large for my taste but id certainly drive a volvo wagon if given the oppertunity. and you shouldnt have ANY problem passing a smog test, these had some of the most advanced emissions controls available ( at a loss of some engine power, you can get this power back but you lose some economy and reliability, but not much) <p>one more thing about the auto vs manual. they are both strong transmissions that can certainly take a beating, but you will have far more fun and get much better acceleration and gas mileage out of the manual, however if you live in a city get the auto (holding in that clutch makes your leg tired) also see if its been in an accident. if it has make sure theres actually an airbag in the steering wheel. apparently some cars are replaced with dummys by cheap repair shops.
 

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Re: (Camyman)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Camyman</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"> these cars have alot of charm to them and they are instantly recognizable as volvos. personally i dont like wagons as i find them too large for my taste but id certainly drive a volvo wagon if given the oppertunity.</TD></TR></TABLE><br>Actually, it's all an illusion! The wagon and sedan have identical length, width and height. You just lose all that beautiful cargo space and fold down seats with the sedan. I also find the wagon easier to parallel park as what you see in the rear window is what's there. By the way...the 240 has a fantastic turning radius.<p><TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><br>one more thing about the auto vs manual. they are both strong transmissions that can certainly take a beating, but you will have far more fun and get much better acceleration and gas mileage out of the manual, however if you live in a city get the auto (holding in that clutch makes your leg tired) also see if its been in an accident. if it has make sure theres actually an airbag in the steering wheel. apparently some cars are replaced with dummys by cheap repair shops.</TD></TR></TABLE><br>I disagree, where ever you live...buy the manual!<p>Seeing that you live in Gettysburg, I wish you the best of luck trying to find a really nice Volvo. I would look for one in Portland...where cars last for ever and people are very in love with their Volvos. I doubt I'd buy another Northeast Volvo. Or, if you want to stay closer to home, look in North Carolina.
 

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Re: (ACD)

I know of the fantastic turning radius on the 240. its almost too fantastic as i almost hit curbs pulling into parking spaces. and i did not know that about the wagon, thanks for that. <p>of course you should buy the manual but if hes gunna be sitting in traffic and if he doesnt like holding in the clutch then ....well wait nevermind cause you can idle in neutral <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/tongue.gif" BORDER="0"> just remember to put it in gear before going (ive forgotten this once or twice) <p>anyway how is the volvo? does she check out? give us an update!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: (Camyman)

Howdy, Camyman and other Volvites....<p>Welp, this is the deal on the 240 sedan here in Gettysburg. <p>The downside: The garage owner doesn't have a meticulous repair history on the vehicle, thus I don't know anything about such things as the timing belt, for instance, or other major repair work that has been done on it. I looked under the hood with the owner of the garage (because I was interested in seeing for myself where the infamous "FLAME TRAP of engine death" in located). If I were to assume the prior owner(s) of this Volvo were the lazy type, I would have expected to see a pretty dirty and cruddy engine compartment, but I have to say that under the hood was very clean. The wiring and hoses were all in tact and very well organized. This leads me to think that, either the prior owner maintained the car well, or it got a thorough going over by the garage owner. Also, it appears to have not been converted from r12 to r134. (By the way, can you explain the significance with this, why it's important, and how much of a pain in the keister time and money wise this would be.... sorry for my naivete', as I'm new to this Volvo thing)? I know you've advised about getting a manual as opposed to an automatic. Is this really a big deal, or a matter of personal preference? I ask because this vehicle would be driven mainly by my wife, and will be amassing only about 10-15K a year. I know we'll use it as a family and look forward to that, but I'll be using my other vehcile as my work commuter while my wife uses the Volvo for kid transport and such.<p>The upside: He has replaced the front rotors and brakes, the rear brakes are almost new with little wear. The owner says he checks the brakes on every 240 that comes into the shop and he replaces them if they are over half worn. The flame trap has been replaced (as he does with every 240 that comes in to his shop). There is no leaking from any of the seals (oil or transmission fluid). It starts fine (though the weather has been mid-30's to low 40's up here in PA lately). It drives fine....acceleration, braking, handling. No odd noises and such. There is no rust problem on either the body or undercarriage. The interior, apart from a 1x1 inch spot on the rear passenger door where the leather has a tear, is in great condition. All electrical components, including the heat and A/C work. It has a CD player installed. The VIN checks out OK. <p>Further: Regarding the garage owner, he's been doing this for 35 years, and everyone I talk to where I work who knows him or who know people who take their cars to him, say that he is an upstanding individual, and that his work and his cars are stoudt. Don't know if you've ever been to Gettysburg, but despite it's renown for the Civil War history associated with it, it remains a very small and rural community. It'd be hard for a guy to be in business for 35 years and have the reputation he does for good work in this community if he was a shyster. He gives each 240 a thorough 'going over' prior to selling them, replacing anything that is needing obvious repair and making sure it is leak-free, runs well, and he won't sell one if there are rust issues. Seems like a good guy, but then again I know he's running a business. <p>It was interesting in a funny way that, when I went to drive both the '90 and '92, some guy had come in with a '90 240 sedan that was on it's last legs. He test-drove the '90 that was at the garage and bought it yesterday while I was there talking to the owner, after driving it a second time. <p>So, that's the update on it. What's your gut reaction, folks?<p>Thanks!<br>
 

