High pressure diesel pump fail

Hi guys! Would appreciate your opinions/thoughts.

Story in short: very happy owner of Volvo XC90 (really happy), diesel. Car was bought second hand from volvo dealer, full service history from volvo, 6 years old in Nov 2023, just 50k mileage.

Problem: high pressure diesel pump died while driving. Volvo on-call was very helpful. Car repaired and I have a bill of 3500 (nearly bankrupted me). Pump/one injector/belt, all changed.

Now I have dilemma: I have no extended warranty, however I know that in case of manufactory defect, warranty in England can be extended up to 6 years (google and gov.uk), but I have to prove that it was manufactory defect.

My question: does anyone heard how common is this kind of failures on such a low milage (50k)? Im using mainly sainsburys diesel (occasionally at asda).

Moving forward: I understand that this is very critical fail and simple exchange of pump wont fix the problem (something about micro-particles within the fuel system as the result of erasure of moving pump components), am I right to be worried?

Would You consider to send failed pump to specialised centre for expertise (if such kind of expertise exists)? If indeed someone can tell me why pump failed – I may explore legal route with volvo (how far – depends on how critical is this fail).

Thank You Everyone.

This is mainly a USA based forum, so we are not as versed in your laws and I don’t think Volvo has even sold a Diesel automobile in the USA in a long time… That being said I would consult a Volvo diesel mechanic that may have seen this before…
Sorry you are having this issue…


My advice would be simply to trade cars and avoid a diesel. I put 480,000 on my olds diesel trying to get my money out of it but ended up just spending more money on it. And that was with $500 pumps that I finally just replaced myself. It’s not a defect but simple pump design. I don’t know who makes the Volvo pumps but not Volvo. Stanadyne made the olds pumps and I was told the mercedes had a more robust design and not as prone to failure.

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If you can’t afford repairs like this, I’m afraid an aging Volvo is the wrong car for you.


I’ll bet those few bucks he saved on fuel by driving a diesel dont look so good now!

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This is a pretty common diesel-engine failure mode (most manufacturers, not just Volvo) by the posts we get here. You are welcome to review what folks said in those prior posts using the forum search feature, upper right this page. As far as why the pump failed? It is probably pretty simple: the physics of entropy did it. High pressures are harder to contain compared to low pressures. My carbureted truck’s (gasoline) fuel pump has only needed to be replaced once in 50 years. the cost for the replacement pump ? $15. And a couple of hours labor, no special tools, done by this diy’er.

Not familiar with the UK legal system but I believe it is “loser pays”… So you could sue Volvo for the repair. Maybe at your cost upfront.

To prove the pump failure was a defect will likely cost you a couple thousand quid at an engineering test contractor or university.

It will take time to wind its way through the system so by the time you get compensation, the car will likely fail MOT and be at the recyclers.

$3500 (or pounds) is a lot of money to you but small change to everyone else. Sorry.

How much are the parts without the labor?

Did someone put gasoline in by accident? Would a lubricant fuel additive help prolong the life of the pump? Do you have ultra low sulfur fuel over there?

$3500 is a reasonable repair cost for this repair. Diesel engines usually require fuel filter replacement every 20,000 miles. If the replacement schedule hasn’t been followed, no point filling a case against the manufacture.

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I can’t help with UK legal, but I can say to double check your warranty information in your owners manual- specifically under emissions warranty. The injector pump may be covered under emissions warranty, and that coverage may be longer than the engine warranty coverage.

This helped me not have to pay for injector pump failure (and complete cleanout or replace of the entire system,) on a diesel Chevy.


Has the UK and European market transitioned to low sulfur diesel, as the USA did about a dozen years ago? I ask because since 2010 there has been a rash of diesel High Pressure Fuel Pump failures and recalls here in the states. The pumps seem to have been designed and engineered for the european market where high sulfur fuel was available more recently. Your Volvo likely has the older design. The new pump should be designed for low sulfur fuel, you;ll need the model and serial number to lookup whether it is. In any case I’d start using a fuel lubricant additive for diesel, so this doesn’t happen again.

LONG time ago, afaik

The change to ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel occurred in 1999 in Europe, 2007 in the United States.