Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - fatbadger

Hi

I own a Vauxhall Zafira with the 1.9 CDTI 150 engine. 2007 model, low 50k miles, FSH.

Recently, the water pump seized and shredded the cambelt. The cambelt failure has resulted in some pretty costly 4-figure engine repairs.

As well as reading the various Vauxhall forums and finding this isn't uncommon, I also see on the Honest John "What's bad" review of the Zafira, the following:

On 1.9CDTI, timing belt drives waterpump and waterpump failure can fling it off in as little as 40k miles, wrecking the engine. By December 2008 this was becoming increasingly common at about 4 years old and circa 50k - 60k miles. So engines need new belts, tensioners, pulleys and waterpumps before 4 years old or 50k miles.

Our car's age/mileage fits this exactly.

I'd like to know just how common this problem is. The engine is fitted to numerous other models in the Vauxhall range - Astra, Vectra, Signum to name a few.

Has this happened to you ?

Do you work at a garage and have you carried out repairs because of this failure ?

Or do you have any other connection with the trade and know of any instances of this failure ?

Perhaps Honest John could give some indication of where the review text originated.

Any information would be gratefully received !

FB

Edited by fatbadger on 25/04/2011 at 16:03

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - Collos25

On the other hand many hundreds of thousands of this engine do mega mileage without any bother,its like anything mechanical some will fail sooner than others and as it is a well known problem of this engine steps can be taken so as not to suffer such breakdowns.Most cars in fact most machines have weak spots and these have to be taken into consideration when running them.

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - Cymrogwyllt

I got out of it luckily. Three and a bit years and 54k. One day I noticed a rising reading on the temp gauge and a squeal from the engine. Pulled in and got it towed to a trusted indie. Water pump gone leading to three teeth out of the cam belt, Valve timing out by two notches, the third would have meant new engine. Cambelt kit and water pump for £300 did the job.

Certainly paid to keep an eye on the gauges

I PX'd the car soon after.

Edited by Cymrogwyllt on 25/04/2011 at 19:08

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - fatbadger

I got out of it luckily. Three and a bit years and 54k. One day I noticed a rising reading on the temp gauge and a squeal from the engine. Pulled in and got it towed to a trusted indie. Water pump gone leading to three teeth out of the cam belt, Valve timing out by two notches, the third would have meant new engine. Cambelt kit and water pump for £300 did the job.

That was a lucky escape ! I don't think it takes long for the belt to fail once the water pump seizes and it's being dragged over the stationary pulley at speed.

Lucky for you having a temp guage - there isn't one on our car, so no way of knowing anything was going wrong.

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - fatbadger

... as it is a well known problem of this engine steps can be taken so as not to suffer such breakdowns.

It must be a well known problem to Vauxhall - so why don't they take such steps to warn people ? Why didn't they advise me at the previous (40k-odd) service to get it done ?

I'd rather pay for a cambelt & water pump change at 40k miles, than risk sudden unannounced engine failure, resulting in loss of drive, steering assistance and braking assistance.

Depending on your situation at time of failure, it could have catastrophic consequences. As it was, my wife was driving with our 2 young kids in the back. Failed on a busy A-road and she had nowhere to pull in and get to safety.

I'll be filling in the VOSA form accordingly.

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - TheOilBurner

Have you asked this question on the Vauxhall owner's club forums? There are often posts on there on this issue. Also try the Vectra/Insignia owner's clubs.

FWIW, the 2004 1.9 CDTI 150 Vectra I owned was fine, apart from breaking the swirl valves at 37k. I traded it in at 47k, so no idea if I was just around the corner from a water pump failure...

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - fatbadger

Have you asked this question on the Vauxhall owner's club forums? There are often posts on there on this issue. Also try the Vectra/Insignia owner's clubs.

FWIW, the 2004 1.9 CDTI 150 Vectra I owned was fine, apart from breaking the swirl valves at 37k. I traded it in at 47k, so no idea if I was just around the corner from a water pump failure...

Thanks, yes I'm looking on those sites too.

Swirl valves are another favourite of the CDTI engine, alongside regular EGR problems, failed alternators, knackered DPFs....the list goes on !

Got EGR removal & cleaning down to a fine art now, like for many other owners it's almost routine maintenance now...!

