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Detailing for a 90 Volvo:What $ amount is worth it?

cwendtcwendt Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Volvo
My car is paid off, but how much money should I put in it?

I want to fix the stitching in the leather seats, the cracks in the dash, the "falling" ceiling fabric, but how much $ will it cost and should I just put it in a new car?

This car also has a short in the lights for the rear, needs new rear light "fixtures" the exterior plates(which run almost$200 a piece from Volvo,can I find them used? )
And my original Volvo key just broke off in the driver's side door!

I would love advice on any part of this and how I can do it myself and find parts, and save money, or face that it is time to stop having the maintain this alder car.

Comments

  • bretfrazbretfraz Posts: 2,021
    I've done most of these kind of things on my old cars and except for the dash, none were too difficult or expensive to do. Nice thing about an older car is that if it's mechanically solid, they're almost always worth fixing up.

    I'm not directly familiar with Volvos but I'm pretty sure of one thing - there probably aren't too many sitting around in wrecking yards. Usually that's the best place to get cheap parts for your car. The tail light housings (how did they get so bad?) can usually be removed from a junkyard car for a couple bucks and 15 mins of work. Same with the door lock cylinder although you may want to discuss with a auto locksmith about replacing all the locks so one key works.

    For the interior, a new headliner can be done by yourself but I can tell you from personal experience that it's a frustrating job. Not hard but maddening as it takes a special touch and learned techniques. I'll never do it again. Instead I'd go to an auto upholsterer and spend $100 or so. They'll match the fabric pretty darn close and do a great job. Same with the torn seats. There are vinyl products that look and feel like leather and I'll bet there is a close match somewhere. Depending on the work, it could cost $100 for something simple to several hundred for a complete reupholstery job. Leather adds more $$ if you really want it.

    Cracked dashes are a nightmare. For domestic cars, companies make a molded cover that fits over the damaged dash and looks pretty good. But for a Volvo? Might be another scrap yard search but even then you're looking at a very, very hard job to remove the old one and install a new dash pad. Maybe a custom cloth cover that Velcro's down?

    Have you done a web search for Volvo parts? Joined a Volvo club? The World of Volvo is a small one and owners/enthusiasts stick together. That's probably your best bet for insight on cheap but good repairs. You are not the only one with an old Volvo. Find your brothers and sisters!
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    Get rid of the Volvo or just run it till it pukes. For the most part they are over rated and expensive to fix. Seems to me they have a cult following based on durability. The durability comes at a high cost.
  • By all means, stick it out. I have a '90 Volvo and have the same dilemma. A few hundred dollars worth of fixes over a couple of months is cheaper than a monthly car payment. However, if you find the costs to repair are more than a 10% down payment on a new car, then rethink your plan. At 160k, my engine runs great (knock on wood), there's no rust on the car, and it goes from point A to B with no trouble.

    You'll have to maintain any car eventually. I've seen '95 model year cars that are plagued by rust, peeling paint, and are suffering from other problems. I'd rather have headliner problems over those any day.

    Give the 'ol car a name, rub the dash, and spend the extra $$ for the plastic surgery. The car and you will love you for it!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 62,388
    The car certainly seems worth fixing, but you didn't mention the mileage on it...this would be significant in terms of making a decision. If it's around 150K, it really is time to bail out. Between 100-150K, I'd do SOME of the things you mentioned (not the dash--it's expensive and it could just be taped or filled for now).

    There is nothing cheaper than a used car...even a BAD used car probably won't cost as much as the monthlies on a new Volvo......so the ONLY reason to buy a new car is this---reliability. If you already have a reliable car, then fine, stick with it...if you are doubtful, and if reliability is very important to you, then maybe you should look for a new or nearly new Volvo or whatever.

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