2012 Volvo S60 - Car stalled - serpentine belt broke

Car just stopped out of no where and would not start again.I had the car towed to a local auto shop that informed me that the serpentine belt was sucked into the timing belt causing internal damage to the engine. The plastic housing is cheaply made and there is hoses and parts under the hood that are brittle and easily break. The auto shop said its an interferance engine and because piecies broke off into the timing belt the engine is damaged and i would need to replace the engine. This car is well overpriced and engine damage is enivitable. Never will i ever purchase a Volvo or any car affiliated with Volvo and will never recommend buying this car. This car should have been recalled and taken off the market. I will purchase a toyota if you want reliability stay away from this car

  1. I think you misunderstood the cause, I don’t think the serpentine belt can be “sucked into the timing belt”.
    2). I suspect you simply failed to keep up with routine, required maintenance such as change the belts at the required time.
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Overpriced and Volvo pretty much go hand in hand. Both sales price and the price of maintenance. As far as “**engine damage is inevitable ** that’s a matter of debate. If because of the cost things like the timing and serpentine belts were not replaced ……… yep damage is inevitable.

We don’t care. And there are plenty of other people that feel the same way about every manufacturer you can name. That’s everyone’s go to phrase when they can’t afford to fix something.


Toyota has had problem vehicles also . You did not say if you bought this Volvo new or used . Regular service on most European vehicles ( Volvo - BMW - Mercedes - Audi ) is expensive and a necessary thing to have done.

Since Volvo has announced it is going total electric the timing belt problem will be gone for new ones.

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Not familiar w/OP’s car, but it seems like it would be possible w/certain engine configurations for the serpentine belt to break, and some portion of it jam the timing belt path. I wouldn’t have guessed a 2012 Volvo would use a timing belt though. If engine is timing chain configured, I don’t see a way a broken serpentine belt would be able to jam the timing chain path, since timing chain path is totally enclosed and isolated from the serp belt, so the oil that lubes the timing chain doesn’t leak out. .

It’s a known issue. I may have even read about it on here a while back. It’s important to spend several hours going through carcomplaints.com, searching, and generally reading about your car. Many people don’t even read the owner’s manual.

Guess what other car has a timing chain guide defect that will trash the engine if not repaired? Jaguar, which is another Ford owned company.

The OP will go buy another brand. They might get a good car, or they might get one with a major defect that won’t show up for a few years. Chances are the OP won’t do any research about the car that they get. GM / Chevrolet makes a generally good product free of major defects, but the longevity isn’t so great.

BTW, you didn’t actually buy a Volvo S60, you bought a Ford or Chinese designed product. Ford owned Volvo from 1999 to 2010. Ford is known for producing vehicles with a major engine or transmission issue. You have to be very away of what you’re getting when you buy a Ford. They’ve made some great vehicles.

Was the AC compressor bearing making noise prior to the failure, and the OP ignored it or didn’t recognize it? It seized and due to a design issue trashed the timing belt. Likely this happened.

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The alternator was bad, i had no way of knowing the alternator was going bad, this is what had caused the serpentine belt to be dislodged and catapulted into ripping the belt which than became trapped under the timingbelt cover. The 2012 also had a 2013 model altenator not 2012 which caused confusion and cost me money. Also if you own this type of car make sure you dont break the hose going to your antifreeze compartment, it will cost you 50 to 100 dollars to replace it and it can be easily broken. Also the tensioner is made out of sometype of plastic housing were you would put the torx bit to turn and loosen your belt. Be CAREFULL its not metal its some cheap hard plastic that can break easily.


Was it the front or rear alternator bearing that seized?

The alternator on my sons Pontiac froze up one night about 60 miles from home. It didn’t wreck the belt but just spun the pulley off. Tried putting a new nut on but just spun that off. Alternator was toast so returned the next morning with a new one. Deputy stopped and said it would be ok to leave the car on the side of the road overnight since nothing was open that late. So I guess it happens but had never seen it before. Don’t know why but not too long ago I just replaced the one on mine even though it was working fine. I tend to do pre-emptive repairs.

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Thanks for the update, good info. It’s not that unusual for an alternator to seize without showing any obvious prior symptoms, but the serp belt breaking and then damaging the the timing belt path, that’s pretty unusual. I wouldn’t have guessed such a thing is possible. But if the timing belt cover is flexible enough, I guess it could happen. Sorry you experienced this bit of bad luck.

And you had a non-standard alternator, causing yet another expense. I’m guessing the manufacturer may have run out of the '12 alternators at the manufacturing plant, so they installed a '13 model alternator instead. Not much the car owner can do about that sort of thing.

When repairing the s-belt and timing belt on a 11 year old car, it is going to be pretty easy to break other stuff in the process, like hoses, tensioners, etc. Just goes with the territory of owning a car. To minimize these sorts of problems on your next car purchase, suggest to consult Consumer Reports New Car Guide. Choose from their list of predicted to be most reliable makes and models.

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front altenator

Where is your car’s rear alternator located?

OK, I will bite, why do you ask??

I can’t remember why I asked. It probably had to do with how hard injecting some new grease in to the bearing would be. It only takes a few minutes and prevents this situation.