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Replace Timing Belt Tensioner?

volvo timing belt tensioner

Replacing the timing belt tensioner on your Volvo can alleviate many fears and concerns, especially if you’re gearing up for an adventure or trip. If you just purchased a Volvo and you’re unsure when the timing belt tensioner was replaced we recommend erring on the side of caution and replacing.

You hear horror stories all the time regarding a failed timing belt. We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but those stories can be true if you don’t maintain the timing belt and timing belt drive components on late model Volvos. Timing belt kits normally consist of a timing belt, idler pulley, and tensioner. The timing belt races around these pulleys and gears keeping the valvetrain of your engine in check! The timing belt plays a critical role in your cooling system too. Timing belts often drive the water pump for your Volvo’s engine. If any of these components fail, the damage can be catastrophic to your cylinder head and internal engine components.

Timing belt intervals range from 70K-110K miles, depending on which model you have. It’s always a good idea to replace the components that support the timing belt as well. There’s nothing worse than paying a technician, or spending an afternoon replacing a timing belt only to have a bearing fail soon after.

Replace Timing Belt Tensioner?


“If my car is indeed a pre-1266127 engine, i.e., if it has a hydraulic tensioner, can I wait until 140k miles to change it when I get my second timing belt installed? My first belt was changed at 73k and i currently have 102,000.”

“I just had the timing belt replaced on my 98 S70 which now has 150,000 miles on it. I bought this car used and assume that the belt nor the tensioner have ever been replaced before. After reading these posts I am going to take it back in ASAP to have the tensioner replaced. I just dropped about $1,000 on maintenance and repairs, any idea how much the dealer will charge to replace the tensioner?”


A hydraulic tensioner is conceptually very similar to the FRONT strut suspension system.
– It has a strong spring to push upward.
– It has oil in there with tiny channel. The role of oil is to prevent “rapid” change in the Spring length.

– In 99% of the time, the spring does the job of keeping the TB tight.
This is why the hydraulic tensioner lasts a long time because the spring does most of the heavy lifting.

The patent for this invention by Aisin is listed on the US Goverment Patent Website.
You can search for it.

I am attaching the diagram of a typical hydraulic tensioner so people can see in internal anatomy:


Replace Timing Belt Tensioner?

1 Comment

garrett zwart says:

I need to replace the belt tensioner on my S-60 2002 volvo .. How do I get to it?

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