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Old 07-05-2010, 02:22 AM
 
Location: Ventura County, Ca
130 posts, read 331,263 times
Reputation: 88

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We recently aquired a 1993 Volvo and I had some general questions about their cars. Here they are:
How are Volvos when it comes to reliability? Are they good quality cars?

Is it true that for maintenance, you have to take it to a place that specializes in these types of cars? Do repairs cost more because it's a Swedish car?

Do they require mid-grade or premium gas? I've read a few owners posts and it sounds that way.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:31 AM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
1,025 posts, read 1,579,425 times
Reputation: 779
Quote:
Originally Posted by westcoastvp View Post
We recently aquired a 1993 Volvo and I had some general questions about their cars. Here they are:
How are Volvos when it comes to reliability? Are they good quality cars?

Is it true that for maintenance, you have to take it to a place that specializes in these types of cars? Do repairs cost more because it's a Swedish car?

Do they require mid-grade or premium gas? I've read a few owners posts and it sounds that way.

Thanks for your help.
You might be OK if you have the straight 6. The straight 5 had a lot of problems, although it mostly centered around the turbo models.

Most of the 80's Volvos were tanks, and if the DNA in your car is similar you should be in good shape.
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
6,856 posts, read 22,112,361 times
Reputation: 5383
240, 940, or 850?
The first two- (FR) front engine, rear wheel drive. The 850, front wheel drive.
The 850 was the precursor to the "C" series.

Narrow it down- we'll go from there.
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Old 07-05-2010, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Southeastern North Carolina
848 posts, read 1,976,859 times
Reputation: 1096
I've had a '93 volvo 940 since 2003. It has been reliable. When I first bought it, it needed a new catalytic converter and some brake work. A couple of years ago it overheated and needed a thermostat, which cost $65 (including labor) at a local garage.

I have no plans on getting rid of this car, it's the nicest car I've ever had (although that may not be saying much, I've owned some real pieces of crap :-\). And it has "only" 150,000 miles on the odometer.

I had the catalytic converter replaced at a local garage, using an inexpensive aftermarket converter, parts and labor came to less than $300. If you go with Volvo parts, they are more expensive, and if you take it to a Volvo dealer for work, you'll pay more.

I use mid-grade gas, that's what the owner's manual recommends.

Here's a link to the Brickboard Maintenance FAQ: Volvo Maintenance Hints for 7xx/9xx/90

They've also got message boards for the various models, etc.
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:12 PM
 
Location: AZ
5,155 posts, read 6,403,611 times
Reputation: 6802
If you acquired a 240 or a 940, yes it is a good car, assuming it was well maintained.

The 1993 960s were just OK. The 960 was much more complicated and touchy than the 4 cylinder models.

It's unlikely that you acquired a functional 1993 850, so I'll skip that altogether.
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Columbia, California
6,541 posts, read 15,220,472 times
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Shutter, I hope you would not purchase a 260, horror. I think they were discontinued around 1990. The Renault V6 was only good as a anchor.
960's had the straight 6 designed by Porsche.
Volvos will last a very long time if routinely checked and regular oil changes.
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Ventura County, Ca
130 posts, read 331,263 times
Reputation: 88
I should of specified. It's an 850 GLT
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Old 07-05-2010, 08:43 PM
 
Location: NY
6,457 posts, read 5,651,749 times
Reputation: 7205
I think you should be able to handle regular maintenance anywhere.

For problems, I may search out a good Euro shop, just to be on the safe side.

They are reliable. I was shopping 850's last summer and my research revealed that they were very reliable and desirable. I ended up buying a C30 T5 after a deal on an 850 GLT fell thru. Still, I looked into them a lot and found people happy with them. What amazed me the most was that there was still a strong demand for them, even with tons of mileage. I found a ton of them with 150K+ in mileage. They must be somewhat reliable to be worth so much, and have so many with higher mileage. Most cars at that age and mileage are just scrapped.

As for gas, I cannot help. My C30T5 equipped with Volvo's I-5 turbo (a descendent of the GLT's engine) prefers 91+, but will run all day on 87. I am not sure about the GLT specifically. Still, at $.20 a gallon difference, it is hardly a deal breaker.

Good luck on your search! I really was impressed by the 850's, and wish the deal I had didn't follow thru. I would never given my C30 a look had it not been for that 850.
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Old 07-05-2010, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Northeast Tennessee
7,003 posts, read 14,647,030 times
Reputation: 5167
Hoping it was the 240. 1993 was the last year for the 240, which was one of the most reliable and easiest Volvos to service. My uncle had three... one was an 81, one was an 86 and one was an 87. ALL were excellent cars, well over 250K.

This design dated back to the 70s, but was a safe, simple and proven design... but was bland and boring to most people.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:29 PM
 
Location: Vermont / NEK
5,366 posts, read 8,782,622 times
Reputation: 6456
I have a 95 GLT and have never run anything except 87 octane in it. Find out when your timing belt was last changed. It should be noted with a sticker on the housing. That in line 5 is an interference engine, unlike the older 4 cylinders and big trouble if the belt snaps. The belt is supposed to be changed at 80k mile intervals. It's also the best time to replace the water pump if necessary. Change the oil, plugs and filters as needed and that is a very good motor. More than likely you AC isn't working. If the evaporator is gone, forget about replacing it - just too expensive. Mine didn't work either, but with a can of R134A for 20 bucks it blows ice cold. In three years, I'm on my second can. Maybe you'll get lucky too!

I don't have Volvo specific mechanics work on the car. A good indie shop is all you need and the more you can do on it yourself the better. As for reliability: In 50k miles of use I've had a wheel bearing go bad and that's really it. Right now mine has 199k on it and there is the tiniest of oil leaks, which isn't worth bothering with at this point.

I'd drive it cross country tomorrow and those seats, which are just sooo comfy would make it all worth it. Good luck with yours!
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