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - TheOilBurner

Yeah, my FIL was talking about buying an Astra 1.9 CDTI. I tried desperately to warn him off, but I don't think he could quite believe that they could be this bad!!

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - Cymrogwyllt
failed alternators,



The alternator went on mine at 40k. (out of warranty) Replacement only available via VX. iirc £500 odd.



Took it to a repairer who replaced the diode pack. Quite common foult by all accounts.



VX sent me a recall letter about it three weeks after I PX'd the car.
Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - RT
failed alternators,

The alternator went on mine at 40k. (out of warranty) Replacement only available via VX. iirc £500 odd.

Took it to a repairer who replaced the diode pack. Quite common foult by all accounts.

VX sent me a recall letter about it three weeks after I PX'd the car.

The alternator is available at others beside Vauxhall dealers - our 1.9CDTi (150) needed one recently and it was £293 incl fitting and VAT.

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - RicardoB

Really interested to see this thread.

I've also read HJ's warnings about the water pump/belts etc and I'm starting to worry about my Vectra:

2007/1.9 cdti 150, 69,000 miles, and every now and again, I hear a little "squeak" from the engine. I fear it's a sign.

I just about hear it above the rumbling and rattling of the DMF and creaking clutch pedal. The main dealer says that will cost about £1,200 to sort. No word of help/support despite proper in-time full service etc.

Oh heck.

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - fatbadger

RicardoB - at that mileage I'd be getting my cambelt changed anyway (even if the recommended change interval is longer).

While that's being done it's a simple job to change the water pump too, I doubt it would add a huge amount of cost.

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - Semaj76
Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - Semaj76

Have you asked this question on the Vauxhall owner's club forums? There are often posts on there on this issue. Also try the Vectra/Insignia owner's clubs.

FWIW, the 2004 1.9 CDTI 150 Vectra I owned was fine, apart from breaking the swirl valves at 37k. I traded it in at 47k, so no idea if I was just around the corner from a water pump failure...

Thanks, yes I'm looking on those sites too.

Swirl valves are another favourite of the CDTI engine, alongside regular EGR problems, failed alternators, knackered DPFs....the list goes on !

Got EGR removal & cleaning down to a fine art now, like for many other owners it's almost routine maintenance now...!

Does anyone know if the 1.9 CDTI 120 (8V) has any similar problems?...reading all this is making me nervous...

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - RicardoB

Yes, I've booked the Vectra in for new belt, pulleys and water pump. Can't do it until week after next, and I am also a bit worried.

Shame about all the worries/potential problems with this engine (certainly the 150 16v) because when it's behaving, it goes well and is pretty economical in terms of fuel useage.

But I guess that the savings made in fuel are more than lost in the cost of repairs.

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - Glenn 42

More reasons why I wouldn't buy a Vauxhall. A man at work had a Corsa which started leaking petrol at 50,000 miles, a potentially lethal fault, and the main dealer did nothing to remedy the problem during the full service. I do think as a manufacturer Vauxhall seem to be going back to how I remember them from the seventies, producing poor cars.

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - akr

This affects Saab 93s too which have the same engine. On my old 93 saloon I had the alternator and EGR go. The water pump failed too but I caught it in time and had that and the cambelt done.

On the wife's 93 convertible with the same engine we've had the alternator go at about 40000. To be fair, other than that it's been fine. I got the cambelt and water pump done at the 4th birthday service in April at 48000 miles just in case cos I wasn't prepared to take the risk of it going on me.

It's a shame the engine's iffy cos she loves the car but we will sell it in two years time (about 72000 by then) when I've paid my other car off and just hope the DPF hasn't gone by then!!!!!

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - piston power

I own the 120 cdti which is the 8 valve vectra and glad to know it has no DPF but has had the EGR valve replaced under warranty.

Like all cars these have there faults but remember this car was built to do monster mileage and was a reps motor now the Insignia has taken over.

On the vectra forums plenty of the 150 cdti with over 100k and close to 200k miles.

At least it's no Discovery 3 which is the worst car built for problems.!!

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - bonzo dog

At least it's no Discovery 3 which is the worst car built for problems.!!

It may not have been an angel but compared to the Freelander petrol, MGTF & Vauxhall Sintra, the Disco 3 might have been built in Tokyo!

