1994 960 sedan: experiences and opinions??

Discussion in 'Volvo 960' started by deanh, Jun 9, 2004.

  1. deanh

    deanh Guest

    I'm probably close to purchasing a 94 960 sedan. It test drove
    nicely...felt tight and plenty powerful. Taking it for a mechanical
    inspection later in the week. Relatively low miles (114K).

    This car will be used mostly for local trips less than 10 miles as give
    up chaufer duties to a newly licensed driver...it will also be used for
    the snow days and mulch hauling I'd rather avoid using a newer car on:)

    I'm a a Volvo novice (have been playing in various VW models for 20
    years) and considering this purchase based on the recommendations of
    multiple coworkers who are avid Volvo supporters.

    I'd be interested in the experiences or opinions of others related to
    960s of this vintage...

    deanh, Jun 9, 2004
    vietvet67 likes this.
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  2. deanh

    Rob Guenther Guest

    We've got a 1993 wagon, and it's served the family quite well... If you want
    to use it in winter, then get good snow tires on steel rims for it, it needs
    them - fairly powerful rear drive car.

    Some sources say 1994 has the updated engine, some say 1995... We have the
    older 201hp engine with more top end power, there was also a 181hp engine,
    which felt basically the same, due to more useable torque in the low-mid
    range (i've never driven one, but I would imagine in a straight line the
    201hp engine is the faster car... but who takes a Volvo... a stock Volvo...
    to the track anyways, it's a plenty fast car for the highway tho). Our 201hp
    engine doesn't have a torque deficiancy we can see, it tows our 2000lb
    trailer quite well.

    As far as reliability, we've never been stranded, or seen the check engine
    light... Just wear and tear/age items. New radiator was this year.... we
    need a new A/C evap unit, it's had a rear caliper replaced due to a leak,
    new brake pads only once (at 108K Kms), new oil pan (someone stripped our
    thread), new struts for the liftgate, 2 sets of front headlamps, completely
    new exhaust system, from the catalytic converter, back... Got larger pipes,
    I believe from a Turbo car, as well as a nicer exhaust tip.... That's about
    it... as far as I know.

    Right now, all it needs is a new radio, and the A/C to be fixed. Don't know
    how the radio died, most likely cold solder joints I can't trace down, or a
    blown tuner chip... A/C has an evaporator problem, that is apparantly not
    common on the 960's.
    Rob Guenther, Jun 10, 2004
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  3. deanh

    deanh Guest

    Thanks. I drove the car on a longer highway run tonight while relocating
    it for the mechanic's inspection. Excellent interstate runner....feels
    rock solid...
    deanh, Jun 11, 2004
  4. deanh

    Rob Guenther Guest

    Oh yah, incredible highway cars

    Even if there are a few things to take care of on it, it's still probably a
    good buy. Things fail on these cars, it seems mainly due to age, they aren't
    the cheapest cars to fix, but they're not bad. I find I get better value
    servicing this car then my Volkswagen - which was $31K (with tax) new in
    1999, whereas you have to remember the 960 was a $40K+ (w/o tax) car back in
    1993 (CND funds)... And the parts quality seems to be higher, for not much
    more, and sometimes less money for basically the same thing.

    Tho, the VW is a diesel and makes up for its high maintenance costs in fuel
    savings... The Volvo is quite a bit costlier at the pump... Around 12L per
    100kms in town, and ~9L (8.5 easy going -10, if you push it) per 100 kms on
    the highway. The car can do over 800kms range on the highway! - premium fuel
    is needed tho... But still, if you can't afford the fuel, you can't really
    afford the car.
    Rob Guenther, Jun 11, 2004
  5. deanh

    Randy G. Guest

    I have done some work on my '93 960 estate and can say that I really
    like the car. With new strut cartridges, rear shocks, ball joints, and
    the rear control arm front cone bushings I did all the work) it
    handles like a sports car. Comfortable and fun to drive. Be sure to
    verify when the timing belt was changed! This is an interference
    engine and losing a timing belt has the potential for destroying the
    motor. The '94 updated the timing belt (over the '93 which was updated
    after the '92).
    from Randy & Valerie
    __ __
    \ \ / /
    \ \/ /
    1993 960 Estate
    Randy G., Jun 11, 2004
  6. deanh

    oldp3rider Guest

    Thanks. I assume the timing belt is the same as the crankshaft belt:
    ther is a big sticker on the motor saying:
    "crankshaft belt service interval: 50,000 miles" (or something
    similar...the car isn't avaialable for me to look at the moment) ???
    oldp3rider, Jun 11, 2004
  7. deanh

    Michael Guest

    Timing belt is the critical item on this engine. About $350 to have
    replaced and about $4000 worth of damage if it fails...you do the math. My
    '97 960 id in the shop for about $2000 worth of work right now. Expensive
    to fix but a road car unequaled IMHO. Mine has just over 200K miles now. I
    used to drive BMWs (still have a 633 CSI w/ five speed manual for weekends)
    but the 960 drives well, is comfortable and is a tank in an accident.
    Michael, Jun 12, 2004
  8. deanh

    Rob Guenther Guest

    Yah, they call it a Cambelt or Camshaft belt.

    Rob Guenther, Jun 13, 2004
  9. deanh


    Nov 28, 2019
    Likes Received:
    You can go to the bank about the replacing the timing belt at 50,000 miles. I didn't take it serious one time and went only a couple hundred miles over. Driving down the road one day and motor shut off. Stupid me tried restarting the engine (big mistake) and ruined the heads. Ended up being @ a $2,500.00 head replacement job. CHANGE THE TIMING BELT AT OR BEFORE THE 50,000 MILE MARK!!!
    vietvet67, Nov 28, 2019
  10. deanh


    Nov 28, 2019
    Likes Received:
    I have a 1994 960 4 dr sedan, 2.9L engine with @ 214,500 miles. Purchase new in 1994 and have never regretted it. I let it sit for 2 or 3 years, which was a big mistake. The interior deteriorated badly (neglect on my part) and some hoses dried out and had to be replaced. However, when I went to start it and start using it again it fired right up! I'm in the process of re-doing the car now. Just had it painted & it looks like new. The car still drives as solid as the day I bought it! I need to replace the upholstery and have been replacing several small items that have just worn out or cracked/disintegrated which is to be expected. Parts are getting hard to find; having to search salvage yards seems to be the best route. If you have to go to a Volvo dealer get your wallet out - as always it's expensive but you do get original parts from Sweden normally. I've had some luck with ebay also. Good luck and enjoy the 960 - it's like a TANK!!!
    vietvet67, Jan 7, 2020
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