Timing Chain/belt 2001 Volvo S-40

Dealer told my husband to replace timing chain/belt, whatever it’s called. Automatic transmission. 140,000 miles. Expensive. Husband refused, felt dealer was trying to stiff him. Car runs fine. Opinions? On need for car maintenance suggested by dealer, not husband.

Just In Time! (We hope)

See for yourself!
Click this link to a leading timing belt manufacturer.
Read about "Interference Engines."
Do the: “Find Out Now,” putting in your car info.

This belt should be replaced now, if it’s due.


Or, alternatively, the OP can simply open up her glove compartment, take out the maintenance schedule provided by the manufacturer, and see if timing belt replacement is specified at…60k, 75k, 90k, 105k, etc. The maintenance schedule could be contained in the Owner’s Manual or in a separate booklet with an appropriate title.

If there is no listing for the replacement of the timing belt, then that would indicate that the engine has a timing chain. Timing chains are normally not replaced until an engine has accumulated a very large number of miles, and usually a timing chain will give an audible indication that it is in need of replacment.

If the maintenance schedule does mention timing belt replacement, I believe that it is now OVERDUE, based on the reported odometer mileage and the fact that the car is now at least 7 years old. The maintenance schedule would specify both an odometer mileage value and an elapsed time value for replacement if this is a maintenance item on that engine.

If the engine is of the “interference type”, a snapped timing belt will result in very costly (especially in view of the fact that it is a Volvo) repairs, in addition to the cost of the belt. If the engine is not of the interference type, no internal damage will occur when the belt snaps, but the OP should bear in mind that the belt could snap while she is in the passing lane, in the midst of semi-trailers, or it could snap on a cold night in a deserted location. While that would not be an expense issue, it could be an issue of great inconvenience.

Even if this is the first time that the OP and her husband open up that maintenance schedule, it is really important that they do it at this time. And, whatever the price quote from the dealer might be, an independent foreign car specialist could likely do the job for a lot less money.

According to that Gates site, the '01 S-40 has a timing belt, the belt is due for replacement at 105k, and the engine is of the interference type.

If the OP’s husband continues to believe that the dealer is trying to rob him by suggesting that the belt be replaced, then hubby is due for a surprise to the tune of…maybe $2,000. when (not if) the belt snaps and multiple valves and pistons collide. The OP might want to point out to her suspicious hubby that a timing belt gives no warning of its impending demise, and as one of the most skilled mechanics on this site says, “Your engine will run very nicely, right up to the milisecond after the belt snaps”.

Those who fail to read the Owner’s Manual and the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule invariably come to regret it.

Simply Eloquent!

The timing belt is way past due. The car will run perfectly fine until it snaps. It will run into several thousand dollars to repair the damaged engine beyond performing the replacement.

Get a quote from a trusty(ask around) independent mechanic for this job. It will likely be a few hundred cheaper.

The owner’s manual for your car says:

Timing belt

For proper functioning of the vehicle and its emission control systems, the timing belt and tensioner must be replaced every 105,000 miles (168,000 km). Engine damage will occur if the belt fails.

But, in order to read that, the car’s owner would have to reach a-a-a-l-l-l-l-l the way over to the glove compartment, open the compartment, take out the manual, and actually read that little book. Aren’t you asking a bit too much of a car owner?


We have the same car and the dealer gave us the same info. The belt is supposed to be changed at 105,000 miles. We have a personal mechanic we use for everything we can, and he changed it for us for $300 vs. the dealership quote of $1200. So if you have a trusted mechanic, it can be done outside of volvo. good lukc.

Opinion? Change husband.

Or, you could change the timing belt and tensioner as others have all, unanimously, in one-part harmony, suggested…emphatically.

New timing belt: hundreds of dollars.
New engine: thousands of dollars.
Perhaps hubby would like to choose between the two?

I wonder how many have their manual or booklet describing maintenance schedule in their glove compartment…I certainly don’t, but I do have it handy and read it prior to a service visit.

I have the Owner’s Manual and the manufacturer’s maintenance booklet in my glove compartment for the same reason that I keep the operating manual for my microwave oven in the kitchen and the manual for the DVD player in the family room.

Keeping car manuals in the house would make as much sense as keeping appliance manuals in the car, don’t you think?