Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership  
Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - StephenO

I want to add to the several strands on here already about difficulties with Volvo V70 cam belts, tensioners and auxilliary belts. In brief, there is clearly a very serious engine weakness here that I hope Volvo fess up to soon (there has been a recall, in fairness).

My story begins on Christmas Eve 2012. My V70 D5 (2008 model, 88,000 on the clock) cuts out in a traffic jam and won't restart. The RAC man suggests its a lot worse than a low battery and suggests it is a problem with the auxilliary belt that has damaged the timing belt and tows the car to a garage. They in turn repeat what he has said: the auxilliary belt failed, wrapped itself around the timing belt which caused it to snap, resulting in serious engine damage.

From speaking to many, many Volvo mechanices in the last weeks, it appears to be a well-known fault in this particular engine. Some said the damage was likely to be so bad I would be better off cutting my losses and selling for parts and finding another car. Others said that they would have a go at rebuilding. This latter option is the one I'm following at present.

So to the backstory. I bought the car from an independent dealership in March 2011. Just before I bought it the car had a service at a non-Volvo garage. Despite the service book being stamped with a "full service" at its 4 year/72 mile service in March 2011, it turns out that the belt changes that Volvo recommend at this service were not done - according to the dealership, this was because 69,250 was on the clock at this stage and this is less than 72,000. So "full service" is misleading and I am in correspondence with the dealership over this, but as might be expected, they are at present saying its not their problem.

But ,just to complicate matters, further investigation revealed that the car did have a timing belt, aux belt and tensioner change at 49,950 miles. In theory, this should last for 54,000 miles, taking us well over the 100,000 mile stage before it needed replacing. But Volvo are saying its not their problem: failure to do a full service and change the belts at 72,000 is the reason for the engine damage. This seems to my non-expert ears to be somewhat questionable: the implication is that if you change the belts early you still have to do it again anyway at 72,000. But that said, some (but by no means all) of the Volvo mechanics I have spoken to say they would change again even if its been done already to keep in the schecule that Volvo recommend. I shall pursue this further, but at present it looks like Volvo wish to shed liability as quick as they can and are pinning the fault on the dealership.

I had the car serviced by a Volvo dealer in March 2012. They did not spot any issues with it, but again, they presumed the 72,000 service had been done properly. I do not know if they checked the state of the aux belt at this, but it would be normal practice to do so apparently.

The upshot? I'm looking at the very least at a £3000 bill for rebuilding the top half of the engine. And longer term, lots of anxiety about damage done to the inside that cannot be spotted at this stage.

The moral? If buying a second hand Volvo, make sure the full service history is a Volvo full service history - not because the Volvo service is inherently superior but because if there is one brief lapse, Volvo have an instant get-out should anything go wrong and they will use it.

The issue? V70 D5 engines have an inherent problem with timing, auxilliary belts and tensioners - its widely recognised among Volvo mechanics. Volvo need to come clean about this or their reputation for safety and reliability in this most family oriented of autos will begin to look a little threadbare.

Tags: maintenance and servicing warranties cam belts timing belt legal and consumer advice

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - craig-pd130

Sorry you've had these problems. Who did the belt changes at 50K miles? Was it a Volvo main dealer?

Volvo has acknowleged a problem with the aux belt tensioner, there is a recall on it:


Recall Ref: R/2010/033

Exact Model: S80, V70 & XC70
Description: AUXILIARY DRIVE BELT MAY DETACH
VIN: 000330 to 040256 (XC70), 000312 to 055705 (V70), 000862 to 082770 (S80)
Build Date:
Numbers: 2282
Defect: The Auxiliary Belt Tensioner may fail resulting in loss of Power Assisted Steeering and loss of Drive
Action: Recall affected vehicles to replace the Tensioner and Drive Belt.
Launch Date: 01 April 2010

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - countryroads

The one and only problem I had with my Audi was similar, the auto tensioner for the main drive belt seized and shredded the belt, granted much older and with more miles but its not unknown on VAG cars either...luckily I escaped any further engine damage due to the design of the timing belt cover and the fact it did it at idle too...but the TDi models often arent as lucky and suffer a similar fate to the Volvo.

Hope you get it sorted out and that it doesnt cost too much...!

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - thunderbird

Despite the service book being stamped with a "full service" at its 4 year/72 mile service in March 2011, it turns out that the belt changes that Volvo recommend at this service were not done - according to the dealership, this was because 69,250 was on the clock at this stage and this is less than 72,000. So "full service" is misleading and I am in correspondence with the dealership over this, but as might be expected, they are at present saying its not their problem.

