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Old 12-13-2005, 15:01   #1 (permalink)
Wildcat
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1995 960 buy or not?

I must start by saying that I am ready to jump back into the land of
Volvo after selling my aged war horse 1990 740 this past winter.
Driving a Saturn SL2 for the past year has just not been cutting it!
I am considering purchasing a 1995 960 wagon from a private seller but
I have a couple of questions for the group.
Car is in "fair" shape. Body is straight but has three broken lamp
lenses. Interior is basically bad. Drivers leather seat is ripped
pretty badly down the left side and the power seat controls for the
drivers side have come unattached from the seat. Leather trim around
drivers side window is crumpled for lack of a better term. Drivers seat
also will not go back.
Rail problem possibly? Drivers door handle is loose. Rest of the
interior is quite stained with worn leather.
What kind of cost would I be looking at to replace the drivers seat
with another Volvo leather power seat or is reupholstering an option?
Anyone else had the problem with the seat not going back? The most
serious issue that I see is that the check engine light is on. I asked
the owner if he had the car in for service recently but he is simply
selling it for his college daughter and did not know what had been
previously done to the car.
Other issues that I saw were that the rear wiper washer does not appear
to work as well as a couple of other minor items.
Another thing is that I could swear that all 940/960 wagons had heated
seats and outside thermometer displays. This car appears to not have
either. I also did not see any visible cupholders. Were they standard
on this model.
Bottom line, the guy is asking 2100.00 USD and he told me that he has
taken all of the repair costs into consideration when pricing the car.
I got him to give me a bottom line price of 1800.00 but with the shape
the car is in I still dont know if this is a deal or not.
I am planning on taking the car up to my old Volvo mechanic this
weekend and have him thoroughly inspect it but I still would like your
opinions on some of my concerns as this group was very helpful to me in
my 740 days.
Thanks in advance for your help.

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Old 12-13-2005, 17:02   #2 (permalink)
Randy G.
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Re: 1995 960 buy or not?

"Wildcat" <bassettdude@yahoo.com> wrote:

>I must start by saying that I am ready to jump back into the land of
>Volvo after selling my aged war horse 1990 740 this past winter.
>Driving a Saturn SL2 for the past year has just not been cutting it!
>I am considering purchasing a 1995 960 wagon from a private seller but
>I have a couple of questions for the group.
>Car is in "fair" shape. Body is straight but has three broken lamp
>lenses. Interior is basically bad. Drivers leather seat is ripped
>pretty badly down the left side and the power seat controls for the
>drivers side have come unattached from the seat. Leather trim around
>drivers side window is crumpled for lack of a better term. Drivers seat
>also will not go back.
>Rail problem possibly? Drivers door handle is loose. Rest of the
>interior is quite stained with worn leather.
>What kind of cost would I be looking at to replace the drivers seat
>with another Volvo leather power seat or is reupholstering an option?
>Anyone else had the problem with the seat not going back? The most
>serious issue that I see is that the check engine light is on. I asked
>the owner if he had the car in for service recently but he is simply
>selling it for his college daughter and did not know what had been
>previously done to the car.
>Other issues that I saw were that the rear wiper washer does not appear
>to work as well as a couple of other minor items.
>Another thing is that I could swear that all 940/960 wagons had heated
>seats and outside thermometer displays. This car appears to not have
>either. I also did not see any visible cupholders. Were they standard
>on this model.
>Bottom line, the guy is asking 2100.00 USD and he told me that he has
>taken all of the repair costs into consideration when pricing the car.
>I got him to give me a bottom line price of 1800.00 but with the shape
>the car is in I still dont know if this is a deal or not.
>I am planning on taking the car up to my old Volvo mechanic this
>weekend and have him thoroughly inspect it but I still would like your
>opinions on some of my concerns as this group was very helpful to me in
>my 740 days.
>Thanks in advance for your help.
>


Funny this.. As you see from my sig, I have a 240 and a 960. Speaking
from the heart I told my wife the other day that if something happened
to the 960 I think I would get another 240. Cheaper to repair, more
dependable (less to go wrong), and more spare parts at the wreckers.
On the other hand, If I could get a manual gear box on a 960 it would
hard to pass. They handle great, the wagons are stiffer than most
sedans, and the six has a wide, smooth power band.

