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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i've searched for this procedure on here with nothing coming up. I understand the problem is getting to the 5.5 mm torx bolt that secures the tensioner. So what is the solution. Any help is appreciated.
Tech, you're one of the experts on here.
 

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Since this part is crucial wouldn't you want a professional do it? If not done right it defeats the purpose.
I'm taking mine to a Volvo indy on Tuesday to get it done. He called his parts supplier and made sure it is the updated part.
 

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Since this part is crucial wouldn't you want a professional do it? If not done right it defeats the purpose.
I'm taking mine to a Volvo indy on Tuesday to get it done. He called his parts supplier and made sure it is the updated part.
This is the sort of post I hate to see on a car forum. We should be about encouraging and helping anyone interested in working on their car themselves. Professionals don't have magic abilities that you or I don't possess. They simply have more experience, knowledge, and a bigger tool kit. That usually just translates to them doing things faster and rarely to them doing things better. It's one thing if you've done this repair yourself, and you are telling someone it was a huge PITA, took longer than it was supposed to, needed specialty tools, and you would have been better off taking it to a mechanic. But it's a completely different thing to have never done it and not recommend someone do it themselves. I will be really surprised if a Volvo mechanic replies to this post saying a serpentine belt and tensioner replacement should only be done by a mechanic.
 

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This is the sort of post I hate to see on a car forum. We should be about encouraging and helping anyone interested in working on their car themselves. Professionals don't have magic abilities that you or I don't possess. They simply have more experience, knowledge, and a bigger tool kit. That usually just translates to them doing things faster and rarely to them doing things better. It's one thing if you've done this repair yourself, and you are telling someone it was a huge PITA, took longer than it was supposed to, needed specialty tools, and you would have been better off taking it to a mechanic. But it's a completely different thing to have never done it and not recommend someone do it themselves. I will be really surprised if a Volvo mechanic replies to this post saying a serpentine belt and tensioner replacement should only be done by a mechanic.
I was not implying it cannot or should not be a DIY , I was merely saying if it's to be done as a precaution to prevent major damage I would not want to do it myself and risk not getting it perfectly.
That's OK. We have different opinions on certain things.
 

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5.5mm torx? Not sure what you are talking about.

Edit: corrected information.

The procedure isn't hard. Pull the fender liner out to gain access. Release tension and remove the belt. Remove the center bolt and remove and replace the tensioner. Put the belt back on and wrap it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
5.5mm torx? Not sure what you are talking about.

The procedure isn't hard except for reinstalling the AC belt. That belt is cut off and uses a special tool to reinstall, though it can be done without the tool. This only needs to be done if you want to replace the serpentine belt at the same time as the tensioner. If you just want to do the tensioner, you can leave the outer belt on. Release the tension and remove the serpentine belt from the tensioner. Remove the bolt for the tensioner. Swap it out and put the belt back on.
the bolt for the tensioner is what i'm referring to. From the limited info on the 2012, and what i saw yesterday, the bolt is recessed and getting a torx bit in there straight is supposed to be an issue. Supposedly, the fender well gets in the way, it is limited in spacing i saw..... I don't know, that's why i'm asking. If it just takes a normal bit, great....I'm just replacing the tensioner, based on your recommendation and watching the tensioner as the motor ran. The belt looks fine, 53,000 miles ,it's a volvo belt.
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Since this part is crucial wouldn't you want a professional do it? If not done right it defeats the purpose.
I'm taking mine to a Volvo indy on Tuesday to get it done. He called his parts supplier and made sure it is the updated part.
nope. A professional is no better than I am. The difference is that they might have a special tool, or a different technique that i might not know about. That's why i ask questions, and if something becomes beyond my ability, I go to a professional. The one thing i have going for me is that i'm never in a hurry, and know it will be done correctly, and it's my money, my car.
I had a " professional " install a new tire on my car back in college, 1971. I was driving home for the weekend with three other friends, a 4 hour trip. This was on the main two lane highway in louisiana. I'm doing 80/85 and passing 18 wheelers...every now and then i heard a noise, vibration , stopped a few times to look things over, couldn't see anything. Stopped one last time, nothing. Got in the car, went a few feet and the left front wheel and tire came off the car, and rolled into the ditch next to us. The "professional " didn't tighten the lug nuts properly and the wheel studs had sheared off.....we could have been killed.....I swore no one would EVER work on my car again......
 

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I don't recall the size but it isn't a 5.5 torx. I'm not even sure there is such a thing and if there was, it would be extremely small.
 

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5.5mm torx? Not sure what you are talking about.