A cam belt change is never part of a service however full it is. All manufacturers class it as additional work. Volvo have done nothing wrong, the fault is with your assumption work was carried out that was not part of the service. Did you not look at the invoice to see what work was done. Did you perhaps consider that the price charged was very reasonable for a full service including cam belt change.

Sorry but you are wasting your time.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - Collos25

It cannot be a very common fault or else these and other web sites would be full of problems and they are not .I think you brought a lot of the fault on yourselve assuming that the work had been done when it obviously was not.As above it is classed as additional work with a seperate invoice.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - daveyjp
I suspect someone disposed of it due to the impending expensive belt change.
Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - StephenO

Thank you for all the responses - and keep them coming. In answer to some of the points raised:

- yes, it was a Volvo main dealer that changed the belts at 50,000.

- it is Volvo's recommendation that the aux belt is changed at the 72,000 mile service. It is on the Volvo service checklist. I was not supplied with this when I bought the car unfortunately.

- perhaps it is my ignorance to think a "full service" means in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations. But I think it is a mistake that many non-expert people might make when buying a used car.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - Collos25

We all learn from mistakes, if when buying a car you do not have 100% proof that the cam belt and ancillary's were changed then have it done immediately.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - 72 dudes

OP, you have my sympathy.

Unlike some of the others on this board, I think it was reasonable for you to assume that if you are buying a car with full service history, then those services would have been done in accordance with the manufacturers specifications. As the 72k service includes a cambelt change, it should have been done before you bought it.

If the car had not had the belts and tensioner done by Volvo at 49k, then ultimately the independent dealer would be responsible, as they misrepresented the car as having a full service history when in fact in had not had a cambelt change at 72k or before (to their knowledge)

Now, what surprises me somewhat is that Volvo seem to be taking the matter lightly. The fact that the car had the belt and tensioner changed by a Volvo dealer at 49k muddies the water somewhat for your blaming the Independent who sold you the car.

In light of this, it would be hard to pursue the seller for compensation, as the car had in fact been serviced in accordance with (and beyond) the manufacturer's specification.

I think you need proper Legal advice as it's not a clear cut case of 'buyer beware'. The work done by Volvo at 49k will have some sort of guarantee on it. Yes, you then went outside the Volvo network to purchase the car, but you bought it in good faith with the knowledge that it had a full service history - any chance of getting hold of the invoice for the service at 69k to demonstrate it used Volvo parts?? (Previous owner or garage that carried it out).

To demonstrate your loyalty to the brand you then went back to the Volvo network to have the next service carried out by them, and a few months after this the car failed catastrophically.

Keep eating away at the Volvo dealer, contact Volvo UK Customer Services, maybe get one of the car magazines involved if Volvo still don't act sympathetically.

There's no way you should have to fork out £3000, but be prepared to put something towards the repair yourself.

Good luck, and come back and tell us what happened.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - Avant

Thanks for that, 72 dudes, and thanks to others who have been sympathetic.

Thunderbird and Collos - not for the first time, may I ask you PLEASE to be gentle with people, especially new members whom we would like to stay with us. To say "A cam belt change is never part of a service however full it is" is strictly true, as it is a (hefty) extra charge - but the mileage when a change is due should be mentioned in a car's service schedule. And it isn't unreasonable for someone who isn't an expert to assume that a full service history means that all work recommended in the schedule has been done.

Even if you think that the person asking for advice is at fault, it doesn't cost anything to be sympathetic even if you don't think there is anything that can be done to help.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - Collos25

So Thunderbird and myself should not say what is true or correct I must remember that.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - countryroads

I may be missing something here, but the fact is that the timing belt, aux belt etc was changed, by Volvo, earlier than is scheduled for this model with paperwork to prove it. Only an idiot would say it has be done again so shortly afterwards because 'it says so' in the book. I have never heard of a dealership or manufacturer moaning that a car was over maintained other than to get itself out of a jam.

If there was a recall for defective parts, that this car falls into, the parts fitted to the car at the time of maintenance of timing gear needs to be checked for defective part numbers and if they are found to be defective the owner cannot be at fault. This is not a black and white situation, and once again I would say having worked in dealerships that the average owner is not an expert and things that we take for granted may not be known.

Even if this car does not fall in to the recall VIN range, serious questions need to be asked about the longevity of the parts fitted, and the competence of the person who fitted them as quite clearly something has gone badly wrong.

