Preventative maintenance needed for low-mileage 2001 Volvo S60?

I have a 2001 Volvo S60. I bought it used in 2002 with 13,000 miles on it. I now have just over 45,000 miles on it. Everything is original - tires, timing belt, etc. It is stored in a garage and I generally drive it short distances a few times per week. It goes to the dealer for an oil change 2x/year. I am wondering about parts deteriorating due to time (not use). What kind of preventative maintenance should I be thinking about right now? Last oil change I asked this question and the mechanic said the tires were fine but I should think about replacing the timing belt. What do you all think?

It is very good that you do oil changes every 6 months, but there is much more to car maintenance than just oil changes. For example, the timing belt is now about 5 years overdue for replacement, on the basis of elapsed time. (Yes, there are elapsed time values for maintenance, as well as odometer mileage values, with a “whichever comes first” proviso.) When that belt snaps, your engine will sustain severe internal damage, so I suggest that you not delay any further with this maintenance.

What you really need to do is to open the Owner’s Manual to the section for vehicle maintenance. Then, look for the Severe Service maintenance schedule, as the type of driving that you do falls into the Severe Service category. See if you are up-to-date on all maintenance, on the basis of elapsed time. More than likely, since you have skipped the very important timing belt replacement, there will be other procedures that you have skipped. From now on, be sure that you adhere to the Severe Service maintenance schedule if you want to avoid costly repairs in the future.

If you do not have an Owner’s Manual, this is a perfect illustration of why you need one. E-bay is a good source for low-cost manuals.

My sister had a Volvo about the same age as yours. She neglected to replace the timing belt on her engine. When it snapped, eventually it cost in the range of $3000 to repair her engine. Personally I wouldn’t have put $500 into the car, but that’s another story.

The moral is, pay $700-800 for a timing belt now, or maybe $3000 to repair the engine later at the worst possible time. Your call. Good luck.

Tires that are 12+ years old should be replaced, even if they look fine. They harden with age and are less grippy in the wet.

Thanks! I have had a couple other things done to the car over the years too (new battery, tie rod, etc.)…luckily I keep ALL my service records. I’ll pull them out, along with my manual and see what needs doing (sounds like a timing belt for sure)! Appreciate the the help!

It might make sense to replace the serpentine belt and coolant when the timing belt is replaced. You probably have to drain the coolant anyway.

Oh, and its not uncommon to get 12 years out of the battery in the S60 - its in the trunk. So don’t sweat that one.

Well, somehow my previous post did not post. Anyway, I would get the timing belt done. Go to a good Volvo dealer, its something you want done right. Beyond that:

  • spark plugs
  • engine thermostat, which will also get the coolant replaced
  • engine and cabin air filters
  • have the brake pads and rotors inspected for rust, sometime just put new one’s on.
  • windshield wipers will dry out
  • if your car has a fuel line filter, swap it out
  • get the Haynes repair manual for the S60

A lot of these things you can do yourself, if you are so inclined. Call IPD USA in Portland, OR for their advice, they are a major Volvo parts supplier in North America. Most of their guys drive and work on their own Volvo’s.

Don’t forget to polish/wax the car twice a year. This is a car that will run 500,00 miles and easily 20 years. You will have a great looking classic car. Plus, at some point, with low milage, it will start appreciating in value.

Oh, big one, have the brake fluid replaced - at the same time, get the rubber brake hoses in the wheel wells replaced (around $12 each).

Lastly, sign up for the Swedespeed forum, lots of good advice to be gotten from there. Many of the people on that forum are serious Volvo gear heads that work on their own Volvo’s.

Also more likely to fail unexpectedly.

Do you really need that car?  It seems you seldom drive it.  Maybe you would be better off selling it and living with one less car.  Remember with one less car, you save worrying about it and maybe you  can afford a better car.

One less car may be no car.
I have one car and drive it ~4000 miles a year, but it’s still an essential tool for me.