OK, slight exaggeration :)

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - masterofthegoonaverse

I have had the lot and its currently in again and blocked 100% despite being M23'd every week, ITS a astra twintop and its the worst ********** car I have ever had

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - shedking40

Hello to anyone who reads this. We recently had the same same issue whilst on holiday in France. Cost us 2.5k to fix, and when I contacted Vauxhall, they washed thbeir hands of it. I want people to get together and force them to recognise the fault

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - austin
Our Zafira broke down in France 3 years ago. It was 150bhp 1.9 Diesel engine. Bearing on water pump seized causing belts to snap and engine seized. Vauxhall did fix it after much persuasion, car was towed from Paris to Belfast, thank goodness for European breakdown cover. Vauxhall did not help with this. Car was less than 2 years old with 37,000 miles. Once fixed I got rid. Was just too dangerous. Engine seized when I was overtaking on autoroute. Seems a common fault with this engine
Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - injection doc
Hi fat badger
A very good friend of mine has just suffered total engine failure due to a seized water pump on a low mileage Zafira 1.9
Vauxhall told him its unheared of !
It cost him about 4k for a replacement.

It's more common than u think.
Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - daveyK_UK
I got rid of a Vauxhall Vectra 1.8 petrol with 65,000 on the clock.
The engine was fine, the engine was the only good part about the car.
It was all the other constant failures which got me down.
CIM failed, alternator, electric window motors, central locking, coolant leaks, dash display,etc
All went one after another.
Would never buy a Vauxhall again, which is sad because they employ alot of UK workers and I like to try and buy home grown if I can.

Thankfully, if I need a hatchback I can buy a Civic and support UK workers which is far better quality than the current Astra.
The current Astra is proving to be anything but well built and reliable.

Why has one discussed the huge range of Insignia faults and prematurly worn parts yet?
Had quite a few of my clients who have suffered wheel hub/bearing failures, flywheel failures, timing sprocket and acuator failure, ignition coils packing in.
You can imagine how useful the Vauxhall lifetime warranty is!

Edited by daveyK_UK on 04/10/2013 at 17:21

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - LithiumGrease

Hi,

I know that this thread has been quiet for a while now, but I experienced this same problem on a 2009 Insignia 1.9 TDCI with 66k just miles this summer. The water pump went suddenly, the engine did not even have time to overheat. The pump shredded the timing belt, and this in turn wrecked the camshaft. One of the two camshafts snapped, camshaft hosing damaged, all new valves required. Luckily I was only doing 20 mph when it happened! The repair was worth more than the re-sale value of the car, so a write off.

I had done all servicing and maintenance done at the dealership "by the book". I had the timing belt done about 1 and a half years before the failure. The dealership in Derby says that the Vauxhall timing belt kit does not come with the water pump and Vauxhall's technical instructions do not include the replacement of the water pump with the timing belt by default.

Just like many others in this thread I wonder how wide spread the problem is and how many people have been affected by this fault, and if Vauxhall has any liability for it.

Cheers,

LG

Edited by LithiumGrease on 21/10/2019 at 00:02

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - Avant

Only if cars affected were considerably newer than 10 years old.

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - focussed

"if Vauxhall has any liability for it"

No legal liability whatsoever even if it happened 5 minutes after you drove it away from the showroom brand new.

Why? Because you didn't buy it from Vauxhall, you bought it from a Vauxhall dealer.

Your contract of sale is with the dealer, not Vauxhall.

That's why car manufacturers don't sell direct to the public.

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - John F

I think this cambelt design is foolish for two reasons. Firstly, timing belt reliability is so important that a cambelt should drive nothing but the camshaft(s) and a single tensioner pulley. Secondly, if the water pump must be driven by the cambelt, it should be driven by the smooth back of the belt, not the teeth. This will give a reasonably sensitive driver due warning, as it will screech and smell hot before it eventually fries and breaks. If the teeth try to drive a seizing pulley they will be extracted, wrecking the engine immediately. Either GM engine designers were incompetent, or it was a cunning example of built-in obsolescence. Should've bought a Ford Zetec.