Volvo, like any company needs to be particularly careful with money it spends, and that includes £5k for a D5 engine and fitting...push them for answers about genuine parts and how long they should last, it cant hurt.

I would urge all posters who have been to be less patronising, and to be a bit more sympathetic to someone facing a large bill, huge inconvenience and a long time spent fighting his corner, how would you like it?

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - thunderbird

And it isn't unreasonable for someone who isn't an expert to assume that a full service history means that all work recommended in the schedule has been done.

Even if you think that the person asking for advice is at fault, it doesn't cost anything to be sympathetic even if you don't think there is anything that can be done to help.

Assuming anything when buying a car (or anything else for that matter) is sheer stupidity. Proof is all that matters.

In our service book Kia state that you must keep all receipts for service and work carried out as a stamp will be insufficient proof, they don't assume anything.

And as far as I am concernmed I am not being unsympathetic, I am just being realistic. I could come on her and be all nice and sweet to posters and tell them everthing will be fine and the garage is at fault and will pay up or I can tell them the truth and what will likely happen.

Is that not the point of a forum.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - TeeCee
In our service book Kia state that you must keep all receipts for service and work carried out as a stamp will be insufficient proof, they don't assume anything.

Thanks for that, I've just made a mental note to avoid Kia products. Why buy anything from a manufacturer who are so obviously looking for ways to avoid their warranty commitments?

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - RT
In our service book Kia state that you must keep all receipts for service and work carried out as a stamp will be insufficient proof, they don't assume anything.

Thanks for that, I've just made a mental note to avoid Kia products. Why buy anything from a manufacturer who are so obviously looking for ways to avoid their warranty commitments?

In which case - don't buy any brand of car !!

"Everyone" knows how easy service book stamps are to forge, fake stamps are cheap on Ebay - not that fake invoices are that much harder.

Some brands keep electronic service records centrally so using several franchised dealers for servicing during the warranty doesn't lose/hide the service history. Many other franchised dealers keep electronic records but going elsewhere will leave inevitable gaps.

It's a fact of life that using non-franchised dealers for servicing and/or replacements during the warranty period will void any chance of "goodwill" and ensure that every opportunity to avoid covering a repair will be taken by almost every manufacturer.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - thunderbird
In our service book Kia state that you must keep all receipts for service and work carried out as a stamp will be insufficient proof, they don't assume anything.

Thanks for that, I've just made a mental note to avoid Kia products. Why buy anything from a manufacturer who are so obviously looking for ways to avoid their warranty commitments?

Why is it so unreasonable or difficult to have the receipts. If the work has been done and paid for you will have them.

As has been said a stamp only proves that the book has been stamped.

Would you honour a warranty repair with insufficient proof that the owner had carried out their side of the bargain.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - galileo

Thanks for that, I've just made a mental note to avoid Kia products. Why buy anything from a manufacturer who are so obviously looking for ways to avoid their warranty commitments?

As Kia give a seven year warranty, can't blame them for wanting owners to keep proof they have met the conditions.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - Avant

"And as far as I am concernmed I am not being unsympathetic, I am just being realistic. I could come on her and be all nice and sweet to posters and tell them everthing will be fine and the garage is at fault and will pay up or I can tell them the truth and what will likely happen."

No - of course you should tell it as you see it, even if you see the problem as the OP's fault and there's no obvious way round it. But tell the truth sympathetically, without any implication that the person with the problem is stupid or ignorant.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - Collos25

I cannot see were Thunderbird or myself have called or implied the person is stupid or been unsympathetic.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - thunderbird

I cannot see were Thunderbird or myself have called or implied the person is stupid or been unsympathetic.

Neither could I. Must try harder next time.

Edited by thunderbird on 16/01/2013 at 15:23

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - oldtoffee

>>>I cannot see were Thunderbird or myself have called or implied the person is stupid or been unsympathetic.

FWIW I disagree. When I read through the posts I thought you were both clearly coming across as unsympathetic and not so clearly implying that the OP was a bit stupid. Not what you intended I'm sure but IMO only, that's how your posts appeared.

Avant is right about new members. This is an excellent forum with so much knowledge and in-depth advice everywhere that it must be a bit daunting coming here for the first time and being "met" by people who clearly know a lot more than most. This is the first motoring forum I joined and I remember not knowing much at all about buying and owning second hand cars as I had driven company cars all my working life. I couldn't believe the amount of information and the helpful attitude of so many members that helped me look for all the right (and wrong) things, ask the right questions and end up with a decent car and not a dog. If my first post had been met with these responses, I'd have probably turned round and quietly closed the door behind me.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - thunderbird

Old Toffee, read my original post carefully please:

A cam belt change is never part of a service however full it is. All manufacturers class it as additional work. Volvo have done nothing wrong, the fault is with your assumption work was carried out that was not part of the service. Did you not look at the invoice to see what work was done. Did you perhaps consider that the price charged was very reasonable for a full service including cam belt change.

Sorry but you are wasting your time.

The only way I have been unsympathetic is by telling the OP he is wasting is time which I believe he is. There is no point in my spending my time posting if I give an answer which is not in my opinion correct.

Its clear he made incorrect assumptions when he bought the car which probably have partly created the situation he is in. This is what I pointed out.

I never called him stupid, others have used that word.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - RT

I sympathise with Thunderbird and Collos25 - it's "easy" to appear unsympathetic when presenting factual information in a clear, concise way - ie, without any flowery waffle.

I've no idea how to appease the "flower-power" as I get labelled unsympathetic at times - because people in general don't like being told the truth if it's an answer they don't want.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - Avant

Most people don't mind being told the truth - indeed that's the most helpful thing we can do. But it doesn't need to be put over in tones like "Did you not look at the invoice to see what work was done?" or "I think you brought a lot of the fault on yourselve (sic) assuming that the work had been done when it obviously was not."

It wasn't obvious to Stephen (or he wouldn't have asked the question), nor I think to many of us.

Thanks for your support, Oldtoffee. Politeness doesn't cost anything.

Edited by Avant on 16/01/2013 at 23:31

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - oldtoffee

>>>Old Toffee, read my original post carefully please:

I did, honestly I did, more than once because I wanted to be sure I hadn't jumped to a hasty or rash view on how your written words came across. I see “stuff” like this in my work all the time, checking that the content and sentiment of our written communications (emails) are spot on and won't be misinterpreted or cause offence. This is sometimes tricky; I'm sure if we all met up in a pub for a pint (btw mine's London Pride) we wouldn't have this moment or three of confrontation. We'd have the time and space to mull and talk things over in enough time and words to cover the subject properly. (Were these aka the good old days?)

Anyway, I've re-read your posts, again and my comments stand. You obviously didn't mean them to be interpreted the way I have so that's understood and I apologise if I have offended you in any way with my well intentioned observations.

<<clinks of ale filled mugs>>

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - StephenO

I seem to have started a debate about etiquette when I wanted to start one about engines. Heigh ho. Thank you for all your responses.

An update and a thought to follow.

I now have a letter from Volvo UK which reiterates what was said on the phone. It reads: "I can again confirm that the auxiliary belt and tensioner for your vehicle needed to be replaced on or before the 72,000 service as per the service schedule."

A few paras later it says: "Irrespective of when these parts were replaced previously, in order to adhere to the Volvo service schedule, these parts needed to be replaced at the 72,000 service."

In my case, the auxiliary belt and tensioner were replaced as part of a recall campaign in December 2009 when there was 49,950 on the clock. According to the service checklist, after the first change they should not need doing again for another 54,000 miles.

The aux belt and tensioner were changed early. Volvo are arguing that this early change, in effect, does not count if the 72,000 service was not done according to the its service schedule (it wasn't - see previous posts). Thoughts please. It seems to me that the implication is no one should ever change a belt early - they'll just have to do it again if they want a good service record. This does not seem logical to me, but I'd appreciate any more knowledgeable insights.

I have also been in touch with the garage that did the service at 69,000 in March 2011 just before I bought the car. They told me what they did and that if the client (the car dealership in this case) does not want a belt change even when it is part of a schedule they do not do it (cost reasons, obviously). I am waiting for the paperwork to come through from this garage and then I can carry on correspondence with the dealership. I still think it is reasonable to think "full service" stamped in a service book ought to mean "in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications" and that any normal, non-expert would assume this and would not have the technical gumption to plough through the assorted lists of mechanical and other work carried out and get hold of official service checklists and compare the two (in my case I was not given any paperwork about this service - to my immense regret today, naturally).

The car is currently at an independent Volvo garage. The mechanic there is an 18 year Volvo veteran and seems very confident he can make it good as new. Naturally enough I'm in a sceptical frame of mind about the claims of auto folk, but my gut tells me he's solid and straightforward and I still think it's my best bet to see if I can get it fixed rather than walk away.

