Volvo 240 Wagons

curreycurrey Member Posts: 144
I own a 1990 240DL with 175,000 miles on it. It needs no rotors and pads and maybe a new front hub bearing. Other than that it runs fine. My question is I also have a 1992 Saturn with 104,000 miles on it (just replace alternator, however, other than an engine mount and an oil seal that is the only things I have ever had to replace), and I need to sell one. Which one? Any suggestions? Anyone else out their with a 240 who has alot of miles on it? How many more is reasonable? Thoughts . . . rants. . .

Thanks in advance for any posts,


  • sing4mesing4me Member Posts: 9
    I've driven two 245s over the last 20 years. The first was a 1986, bought new, retired in 1996 at 222,000 miles. My current dowager, vintage 1990, with one previous owner and all the service records, was its replacement and is now at 202,000 miles, having started with me at 79000. Purrs along pretty contentedly, and I do all the regular servicing but nothing else special.

    If you've had no other problems with your 240 other than those you describe, and there is no rust problem, I'd say you have considerable driving ahead of you. If the a/c fails, however, a new one (if it can be found) is priced out of sight.

    Check message boards, car ads, etc. You will probably get more money for the Saturn.
    Good luck - Elizabeth
  • SporinSporin Member Posts: 1,066
    My '89 240 DL wagon just hit 176k with only the last 10k being by me after some not-so-dilligent first owners.

    Still, I love the old tank. I've put a bunch of money into it (rear-main seal, front brakes, tranny seals, etc, etc.) but it always get's me where I'm going.

    Keep the brick, sell the Saturn is my opinion.
  • cjaccettacjaccetta Member Posts: 236
    Need some advice -- I've located a 1992 240 GL wagon for sale. It is a one-owner car, garage kept w/only 80,000 original miles on it. The car appears near-perfect except for some pulled stitching on the drivers seat and some minor paint scratches. I have not driven it. The owner is asking $7500. I think this may be slightly below blue book.

    I'm considering purchasing the car for use as a daily driver. Since I've never owned a Volvo I am curious to see if this vehicle looks like as good of a deal as I think it is. I understand that the 240-series cars will routinely deliver 250,000 miles if properly maintained.

  • SporinSporin Member Posts: 1,066
    If the car has documentation of good maintenance, then it might be a good buy. That would be one of the last 240's made so there is some extra value to it.

    Still, the price is a touch high. KBB's prices seem to be a bit above realistic in my opinion.

    Have a GOOD Volvo mechanic give it a thorough look-see and go from there. You are at just about the mileage where a few expensive things "may" need to be done. A good mechanic can give you that info and you can adjust the price from there.

    I believe you can find a [i]"what to look for"[/i] list at or
  • daddywagsdaddywags Member Posts: 1
    wife just got t-boned in the 88 taurus. i have an 84 145 wagon with 180000 miles on it. it looks rough needs paint job but starts every day does not burn a drop of oil, had to put calipers and rotors and trans in it but it is still cheaper than a new car. gets me from a-b just fine. want to get another maybe later wagon but am not familiar with all the numbering system. want 4 cyl turbo?, auto, REAR WHEEL DRIVE ONLY, power windows, locks, a/c.
  • autojunkyjoshautojunkyjosh Member Posts: 13
    Hello all I was the unsatisfied owner of a 1997 Chewy Malibu AS which was hit head on by a Saturn doing 70mph. I sustained a few injuries ending in forfeiting the rest of the school year and quitting my job. I was very unhappy with the stability and shape of my car afterwards the Saturn went through the Drivers headlight and finally exited through the rear drivers-side door coming in close enough to break the turn-signal switch off and tear my seat off the bolts and taking both drivers-side doors with it.
    I became very interested in the Volvos because of their safety reputation. I would like any follow-ups or suggestions on this and which model you would suggest I am more interested in the wagons. Thank-you.
  • mrl699mrl699 Member Posts: 6
    I have a 240Dl 1984 with 140,000 miles. I have problems with the car stalling. Sometimes it stalls while the car is just cruising. If you wait about 10 minutes the car will start up again. It seems to stall intermittingly. The mechanic said it was an ignition contri unit, ignition plug and wire harness , however after $800 it still stalls. Someone told me it could be fuel pump problem, but the mechanic said that could not be the problem. The car has been riding fine and has given us not too many problems. Does anyone have any ideas?
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Member Posts: 1,284
    If you don't have any luck getting your question answered here, try for more information about Volvos than you ever wanted to know. Many halpful experts visit that forum, and I've gotten some good advice myself.
  • tomlefebvretomlefebvre Member Posts: 3
    We bought an '86 240 DL wagon with 87,000 miles on it in 1993. It now has 212,000, and shows no sign of weakness.

