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I'm having a curious sound come up in my front end when I hit about 40 mph. It's a high whining sound that reminds me of the whining of a jet engine (not that loud though!). If I throw it in neutral and bring the engine to idle, it doesn't change it, nor does it do anything when I rev the engine. It seems that roadspeed is the only factor, and the whining gets higher as I get faster. The sound is intermittant.

I've heard bad bearings in a friend's truck once before, and the sound was much different, a very distinct grinding sound. Also, I jacked up the wheel and didn't hear any obvious bad sounds coming from either front wheel, so if it is bad bearings I couldn't check it that way. But I can't think of anything else that it might be. Has anybody had an experience with bad bearings that might make them sound like a high-pitched whine? Is there any symptom of disc brake problems that might make this sound?
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Hmmm... have you looked out the window to see if you're being tracked by the black Harrier jump-jets that do the high-speed pursuit for the guys with the black helicopters?

Otherwise, I don't know. Is it a harsh mechanical whine, a smooth vibrational whine, an airy sort of medium whistle? Does it come in through the open window or transmit through the car's body to the interior? Does it seem localized left/right? Have you done a really thorough visual search of the area for any obvious anomalies, sticks or stuff stuck in the suspension? Are the brake pads OK?

If you feel/hear absolutely no vibration at all when you jack up the car and spin the wheels, I don't know where to go. I had a front wheel bearing go bad on my LandCruiser (my fault, maladjusted it), and it felt like a very even vibration related to road speed and also affected by lateral loading on the front end. So see if the noise changes as you swerve left and right. Maybe duct tape a friend with good hearing and no sense to the hood and go for a test drive.
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hey 5k,

just curious-you extol the virtues of the volvo 240 series with great frequency and enthusiasm. i believe you recently asserted that a 93 240 could be expected to provide reliable transportation for 15-20 additional years.

how frequently does yours require repair? how many miles per year do you operate it?

just curious.

dean
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A high-pitched squeal is often early evidence of a failing bearing. The grinding sounds come later, after the bearing has begun disintegration and chewed up the wheel and spindle.

Bearings are cheap (comparatively), and it won't hurt to pull the wheels and inspect them. As long as you are there, you can replace, repack, and install new seals if there was no collateral damage.

Twit
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just curious-you extol the virtues of the volvo 240 series with great frequency and enthusiasm. i believe you recently asserted that a 93 240 could be expected to provide reliable transportation for 15-20 additional years.

how frequently does yours require repair? how many miles per year do you operate it?


I had an '82 240 back in 90-92... Sold it with 120k on it. My father ran into the guy a few years later... it was at 250k and had only taken brake pads, tires, and a water pump.

The 7-series were less reliable, but the 240s were built like tanks. They were steady and reliable. They weren't without their little niggling problems, electronics, etc. But the basic car, with maintainence, would run forever.

Back in '82 Volvo was running ads that the average Volvo lasted almost 19 years. That was before modern rustproofing...

-Brian
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Is there any symptom of disc brake problems that might make this sound?

Forgot to add, regarding the disc brake question, yes. There is often a wear indicator on the pads that will make a high pitched squeal, except when you are using the brakes, but it should be apparent at most speeds, not just at 40.

Twit
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<<just curious-you extol the virtues of the volvo 240 series with great frequency and enthusiasm. i believe you recently asserted that a 93 240 could be expected to provide reliable transportation for 15-20 additional years.
how frequently does yours require repair? how many miles per year do you operate it?>

<I had an '82 240 back in 90-92... Sold it with 120k on it. My father ran into the guy a few years later... it was at 250k and had only taken brake pads, tires, and a water pump.
The 7-series were less reliable, but the 240s were built like tanks. They were steady and reliable. They weren't without their little niggling problems, electronics, etc. But the basic car, with maintainence, would run forever.>>

That's about the gist of what I've learned about Volvo. This is my first Volvo, and I bought it used from someone a year ago and I had a few things to fix on it when I bought it, as you would expect of any car with 180,000 miles on it. But from working on it, I can tell that the engineering and design of these cars is excellent. It is indeed built like a tank, but in a sedan model with good handling and fuel economy that is at least respectable. And the longevity of the Volvo engines, especially in the 240 series, is legendary, with a reputation that seems to surpass even the Mercedes diesel engines.

Another item that I notice, and view as strong evidence of Volvo's long-term reliability and durability is that the 240DL series is by far the most common vehicle still on the road from the 1980s. And since it wasn't the most popular car during that period, I think that says something. Where are all the Fords and Cadillacs and Oldsmobiles from the 1980s? Most are happily rusting away or have long been melted down into I-beams or something.....
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Where are all the Fords and Cadillacs and Oldsmobiles from the 1980s? Most are happily rusting away or have long been melted down into I-beams or something.....

I still see a lot of 80s US makes on the road, and I'm in a northern city with road salt exposure. Some things Volvo did well, others were a nightmare. The Motorola starting/charging system on mine was a joke, and the burned valve wasn't pleasant, nor was crawling underneath every six months to tighten the tranny bolts. OTOH, I was able to reengineer the charging circuit, and it was easy to get the head off to rework the valves.

Twit
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What you want to do is take the tire off and see if there is any play on the hub - the part you bolt the tire on. If there is you bearing is probably bad. Also check you rotor for any abnormal wear while you are down there.
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RE: "the 240s were built like tanks. They were steady and reliable"

Granted, Volvos are relaible. Besides that, they are ...... and ..... um ... well they're ........... sturdy, and ........... did I mention reliable?

RE: "Where are all the Fords and Cadillacs and Oldsmobiles from the 1980s?"

Around here I guess. I can see several by looking out onto the street right now. Nary a Volvo in sight though, and this is in the Scandanavian hotbed (boy, there's a misnomer for you) called Minnesota!

SB (durable ain't all it's cracked up to be)
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SB,

We are slowly moving from the "safe/reliable" car to the "want to have" car.

Soon to be announced Motor Trend SUV of the year is the new XC90. You have to be a little more than just "reliable" to get that.

tjt
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RE: "We are slowly moving from the "safe/reliable" car to the "want to have" car."

Well, after all, Volvo's are Fords now!

RE: "@#%)(@*&%)_%^%_ @)I%*&#&@^@*(%)%"

Is it safe to come out yet?

SB
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