In this case I would pass. This is not the model of Volvo you want to
get into without knowing the history. The overall visual condition
seems to indicate that it has not been well cared for, and that could
very well be an indicator of the mechanical condition as well.

If it is a low-mileage car (which I doubt) and has just led a tough
life then it might be OK. And if you have the kind of money it takes
to just drop it off at the shop and say "fix it" when something
doesn't work, then for that money it might be worth the roll of the
dice.

I will temper the above remarks by saying that working on most
contemporary cars is a delicate thing- plastic is everywhere and it is
really easy to break off tabs and mounts if you don't know what you
are doing. In no time the thing can be a rattle trap.

if you really like it, take it to an independant shop and have then
cehck bushings, shocks, driveshaft, etc., etc.


__ __
Randy & \ \/ /alerie's
\__/olvos
'90 245 Estate - '93 965 Estate
"Shelby" & "Kate"
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Old 12-13-2005, 18:01   #3 (permalink)
Wildcat
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Re: 1995 960 buy or not?

Thanks for the reply Randy. Forgot to mention that the 960 has just
under 115k miles on the clock.

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Old 12-13-2005, 18:01   #4 (permalink)
User
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Re: 1995 960 buy or not?

In article <1134512515.202374.17550@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
bassettdude@yahoo.com says...
> I must start by saying that I am ready to jump back into the land of
> Volvo after selling my aged war horse 1990 740 this past winter.
> Driving a Saturn SL2 for the past year has just not been cutting it!
> I am considering purchasing a 1995 960 wagon from a private seller but
> I have a couple of questions for the group.
> Car is in "fair" shape. Body is straight but has three broken lamp
> lenses. Interior is basically bad. Drivers leather seat is ripped
> pretty badly down the left side and the power seat controls for the
> drivers side have come unattached from the seat. Leather trim around
> drivers side window is crumpled for lack of a better term. Drivers seat
> also will not go back.
> Rail problem possibly? Drivers door handle is loose. Rest of the
> interior is quite stained with worn leather.
> What kind of cost would I be looking at to replace the drivers seat
> with another Volvo leather power seat or is reupholstering an option?
> Anyone else had the problem with the seat not going back? The most
> serious issue that I see is that the check engine light is on. I asked
> the owner if he had the car in for service recently but he is simply
> selling it for his college daughter and did not know what had been
> previously done to the car.
> Other issues that I saw were that the rear wiper washer does not appear
> to work as well as a couple of other minor items.
> Another thing is that I could swear that all 940/960 wagons had heated
> seats and outside thermometer displays. This car appears to not have
> either. I also did not see any visible cupholders. Were they standard
> on this model.
> Bottom line, the guy is asking 2100.00 USD and he told me that he has
> taken all of the repair costs into consideration when pricing the car.
> I got him to give me a bottom line price of 1800.00 but with the shape
> the car is in I still dont know if this is a deal or not.
> I am planning on taking the car up to my old Volvo mechanic this
> weekend and have him thoroughly inspect it but I still would like your
> opinions on some of my concerns as this group was very helpful to me in
> my 740 days.
> Thanks in advance for your help.
>
>

Depending on where you are there should many nicer cars of that vintage
for about the same money. Pass. Remember 960 = Nivomat rear shocks, but
springs and conventional shocks can be put on striaght axle versions.

Bob


--
The goal when driving is to miss the maximum number of objects.
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Old 12-13-2005, 18:01   #5 (permalink)
Wildcat
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Re: 1995 960 buy or not?

If you guys were looking to buy another brick tomorrow which model
would you focus in on... the 900 series or a FWD 850?
Pros and cons of each.
Thanks again

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Old 12-13-2005, 18:01   #6 (permalink)
doc@nospam.org
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Re: 1995 960 buy or not?

On 13 Dec 2005 14:21:55 -0800, "Wildcat" <bassettdude@yahoo.com>
wrote:

Hello Wildcat:

>I must start by saying that I am ready to jump back into the land of
>Volvo after selling my aged war horse 1990 740 this past winter.
>Driving a Saturn SL2 for the past year has just not been cutting it!
>I am considering purchasing a 1995 960 wagon from a private seller but
>I have a couple of questions for the group.




>Car is in "fair" shape. Body is straight but has three broken lamp
>lenses.


Lamp lenses are expensive and at least here in the Northeast US
extremely difficult to find used--thus one must go to the dealer.