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - Bromptonaut

Even if replacing water pump with timing belt is not a manufacturer recommendation it's a common sense thing to do. Water pumps live a hard life and are likely to give trouble eventually particularly in a car run to galactic mileages or even just a long term shopping trolley car. Happened to my Mum's Mini 850 c1971. Her brother changed it for her but it was a pig of a job.

Sort of agree with John that running them off the timing belt isn't the most 'fail safe' of designs but it allows pump to be integrated directly into the coolant channels.

Replacing it with belt is a cheap as chips job. IIRC an extra £50 on my old Roomster diesel. On that VAG engine replacement of pump at same interval as cam belt is strongly advised.

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - SLO76
“ The dealership in Derby says that the Vauxhall timing belt kit does not come with the water pump and Vauxhall's technical instructions do not include the replacement of the water pump with the timing belt by default.”

Any workshop that doesn’t advise the replacement of the water pump during a timing belt renewal is utterly negligent in their duty to you. It isn’t however an official service item but any mechanic of even marginal competence knows it’s a weak point and will rarely last until the second belt interval and thus should be replaced every time. It adds little extra cost and as the pump is operating in a very adverse situation involving moving parts in water it’s very prone to failures beyond 60,000 miles.

I agree with John in that it’s a design flaw to have the timing belt drive the water pump as it will kill the engine in most cases if it shreds the belt. It’s a design that dates back to the 70’s/80’s when most OHC engines were non-interference and would usually survive a belt failure without damage. Ford’s Yamaha designed Zetec SE was a good design in that it was driven by an ancillary belt instead meaning pump failure wouldn’t normally damage the engine. It’s not to be mistaken for the older Ford designed Zetec which did have the timing belt drive the pump and is known for premature failure.

Edited by SLO76 on 21/10/2019 at 12:44

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - thunderbird
Ford’s Yamaha designed Zetec SE was a good design in that it was driven by an ancillary belt instead meaning pump failure wouldn’t normally damage the engine. It’s not to be mistaken for the older Ford designed Zetec which did have the timing belt drive the pump and is known for premature failure.

Disagree with you there SLO.

Had 4 Zetecs since 1993.

1993 Escort 1600

1996 Mondeo 1800

1998 Fiesta 1600

2002 Focus 1800

With the assistance of mechanic friend the cam belts on 3 were changed on mileage, the Fiesta with the Yamaha Zetec SE did not do sufficient miles or stay with us for 10 years.

The engine in the Escort and Mondeo was the original Silvertop Zetec which had hydraulic tappets. The water pump in both was driven off the serpentine "alternator" belt in both with subtle differences which I would not have spotted, thanks to Ralph I did not have a disaster. On both engines the water pump was behind the cam belt and it made sense to change the water pump whilst it was off. The waterpump actually had 2 cam belt idler pulleys bolted to it and if I remember correctly whilst changing one the bolt thread stripped meaning a new pump was needed anyway.

The Focus engine was the Blacktop Zetec which had mechanical tappets. It was also used in the Mondeo from 1997 until the Duratec Mazda engine was introduced in the later Mondeo about 2001. On that engine the water pump was again driven by the serpentine belt but the pump was offset to the exhaust side meaning it was possible to change it without disturbing the cam belt.

In both engines a waterpump seizure would not affect the cambelt.

The cam belt change on the Focus possibly saved the engine or at best serious inconvenience when the car broke down. The cam belt idler pulley had severe play in the bearing and would without doubt failed or at best become extremely noisy soon after the work was carried out.

Vauxhall - 1.9 CDTI - water pump seizure & cambelt failure - SLO76

“ The engine in the Escort and Mondeo was the original Silvertop Zetec which had hydraulic tappets. The water pump in both was driven off the serpentine "alternator" belt in both“


Quick flick through old Mk I Mondeo Haynes manual I have backs up what you say completely, seems I’m plain wrong on the older Zetec. It’s the ancillary belt that drives the pump too. During the belt change it still makes sense to change it along with the ancillary belt while it’s stripped down but a pump failure shouldn’t strip the timing belt.

Purely for interest sake and something which shows the different attitudes across the pond to long term motoring the US version of the same motor is non-interference which requires different pistons and costs a small amount in fuel economy. Long term durability is of more importance to the Yanks than economy or performance and I’d personally favour this too.

 

Value my car