Crashed engine!


Usually belts don’t slip. They break. A worn timing chain is more likely to slip.


I’ve already had it towed out of the dealership, currently sitting in my driveway. if I have it repaired it’s going to be at my trust gas station not at the dealer, but I’ve yet to decide that’s worth doing.

very unhappy about this whole situation and the unwillingness of volvo to take responsibility for what is clearly a design defect.

If somebody had told me something like this could happen to a car sold in the US in the 21st century, before it happened to mine, I not have believed them. File under: you just can’t make shit like this up.


it didn’t slip, it “skipped a few beats”, supposedly, according to the dealer. the whole thing is completely ridiculous.


Wow, shadowfax, way to kick them when they’re down, with your pedantic attitude. Noice.


I’m sorry, who are you?

If you’ll read really careful like, you’ll see that I was pointing out that the story he says he was told doesn’t necessarily add up and the people telling him the story might not be right about what they’re telling him.


The story doesn’t quite add up for me either. If this were truly a design problem then s60s would be dropping like flies.

Maybe the serpentine belt (which was 7 years old) should have been replaced a few years ago. Any 7 year old serpentine belt is suspect at an age before that.

Many car manufacturers, tire manufacturers, and various safety groups say tires older than 6 years old should not be used. Why should belts be any different…


I have no problem with the serpentine breaking, although I would have preferred it hadn’t. the problem I do have is with it getting tangled up in the timing belt - on an engine where the manufacturer knows it will cause mayhem to the engine. looking on the web, I can tell you this is not unique to my car, seems to be a thing for the S60s – maybe not dropping like flies, but enough reports of it happening to clearly be a design defect that volvo is aware of and should have fixed. that said, this whole thing is bizarre and I’m pissed off beyond belief that I now have a piece of expensive junk sitting in my driveway. Never buying a volvo ever again!!!


That was the conclusion that I came to after my experiences with a POS '74 Volvo, bought new and maintained better than the factory specified. Just when I thought that perhaps, after the passage of so many years I should give Volvo another chance, you have convinced me to stay away from that marque.


What really ticked me off, even more than the engine crash, is the unwillingness of Volvo management to engage and set things right. I’ve reached out to a number of senior exec in the US and in Sweden (via email) and they refuse to engage, preferring to hide behind the Customer Service Agents, who will be happy to tell you that they have no decision making authority.
So here we are in the 21st Century and volvo management will not engage with the customer and explore how they can make things right.


You have reason to be upset about this incident but you have to realize that your vehicle is out of warranty . That means just that , no warranty coverage . The fact that they offered 2000.00 was a good will gestor . Buy removing the vehicle from the dealer you may have lost that also. I don’t think sending emails to so called senior executives would produce any results.

I will say this again, if that 2000.00 is still there and it will not wreck your budget or savings let the dealer put this back on the road . Then sell , trade or what ever and get a different brand vehicle. If that is not an option then just get it out of your driveway and remove that frustration from your life.


Something else to consider when replacing the car is to buy one with a chain this time around. It seems manufacturers are going back to timing chains these days which I don’t think is a bad idea considering how many trashed engines I hear about because people neglect/forget to change the belt. People are then pissed at the car and not themselves.

Some engines seem to have more of an issue with this than others. For example there always used to be a $500 Chevy Aveo for sale on Craigslist in great shaped except for the broken timing belt and bent valves. You could count on at least one or two, if not more being listed. I knew a guy who used to just buy these things up and get reman heads for them, then flip them once fixed. He had parts cars, spare parts, etc. This was the only car he bought and it was always ones with a broken timing belt.

My GF had a similar type of car. It was a Suzuki Reno/Forenza which is just a big Aveo if you ask me. Both are GM Daewoo designs so not the best. I have never seen one of these before we started dating but did some research and realized the timing set was a major weakness. She had no history on the car as she bought it used but based on the condition of other things with the car, I figured it had never been changed.
It was beyond the suggested change interval in terms of time and nearing it in terms of mileage. The first thing I did was change the belt and ANYTHING that touched the belt along with it. That included the water pump, tensioner, idlers, etc. The belt HAD NOT been changed so it was a very good thing I got it taken care of when I did as there were noticeable cracks.

The car has now been traded in because of other issues but she was upset that timing belts were a thing and insisted that her next car have a timing chain. She is not a mechanical person but it bothered her that something this critical could break and destroy the engine. You might opt for a chain next time around as well. Remember that the same car might come with several different engine options. Some might have a chain and others a belt so be aware of that.


Thanks for the tip, definitely appreciate it. When you think about it, it is rather silly that manufacturers design/ make engines that are so critically dependent a rubber band! Like the idea of going back to chains, they’re not perfect but definitely seem more reliable.


Remember that chains are not perfect either can be ruined by low or dirty oil. Some engines with chains were more troublesome than those with belts. The tensioner on the Chrysler 2.7L was a good example but that engine was a good example of how not to build an engine. It was the perfect storm of problems.

Do your research on a new car by looking at I always reference this site when asked about an unknown car.


The real issue isn’t belts or chains, it’s interference engines. And while I know there are some advantages to them, in my opinion the tradeoff, namely you grenade your engine if something goes wrong, isn’t worth it. I have one car with a timing belt that has 180k on it, and it’s 23 years old, and unless the previous owner changed it in the first 4 years of its life, it’s a factory belt. But I’m not worried because it’s a non-interference engine so I’ll just wait for it to break and then deal with it.

That, in my opinion, is a much better approach than “replace it when it’s probably got 50-100k of life, at minimum, left just in case you lost the lottery and are about to destroy your engine.”

And even the interference problem isn’t so bad on the i4’s that only cost 3 or 4 hundred bucks to replace. But when you’re telling customers to spend $1,000 every 80-100k miles… That’s not cool. I only tolerated it on my Acura because I knew the odds were that I wouldn’t be spending much else on repair/preventative maintenance, and so far I’ve been right about that. Volvos are a different story entirely.


Yes, thank you for reminding us of this! It’s inevitable that belts and chains will break, what is not ok is for an engine to get trashes as a result of it. I had no idea there was such a thing as an interface engine when we bought this car, and did not conceive of something this catastrophic happening until it did. No more interface engines for me, not worth the headaches and the concerns that something this might happen, as you so correctly suggest.


I used to have an old 2.2L Subaru with non-interference design, so I know the argument about selecting a time/place where your belt is getting replaced, in your warm garage or on the cold/dark street, but what actually made me do it is reading about one guy misfortune of valves still hitting the pistons due to the carbon buildups reducing the space there into “actually interfering”, just enough to make valves slightly bent.


Yeah, I’ve considered that with my MR2 but… Honestly, it’s not the turbo version, and when I bought it I told myself that I’d run it till the engine died and then use the dead engine as justification for putting something much more entertaining in there.

That plan was a bust. Thanks, Toyota reliability. :wink: So at this point if the belt breaks and the carbon buildup does cause engine damage, my only decision will be whether to swap in a turbo V6 or take a big leap and convert the thing to electric, which there’s already a kit for. :smiley:


now, when you contributed some details and overall perspective… :slight_smile: