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I have a 2007 XC70 with near 45k on it. I believe it's due for a timing belt replacement due to its age.

I've been calling various dealerships and shops for an estimate, but the numbers are all over the map and no two places can seem to agree on what work even needs to be done. Several places can't even agree amongst themselves- calling back twice a week apart they give me two totally different numbers for different work.

So far I've been told things that "need" to be replaced include:

- the timing belt itself (obviously)

- zero, one, or both drive belts (some shops only mention "the drive belt", others say there are two)

- zero, one, or both tensioner pulleys (same as above)

- the water pump (No one can agree if this needs to be replaced or not. Some places say they'll ONLY replace it if it leaks, some won't start the work unless they can replace it).

- fluids (I'm getting mixed messages as to what kinds and how much are part of this job. More than one shop charges extra for the fluids, but others say you can't even do the work without draining some of it).

Can anyone help me understand what ACTUALLY needs to be replaced so I can try to nail these people down on a concrete price?
 

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Yes, you are technically overdue based on time.

When I had mine replaced a few years ago they did the timing belt, tensioners (there's a kit), and the water pump. Tensioners are a must IMHO as they tend to fail as often as the belt. Water pump depends on the shop - some will say wait until the second timing belt change, others will recommend changing now. Fluids would only be involved if you were having the water pump changed and I don't recall being charged a lot for that. When I had the work done two+ years ago it was in the $800 range - varies greatly based on region/labor rates where you live.
 

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If I was doing the job at 45k miles and the water pump showed no signs of leaking, I would be tempted to skip that replacement this time and pick it up next time. I say that, but when I changed the timing belt on my VR at ~50k, I also did the water pump, but I wasn't paying a shop to do it. We'll call that optional. The timing belt, tensioner, and idler pulleys are not optional, they must be changed. The auxiliary drive belt, tensioner, and idler pulley are called out by Volvo for replacement at 120k miles with no stipulation of age. It's a belt with pulleys and bearings just like the timing belt, but the failure mode isn't as extreme, so I suspect they are less concerned about it. I would call that also optional.

https://volvo.custhelp.com/app/manuals/OwnersManual/om_id/456


 

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You have 1 timing belt (drives cams and water pump) and 1 auxiliary belt (drives the A/C, alt, and PS pump). Both have a tensioner and both have an idler.

When replacing the timing, replace both. Typically only replace the auxiliary belt if it's making noise or is cracked and it's tensioner/idler if they're squeaking, unless you want to.

Should you replace the water pump when in there? I've heard ppl on this forum espouse both opinions. Lots of people say replace it whenever you're in there. I ascribe to the every other timing belt change - unless your coolant looks nasty.
Point is to get to the water pump you have to take the timing belt off and put it back.

Fluids only apply if you change the water pump. and it should be minimal, unless they're doing a full coolant change, which if you're paranoid enough to change the water pump before failure, I would think you'd want done, also.

So, there are, technically, 2 belts. 1 is your timing, it's due, the other, if it's not cracked, leave it alone.
Water pump is optional - but lots of people do believe it's a preventive item and if doing it, I would change the fluid. But, as the service interval above posted, it's not Volvo recommended.

Sounds like the variance in quotes make sense.
Lastly, I don't know about any others, but I would avoid the Volvo dealers here in KC - hell, I avoid any dealers religiously. Any competent mechanic can do this timing belt; I'm not a competent mechanic, and I can do it. Find a small shop you trust.
My local Volvo dealership tried to quote me $4,500 to replace my clutch. Said it was 20 hour job. NADA says it's 8.5. Local transmission shop did it in 1 day for 650 (+350 for part I bought.)
I also dislike the knee-jerk of replace ALL belts, ALL fluids, EVERYTHING! Bill will only be $10,000. I hate 'service advisors;' most aren't mechanics. Many are paid based on work sold to you.
A good mechanc would replace what you need and ask/advice about others.

If you can, do the belt yourself, it's easy (may require an impact wrench to remove the drive pulley).
https://youtu.be/IK_zH8g8Fow
 

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It's a belt with pulleys and bearings just like the timing belt, but the failure mode isn't as extreme, so I suspect they are less concerned about it. I would call that also optional.
One thing Volvo should have learned by now is that a serpentine belt failure very often leads to a timing belt failure because the belt wraps around the crank pulley and gets under the timing belt. They've been doing that since the 90's. My dad owned a used volvo shop and he bought tons of 960s with bent valves just from the serpentine belt taking out the timing belt. 2 years ago I swapped a motor in a 2007 C70 for the exact same reason. AC belt failed ($9 part) and junked the whole motor. The owners claimed they ran over a tree branch and their insurance totaled the car for a road hazard. We got it from auction, and when we took the car apart there was nothing in there but AC belt.

