1 9 8 6
240 DL, 240 GL

pg. 34 Break-in period, Service inspection

A new car should be broken-in!

Manual transmission
During the break-in period do not exceed the following speeds*:

First 600 miles (1,000 km)
1st gear 20 mph (30 km/h)
2nd gear 30 mph (50 km/h)
3rd gear 50 mph (80 km/h)
4th gear 70 mph (110 km/h)1

1) 80 mph (130 km/h) with overdrive engaged. Do not use overdrive below 40 mph (65 km/h)

600-1,200 miles (1,000-2,000 km)
1st gear 25 mph(40 km/h)
2nd gear 40 mph (65 km/h)
3rd gear 60 mph (l00 km/h)
4th gear 80 mph (130 km/h) 2

Avoid driving at low speed in high gear.

2) 90 mph (150 km/h) with overdrive engaged.

* These are the maximum speeds recommended by the factory. Note that legislation in different countries and states can stipulate other max. speeds than those given here.

Automatic transmission
Refrain from using "kick-down" during the first 1,200 miles (2,000 km) when driving a car equipped with an automatic transmission.

Breaking in parking brakes
To obtain best parking brake performance, the brake linings should be broken in.
Stop 5-7 times from 30 mph (50 km/h), transmission in neutral, applying the parking brake with the release button pressed in during the stop. The force must not lock the rear wheels. If this happens, release the brake enough to let the wheels rotate. Drive a mile between each stop to cool the brakes. Check for proper parking brake operation.

Note: The brake lights are not illuminated when applying the parking brake. To warn traffic from behind it is therefore advisable to depress the brake pedal slightly to illuminate the brake lights.

Service Inspection
To ensure proper operation the car should be taken to a Volvo dealer between the first 600-1,200 miles (1,000-2,000 km) for a service inspection. The oil in the engine, manual transmission and rear axle will then be changed. This is very important since the oil rapidly collects impurities during the break-in period.

pg. 35 Driving economy, Shift indicator light

Economical driving does not necessarily mean driving slowly
Better driving economy may be obtained by thinking ahead, avoiding rapid starts and stops and adjusting the speed of your vehicle to immediate traffic conditions. Observe the following rules:

  • Bring the engine to normal operating temperature as soon as possible by driving with a light foot on the accelerator pedal. A cold engine uses more fuel and is subject to increased wear.
  • When possible avoid using the car for driving short distances. This does not allow the engine to reach normal operating temperature.
  • Drive carefully and avoid rapid acceleration and hard braking.
  • Do not exceed speed limit.
  • Avoid carrying unnecessary items (extra load) in the car.
  • Check tire pressures regularly (cold tires).
  • Remove snow tires when threat of snow or ice has ended.
  • Note that roof racks, ski racks, etc., increase air resistance and thereby fuel consumption.
  • Avoid using automatic transmission kick-down feature unless necessary.

    Other factors which decrease gas mileage are:

  • Worn or dirty spark plugs
  • Incorrect spark plug gap
  • Dirty air filter
  • Incorrect valve clearance
  • Incorrect idle speed
  • Dirty engine oil and clogged oil filter
  • Dragging brakes
  • Incorrect front end alignment
  • Low tire pressure
    The above mentioned items and others are checked at the standard 10,000 mile (16,000 km) maintenance service intervals.

    Shift indicator light
    (manual transmission models only)

    The Volvo shift indicator light (S.I.L.) is a device designed to help you get even better gas mileage from your Volvo car. Studies have shown that the best fuel economy is obtained by shifting gears at low engine rpm and high relative engine load. The Volvo S.I.L. is calibrated to show you when to shift for improved mileage without sacrificing smooth acceleration.

    Use of the S.I.L. is simple. Shift to next higher gear as soon as the light comes on. You may find after using the S.I.L. for some time that your natural shifting rhythm will adapt to the S.I.L.'s suggestion. Some drivers may even shift before the light comes on.
    Obviously, there will be times when you need to shift later than the light would indicate (for example, when climbing hills or trailer towing). Using the light regularly, however, should result in a mileage improvement of six percent or more, depending on how you normally drive.

    Programming instructions for shift indicator
    If the current supply to the control unit is cut (battery disconnected), the control unit will have to be re-programmed as the control unit memory will be erased.
    Drive the car in each gear (first gear not necessary) for approximately 8 seconds. The gear change indicator light will flicker once (0.5 seconds), as each gear is programmed.

    Note: Remove foot completely from the clutch pedal after each gear change when programming the control unit.

    pg. 36 Starting the engine

    To start the engine;

    1 Enter the car and fasten the seat belt.

    2 Apply the parking brake if not already set.

    3 Place the gear selector lever in neutral (position N or P, automatic transmission).

    4 Depress the clutch pedal (manual transmission).

    5 Without touching the accelerator pedal turn the ignition key to starting position. Release the key as soon as the engine starts.

