RWD - '92 240GL--What to look out for?

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'92 240GL--What to look out for? 200

I currently own two 850's and am considering selling one of them to buy a 240. There's a '92 GL sedan I may be looking at in the near future. Can anyone give me the main problem areas to look for? Any and all advice is appreciated.

Thanks in advance.


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'92 240GL--What to look out for? 200

By 1992, most of the problems that plagued the "early" 240s had been addressed.

A couple of things to look out for though, just due to the age and mileage:

-Condition of the heater core and blower motor. Blower motor is good for about 15-20 years, after which the lube in the bearings dries out and they start sqwaking. The motor and resistor are around $100, but to replace them, the entire dash and the front seats must come out. While you are in there, you might as well replace the heater core if it is original as 85% of that job is tearing down the dash, which you've already done if you are replacing your blower motor.

-Rear suspension bushings. The original bushings are rubber and harden (or tear) after a couple decades. Symptoms are "moans and groans" from the rear end on acceleration and deceleration, an unusually hard ride, and sometimes a sagging rear end (but check the springs back there too if the rear end is sagging). The trailing arm bushings usually go first, but at this point you might as well replace all of them, including the torque rod bushings.

-Front end. 240s have a reputation for "eating" ball joints and outer tide rods, particularly in cities that have poorly maintained roads. This is an easy DIY repair and the parts are not expensive. Also, every 240 that I have ever owned needed a new steering rack at some point in its life. Either the seals shrink and the rack starts leaking, or the steering effort increases on one side making the car difficult to steer.

-Engine and transmission mounts. Another weak point on these cars. Volvo says it is part of the safety design where the engine and transmission go under the car in a front end collision, but I think really the parts are just sub-par. Motor mounts need to be replaced every 3-4 years. Transmission mounts last longer. It's a doable DIY job but is time consuming. Parts are very inexpensive.

-Cooling system. The original Blackstone branded radiator has an aluminum core with plastic end tanks where the upper and lower hoses connect to the radiator. Usual failure mode is a crack in one of the end tanks, which results in rapid loss of coolant and potential overheating (and then a blown head gasket or warped head). If you still have the original radiator - or the previous owner replaced it with another OEM - look into a Nissens 3-row all metal radiator. They are expensive, but totally worth it. They can be serviced where the OEM radiator cannot be, and they have 3 rows of fins versus 3 on the OEM, so they cool significantly better than OEM. You will definitely notice the difference on a hot day with the A/C on or climbing a long grade at highway speeds.

Also check the water pump. The pumps are good quality but often the seal between the pump and the block leaks.

-Electrical. Most of the "famous" 240 electrical gremlins were worked out by the '92 model year, but they still used ceramic fuses. Also, the car is full of Bosch relays that run the fuel injection system. You will always want to carry spares of these as if they fail, the fuel pumps will stop running and you're stuck on the side of the road.

Ground connections need to be periodically cleaned and tightened.

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'92 240GL--What to look out for? OLD POSTINGS, NMI! 200

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'92 240GL--What to look out for? 200


I think you'll love the 240. I have a 92 240 wagon that I've had for 17 years, and now has 360k miles on it. It has been everywhere and keeps going strong, with occasional blips. I wouldn't hesitate to drive it from south Florida to Seattle.

I second what the others have said. These cars are so simple and easy to maintain. If it does have AC problems it's easy to convert them to 134a. I did mine on a Saturday. One thing that is somewhat laborious to work on is the blower motor. Listen very closely to the way it sounds, bearing noise, squeals, etc.

Before you buy it, run codes diagnostics under the hood to find any potential things that might be going on with it, even if it's running fairly well. If someone hasn't cleared the codes it might show recent problems.

When you turn the key to position 3, listen when the fuel pump starts for squeals, vibration, etc.

Also, I would find one that's rust free. Everything else is easy to deal with, but rust is rust and isn't going to get any better without real work. There are a lot of them available and worth the premium over the long haul.

Good luck and congrats, Jim

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'92 240GL--What to look out for? 200

Does '92 still have the problem with the crank position sensor? Look at the center of the firewall for a connector from which a cable about the size of a spark plug wire drops straight down to a sensor on the top of the bell housing. If the wire has a yellow band around it, or the insulation is cracked, it will need to come out. To my recent experience, it's a pain in the butt. If the wire has a white band around it, it's already been replaced (the originals were defective). If it's a turbo, never mind: it doesn't have one.

'90 240DL Wagon 'Lola' '72 1800ES 'Galadriel'

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'92 240GL--What to look out for? 200

I've got a 1992 240 wagon. Basically the car is very durrable. You'll know if there is a problem with the engine or transmission after you start it up and give it a test drive. I'm guessing the 240 will feel very slow compared to your 850 vehicles.

I advise you to check out the following items:
1. Turn on the air conditioning and see if it actually works. Also listen to see if the fan is making weird noises. (If so this is a pain to repair and the R12 system is getting expesive to service).
2. Check to see if the power windows work.
3. Check to see if the radio works.
4. If service records are available check to see when the timing belt was last replaced. You can even look to see if the water pump has been replaced or perhaps the radiator.
5. Press the button on the shifter to see verify that the overdrive on the automatic transmission works fine. Pressing the button drops the car into 3rd gear. Pressing it again will allow it to shift back into 4th.

The car is very easy to work on and for me the main problems have been very minor stuff like fuses getting corroded or the fuel pump relay going out.

My car has never left me stranded anywhere. Basically you will be stranded if your timing belt breaks. It won't ruin the engine, but you won't be able to go.

