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XC90 Alternator Pulley Replacement - $3000?

Help, Advice, Owners' Discussion and DIY Tutorials on Volvo XC90s. The XC90 proved to be very popular, and very good for Volvo's sales numbers, since its introduction in model year 2003 (North America).
bignak
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XC90 Alternator Pulley Replacement - $3000?

Post by bignak » Tue May 21, 2019 4:02 pm

Hello all,

Vehicle - 2007 XC90 3.2L AWD
Mileage - 150k
Location: Northeast US

First off, my car knowledge is very limited (something that will need to be fixed). A few days back I noticed a fuel leak just in front of my right rear tire. Not knowing how to properly figure out what was going on, I took it to a shop for that and an oil change that was due. Between the oil change, diagnosis of the leak (turned out to be an old rusted fuel filter), and replacement of said fuel filter, I'm looking at $510. Seems a bit steep, but I know now that it's an expensive shop. The real shocker came when the shop listed off their incidental 'findings' -

1. Mechanic said the 'one way clutch pulley is not spinning' (assuming alternator pulley) and to replace it is quoting $3150, $2620 with discount. Am I correct in thinking this is absolutely insane? From everything I can see even a full alternator replacement should come in at less than half that price.

2. Mechanic said the power steering fluid, brake fluid, and coolant are all discolored and want $275 apiece to flush and refill. Seems steep?

I'm honestly at a loss here. I called a shop next door to the one that quoted the above price, and they quoted $630 for the alternator pulley replacement. I'm having trouble pinning down a solid price on google and would just like to know who's taking the crazy pills - myself, or them.



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Re: XC90 Alternator Pulley Replacement - $3000?

Post by wanderdüne » Tue May 21, 2019 7:50 pm

I'm sure that you would get better price and service at your local Volvo dealer. The parts can be more expensive, but their work also carries a lifetime warranty. You can order parts from an online Volvo dealer at a discount like this one: https://www.tascaparts.com/auto-parts/2 ... nator-scat and take the part with receipt to the local dealer with the same warranty.

It would be very helpful for you to post up the specific location where you are located and someone may be able to recommend a local Volvo independent shop to do the work on your car while you are learning. The shop you had the misfortune to take your car to is a total ripoff outfit. Period. The full cost Volvo filter is around $60 ($32 from Tasca) and it takes about 10 minutes to change out.

There are several online parts sources, not least FCP Euro, this forum's sponsor, to source parts from when you attempt your own repairs and maintenance.
Last edited by wanderdüne on Wed May 22, 2019 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Masscomguru
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Re: XC90 Alternator Pulley Replacement - $3000?

Post by Masscomguru » Tue May 21, 2019 8:27 pm

Run away.... the fuel filter take about 10 mins to replace and is no more than 40 bucks. The one way clutch is on the R.E.A.D assembly. If it wasn’t spinning you would not have power steering or water pump. The alternator is on the opposite side under the intake and is driven by a direct coupler belt. Do you have any check engine lights?
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Re: XC90 Alternator Pulley Replacement - $3000?

Post by June » Tue May 21, 2019 9:26 pm

My Volvo dealer charges $128.73 for a fuel filter change and around $100 for a full synthetic oil change so you were grossly overcharged!!! Also all Volvo dealers use only Genuine Volvo parts. So +1 for run away fast from your shop! They charge 100% more than the dealer! I attached a picture of a fuel filter replacement last year at my dealer. June
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Re: XC90 Alternator Pulley Replacement - $3000?

Post by jimmy57 » Tue May 21, 2019 10:27 pm

There is a one way clutch on the alternator that reduces shock at lower engine speeds where each engine rotation has some significant speed changes. The alternator is driven through a rubber cuff connected to the driving cog on the engine. The intake manifold is removed to get to the alternator for service. Even with all of this a whole new alternator is $600 Volvo dealer price and the labor should be 3 hours at whatever their rate is. If the drive cog is replaced that should be no more than an additional .5 hour labor charge plus the price of the cog, maybe $100.
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Re: XC90 Alternator Pulley Replacement - $3000?

Post by bignak » Wed May 22, 2019 4:29 am

Thank you all for confirming what I was thinking, and giving me more info on the fuel filter swap. Unfortunately I'm already in for the $510, as I approved the oil change/filter swap. That breakdown - $160 for oil change, $190 'diagnostic' fee for the leak (which I now believe just amounted to them sticking their head under and seeing that the leak came from the filter), leaving $160 for the fuel filter swap. I foolishly approved that (was freaked out by the gas leak, should have calmed down and examined my options). What kills me is that I went to a Volvo dealership specifically to avoid this kind of thing - if we're allowed to name and shame, it's the service center for Volvo Cars of Bethesda (Maryland).

