How much money to put into a 1993 240?

Discussion in 'Volvo 240' started by Patricia Butler, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. I have a 1993 240 wagon, which I love. The body is sound, without any
    rust problems. But there are several things that the car needs to
    have done to bring it fully up to speed, to the tune of just north of
    $2000. My question to other 240 lovers is, now much money would you
    put into your 240 wagon before you'd feel like you were throwing your
    money away? The thing is, even if I decided not to do the repairs and
    instead get another car, I'd just start shopping for another 1993 240
    wagon. So is it more prudent to just invest in the 240 I have?
    Feedback would be welcome. Thanks.
    Patricia Butler, Jul 23, 2010
  2. Patricia Butler

    James Sweet Guest

    IMO as much as it takes, as long as the body is solid and the car isn't
    rusty. 1993 was the last year they made the 240, so *any* 240 you find
    will be at least that old. The things that wear out or break on any 240
    will likely be worn out or broken on another one, and it's not
    unreasonable to drop $2K taking care of all the neglected maintenance on
    any older used car you get. Don't worry about the cost vs the value of
    the car unless you intend to sell it. Generally speaking a car is not an
    investment, you are paying money to have transportation. Look at it this
    way, the cheapest new car you could get, some crappy Kia or something
    would cost at least $8K. Put half that into fixing up a nice 240 and
    you'll have a FAR superior car. Buy a brand new car in the same class as
    a Volvo and the value will drop more than $2K the moment you drive it
    off the lot. You don't have to dump a fortune into it at once, just make
    a list of things it needs, prioritize, and then peck away at it a little
    each month and you'll have a car that keeps getting nicer with age. Take
    good care of the cosmetics because those are getting hard to find, the
    mechanical bits are still readily available. If you keep it long enough
    it might even be a valuable classic some day. Few cars are as
    recognizable as a 240 wagon.
    James Sweet, Jul 23, 2010
  3. Patricia Butler

    ransley Guest

    What work does it need, who said 2000, how many miles on it, does it
    burn oil? If it was a dealer then my experiance is the price is 50% to
    high and 50% of the work is not always needed. A local independant is
    best. But if its just brakes, tires, struts, belts, hoses, oils,
    plugs, then just do it as on any used car it will be the same and its
    just regular maintanance. On a car that old with many miles a
    compression test is a good idea to know what kind of engine life is
    ransley, Jul 23, 2010
  4. Patricia Butler

    Tim McNamara Guest

    I just went through this self-discussion. $2000 is $167 a month. Can
    you find a new or low-mileage used car for a payment of $167 a month?
    If you're going to buy another 1993 245, you'll still probably have to
    put $2000 into it...

    I fixed my 1990 240 instead. And have a bit left to do among things I
    know about (new strut mounts, replace the hood release cable which broke
    at the lever end, replace a few trim pieces in the interior and on the
    body around the bumper).
    Tim McNamara, Jul 23, 2010

  5. i recently had to shoot Dagmar (my 1976 245) -- well 7 years ago. it
    was traumatic. the mechanicals were all doable, but he had become
    "special". if the interior & exterior are all good, keep it, but
    realize that you have reached the point when cost of operation will
    just rise. there have been no Volvos built since 2000, but some of
    those are really nice & cheaper than a Kia. i stole my 2000 r from a
    toyota dealer (would a realota dealer have had better security?). he
    had no idea what he had & i was first. sometimes it pays to get up @
    4:00 am.

    i know this is emotional. get a newer Volvo for transportation.
    private sales of cars are cheap right now, but here are some thoughts.
    put your 240 out to pasture. drive him on weekends & slowly restore
    him. he WILL become a classic. give him to a younger friend or
    relative & when they wrap him around a tree just be happy they were
    driving a Volvo.
    Richard W Langbauer, Jul 24, 2010
  6. Patricia Butler

    clonet Guest

    With most other cars I would have said ' better the devil you know' if it's
    not too bad.
    But with a 240 I say 'better the angel ( ugh - couldn't think of a better
    word in this context ) you know'.

    If the bodywork is good as you say there is no question as to what you
    should do.
    Consider yourself privileged that you have such a good car and spend what is
    needed ( over time as you prioritise what is needed ).

    I have 2 x 1988 240 GL's and both are daily drivers for my wife and myself
    and I've had each several years.
    Most parts are easily available and there is a good fount of knowledge on
    them on the Internet, especially Volvo forums.
    I do most of the repairs ( not many needed ) and maintenance myself with
    very occasional use of a mobile mechanic across the road for things I need
    help on.
    If you are not able to look after it yourself find yourself a GOOD mechanic
    or car enthusiast to do it for you.
    They are quite easy on the maintenance front - buy yourself a Heynes or
    Bentley manual - your occasional use of a mechanic would have a guide to use
    ( Dare I say it ) - get yourself some overalls and a good tool kit too -
    their cost will be refunded many times.

