59k Mile 1984 Volvo 240DL Survivor!

If there’s one make-or-break aspect of this driver-quality 1984 Volvo 240DL, it’s the brown exterior paint color: you’re either going to love it or hate it. However, it’s not every day you find such a clean, low-mile Brick, which is available here on eBay.

This Volvo is available in Roswell, Georgia. The current seller is the second owner of the vehicle, noting that they purchased it from the original owner in San Diego, California. As you can see, this 240DL seems to be in remarkable condition.

Admitting they are Volvo enthusiasts, the seller tackled various maintenance items during their ownership, and they also have plenty of records to back it up. Installed items include two new tires, a new distributor and rotor, Bosch spark plugs, IPD spark plug and distributor wires, a new fuel pump and fuel pressure regulator, and various sensors. Additionally, the vehicle received a new and complete wiring harness.

Inside the cabin, the upgrades continue. This 240 has all new upholstery and cushions, as well as a new Blaupunkt audio system. Though it is an older Volvo model, it still has features such as air conditioning, a defrosting rear window, and cruise control.

You’ll find Volvo’s trusty 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine under the hood, and it only has 59,094 miles under its belt. The engine pairs to a 4-speed automatic transmission to drive the rear wheels. Though the car runs drives well, there is an undiagnosed issue with its idle.

Despite its positive attributes, this Volvo does need a handful of minor items. The seller acknowledges that the sedan needs two new tires, a new compressor for the air conditioning system, plastic clips for the window trims, a hubcap, and the reverse light lens on the driver side taillight. Personally, it confuses me when sellers skip out on various small fixes prior to a vehicle’s sale, especially on an example like this, which is impressive otherwise.

Currently, bidding for this 240DL is at $2,966 with the reserve not met. Would you take on this clean Volvo that needs a few items, or is the brown paint on this brick a deal breaker?


  1. Howard A Member

    I had a ’78 very similar to this, only 4 speed with O/D. It was a really nice car. This a smokin’ deal for someone. Parts or repairs, which probably wouldn’t be very often, are very expensive. Good thing it’s a non-interference motor, something I never thought about when I owned one. I don’t think you could find a better deal, they do come through here once in a while, and this is it.

    Like 3
    • David

      How do you know it’s a great deal? Do you know what the Reserve is?

      Like 1
  2. Capriest

    My yuppie uncle had one of these in this same color combo when I was a kid. This was around 87ish. I distinctly remember the MASSIVE headrests. Some hipster kid will pick this up no doubt. It being brown won’t stop them.

    Like 1
  3. carmicheals

    Always liked these cars – I would be bidding were I in the market…

    Like 1
    • Max

      I am Not Volvo fan but I always liked these early 240s and 244s !

    • Mike gilliam

      I have a 91 240 with 230000 on it won’t quit ha!

  4. Eli

    I remember specifically that the 84 240 series how frustrating fuel injection issues that were difficult to remedy as being a design flaw for the 84. My friend owned one and couldn’t find a fix even after going to the dealer etc. It was characteristic for only the 84 model. It’s interesting that this car also has issues with idling. The engines and trans last forever on these cars but they are extremely expensive to repair. A major plus for the low mileage because the 240s are notorious for most of the interior plastics to disintegrate like egg shells in front of your eyes. Even the outside rear light assemblies (especially on wagons) would fall apart. Dashes would crack, heater blower motors failed, odometers stopped working, rear mains would leak due to lack of proper maintenance to the emission system. There was an item similar to today’s pcv valve that needed to be cleaned or replaced which caused rear mains to leak if neglected. These cars could go well over 300,000 miles while the bodies could rust extensively and regular repairs were astronomical. They sold loads of these cars but there are few survivors due to hefty upkeep costs.

    • don

      Here in CT. there were plenty of these cars, but the early 240s had terrible rust out issues in the floors and rockers .I’ve seen them with the front seats hanging down because the rear seat rails were no longer attached to anything. They must have addressed that issue as the later 80’s through 1993 were less prone to severe rust issues.
      Eli is right on the Volvo plastics ; we used to say that Sweden made tough cars, but their plastic is awful . 240 door pockets are almost always broken .The reverse lens used to disintegrate and fall off and for years the only solution was to buy a complete taillight. The odometer fails were usually a speed sensor in the diff. The other Issues Eli mentions are really no worse than any other car ; heaters are on a lot in New England, so they due wear out on all cars, and other parts do fail – its inevitable ! The oil traps can get plugged and blow out seals, but its an easy fix and if the car is serviced ,will not be a problem.
      This car is in very nice shape, and being a California car is a big plus. My question is this -Why were the seats reupholstered ? With this kind of mileage, the seats should be mint ! Volvo seat upholstery is probably the most durable I have ever found . I sold a 93 240 last year with 170,000 on it and the seats were beautiful , and my old 89 740 was well over 200,000 and the seats had no tears anywhere. I know any upholstery for these cars has long been discontinued from Volvo , so that’s is the only question I would have on this car

      • Alex Clough

        I have had my 84 since new – Have held on to it due to sentimentality I guess. This model had huge problems with the wiring harness (defective) and cost loads to replace. It has over 300.000 miles on it and only is still on the road because I have thrown allot of money at it! I have kept meticulous records on maintenance, repairs, service and anything else that has been done to it by myself and professionals. Had to have the transmission rebuilt and clutch replaced this year for about $3800. My point being that this car has not been cheap to maintain by a long shot. I would have the car checked out thoroughly by a good Volvo mechanic that knows about this model specifically before buying!

