Pre-1999 Volvos (850/940/740/240)

A simpler time!

A small disclaimer: while the 850's are not rear wheel drive, they fall into the "pre-VIDA" category!


Recommendations for these models:

*Oil change every 3,000 miles. On turbo models, replace one quart of oil with a quart of Mystery Oil (to help prevent sticky lifters)

*4 Studded snow tires during the winter and snowy months, mounted on separate steel wheels. Maine allows studs from November until April.

*Pay close attention to the drain holes in the frame: a weakness of the 2/7/900's is rust. These models have drain holes that often (if not always) are plugged and force the water back inside the car. Once inside, the water just sits...rusting and eating away your floor pans.

*Watch out for poor installation of an aftermarket windshield. So many times we have seen, otherwise nice, 240's come in with an aftermarket windshield that was just simply installed over whatever rust was there on the windshield frame. When a new windshield gets installed here at the shop, we take special care inc checking the condition of the surface that the seal and urethane actually sit on. If there is rust build up, that is the time to sandblast/prime/paint the area so that the windshield will actually seal. If this is not done, your windshield gasket will allow water to enter the car...causing the same damage as listed above: rotting the floor pans away. If you have chronic wet floors or water under your floor mats, you likely have a leaking windshield and your floor's days are numbered. Floor chassis integrity is the #1 cause for inspection failure and end of vehicle life (and it is usually completely preventable!) Click to see an example

*850's especially: PCV!!! Positive Crank Ventilation, as it is otherwise known as, can be quite a menace. This system retains all of the residue picked up by the car's oil. Frequent oil changes are a great way to keep this system healthy...but inevitably, some hoses and flame traps need to be replaced. When it goes beyond just topical cleaning and part is an example of the 'whole nine yards'

*Another "850's especially": Timing Belt. The life expectancy of an 850 timing belt is 70,000 miles. Since engines made after 1993 are "interference engines".  Rather than just assume that your belt is going to make it to that mileage, we recommend checking it (see our VMA) annually. The ramifications of a broken timing belt is: a broken engine. Something that neither you the customer, nor us the repair shop, want to see your car go through. Timing belt breakage can also occur from pulley and/or tensioner bearings going bad. These parts should be, but not always are, changed when the belt is changed. For this reason, any new sounds from the engine compartment should be brought to the attention of your service person ASAP!

*BRAKES: Sad, but true, most brake work that this shop does is to re-do recent insufficient (read "BAD") work done elsewhere. Huge money is wasted at other service venues installing good parts poorly. Brakes need to be installed having had the work surface cleaned of rust, lubricated with the correct silicon grease and the fluid changed. If this isn't done, the new parts will get stuck and wear out prematurely. Brakes done properly should wear evenly and last up to 30,000 miles-if used properly. Our VMA will let you know the condition of the brakes. Click here for pictures of brakes, specifically a 240 as found

*Quality of parts being installed: Volvos don't come from China, and neither should their replacement parts. Our parts department spends a lot of time/ resources on quality control. So many aftermarket parts are so inferior that we are finding recently replaced suspension parts bad (they won't pass inspections, are ruled unsafe...). Make sure you know what your service vendor is using (Volvo quality parts or proven equivalent). Here we use only parts with a proven track record of acceptable performance, and we are always on the alert for 'bogus' parts.

*SAVE THE 240s:  A page dedicated to the 240 lovers










Alan Auto Volvo Service 195 Saint John Street Portland, ME