My thought is this. When I bought the car, the RAC did an inspection. All fine, bar a couple of cosmetic details. A service that the RAC and its ilk could offer to reassure the non-expert buyer is to investigate the service history of the vehicle - or at least advise the buyer what to look for and which documents to get hold of. Again, any thoughts?

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - 72 dudes

Yes, get some legal advice - CAB or a solicitor. Email helpdesk@whatcar.com, I'm sure they would be interested.

I can't believe Volvo UK are washing their hands when the car had the belt change done early. It is nonsense that it should be done again at 72k.

Now you have "evidence" that the servcing garage was asked by the car dealership not to change the belt at 69k, then the dealership should have made it clear to you at the time of purchase that the cambelt needed doing.

As they didn't, and it was sold with full service history, then I take back what I said in my original reply - you should have recourse with the selling dealer.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - skidpan

I also find it hard to believe that Volvo are washing their hands of it because the belt was changed early. In theory that should mean its good for another 72,000 miles or the time interval whichever came first.

However, I agree with other posters that the cam belt change is not part of the service schedule. It is always classed as additional work because of the intervals. Take our old Focus for example, the cam belt scheule was 10 years or 100,000 miles. If we had kept the car long enough it would have been done when the car was 10 years old, probably about 80,000 miles but it would not have needed doing again at 100,000 miles.

My old Golf had 6 years or 72,000 mile intervals, it was done at 72,000 miles when the car was about 3 1/2 years old which did not coincide with a service.

Cannot check in our current service books to see how its worded, both cars have chain cams.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - Collos25

At the risk of being unsympathetic the car is out of warranty and reading between the lines has far less than the official Volvo service schedule no where do you say it has full Volvo service history ,forget what the so called Volvo mechanics say its not a common fault with this engine and Volvo will have figures to prove this.You appear not to have any documentry proof to back up the situation.The only thing going for you is the phone call and the fact you took it to Volvo for its 72000 service when you bought it.If I am wrong please say so I am on your side.

I would seek legal advice and I hope you win but the facts as you portray them do not seem to be in your favour as far as Volvo are concerned good barister would tear these facts to pieces.

Your claim would be against the selling garage here you have much more of a chance if the facts are as you have related them.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - StephenO

Thanks all for the responses.

To answer some of the points. Regarding service history, the car has a full Volvo service history - with the crucial exception of the service done at 69,000 on 2 March 2011. This was just before I bought the car on the 17th March 2011. The car (a 2008 model) has been serviced at:

4 miles

7943 miles

18253 miles

36,69,725 miles

55,102 miles

69,725 miles

78,552 miles

All these are Volvo services except the one at 69,725.

Regarding documents, I have the invoice for the service done at 69,000. This makes no reference to aux belt and tensioner changes at 72,000 as Volvo recommend. I'm assuming therefore it was not done.. In my service handbook, I have the stamp against the 72,000 mile service saying "full service" from a garage in Milton Keynes. Collos makes a fair point that I have nothing bar a phone call on the reasons why it wasn't done. I think it is worth a couple of letters and a chat with a solicitor: the service was not as described because it did not conform to the Volvo specifications, or so I will argue.

But just to muddy the waters even more, I spoke to the Milton Keynes garage again today and they checked on a system they use called Auto Data which gives technical info about car servicing requirements. Apparently, for my reg it says that the aux, tensioner and timing belt do not need changing until 108,000 miles. This is not what the Volvo Routine Service Checklet says; this says that on 2008 models "every 10 years or 1st belt change at 72,000, then 108,000 and every 54,000 miles thereafter". I will try and get more info on this. But it is just faintly possible neither the dealer nor servicing garage are necessarily at fault if they are following a widely used tech info system that is not in sync with Volvo's specifications. You could go mad with this stuff.

Regarding the Volvo UK end of things, yes I too am faintly (only faintly) surprised that they are so quick to wash their hands. After all, even though the 72,000 (done at 69,725) service was not done to their recommendations, it still seems a part has failed early. I would be a bit more interested, but then one does not know what goes on behind the scenes; my impression from the Volvo UK Customer Service rep was he'd seen quite a lot of this and had his orders on who to help and who not to. I guess warranty folk are trained to spot these get-out possibilities and go for them tooth and nail, but Volvo is a big, reputable firm, not some a back-street, penny-pinching wheeler-dealer. It's a process. I will be dogged. We will see.

