• Volvo 440: Voltage Decreases as Engine Speed Rises

    Having resolved the issue, it's a fairly garden variety fault, but I thought I'd document it in that the symptoms are almost exactly the opposite of what we expect to see when there's a fault with the charging system.

    Essentially, as the engine speed rises, the voltage (measured across the battery, or from anywhere else in the car) drops - and not just a little.

  • Volvo S60: Alternator Replacement

    A few days ago, I started bearing noise (like air being released) from the general area of the auxillary belt. As it's freezing outside, I booked it into the garage and hoped it could make it the few days until the garage could see it.

    Inevitably, it didn't. After starting the battery warning light came on, and as the belt was still on I checked the battery voltage - 11v and dropping, goodbye alternator bearing...

    This documentation details the steps necessary to swap out the alternator on a 2003 Volvo S60 with a Diesel engine. The steps differ slightly for later years (you need to remove the radiator cooling fan to make space to get the alternator out, but can simply move the P/S pump out of the way rather than disconnecting it), but should be applicable for vehicles <= 2003. From what I've seen, it should also apply to V70's of the same age.

    Some of the images are a little blurry because the weather was getting ready to snow on me, so there was quite a bit of shivering involved.

    The whole process shouldn't take you more than a couple of hours, unless you have to wait for replacement parts to arrive. 

  • Volvo S60: Overrun Alternator Pulley

    I had an issue recently on my S60 - when the car was first started from cold, there'd be a rhythmic thumping noise from under the bonnet.

    Lifting the bonnet, the auxilary belt tensioner was jumping backwards and forwards as slack came into the belt and then was taken up.

    Further investigation showed that the Alternator Pulley had started to fail - modern alternator's no longer use a solid flywheel, instead using a clutch-based pulley called an Overrun Alternator Pulley (or OAP). The pulley manufacturer (INA) recommend that it be changed whenever the aux belt is changed.

    My aux belt had been changed at the result of an emergency cambelt change (following a water pump collapse). Unfortunately, in VIDA, Volvo list the pulley as a separate service item, rather than listing it as being part of an aux belt change, so the garage missed it.

    Because of the time it took to track down and obtain a suitable pulley, the belt was pretty badly chewed by the time I was able to swap the pulley, so I opted to change that as well.

    This documentation details the steps required to change the alternator belt and pulley on a Volvo S60 (D5 engine). All images should be clickable.