Ode to my Volvo 940

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In 2006 a friend needed to get rid of his 1995 Volvo 940. It had about 450 000 km, but drove nicely and was in good shape. At the time, I was driving a 1984 245 GLT and figured it was time to get something "newer". A very modest fee was negotiated and I used the 940 without incident until I left for Estonia in August 2007. It was a good car and I didn't want to get rid of it so I disconnected the battery and stored it on blocks in a barn for 3 years.

Damn Kids

Upon my return to Canada I figured I should see if my car still works. In the meantime, somebody (probably local kids) had broken into the barn and removed the tarp on the car to see what was underneath. Unfortunately, they didn't replace the tarp and the car subsequently got covered in bird droppings. I pushed the car out of the barn and with a boost it started right up. The best (or worst) part was seeing mice escaping from the hood once the engine fired to life. They had made a nest in the hood!

Volvo needs some cleaning

Other than rodent reassignment, the Volvo needed automatic transmission fluid to actually drive properly. After adding ATF the gears changed nicely and the car could drive, but I didn't think it was ready to go the 170 km to home base. I got a fresh battery, but had to hold off on driving home until I had a temporary permit.

Drive Clean? Why Not?

Insuring the car was no problem, but I wouldn't be able to renew my licence plates until the car passed Ontario's Drive Clean test. I figured it would at least need a decent tune up before there was any hope of that happening. How wrong I was! Since I had gotten the temporary 10 day permit for the car, it was legal to drive and I decided to take it to Canadian Tire early the next Saturday at the cottage for a tune up. It had 3 year old gas in the tank and I was even worried about whether it could negotiate the 15km to Trenton! We made it no problem, but they had no openings for an actual tune up. A Drive Clean test, however, could be performed almost immediately. Well sure, why not? I watched as they drove the car into the service bay and connected all the sensors. I even saw the computer screen showing test results. There were some red lines and green lines and I tried to gauge the reaction of the technician, but he wasn't giving away whether it was passing or not. Long story short - it passed!

To Sum Up

I wrote this post for one simple reason: to show appreciation for my car. After 3 years in a barn during which some mice decided to call it home, I was able to add some fluids and a new battery, drive it to Canadian Tire with a quarter tank of 3 year old gas, witness it pass the Drive Clean test and then drive it 170 km to its new home in the city. I can renew my licence plates without even getting a tune up. That's a pretty solid car.

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