    I always install a vacuum gauge on my vehicles. It fit nicely into the instrument blank just to the right of the gas gauge, and left of and on the same plane as the radio.

    A vacuum gauge measures 15 separate running engine functions. The B230F 4 cylinder 2.3 L. engine is solid. The gauge indicates that, and it sounds and runs that way. It uses 1/2 quart of oil within my 3 to 4,000 mile oil change cycle. It doesn't leak a drop of any fluid.

    I use the vacuum gauge to show me when it's time to shift down with the 4 speed manual trans. After awhile of mountain road driving, I'm not sure if I'm going up or down. With the gauge, there is no doubt about what gear the engine will do best with.

    I had the timing belt replaced and valves adjusted at 124,000. 60,000 is recommended, but since it is a noninterference engine - nothing damaging will happen if the belt brakes, I stretched that. It's due for another belt replacement at 212,000 - actually long overdue.

    Another repair I've done is replace the water pump at 100,000. I forgot how often I've replaced the brake pads - mountain driving uses brakes, but since I bought free replacement pads, I just take in the worn ones with my receipt and come home with new ones.

    4 wheel disk brakes makes brake work easy. Once the wheel is off, I can put in new pads in 5 minutes/wheel.

    Consumer Reports top rated the '86 240 in driver and passenger safety, as well as structural integrity. Only 3 other cars for that year were rated as high.

    I had two unbelievable handling experiences. While driving at night, about 60 mph, all of a sudden, a guy was standing right in the middle of our road way. Not in the middle of the road, but right in the middle of the car. Dark clothed, and appearing out of nowhere, all I had time to do was snap the wheel to the left, and back to the right. Fortunately, there was no oncoming traffic, and I didn't hit gravel on the road edge. I shook more than the car.

    The other, I drove nonstop for 2 nights and a day going East on I-80 from Salt Lake City during a continuous blizzard. At times, the Volvo was the only car on the road - all the others were in the ditch.

    Dunlop SP 40 A/S 195 70 R 14 has been my favorite tire.

    After all this bragging, I end by saying we are selling it. We need more seats for our Grandchildren and have chosen a mini-van. I wish for the same kind of luck and longevity with it.
  • g2b2g2b2 Member Posts: 1
    Is it difficult to install the lens on a rear tail light on a 1992 240 wagon? The dealer wants nearly $500 to do the job but I can get the lens on ebay for $100 for both sides. Thanks for the help--(both sides of the car's rear lens were broken by vandals...the lights themselves work fine just busted lens--not covered by my insurance deductible)
  • casacasa Member Posts: 1
    But it should be easy enough to check a Chilton's for the procedure. Speaking of Chilton's, I am too lazy to get up and go get mine, so I will post my little question here. My 240 DL Wagon (170k + and I paid $350 total for it) will obviously need some major work, although all the serivce records through 2004 are good.