    Here in the UK old Volvo's ( esp 240's ) are much cheaper to buy than in the
    Compare 240 auctions on ( USA ) and and you will see we
    are quite fortunate here in the UK where ( to many, many misguided souls ) a
    240 is thought of an old man's car.
    Also petrol is much more expensive here which reduces their appeal. But
    petrol is only 1 part of the cost of car ownership, TCO is what you should
    look at.
    Though they have seemed to be rising in value somewhat recently.

    My first 244GL which I bought in 1982 was a 1977 model and I paid £1800 for
    it privately.
    It was an Auto with leather interior and sun roof etc and was top spec in
    I had it 13 years with just 1 expensivish repair in that time and sold it in
    1995 for £180 still running well.
    I bough a different Volvo, one of the non Swedish ones ( those cars are
    different ), a 360GLT ( don't think you had them in the states ), then a 440
    Xi ( again non Swedish ).
    They don't last like the 240's do.
    I sold the 440 and replaced it with a 4 years older 240 in much, much better
    condition, that was a good move.
    The 240 Auto I bought in 1994ish to replace the 440 cost me £250 ( that's
    not a misprint ) and was in excellent condition.
    I had to replace the headlamp reflectors but the remaining expenditure over
    the following 6 years was just for regular maintenance items.

    May I suggest you join the forum at the UK Volvo owners club ( it's free and
    there are many international members ).
    You will find any help you need there by just posting your query. ( I'm
    c_lee on that forum ).

    If it has good bodywork as most do - keep it.

    I think I should stop now, I'm sounding like a fanatic.
    clonet, Jul 25, 2010
  7. Patricia Butler

    James Sweet Guest

    Used cars in the UK seem to go for peanuts in general, not just Volvos.
    Beats me why they devalue so quickly over there, but then American cars
    do that here, at just a year or two old they tend to be worth a fraction
    of their original cost.

    As for the fuel economy, a well maintained 240 with a manual gearbox can
    do better than 30mpg (US Gal), it compares favorably with many modern
    cars, especially for a midsize luxury car.
    James Sweet, Jul 26, 2010

  8. It's weather & salt. CA has neither. my last two volvos were assembled
    in Halifax & Ghent. i have driven a 360 but not in the US or CN they
    do not meet the safety or EPA standards. the 240 is already a classic,
    but so is the 544 & the 1900 & wouldn't drive either day to day. the
    best actual Volvo that you can still buy is based on an 850 platform
    -- e.g. an 850 or v70. still cheap, luxurious (hell i have a race car
    & until i rip them all out she has all leather seating & a seven
    speaker stereo. wicked pissa.)

    uk cars are also cheaper beacause no one else drives assbackwards.
    Richard W Langbauer, Jul 26, 2010
  9. Thank you! That sounds very reasonable to me (and not just because
    it's pretty much my same thinking!). I finished $1100 of the repairs
    this week, and will start chipping away at the other $1400 or so over
    the rest of the year. If I can keep the body up, I think it'll be
    worth the investment.
    Patricia Butler, Jul 30, 2010
  10. Thank you all so much for your input, which is valuable. I'm not the
    kind of person who would ever do the mechanical work myself, but I do
    have a good garage I trust -- Rolf's Foreign Auto in Evanston, IL, if
    you want to look up their reviews -- and they've taken care of all my
    240s. (Wow, I'm watching TV as I do this, and a Target commercial
    just came on with a mother dropping off her kids at school -- in a 240
    wagon! Target is anti-SUV! I now love them forever!)

    Here is a list of things Rolf's thinks my car needs to have done.

    1. Timing Belt Job (Replace timing belt, tensioner, front engine
    seals; replace broken upper timing belt cover) – $588
    2. Replace valve cover gasket -- $98
    3. Replace upper and lower radiator hose (add fresh fluid, bleed
    system, check for leaks [none found]) -- $49
    4. Replace cracked A/C belt (no charge)
    5. Front pads and rotors - $449
    6. Rear shocks rusted and leaking - $340 for both
    7. Transmission needs to be serviced – $130
    8. Brake fluid flush – $135
    9. New spark plugs – $79
    10. Steam clean engine compartment due to oil leaks – $78
    11. Air filter needs to be replaced - $52
    12. Upper/lower radiator hoses have soft spots - replace - $135
    13. Fan shroud broken – check replacement part price
    14. Lower Splash shield broken - check replacement part price

    Of these, I've already had done #1-4 which, with parts and labor (and
    minus a $100 coupon I had), came out to a combined total of $1041.18.
    The rest of the prices listed, #5-12, is their estimate of total price
    to have these items done.
    I'll get the rest of the list done by the end of the year, and pretty
    much in the order they're listed, starting with #5, the front brakes.

    Thanks again to everyone for your input. I really appreciate it.

    Patricia Butler, Jul 30, 2010
  11. I did...
    6 of 8 say they're expensive, and I think I agree.
    Maybe I'm just used to doing my own work (and I don't know their
    hourly rate, so I can't really comment on the big-dollar jobs), but
    some items do stand out as a little.... "extra"-pricey.
    Example: #11 - Air filter - Maybe $10 + 30 seconds to install?