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Re: (Wonderwall)

My reaction is that you've got yourself a great mechanic, however always be wary. Don't forget that it only takes a small effort to get the engine compartment steam cleaned, and is little indication of how the car was kept.<p>That said, if you get a good vibe from the car, buy it. I would wait for a 5-spd wagon. Can I assume your mechanic sells cars as well? Mostly european? If so, have him go to an auto auction and buy you the 240 you're looking for. You give him a modest amount for the effort (+~$1500) and begin your relationship. If he's not a licensed dealer, then keep your eyes peeled and have him do a thorough PPI on any 240s that pop up.<p>P.S. I've been to Gettysburg as a good friend of mine grew up there...traffic isn't an issue.
 

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Look for an automatic WAGON. Your wife will enjoy the extra room and convenience of the wagon versus a sedan! Exterior size may be the same, but the INTERIOR room is amazing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: (hneil)

I'm preferring a sedan over a wagon... I know that's counter to what everyone is saying. However, our other vehicle is (and please keep the laughter to a low roar) is a Honda Element. Thus, anything that requires a lot of interior room for long trips or such would be done in that vehicle and not the 240. Yes, it's not as appealing a vehicle as a Volvo, but my aim is to get a low-cost yet dependable vehicle with a history of longevity that I can keep for some time and not amass huge amounts of extra mileage on. Plus the appeal of having the 240 has bit me, after a friend got an excellent '90 sedan for only $1500 recently. <p>Thanks for the advice, everybody, and please keep it coming. You are all helping a great deal!
 

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Re: (Wonderwall)