    I am really puzzled though, by this little button on the drivers side of the automatic shifter--what does it do, and why won't it turn off? I'd really appreciate any advice here! :sick: :confuse:
  • ricschockricschock Member Posts: 1
    Check the intake bellows for cracks, particularly underneath where you can't see. Resolder the fuel pump relay.
  • mklimamklima Member Posts: 2
    I have a 1990 240 dl wagon, and that button is to turn off the over drive which the manual also says is 4th gear. So buy pushing it in an orange traingle shows up on my dash and it disables over drive AKA 4th gear
  • mklimamklima Member Posts: 2
    I bought mine in May 05 with 190,000 and it now has 210,000 and I am told by many and the garage I take it to that if you take care of them it will get well over 300,000 miles on it. I hope so I commute 45 miles one way to work every day. But I needed a wagon for my dogs, I have 2 rottweilers and they enjoy the "cargo space" just fine and still have room for company in the car :D
  • cliffspencercliffspencer Member Posts: 2
    I just got an '84 240DL wagon. The external release for the rear gate immediately broke. The inside still works. Peering in, it appears that there was some kind of linkage that connected the interior and exterior latch releases and this is now gone. Has anyone had this happen and does anyone have any suggestions?
  • 93haywagon93haywagon Member Posts: 1
    I have a 93 240 wagon , bought it with 43,000 miles, have 260,000ish now. The odometer and tripometer quit working at 255,000. Bought a used one off of ebay worked for 142 miles and now also has quit, Can anybody help me?
    I need this to keep track of gas. Runs out of gas at 11 gal. gas gage does not work, neither does instrument cluster main lights or radio lights. I think this year is isn't as good as the others. :confuse:
  • shagginwagginshagginwaggin Member Posts: 1
    I have recently purchased an '88 volvo 240 wagon from my father. The air compressor locked up awhile ago, and apparently it is a rather costly fix. He cut the power steering belt, so making even a slight turn is a sweat. I was wondering if there was any way to disengage the clutch on the air compressor so it would merely turn freely-or, is it possible to just run a belt from the flywheel to the power steering pump? I know that would be off-center, and I'm not sure how adversely that would affect it since it is just powering a pump.
  • pfdillpfdill Member Posts: 2
    My '92 240 wagon has a short in the circuit that includes the rear wiper and the radio - both on 8 amp fuse #1. When the rear hatch is open, both radio and wiper work perfectly; when I close the hatch, the fuse blows. Obviously, the short is somewhere in the hinge - there appears to be a piece of frayed, unshielded cable running through both the driver-side and the passenger side hinges, and the wire harnesses run underneath that, and appear to be intact. What's the function of the cable in the hinge - a ground wire? Has anyone run into this and have any suggestions?
  • juju240wagjuju240wag Member Posts: 3
    the wiring inside the hinge supplies power to the following items.

    license plate light
    rear wiper motor
    center brake light(bottom center of window)

    your can get a replacement hinges at

    when you replace hinge remove tailend of headliner and replace section of wire. when replacing use extra shielding to contain wires.
  • juju240wagjuju240wag Member Posts: 3
    If you choose not to fix your compressor, there is a very inexpensive way to bypass compressor and drive directly from mainshaft. Go to the following link:

    ">ac compressor bypass kit

    this pulley replaces the one on your power steering. It puts the drive line directly inline with main shaft pulley that used to drive the compressor. the belt provided in the kit is the size you need.

    you may also want to put new bushings in your power steering mount. This is a good opportunity to do this.
  • juju240wagjuju240wag Member Posts: 3
    I have a 1990 740 wagon that is in pristine condition, it has only 70k on it.

    I have owned 240's my whole life, and I miss them all. I am willing to offer my perfect condition 740 wagon to trade for a 240 wagon that has some or all of the following

    gl, gle, or a 240 dl with electric windows
    cruise control
    no rust body
    volvo tow hitch a plus
    m46 tranny (4spd stick with push button overdrive)
    resistive coil springs in rear (heavy duty)

