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Need advice on buying a used car (volvo)

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Linas, Oct 19, 2006.

  1. Linas


    Jan 6, 2005
    I currently have a GMC pickup that i really dont put to use and its killing me on gas. I am looking at buying this 1988 Volvo 780 GLE 2 Door Coupe for 1700$. Its got 108k on it and my old man is trying to discourage me from buying it because he says that this is when cars start to break down. Hes no mechanic, but i want some other opinions. I know volvos are build to last, but i dont wana buy this car if i am gona have to put 5k into it in the next year. What do yall think?
  2. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    I wouldn't offer more than $800 for an 18 year old car. You can get a car in much better condition for $1700. Look into a second generation Taurus. The 3.0 is SOLID and will take a beating. You can find these in that price range. You get V6 power but a lot better gas mileage than you're getting with your truck.
  3. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    My biggest fear with the "quirky companies" (volvo/saab) and some other Euro cars (Mercedes/BMW) is that the parts and labor cost for general repairs tends to run higher. Small-common repairs like exhaust, water pump, can run over 2500+ at dealers. I would stay away, if you bought it yourself, new, and took care of it, it would be different.

  4. +1 you dont want to have to import parts... not to sure what to say baout the quirky coment though :spit:
  5. im a service advisor at a volvo dealership, so i can answer any questions you have.

    Volvos started to be garbage after about '98. Even more so now that ford owns them. As long as the compression and leak down test come out ok, and there arent any major leaks, you should be in good shape. 108k on an older model isnt that bad, and we have one in the shop similar to that right now, with 270k on it.
  6. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Mine is a 98 sedan. 170k. I have found it expensive to service,
    particulary in parts. As you know the dollar is quite
    weak and the parts have risen as they come from Europe.
    Mufflers and coverters and all that are pretty expensive.

    The upside is that is is built like a tank.

    My gas mileage is about 24 mpg.

    I am thinking about a new car soon, but Volvo has dropped a
    bit in my estimation because of the maintenance cost issues.

    Bottom line, keep looking.
  7. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    I stand by my statement that the Taurus is the best-bang-for-your-buck used car out there.

  8. Lie! American cars cant hold a torch to imports. The quality of imports is so much better, especially japanese.

    Civic or corolla is best bang for your buck.
  9. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    Don't forget to add in the cost of parts and labor, what do you think the better deal is? The Taurus has V6 power with 4 cylinder gas mileage.

    I understand there are those who are allergic to certain types and/or brands of vehicles out there, but I'll stand by this claim.
  10. UnsungZeros

    UnsungZeros The only winning move is not to play.

    It's not that they're really that quirky, it's just that those brands aren't nearly as common here as the big American and Japanese auto makers.
  11. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    I wouldn't expect to get much for $1700, especially in the salt belt.

    Save your money and get something newer.
  12. deichman

    deichman Supporting Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    If this 1988 780 is a V-6, stay away for sure. If it is the 4-cyl turbo, then the motor (and turbo) can last a very long time, IF the oil and filter services have been performed consistently. But, with that said, the 780 has proven to be a very expensive car to repair. The engine, trans., and rear end are rock solid and can last for several hundred thousand miles. It's other things, like power seat motors, window regulators/motors, sunroof motors, blower fan motors and many other components that are prone to failuer on this model, and thay are all very expensive. I won't attempt to tell you what you should buy in that price range, just know that you are somewhat limited on reliability and should take your time here. Relaible vehicles CAN be purchased in this range. I bought a 1991 Mazda B2600i pickup for $1000 just to keep around so it doesn't get every day use. But I know them to be reliable with well over 100,000 miles on them, and this one has been solid. If you have any other questions about Volvo's I'd be happy to help. I am the GM at a Volvo retailer and have been there for 30 years.

    Good luck,

  13. an 88 will have a biodegradable wire harness.... so if it isn't replaced, assume it will need to be.

    I'm on my 5th Volvo (P1800, 242, 262, 245, and currently a 745).... and as a matter of fact up until this past spring my Mother has had new Saabs every few years since 78.

    Volvo parts are easy to come by, and no more expensive than an American car... plus most the 4 cylinder / rwd cars share common engine and drivetrain parts.

    My current 1991 745 was a one owner car with 171K that I picked up for $900 (they were asking $1800).
  14. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jan 22, 2021

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