I have a 2001 Volvo S80 with about 200,000 miles and it died on me while driving. The battery is about 6 months old. The shop I took it to said the timing chain sliped and might have caused damage to the piston and head. Does this seem resonable as the cause? They quoted me about $4500 to fix it. I’m thinking a used engine for about $3000 with half as many miles would be a better idea. Any thoughts?
Your Volvo has a timing belt, not a timing chain. Your Volvo also has an interference engine, which means if your timing belt failed, you likely have valve damage and possibly piston damage. There are many ways to properly diagnose whether or not there is valve damage with little to no disassembly of the engine, and this should be done before condemning the engine. If valve damage is present, other options to consider would be reconditioning the head or replacing the head with a remanufactured one. Engine replacement is the most economical approach if piston damage is present.
Many things can cause a car to die while going down the road. If you never replaced the timing belt, timing belt failure is a very likely cause. For future reference, the maintenance schedule that came with the owner’s manual for your car will tell you when this preventive maintenance job needs to be done. As you may have learned the hard way, timing belt replacement is imperative to preventing a very costly breakdown.
Thanks for the input. I did have the belt replaced at 105k miles as per the schedule. Guess I was due for a new one again. So if I understand correctly, only replace the engine if the pistons are damaged? Otherwise it might be cheaper to have the head replaced if no piston damage?