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2004 Volvo XC90 ECT Wiring Bracket Broken

  #1  
Old 08-12-2014, 12:57 AM
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Default 2004 Volvo XC90 ECT Wiring Bracket Broken

My 2004 Volvo XC90 just stopped running last Friday, two days after we had the coolant reservoir and tie rods replaced. We had it towed to the shop that had been servicing the car for the past few years (with one major exception, as noted below) and had performed the recent work noted above. The diagnosis was that a piece of the ECT wiring bracket that was found jammed in the timing belt. NOT GOOD. We have since verified that the timing was thrown off from the bracket fragment/bolt, which in turn caused the car to stop - and also caused damage to at least some of the exhaust valves.

Our primary question is this: How likely is it that the bolt in question was left out or installed incorrectly during a timing belt replacement that was completed in December 2013? We are trying to assess how likely it would be for this part to fail or otherwise become dislodged if it were not related to the timing belt replacement.

The one time we did not use our regular shop was for work in December 2013 that included a timing belt replacement.

The car has about 123K mi on it and we really don't want to sink another $5K+ into it to correct the problem, so any advice is welcome.

Thanks in advance, Stan
 
  #2  
Old 08-12-2014, 06:46 PM
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What else was replaced during the timing belt replacement? Did they replace the thermostat housing?
 
  #3  
Old 08-13-2014, 10:29 AM
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No - at the time the timing belt was replaced in December, the transmission system was also replaced.
 
  #4  
Old 08-13-2014, 06:10 PM
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The plastic piece that guides the wiring for the ECT sensor is not moved during replacement of the timing belt.
 
  #5  
Old 08-14-2014, 12:29 AM
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Default Image of Broken Piece

A picture of the broken part - the ECT wiring bracket - is attached. I am trying to understand if this part or the bolt that secures it to the car could have been impacted during the timing belt replacement. Any insight is appreciated.

Thank you,
Stan
 
Attached Thumbnails 2004 Volvo XC90 ECT Wiring Bracket Broken-image2.jpg  
  #6  
Old 08-14-2014, 06:24 AM
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Again, it is not something that is removed when replacing the timing belt. So trying to pin this on the shop that did the belt isn't going to work. The only time it needs to be removed is when removing the thermostat housing.
 
  #7  
Old 08-14-2014, 12:54 PM
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Appreciate your clarification but not your assumption that I am trying to "pin this on the shop" that did the work.

Your insight helps me make an important decision - to not purchase another Volvo.

If the one and only way that the ECT wiring bracket would be removed would be when removing the thermostat housing, and the thermostat housing was NOT removed on my vehicle, then the part came lose and broke on it's own, which suggests a Volvo design flaw. I find it shocking that Volvo could fail to uncover an potential error like this that can lead directly to catastrophic engine failure!

THANK YOU!
 
  #8  
Old 08-14-2014, 07:39 PM
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I'm afraid that even in court there is no clear connection between a timing belt job and that bracket damaging the belt. It's an unfortunate situation, even if the mechanic dislodged that bracket, which is not easy to prove, the time elapsed between the repair and the moment of the damage doesn't make it clear for a judge that there is a correlation.

It is also not a known design flaw on this model.

Perhaps some better news is that there are quite a few good used engines available for your model in the scrap yards, because there were many transmission issues causing the people to scrap the car with a good engine. An engine swap at a smaller garage should be less that two grands (including $500-$1000 for the engine).
 
  #9  
Old 08-14-2014, 10:23 PM
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Sorry for the assumption, but your first post sure sounds like you are trying to get someone to pay for this.

I will say that in all my years working on Volvo's, I have never seen that bracket randomly fail. I would certainly not call it a design flaw by any means. Perhaps the shop doing the timing belt did mess with it for some reason. But there is really no way to prove anything at this point.

Is the belt still on the car? If the belt came off, perhaps they set the tensioner wrong, causing the belt to come off and break the ECT wiring guide?

Does the thermostat housing have the original plastic nipple that goes to the bleed hose to the coolant reservoir? Or was a new fitting installed? That would be an indication that someone broke the nipple (either during the timing belt job or the coolant reservoir replacement), and then removed the thermostat housing to repair it. If they broke it, they may not tell you about it.

I would bet money it didn't just randomly fail though
 
  #10  
Old 08-16-2014, 02:33 PM
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One more question - I will not likely repair the car. Do you know if there are any options available to me to sell some of the parts that are brand new or fairly new (versus sending the car to a scrap yard)? Here is a list:

Transmission System (Dec 13)
Timing Belt (Dec 13)
Tires (April 14)
Tie Rods (August 14)
Coolant Reservoir (August 14)

Thank you in advance.
 
  #11  
Old 08-17-2014, 06:02 AM
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Most of these parts are not worth much on used parts market when selling by yourself.. Maybe on Ebay the tie rods and the reservoir, the tires with mags are worth perhaps around 4-$600 on local advertising depending on what tires are on it, the transmission also another 6-$700 on local advertising if you have the receipt (you can still try put it on Ebay for around $1200 to see what happens, mentioning it has recent receipt).

Given the recent transmission, some local individual might want to buy the whole vehicle for around $1200-$1500 to brake it in parts by themselves.

Of course, there is this volvo forum with it's classified section, also there are other american xc90 specific forums, could be quicker to sell in parts.
 
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