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Coolant leak front centre of car

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Old Jul 21st, 2021, 18:17   #31
Laird Scooby
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I've spent a couple of hours reading up on the P1 platform cars, and whilst forums of course are only full of problems all the electronic problems are very familiar from my brief V70 ownership. With the Volvo broken I borrowed a family member's Golf Plus ('05) for our holiday. 2.0 FSI petrol, completely dead to drive, awful handling, electronic faults galore, drank fuel almost as quickly as the 940.
Do you actually need an estate? Would a saloon or hatchback fill your needs? What about a MPV with a bit of character if you need something bigger?

Throwaway questions perhaps but given you seem to like your 94 and it looks like it's come to the end of its time with you, my guess is you're either looking for another 940 or something with a similar character and reliability (not including recent events of course!).

If so i can make a few suggestions of pre-2000 cars that would do what you need/want and not feel like an anaesthetised bratwurst to drive!
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Old Jul 21st, 2021, 19:04   #32
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That would be useful, thanks. My pre-2000 knowledge is all hot hatches and Japanese sports cars. Definitely don't want anything too new, having had perfectly mechanically good cars killed by electronics issues. Estate isn't essential. Towbar ideally for the bike rack because I don't fancy lifting 20kg+ e-bikes on to roof-mount carriers. Family of three and we tend to go on self-catering holidays/short breaks in the UK and probably take too much stuff! Definitely hatch rather than saloon. My partner's car is a supermini so we need something bigger. Could potentially go down to one car to rule them all as her car is getting long in the tooth too. Oh and budget-wise I'd say 4k tops. I could spend more but it's more about not having to worry about the car - would be parked on the road, left for hours in quiet areas of the forest, etc
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Old Jul 21st, 2021, 19:22   #33
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I'd fix the Volvo! Better the devil you know!

Unfortunately the used car market is a nightmare unless you can afford to buy from a main dealer with 12 month warranty. When I was looking a lot of dealers trying it on only offering 3 months warranty and trying to sell longer warranty. You have 6 months with dealers/traders.

I have a 2015 Toyota Auris Hybrid estate. It does the job well and is reliable and very cheap to run. Now has 35k miles.
There isn't any character, it's an A to B car. My 1996 940 though 5 years on still puts a smile on my face.

Have Toyota warranty till April 2023 but can cash in 2 year warranty (495) for "Toyota relax" Where if you have it main dealer serviced Toyota will extend the warranty for 12 months up to 10 years old and 100,000 miles. Buy any Toyota under 10 years old and get it serviced at Toyota dealer then instant 12 months warranty.

You could easily spend 700 on bringing another car up to scratch. Tyres, brakes, cambelt, service, apart from any other faults.


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Old Jul 21st, 2021, 19:44   #34
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Yeah, I'm in two minds. There were a few other bits on the 940 that need doing (sunroof, intermittent ABS issues, heater - although I'm wondering if the lack of heat is related to the dreadful state of the block and head, surely it must also be horribly clogged too, and matrixes are no longer available) but a recon engine is also an unknown quantity. In my younger days I'd have been happy to take it apart and DIY it slowly but work/family means I just don't have the time. But equally I don't have the time to go car shopping. Aargh!
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Old Jul 21st, 2021, 20:21   #35
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Yeah, I'm in two minds. There were a few other bits on the 940 that need doing (sunroof, intermittent ABS issues, heater - although I'm wondering if the lack of heat is related to the dreadful state of the block and head, surely it must also be horribly clogged too, and matrixes are no longer available) but a recon engine is also an unknown quantity. In my younger days I'd have been happy to take it apart and DIY it slowly but work/family means I just don't have the time. But equally I don't have the time to go car shopping. Aargh!
I believe that aftermarket matrix is available but heat output disappointing. Believe heater matrix is copper so could be refurbed/recored if clogged. Would imagine reason no heat what with blocked engine channels.

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Old Jul 21st, 2021, 20:24   #36
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Get another head skim it and whack it on. Clear the coolant channels on the block and it will be fine ! Pretty hard to kill a Redblock
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Old Jul 21st, 2021, 22:11   #37
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That would be useful, thanks. My pre-2000 knowledge is all hot hatches and Japanese sports cars. Definitely don't want anything too new, having had perfectly mechanically good cars killed by electronics issues. Estate isn't essential. Towbar ideally for the bike rack because I don't fancy lifting 20kg+ e-bikes on to roof-mount carriers. Family of three and we tend to go on self-catering holidays/short breaks in the UK and probably take too much stuff! Definitely hatch rather than saloon. My partner's car is a supermini so we need something bigger. Could potentially go down to one car to rule them all as her car is getting long in the tooth too. Oh and budget-wise I'd say 4k tops. I could spend more but it's more about not having to worry about the car - would be parked on the road, left for hours in quiet areas of the forest, etc
That's a bit of a tall order! I've never understood the attraction of hatchbacks - not quite an estate and a very noisy saloon that has less body rigidity, doesn't handle so well and is less secure than the saloon counterpart.