The procedure isn't hard except for reinstalling the AC belt. That belt is cut off and uses a special tool to reinstall, though it can be done without the tool. This only needs to be done if you want to replace the serpentine belt at the same time as the tensioner. If you just want to do the tensioner, you can leave the outer belt on. Release the tension and remove the serpentine belt from the tensioner. Remove the bolt for the tensioner. Swap it out and put the belt back on.
Correct me if I'm wrong but you can replace the main serpentine belt and tensioner without needing to cut off the smaller belt that drives the A/C compressor. That's the one that needs the special tool to reinstall. The A/C belt appears to be behind the main (blue) serpentine belt. You get to the tensioner through the wheel well. The instructions say to remove the front portion of the inner wheel well liner (and the bottom engine cover) to gain access. No mention of what size torx to use or the size of the center tensioner screw. I'll be doing this next month myself.

tensioner.jpg
 

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5.5mm torx? Not sure what you are talking about.

The procedure isn't hard except for reinstalling the AC belt. That belt is cut off and uses a special tool to reinstall, though it can be done without the tool. This only needs to be done if you want to replace the serpentine belt at the same time as the tensioner. If you just want to do the tensioner, you can leave the outer belt on. Release the tension and remove the serpentine belt from the tensioner. Remove the bolt for the tensioner. Swap it out and put the belt back on.
Correct me if I'm wrong but you can replace the main serpentine belt and tensioner without needing to cut off the smaller belt that drives the A/C compressor. That's the one that needs the special tool to reinstall. The A/C belt appears to be behind the main (blue) serpentine belt. You get to the tensioner through the wheel well. The instructions say to remove the front portion of the inner wheel well liner (and the bottom engine cover) to gain access. No mention of what size torx to use or the size of the center tensioner screw. I'll be doing this next month myself.

View attachment 54177
To be honest I don't know which belt is the inner or outer off hand. Can't memorize everything. It should be pretty apparent when doing the job. Sounds like you're looking at yours so I will defer to you.

Edit: Looked it up and you are correct, the serpentime belt is the outer belt. That's what I get for being too lazy to look it up before. My bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Correct me if I'm wrong but you can replace the main serpentine belt and tensioner without needing to cut off the smaller belt that drives the A/C compressor. That's the one that needs the special tool to reinstall. The A/C belt appears to be behind the main (blue) serpentine belt. You get to the tensioner through the wheel well. The instructions say to remove the front portion of the inner wheel well liner (and the bottom engine cover) to gain access. No mention of what size torx to use or the size of the center tensioner screw. I'll be doing this next month myself.

View attachment 54177
thanks tech, that's what's wrong with the internet...5.5 mm didn't make sense to me either but, it was in some article......Sounds like it's nothing special i can't handle....


eco drive
I just removed the entire liner instead of bending it back and " fighting " with it. your choice, of course. The a/c belt is behind the serpentine belt, so the a/c belt can stay when replacing the serpentine belt. It'll be awhile before i replace that stretch a/c belt, thankfully.( manual says 120,000).....tech has done them before but i battled a ford F-150's a/c stretch belt and it was not fun...and i had the tool........but, then again, i'm not a pro tech.
 

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jlh3rd,

Can you confirm that the new tensioner is different than the original?

Maybe post a picture or two?

My car is at the shop now and the tech there claims there's only one version of either serpentine or timing belt tensioner.

Tech - please advise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
i can't confirm either, as my tensioner is on order and is from " GATES" . I noticed the tensioner on my car does have the round coil spring.
 

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So if that version is the same as what I have now... and my car is one of the earlier 2012 models... theoretically I don't need to change it right?
 

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If you have a 2012 S60 5 cylinder, I would order the current tensioner from Volvo and replace it. It's cheaper than new valves or a new head.
 

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I appreciate tech's advice and the time he spent here helping guys... voluntary.

My hesitancy comes from the fact that my tech at the local dealer, who I've been going to for close to 20 years now, claimed that there's absolutely no need to do the change it. Moreover, just like we agreed here, it's absolutely the same device.

My dealer/service would gladly take my $380 and replace the damn thing... But he insisted that there was no need for that. The car was there overnight, so the whole thing doesn't make much sense to me.

I don't know, maybe he hasn't seen enough cars, though he's familiar with the car well. On the other hand, Tech did say in the other thread that he's seen several that failed...

At the end of the day, there's a record of me bringing the car there and they not performing the service. If something happens, I'd be on their azz, and surely report here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
well,tech did also say that if there is evidence of the belt walking off the tensioner pulley, that's a definite replacement....my belt is not centered on the pulley and is almost even with the outside edge.......i don't know if that's normal, but i'll replace mine..
It's like getting a second opinion from another doctor, it becomes your decision.
 
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