On a 240 wagon the rear lenses (entire set) are $137 per side (left
or right)



Interior is basically bad. Drivers leather seat is ripped
>pretty badly down the left side


Seat recovering even in leather is not a big deal or hugely expensive.
In my area it would run about $125 per seat.


and the power seat controls for the
>drivers side have come unattached from the seat.


Seat controls are not a big deal if you can do it yourself.

Leather trim around
>drivers side window is crumpled for lack of a better term.


A good upholstery shop can probably take care of that cheap or you
can do it yourself with some spray adhesive.

Drivers seat
>also will not go back.
>Rail problem possibly?


Possible all that is needed is cleaning and lubricating the rails.


Drivers door handle is loose.

If you have some patience the door handle issue will not be a big deal
or expensive--IF you can do the work yourself.

Rest of the
>interior is quite stained with worn leather.


You could clean that and re-dye it yourself for about $25 and some
elbow grease.

>What kind of cost would I be looking at to replace the drivers seat
>with another Volvo leather power seat or is reupholstering an option?



Reupholstering is likely your best option.

>Anyone else had the problem with the seat not going back?


Yes..I've seen this on quite a few cars and not just Volvos. Usual
reason is tons of crud and spilled soft drinks and fast food--plus a
lack of periodic lubrication.


The most
>serious issue that I see is that the check engine light is on.


That could get expensive. Best case scenario is something like a bad
oxygen sensor (about $150 plus labor.) Or is could be a bad catalytic
converter ($200 or so plus labor). Or...it could be a bad MAF (Mass
Air Flow Meter...but also often called the Mass Air Meter etc. These
run anywhere from $240 to $525 depending on the one you need.


What I can't recall now is whether or not your vehicle year used OBD
I...or OBD II.

If it's OBD I you are in good luck kas there is an on board diagnostic
module you can have a look at yourself to determine the check engine
light issue. If it's OBD II you'll have to pay for a scan (generally
about $70 here even at an independent shop.)

What I do recall is that early 1995 940's had OBD I and then by March
of that year had OBD II.

I asked
>the owner if he had the car in for service recently but he is simply
>selling it for his college daughter and did not know what had been
>previously done to the car.
>Other issues that I saw were that the rear wiper washer does not appear
>to work as well as a couple of other minor items.


The rear wiper issue is a VERY common problem on older volvo wagons
and I would nearly bet my next paycheck on what is causing the
problem.

It's a water infiltration issue and the wiper "transmission" which
looks a bit like a pantograph has frozen up. FORGET about trying to
repair that transmission. I did and burned up a new motor. I thought I
really had freed up the old transmission but not enough.

A new wiper transmission (for a '93 240) was $110.11 at my local
dealer here iin Upstate NY and the motor assembly is about $237.

That said, I found a "bare" motor without bracket for about $78 at
http://www.rockauto.com

Good folks with fast shipping and excellent customer service.


>Another thing is that I could swear that all 940/960 wagons had heated
>seats and outside thermometer displays. This car appears to not have
>either. I also did not see any visible cupholders. Were they standard
>on this model.


Cupholders? That I don't know...but it's possible it did not come with
them. Understand that in many countries outside the US drivers are
stunned that people would eat or drink in their cars while driving--so
cupholders are not an issue for them.



I have no idea if these came standard with heated seats but do know
they were available in 1993. Look for seat heater switches. On a 240
they are below each side of the parking brake assembly, but as I
recall in a different location on the 940/960

>Bottom line, the guy is asking 2100.00 USD and he told me that he has
>taken all of the repair costs into consideration when pricing the car.
>I got him to give me a bottom line price of 1800.00 but with the shape
>the car is in I still dont know if this is a deal or not.


From what you have described, the car does not sound like a deal to
me even at $1800. I realize that NADA and KBB prices are higher--and
NADA is the ONLY resource banks will use here in the US when making a
loan....and while KBB might say private party value is in the range of
$3,000 that is for a car in "fair" condition.

The one you are looking at as you have described it appears to be in
"poor" condition and KBB does not even put a value on cars like that.

Let's assume it has 150,000 miles on the odometer--which would be
typical for any car of that age in the US.

For a Volvo check to see if a myriad of work and services have been
done. When was the timing belt last replaced (should be every 50K.)

