Bye, bye Volvos

Well, this polar bear completed repairs to a friend’s Volvo 240 today – a freshening of the seals (ironically) of Wilson (the person, not the volleyball)’s ’87 240. It’s been too long, doing it between snowstorms and heavy rainstorms, but it’s back to her and running samoooooth.

Got one more to go – a silver ’89 240 stick that won’t start. Probably fuel pump. Easily fixed. A friend wants to buy it, and my wife would like it out of here, so it’s all good.

I like the old rear-drive Volvos, and recommend them to anyone needing inexpensive transportation. If you’re transitioning and can’t afford payments, you can get an old 240 in decent shape for $1000 or less. They are not fancy, but are dependable for many hundreds of thousands of miles. Certain things do need to be done to them – the odometer gears break, the power window switches quit, the wiring under the hood needs to be repaired on the mid-80s models, and at about 250K miles you’ll need to replace the seals and head gaskets/clean the intake and exhaust. Tires are a cheap size and wear a long time, even if the suspension’s worn. But, if you buy a Haynes manual, a set of basic metric tools, and log onto, you can fix what goes wrong. And the gas mileage is reasonable.

You’ve heard parts are expensive? You heard wrong. Autozone stocks the everyday stuff, and the not so commonly replaced items are available from and In fact, the iPd catalog will provide you with a a number of power boosting and handling-improving items. Better still, the junkyards are full of older 240s. Remove the part yourself and save.

I’m getting out of old Volvos for now – I have a Toyota Matrix xrs, a Celica, and a Ford van to deal with right now. But if you need cheap wheels, or deliver pizza for a living, get a 240. You will get hooked on these transportation bargains. People dump them when they quit running, but rarely is the problem terminal, and once repaired, you can reliably drive a 240 or 740 cross-country past 300,000 miles without worry.

But you gotta find and fix your own now. I’m out of the business. Got a new job starting next week.

Present Reading: Current issue of “Rolling Stone”, which endorsed Barack Obama.

On the turntable: “No Secrets” by Carly Simon

Explore posts in the same categories: Used Volvos

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