    late 70's ealry eighties a plus
  • getuneasygetuneasy Member Posts: 1
    I have a '89 240 dl wagon with over 200,000 miles (the odometer's broken)- I thought it was time to let it go but it still runs good and I love it too much. The main problem: the overdrive goes on and off whenever it feels like it! Is it worth putting in a new transmission? Any ideas how much that would cost?
  • davolvoguydavolvoguy Member Posts: 3
    there is a wire harness on each side of the hatch. on the newer models with the 3rd brake light it includes wiring for the rear wiper motor, defroster and rear tail light. if their are rear speakers they might run through there as well and yes there will be a ground of course. On earlier models it should only include the rear defog and rear wiper. they are a pain to rewire so have it done professionally will run between $140-$200 per side. Once the protective casing around the wires cracks....your toast. Hope this helps...DAVOLVOMAN IN SEA-TOWN!!!
  • davolvoguydavolvoguy Member Posts: 3
    try your overdrive relay. it is located under the right front vent under the stereo and next to the glove box. it is white and about 3"x2". Easiest access is taking the glove box out. will be to the left behind the heater vent. sounds like this is your problem not the tranny. should run you $70, used $15-20 peace...DAVOLVOMAN IN SEA-TOWN
  • davolvoguydavolvoguy Member Posts: 3
    check a local junk yard for the part. should only run most $100. try NORTHERN EUROPEAN IN SEATTLE,WA IF YOU CANNOT FIND ONE. DAVOLVOGUY IN SEA-TOWN
  • rbrockrbrock Member Posts: 1
    I just purchased my first Volvo - a 1990 240 wagon with 151k miles. I flew to Providence and drove it 1,000 miles back to Kentucky. Late in the trip, it started losing power. We were driving at night, and I noticed that lights were getting dimmer and dimmer. I also noticed that when I used anything else in the electrical system (turn signals, etc), the power grew noticably worse. We waited for light, and it seemed to drive OK for a while without the lights on, but as we neared home, the engine seemed to slowly lose power. The car would idle fine, and you could see the lights on the dash get noticably brighter while it idled. But when placed under power, the engine just didn't want to respond. Any ideas would be much appreciated.
  • hondoclectichondoclectic Member Posts: 1
    When I tried to start my car this morning after a heavy rain, it didn't want to start. When it did finally start it seemed to be missing or not hitting on all 4 cylinders. Any ideas what it might be?
  • carlo_sciallacarlo_scialla Member Posts: 1
    I have 1986 240DL that does not start in cold, damp weather, between 30 to 50 degrees. It starts when it is colder and it starts when it is is warmer. It just will not start when it is damp and in the above temperature range. It is very annoying. What could it be?
    thank you,
  • ckinglkckinglk Member Posts: 1
    Hello all,

    My boys trashed my beloved 240 DL and now I am trying to restore it to its better days. I need help finding parts because I don't know the exact names etc. I'll list the problems.

    - missing front grille
    - very loose driver door handle (works though)
    - driver and pax seat warmers wires are all messed up thanks to backseat pax sticking feet up under seats...
    - missing big flat piece that attaches under the engine (to keep it clean from splashes?)
    - missing driver door 3-4" trim
    - missing entire bottom 4-5" trim type part that goes all along the side bottom of the pax side.
    - missing small trim (~1" with part chrome) on pax door
    - cruise control no longer works
    - odometer and trip-ometer no longer work
    - both rear light fixtures are broken and need to be replaced ($150 each from Volvo!!!)
    - the little ball thing that you hold on to on the shifter is gone - needs to be replaced (bought 3 from auto type stores, none fit)

    I love my Volvo and feel very safe in it. I'm sure it has at least 240,000 miles on it and now that I've had the clutch replaced, it runs great again (but it's loud - needs new exhaust system too).

    Thank you all for your help and forgive my automotive parts ignorance.