I will probably get tired of my 240 before if stops working.

Brake pads and rotors are easy to replace yourself.

The automatic transmission should be fine and it is very strong.

Basically I've only had to do routine maintenance on mine, except for the air conditioning repairs that I had a shop do for me.

Best of luck to you.
Please make Ricky Williams go away!

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'92 240GL--What to look out for? 200

Thanks for the input, Dan. I will be checking it out this weekend. I can live with the "slower" as I have teenagers. The 850's have their fair share of issues that the 240's seem not to. I can turn a wrench so basics like brakes will be no problem. Thanks again.

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You're gonna love doing these brakes. 200

You're gonna love doing these brakes.
Disks all around, so no hassles with drum brake shoes & springs.
Caliper stays on the wheel when changing pads - pads just slide out and new ones go back in.
Formerly Sophie's Maintainer. Sven: '89 245, IPD sways, E-fan conversion, 28+ mpg - auto tranny. 850 mi/week commute.

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New pads? Resurface Rotors / New Rotors. How's that Brake Fluid? Black? 200 1992

If new pads, resurface the current rotors, or, if too thin, new rotors. Call around to different tire / brake / muffler shops and see how much they charge to resurface used rotors. You do this so the rotor with new surface and new brake pads wear in together.

Front hub service include hub bearing (free play, torque of around 2 ft-lbs or 25 in-lbs at the castle nut [I rotate the hub with wheel / tire on] and seal where the seal lips point away from the 240 center line. Rear wheel hub includes parking brake shows and assembly. Also, around every 50k miles, the rear wheel hub inspection and grease pack or hub replacement. Nearly everyone that owns RWD Volvo never services the rear hubs including rear wheel hub grease pack (cleanse, and new NLGI 2 grease). I use Amsoil grease. The Volvo hub grease in the not so small tubes is good as it is factory.

Last set of rear rotors for my 1992 Volvo 240 GL came from AutoZone. The pads were Duralast ceramic. Won't use metallic pads at all anymore. Made by Brembo brake pads and rotors - made in China, yet not awful as they used to be, so far. China quality improves, I guess. Brembo is made in China, now, so not that great Italian steel, yet not the rotten junk alloys China serves up for export as they did through the 2000s. Zimmerman may still be German? No need for that silly cross drilled / slotted warps easily rotors.

Flexible brake lines? ATE is OEM. If very high miles on in a rusting state, the outer rubber lines can crack. Is a state with safety inspection, best to replace. Usually rust at the unions. If black brake fluid, flush it soonest. Black brake fluid leads to seized brake calipers and brake line corrosion.

Use DOT 4 brake fluid. Flush every two years. You can use DOT 3 as the stupid Walmart stores here in St. Louis, MOe show their cheapo SuperTech DOT 4 in quart bottles for 'free pickup today' yet never on the always vacant shelves (throughout the stores). Made by Prestone, I guess. So I used DOT 3 for my Super 1992 Volvo 240 ABS Brake Fluid Flush. Will flush again with DOT 4 in a year. Have to do the 1991.

Do not use the brake pedal to bleed. Do not depend on gravity bleed as some do.They usually open easily, yet can rust to a bond to the caliper. So, a tap-tap at the end usually breaks the bond, at least for me. The brake bleeder nipples are sort of frail. See the FAQ (click above) for more info.

Use a pressure bleeder such as Motive Power bleeder, no need to bench bleed a new master cylinder. I tap the brake fluid after opening the bleeder nipple several times to move the piston in the MC bore so force out trapped air. About 20 PSI does okay in the pressure bleeder.

Some images for you.

Saw the leak. Wrapped in napkins. No spill there. Brake fluid will ruin painted finish.

Right rear brake caliper. Goes (as you sit in Volvo) LR, RR, RF, LF for ABS 240, 700, 900 ... See the FAQ for brake and ABS Brakes.

If bleeder nipple cap is rotted or missing, get new. A MUST so the bleeder nipple does not corrode over time and seize with the caliper threaded bore.

Bleeder cap remove. All is shiny and well. 8 mm line wrench with 8 mm open and box end. Clear vinyl tubing (3/8" OD?) and a clear quart glass jar (Schnuck's brand hot sauce is best. I love hot sauce. Great with buttermilk!). New clear fluid appears the power bleeder pushes out old fluid with new. I like to tap the break pedal 3 or so time enough to feel resistance yet no more than 1/3 travel.


Better view? Old Sony DSC-S30 camera from 1999. Had the EV set at 2.0, so why the washed out images.

After you close the bleeder nipple, use brake parts cleaner (dunno if chlorinated or non-chlorinated is best). Also, spay out the inside of the nipple to clear away any remaining brake fluid. If not, brake fluid 3, 4, 5.1 is hygroscopic, drawing water in, becoming more corrosive, and can rust the inside of the bleeder nipple causing it to seize in the threaded bore in the brake caliper cast carbon steel material.

Some may spray a light water displacing preparation in the bore to further prevent corrosion. Something that won't ruin the synthetic rubber bleeder nipple cap.

Glass bottle with the old. New in the brake system. New fluid in the bottle is towards the top as is lighter. Older fluid has some water in it and so sinks. Flush exchange was one quart, exactly, for the 1992 240 ABS. All 1992 have ABS in North America and maybe worldwide?

Use the 91% Isopropyl to rinse the brake fluid from the power bleeder.

Beauty pass.

Everything Gruit, nearly. My 1991 Kittys Grey Volvo 240.
W/ Taxoplasma Abundant and Incidental Naps. The irreverence.
Right, Sarah Fenske?

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