Newbie needs some advice before buying his 1st 480

Cleaned up the garage, found parts laying around, but it turned out to be a complete Volvo 480? If you want to sell your car (480 only) you can place an advert here.

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balto8
Knows an Aerodeck isn't a 480
Posts: 221
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:02 pm

Newbie needs some advice before buying his 1st 480

Post by balto8 » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:45 pm

Hello there to the 480 owners that I envy so much.

I'm about to get me a 1994 480 turbo here in Spain. My main concern is not to be teased when it comes to kilometers on counter. It is a quite common thing that second hand car sellers and mechanic garages do manipulate speedometers in order to sell the car for something more.

I have spotted this one at a 6 hour drive distance from my town (Valencia). Love everything about it but need to know what things should I look for in order to ensure the mileage is not manipulated. The seller claims it has 88.000 kms, he is the second owner but says the car has had very little use and has been kept in a garage for 8 years now. Until he decided ( the seller himself owns a multi-brand mechanic garage) to thorough inspection and put it up for sale. I have uploaded some pics to my Drive you can download and take a look at.

The website won't let me add the link, please administrators how do i post it?

Would you experts around take a look and say what you think of it?

I thank everyone in advance.
1991 480 Black Turbo
2012 Seat Exeo ST
2013 VW Polo TSI DSG

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Van
480 Veteran
Posts: 794
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 8:27 am
Location: Ich bin ein Berliner!

Re: Newbie needs some advice before buying his 1st 480

Post by Van » Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:00 am

Ask for service history, bills etc. Look in the glove compartment for paper work that indicates services and history.
I suppose to manipulate the mileage the speedometer has to be removed from the dashboard which is done as described here. Any marks, damages, missing screws indicate the dash has been opened. Which is by the way not uncommon for a 480 with it's electronics problems.

In the engine compartment look for labels, markings and dates that indicate oil change and timing belt change. By the way the timing belt should be replaced every 6 years so if you take the car that's your first job.

In the interior look for wear. With 88,000 kilometers it should look decent, not like the drivers seat has clear marks of wear where people get in and out of it.
If the engine bay is either very clean or very dirty that's weird. Why was it cleaned, to hide any oil leakage maybe?

Look at the tires. They have a DOT code (other site)that reveals their age. Are they from the last 8 years and worn that is suspicious. Are they older then they may have flat spots from standstill and need replacement. An 8 year old tire needs to be replaced due to their age anyway.

How long since it's been last fired up? An oil replacement prior to starting seems wise, and there are ways to have oil inside the cylinders to ensure lubrication those first strokes.
Check the oil fill cap for sludge. Any dirt inside there is a no go.

Look for differences in the paint work this may indicate previous damage. Also look at the shut lines from doors, bonnet and headlights. They should be straight and even. Big, uneven gaps indicate previous damage or at least lack of serious maintenance.

In the boot check under the carpet and in the spare wheel bin for water and rust -not very likely in Spain I assume but do check.

Is this 480 the first car ever you want to buy? Keep in mind it may be very hard to get parts and assistance in Spain for a 480 as they are rare cars there.
When you go check out the car take someone with you with common sense who is not in love with the car, and knows something about cars -and people. A six hour drive makes it very hard for you to decide not to take it if things do not seem right because then you have wasted many hours and travel expenses for nothing.

Make a test drive. Not 5 minutes, an hour. If your not allowed to drive it then leave it regardless what excuse the seller has. During the drive, at least once brake as hard as you can. Also test the clutch by engaging the parking brake, putting the transmission in three and then dropping the clutch. The engine should stall, if not the clutch is due.

The turbo is a costly item. After fast driving drive slow or a idle for 5 minutes to allow it to cool down. I've never driven a 480 with turbo but I bet someone can tell if and when you should hear it whistle. And if it doesn't if that indicates a problem.

You can PM me your link and I will put it up for you.
after over 10 years parted with the 1995 Volvo 480 ES 2.0

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