159 1.9 JTDm Water Pump failure - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 30 Old 04-02-09 Thread Starter
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159 1.9 JTDm Water Pump failure

I just thought it would be worth letting everyone know about the latest saga with my 159.
Last Friday lunchtime the heating on my 159 packed up. On the way home I popped in to the dealer just to make sure that it wasn't anything easy to sort like a fuse or something.
Car was checked over with nothing immediate found, the mechanic asked whether the engine had been over heating and as it hadn't thought it would be ok to drive but booked it in for Tuesday to take a proper look.
On my way home from the dealer I was checking the engine temp and noticed that the temperature was fluctuating up and down and noticed that the fan was cutting in when I got home. This didn't seem right to me so instead of driving up to Stansted airport as I had planned, left the car at home for the weekend.
I took the car in yesterday and received a phone call from the dealer at Luchtime. Turns out that it was good thing that I had left the car at home. The Water Pump had failed, in addition, the pulley on the water pump was close to destroying the cambelt that would have led to the inevitable destruction of the head and valves. Not to mention being stranded at the side of the road and the ribbing I would get from my mates about Alfa reliability.
A lucky escape I would say. Fortunately everything was covered on the Warranty (I also had the bonnet badge replaced at the same time on warranty).
Worrying thing is that the car has only done 40,000 miles (the engines actually only done 37000 miles as that too was replaced under warranty).
A quick serach on the Interweb suggests that this is not unheard of for this GM engine and the problem has happened on Vectras so it's worth getting the pump checked out /changed next time yours is in for a service. If the heating stops working, think carefully about whether you should carry on driving it.
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Re: 159 1.9 JTDm Water Pump failure

Phew!

I thought we'd gotten away from cambelts and were back to chains?
 
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Re: 159 1.9 JTDm Water Pump failure

I'd heard they'd had that problem on the early GM engines ... but I'd also heard (in the Alfa Speil) that that had been fixed and that alfa were using the updated engines ... this is going to be REALLY bad news for Alfa if that is the case because they've only just got over the TS fiasco ...
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Re: 159 1.9 JTDm Water Pump failure

Hi shinyred

What year is your 159 from?

I have a 2,4 JTD July 2008 model. This is indeed not good news if this is on the "newer" engines.

I will watch this thread with great interest

Cheers for sharing that
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Re: 159 1.9 JTDm Water Pump failure

Hi SlyFox,
My 159 is on a 06 plate, I'm not sure though if that makes it the 'old' engine or not.
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Re: 159 1.9 JTDm Water Pump failure

Confusion here, you state you have a JTD 1.9, these are Fiat twin cam engines with a cam belt, also supplied to GM, which drives the water pump. A very few seem to seize the water pump bearing, commonly at about 40000, which takes the cam belt. The design is intended to break the cam followers, not bend the valves. Occasionally bends valves though.
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Re: 159 1.9 JTDm Water Pump failure

The 1.9JTDm is a Fiat / Alfa engine. They were part of the deal for the new petrol engines for the 159, Brera & new Spider and the platform for the Punto & now the MiTo (same as the Corsa). Still, lucky escape for you!
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Re: 159 1.9 JTDm Water Pump failure

Thanks for clearing that up Keithglos and Squadrone Rosso. I would hate to panic anyone unnecessarily.
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Re: 159 1.9 JTDm Water Pump failure

Water pump failure is thankfully a rare thing on 159's
However the results can be fairly terminal for major components of the engine
There have been only a few reported - actually one on my 1st rejected 159

You had a lucky escape Shinyred!
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Re: 159 1.9 JTDm Water Pump failure

Lucky man. Thanks for the heads up - we know what to look for even if it is a rare fault.
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I think that this has just occurred on my 57 plate 159 2.4 JTDM, no loss of coolant as there is plenty in the resevoir, but the fan was on when I got home.

I had driven 2 miles at 30mph or less after I noticed a change in engine performance and economy so hopefully I haven't caused too much damage.

I plan to take it to the nearest approved centre to have a look which is 3.5 miles away, hopefully the engine won't get too hot before I get there...
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I think that this has just occurred on my 57 plate 159 2.4 JTDM, no loss of coolant as there is plenty in the resevoir, but the fan was on when I got home.

