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Volvo 240 Turbo[740-760/90] posted by James Allen on
Sunday, 17 May 1998, at 3:02 p.m.

I was wondering about a Volvo 240 Turbo. I would like to buy one. I am looking in the range of 83-87. My family has owned two different Volvos. A 1983 240 Turbo and a 1991 740 Turbo. Both of them gave us hell. I remember the many times that my family and I have been stranded on the side of the road. But I am interested in finding a volvo to call my own. I was hoping someone(s) could give me advice on what to look for in a Volvo. Are Turbos troublesome? Are the turbo wagons better than the Turbo sedans? How good is the A/C. Is it weak. Can it be upgraded if so? I live in South Carolina, and A/C is a must. Do these cars need lots of maintance? Do you recommend one to a 18 year old as a daily driver. Your replied as advice are much appreciated.

Re: Volvo 240 Turbo[740-760/90] posted by Bill Bradley on
Sunday, 17 May 1998, at 10:36 p.m.

Well, a lot depends on your situation. If money is an issue, stay
away from the Turbos. It's not that they are necessarily more trouble, but
they can be much more expensive trouble.

For a dependable daily driver, the best option is usually the KISS plan
(Keep It Simple, Stupid). I've had more trouble with my '84 245 Turbo Wagon
in about a year and a half than I did over about eight years with several
240DLs. The '79 and '80 242DLs that I had (four speed stick, no AC, no OD,
no power anything) were only ever stopped by blown fuses and bad fuel pump

If you're set on a Turbo, you definately want to have it checked out
by someone who knows what they are doing. A cracked or leaking hose can
not only decrease your mileage and foul your plugs, but clog up your
catalytic convertor (try $50-100 for hoses and $300+ for a cat), and a
plugged cat, lack of cool down time, or infrequent oil changes can cause
you to need a new turbo (~$700-900) and there's the possibility of a cracked
exhaust manifold (another several hundred dollars and hard to find salvage)
All this with no obvious warnings from the gauges or warning lights.

If your daily drive is mostly around town and stop and go, you may
actually prefer the non-Turbo 240s. The turbo engines are weak at low
rpms (unless you start modifying them which increases cost and usually
decreases reliability...adding an intercooler and raising the boost was
the cause of a number of my problems with my car), so a normally aspirated
car may be nicer to drive in those conditions. Other issues include
mileage (Turbo 240 about 17-19 city/22-24 highway, 240DL/GL 20-24 city, 29-32
highway in my experience) and the fact that the Turbos were only brought into
the US until '85, so the newest one you'd find is 13 years old, while the
"regular" 240s ran to '93.

Before you think I'm completely down on them, I LOVE my 245 Turbo. My
daily commute is 60 miles each way, all highway and I love the extra power
for passing, the fact that I can set the cruise and not lose speed on hills,
the surprised looks on peoples faces when a Volvo wagon easily pulls away
from them, but if I wanted a fall-back vehicle that I KNEW would start
and run every day, no question I'd get another no-frills 240.


'84 245Ti

Re: Volvo 240 Turbo[740-760/90] posted by Ted Y. on
Monday, 18 May 1998, at 2:58 a.m.

I have had a 1977 245, and now own a 1985 245 turbo. The 1977 is definately a tittle cheaper, to maintain, and a little bit less problematic (KISS). On the other hand, if you are a hardcore Volvo nut, like I try to think of myself as) then a turbo is the way to go. In my opinion, a 1985 would be the best choice for a turbo, because you get the benefit of a factory-installed intercooler (about 30 more hp in addition to the turbo) and it is also the last year for that particular model run (as far as I know). As with any other car, low mileage is good to look for, and proper service records a MUST! (especially oil changes EVERY 3K... turbos NEED fresh oil!) If the owner has no record of a timing belt change in the last 50K, set aside $100-$200 for a timing's crucial. Lastly, the best advice I can give you in my limited experience is to set aside $500-$1000 for a major service and repairs, just so you know where you stand in the long run if you plan to keep the car. I paid $2000 for my 245T, and have put about $1500 into it (I plan to keep the car 'till well over 300,000K..and it only has 169K now.

Good luck, and hope to hear from you soon!

Ted (Bundy) Y.

Re: Volvo 240 Turbo[740-760/90] posted by Tariq Hamid on
Monday, 18 May 1998, at 8:52 a.m.

Great advice on The Turbo's from the above threads. I owned an 82' 240 Turbo which had the clogged Catalytic Converter problem. $400 later, the car ran great until the dreaded rotting wiring harness issue showed up intermitently. This is a problem on early to mid 80's Volvos, which means the 240 Turbo's and, of course, the Harness for the Turbo's is 2-3 times more expensive than a normally aspirated 240(Think $900 or so). Finally, with an older vehicle, it's just normal that you will have more maintanence, particularly if it has not been performed religiously by the previous owner. AC is weaker and problematic on these 240's in my experience, especially if you are expecting the cooling of a Honda, Toyota or even most American makes. Just trying to paint the worst case scenario for you. But, if you have say 5k to 8k to spend and really like the 240's as I do, then you would do well to pick up a 90'-93' model. Overall, the car will be newer with fewer problems and, this being the last years of the series, Many of the problems which plagued earlier models were fixed-Better AC system(though still not great!), better fuel delivery system, ABS and Air Bag availability, ect. I live in FL and a while back picked up a 92 240 wagon(which I purchased in SC for $7500, by the way) and love it. Power is alright, of course there are few hills here, Gas milage is great(25-27AVG) and I have had no problems at all so far with this car that has 110,000 k on it now. I just returned from a 1300 mile trip to Atlanta, SC and Back to FL and would not hesitate to jump in my 240 and drive accross the US. Good luck.

Re: Volvo 240 Turbo[240-260/1985] posted by David Mayhew on
Monday, 18 May 1998, at 1:01 p.m.

I believe the wiring harness repair is actually cheaper than the normally aspirated engines. There is only one harness to replace instead of two. In my opinion there is no comparison - the turbo is the only way to go. The car is much more responsive and fun to drive. Volvos are relatively heavy cars to push around with 115 hp (vs. 160 for turbo w/ intercoler). Most turbos also came with upgraded suspensions, trim, wheels, and interiors. Many problems with turbos are due to improper care and lack of maintenance. If you change the oil regularly and allow for cool down the turbo can last almost as long as the engine.

David Mayhew
1985 245ti 150,000 m.


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