I do not know whether this is a common fault on the D5; I am giong on what the Volvo mechanics I have been speaking to have told me. There are certainly some threads on the Volvo owners forum about serious trouble around tensioners, aux belts and timing belts. It was a two minute search, not an exhaustive one, but check out:


www.volvoforums.org.uk/showthread.php?t=169102&...t www.volvoforums.org.uk/showthread.php?t=109043&...t www.volvoforums.org.uk/showthread.php?t=168084&...t I will follow up the leads for where to go next - thank you. And thank you all once more for your time and help.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - bazza

Is it not worth establishing whether your car was re-called under the recall from 2010 ? If so, there would have been a new tensioner fitted, yes? And the tensioner is the root cause of this failure, from what I understand in your first post. Volvo have serviced the car at 78552, At this service should it not have been verified that your car was or wasn't subject to that recall?

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - StephenO

Bazza, thanks for that and sorry not to have responded to this point.

The car was recalled as part of a Volvo recall campaign. It actually had its aux belt and tensioner changed at 49,950 in December 2009 (do you think this was the same recall campaign - seems likely, but I will re-check this point.

So it had a belt change early. Volvo are saying this recall was only to get it through to the 72,000 service when the belt and tensioner would be done again. This is what seems peculiar to me, but I'm no expert as must be obvious.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - Collos25

Volvo is now owned by a Chinese firm named Zhejiang Geely Holding group and has made a substantial loss of 153 million dollars with sales dropping 6% in 2012 and are under extreme pressure to cut back where possible."Wall Street Journel"18/1/2013

One reason for their reluctance to accept any responsibility for your problem.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - StephenO

An update....

The full cost of this repair was £4327.56. A monster bill be anyone's standards. But then its a very big job - way beyond standard mechanics. I am pleased, however, that the mechanic got it going again and all credit to him. He replaced the cylinder head (it has to come all the way from Gothenburg) and rebuilt, but he said there was "no compression" once he had done so. Many hours of diagnostics later he found the camshafts had been damaged. He ordered new ones and it appears to be running like normal again now. But there will always be a big anxiety about this or something similar or a part that's not been put back together completely accurately failing again; in short, the love has gone.

Onto the non-mechanical aspects. Volvo appear to be well aware there are problems with tensioners on the aux belts on the V70 D5. I count four recall notices on V70 tensioners - R/2010/033 (1 April 2012), R/2010/058 (26 may 2010), R/2011/135 3 Oct 2011), R/2011/175 (23rd Dec 2011).

Hardly reassuring. And while it all sounds very technical, there are families at the end of all this struggling with the consequences....

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - Avant

Volvo's legendary reputation for reliability and longevity was built on cars with petrol engines. If I were buying a Volvo - particularly if buying used - I'd go for a petrol.

Maybe not only Volvo. There are some diesel engines with a good reputation, most of them older designs without all those three-letter acronyms that denote parts that fail expensively, such as the VW Group 19. TDI and the Peugeot / Citroen XUD and HDI. But the newer engines seem like too much of a gamble to buy at high mileages.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - 659FBE

I think the above comment represents very sound advice.

In the case of Volvo specifically, they have suffered from two major difficulties with their diesel options. The first was that they were too late in developing their own engines (previous Volvo vehicles used unwanted, but generally reliable VAG cast-offs) and the second was that they are in my view, too small an organisation to do the job properly. Seasoned later on with a dose of Ford-induced cost cutting, my view is that these engines are not sufficiently reliable to suit many users' requirements. Industrial/boat/generator diesel engines are not car engines and their claimed experience in these fields is not in my view, relevant to addressing the problem of cost effective road transport.

Due to small market penetration and hence lack of competition, any significant failure on these engines will completely write off the diesel fuel saving over a petrol - usually many times over. There are many silly weaknesses, tensioners, EGR valves (horrid design), flap actuator systems, engine mounts and so on. All are eye-wateringly expensive. VAG have the market penetration to ensure pattern replacements - not so with Volvo.

So, definitely not on my shopping list.

One general point which mitigates against the purchase of a Euro IV -> diesel is the adoption of closed loop actuators on most of these engines - including the Volvo. This may be a topic for a new thread in "Technical" but basically, the previously used pneumatic actuators used on most Euro III engines were cheap and reliable. When replaced at Euro IV by a stepper motor and position feedback device, the reliability plummets. Shaking this lot to bits on a 5 cylinder engine completes the felony.

659.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - Ed V

I wouldn't be alone is wanting to know which, if any, diesels are worthy of purchase in your view.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - RT

I wouldn't be alone is wanting to know which, if any, diesels are worthy of purchase in your view.