  5. Jeepster

    ” sellers skip out on various small fixes ”

    ever change a heater core in one of these damn cars ?

    Like 3
  6. Eli

    The 84 240 Model Year had specific issues with the fuel injection that even through the dealership had no particular remedy. They were extremely hard starting cars when cold in certain conditions. The engines and trans lasted forever while most of the interior plastics disintegrated before your eyes like egg shells. The heater motors often failed as well as the odometer. Rear main seal leaks were quite common. Maintaining these cars was insanely expensive although engines were known to go way above 300,000 miles if the owner was willing to lay out repair expenses. This low mileage example is a good start but regardless, the age and inherent fuel injection problems can lead to more issues. I loved these cars, as they drove well although had no power for getting on highways or passing. Still comfortable with great seats! Although they made a ton of these cars there are few seen on the road today do to high repair costs.

    Like 5
    • BonHagar

      I owned both an ‘82 245 and later, an ‘83 244 Turbo. Loved both BUT, in Michigan, rust was unstoppable in the 240’s which is what probably did most of these in. Low to no power but, fairly reliable. We still have a 2001 V70 which runs and has held up way better than either of these did. Our V70’s a champ, long distance driving comfort, an excellent hi-if, typical maintenance but, no WTF issues in almost 20 years of ownership. Also, in Michigan, no rust on our V70.

  7. Capt.Shindig

    I owned a great 1975 245DL wagon I bought in 1979. Was a great car but parts were expensive and the inevitable fuel injection issues reared their ugly head and repairs proved costly and often. As a 20 year old kid, I decided to move on to a great 1966 Ford Falcon 2 door with a straight six. It was a dream to repair and keep running and cheap too (Paid $400 for it with 54K miles and original plastic seat covers grandma had installed from day one!).Not as technologically advanced but simple, dependable transportation that I wish I had kept.

  8. Mountainwoodie

    That color reminds me of sport jackets worn by a certain deceased ex president…….shudder…..slushbox…double shudder….now a small bumper ’70 or ’71…..4 speed with an o/d….yup…..in college we made good use of a ’71….plenty of substance impaired students can fit into one and run with very little oil :)

  9. MrF

    Brown is beautiful. Our brown ’79 245 was great until it needed a heater fan: di$a$ter.

    • That AMC guy

      A lot of manufacturers seem to use the heater core, AC evaporator, and blower motor as the foundation that the rest of the vehicle is built around rather than starting with a frame or floorpan. Major disassembly required. (There are a few exceptions but most that I’ve seen require a ludicrous amount of wrenching to get to these parts.)

      Like 1
      • Capriest

        Truer words have never been spoken. I did one on my 81 mustang ghia and the center console needed to be removed, steering column dropped, and the entire dash had to come apart. When I bought my 83 capri [same basic interior/dash layout] the core was bypassed. Knowing this was a 4 hour job minimum, and having done it before I was not looking forward to it! My brother has done 3 on his 86 GT vert as well so I was well aware of how much of a PITA these are.

        Shortly after purchase I posted pics on a foxbody forum I frequent. Interior shots were posted to show the ultra rare uncracked black dash pad lol. A member commented on it saying I had dealer installed AC. The tell for this is smaller vents on the dash that were added where they would be on an AC car. Unprompted he mentioned that it would be a blessing if I ever had to do a heater core. Apparently all I had to do was remove the glove box door and box itself, then the 4 screws on the heater box faceplate. Slide the old one out, and pop the new one in like an 8track! Had he not randomly pointed this out I would have torn the whole interior apart. Took 20 mins with a phillips and a torx. Not including flushing the coolant system, but still.

        Strange how it is a notoriously laborious job on a car with AC, yet without it is by far the simplest heater core job I have ever done.

        Like 1
  10. dweezilaz

    I would think that the wife’s Granny panties over the rear license plate to be more of a Craig’s List thing than showing up in an eBay ad.

    Nice car, though. Grandmother had a black 80, which was as solid as anything I’ve ridden in since.

    Like 2
    • Rock On

      Would a g-string or thong be big enough to hide the license plate?

      Like 2
  11. Maestro1

    Buy it right, take it to a Volvo dealer and spend $2000. on it tio get it straight and then enjoy.

  12. Bakyrdhero

    I like it. Brown and all.

  13. Bob C.

    These outdated people movers (even for the time) were great. They were strong and reliable. True Volvo owners wouldn’t have it any other way.

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