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Dear Members of the Collective Swedespeed Council

I happened to notice the coolant/antifreeze for my 2005 s40 T5 AWD 6spd was below the minimum line on the reservoir, so for a few weeks, despite the fact that I keep checking it every other day, and filling it back up close to the max fill line, it continues to run low. For the first time in 10 years I notice spots on the parking pad, not oil, and not evaporation from the A/C. I took it to my mech/tech, and after his inspection he notified me that the water-pump needs to be replaced (I'm scared to hear the cost), and not only that, but it's leaking in and compromising the timing belt as well. He advises replacing that too (money, money. money). They replaced the timing belt at 110k - still on warranty at the time - and the vehicle only has 162k now. He told me if I don't replace the timing belt I'm at risk of destroying the engine. I'm reeling wondering how this could all be so bad. Is it possible for a bad water pump to compromise the timing belt by way of leaking and contamination? I wish I had the invoice to share. I would truly appreciate the sage support and wisdom.

I hope the rest of you are better than we deserve!

Arich
 

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I had a similar issue (coolant vanishing from the expansion tank), however the cause for my coolant loss was a crack in my upper rad hose. I would have another look from underneath just to make sure this isn't the case. It's going to be very hard to actually see it without taking anything apart, but if your lucky you'll find a crack or a leak in the hose. My crack was right at the T connection and while the car didn't show any visible signs of leaking, the coolant would spray all over the place while I was driving due to the pressure in the system.

Can't comment on the timing belt issue, but you definitely don't want that snapping :(
 

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The water pump is right behind the timing belt, the timing belt has to be removed to get to the water pump in most cases. I highly recommend the water pump being changed when the timing belt is done, I'm guessing this unfortunately didn't happen. I've done many timing belts and water pumps but not on the S40. I know it's expensive because it's not an easy job.

The labor cost shouldn't be much higher and if it is, I'd go to a different mechanic. The price increase should be the cost of the timing belt and the belt tensioner. I can't imagine more than a half hour of additional labor.

I don't know if the timing belt needs to be changed without looking at it but I know that they are pretty sturdy. The mechanic may not want to assume that the timing belt is fine and then call you when the vehicle is in pieces to tell you otherwise.

I feel obligated to mention that there are 3 seals that should be replaced when the timing belt is done and if they didn't do the water pump when they did the timing belt initially, I wouldn't bet in the 2 cam seals and the front main seal would have been done. In my experience, they are not as expensive as the timing belt and tensioner and may add an hour of labor cost to the job, but like the water pump, if one fails, you will be looking at the entire job over again.

I don't know if you're going to the dealership or a regular shop but I highly recommend looking for a good independent Volvo mechanic and I wouldn't take it to anyone who doesn't specialize in foreign cars. I don't know where you are, but if your in New Jersey, I can recommend a few places and I rarely find mechanics that I trust and therefore recommend.

By the way if your only noticing a drip on the ground, you should have time. Vigilantly keep it topped off with coolant and DO NOT DRIVE IT IF IT STARTS LEAKING TOO BAD THAT YOU CANNOT KEEP IT TOPPED OFF. I'd continue driving it until it becomes a steady trickle (drip, drip, drip, before a thin stream). If your in a climate that may experience freezing temperatures, be sure to use coolant and not water.

Good luck, I truly hope it works out.
 

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I don't know where you are, but if your in New Jersey, I can recommend a few places and I rarely find mechanics that I trust and therefore recommend.
If he's in New Jersey, there is only one guy to go to! That's all I'll say and I'm NOT that guy.

Who can guess who I mean? :p
 

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If he's in New Jersey, there is only one guy to go to! That's all I'll say and I'm NOT that guy.

Who can guess who I mean? :p
Please share! I'm in PA, just a short skip from Jersey.
 

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The other place that I go to is M Belem Motors in Perth Amboy, NJ. (389 Washington st. Phone number is 732-826-0534). He works on all kinds of foreign cars, good work and honest.
 

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how'd i know you guys would say volvo clinic haha. Yeah the guy there is nice, he didnt charge an arm and a leg for my timing belt but I didnt like that he used green coolant afterwards in my car, especially since he mentioned that he only works with OEM parts and stuff. I would recommend that place though too.

Do you know if your water pump was replaced with the belt under warranty?-- im guessing no.
If the coolant is leaking from the water pump then yeah, i Guess youll have to do it. And if your having the water pump done, Absolutely do the belt and tensioner/pulley too because the belt is cheap enough and if it was compromised by coolant it should be changed... + you wont have to worry about it again for 100k miles.

Definitely check the upper rad. hose first or try to pinpoint the source of the leak, make sure that the coolant reservoir isnt cracked or something and leaking near the timing belt area making it look like its the water pump. Get a second opinion on where the leak is coming from.
 

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Interesting. This development flies in the face of the typical Volvo-dispensed wisdom - the OEM water pumps are good for 220k-ish. I'd say that's optimistic, but it's very very very commonly done (by everyone). The water pump isn't that expensive, but it sits right behind the timing belt. The 2.4i's timing belt isn't that hard to change, actually, but it takes time. If he's just swapping timing belts, then it's fairly simple and cheap. When you're doing the tensioners also, it gets more time consuming because the tensioner is mechanical and has to be adjusted for ambient air temperature (re-tarded design). I'm not sure I would go for the cam seals, but they are a potential issue - these cars are not well-known for their cam seal issues (unless a clogged PCV blows them out). Anyways, not a horrid job but definitely not a welcome job (or expense) either. Sorry bud. :beer:

Oh, I will say that you need to get it done ASAP. The antifreeze destroys the belt and then it can either slip or snap causing catostraphic failure
 

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Probably too far for you, but if closer, I'd recommend Highbloom Auto in Nutley, NJ.

Nick is the man and Volvo's are in his blood.
Right, and Nick(from highbloom) is Jimmy's(from Vovoclinic) brother or something.
 
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