    [email protected]
  • stoya2sstoya2s Member Posts: 1
    Hi I Have a 240 GL Wagon 1986 with alitle over 180000 miles on it.
    Here is the problem. Once after my car has been driven on the highway at high speed or for more than 10 min. around the city, it gets very hard to shift in to first and second gears. I have to press on the stick shift really hard and I feels that if I press any harder I might snap the cable or do some other damage. Also the clutch pedal is really stiff. So basically when I start my car in the morning it shifts OK, although not perfectly fine but after about 15 min. drive, it gets progressively harder and grater to shift.
    I'll appreciate any suggestions what might be the cause for that.
  • unfix8runfix8r Member Posts: 2
    No, don't do it. Check out the overdrive switch, in the shifter itself first. I had this problem, it's a 25 dollar "switch out" adjustment
  • unfix8runfix8r Member Posts: 2
    The button is the overdrive engagement... turn it off if you are towing.
  • nikon_kidnikon_kid Member Posts: 1
    i own an 87 volvo 240 dl, i just replaced the alternator, and i drove it around for a couple of hours, then i put some injector cleaner into the gas tank, it started up fine, but when i went to drive it a couple hours later it wont start, the engin is sparking, but it seems like its not getting any gas, i replaced the fuel pump relay, but that didnt help, any one had this problem, if its not the fuel pump that would be awsome
  • jsarinojsarino Member Posts: 1
    if you go on to the web site or ipd in portland org. they should have all the parts you discribed
  • passau01passau01 Member Posts: 1
    I have a electric window problem with my 1990 240 DL wagon. the electric window on the drivers side won't work, nor does the passenger side or rear windows. It worked fine one day and the next day the windows would not go down. However if I sit on the passenger side and use the independent switch to lower the window that works ok - the rear windows do not work using the separate independent switches. Could be an electrical problem but I have no idea where to start. I got a used set of 4 switches for the drivers side, plugged them in, but it still does not work. Any suggestions? I checked the fuses - no problem there. Could it be the window relay??? thanks for your help.
  • 88volvo240dl88volvo240dl Member Posts: 2
    Yep- I had it happen to me too. There is a small thin retaining clip that has popped off of that linkage. You might find still in the door. To reconnect it, you will have to take off the upholstery and the latch cover and remove the latch. This will give you access to the linkage. It is a tight fit. The clip will snap over the connector and then to the linkage itself. I was luck enough to find a salvaged door for the clip and to reference how it connects.
    Good luck-
  • 88volvo240dl88volvo240dl Member Posts: 2
    I am sure that there is a short to ground somewhere in the circuit. My light stays on constantly. I change out the relay and it lasted about 15 seconds before blowing again. Any suggestions??
  • volvo420volvo420 Member Posts: 1
    My Volvo is getting power to everything but when i turn the key to start nothing happens. Any ideas?
  • jwald69jwald69 Member Posts: 1
    go to You can by a small gear you can replace yourself. They even sell a dvd to show you how to do it.
  • waserdwaserd Member Posts: 2
    I have the 240 DL 1989 Wagon B230 Engine
    It works great for the most part but once a week or so
    after driving with no problems it wont start.I open the
    hood and look see nothing and in a few tries it will start.
    I decided to plug and unplug the ECU and heard a rattle.
    I opened it up and a resistor R315 was laying on the bottom
    and the place it was supposed to be was a little charred.
    Anyone know the value of said resistor or it's use. waserd
  • esommeresommer Member Posts: 24
    There is a person on eBay his name is Charles. His eBay handle is Parts 4volvos ([email protected]) I purchased a shifter bushing set from him for under $10 including shipping. After replacing the bushings all extra play was eliminated. There is also an adjustment that can get the shifter set just right to go between 1st and 2nd gears. Not saying this is what's causing your problem, but it sure fixed mine.
  • slipjigslipjig Member Posts: 4
    I had that problem where the electronic overdrive kept dropping. (1984 240 DL. Problem started about 200K miles.)

    My mechanic put in three different OD switches - that helped for a few weeks, than they each broke. So he put in a new OD unit for a few hundred bucks. That worked for 6 months, then died. He replaced it for free, as I had bought a factory reconditioned one that had a warrantee. The replacement lasted another six months, then died. We were both very frustrated.

    About this time, my left hip got so arthritic that every time I pushed in the clutch it hurt a LOT. I began making driving decisions based on whether or not I had to use the clutch. This wasn't safe, so I thought I had to sell he car and buy an automatic. But otherwise it ran like a top, and I knew that I wouldn't get much for it.

    My mechanic suggested he put in a used tranny. For about $1000 (parts and labor and tax), he replaced the 5 speed manual with a 4 speed w/OD. The mechanic was very happy that he had managed to locate a tranny from a turbo, which he said was more heavy duty. It also had "only" 90K miles on it. (Gotta love Volvos.)

    That was 100,000 miles ago. So for $1000 I got to keep my car and solved the annoying OD failure problem. The OD in the replacement automatic tranny has been fine.

    Got the hip fixed too - total replcement. Good as new! :)

  • slipjigslipjig Member Posts: 4
    To answer the question at the beginning of this thread -
    my 1984 240 DL is 22 years old and has 304,000 miles. I am the original owner. I have done oil changes every 3K miles, and kept up on all the safety and mechanical necesseties.

    I love this car, and wanted to drive it till it died - but it just won't die! 304 K miles and she still starts on a dime and purrs right along. She shows no signs of giving up the ghost anytime soon. Burns no oil, never overheats (has an extra large radiator).

