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Old 07-09-2005, 08:01   #1 (permalink)
rastlouis@rogers.com
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Looking at 90 240 Wagon low kms

HI all,
I'm shopping for a wagon. Would prefer getting a Camry wagon (92-96)
but they are quite scarce around here. Found a 90 240 wagon being sold
by a dealer who picked it up at an auction. Just over 100,000 kms!
Body was rust-proofed so is quite good, no major rust showing anywhere.
Interior is quite clean (dash is cracked in two places). The driver's
seat doesn't feel very comfortable, maybe I'm not used to Volvo seats
(feels like it's caving in or something). Drives well. ANyway, the
dealer would sell it for $5500 cdn and I'm wondering if that's a
reasonable price for a car with this low mileage. No A/C
unfortunately. Power windows and door locks work, and it seems to have
heated seats.
How reliable would this car be? I need a commuting and general
all-around car, and like the flexibility of a wagon. I am handy and
can do a lot of repairs myself, with a good manual.
Thoughts?
Anything I should look for in the 240 wagon?
Oh, on the dash there is a row of indicator lights with symbols, and
the rightmost one (an arrow) is lit. Not sure what it means...
THanks,
--Robert

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Old 07-09-2005, 16:02   #2 (permalink)
Michael Pardee
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Re: Looking at 90 240 Wagon low kms

<rastlouis@rogers.com> wrote in message
news:1120915017.264562.164660@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> HI all,
> I'm shopping for a wagon. Would prefer getting a Camry wagon (92-96)
> but they are quite scarce around here. Found a 90 240 wagon being sold
> by a dealer who picked it up at an auction. Just over 100,000 kms!
> Body was rust-proofed so is quite good, no major rust showing anywhere.
> Interior is quite clean (dash is cracked in two places). The driver's
> seat doesn't feel very comfortable, maybe I'm not used to Volvo seats
> (feels like it's caving in or something). Drives well. ANyway, the
> dealer would sell it for $5500 cdn and I'm wondering if that's a
> reasonable price for a car with this low mileage. No A/C
> unfortunately. Power windows and door locks work, and it seems to have
> heated seats.
> How reliable would this car be? I need a commuting and general
> all-around car, and like the flexibility of a wagon. I am handy and
> can do a lot of repairs myself, with a good manual.
> Thoughts?
> Anything I should look for in the 240 wagon?
> Oh, on the dash there is a row of indicator lights with symbols, and
> the rightmost one (an arrow) is lit. Not sure what it means...
> THanks,
> --Robert
>

That is a good vintage of a sturdy car. The interior will probably limit the
useful life - at 235K miles (about 380K km) our '85 760 turbo wagon is
reliable but the interior has cracked into a hundred pieces. I'm no expert
on the price you should expect to pay, though.

The driver's seat sounds like it is broken - I've never done a repair myself
but I'm sure others here have. If that arrow is the orange "up" arrow, it
means the overdrive is locked out manually. There should be a button near
your thumb on the side of the shifter that toggles that on and off, but if
it stays on when you push the button you have a minor repair ahead of you.
(The dealer probably doesn't know it's minor - if you point out the
overdrive isn't working you may bring him down a bit: like $5500 if he gets
it fixed or $5000 as is.)

The worst news is the fuel economy. The saying that "nobody ever bought a
Volvo for fuel economy" applies to the 240.

Mike


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Old 07-09-2005, 16:02   #3 (permalink)
rastlouis@rogers.com
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Re: Looking at 90 240 Wagon low kms

Hi, and thanks for your thoughts. Other than the cracked dash (black,
so probably cracked from the Sun) and the possibly broken driver's seat
(another way to talk the price down! assuming I can later repair it or
get a replacement in the junk yards), the interior is quite good and
clean. The rear seats are very comfortable.

