Belt & Water Pump Replacement

In a tough economic climate, everyone wants to keep costs down. Gates explains that it is all for cost savings – but only if it makes sense.

Garages want customers to return because the service is good, rather than because it is cheap. Carrying out inappropriate repairs based on the end user’s assessment of what is sufficient, rather than what is really appropriate can lead to problems. And when these problems emerge later, the garage can be held liable for the cost.

Case study

It was a typical timing belt replacement job for a mechanic in the North of England who was working on a Vauxhall Vectra 1.9 CDTi. This vehicle has the same engine (Z19DTH) as those of several Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Saab models, so the layout was familiar to the garage.

Having been presented with the options, the customer asked the garage to install just the belt kit and leave the existing water pump in place, to save money on the repair. Faced with a choice between what was best for the vehicle and what the customer wanted, the mechanic adopted the role of “technical expert”, advising that they could order the appropriate Gates PowerGrip Kit (part no. K015623XS), containing all the parts needed to replace the belt, or order the PowerGrip® Kit Plus Water Pump (part no KP15623XS), which includes the timing belt kit AND the correct water pump for the vehicle. The mechanic explained that by changing the water pump as well, the lifetime of the belt system would be optimised and the risk of premature failure would be minimised.

Cost benefit analysis

According to the odometer, the belt was due for replacement. At this point, the water pump had been operating for the same number of miles as the belt; that is, one full duty cycle. Leaving the water pump in place assumes that the bearing is able to perform at full capacity for a second full duty cycle.

Failure of the water pump before the second duty cycle is complete could result in premature belt failure and, inevitably, more severe engine damage.

The garage demonstrated that changing the water pump at the same time as the belt added less than 23% to the bill. Whereas, potential engine damage caused by the failure of the water pump could increase the bill by almost 500%. The customer was satisfied and the water pump kit was installed.

Don’t forget the warranty

Gates OE quality timing belts are engineered together with the metal parts, so you can be sure you have the correct part for the application. While the garage could have shopped around for a lower priced water pump, often cheaper products do not offer the same OE quality and warranty that come from credible brands such as Gates.

If a problem arose and a warranty claim was made, it would involve TWO investigations: one from Gates, the belt kit supplier, and a second inspection from the water pump supplier, substantially increasing the amount of time the vehicle was off the road. All Gates PowerGrip® Kits Plus Water Pumps are covered by one warranty, providing an ideal solution to timing belt system replacements.

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Published on: September 21, 2020

Filled Under: Technical Articles

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