Looking for an inexpensive (can’t spend more than $2000 for car, any initial repairs upfront, etc.) and am wondering about older Volvos. Does anyone know in general if they are expensive to repair? I have seen several online (have yet to check them out in person) which appear and sound as though they have been well maintained and are in my price range-late 80’s-early 90’s. I just need something to get to school one night a week and to run errands on weekends. Thinking about a wagon or sedan. Any input appreciated…thanks!
Why ? Parts are harder to come by, they are less safe than newer models of anything. IMO, look for a 2001/2002 Chevy Prism, Ford Focus (even Hyundai) etc. That are relatively new enough for parts and cheaper to buy and maintain.
Good luck in your search.
Older Volvos are never found in the same paragraph as “inexpensive”. Everything about Vovlos is more expensive than everything about almost any other car out there.
I’d sugest starting with a Consumer Reports Used Car Buyers’ Guide from the local bookstore. While it may not go into cars in your price range, it’ss still be a good reference for cars to avoid.
If you can find a salvage yard with 240’s, that’d be a good source of cheap replacement parts. Then if you can fix things yourself you’re in good shape. If you plan to have it fixed at a Volvo dealership, this’ll end up being pretty expensive.
For $2K you can get newer, more reliable cars like a mid to late '90s Corolla or Civic. They are cheaper to maintain than a Volvo.
I have always liked the look and feel of the Volvo 240. The fit and finish are very well done and the interiors are usually top notch. Reaching for the door and pulling it closed gives a nice, solid reassuring sound. The only problem with them is that they tend not to go from point A to point B. Going from point A to point B is what they are supposed to do and can be done but it’s very expensive. Follow the advice of the other posters and find a good Civic, Corolla, Prism or Focus. You will be glad you did many months from now.
Definately don’t buy a mid 90’s or later Volvo. The V70 series is very expensive to own and needs frequent and pricey repairs. The 850’s are similar to the V70’s so I’d stay away from them too.
The 240’s might be OK, but if they need repairs it will be expensive. Volvo parts and labor (for a knowledgeable Volvo mechanic) are significantly more that a domestic car. I think you are wishing on a dream. No matter how good 240’s might have been, at this point they are very old cars and that means frequent repairs.
“No matter how good 240’s might have been, at this point they are very old cars and that means frequent repairs.”
Please don’t assume that older Volvo 240s were ever reliable!
I had the misfortune to buy a new 242GL in 1974, and it was the absolute worst, least reliable car that I ever owned. I would hate to think what one of these money pits would be like after 20-30 years.
Despite maintaining it better than the mfr specified, it burned an excessive amount of oil by 50K miles, had a persistent transmission leak, had ongoing problems with the fuel injection system, had serious electrical issues right from the first week that I owned it, burned out fuel pumps about once a year, had chalked paint within one year…Shall I go on?
And, in case you think that my case was an isolated one, I compared notes with several other 240 owners of the same era, and they also vowed never again to buy a Volvo after suffering through their first one.
I own one myself. I can see that folks here have a negative view of them, but that isn’t my experience. Mine’s a 1990 240 DL Wagon. Safe, solid, burns NO oil, and it just moved me and all I could fit into a 5 x 8 cargo trailer from San Francisco to Virginia, without a single problem, except it was not a FAST trip.
Just be patient, look for a car that isn’t rusty, take it to a mechanic for a thorough check, and don’t pay more than you should. Some folks charge a premium for good 240s, and they shouldn’t. They’re so boring that they’re exciting. I like my car more than almost any other car I’ve owned. Parts are still around, though not as easily found as, say, ten years ago. Swedish bricks are great…up until the front drive Volvos, in my opinion.