Crashed engine!

2012 S60 in good condition and well maintained, well until tis happened

I watched a 24 minute video on replacing the timing belt in an S60, but not the same year. I did not see how a serpentine belt got into the timing belt cover. The timing belt cover looked sturdy enough to me.

The timing belt has a change interval of 7 years or 105k miles, whichever comes first. I don’t see you over due for either time or mileage. Your serpentine belt should not have broken either.

Question, did you actually see damage to your timing belt cover? If something went through it to the timing belt, there would be extensive damage.

If there is damage to the timing belt cover, is it possible that something like some road debris got into your engine compartment and jammed up the timing belt and the foreign object also damaged the timing belt cover and then jammed up the timing belt? It seems more plausible. Then it would not be a Volvo issue but might be covered under insurance.

This is probably the most likely scenario.

This type of failure usually occurs when the drive belt tensioner is worn and no longer straight, the belt walks off the pulleys, shreds and gets caught around the crankshaft. A serpentine belt wound tightly around the crankshaft behind the pulley can damage the timing belt.

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Looking at the timing belt cover it looks like it broke off at the attachment point. so the cover itself is not in bad shape except for the edge where its attached with a bolt. possible that it could not withstand the impact of the broken serp lashing it. and then the sept got into the timing belt.
Not of this should be possible, but here we are …

So did I. It was this one-
In the beginning, you can see him take off the back side cover which is part of the top engine cover. Then you can see the back side of the timing gears/sprockets. Also note the proximity of the serpentine belt to all of this including the seam of the timing belt cover. Note there is NOTHING connecting the two halves of this cover together other than a small overlap. Then about 3 minutes in he removes the front cover. Look at how thin the material is. One bolt in the middle. You cannot see how a shredded belt whipping around could get between those two flimsy pieces of plastic cover with nothing securing them together? In addition, there are other reports of this happening to this and other Volvo engines with similar design. It’s not a one off problem…

There are two clips that hold the back part to the front part. Once clipped it is pretty sturdy because it can’t flex.

Maybe you can make a deal w/the dealership, they keep your damaged S60, and you buy a new one from them, at a discount. One of their mechanics will probably buy your car from the dealership and fix it up for themselves. Or sell it for parts. Everybody wins, and you drive away in a new car.

The idea has occurred to me, however, and this is a big BUT, that would mean that I would end up buying yet another Volvo and have to live with the knowledge that this could happen to my new car. Also, not sure that I want to buy another volvo, rather pissed off at the company for the defect, which they have known about but have not fixed, and b/c they are not willing to step up and take responsibility for something that should never have happened.

If you go that route, see what Consumer Reports says above the various model’s reliability. There may be other Volvo models that are top rated in terms of expected reliability. If so, this sort of problem will be less likely to occur. I owned an early year VW Rabbit many years ago. That model had some design problems which came back to nip me. Fortunately most of them (such as defective valve stem seals) occurred under warranty, or under a VW customer interest program (such as the fuel pump relay/relay plate problem) , covered under an extended warranty. But it is still frustrating to have to deal with.

I don’t know how many miles a year you drive but if you could just let the Volvo dealer have your present vehicle ( as is )and lease a new Volvo then just bail at the lease end that might be a possibility . As for buying out right a new Volvo with your experience I would not do it either.

I don’t know what the warranty period is on a Volvo but just a word of caution on a lease. If you get beyond the warranty and the same thing happens, or they even deny the warranty claim, then you end up owing Volvo a new engine out of your own pocket. That wouldn’t be much fun on a leased car.


If the timing belt did not actually break, how exactly did they determine that major damage has occurred to the point that the engine must be replaced? Did they actually re-align the timing marks and see poor/no compression on multiple cylinders? Did they remove the spark plugs and insert an inspection camera down into each cylinder? Or are they just telling you that this type of engine is unrepairable once the timing belt has failed for any reason?

On this type of engine once the timing belt gets disrupted, the cylinders and valves, both of which move on this type of “interface” engine, crash into each other, as the timing belt is what keeps them in synch. The sign that this has happened is that the crankshaft won’t turn, stuck. they also have the diagnostic codes they can read.

Thanks for pointing this out!

Generally when an interference motor has a broken timing belt, and the pistons crash into the valves, the piston wins. The crank will still turn- the valves won’t stop it because they’ve already been blasted out of its way. Unless you are misunderstanding what the shop told you, I would be looking at oil starvation underlying all of this.

I’m not sure how oil starvation fits the rest of this?

No oil starvation here, just the timing belt getting disrupted ad skipping a few beats – that’s all it takes for the valves and cylinders to crash

Because if the crankshaft is seized, that can be caused by oil starvation.

Yes, I know. But that most likely isn’t going to make the crankshaft impossible to turn. It’s going to disconnect the camshafts from the crankshaft. So if their diagnosis is “we know the timing belt skipped a tooth or two because the crankshaft won’t turn,” that’s suspect and you need to do more digging to figure out what’s really going on.

@janjmalek_145418 I don’t know when the incident happened but I think the longer you take to make a decision might effect how the dealer feels about this whole thing. They have a damaged vehicle setting on their lot and probably want to start repairs or have it removed. I don’t know what it would be worth undamaged but if you spend the $5000.00 or so and get it back on the road then promptly trade it for some thing then that might be an idea.