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Performance Specialists Since 1963

Customer Spotlight - Shaun Whitson

2015-04-08 - Shaun Whitson

My Volvo

by Shaun Whitson

Hi my name is Shaun. I am nineteen years old. Despite this I have always held an appreciation for Volvo cars. My grandmother has owned five 240 models. At least two of them she has had during my lifetime. During the times I've spent with her we always played a game where we just yelled Volvo at any time we saw a 240. Up until more recently I didn't pay much attention to the other models. The newer ones are too common and less nostalgic while the ones older than the 240 are so rare they aren't seen often enough. After owning my Volvo I have grown to appreciate the others more.

I, as most teenagers this day and age, expected a vehicle to be bought for me before graduating high school. This, however, did not happen. Fortunately so, I had always reveled at the idea of buying my first car myself.  We all started searching after graduation but I was the most extensive. I looked on Craigslist, Ebay, local classifieds and a few used car lots. The problem was none of the cars spoke to me but my wallet wasn't much help either. Every time I looked on the internet I always checked Volvo 240's specifically because of their mostly well-known reliability.

Eventually after months of looking, I decided to just use Volvo as my search criteria. Sure enough I found a 240 on Craigslist that otherwise would not have shone up. This one was a gold 1988 240 GL for $1100 and only a few miles away. We called her and she said it had a few electrical problems but she had already traded it in for another car. She told us where she traded it in and we went. Our expectations weren't very high for the vehicle, especially after the car lot had it priced at $600. It was love at first site for me anyway.

Aesthetically it was in amazing shape. There wasn’t any rust whatsoever and the paint looked pristine except in one spot. The trunk has a spot where the paint looks melted away and there is a small dent on the trunk. Also the rear bumper is pushed in on one side and I would love to hear the best way to push it back out. We talked to the owner of the lot and he said he had no idea what the problem was and we would just have to check it out ourselves. He had given up after replacing the fuel pumps. Then he gave us the keys.

The Volvo started easily with only slight hesitation. The problem arose after trying to accelerate. When pressing the accelerator very slowly there were no problems. Whereas pressing it normally didn’t accelerate any whatsoever. I decided to take the risk because most likely I wouldn’t have a car at all when college started. Getting it home was slightly difficult but we didn’t have to go on the interstate. After getting it home I did research and cleaned the throttle body along with the idle air control valve. I replaced them and had the same issue. Then I took off the mass air flow sensor and it was clearly damaged with the screens missing and a hole through the side.

This was before I had learned about IPD so I ordered a cheap MAF on Ebay. I haven’t had any more problems with that yet surprisingly. I have been driving the car for about six months now and I have never been happier. This car is amazing and I love the layout of the engine. The performance may be disappointing at times but I have no regrets. I have had to replace the brake master cylinder once and I did not use DOT 4 brake fluid, which I may regret. My most recent order was for the IPD GT strut braces and they will be put on soon. The Haynes manual has been the one I have used the most but I recommend the Bentley manual for much more in depth information.

We love featuring some of the great Volvo stories that come across our desk. We plan on doing this on a regular basis so if you have a project car, helpful tech tip or other cool Volvo related story, share it with us and we’ll likely feature you in a future customer spotlight.

Email me at kbutler@ipdusa.com to submit your story.