To quote from Avant's post - There are some diesel engines with a good reputation, most of them older designs without all those three-letter acronyms that denote parts that fail expensively, such as the VW Group 1.9 TDI and the Peugeot / Citroen XUD and HDI.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - craig-pd130

The VNT mechanism on my V60 D3 is operated a hybrid vacuum / stepper motor actuator, I'd love to see some Volvo literature about how the two interact and work side-by-side.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - 659FBE

Craig, look on the Garrett website. I haven't checked recently, but there was quite a good sectional diagram of their actuating system.

I'll stick to the vacuum capsule in my 1.9 VAG thanks very much. Stepper motors, position transducers and their associated fatigue-prone electronics don't like being positioned centimeters away from a nearly red-hot turbine. Being shaken up by an unbalanced prime mover (which needs vacuum controlled engine mounts in order to minimise public awareness of it) is the last straw.

The need for these control systems to have their own closed loop control is virtually mandated by the requirements of Euro IV ->. Earlier engines requiring less precise control could use simple (and cheap and reliable) vac units to move them, overall control being achieved by including the engine in the feedback loop.

As an example, when boost is required on my PD, the ECU opens the N75 pneumatic control valve which applies vacuum to the actuator. The nozzles narrow, the turbine gains speed and the compressor provides boost. Monitoring boost pressure at the intake and modulating the N75 control valve accordingly enables the boost required by the map to be achieved. The engine is in the control loop and precise control is difficult and requires expensive software.

It's a bit like balancing a broom vertically on the end of the handle.

With accurate control and a position transducer, the ECU can simply demand a position for the nozzle actuator which will then give the value of boost prescribed by the engine map. This is inherently stable and requires far cheaper control software to implement control. The broom is held vertical.

Regrettably, in my view it's a scheme doomed to early failure.

659.

Edited by 659FBE on 27/01/2013 at 22:56

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - craig-pd130

@659 -- thanks, I didn't realise that Euro IV onward required closed loop control. I'll have a nosey on the Garrett site.

On mine, which is a short-stroke, oversquare 2 litre 5-pot, the engine mounts are all the 'traditional' rubber-cushion type (albeit very substantial): I don't know if Volvo has kept the problematic vac-controlled mounts on the 2.4 litre long-stroke engine variants.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - Dutchie

Why would Volvo be more reliable han any other car?

I look at a Volvo as a safe car this was always the reputation they had.

When buying secondhand it can be a gamble you need some luck.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - Dutchie

Duplicate post.

Edited by Avant on 28/01/2013 at 00:02

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - barney100
Perhaps an independent warranty would have been a good idea or the AA's scheme which shields you from this sort of breakdown cost. It seems to me that many makes of cars are causing their owner's expensive trouble due their complexity. Do we really need these belts?

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - Collos25

Warranty companies would more than likely wash their hands of the problem saying it was caused by service parts which have worn out.

I really look forward to the OP to post and say that he has got all his money back.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - skidpan

A 3rd Party Warranty is as good as throwing money down the drain. The clauses in the small print mean that they can basically wash their hands of most issues as being age related i.e. worn out.

This would have applied to the OP's cam belt without a doubt.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - barney100
You are more than likely right but the AA scheme is interesting.
Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - RT
You are more than likely right but the AA scheme is interesting.

Is that the scheme that comes under severe criticism in a different thread ?

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - StephenO

On the warranty issue, I did take out a warranty at the time of purchase. The warranty was from Mapfre Assistencia, a Spanish firm with pretty extensive operations in the UK.

In my case, the warranty does cover timing belts, but it does not cover "drive belts" - auxiliary belts. Because the problem is with the aux belt (specifically the tensioner on the aux belt - something Volvo knows is troublesome, hence the recalls) and all who looked at the car said this was the problem (RAC man, indepdent garage, Volvo specialist), the warranty company did what warranty companies do - they flew. An easy one for them to wriggle out of, I guess. To the non-specialist, warranties really ought to cover everything under the bonnet to satisfy the reason that anyone would buy them. Mine is useless.

To the poster who said he/she hopes the OP gets their money back - me too! I am pursuing two angles: the dealership for saying a full service had been done when it had not been done to Volvo's spec. And Volvo UK for failing tensioners. I will be relentless and we will see.

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - sleekitwan
Just to advise on the probable cause of the broken belt, what tends to happen is the idlers/tensioners/alternator freewheel (pulley/clutch, small 2" pulley on alternator), fail first in some way.

