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This past Thursday Oct 24 my 1990 Volvo 740 broke down on Bay Area Blvd by Baybrook Mall in Clear Lake (if you know Houston) you can bet it was embarrassing. After 123,000 miles of being true, it leaves me stuck in the left turn lane.<p>The car was shaking kind of strangely and I was able to get out the mall parking lot hoping I could get home and figure out what was going on. Then the car died. I would start it in P and it would run till I would put it in D then the tachy would start to flutter around the low end. The more gas I gave the lower the RPMs would go and then It would die! Keeping it in N while I waited for the light to change did not help when shifting to D. The same thing happened<p>The rain was coming down in buckets, as it generally does in Houston, and I was standing soaked trying to divert traffic to the other lane. People would look at me waving my hands, pointing to turn to the other lane, seemingly recognize what I was trying to tell them and then pull back into my lane after passing me. The drivers in a particular part of Houston are brain dead!<p>Anyway I called the AAA and told them I was blocking traffic. They told me they put a rush order on my call so I expected them to be there in two hours not three. The wrecker came in 15 min! Amazing! As usual though the tow truck driver was a jacka$$. I had them tow it to Volvo of Clear Lake as my preffered garage would not have an opening till monday.<p>Friday morning the mechanic leaves a message saying that a transmission mount had cratered, crushing some bushing that the PNP switch uses. Their fee for repair, $730! Upon recieving the message I immediately called Benson's, my preffered place of repair, as they are very honest. When I told them what the Volvo service center had said they thought that the story did not add up. They told me that if it truely was the case they would charge $340 for the repair.<p>I talked with some friends about it that evening and they said that it was probably the fuel filter as I had let the tank guage redline before I filled it up last. The thing is that I had filled it completely and had driven a quarter tank already. But they were convinced that the filter had gotten rust or something stuck in it when I let the tank go down almost to zero. I took their advice with a grain of salt.<p>I wanted to know what the community thought of the situation. Does the story sound plausible? Anyway I call Car Talk and left a message since I finally had a reason to call one of my favorite shows. Hoping to hear back.<p>-Poritz
 

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Re: My 740 Broke Down! So Embarrasing! (Poritz)

I hope this helps. I believe one of the spark plugs is foul, change the plug for that. For the fuel filter, if it's plugged up, the car shouldn't car at all. When was the car serviced for a tune-up?<BR><BR>
[Modified by asian01, 11:05 PM 10-27-2002]
 

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Re: My 740 Broke Down! So Embarrasing! (asian01)

Thanks for the response asian01. I will have benson's check the spark plugs tommorow. I got the car service bout 3000 miles ago, maybe handful of months ago.<p>-Poritz
 

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Re: My 740 Broke Down! So Embarrasing! (Poritz)

I think the transmission story checks out as it quits when put into gear. That is a hell of a difference in repair from one dealer to the next! wowsers. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emcrook.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>Was their any indication earlier on with shifting, clunking into gear or something?
 

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Re: My 740 Broke Down! So Embarrasing! (Spearzy)

Good News! My 740 is running again. I had Benson's do the repairs and it came to just under $300, which is better than they said. The story from the volvo dealer was true, surprisingly.<p>I am happy to see my automobile again. I did not realize how attached I had become to it. Reports very early on were looking very bleak. I thought I might have to buy a new car. Aside from monetary issues that idea made me upset because I like my car and believe that it can be taken to at least 500k miles. When it comes to monetary issues I was also kinda upset because I have been shopping around for a five foot baby grand.<p>Anyway, everything is at rest again and I am happy.<p>-Poritz<p>PS Spearzy, you asked a very good question about the transmission and it is logical. One part of my trauma was the fact that the transmission had be working well before and suddenly was not behaving. Not in character for a fine piece of swedish craftsmanship. I am reluctant to have work done on any transmission simply because it is by far the most complex component of any car. With over 2000 pieces it makes me nervous to think that if the mechanic left one tiny thing out that it would never drive the same.
 

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Re: My 740 Broke Down! So Embarrasing! (Poritz)

Yeah, the tranny is one thing I would never touch!! Heck, the bottom half of the motor is uncharted territory for me. I grew up working on two-stroke engines on all my dirtbikes! Just a tad easier <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emwink.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>That's pretty freaky that something important could just go without indication, but, it probably is also a freak occurance. <br>What's your thoughts on transmission additives like Zmax and such. I was thinking about trying it, although it seems to be split down the middle usually about not using those kinds of products. I figure even if it doesn't do everything the marketing tells you it may do a little something or nothing. Shouldn't promote damage. Or could it?
 

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Re: My 740 Broke Down! So Embarrasing! (Spearzy)

while they probably won't damage the car, I wonder if they really do anything...<p>best indication of if something is good or not is to look at what they use in F1s and WRCs and nascar, if they don't use it, I don't use it <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emsmile.gif" BORDER="0"><p>I got hoaxed into buying some crap after watching those "ad programs" on speedvision. Like that car polish that bought, it was supposed to sheet off water. Well, works for like 2 weeks then it wears off. Lame.<p>Or the oil additive thing, Motor up, they got busted like 6 months after I bought it, it was found that their oil doesn't do as advertised.<p>So nah... I don't think they work, unless they use it in race cars.
 

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Re: My 740 Broke Down! So Embarrasing! (xtremepsionic)

I feel that if the additives were helpful they would already be in the transmission fluid or motor oil. Some of them are. I prefer leaving things that are not broken alone.<p>-Poritz
 
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