Thanks for telling me about the toggle button for the overdrive, that
must be it. And if it stays on, like you said I could use that to
negotiate him down.
You mentioned fuel economy as being not-so-good. I just checked on the
EPA site http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/noframes/8983.shtml and it gets
24MPG combined, which I don't find too bad with a car of this size. I
don't put a lot of mileage on my cars, so that wouldn't be too much of
a factor for me.
My main concern is reliability - not having a car that's going to
require me to be fiddling every weekend trying to fix this or that.
The low mileage indicates that the drivetrain should be relatively
trouble free anyway. I assume that older Volvos are probably plagued
with electrical problems and such...

Anyway, it's a much different car than a mid-90's Camry Wagon (which is
roomier, more comfortable, quieter) but there's something appealing
about the utilitarian nature of a Volvo wagon. With some TLC, this one
may last me for quite a few years, if I can keep the rust away from it.

If anyone else has tips of what to pay particularly close eye to when
inspecting, I'd like to hear. I've heard the heating fan is tough to
replace, and to make sure that it works well (seems to). The rear
windshield washer/wiper works well too.

Since it comes with no service records, I may negotiate the dealer to
replace the timing belt as part of the selling price.

I'll mull it over some more, and may go have another look at it and
test drive on Monday. I got my girlfriend to go have a look at the
outside today, and she thought it looked very good.

Cheers!
--Robert

Michael Pardee wrote:
> <rastlouis@rogers.com> wrote in message
> news:1120915017.264562.164660@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> > HI all,
> > I'm shopping for a wagon. Would prefer getting a Camry wagon (92-96)
> > but they are quite scarce around here. Found a 90 240 wagon being sold
> > by a dealer who picked it up at an auction. Just over 100,000 kms!
> > Body was rust-proofed so is quite good, no major rust showing anywhere.
> > Interior is quite clean (dash is cracked in two places). The driver's
> > seat doesn't feel very comfortable, maybe I'm not used to Volvo seats
> > (feels like it's caving in or something). Drives well. ANyway, the
> > dealer would sell it for $5500 cdn and I'm wondering if that's a
> > reasonable price for a car with this low mileage. No A/C
> > unfortunately. Power windows and door locks work, and it seems to have
> > heated seats.
> > How reliable would this car be? I need a commuting and general
> > all-around car, and like the flexibility of a wagon. I am handy and
> > can do a lot of repairs myself, with a good manual.
> > Thoughts?
> > Anything I should look for in the 240 wagon?
> > Oh, on the dash there is a row of indicator lights with symbols, and
> > the rightmost one (an arrow) is lit. Not sure what it means...
> > THanks,
> > --Robert
> >

> That is a good vintage of a sturdy car. The interior will probably limit the
> useful life - at 235K miles (about 380K km) our '85 760 turbo wagon is
> reliable but the interior has cracked into a hundred pieces. I'm no expert
> on the price you should expect to pay, though.
>
> The driver's seat sounds like it is broken - I've never done a repair myself
> but I'm sure others here have. If that arrow is the orange "up" arrow, it
> means the overdrive is locked out manually. There should be a button near
> your thumb on the side of the shifter that toggles that on and off, but if
> it stays on when you push the button you have a minor repair ahead of you.
> (The dealer probably doesn't know it's minor - if you point out the
> overdrive isn't working you may bring him down a bit: like $5500 if he gets
> it fixed or $5000 as is.)
>
> The worst news is the fuel economy. The saying that "nobody ever bought a
> Volvo for fuel economy" applies to the 240.
>
> Mike


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Old 07-09-2005, 16:02   #4 (permalink)
James Sweet
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Re: Looking at 90 240 Wagon low kms


<rastlouis@rogers.com> wrote in message
news:1120915017.264562.164660@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> HI all,
> I'm shopping for a wagon. Would prefer getting a Camry wagon (92-96)
> but they are quite scarce around here. Found a 90 240 wagon being sold
> by a dealer who picked it up at an auction. Just over 100,000 kms!
> Body was rust-proofed so is quite good, no major rust showing anywhere.
> Interior is quite clean (dash is cracked in two places). The driver's
> seat doesn't feel very comfortable, maybe I'm not used to Volvo seats
> (feels like it's caving in or something). Drives well. ANyway, the
> dealer would sell it for $5500 cdn and I'm wondering if that's a
> reasonable price for a car with this low mileage. No A/C
> unfortunately. Power windows and door locks work, and it seems to have
> heated seats.
> How reliable would this car be? I need a commuting and general
> all-around car, and like the flexibility of a wagon. I am handy and
> can do a lot of repairs myself, with a good manual.
> Thoughts?
> Anything I should look for in the 240 wagon?
> Oh, on the dash there is a row of indicator lights with symbols, and
> the rightmost one (an arrow) is lit. Not sure what it means...
> THanks,
> --Robert
>



