Recently, every time I try to step on the brake pedal in my Volvo 242, I noticed that I exert more effort than normal and try to hit the pedal two to three times just to activate the brakes. Sometimes the pedal also sinks slowly when I'm stopped in traffic or at a long red light that I have to pump the brakes to keep my car from rolling. I know that this is a brake issue, but what do I need to replace? I recently bled my brakes, but it didn't seem to work 100%.
It sounds like you need to check your master cylinder and bleed the brakes again. First, check the fluid levels in the brake fluid reservoir. The brake fluid should be up to the "Full" line or at least ½ inch at the top of each chamber. If both chambers in the reservoir are full and there is no sign of leaking, then it means you would have to replace the master cylinder. Replacing it shouldn't be difficult; however, it requires expert skill since you would have to perform proper bleeding. If you are inexperienced at this, it would be best to take your car to the nearest auto shop and have their team do it for you.
I noticed that there is a slightly longer stopping distance every time I hit the brakes on my Volvo 242, and I'm worried that this puts me more at risk of being in an accident. Is this a brake issue? How do I fix it?
Longer stopping distances indicate a problem with your shock absorber. This is a common issue among Volvo 242 vehicles, especially those produced in 1982. Replace the worn shock absorber right away as a 20% increase in stopping distance is likely to cause a major accident. Apart from the normal car tools, you would have to get a pair of spring compressors, offset ring spanner, and an adjustable open ended spanner. Before replacing the shock absorber, however, make sure to check other brake parts, such as the rotors, calipers, brake discs, tie rod bushes, etc., as well so you can get the parts needed and fix everything in one go.
I'm having trouble starting my Volvo 242 during the summer. At first, the car starts immediately and runs just fine. However, if I turn it off for 5 minutes and start it back up, it stops running well and it moves slowly, at an average of 40 mph. What should I do?
Check your vehicle's ECU; make sure the car is switched off completely. Unplug the ECU, and get an ohm meter to check the resistance between the engine temperature sensor and the ground on the harness plug. Ideally, it should be at 300 ohms if the engine is still hot. After two hours or once the engine has cooled down, check the reading again. It should be around 2000 ohms on a normal day or over 6000 ohms if it is freezing. If the readings are way off, then you might have to replace your wiring harness or engine coolant temperature sensor.