Timing Belt Clinic: Daewoo Matiz 800cc
Although it looks straightforward, renewing the cambelt and water pump on a Daewoo Matiz 800cc threecylinder model is not for the fainthearted. Kim Henson shows how this tricky job can be tackled.
Apopular compact five-door hatchback, the 800cc Matiz was produced from 1998, first bearing the Daewoo name, then Chevrolet from 2005. It’s powered by a three-cylinder engine which incorporates a cambelt that should be checked every two years or 20,000 miles, whichever comes first, and needs to be renewed at least every six years or 60,000 miles. Never exceed the belt renewal periods because, if it breaks, valve-topiston contact will be an expensive fix. Matizes powered by this engine were produced from 1998 to 2010; the motor was also used in the Chevrolet Spark.
On these engines, the water pump is driven by the cambelt, and we recommend the pump is renewed at the same time as the belt, even if it is showing no signs of leakage or bearing failure. Undertaking both jobs together saves time in the long run and gives peace of mind.
The car featured here – a 2001 Matiz – was suffering from coolant loss, traced to a leak from the water pump.
In theory, renewing the timing belt on its own should take just over an hour. However, to renew the water pump it is also necessary to temporarily remove the camshaft sprocket, in addition to which there is insufficient clearance for the old water pump to be extricated and a new one installed without also taking out the water pump stud closest to the front of the engine. This all takes time.
It should also be noted that the gasket face on the engine, where the new water pump fits, needs to be spotlessly clean and access to this area is very restricted. A blunt scraper and a little cellulose thinners applied using a clean rag will help. Patience is definitely a virtue here.
We advise setting aside a full day to carry out the job, particularly when carrying it out for the first time, although if everything goes smoothly you might be able to complete the work in less than half-a-day.
The good news is that no special tools are needed to renew either the timing belt or the water pump.
All references to the ‘right and ‘left’ sides of the vehicle refer to the viewpoint of the driver looking towards the front of the car.