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> Common Issues With The Volvo 240
Teenonator
post Aug 24 2010, 09:56 AM
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Drives: 91 240 wagon, 87 245 waiting for resurrection, 85 245 ready to be someone's parts car



Just saw a blurb about a 10 DAY traffic jam in China......may XNMAC and his alleged XC90 join that soon.

One of the most frustrating recurring problems with my 240 wagons(85, 87, 91) has been the left rear door electric locks, which don't function well, if at all. When I installed new speakers in my latest & had the door panels off, I lubed all I could see, but though the other four locks work fine, the one still is intermittent.
Oh, well, at least my blower fan works great.....
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Greaser
post Sep 24 2010, 07:02 AM
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4) When my family bought my '87 240, the overdrive solenoid was blown and I have yet to fix it. I was planning on just buying a bypass for it (the same one Robert 240 mentioned), but since I plan on dropping a new manual tranny in anyways...

6) A couple of years ago I had to replace my motor mounts (and tranny mount; not the big of a deal when AutoZone has them for a grand total of less than $150. And trust me its not so much fun to put the car in Park and have it roll backwards on you. Now I am replacing the original suspenion parts (sway bar links, Ball joints, ect) that have gone bad. I dont see it as a big deal, PITA to get some of them out, but 23 year old rubber has to go at some point...

7) My AC system is out of freon, and I have been too lazy/cheap to convert it to the R134A gas. But that is going to change now that I can get it vacuumed out for $20. Since I drive with my windows open anyways...it has really been too much of a problem.

8) Yeah my blower motor died on me the last week of February this year, and yeah, again I am too lazy to test and see if its the motor or the resister. But I'm human and with warm weather its not too important, with winter coming though it is on m To-Do list.

9) If you have a wagon, like myself, you'll have more problems with the rear wiring than the sedan owners. First and best thing to do is pull the wires out of the hatch hinge pull them out of the corners of the headliner and the door itself, reconnect them do they droop down a couple inches, then but a conduct tubing wrap around them so it looks decent. If you do that you'll have far less problems.

10) Ah, the stupid soft plastic, tiny, 25 tooth gear in the odometer. What a bad idea for the material to make them. I have had 3 different clusters in my car during her life, each one that has been the problem. I am trying to find replacement metal gears to put in instead. Metal = no more breaking. I'm thinking maybe a watch or clock shop? If I have to retrofit a little to make it work, eh who cares.

All in all, even with the common problems, the 240's are VERY reliable cars. There is not another car I really trust on a long trip. They just keep rolling. HAHA
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javedjee78
post Sep 25 2010, 09:58 PM
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You are so right
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drewdle
post Oct 9 2010, 05:36 PM
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The rubber isolators, bushings, and mounts make a huge difference in how these cars drive. I've just had my rear suspension done (bushings on the torque rod, stabilizing rod, shocks, etc). My front bushings seem fine, but I was getting a grinding noise when pulling away from a stop and lots of vibration at low RPM under load. With the rear fixed up, the car drives like a Swiss bank vault. Transformed the whole car.

It wasn't cheap, but I will grudgingly admit it was totally worth it to not feel like I was driving a car powered by an Osterizer. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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jmaurerny
post Oct 9 2010, 07:33 PM
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re No. 9: The guys at the garage have a big laugh every time i show up with another taillight issue. Now I can tell them it's not all my fault.
Very little rust on my '91, driven every winter on salty roads since i bought it new.
Oh, yeah -- the odometer quit for 10,000 miles, then came back to life. The trip odo is permanently gone.
It is a GREAT car. I drive a 4-speed & am considering replacing it with a C30 6-speed, but I just can't bear to part with my old buddy.
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drewdle
post Oct 11 2010, 01:25 AM
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Oh, almost forgot. I had a run-in with the tail lights as well. My driver's side lights have a leak that is corroding the brass contacts on the upper light sockets, and the harness plug. Real pretty back there. I cleaned it up pretty well with some steel wool and contact cleaner, but they're still going to need to go eventually. The passenger side lights look like they were replaced at some point; no leak and much cleaner.
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Drewdorf
post Nov 4 2010, 12:52 PM
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QUOTE
1. rust its hard to replace parts when the hardware is fused together, holes in the floorboards, etc.
2. wiring mid 80s 240s had bio-degradable wiring insulation under the hood, later fixed by Volvo
3. charging circuit wiring problems or worn alternator brushes/voltage regulator
4. lack of overdrive in automatic cars the relay, transmission solenoid, or wiring
5. oil leaks clogged PCV system (flame trap)
6. worn rubber parts motor mounts, front and rear suspension components
7. A/C most systems used R12, marginal performance after converting to R134a.
8. The cabin blower motors fail.
9. problems with the rear lights wiring, poor connections, fuses
10. dead odometers the plastic gear break or the DC motors fail


You forgot ONE thing that makes it all so important. The real #1 "Previous Owners" they always seem to Jerry rig everything making it a pain in the Tailgate to get things to work.