And brakes and calipers and rotors? At 150 K or so one can expect to
replace calipers and to also do rotors and pads--especially on the
front.

Amd what about suspension bushings, ball joints etc?

And starter and alternator?

If you could let us know the actual model of 940 wagon and current
mileage (plus your zipcode) I'm sure I and others here can help you
come up with a better idea on value.


>I am planning on taking the car up to my old Volvo mechanic this
>weekend and have him thoroughly inspect it but I still would like your
>opinions on some of my concerns as this group was very helpful to me in
>my 740 days.


I feel taking it to that guy is a great idea.

NEVER buy with your heart.

I bought a 93 240 wagon for $500 last January and knew it needed some
work but knew volvos. I now have a bit over $2000 invested and am
facing spending about $200 more for new front calipers and rotors in
the next few weeks but still think it was a great buy.

Since I bought it I have replaced the waterpump and timing belt,
alternator, oil pan gasket, valve cover gasket, rear rotors and pads,
alternator, battery, tires, heater/ac blower motor, ball joints, and a
lot of little stuff. Serviced the tranny and rear end, pulled all the
dorr panels and corrected issues with the central locking system, did
a new tailgate wiring harness and more--but was able to do most of the
work myself.

Here are a few pics:
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c2...v4sale0011.jpg
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c2...v4sale0007.jpg
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c2...v4sale0005.jpg
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c2...v4sale0001.jpg
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c2...engine0003.jpg
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c2...wvolvo0002.jpg
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c2...volvo20002.jpg
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c2...f/43ddb983.jpg


OK...so I did spend another $580 recently but that was for new rims
and studded snows--and I would have bought those for ANY car I own in
this climate for the winter. I don't really include that in what I
have invested for that reason.


Bottom line is that it is a great car and runs and rides like new now
and will need only very basic inexpensive maintenance for the next
100,000 miles. For me that will be about ten years based on how many
miles I drive yearly.

I'll post some good links for 940 things later tonight if I have time.

Cheerio,

Doc
>Thanks in advance for your help.


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Old 12-13-2005, 19:01   #7 (permalink)
Wildcat
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Re: 1995 960 buy or not?

wow Doc... thanks for the detailed info.
Car is a 1995 960 and has 114500 on the odometer. My zip code is 40503
Lexington,KY
If you were me and the mechanic says that she has some potential after
inspecting her what would you offer this seller.
Thanks again

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Old 12-13-2005, 19:01   #8 (permalink)
Wildcat
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Re: 1995 960 buy or not?

wow Doc... thanks for the detailed info.
Car is a 1995 960 and has 114500 on the odometer. My zip code is 40503
Lexington,KY
If you were me and the mechanic says that she has some potential after
inspecting her what would you offer this seller.
Thanks again

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Old 12-13-2005, 20:01   #9 (permalink)
doc@nospam.org
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Re: 1995 960 buy or not?

On 13 Dec 2005 18:29:19 -0800, "Wildcat" <bassettdude@yahoo.com>
wrote:

>wow Doc... thanks for the detailed info.
>Car is a 1995 960 and has 114500 on the odometer. My zip code is 40503
>Lexington,KY
>If you were me and the mechanic says that she has some potential after
>inspecting her what would you offer this seller.
>Thanks again



Hello Wildcat:

Here's a link to Kelly Bluebook:
http://www.kbb.com/kb/ki.dll/kw.kc.u...40&11;VO;B2&&&

Keep in mind I personally feel they inflate values, and that as you
described the vehicle it might not even fit into the "fair" category.

Now let's have a look at NADA:
http://www.nadaguides.com/uv/viewres...wPr=1&wPg=2032

OK, so NADA says RETAIL value is about $2700 or so if it is on a
dealer's lot--and if it's there it would have to be in PRISTINE
condition.

Forget about what a seller asks if it is over NADA value OR if the car
does not fall into the "fair" category on KBB.

Cars--or anything else one might be selling--are only worth what a
local buyer will pay. I have a neighbor a few streets away who has had
their home on the market for a year and they asked me why it is not
selling--as my next door neighbor sold a smaller house in hours for
$205K.

Pretty simple: curb appeal, looks and pricing. They have vastly
overpriced their house and now it has a stigma after being on the
market for a year. Even realtors are not interested now in listing it.

