Volvo Service Culture

1967 Volvo 144 Maiden Voyage (A Bust!)

Finally got the front flex hoses that I needed to install before Ol' Red had brakes. I wasn't able to source the hoses at any of my regular suppliers in Canada, so I ordered them out of the US, and after 2 weeks on order, I was happy to see them.  As far as I was concerned, other than no brakes, the car had been ready for it's maiden voyage (with me, anyhow), for two weeks. After a quick install and bleed, the brakes felt as good as new, so off I went.

As there can be surprises at any time with old cars like this, I decided that one of the more rural local drives may be the place to start out. Within two or three stoplights of the shop, I was on a beautiful, rolling county road. The 43 year-old Volvo ran like a top. It was a beautiful day, the windows were down and I was really taking in the ambiance of the moment. There was that "old Volvo" smell. There were all of the sounds of the "old Volvo" engine. The feel of the wind pressing the warm wind on my chest (remember "no-draft" windows?).

Then, there was a not-so-good feeling as I rose up a gentle incline in the road. The feeling of pressing the accelerator, while Ol' Red continued to lose momentum, until finally coming to rest, somewhat on the shoulder.

Good thing I brought my cell phone.

After a quick inspection, it was apparent  that the engine had a fuel delivery problem, so I called the shop to have the fuel delivery man (Rod!) deliver some fuel and a new fuel pump (which I happened to have on the shelf at the shop).  As it happened, the fuel pump wasn't the problem, rather the fuel gauge had stuck at 3/4 full, and basically, I'd run out of gas.

As I sat on the side of the road, munching on a bagel, waiting for my road-side assistance to get there, I couldn't help but enjoy myself. I also realized  that the likely-hood of any of my clients having the same appreciation of breaking down, is slim to none.

Not to worry folks, the newer Volvos are much more reliable   ;)


2 Responses »

  1. Les, this almost sounds like I wrote the story! I would have dealt with things in exactly the same way! Quirky little things with older cars never bother me. You just have to sit inside one (while you wait things out) and revel in the ambiance of the vehicle. I will always remember my 72' VW Bug that left me sitting there while she cooled off on the side of the road....Back in the days when you'd leave her there and hitch hike back home and then go pick her up later.

  2. P.S
    Thanks again for the wiper/linkage replacement, working great! Blair has finally fixed the fuse issues and I am grateful to have my stereo, clock, power trunk release etc BACK in my life!!! We will have to come see you about the heater issues though....Take care and happy Volvo-ing!


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