They'll be doing the filter swap today but already ordered the part, and if I cancelled they've said I'm still due for the diagnostic fee. I'm making it clear they can't touch anything else on the car, and I'm getting it back today - I'll see if I can get more details on where the $3000 came from, because if it's just what you guys described it's mind boggling that they'd think they could get away with it. Needless to say I can't trust anything they're saying, so I'll need to confirm whether or not the one way clutch pulley is actually broken - AC is working just fine, and while power steering is groaning it's still working. Anyone have recommendations for a solid Volvo garage in the area? Won't be touching this garage with a ten foot pole anymore.

EDIT: Newish to the area, and it's the first time getting my XC90 serviced (got it used a while back), so I didn't know what to expect for prices. I guess this is how I learn my lesson about vetting where to take it.
Last edited by bignak on Wed May 22, 2019 4:43 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: XC90 Alternator Pulley Replacement - $3000?

Post by bignak » Wed May 22, 2019 4:39 am

Masscomguru wrote: ↑
Tue May 21, 2019 8:27 pm
Run away.... the fuel filter take about 10 mins to replace and is no more than 40 bucks. The one way clutch is on the R.E.A.D assembly. If it wasn’t spinning you would not have power steering or water pump. The alternator is on the opposite side under the intake and is driven by a direct coupler belt. Do you have any check engine lights?
No check engine lights, power steering is working (but groaning a bit more than usual), and I haven't noticed any higher engine temp than usual (so I think water pump is going fine). I've been having electrical issues for months (occasionally get warnings that the stop signals are malfunctioning or anti-skid service is required, or control panel on driver's side door for windows and such takes a break from working) but they all resolve with a restart of the car and I don't believe to be related. Was intending on getting the electric looked at eventually, but clearly not at this shop.



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Re: XC90 Alternator Pulley Replacement - $3000?

Post by wanderdüne » Wed May 22, 2019 10:02 am

The Volvo tool for diagnostic is called VIDA Dice. The VIDA is the software part and the Dice is the physical reader. VIDA contains all of the parts catalogs, repair procedures, diagnostic trees etc. You can download a "version" of it here https://forums.swedespeed.com/showthrea ... nload-Link to inform and educate yourself about what repairs you are getting done. You can buy a "cloned" Dice off of ebay or amazon to use so you can begin to suss out the electrical issues, diagnostics, clearing active and vestigial codes etc. by yourself. It's not able to program the car unless you have a "real" Dice and subscription from Volvo, but it works for a lot of things. Even without the Dice, the VIDA is great just to learn about your car, but really, VIDA Dice is kind of essential tool whether you do the work or not.



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Re: XC90 Alternator Pulley Replacement - $3000?

Post by Masscomguru » Wed May 22, 2019 2:46 pm

bignak wrote: ↑
Wed May 22, 2019 4:39 am

No check engine lights, power steering is working (but groaning a bit more than usual), and I haven't noticed any higher engine temp than usual (so I think water pump is going fine). I've been having electrical issues for months (occasionally get warnings that the stop signals are malfunctioning or anti-skid service is required, or control panel on driver's side door for windows and such takes a break from working) but they all resolve with a restart of the car and I don't believe to be related. Was intending on getting the electric looked at eventually, but clearly not at this shop.
In this case, with the electrical issues, what you may have is just a loose pulley on the alternator side. There have been a few that have had the bolt loosen and because the shaft is keyless the shaft spins inside the pulley. It is a simple fix for a mechanic. Pull the intake, pull the alternator, remove the bolt at the pulley, and then pull the pulley off the inside of the READ assembly. If there is no visible wear, then put it all back together and tighten the bolt with some loctite. The only concern if there was wear would be on the shaft because that would be the READ replacement and that IS $3000. Many have been able to just get it back together. Here is a good video showing this issue.



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Re: XC90 Alternator Pulley Replacement - $3000?

Post by Masscomguru » Wed May 22, 2019 3:32 pm

Actually after rereading your electrical post, have your battery tested. The drivers door could be a broken ground wire in the wire set that comes from the body to the door and the bulbs are notorious for fusing themselves back together for the stop lamps. They will burn or partially burn allowing for the system to detect a bulb out failure. They are cheap and easy enough to replace and that will resolve the bulb out messages.



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