Selling and buying is a pretty basic process. Set a fair price and
describe the product honestly and you have a decent chance of a quick
sale.

Example: I realized I had two snow tires that came with the 240 that
had seen one light season at best. I prefer aggressive studded snows

I put the tires for sale on Craigslist and was honest and accurate
about condition and made clear my fair price and location.

Hours later I had a buyer who showed up and then also paid full asking
price. $60. So to me that means I have now paid $440 for the 93 240.

Timing is everything. Snowing like hell here now and it's more than
possible the tires he needed are no longer available locally

I know my brother had to pay about $200 extra last December as he
waited to buy his snows.

Glad I got mine in time. Bought 4 Snowtrakkers and had them studded.
Great traction and stopping on ice.

BTW..Snowtrakkers are-- as I now find out-- manufactured by a
subsidiary of Goodyear in Canada and the tread pattern and design were
copied by Bridgestone for the Blizzak series.

Thing is the Snowtrakkers use a softer compound and thus have a much
better bite.

May take a month and some weather for me to come up with a
decision--but so far these seem to be as good or better than the
Nokian Hakkas I ran in the past--and at less than half the price.

Bottom Line?

I've not seen the car but would ask a LOT of questions and make sure
the tech REALLY knows Volvos. It's all the little parts that can eat
you alive.

If you were me and the mechanic says that she has some potential after
>inspecting her what would you offer this seller.


I'd probably offer far less than considered value but it's all
relative.

At the moment I'm looking at a 1994 960 and they are asking $7995 as
it is at my local dealer. Thing is it has all service records from new
and only 59K on the ODO..and the dealer has buyers waiting in line for
my 240 wagon if I choose to sell or trade--and they will be able to
sell it for $8,000.

If I get the 960 for 7K it may be a done deal---or may not. 240's are
now worth more than newer models if they are cars with good provenance
like mine,

I have nearly all service records since new and that adds a great deal
of value to a car that is already in fine condition.

Have a nice night! Getting cold here and will go below zero in an
hour. Have to go clean the flame sensor on my new furnace as I already
see issues.

Cheerio,

Doc



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Old 12-14-2005, 01:01   #10 (permalink)
James Sweet
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Posts: n/a
Re: 1995 960 buy or not?

Wildcat wrote:
> I must start by saying that I am ready to jump back into the land of
> Volvo after selling my aged war horse 1990 740 this past winter.
> Driving a Saturn SL2 for the past year has just not been cutting it!
> I am considering purchasing a 1995 960 wagon from a private seller but
> I have a couple of questions for the group.
> Car is in "fair" shape. Body is straight but has three broken lamp
> lenses. Interior is basically bad. Drivers leather seat is ripped
> pretty badly down the left side and the power seat controls for the
> drivers side have come unattached from the seat. Leather trim around
> drivers side window is crumpled for lack of a better term. Drivers seat
> also will not go back.
> Rail problem possibly? Drivers door handle is loose. Rest of the
> interior is quite stained with worn leather.
> What kind of cost would I be looking at to replace the drivers seat
> with another Volvo leather power seat or is reupholstering an option?
> Anyone else had the problem with the seat not going back? The most
> serious issue that I see is that the check engine light is on. I asked
> the owner if he had the car in for service recently but he is simply
> selling it for his college daughter and did not know what had been
> previously done to the car.
> Other issues that I saw were that the rear wiper washer does not appear
> to work as well as a couple of other minor items.
> Another thing is that I could swear that all 940/960 wagons had heated
> seats and outside thermometer displays. This car appears to not have
> either. I also did not see any visible cupholders. Were they standard
> on this model.
> Bottom line, the guy is asking 2100.00 USD and he told me that he has
> taken all of the repair costs into consideration when pricing the car.
> I got him to give me a bottom line price of 1800.00 but with the shape
> the car is in I still dont know if this is a deal or not.
> I am planning on taking the car up to my old Volvo mechanic this
> weekend and have him thoroughly inspect it but I still would like your
> opinions on some of my concerns as this group was very helpful to me in
> my 740 days.
> Thanks in advance for your help.
>



Personally I'd pass on this one, I don't mind a car in need of
mechanical work, but the trashed interior could be *very* expensive to
make it nice again and if it's that bad on a car only 10 years old you
have to wonder how well the mechanicals have been looked after. I
haven't seen it myself, but from here it just smells of neglect.
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