These are generally very dependable cars that will go a long way and are
very easy to work on. Plenty of them are running around out there with
250k-300k miles or more on them. The seat is probably broken, they should
normally be very comfortable, fortunatly this is fairly easy to fix. If you
take it apart (not too hard) you'll probably find that the basket under the
foam has come apart and some of the springs are falling off. The wire may
also be cutting into the foam, more common in hot climates or when the
previous owner has been a large person. You can usually put the basket back
together and put the springs back on, then if the foam is damaged what I
usually do is cut a piece of lexan, aluminum flashing or anything else thin,
somewhat flexible and reasonably strong and somewhat flexible. Set it on top
of the wire basket and use duct tape or something similar to hold it in
place. If the foam is beyond recovery then get a passenger seat from a
junkyard and take the foam out of that, it's interchangeable. If the seat
back is caving in then the lumbar support is broken, IPD sells a kit to
repair this or you can look in junkyards.

As for the arrow on the dash, that means that overdrive is locked out.
There's a button on the side of the shift lever that should toggle this, if
the arrow won't go out then the overdrive relay is bad. It's located behind
the dash just to the left of the glove box under the center vent. You can
either replace it or if you can solder, just touch up the heavy solder
joints and you should be good to go.


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Old 07-09-2005, 16:02   #5 (permalink)
rastlouis@rogers.com
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Re: Looking at 90 240 Wagon low kms

Thanks for the tips about repairing the seat. It was disconcerting to
consider buying a car with an uncomfortable seat, no matter how good
the mechanics/body may be! I also noticed that both the driver and the
passenger front seats are slightly turned in (ie, the center part is a
little further back than the outer part). Is this part of the design,
or an indication that they need to be adjusted positionally, maybe
using the mounting bolts underneath? Thanks.

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Old 07-09-2005, 16:02   #6 (permalink)
James Sweet
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Re: Looking at 90 240 Wagon low kms


<rastlouis@rogers.com> wrote in message
news:1120939097.158162.254790@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Thanks for the tips about repairing the seat. It was disconcerting to
> consider buying a car with an uncomfortable seat, no matter how good
> the mechanics/body may be! I also noticed that both the driver and the
> passenger front seats are slightly turned in (ie, the center part is a
> little further back than the outer part). Is this part of the design,
> or an indication that they need to be adjusted positionally, maybe
> using the mounting bolts underneath? Thanks.
>


Sounds like some rather large people had the car at some point and probably
warped the seatback frames, I've heard of it happening though never had it
occur myself. It's also possible that the foam simply deteriorated to that
point. If you get the car you might have to get some replacement seats to
fix it, but if the upholstery is in good shape you can transfer it to any
'86-'93 240 seat and same goes for the plastic trim bits so you don't have
to be picky about the color of replacements.

Oh and also don't forget to clean or replace the flame trap, that's the
number one overlooked mechanical bit on these cars which is easy to deal
with but can cause a lot of grief if you don't know about it.


