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1991 Volvo 940 GLE 4dr Wagon
there's not enough room here for a complete list of the problems - but here goes: all features made from sub-standard and too thin/weak (often German made ) plastic are now non-functional-including switches,control devices,safety devices,performance devices,electronics,door-panel fasteners broken everywhere,shifter,switches such as door windows, ignition,sensors on the engine,bushings on the transmission shifter etc. -- Did I mention the tail-light assemblies were coming apart with the very expensive 4-lamp pods coming unglued and the ABS plastic sub-assemblies cracking and falling apart where the studs fit into the assembly ? The brake rotors so rusted into place so badly that one broke just removing it (and this car has seen very little salt if any) VERY POOR HANDLING-DANGEROUS - no fun to drive-hard to park! Radio works but of the six speakers, only one works. plastic cracked everywhere! Seat-belt buckles broken, heated seats shrunk the leather-then quit. As for safety while driving ?? THIS IS HANDS-DOWN THE WORST HANDLING CAR I'VE EVER OWNED AND DRIVEN (and this includes the '57 Studebaker) The car is nearly impossible to park -- I think it has variable steering ! (and that from a guy who has never caused an accident in over 45 years of driving; and who got perfect scores on both the written and driving/parking tests when I got my license) What a stinking piece of Swedish [non-permissible content removed] ! I have been building and restoring British cars (and the occasional Mercedes) for over 45 years and I've never been inspired to blog or write in any way about the faults I've found -- until I bought the Volvo. Volvo owners, repair shops, and even the dealership I've talked to have all recounted horror stories about bad Volvo design and excessively high prices for both parts and service and etc. -- with many things impossible to repair, necessitating replacement of whole components at great expense -- the only American brand(s) that rival Volvo for high-cost and excessive breakdowns .. is Dodge. (actually any Chrysler product) -- Distributer adjustment/clamping bolts (there are three) nearly impossible to get a wrench on -- no way to see them, as the geniuses at Volvo put the distributer about one inch from the firewall !! (sure hope the motor doesn't shift on its mounts -- if a mount were to break (common in any automotive assembly over 15 years old, or where oil has been leaking -- like my Volvo) the $1,000 distributer assembly would be the first to get smashed! - just loosening the three adjustment nuts took about an hour of trying one wrench shape after another (not size, just the shape or bend needed )
AND -- before you think I'm just some clutz of a mechanic -- I studied both engineering and physics in college (before going on to organic chemistry) and worked in the field of chemical engineering for two major US companies and have an advanced degree.
Here is just one example of bad-Volvo-design -- the automatic transmission shifter assembly: four bushings link the shifter AND the housing AND the assembly AND the transmission control rods in a "Rube Goldberg" like contraption that guarantees inaccurate shifts and difficulty in finding any one gear. The only thing that could be worse is if the illuminating light for the shifter didn't work, so you couldn't see what gear you were going into at night...like my Volvo...(did I mention that it took about ten hours of studying and attempting to install the bulb, in situ, before I realized that the standard bulb that is fitted everywhere else in the dash, the instruments, and the interior, at about 30 or 40 locations, was NOT THE CORRECT BULB !! and that the correct bulb was only used in this one place and had a glass envelop 1 or 2 hundredths of an inch narrower than the standard bulb and with the same base and same overall design ?? and that you could not see where it was going into the assembly ?? and that you had to use only one finger from each hand to carefully try to push upward into an unseen hole -- not even visible with the use of a small mirror ?? By the way, the dealership said to just replace the entire assembly (should only cost about $1,000 parts and labor) I finally found the correct bulb (2 for $3.99) by chance, as the dealership had no clue and no part number either ! So -- getting back to the sloppy Volvo shifter assembly -- on my car all four bushings were missing !! I guess the last time the transmission was rebuilt (twice in roughly 170,000 miles) the Volvo "expert" forgot to install the bushings .. or .. couldn't get them. I made all four rather than buying the over-priced and very hard to get bushings -- and when I was done with my car, did my neighbor's Volvo too (a 1990 700 series wagon) Both cars now shift the way they are supposed to. Oh, the adjustment for my Volvo slipped once (due to my rough shifting?) and necessitated getting under the car yet again to re-adjust and tighten, etc. THANK GOD, NOW IT DOESN'T START !
1991 Volvo 940 SE Turbo 4dr Sedan
We bought a '91 940 Turbo from a family friend who took very well of his cars, and we continued the regular maintenance. It is a heavy car, which is safe but hard on gas and acceleration. It was disaster to drive when gas was $4+ a gallon. Currently there are a lot of things wrong: interior roof covering is falling apart, the odometer stopped working at 160k, the turbo is stuck on, etc. And I've been stranded 3 times in the past few months from a range of engine problems. Now the engine dies at 50+mph, apparently from a blown converter. I am selling it because it is no longer worth the money put into it. These issues are a shame, because I love the look and design of this early 90s Volvo.
Classic and simple design. Heavy, safe feel.
Reliability. This model does not seem to live up to the Volvo brand or the 200k+ driving life.
1991 Volvo 940 SE Turbo 4dr Sedan
The 940 has always been a joy to drive. It holds the road extremely well. It has a great deal of power both for acceleration. It has a large passenger cabinet very well appointed. The trunk is very large and the standard Volvo trunk to passenger cabin has been extremely useful many times for transporting sailing booms, skis, lumber and other long stuff!
Rear suspension system is comfortable but not dependable in the long run. The rear end sags after six or seven years.
1991 Volvo 940 Turbo 4dr Sedan
This is my first car but not the only
one I drive on a regular basis. The
turning circle is awesome and the car
starts every time. Engine is okay once
the turbo spools, but fairly weak before
that. Interior is comfortable but needs
cup holders. While the car isn't what
one might refer to as beautfiul, it
doesn't look bad and keeps you from
Handling is decent with a bit more body
roll than I'd like, but it's 13 years
old already. Understeer is controllable
and the limited slip rear diff is really
useful. Few mechanical issues even with
Turbo, turning circle, seats, safety.
Cup holders, bigger turbo or engine, better gas mileage.
1991 Volvo 940 SE Turbo 4dr Wagon
Was bought in 1998 as a salvage car.
Been hit from the side, but was
undamaged otherwise; Volvo repairman
restored it and sold it at a great
price. As it's gotten older there've
been more repairs, mostly for things
that have worn out. Air conditioning
and tape deck no longer work and there
are problems with the door-locking
system. On the other hand, the int/ext
still look great and it's a very solid
car with 147K miles on it, and no
sign of turbo problems. With regard
to the turbo, we've been religious
about running the engine for a bit
after parking,& have serviced it
regularly. Plan to keep it until
it dies--repair is still less
expensive than new.
Tight turning circle; good paint job; good speed on inclines; very comfortable car for longer drives.
Cup holders! It's strange there are none on a car of this age. Tires could last longer-- I've been told the sway of a car of this design causes greater wear. Get rid of plasic-type radiator? Replcmnt of this was suggested as soon as I bought car to avoid sudden failure & exp. repair.