Seized Clio Water Pump - Dizzy {P}
A few days ago I mentioned my son's 1994 Renault Clio 1.9d in answer to a query. He bought this car about three years ago with 100,000 miles on the clock and I said that it had now reached about 165,000 miles with very little trouble.

I should have kept quiet! Last night he called me out because the car had come to a sudden stop. I towed it to a garage mechanic friend's place who today told us the extent of the damage. The water pump had seized which had made the timing belt snap and broken the camshaft sprocket and the camshaft itself.

The belt had done 55,000 miles against a recommendation to change at 70,000 miles and we are almost certain that it was the pump seizing that caused the belt to break.

My son was planning to sell the car for around £300 as soon as his new Skoda Fabia arrived in March but has now decided to scrap it. Because he lives out in the fens I have lent him my BMW until he gets the Skoda -- the sacrifices we make for our children!

I would be interested to hear of the experiences of others concerning extensive damage caused by such a little thing as a seized water pump. Is this typical of cars with timing belts?
Seized Clio Water Pump - steve paterson
Dizzy,
A few years ago the company I worked for added a few 1.4 CVH Escort / Orions to the fleet. On one particularly cold morning we had several non starters. It turned out that the coolant had frozen in the cam belt driven water pumps, with the inevitable stripping of belt teeth when the engine was turned. All were repaired under warranty as the 'wrong' antifreeze had been installed during production.
Seized Clio Water Pump - M.M
Dizzy,

Sorry to hear about the Clio...still at least your son was already realistic about the value so not too much lost.

I'm well aware of the water pump problem when in the timing belt run but haven't actually had one cause failure yet.

When I do a belt with a pump involved I feel the pump when rotating and if it is anything other than smooth and free I advise changing it. At the second timing belt change that will take a vehicle from 100K to 150K I'm quite likely to advise doing the water pump as a routine item anyway. Obviously the same check is made on every rotating part the timing belt runs on.

Also I virtually insist on two yearly coolant flush/changes..I do think that helps avoid such problems.

And yes substantial damage to top end components is often a feature of belt breakage. Snapped camshafts and smashed tappet guides in the head are frequently seen.

MM

 

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