Volvo 440

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Volvo 440

Post by hugh » Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:34 pm

Hi all,

I thought I would share my experience of these. I had two during the mid-2000s: a battered 1.8 petrol and a slightly nicer 1.9 turbo diesel.

It all started when my first car, a bit of a mess of a D reg Micra (I didn't become a motorist until I was about 26) was coming up for MOT. The previous year had cost me about £500, so I thought "for that kind of money, I could get a nicer car." I was living in Stroud, Glos, at the time and made the trip to Bristol to look at a 440 I'd seen advertised. I loved it, but the particular car on offer had too many problems to be a realistic prospect.

I bought the first 440 from a bloke in Witney, Oxon. He said he was a banger racer and someone had given it to him to race, but he thought it was too nice to ruin hence the sale. Just after collection, I was a bit horrified at the petrol station when the numbers on the pump went past £30 (normal fillup cost for the Micra)... then £40... then £50... I drove it back to Stroud and thought it was awesome. Two things about it really grabbed me: the heated seats and the integral dash bin. It's pretty awesome having a place for all your discarded Snickers wrappers, empty cans of Coke etc so that the car doesn't start to look scruffy (it looked pretty scruffy on the outside given the dents and tumble dryer hose sized rust spot on the driver's door, but I was ignoring that).

A little while later, I decided I wanted to save money on fuel, so bought the second 440, a diesel. In terms of value for money, I don't think I've had a better car. I went to Nottingham to pick it up one Monday after work. I was a bit scared when the bloke suggested meeting on an industrial estate at 10pm (wouldn't do that again), but it was all fine (except for the tape stuck in the stereo - no radio reception so just listened to the bloody thing over and over, all the way back to Stroud at midnight). It had everything the first Volvo had had, but was maybe 33% cheaper on fuel and in much better nick.

I had the diesel for five months before it broke (the garage bloke said either turbo or piston rings). No shame given it had only cost me about £265. In that time, I covered 13,000 miles, including my daily commute and all my marshalling trips at the weekend. I even did a hillclimb training day in it (might have contributed to the eventual problems, in retrospect...) It looked a bit scruffy sat next to other students' cars (TWR XJS, Audi Quattro), but the instructors said I climbed the hill OK, so I was happy enough. All I spent that car was £5 to shore up the exhaust at the family's local garage (big box of biscuits also handed over), and a set of tyres. One (very early) morning on the way to Donington, it suddenly lost power. Turned out to be because the air intake hose had detached from the front bumper. We got there fine and I fixed it the next day with a 99p jubilee clip from the local factor. I got about £60 back on the eventual sale, so it only cost me about £200 + tyres to do in less than six months the mileage many people do in a year.

One thing with the 440 is that the Haynes doesn't cover the diesel engine, as it's a Renault. Someone at the hillclimb day (an engineer) said that I might be able to buy a Haynes for a Renault that the engine was also used in (old Megane?), which I thought was quite a good thought.

Hope no-one minds me rambling.


T9 406 1.8 petrol (borrowing my Dad's)

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Re: Volvo 440

Post by teamster1975 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:39 pm

I had a 440GLT back in '93 I think? Lovely car, I was sad to see it go. Mind you I bought my motorbike with the spoils ;)
Got an '03 V40 now, practical family car; the bike is still going! :D
1996 406 1.8LX Got a bad case of hydro lock!
1996 406 Executive 2.0 Turbo XU10J2TE No longer hangin' on in there :(
1997 Honda CB500V
2003 Volvo V40 1.8 GDi SE killed by a nutter in a beemer 5 series
2008 Mondeo 2.0 TDCi Titanium X

"Always look on the bright side of life, dedo, dedo dedodedo"

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