    The inside is, well, thrashed. Several generations of dogs have chewed various internal parts. (The flat folding bed in the back is FABLOUS for dogs and cargo). Loads of lumber have torn some of the upholstry. The seals on the AC cracked years ago and the cost of repair greatly exceeds the value of the car, so I have to drive around with the windows open. This is a pain with hand crank windows!

    The wiring harness to the back hatch has broken - a common thing with 240's. My mechanic says he could fix it for about $150, but it's not worth it to me - I spent $500 for new rotors instead. (They couldn't be turned any more.) I have gotten along for years without that little back wiper.

    The exterior shows some battle scars from rocks and from the huge tree that blew down right next to it. The car next to mine was totalled, but my lucky little Volvo just got grazed by a limb or two. A little bodywork on the roof and it looked fine. But that was 11 years ago, and now the touch up paint has faded. I call it character.

    But EVERYTHING else works just fine. These are simply amazing vehicles.

    Alas, I have to sell it, as I finally bought a new car. (Subaru Forester - I need to get back into the mountains, and my old 240 just can't take me there. At least the Subaru is boxy, too.) I think I need a grief/loss support group.

  • ciricciric Member Posts: 1
    I have 1990 240 Wagon and water pump is leaking, please let me know where I can find reliable mechanic shop in Boston area, dealer service priced about $750.
    Thank you
  • vlhatchvlhatch Member Posts: 7

    While cruising, at either high or low speed, DL 240 loses power and I coast to shoulder of road. Turn off ignition. Start. Has started and has not started. Has been towed. Cannot identify causative driver behaviour or physical problems of the vehicle. Has anyone had similar experience? Do you have a clue as to cause? If so, were you able to solve the problem. How, please? Tjhank you.
    While cruising, at either high or low speed, DL 240 loses power and I coast to shoulder of road. Turn off ignition. Start. Has started and has not started. Has been towed. Cannot identify causative driver behaviour or physical problems of the vehicle. Has anyone had similar experience? Do you have a clue as to cause? If so, were you able to solve the problem. How, please? Tjhank you.
  • vlhatchvlhatch Member Posts: 7

    While cruising, at either high or low speed, DL 240 loses power and I coast to shoulder of road. Turn off ignition. Start. Has started and has not started. Has been towed. Cannot identify causative driver behaviour or physical problems of the vehicle. Has anyone had similar experience? Do you have a clue as to cause? If so, were you able to solve the problem. How, please? Tjhank you.
    While cruising, at either high or low speed, DL 240 loses power and I coast to shoulder of road. Turn off ignition. Start. Has started and has not started. Has been towed. Cannot identify causative driver behaviour or physical problems of the vehicle. Has anyone had similar experience? Do you have a clue as to cause? If so, were you able to solve the problem. How, please? Tjhank you.
  • desssadesssa Member Posts: 4
    It sounds just like my car.
    Can you tell me where the ECU is so I can check it out and also if you got it fixed?
  • desssadesssa Member Posts: 4
    My Volvo has been giving me a little trouble by not starting every now and then. 3 weeks ago, I started it, drove about 500 feet and she quit. Can't figure out what is wrong. Any ideas?
    Manual said to check the fuse on the left wheel housing by the coil. Can't find the fuse. Anybody know where it is?
    Please help.
  • waserdwaserd Member Posts: 2
    I replaced the ECU and Gas pump relay and it's been
    working OK. Both Units are under the glove box and next
    to the fender, behind a cardboard type panel.
    Good Luck Ed
  • farouchefarouche Member Posts: 1
    My 1988 Volvo 240 DL wagon has 150,000 miles on it. I'm the original owner and have always maintained it pretty carefully. The transmission just failed and there are rust problems with the rockers (due to failed windshield gasket -- missed that in maintenance) and tailgate. Estimate for new transmission, 150K service, and rust repair (extensive cutting and soldering) seems to be around 2K. No big problems other than these, but the car has been getting increasingly expensive to maintain. I need a safe, reliable car for my kids and myself for the next 8 or so years. I'm not eager to replace it, but would I be better off in a ten-year time frame just buying something else now? If so, what would be a good wagon-type replacement, given that I love this old 240 wagon?
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