My back axle is bent. I don't know how or why, it just is.
My wiring is Shoddy, and its all cut and spliced together which made it painful to install the new Radio. i don't know...But I still think Previous owners are the main reason Current owners have to suffer.
(IMG:style_emoticons/default/tongue.gif)

-Drewdorf
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drewdle
post Nov 30 2010, 01:01 PM
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QUOTE (Drewdorf @ Nov 4 2010, 01:52 PM)
You forgot ONE thing that makes it all so important. The real #1 "Previous Owners" they always seem to Jerry rig everything making it a pain in the Tailgate to get things to work.

My back axle is bent. I don't know how or why, it just is.
My wiring is Shoddy, and its all cut and spliced together which made it painful to install the new Radio. i don't know...But I still think Previous owners are the main reason Current owners have to suffer.
(IMG:style_emoticons/default/tongue.gif)

-Drewdorf


I second this heartily. The previous owner of my 240 half-arsed a lot of things, and it's taken awhile but I'm getting to the bottom of it.

Question, actually: for number 8, how do you prolong the life of the blower motor? The last couple of days mine has been cutting on and off when set to "3", but has been working fine on the other settings, and I'm guessing it's just a matter of time. I'd like to make that "time" be until spring or summer when I have the means and time to do it. Looks like quite the spectacle.
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gregory
post Jan 15 2011, 02:35 AM
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it is lucky that i haven't got any of those problems yet
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aplusb
post Jan 21 2011, 08:04 PM
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(IMG:style_emoticons/default/haha.gif)
I've experienced 4,7,8 and 9.
Replaced the thermo, water pump, radiator, added a fan to the radiator, re-wired the headlights and replaced internal cabin healight relay. New overdrive relay is in the mail. Replaced the fuel filter hoping that would fix an issue but turns out I prolly need to replace the fuel pumps as well. Added a custom made console/cup holder cuz the original broke. ...WOULDN'T TRADE MY 240 FOR ANYTHING EXCEPT ANOTHER VOLVO!
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joshwarobert
post Feb 12 2011, 02:31 PM
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I have an 87 240 and just broke 61,000 miles. sounds good and all but she's falling apart. if i have to change the rear brake light one more time, i swear to god i will kill somebody. haha. there's gotta be a way to troubleshoot this, right? i dont know enough about volvos to tweak on my own, but i'd love some advice...
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slcraft
post Feb 19 2011, 02:29 PM
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Having owned several 240s I can also chime in about common repair items that you did not list:

1. WATER PUMP
2. MOTOR MOUNTS (could be considered "rubber parts")
3. EXHAUST SYSTEM
4. AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION (usually start to slip at around 100-120k
5. EXHAUST SYSTEM (always replace with NON OEM parts that are warrantied
6. BRAKES (again, always go to a Midas/Tuffy/Pep Boys and get non OEM parts for brakes as well)
7. DRIVE TRAIN "0" Rings/Donuts

Your rubber parts are the most important aspect of keeping these cars driving smoothly. There is a LOT of rubber/bushings/ etc so if you are buying used have suspensions, drive train and motor mounts checked thoroughly.

I concur with light bulbs (same thing happens on my 2001 S60, overdrive (usually shorts), A/C never a strong point in any of these cars and will also usually have to be replaced as well and upgraded. Blower motor, yep. Odometer, have heard of it but didn't happen to me.

