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Replacing Engine Belts and Tensioners
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Engine Belts and Tensioners

Jared Fenton

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$30

Talent:

***

Tools:

T50 Torx driver, flathead screwdriver, 13mm socket, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

Volvo C30 T5 (2008-13)
Volvo C30 T5 R-Design (2008-13)

Parts Required:

Belts

Hot Tip:

Check the condition of each tensioner pulley

Performance Gain:

Improved engine charging system operation

Complementary Modification:

Replace timing belt

One of the routine maintenance items that you should perform on your C30 is the inspection and if needed, replacement of your engine belts and/or belt tensioners. The engine belts are driven off of the crankshaft and drive the alternator and air conditioning compressor. This setup utilizes spring-loaded belt tensioner pulleys that provide the proper tension for each belt at all times, making adjustment unnecessary. This belt should be checked periodically (every 5,000 miles, or when you change your oil).

When inspecting your belts, the one thing that you want to look for is cracks. If you see any cracks at all, you should replace your belt immediately. It's only a matter of time until the belt will snap and possibly leave you stranded.

Replacement of the belts requires jacking up the front end and securing it on jack stands along with removing the right front (looking towards rear of car) tire and also the wheel liner. See our articles on Jacking up Your C30 and Removing Front Wheel Liners for more information.

Note: when re-installing the belt tensioners to the engine, make sure they are seated correctly and torque each bolt to 42Nm (31ftlbs).

Shown here are the belt assemblies for the Volvo C30.
Figure 1

Shown here are the belt assemblies for the Volvo C30. Note the orientation of the belt. You'll need to install the new belts the same way. Begin by inserting a T50 Torx driver into the hole on the outer belt tensioner (green arrow).

Rotate the belt tensioner clockwise to release tension on the belt and slide it off the crankshaft, tensioner and AC compressor pulley.
Figure 2

Rotate the belt tensioner clockwise to release tension on the belt and slide it off the crankshaft, tensioner and AC compressor pulley. Note the cracks in the belt (green arrow). This is a sign of a belt that is just about to snap.

Loosen and remove the 13mm bolt (green arrow) holding the out belt tensioner to the engine.
Figure 3

Loosen and remove the 13mm bolt (green arrow) holding the out belt tensioner to the engine. Carefully maneuver the tensioner out from the engine bay.

The inner belt uses the same sort of tensioner as the outer belt.
Figure 4

The inner belt uses the same sort of tensioner as the outer belt. Insert the T50 Torx driver in the hole (green arrow) on the inner tensioner and turn it counter-clockwise to relieve the tension on the belt. Once loose, carefully remove the belt from the AC compressor, alternator and tensioner pulleys.

The inner tensioner is removed the same way as the outer one.
Figure 5

The inner tensioner is removed the same way as the outer one. Loosen and remove the 13mm bolt (green arrow) and maneuver the tensioner out of the engine bay.

You'll want to check each tensioner pulley for wear or noise as you spin it.
Figure 6

You'll want to check each tensioner pulley for wear or noise as you spin it. If there is any play or noise, replace the pulley. These are simply bolted on. Use a flathead screwdriver to carefully pop the dust covers (green arrows) off each pulley.

Now use the T50 driver to remove each bolt (green arrows) and remove the pulleys from the tensioners.
Figure 7

Now use the T50 driver to remove each bolt (green arrows) and remove the pulleys from the tensioners. Fit the new pulleys to each tensioner and you're ready to install them back on the engine along with the new belts.

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