    If the engine does not start at once, depress the accelerator pedal halfway and keep it there until the engine starts.
    Avoid repeated short attempts to start (fuel is injected every time the starter is engaged when engine is cold).
    Allow the starter to operate for a longer time (but not more than 15-20 seconds).
    Do not race a cold engine immediately after starting.

    Engine warm-up - initial driving procedure
    Experience shows that engines in vehicles driven short distances are subject to abnormally rapid wear because the engine never reaches normal operating temperature.
    It is therefore beneficial to reach normal operating temperature as soon as possible by driving with a light foot on the accelerator pedal.

    Always open the garage doors fully before starting the engine inside the garage to ensure adequate ventilation. The exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide, which is invisible and odorless but very poisonous.

    pg. 37 Manual transmission

    4-speed manual + overdrive (5th gear) transmission
    Depress the clutch pedal fully when changing gears.
    Remove the foot from the clutch pedal after every gear shift.
    See "Shift indicator light" section for more information on economical use of the manual transmission.

    Overdrive (5th gear)
    The overdrive can be engaged only in 4th gear. Depress the clutch fully when engaging and disengaging.
    The green control light "5" on the dashboard illuminates when the overdrive is engaged.
    The overdrive is engaged and disengaged by depressing the switch on the top of the gear shift lever.
    The overdrive is automatically disengaged when downshifting from 4th gear, but make it a habit to always disengage the overdrive manually before downshifting.
    To improve mileage, it is recommended to use the overdrive as much as possible at speeds above 30 mph (50 km/h).

    Reverse gear (R)
    The detent collar on the gear shift lever must be lifted prior to engaging reverse gear. This prevents inadvertent selection of reverse gear

    pg. 38 Automatic transmission

    Shift positions
    P park
    R reverse
    N neutral
    D drive
    2 intermediate
    1 low

    The gear selector can be moved freely between D and 2. Selections of other positions are obtained by depressing the selector knob prior to moving the selector.
    Depressing the selector knob slightly allows selection of positions N and 1.
    Depressing the selector knob fully allows selection of positions R and P. This is also necessary when initially bringing the selector out of position P.
    Depressing the selector knob fully thus permits shifting freely between all positions.

    P Park
    Use this position when parked with the engine running or stopped.
    Never use P while car is in motion.
    The transmission is mechanically locked in position P. Also use the parking brake when parking on grades for added safety.
    R Reverse
    Never use R while car is moving forward.
    N Neutral
    Neutral position = no gear is engaged. Use parking brake.
    D Drive
    D is the normal driving position. Upshift and downshift of the forward gears occurs automatically and is governed by acceleration and vehicle speed.
    2 Intermediate position
    Upshift and downshift of first two gears (low and intermediate) occurs automatically.
    No upshift to 3rd (top) gear occurs.
    Position 2 may be used to obtain forced downshift to 2nd gear for increased engine braking effect. Position 2 can also be used...

  • for relatively slow highway driving.
  • for city driving.
  • when driving on mountain roads where precise speed control is desirable.
  • for passing.
    1 Low position
    If position 1 is selected when driving at high speeds, 2 is engaged first and 1 when the speed has dropped to approx. 30 mph (50 km/h).

    NOTE: No upshift once 1 is engaged.

    Use position 1 to select low gear with no upshift. Use for instance, when ascending and descending steep grades.


  • Never select P or R while the car is in motion.
  • When standing still and selecting D,2,1 or R the engine must be idling.
  • Never downshift to 2 or 1 at speeds above 75 mph(125km/h)*.
    *Always observe local speed limits!

    pg. 39 Automatic transmission

    Disengaging 4th gear
    The transmission will engage 4th gear automatically after upshifting through first, second and third gears unless the disengagement button on the side of the gear selector knob is pushed.
    When the button is pushed to disengage 4th gear, the transmission operates as a 3-speed unit. If the button is pushed while 4th gear is engaged, then a downshift to 3rd gear will occur. The transmission, then, cannot upshift to 4th gear until the button is pushed again. As a reminder, when 4th gear is disengaged, the indicator light () in the instrument panel is illuminated.
    Be aware that, if 4th gear is disengaged (reminder light illuminated) when the engine is switched off, the transmission will revert automatically to 4-speed operation (reminder light not illuminated) when the engine is restarted.
    Disengage 4th gear (reminder light illuminated) when:
    * towing a trailer
    * driving on hilly roads where precise speed control is desired.

    Automatic shift to a lower gear is achieved by depressing the throttle pedal fully and briskly.
    An up-shift will be achieved when approaching the top speed for a particular gear or by releasing the throttle pedal slightly.
    Kick-down can be used for maximum acceleration or when passing at highway speeds.

