What do I do with a dead (ish) Volvo?

gellchomSeptember 22, 2009

We have a Volvo S90, 96 or 97. It's a beautiful car, loaded, leather seats, yada yada yada. I drove it happily for several years until I got my Prius, then we kept it for our daughter, a college student, to use when she is home.

Well, she was driving it and it made a horrible sound, so she took it to our mechanic. He made some little adjustment on a belt that he thought would do (he was busy when she came in), and it did for the rest of that day. But the next day the problem was worse. She took it back in and later he called us sadly.

It seems that the belts had come undone and gotten sucked into the air conditioner. The whole thing was a big mess and now it needs a valve job.

It's too expensive to be worth it for us. We really don't need a third car that much.

He felt bad so he has kept the car at the garage to see if he could find a buyer. But it doesn't look like that is going to happen (I don't know that he's trying, really).

What should we do with the thing? We can't leave it there forever. What is our best bet?

- list it on Craig's List for someone who likes to tinker?

- sell it for parts? (How?)

- something else?

Thanks in advance to my friends who know about these things!

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I don't understand this statement:

"It seems that the belts had come undone and gotten sucked into the air conditioner."

Did you mean, "wrapped up on the pulley and shaft of the air conditioner compressor"? If so, that should have been easily fixable by clearing away the pieces of the old belt and replaceing it UNLESS there were other damages like a jammed compressor.

You also said that it needed a valve job - Now that does increase the repair cost considerable. If the engine has more than 150,000 miles on it, a valve job alone is probably wasted money without refurbishing the remainder of the engine.

Yup - probably is a canidate for someone who likes to tinker with engines. It sounds like an otherwise nice car.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 10:57PM
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There is very low mileage on the car (for its age); I don't remember how much, but definitely way under 100,000.

I really can't remember exactly what happened with the belts. But I do know that two were involved, and they did get sucked into the AC and made a horrible mess resulting in the need for a valve job.

So how would I best go about finding a tinkerer to buy it? About how much do you think I should ask for it?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 12:52PM
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well is it a 96 or 97 ? makes a difference. Why does it need a valve job if the belts got " messed up " ? What belts ? Do some research and find out what a running one goes for. Make a decision. Set a price.They are worth between 5000- 7500. If it is running and MINT. Only problem is it's a Volvo. Not a popular car. Being a Volvo
and needing a valve job, so you say i'd offer you $500.00
Maybe. So take it from there. Good luck

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 3:38PM
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i don't live in your world but a several thousand dollar car is worth some time before you take the word of 1 mechanic who may not have your best interests at heart. have the car towed or driven if possible to another garage for an evaluation. perhaps donate it to a charity that fixes cars and offers them to needy folk.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 9:01PM
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better idea. have the car towed to a Volvo shop. they will be familiar with the car and should be able to check it out pretty quick. you let an older car sit and things that turn can freeze up. i am betting the screeching sound was a bearing on the alternator or idler pulley. maybe the tensioner. all cheap things to fix. now if the timing belt broke that could damage valves and require a valve job. maybe that is what the mechanic meant.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 7:40PM
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