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XC60 Belt + possible engine issue - 50k miles-5 yrs old

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Old Dec 17th, 2016, 12:24   #1
Jan Grzyb
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Default XC60 Belt + possible engine issue - 50k miles-5 yrs old

Hi All

I took my car to a garage after a warning light came on due to a damaged serpentine belt. I was charged 2 hrs labour, total bill cost 193.00.

After payment, I drove down the road and within 50 metres the engine compression failed.

I then took the car to a main Volvo dealer, they sent me photos showing part of the serpentine belt was in the timing unit causing jumping with possible engine damage. Then I went back to the orginal Garage and had a meeting with Alex (The Owner) I shared the photos showing the sheared belt stuck in the timing belt unit.

He said stated that he felt I was not his responsibility to repair the engine if required. But would give me trade prices.

I said I would pay for the timing kit replacement as it should have been actioned during the initial repair.

I stated there was 50-50 chance of engine damage, as stated by Volvo main dealer.

The garage said he would repair the engine at trade prices. I wanted the initial repair completed correctly and then we review the situation.

He said he did a visual inspection of the time belt area - but did not remove the cover. He said the car was left running for 1 hour, also a colleague said the car was test driven. (These points were not mentioned on the invoice)

He stated that the car had a "recall" issue with the tensioner. He said this may have seized and this was part of the problem.. The Volvo Garage said the tensioner is fine. but does need adjusting at 54k Miles.

I have spoken to a registered vehicle assessors and they say it is a less than 50/50 if I go to court, that I will win. One person suggested an "approximate cause" approach.

I do not think it fair that I may have an engine repair bill. The car is back at original garage but no work has be carried out yet.

What is best practice in this situation.

Thoughts please and thanks Jan
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Old Dec 17th, 2016, 14:16   #2
Brendan W
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Serpentine failure at that age is rare. If a seized tensioner pulley caused it that would have been apparent at the time the belt was being replaced and it also should have been replaced.
It is very likely that a failed serpentine belt snags the crank pulley and bits of it get left in there. If the old belt had bits missing they should have taken a basic precaution and checked the timing belt cavity for residue. Any such residue can get tightly wound up behind the crank pulley and not make it's presence known till later.
Many would replace the timing belt at this point on the basis that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence of damage to it and serpentine belts always try their best to have a go at timing belts.
IMHO they failed to check as they should have. The only excuse they could have would be if in fact the residue was from an earlier belt failure and the one they removed was intact - a highly unlikely scenario.
You are lucky in one sense that the belt failure didn't kill the engine before it ever got near the garage. It appears that their neglect undid your luck.
I have no doubt that expert opinion could be adduced to support your claim that they should have been more careful.
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