My first suggestion which i think you already know was the same as James, better the devil you know and drop a B230 in it. Alternatively buy another 7/940 and keep this one as a source of spares or sell it spares/repair.

All things considered and getting the impression you're looking on a broader spectrum than Volvo, i'd suggest a 5th or 6th gen Honda Accord. Saloon, hatch, coupe or Aerodeck (estate version) available. The Coupe and Aerodeck are USA built models and if you want to transport a 10' worktop or two, even the Coupe will do it, just put the back seats down! Be careful of the windscreen though!
Seats go down in the saloon too last i knew and obviously in the hatch and Aerodeck versions. If it's been looked after (and no muppets have used the wrong ATF in the autobox - manuals are available but the autobox is better than a manual) then there's no reason why it shouldn't continue to challenege a Volvo for longevity, certainly in terms of mileage.

Anything made from 2000 onwards will need a Type Approved catalytic converter which it will have had from new. If you ever need to replace the cat for whatever reason, the repalcement must be Type Approved. Anything before 2000 just needs a cat that works - in practice there's very little difference in them except to your wallet.

As for a towbar, that depends on the previous owners unless you have one fitted.

If the Accord doesn't suit, have a look at the Mazda 6 range aka the Ford Mondeo Mk2/3 in that age range. Again, a range of bdy styles and generally long-lived if looked after. Both the Accord and Mondeo/Mazda 6 have a nice driving characteristic and safe, predictable handling. I would have added the 5th gen Accords equivalent, the Rover 600 but you won't get a decent one for your budget and there was only one body style which was a saloon but the cavernous boot is shared with the Accord models (inc the Coupe).
Most of those cars will see 40mpg easily on a sensible run, not so sure pootling around the New Forest, more like late 20s, early 30s.

Avoid anything French or German from the 90s, the anti-corrosion was non-existent and there were more electrical problems than you can shake a stick at on them too.

Another off-the-wall suggestion would be a Vauxhall Carlton or Omega, Carlton for niche appeal and huge load-lugging to rival a 7/9x5, Omega not quite so spacious but a capable vehicle nonetheless and the prices are in the doldrums at the moment for them. The V6 is the better engine than the 2.2 4-pot although the 2.0 16v is a good unit.

Hopefully a few suggestions there to give you food for thought!
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Old Jul 21st, 2021, 22:28   #38
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Thanks.
Almost bought an Omega before the 940, I was on the way to view it when it sold. V6, low miles, one enthusiast owner. Mate had one originally as a company car, liked it so much he bought it. Will definitely add those to the list.

Mondeo (2003 from memory) I've had and enjoyed, fantastic to drive for a big car and pretty simple underneath. Eat waterpumps and wheel bearings for breakfast (yay, plastic impellers)

Will also look at Accords, have to be careful on certain models/years as they nudge into a higher tax band by being just over the threshold. Something like 430 to tax

If I could find one that hasn't been spammed to hell and back I'd probably go for an Impreza Sportwagen. Chances of that are zero.

It's been quite a depressing few hours so thanks for the help. Cars really aren't what they used to be, are they? I really don't understand people who are chucking 600 per month on lease payments for cars that are just so deathly dull and generic.
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Old Jul 21st, 2021, 22:37   #39
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That's the other benefit of buying a pre-2000 car - only two tax brackets, under 1500cc and over! Current price is ~230 i believe and that is for anything from 1501cc to however big you can squeeze under the bonnet! After 2000, you go into those weird tax bands for various different engines, fuels and so on.

If you're considering a Subaru Sportwagon, add a Nissan Stagea to your list too! THey can be found in 2.5 GTS form without the twin turbos so keeping your fuel and insurance down a bit!
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Old Jul 21st, 2021, 22:49   #40
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Finance certainly isn't for me! Old cars the last 20 years. 340,740,240 now 940.

Bought my Auris as safety has moved on massively in the last 20 years. The 940 is an old design, a 740 really from the early 80's.

Screen pillar would crumple in offset crash. The good thing with the 940 is the excellent visibility. They were fantastic in their day.

I Like Lexus GS, RX. Just don't buy an IS220 Diesel!

I have a relative with a 5 million quid turnover. He rents Volvo XC60 for his wife and he has a V90 car version. He likes Volvo! Came back to them after BMW 3 and 5 series and Jaguar E pace. Originally Bought a V70 when started out.

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