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Old 07-09-2005, 16:02   #7 (permalink)
Judy and Brad
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Re: Looking at 90 240 Wagon low kms

I have a 90 240 sedan and it has 300000 km. You still have lots to go. I get
500 km to a full tank on cruise. Seems a bit pricey even in Canadian
dollars.
<rastlouis@rogers.com> wrote in message
news:1120939097.158162.254790@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Thanks for the tips about repairing the seat. It was disconcerting to
> consider buying a car with an uncomfortable seat, no matter how good
> the mechanics/body may be! I also noticed that both the driver and the
> passenger front seats are slightly turned in (ie, the center part is a
> little further back than the outer part). Is this part of the design,
> or an indication that they need to be adjusted positionally, maybe
> using the mounting bolts underneath? Thanks.
>



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Old 07-10-2005, 00:01   #8 (permalink)
rastlouis@rogers.com
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Re: Looking at 90 240 Wagon low kms

I need to think about this. I just sold a 90 Corolla with low kms
because I found it too small and wanted a roomier, more versatile car
(ie. a wagon). I had my sights on a mid-90's Camry wagon (came close
to buying one which had a few issues so I passed, they are rare). THen
I went to look at this low kms 240 Wagon and got thinking about another
alternative. However, the 240 does not have A/C, the seats are
probably broken, and there is uncertain maintenance history. Do I
really want to get off my Camry wagon search and take the plunge with
the old Volvo wagon? Will I be happy or frustrated with this car?
Will it become, like many of the posters here, the best car I ever
owned? Buying used cars is a lot like crapshoot, no matter how well
prepared you are and how well you get the vehicle checked out. Still,
there's a certain attraction to the thought of a 240 wagon ownership -
the sheer longevity and toughness of the vehicle, which I suppose
offsets some of its quirks and idiosyncracies. How does one compare
that with the reliability of the "boring" Camry? Have to think about
all this...

Judy and Brad wrote:
> I have a 90 240 sedan and it has 300000 km. You still have lots to go. I get
> 500 km to a full tank on cruise. Seems a bit pricey even in Canadian
> dollars.
> <rastlouis@rogers.com> wrote in message
> news:1120939097.158162.254790@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> > Thanks for the tips about repairing the seat. It was disconcerting to
> > consider buying a car with an uncomfortable seat, no matter how good
> > the mechanics/body may be! I also noticed that both the driver and the
> > passenger front seats are slightly turned in (ie, the center part is a
> > little further back than the outer part). Is this part of the design,
> > or an indication that they need to be adjusted positionally, maybe
> > using the mounting bolts underneath? Thanks.
> >


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Old 07-10-2005, 00:01   #9 (permalink)
James Sweet
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Posts: n/a
Re: Looking at 90 240 Wagon low kms


<rastlouis@rogers.com> wrote in message
news:1120964002.391172.229170@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> I need to think about this. I just sold a 90 Corolla with low kms
> because I found it too small and wanted a roomier, more versatile car
> (ie. a wagon). I had my sights on a mid-90's Camry wagon (came close
> to buying one which had a few issues so I passed, they are rare). THen
> I went to look at this low kms 240 Wagon and got thinking about another
> alternative. However, the 240 does not have A/C, the seats are
> probably broken, and there is uncertain maintenance history. Do I
> really want to get off my Camry wagon search and take the plunge with
> the old Volvo wagon? Will I be happy or frustrated with this car?
> Will it become, like many of the posters here, the best car I ever
> owned? Buying used cars is a lot like crapshoot, no matter how well
> prepared you are and how well you get the vehicle checked out. Still,
> there's a certain attraction to the thought of a 240 wagon ownership -
> the sheer longevity and toughness of the vehicle, which I suppose
> offsets some of its quirks and idiosyncracies. How does one compare
> that with the reliability of the "boring" Camry? Have to think about
> all this...
>



The 240 doesn't have A/C? I don't think I've ever seen a post-'85 240
without A/C, but then maybe up in Canada it was available that way.

As with any car, it's a crapshoot, you may get one that'll go another
300,000 kms without anything major breaking or you may be tinkering with it
constantly, only you can decide whether it's worth it.


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Old 07-10-2005, 12:02   #10 (permalink)
bob
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Re: Looking at 90 240 Wagon low kms

That car isnt worth half that price no matter what its condition. As far as
interiors go the 240 seats are said to be some of the most comfortable of
any car ever made and the plastic pieces etc usually last longer than the
rest of the car unlike the piece of crap interiors in the pre 1990 740's.


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