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Volvo S80 Timing Belt

My Volvo dealer recommends I replace the timing belt for something like $800 as I recall. Mileage is now 115,000. I am short on money so I need to know how critical this is. I can’t afford a new car or new engine so I may have to borrow money to get this done.

If it’s crucial, what other parts should I replace, pulley, tensioner, water pump?

What year S80?


Yep, it’s time to replace the timing belt. Generally cars have like 7 year/70K miles change interval. I don’t know for sure what your interval is, but I’d bet it’s similar.

The timing belt controls the valves in your engine, among other things. If the belt breaks, the engine will not run. Even worse, certain types of engine (interference) will experience major internal damage should the timing belt break suddenly. Other than age/mileage, there is no warning the belt is about to break, and it will most likely go when you least expect it.

If it were me, I’d get at least the belt and water pump replaced ASAP. Right now you’re on borrowed time given the age/mileage, and it doesn’t sound like you’re in a position to buy a new engine, let alone a new car.

Good luck.

Both the 2.8 liter and 2.9 liter are interference engines so you’re overdue for a timing belt.

Volvos are expensive to keep going so budget appropriately. Shop around for quotes, you don’t need the dealer. As long as you’re paying for the labor you may as well replace all those other parts while they’re in there, it doesn’t add much to the labor cost.

Okay, thanks. At first, the S80 was a bit of a service/maintenance problem. Nothing major, just nagging trips to the dealer for this or that. But once I inherited it from my wife and now drive it myself it has developed into a pain-free and reliable means of transportation. I intend to drive it as long as I can. I’ll figure out a way to get the belt and pump replaced.

Where ever you go make sure they replace the belt and ALL idler bearings tensioners and even the water pump…if the pump is driven by the belt. When you do the belt it is IMPERATIVE to change out all of the items the belt rolls on… Those bearings and idler pulleys never ever get a break and they really shouldnt be asked to withstand the billions of extra revolutions a new belt will put them thru. In fact they can go at any moment and when one item goes…it takes everything else with it. It is foolish to not use a T-belt kit or similar when doing a T-belt job…thats what I do…

Appreciate those comments. I assume that the T-belt kit has the bearings, pulleys and anything else that should be replaced with the belt?

According to Gates website the S80 does not have a belt driven water pump.

I wish you luck in the future. If money is tight, an eleven-year-old Volvo is far from the ideal car!

The only critical part is the timing belt itself. The other parts can be inspected and a determination be made. Of course it is best to change the tensioner, pulley and water pump but what is your future outlook on ownership?

Can’t afford a new car any time soon so I will keep this one for the forseeable future, maybe another 100,000 miles, if it lasts.

Don’t have to go to the stealer, you might save a 100 or so going to a good independent shop (use the Mechan-X files on this site to find one)