They may not catastrophically stop working but they will massively reduce the life of the belt eg it snaps or 'jumps off' this week instead of 2 years time, or NEVER if you swap out these components at say, the cambelt change mileage.

This car's timing belt OR auxiliary (aircon, alternator, steering pump) belt, are therefore best changed for 2003 models at 92,000 miles I think (that's mine), or it seems to be 105,000 miles for later models (! no thanks !).

In practice, I would say IMHO, that twin cam engines MAY put more strain on timing belts than single cam (for v70 I mean 20 valvers more than 10 valvers) and definitely HIGH-REVVING petrol engines will - motorcycles use chains almost exclusively to allow long-term 5-figure rpms to be used.

In fact, nowadays, I would say THE TENSIONERS AND IDLERS AND FREEWHEEL ALTERNATOR CLUTCHES/PULLEYS ARE THE REAL MAINTENANCE JOBS!

In a way, the belt is a misleading maintenance item - like I say it is A SYMPTOM rather than THE CAUSE.

Once you look at it like this, you won't hum and haw about whether it is necessary to change the idlers etc - they are THE MAIN POINT not the belt at all. I just swapped out all my auxiliary belt items and had to even order separately an idler wheel 'cos it is not supplied on the tensioner assembly (tight or what), yet I did not change the belt because it was a bit awkward as my wheel bolt is currently stuck.

I will change it, but it looks okay for now, and if it runs smoothly in the pulleys, that is the primary cause of wear and failure anyway.

I am trained in engineering, and have worked on cars and bikes a long time, but belts don't fail by gentle stretching - I bet they could go on to three times their scheduled service waiting for that to happen - but once a pulley that it is meant to roll over, becomes resistant up to 70 times a second (at 4,200 rpm), and remember with NO SIDE GUIDES on the pulleys - heck, what WOULDN'T fail?

Edited by sleekitwan on 21/07/2013 at 08:43

Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - barney100
I've got a 2003 one and it's done 147k....been good as gold. In fact every volvo we've had has really well.
Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - Yes, agree, not all agony. - sleekitwan
'Barney100' you are right of course, my problem is I generally don't get a hold of a car until over 100,000 miles. So, no real control over early treatment, and have to effect some repairs solely to get peace of mind, not a unique situation.

I also load them with like 200 roof tiles at a time in the folded-down load area, then stomp up the M1?

The car is a peach to drive in good tune, and the auto 'box can be criticised no more than many others - never known any brand really not to have horror stories at some point - friend had BMW auto box replaced cheap at £900, and they are hardly described as 'chocolate' gearboxes (it was only a 3 year old car).

One observation - spouse has a clio and I notice the new petrol ones use CHAINS to drive the camshafts. They are little light 900cc turbo units, one cylinder lopped off the older engines apparently. So, there may be a shift finally from rubber bands as key engine components. I also recall I had a 2.7 V6 Honda once (ok Rover 827) and its steering pump was integrated to the engine - gear driven. Do we think a plethora of belts is a fad that has had its day? (NB old Clio had 3 belts in total even without aircon).

As lots of people have more or less said - best to buy Volvo from people who predominantly get decent servicing done, it is the most important factor in later reliability/longevity, and a future owner's maintenance costs.
Volvo V70 D5 Estate - The Agonies of Volvo V70 D5 Ownership - vmturbo

All engines that employ timing belts are on borrowed time and the clock never stops ticking. Some belt drives are however better engineered than others and they use wide belts and large pulleys. (Land Rover 300TDi for example)

On the other hand if one was to examine a Kubota, Mitsubishi, or Yanmar industrial engine of the type used to power refrigerated lorries one would find that none of them had a timing belt! After all who would trust the refrigeration of thirty to forty tons of meat on what is little more than a rubber band?

If one has the tools, time and engineering ability it is wise to change the timing belt oneself. Only use a premium brand and get it nice and tight. (If the belt can be twisted more than thirty degrees by finger and thumb it is too slack!) Some engines have a belt which drives the water-pump. In such cases it is wise to replace the pump whether it needs it or not.

As to warranties, usually they will only apply to the cars original owner and they will only run for two years. Some brands do offer longer warranties but there are strings attached.

Sometimes its just a case of Caveat Emptor like the motorbike that was built in the USSR. Although it was almost new it suffered from a big-end seizure! When the engine was dismantled it was discovered that the oilway had not been completely drilled and it had the remains of a broken drill bit stuck in it. Once the oilway was drilled properly it was possible to repair the engine which then worked OK. Caveat Emptor!

Edited by vmturbo on 02/10/2013 at 19:22

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