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.

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Contents -

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.

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