    Starting and stopping a car equipped with automatic transmission
    1. Fasten the seat belt.
    2. Apply the parking brake and the brake pedal firmly to hold the car (to prevent the car from moving when the gear selector is moved).
    3. Select position P or N. (Engine cannot be started in any other position).
    4. Start the engine by turning the ignition key (see Section "starting the Engine").
    5. Select the desired gear.
    6. Release the brakes and accelerate.
    To stop the car, release the throttle pedal and apply the brakes.
    It is not necessary to move the gear selector as the transmission will downshift automatically.
    When idling for extended periods of time, select position N to prevent unnecessary heating of the transmission.

    Always place gear selector in Park and apply parking brake before leaving vehicle. Never leave car unattended with engine running.

    pg. 40 Emergency towing (pulling)

    Precautionary steps to observe when towing
    Please check with state and local authorities before attempting this type of towing as vehicles being towed are subject to regulations regarding maximum towing speed, length and type of towing device, lighting, etc.

  • Steering must be unlocked.
  • Remember that power brake and power steering assists will not be available when engine is inoperative. Pedal pressure required is 3-4 times above normal and greater steering effort must be employed.
  • Towing cars equipped with automatic transmission:
    -Gear selector in position N. Check transmission oil level (see section titled "Transmission oil").
    -Maximum speed: 20 mph (30 km/h).
    -Maximum distance with rear wheels on ground: 20 miles (30 km).


    Jump starting, see section titled "alternator, jump starting"

    pg. 41 Tow-truck information

    pg. 42 Trailer hauling

    When preparing for trailer hauling, observe the following:

  • Use a trailer hitch which meets Federal Safety Standards for rear end collisions (FMVSS 301-75). For trailer weights exceeding 2,000 lbs (908 kgs) use only a trailer hitch offered as a Genuine Volvo Accessory.
  • Maximum trailer weight recommended by Volvo is 3,300 lbs (1,500 kg).
    However, for cars with automatic transmission, an optional Volvo automatic transmission oil cooler must be installed when trailer weight exceeds 2,000 lbs (908 kgs). With manual transmission, 5th gear should not be used while towing. Observe legal requirements of the state in which the vehicles are registered.

    All Volvo models are equipped with energy absorbing shock mounted bumpers. Trailer hitch installation should not interfere with the proper operation of the bumper system.

    Bumper-attached trailer hitches must not be used on Volvos, nor should safety chains be attached to the bumper. Trailer hitches attaching to the vehicle rear axle must not be used.

    Never connect a trailer's hydraulic brake system directly to the vehicle brake system, nor a trailer's lighting system directly to the vehicle lighting system. Consult your nearest authorized Volvo dealer for correct installation.

    Trailer hauling does not normally present any particular problems, but take into consideration:

  • Recommended hitch tongue load is 110 lbs (50 kgs) for trailer weights below 2,650 lbs (1,200 kgs) and 143-154 lbs (65-70 kgs) for trailer weights above 2,650 lbs (1,200 kgs). However, it must not exceed 200 lbs (90 kgs).
  • For trailer weights between 2,650-3,300 lbs (1,200-1,500 kgs) a top speed of 50 mph (80 km/h) should never be exceeded.
  • Engine and transmission are subject to increased loads. Therefore, engine coolant temperature should be closely watched when driving in hot climate or hilly terrain. Use lower gear and turn off air conditioner if temperature gauge pointer enters the red range.
  • Avoid overload and other abusive operation.
  • Hauling a trailer affects handling, durability and economy. Trailer air dam (Volvo accessory) will improve mileage.
  • It is necessary to balance trailer brakes with the towing vehicle brakes to provide a safe stop (check and observe State regulations).
  • More frequent vehicle maintenance is required.
  • Remove the ball and drawbar assembly when the hitch is not being used.

    Note: Refer to section entitled "Automatic transmission" for additional trailer hauling tips.

    Do not drive with trunk lid or tailgate open!

    Poisonous exhaust gases may enter via the open trunk lid or tailgate. (This is especially true for wagon models.)
    If the trunk lid or tailgate for any reason must be open, proceed as follows:

  • Close the windows.
  • Set the heating system controls for floor and defroster to max. and the blower to full speed (4). See section titled "Heating and Ventilation".

    Handling, roadholding
    Vehicle load, tire design and inflation pressure are important for proper handling. Therefore check that the tires are inflated to the recommended pressure according to the vehicle load.
    It is recommended to use tires of the same make and dimensions on all four wheels.

    Do not mix radial ply and bias ply tires as this will adversely alter the vehicle handling characteristics.

    Roof rack
    Permanent and removable roof racks are available from Volvo Accessories.
    Observe the following points when in use.