Kerry,<p>Seen this one?<p><A HREF="http://www.autobytel.com/content/buy/lm/used/index.cfm/method/prform/UsedCarId/10505382/Dealer_id_int/199637/year_si/1992/newused/used/make_vch/Volvo/model_vch/240/entered_postal_code_vch/19019/httpReferer/usedlist/displayMiles/221/dspCpo/0,0/city_vch/Philadelphia/state_vch/Pennsylvania" TARGET="_blank">http://www.autobytel.com/conte...vania</A><p>Check out your hot-rod neighbors...<p>(www.wdcr-scca.org/results/results.cgi/results/index.htm?010108)<br>------------------------------------<br>SCCA winner Ray Stone Boiling Springs PA WDC N Sprite Mk I <br>------------------------------------<br>...but not in a Volvo 240!<p>More...<p>-------------<p>Dear Bob: My wife and I are searching for a new vehicle to replace our Ford Explorer, which had really comfortable seats. We have tested 22 vehicles to date, and rated each of them from zero to 10 on a comfort scale. Anything below five usually creates back pain within 45 minutes of sitting/driving time. <p>None of the vehicles tested to date have attained a comfort level of 10. All of the ones rated above five, when driven for two hours or more, created severe discomfort and back pain. <p>My advice to anyone who considers comfort as critical is to test drive the vehicle for no less than two hours and even take it home overnight. <p>Now my question: Does anyone have a test report that shows comfort levels of various new vehicles? Testing all of these vehicles is getting time-consuming. <p>Thanks for your time. <p>J.D., Boiling Springs, Pa. <p>A: Boy, you sure have done some test driving: Volvo, Buick, Ford, Pontiac, Lincoln, Cadillac, BMW, Dodge, Chrysler, Toyota and Lexus, and a number of models from each manufacturer. <p>Unfortunately, I know of no test information that includes a comprehensive comfort level index. This would be, in my opinion, a very subjective index, and would be based on a particular individual's interpretation, as is any test drive. It could be influenced by the test driver's size, physical ailments and so forth. <p>I have always advocated a thorough test drive, including driving the vehicle at night to get a feel for the lights and any interior glare that may be bothersome. The best bet, sans a comprehensive comfort index, is to do what you are doing: Test drive the vehicles thoroughly. Even though it is time-consuming and a pain in the neck, better that than a pain in the back. <br>-----------------------------<p>Here is another Boiling Springs neighbor with a 240 wagon...<p><A HREF="http://forums.turbobricks.com/search.php?searchid=509454" TARGET="_blank">http://forums.turbobricks.com/...09454</A><p>-------------------------------<p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: (Wonderwall)

Carfax indicates only 1 owner for the 240 (it's a GL), until the title was transfered to the garage owner / dealer in December. <p>All other information that can be obtained from Carfax checks out as A-OK.
 

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Re: (Wonderwall)

the a/c conversion isnt a huge deal, but the price of R12 refrigerant is roughly 4x as much as R134a (which apparently isnt really all that good, theres an organic substitute that is MUCH better and actually improves the life of the parts, forgot the name)<p>its not that big of a deal if its a manual or an automatic. its mostly a matter of personal preferance, however i will always ALWAYS suggest the manual over the auto if you have the choice.<p>this mechanic sounds like hes up to snuff, but dont completly trust him till you build up a relationship (which is hard because volvos just dont quit, there not like old hondas)<p>this car is sounding pretty good to me. im liking the fact that its a GL (mines a DL but i put a tachometer in today). is the mileage acurate? does it turn when you drive it? volvos have a kind of notorious "feature" where they suddenly stop gaining miles ( the gear in the odometer breaks). ur wife will surely like this car, as im sure you will to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Re: (Camyman)

yep, the odometer is functioning. going to drive it again tomorrow and have my wife check it out, if i can get to work that is. we got some snow last evening / today.<p>if you happen to think of the alternative to r134, let me know.
 

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Re: (Wonderwall)

The wagon on autobytel is painted in a color I've never seen before on a 240...assuming it's "wine glass metallic"...now I know why...hideous!<p>Say, do we have an official list of what the GL came with over the DL? In the eighties I know it was fancier cloth or leather, chrome door lock pins, sunroof, different paint and audio options, alloys...but in the 90's I remember it being less of a step up.
 

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Re: (Wonderwall)

<A HREF="http://www.duracool.com" TARGET="_blank">http://www.duracool.com</A>/ i knew id remember it eventually. im going to look into this myself, this doesnt add to the global warming problem (like R134a) or the ozone depletion (like R12) and actually works better then both, and you use less then normal refridgerants. it even cleans your system! <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0"><p> get some snow tires for it for next year. if you can find them get Nokian tires. theyre from finland but they are amazing im told. they have a video of a saab 9-5 blasting through the snow with them. amazing stuff.
 

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The sedan that you are looking at sounds like it will fill your needs. Take it for a long test drive, and buy it if it still suits your fancy. Remember that acceleration of the 240 "brick" is not all that fantastic, but will serve most everyday driving patterns. Let us know!
 
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