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Old 08-26-2009, 07:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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waterpump woes

about 3 weeks ago i noticed my coolant was low, not much but enough to set off the warning light. i replaced the fluid (about a half inch in reservoir 3 times in the last 3 weeks). i noticed a small drip mark towards the right rear of engine and brought it in...waterpump was going. repair bill was $379. my mileage was 41k. price wasnt as bad as i feared.
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Old 08-26-2009, 07:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Going to hijack for a public service announcement.

Water Pump replacement is something that an owner has to be careful of. They should make sure the shop or dealership doing the repair knows the proper procedures and will use the proper tools.

In rare instances the balance shaft tensioner will ratchet out during service if the water pump is replaced without using the water pump sprocket holding tool (J43651). This will cause the balance shaft chain to be too tight, which can cause a whine noise from the front of the engine.

Then the proper coolant fill and air bleed procedures, especially on the 2.0L Turbo.
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Old 09-04-2009, 05:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Small Dealer View Post
Going to hijack for a public service announcement.

Water Pump replacement is something that an owner has to be careful of. They should make sure the shop or dealership doing the repair knows the proper procedures and will use the proper tools.

In rare instances the balance shaft tensioner will ratchet out during service if the water pump is replaced without using the water pump sprocket holding tool (J43651). This will cause the balance shaft chain to be too tight, which can cause a whine noise from the front of the engine.

Then the proper coolant fill and air bleed procedures, especially on the 2.0L Turbo.

I just had my water pump replaced at the dealership to the tune of $700! Feels like I got ripped off now. The only other shop I trusted wouldn't do the job because they didn't have that special tool. Now I have the high pitched whine . They say it's because the pump went out of round and "stretched" the timing chain. And for some reason the new pump and the old gears don't get along too well because of it. They tried two different pumps but got the same whine. I don't want to drive my car while its making this noise. Is this the correct assessment or did they do something wrong?
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Old 09-04-2009, 06:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swendor View Post
I just had my water pump replaced at the dealership to the tune of $700! Feels like I got ripped off now. The only other shop I trusted wouldn't do the job because they didn't have that special tool. Now I have the high pitched whine . They say it's because the pump went out of round and "stretched" the timing chain. And for some reason the new pump and the old gears don't get along too well because of it. They tried two different pumps but got the same whine. I don't want to drive my car while its making this noise. Is this the correct assessment or did they do something wrong?
They did not use the tool as Small Dealer mentioned. This same thing happened to me when my pump was replaced. The mating sprocket gear has been burred (damaged) because of what they have done. The whine is caused by the burrs or nicks spinning against the mating surfaces...sounds like hell, I remember. The noise will not go away unless they now change both the pump and the mating sprocket that drives it.

Go back and insist that your car never made that noise till they did the work. My dealer was puzzled as well till they conversed with the factory guys and realized what they had done. REPAIR WARRANTY !!!

I think I may even have the part number for the sprocket gear.
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swendor
I just had my water pump replaced at the dealership to the tune of $700!
There are several variables that could account for the difference in what you and cunning paid for water pump replacement.

First off is the pump itself. The GM OEM pump is approximately twice the list price of a "All Lines"/generic AC Delco pump. Add the increase in Sales Taxes and any shop fees based on repair costs.

Second, would the use of coolant. None, drain/refill, recycled or virgin anti-freeze will all have a different effect on the parts, tax, and fees total.

Last would be the labor time guide used to calculate the repair time. Don't have access to one here at home, but would not surprise me if the labor time could approach or exceed 3 hours.

So $250-$325 parts, $270-$320 labor, and you can get a $700 repair.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Swendor
Now I have the high pitched whine . They say it's because the pump went out of round and "stretched" the timing chain. And for some reason the new pump and the old gears don't get along too well because of it. They tried two different pumps but got the same whine. I don't want to drive my car while its making this noise. Is this the correct assessment or did they do something wrong?
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZDarkSol
They did not use the tool as mentioned. This same thing happened to me when my pump was replaced. The mating sprocket gear has been burred (damaged) because of what they have done. The whine is caused by the burrs or nicks spinning against the mating surfaces...sounds like hell, I remember. The noise will not go away unless they now change both the pump and the mating sprocket that drives it.