  • Avoid point loads. Distribute the load evenly.
  • Place the heavy cargo at bottom of load.
  • Observe that center of gravity and handling are influenced by the load weight.
  • Increasing load size increases wind resistance.
  • Anchor the cargo correctly with a cord.
  • Drive carefully. Avoid rapid starts, heavy cornering and heavy braking.
  • Max. roof load is 220 Lbs (100 kg); use a roof rack with a sufficient load rating.

    pg. 43 Automatic transmission, Brake system

    The following "Special Tips" apply to cars with automatic transmission

  • For steep hills and when driving for prolonged periods at low speeds, position 1 should be selected. Avoid, however, repeated changes since this can cause overheating of the transmission oil. For driving on mountain roads with long persistent uphill gradients, select position 2.
  • When negotiating long, steep, downhill slopes, position 1 should be selected and position 2 for less severe inclines, in order to obtain the best possible engine braking effect.
  • Do not hold the car stationary on an incline by using the accelerator pedal. Instead, engage the handbrake. This prevents the transmission oil from becoming overheated.
  • 4th gear must be disengaged when hauling a trailer!
  • If an additional transmission oil cooler is installed you can haul a trailer with the overdrive engaged. See next "special tip".
  • When driving with heavy trailers, it is recommended that an additional oil cooler be installed. This applies especially when driving under severe conditions e.g. mountain driving or prolonged driving at high speeds without breaks. The additional oil cooler is available as a genuine Volvo accessory.
    Regarding oil change, see section titled "Transmission oil".

    Moisture on brake discs and brake pads affects braking.
    Driving in rain and slush or passing through a normal car wash can cause water to collect on the brake discs and pads. This will cause a delay in braking effect when the pedal is depressed. To avoid such a delay, when the brakes are needed, depress the pedal occasionally when driving in rain or slush.
    This will remove the water from the brakes.
    This should also be done after washing or starting in very damp weather.

    If the brake power assist does not function-
    The power assist to the brakes functions only when the engine is running. When the car is moving without the engine running the brake pedal pressure required to stop the car is increased 3 - 4 times.
    The brake pedal feels stiff and hard.
    Disc brake noise: A slight-to-moderate amount of disc brake "squeal" is considered normal.

    Air dam (front spoiler)
    A non-factory air dam can negatively influence the normal flow of cooling air to the front wheel brakes. (See section titled "Wheels and Tires").

    If one of the brake circuits should malfunction the red warning light will come on

    (See section titled "Warning Lights".)
    The pedal stroke increases slightly and the pedal feels softer but the pedal pressure required does not increase noticeably.
    If the light comes on while driving and the brake pedal can be depressed further than normal, it is an indication that one of the brake circuits is not functioning. Stop immediately, open engine hood and check brake fluid level.
    Reservoir empty; do NOT drive. Tow car to shop for check/repair of brake system. Reservoir not empty: proceed immediately and with caution to a Volvo dealer for an inspection of the brake system.

    Severe strain on the brake system.
    The brakes will be subject to severe strain when driving in mountains or hilly areas. The speed is usually low which means that the cooling of the brake is less efficient than when driving on level roads.
    To reduce the strain on the brakes it is advisable not to use the brakes excessively.
    Instead, shift into a lower gear and let the engine help with the braking. A good rule is to use the same gear downhill as would be used ascending the same grade. For vehicles with automatic transmission use position 2, or in some cases, 1.

    pg. 44 Catalytic converter

    Catalytic Converter Cautions
    (all U.S.A. and certain Canadian models)

  • Keep your engine properly tuned. Certain engine malfunctions, particularly involving the electrical, fuel or ignition systems, may cause unusually high converter temperatures. Do not continue to operate your vehicle if you detect engine misfire, noticeable loss of power or other unusual operating conditions, such as engine overheating or backfiring. A properly-tuned engine will help in avoiding malfunctions that could damage the Catalytic Converter.
  • Remember that tampering with or unauthorized modifications to the engine or the vehicle may be illegal and can cause catalyst or exhaust system overheating. This includes:
    Altering fuel injection settings or components.
    Adjusting ignition timing beyond specified limits.
    Altering emission system components or location or removing components.
    Repeated use of leaded fuel.
  • Do not park your car over combustible materials, such as grass or leaves, which can come into contact with the hot exhaust system and cause such materials to ignite under certain wind and weather conditions.
  • Excessive starter cranking (in excess of one continuous minute) with an intermittently firing or flooded engine, can cause catalyst or exhaust system overheating. This also applies to lengthy pushing or towing of vehicle to start (manual transmissions only). Do not attempt to start a car with automatic transmission by pushing or towing.

    NOTE: Unleaded fuel is required for cars with catalytic converter. A label on the instrument panel and rear fender, near the filler inlet, will remind owners and filling station attendant of this requirement.
    Important! It is unlawful to dispense leaded fuel into any vehicle labeled "unleaded gasoline only".

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