Timing Belt Replacement

The service mgr. at the dealership where I bought my 2000 Volvo XC AWD said the timing belt should be replaced at 100,000 miles or 10 years. The car is 10 years old, but it has only 46,000 miles on it.

Q. Is the age just as important as the number of miles?

I am suspicious that he is more focused on the $530.00 (parts and labor) than the need to do the job right now.

Age may be more important, but you need to pay attention to both. You absolutely must do this. Don’t be suspicious of the $530 - it is a good price.

Is the age just as important as the number of miles?

Yea. If it fails due to either one, that $530 is going to look real cheap. Both time and miles are equal indicators of useful life. Go over either one and no one will feel sorry for you.

A. Yes, age is just as important as mileage. If you looked in your Owners Manual’s Maintenance section, you would notice it says 10years/100k miles WHICHEVER COMES FIRST.

Ask your dealer if they have a Timing Belt package. This offers a discounted price for several parts-timing belt, water pump, belt tensioner, seals, accessories belts. It is a wise investment to get all these parts replaced at the same time with the timing belt, since labor is pretty much the same. Take the dealer’s quote and shop it around at other dealers, and most importatntly, try a local independent mechanic which specializez in Sweedish cars/imports. Use the linky below to locate one in your area.

Any time you leave a Volvo dealership paying less than $1000.00 you should thank your lucky stars.

Good luck…and read your OWNER’S MANUAL !!!

Why don’t you trust the instructions in your owner’s manual?

  1. Are you a gambler?
  2. Do you have the $2000-$3000 to drop if it does snap?

If no to any above, the answer your Q is YES.

good luck

Re: Andrew’s post, above

  1. WHEN it snaps, rather than if it snaps

I’m pretty sure this is an interference engine. If the belt breaks, you’ll destroy your valves and probably need a whole new engine. So you’d better change it. If it weren’t an interference engine, I’d say go ahead and gamble that it won’t break.

Age is just as important if not more so than mileage.
That being said, you should never put much faith at all into what a service manager or service writer tells you.

Very very few of these people have ever worked as mechanics and are for the most part, paper shufflers, and sometimes they’re downright BS artists.
A timing belt really should never be allowed to go beyond 6 years of age. Even the age factor varies a bit because extremes of heat and cold, influences from oil vapors, etc. all play a part in shortening the belt life.

You can certainly let a belt go 10 years and the majority of belts may very well survive that long. A minority will not and when the belt snaps the damage will be instantaneous and expensive. It all depends on if you’re a gambler or not. Sometimes you get the roll of the dice and sometimes you crap out.

Be grateful you don’t have any interest in Ducati Motorcycles.
The camshaft belts (yes, plural, there are two on every engine) have to be replaced every 12k to 15k miles OR every 2 to 3 years, depending on what model bike it is.

Also, the belts don’t have an automatic tensioner system, so a manual adjustment needs to be done every 6k to 7500 miles. To do the manual adjustment, you need to have access to a frequency device, that as you strum the belt in a specific location per cylinder, with the cylinder at TDC, it tells you what the frequency of the belt is, and you either tighten or loosen the tension adjuster to bring it’s frequency into spec.

And yes, you should replace the belt.
Bad things can happen if you don’t.