Go back and insist that your car never made that noise till they did the work. My dealer was puzzled as well till they conversed with the factory guys and realized what they had done. REPAIR WARRANTY !!!
The fix may be a simple as the balance shaft chain tensioner being reset or replaced. Especially if the noise was not present previously.
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Old 09-04-2009, 09:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm assuming this is an 06?

I should not have to worry about this for 5 years or 100k correct? I can put up with the crappy interior, but if this car starts falling apart in 6k miles I'm going to be pissed.
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Old 09-04-2009, 09:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I appreciate the input guys.

Am I doing any damage to the engine by driving it? That's what worries me most.
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Old 09-04-2009, 10:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Swendor View Post
I appreciate the input guys.

Am I doing any damage to the engine by driving it? That's what worries me most.
I took mine back within the first week. My service advisor even recognized that he never heard that sound coming from a Solstice before. They stayed with it for over a week before they were able to determine that the original pump replacement procedure that they had performed was the cause of the whine. Noise that is generated by a misalignment or improper engagement or reduction in full surface mating of drive or driven surfaces is usually a signal of eventual failure of some kind. I believe it would be most likely not an engine failure but more specific to the pump and it's drive components..but the bottom line is as long as that noise is there it is not right and eventually it will either wear itself in and become quiet again ( highly unlikely but possible) or something will fail.

I would at least make the call. I did, that was over a year ago. They fixed it right the second time..has been quiet ever since and the water pump and temps are fine.

I still have the final service repair ticket, here's what they found.

"Whinning noise from front engine area-history concern with water pump.
Noise from front of engine appears to be new water pump. Replaced pump-noise still present-remove belts -test with chassis ears to help isolate -cause still present-test with engine ears listening tool-noise at w/pump area. Remove front cover for access-no visual sign for noise. Inspect balance shaft-no failure-replaced internal pump sprocket for water pump-reassemble and retest- noise gone. Reassembled front cover. Refill cooling system and roadtested 6 miles to verify noise is gone and operation is as designed upon completion of repairs. "

They could not even see the damage to the sprocket, it was that insignificant to the eye, but the damage was there and was generating the noise. They replaced the sprocket and it was quiet again.
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Last edited by AZDarkSol; 09-04-2009 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 09-05-2009, 08:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by AZDarkSol View Post
I took mine back within the first week. My service advisor even recognized that he never heard that sound coming from a Solstice before. They stayed with it for over a week before they were able to determine that the original pump replacement procedure that they had performed was the cause of the whine. Noise that is generated by a misalignment or improper engagement or reduction in full surface mating of drive or driven surfaces is usually a signal of eventual failure of some kind. I believe it would be most likely not an engine failure but more specific to the pump and it's drive components..but the bottom line is as long as that noise is there it is not right and eventually it will either wear itself in and become quiet again ( highly unlikely but possible) or something will fail.

I would at least make the call. I did, that was over a year ago. They fixed it right the second time..has been quiet ever since and the water pump and temps are fine.

I still have the final service repair ticket, here's what they found.

"Whinning noise from front engine area-history concern with water pump.
Noise from front of engine appears to be new water pump. Replaced pump-noise still present-remove belts -test with chassis ears to help isolate -cause still present-test with engine ears listening tool-noise at w/pump area. Remove front cover for access-no visual sign for noise. Inspect balance shaft-no failure-replaced internal pump sprocket for water pump-reassemble and retest- noise gone. Reassembled front cover. Refill cooling system and roadtested 6 miles to verify noise is gone and operation is as designed upon completion of repairs. "