    And isn't #3 the same as #12?
    MasterBlaster, Jul 30, 2010
  12. Patricia Butler

    Tim McNamara Guest

    An important item, timing belt replacement needs to be done every 80,000
    miles IIRC.
    He already had the belts off for #1 so it makes sense to do it then.
    #9 seems pricey to me. Unless there are problems like a plug being
    stuck in the head, this takes about 15 minutes. This price should
    include new plugs and wires IMHO.
    That's way pricey. $15 for the filter and about 15 minutes labor.
    Unless he's also replacing the airbox thermostat, which takes another 15
    minutes or so. If the preheater hose is still connected and the airbox
    thermostat hasn't been replaced, it should be to protect the air mass
    Duplicate of #3, so already done. I wonder why was it $49 at #3 but
    $135 here (except maybe as part of the labor done for replacing the
    timing belt).
    Brakes are good. ;-)
    And may you and your 240 wagon have many more happy years together. My
    1990 240 hit one off those chunks of time this summer where lots of
    stuff wore out or broke in short order and needs to be replaced- but the
    car drives better than ever now! 27 mpg from Door County WI back home
    to Minnesota a couple weeks ago.
    Tim McNamara, Jul 30, 2010
  13. Patricia Butler

    clonet Guest

    The 240 Auto I bought in 1994ish to replace the 440 cost me £250 ( that's
    not a misprint ) and was in excellent condition.

    Erm - that was a misprint - the year was 2004 but the price is correct and
    that was what I was refering to re misprint.
    The misprint was on the year.

    clonet, Jul 31, 2010
  14. Patricia Butler

    James Sweet Guest

    Really puts into perspective how much I save by doing this sort of stuff
    myself. It'd probably cost me $500 to do everything on that list, not
    factoring in the value of my time.
    James Sweet, Jul 31, 2010
  15. Patricia Butler

    James Sweet Guest

    I don't think their prices are *too* out of line, besides, sometimes you
    get what you pay for, and I don't see anything on that list that smells
    of BS. An air filter for a 240 is ~$15 for the part as I recall, and
    changing it takes a lot longer than 30 seconds, figure 10-15 minutes. I
    usually have to unbolt the air mass meter to disconnect the hose and
    then sometimes it's a fight to get the cover on and off with the
    radiator hose in the way. It's not a huge task, but the price is not
    excessive for a business, there's a lot of overhead beyond what the
    mechanic gets paid.
    James Sweet, Jul 31, 2010
  16. yeah, i never did understand the placement of that air filter cover.
    you can sneak it in but i think i fixed the problem by renewing the
    hose w/ something non-standard. something that no licensed mechanic
    would ever think to do because of the liability.

    as a retired general contractor i'm intimate w/ the costs of doing
    business. if you don't include p & o you soon become an ex general
    contractor. if they stand behind their work the prices seem fine.
    Richard W Langbauer, Jul 31, 2010
  17. Well, I'll give you my address and you can come on over!
    Patricia Butler, Aug 2, 2010
  18. Patricia Butler

    clay Guest

    Many of the items on your list you could (learn to) do on your own.
    They're not terribly technical or require special tools or knowledge.
    My sister does most of the maintenance on her Saturn... Well, dad did
    help her with the spark plugs, and I helped dad figure them out.
    Creative (silly) design, that Saturn 4 cyl.

    And don't let these guys fool you. An air filter is a half hour job and
    at least a scraped knuckle or two... on my '83 anyway. Maybe it's easier
    to get at on later models, I dunno.
    clay, Aug 2, 2010
  19. Doing your own auto maintenance/repair is fine if (1) you have the
    knowledge; (2) you have the tools; (3) you have the space. I strike
    out on all three. I don't have the knowledge, though I could, of
    course, acquire it if I wanted to spend the time (I really don't); I
    don't have the tools, which I could also acquire if I had the money
    and patience (which I don't) and, most importantly, since we don't
    have a garage and our cars are simply parked in the street in front of
    our house, I don't have the space. It's really far less hassle (and I
    also think less expensive in the long run) to take the car to skilled
    mechanics who, while perhaps comparitively expensive, also have an
    excellent track record for success, and who, on the odd times they do
    get something wrong, will work their backsides off to get it right. I
    think the trust factor alone is worth anything extra I might spend.
    (And I'm saying this as someone who just paid $200 to a garage that
    said they gave my car a complete lube job, oil change, rotated my
    tires, and fixed my A/C, only to have me drive away in a car with all
    the hinges bone dry, all the fluid levels low, all the tires in
    exactly the same place, and the A/C not only blowing warm, but missing
    the condensor fan!)
    Patricia Butler, Aug 2, 2010
  20. Patricia Butler

    James Sweet Guest

    Car maintenance isn't for everybody. I could learn to hunt and get my
    meat that way, but it's not something that appeals to me when I can just
    go pick it up at the supermarket, even if I pay more. I enjoy working on
    my car but I can understand why someone wouldn't.
    James Sweet, Aug 2, 2010
Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.