So the serpentine belt is NEVER OPTIONAL and should be replaced at the very first signs of wear. It's cheap and a 3 minute job to swap it, so I do it every 30k miles or so on my cars. I live in a very dry climate and that's about the time period when they start to crack.
 

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When replacing the timing, replace both.
I'm not clear from your wording, you mean replace both the tensioner and idler (pulleys)?

The thing for me with the water pump and the 'every other' rule is that the next time we change the timing belt will be another 10 years from now. Do these pumps last ~20 years?
 

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One thing Volvo should have learned by now is that a serpentine belt failure very often leads to a timing belt failure because the belt wraps around the crank pulley and gets under the timing belt. They've been doing that since the 90's. My dad owned a used volvo shop and he bought tons of 960s with bent valves just from the serpentine belt taking out the timing belt. 2 years ago I swapped a motor in a 2007 C70 for the exact same reason. AC belt failed ($9 part) and junked the whole motor. The owners claimed they ran over a tree branch and their insurance totaled the car for a road hazard. We got it from auction, and when we took the car apart there was nothing in there but AC belt.

So the serpentine belt is NEVER OPTIONAL and should be replaced at the very first signs of wear. It's cheap and a 3 minute job to swap it, so I do it every 30k miles or so on my cars. I live in a very dry climate and that's about the time period when they start to crack.
2nd weigh in from Lloyd. If it looks at all worn, replace it.

I've never personally experienced a belt just snapping. Had an alt pulley just fall off once (not a Volvo). And I've seen A/C compressors and idler pulleys seize up and shred the belt. Again, like I said: if it squeaks, replace it. I mean, these aren't dodges, they aren't designed to squeal every time you start them up.

I'm not clear from your wording, you mean replace both the tensioner and idler (pulleys)?

The thing for me with the water pump and the 'every other' rule is that the next time we change the timing belt will be another 10 years from now. Do these pumps last ~20 years?
Yes, replace both the timing idler and tensioner when replacing the timing belt. The tensioner is going to come with any timing belt, and the idler is cheap.

20 years? I don't know; none of these cars are 20 years old yet. Like I said, it's entirely up to you. I've only ever had 1 water pump fail on any car I've owned (never owned a GM car for any length of time) and it failed at 235k and ~20 years, and it was a Nissan.
Otherwise... my old town car, that had ~140k on it that I sold last year, had 26 years and the original water pump. I think they're more milage based than year.
Check the shaft when you have the belt off; any play in it, and replace it (like the video explains.)

I wouldn't replace it until that 20 year mark just because, though, *especially* if you're only putting 45k on it every 10 years, but that's me. I would lean more heavily towards replacing it if you were doing it yourself, rather than paying someone, but at the same time, if it ever does experience a sudden failure the odds of paying someone to do it go up.

Again, there are those who say do it - for peace of mind. If you want to, I certainly won't say you're wrong.
 

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You do not have to remove the crank pulley to replace the timing belt.
 

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You do not have to remove the crank pulley to replace the timing belt.
^^^ I didn't remove it when I did mine. You have to finangle the belt around the pulley, but you can do it.
 

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Ask/look at labor charge breakdown for the water pump and pulleys - they should be giving you a discount on the rates for those as they are accessing those areas to change the timing belt anyway. I would strongly recommend replacing all the pulleys (idler and tensioner pulleys in both the timing belt and accessory belt systems). The pulleys seize and cause the belts to fail. I made the mistake of not replacing accessory belt tensioner (aka pulley) and it trashed my belt and stranded me at the mercy of random mechanic while traveling.

The water pump is optional. Visually inspect for leaks or difficulty turning. All things considered I would change it as you only remove the timing belt in long intervals. None of this is difficult and your indie shop should be able to give you a much much better deal than the Stealership.
 

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^^^ I didn't remove it when I did mine. You have to finangle the belt around the pulley, but you can do it.
I didn't remove mine either, but next time I plan to because I now own a pretty powerful impact wrench that should be able to deal with the bolt. If I didn't already own the impact, however, I would not buy it for just this project - I would just finagle again.
 
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