They could not even see the damage to the sprocket, it was that insignificant to the eye, but the damage was there and was generating the noise. They replaced the sprocket and it was quiet again.
Well that settles it, I'm not driving it this weekend. I'll get a rental until Tuesday. You mentioned temps and that reminded me that all the way home my temps never got below 200 degrees. Even with the bad pump I was getting 190 degrees. Did they charge you for the sprocket replacement?
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Old 09-05-2009, 08:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Small Dealer View Post
The fix may be a simple as the balance shaft chain tensioner being reset or replaced. Especially if the noise was not present previously.
The noise was not present previously. This should be fixed free of charge, correct?
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Old 09-05-2009, 08:53 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Swendor View Post
Well that settles it, I'm not driving it this weekend. I'll get a rental until Tuesday. You mentioned temps and that reminded me that all the way home my temps never got below 200 degrees. Even with the bad pump I was getting 190 degrees. Did they charge you for the sprocket replacement?
No,

They recognized that their original repair procedure had caused the sprocket damage. My car was and still is under warranty. No charge but they had my car for over a week trying to determine what had happened and trying to figure out what the whineing sound was caused by. They even covered my rental car. That is why I am telling you about this. There may be a service bulletin out on this by now. This was all done well over a year ago with no problems or noise since.

Good luck.
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Last edited by AZDarkSol; 09-05-2009 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 09-05-2009, 09:31 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Small Dealer
The fix may be a simple as the balance shaft chain tensioner being reset or replaced. Especially if the noise was not present previously.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZDarkSol
I still have the final service repair ticket, here's what they found.

"Whinning noise from front engine area-history concern with water pump.
Noise from front of engine appears to be new water pump. Replaced pump-noise still present-remove belts -test with chassis ears to help isolate -cause still present-test with engine ears listening tool-noise at w/pump area. Remove front cover for access-no visual sign for noise. Inspect balance shaft-no failure-replaced internal pump sprocket for water pump-reassemble and retest- noise gone. Reassembled front cover. Refill cooling system and roadtested 6 miles to verify noise is gone and operation is as designed upon completion of repairs. "

They could not even see the damage to the sprocket, it was that insignificant to the eye, but the damage was there and was generating the noise. They replaced the sprocket and it was quiet again.
To inspect the balance shafts, they probably removed them. This means that the tensioner was removed, and during reinstallation it was reset. So that may have fixed the noise, if it was the cause, while they replaced the sprocket also.

Here is the tensioner. It must be removed before removing the chain, which would be required if going deeper into the engine or replacing something chain driven.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Swendor
The noise was not present previously. This should be fixed free of charge, correct?
Would definately believe it should be redone by the shop. They may have their policy on "warranty" repairs posted or on your RO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZDarkSOl
There may be a service bulletin out on this by now. This was all done well over a year ago with no problems or noise since.
No service bulletin, but service information about this possibility has been around since 2005, of course at that point the Solstice would not have been listed, but other EcoTecs could have been, although may have been just a Saturn message. Something that could be overlooked, even though the service manual should have had warnings about requiring the tool usage.

The 2005 service information has been very recently updated, that is why it was top of mind and the original hijack post was made.

The GM essential tool has a $230+ list cost. Here is a picture of a version of the tool:
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Last edited by Small Dealer; 09-05-2009 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 09-05-2009, 12:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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SD I appreciate all the help. I asked to keep the old water pump and I'm having a hard time discerning any visible damage apart from the shaft not moving very freely. Are you supposed to be able to give it a flick and it'll spin freely on its own? From the diagram, it seems like that shouldn't matter since it's got all that power from the timing chain turning it. I also see nothing "out of round" as they claim nor is there any play in the shaft. No shavings. It seems fine. Is there a weep hole on this thing? How can I tell it's bad?

AZDarkSol:
Thank you for sharing your experience. I hope this turns out as well as yours did.
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:04 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Just read this a couple days ago thinking, "water pump failure at 41k...ridiculous". Then yesterday I was driving downtown and my low coolant light came on. Guess what's leaking...at 43k...awesome...
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Old 09-07-2009, 08:08 AM   #15 (permalink)
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As a former many multiple VW owner and official member of their water pump, alternator, starter motor, and AC compressor of the month club, you Pontiac guys are just a bunch of babies!

Even at $230, buying that service tool and doing it yourself once the warranty is over will still put you ahead of the game.
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