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Thread: Do we really need this service?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Brooklyn, NY

    Default Do we really need this service?

    We just had a 105,000 mile service on our 10-year old XC70, plus alignment. The Volvo service person said that given the age and mileage of the Volvo they strongly recommend replacement of the drive belt, belt tensioner, idle pulley, and water pump. The cost is on the order of $2,000 including labor.

    Independent on-line auto forums note that malfunction of the drive belt and related parts could severely damage the engine. Do you think we should do this? There are independent service shops out there that can probably do it for less.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Pleasanton CA USA


    First, let's get clear about the fact that this I-6 engine depends on 2 different drives:

    Timing Chain - keeps valves & pistons synchronized; steel, expected to serve for life of engine

    Accessory Belt - reinforced rubber, drives alternator, power-steering pump, AC compressor....belt fail will force a roadside tow truck.
    Replacement schedule: 120K or 150K, 10 years

    You're at 10 years. Any Volvo shop is going to counsel the Accessory Belt job (which includes the belt, idler and tensioner). Many owners elect to replace the water pump at this juncture bc it's easily accessible. If you risk putting it off, at least you know what risk you're taking. If you go to an indie shop, you risk them installing aftermarket parts. It's better to order genuine Volvo parts online, then specify their use by the shop.

    What you read online applies to the pre-2008 model years of XC70 with 2.5T engine. The timing chain was one major improvement with the 2008 I-6 3.2 engine.
    (A TB fail on these pre-2008 engines destroys the valves -- major nightmare.)
    Last edited by pbierre; 05-13-2019 at 02:30 PM. Reason: assumed P2 engine based on OP; 2008 is P3

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2019


    My tensioner recently failed ending up with shredding the sides of the belt and seizing it all up. This was at 95,000 km (about 60k miles). I had the belt, tensioner, idle pulley all replaced with volvo parts but at an indy. Cost was $1600 CDN ($1200 USD). Did not have the water pump replaced. Did not think it necessary at 95k. Maybe I should have but $1600 was enough. Mechanic said it was about 6 hours labour as it is in tight confines.

    Failure was not catastrophic. When it finally failed, loss of power steering immediately and overheating in short order so as long as you don't continue to drive you should be okay. Overheat warnings came on (no temp gauge) and they need to be heeded.

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