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rosebud
post Jun 14 2011, 09:01 PM
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looks like all the problems i'm having with my '88 240 are on this list. have a bit of #1, #3 is the most recent addition, and been dealing with #'s 5-8 for a while. as for #10, it was already a problem when i got the car (it says 285,000). a friend of mine who has too many 240's for his own good (according to his wife) traded me the car for what i must say was a very delicious coconut cake.
i've had to replace both motor mounts (on the same road trip they were discovered to "look a little rough" by a friend. when we took them out, both were broken completely in half...no wonder the engine looked like a jumping bean...), a steering arm, an air sensor, the intake manifold gasket and the battery.
as far as my new #3 problem: the temperature gauge has always been a little...funny. it has usually runs well below the center mark, but ever since i replaced the battery it is erratic. when the headlights are in use, it alternates between just below red and then back to 'normal' (below the middle). my solution for the last few weeks was to not drive at night, but now the turn signals and windshield wipers are making the gauge act erratically as well. does this sound like a voltage regulator problem?
other than changing fluids and the occasional obvious leaky hose, i have no experience working on cars. i'm curious about it, and i love my volvo, so i am hoping to get more self-sufficient with repairs. thanks for the tips!
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Maxy
post Jun 20 2011, 01:27 AM
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There was certainly a failure of the fuel pump, replacement steering rack, and multiple wiring problems. But I take it in any car w/328K miles.
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Giovanni P.
post Jul 10 2011, 10:45 PM
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QUOTE (Maxy @ Jun 19 2011, 11:27 PM)
There was certainly a failure of the fuel pump, replacement steering rack, and multiple wiring problems. But I take it in any car w/328K miles.

My '85 240 definitely has some fuel pump issues; a half-tank makes my car act like it's out of gas. My uncle said he had the same problem with his '85, and he just kept the tank close to full all the time. I'm curious: what experiences have people had with the fuel pump relay, and is replacing it worth my while?
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robert240
post Jul 12 2011, 10:11 AM
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QUOTE (Giovanni P. @ Jul 10 2011, 09:45 PM)
My '85 240 definitely has some fuel pump issues; a half-tank makes my car act like it's out of gas. My uncle said he had the same problem with his '85, and he just kept the tank close to full all the time.


This is probably due to a problem with the in-tank pump.
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willie T
post Jul 22 2011, 07:36 PM
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One thing I did not see on your list was a problem with the dimmer/turn signal switch.

I have a 1988 240DL and it is in great shape for the most part. It has around 300,000 miles on it and is going strong. The paint and body are exceptional for a car this old and the interior is clean as well.

As you stated, any car that old will have problems. The switch started to give me problems dimming the lights and eventually got stuck on high beam. The switch did not click into position when using the high beams. Now, I do not have turn signals either, although it does click into position for this feature.

A local mechanic suggested that in his experience both relays for that switch would not go out at the same time, therefore he suggested I replace the switch, especially since it did not seem to click into position when dimming the lights. I have done so, but the problem still persists. Should I try replacing the relays and hope for the best? Or do you have another suggestion? This new switch does seem to operate mechanically for high and low beam better than the one I removed.
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cloey86
post Aug 13 2011, 07:39 PM
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Hey I'm so glad I found this post. I have the love of my life my 1986 240 wagon. She's got 300+ or something on her, but the OD stopped a long time ago. She's given me no problems so far, minus a few cosmetic/brake light/old hose issues. Just recently she started idleing funny, kinda sounds like she's not getting a steady stream of fuel, I took her to a friend who thought it might be a fuel line that was old and worn out, that worked except for when I push the clutch in, it starts idleing weird again but only when the clutch is pushed in....does anyone have any ideas what it could be???? Thanks
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morseman
post Aug 15 2011, 07:37 PM
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QUOTE (cloey86 @ Aug 13 2011, 07:39 PM)
Hey I'm so glad I found this post. I have the love of my life my 1986 240 wagon. She's got 300+ or something on her, but the OD stopped a long time ago. She's given me no problems so far, minus a few cosmetic/brake light/old hose issues. Just recently she started idleing funny, kinda sounds like she's not getting a steady stream of fuel, I took her to a friend who thought it might be a fuel line that was old and worn out, that worked except for when I push the clutch in, it starts idleing weird again but only when the clutch is pushed in....does anyone have any ideas what it could be???? Thanks

Check da flame trap.
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danielm85948
post Aug 30 2011, 12:23 AM
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QUOTE (Giovanni P. @ Jul 10 2011, 10:45 PM)
My '85 240 definitely has some fuel pump issues; a half-tank makes my car act like it's out of gas. My uncle said he had the same problem with his '85, and he just kept the tank close to full all the time. I'm curious: what experiences have people had with the fuel pump relay, and is replacing it worth my while?

fix the pump in your tank,it sits in a cut out in the tank you must turn the pump to lock it in place.
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