I had driven 2 miles at 30mph or less after I noticed a change in engine performance and economy so hopefully I haven't caused too much damage.

I plan to take it to the nearest approved centre to have a look which is 3.5 miles away, hopefully the engine won't get too hot before I get there...
I wouldnt take the risk of starting it again until its been looked at by the garage. It could be that the waterpump's about to let go & if it does it'll wreck the cambelt, which is highly likely to leave the engine in a right old mess aswell. Dunno the specifics for the 2.4 engine but waterpump/cambelt failure is rarely a nice experience for car or owner.

It sounds like you have spotted a problem in time so just get it recovered to the most appropriate place (ie an Alfa/Fiat Specialist) & let them investigate. If you have AA/RAC HomeStart then this should cover it but (might be stating the obvious here) tell the recovery guy not to start it as it's a suspect waterpump failure.

Best of luck.
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Problem is the same waterpump is used on all JTD 16v and 20v engines in the Alfa range. The current JTD waterpump failure thread in the 147/156/GT lounge is showing an approximate mean average failure point of 57,000 miles and 4.2 years. It may be that in the latest model range failures may only just be emerging, as 159/Breras/946 Spiders approach the mileage/time when this waterpump may fail.

As suggested, any problems at all with water temperature or coolant leaking from the waterpump area, don't drive it, get it lifted to the nearest dealer/specialist.
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My old ePer shows different part numbers for the 1.9 4C and 2.4 5C, couild you check?
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THE JTD"S ARE NOT GM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is a FIAT motor that is used by GM.
GM never managed to design a proper small diesel why do you think they were so eager to share with Fiat


The water pumps do fail the same way that the old 2.5 156 pumps failed.
The impeller breaks loose from the shaft resulting in a lock of circulation.
This normally happens between 80 and 120 000km so yours was a bit early unless they accidentally bumped it while installing the new motor.
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Originally Posted by Nev View Post
Phew!

I thought we'd gotten away from cambelts and were back to chains?
Diesels are belt and I might be wrong but I think the 1750 also use a belt.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a belt if maintained properly
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THE JTD"S ARE NOT GM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It is a FIAT motor that is used by GM.
GM never managed to design a proper small diesel why do you think they were so eager to share with Fiat


The water pumps do fail the same way that the old 2.5 156 pumps failed.
The impeller breaks loose from the shaft resulting in a lock of circulation.
This normally happens between 80 and 120 000km so yours was a bit early unless they accidentally bumped it while installing the new motor.
The problem with the JTD 1.9 16v and 2.4 16v waterpump has nothing to do with the impellars. I'm not saying they can't go wrong, just in the documented cases to date the problem rests with the bearings in the waterpump. The bearings either seize suddenly, throwing the cambelt, or begin to leak.

The problem you may be thinking of is the waterpump in the 156 2.5 V6 petrol engines, which has a well documented history of impellar problems. The solution here is to use the metal impellar version used in the 3.0 V6 916 GTV.
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I stand corrected thank you.
We have had a couple of 1.9's with the impellers coming loose fortunately no bearing seizures in my shop till date.
The belts are probably over tensioned resulting in premature bearing failures.


All v6 motors(2.5 3.0”166” and 3.2)but the GTV is plagued with the plastic impeller failure on V6 motors and even the TS is not without the dreaded impeller standing still problem although les than on the v6.
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159 water pump failure still happening

I have had a similar failure of water pump at 41000 miles on my 159. Symptoms were initially that heater was working poorly and my feet were freezing. water temperature was dead stable at mid-way until coming off the motorway and tackling a small hill - temperature rocketed and warnings flashed up. AA man diagnosed water pump failure - expensive because the cam-belt was changed at the same time. Very depressing as I tried to tell people how reliable Alfas were these days!
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I have had a similar failure of water pump at 41000 miles on my 159. Symptoms were initially that heater was working poorly and my feet were freezing. water temperature was dead stable at mid-way until coming off the motorway and tackling a small hill - temperature rocketed and warnings flashed up. AA man diagnosed water pump failure - expensive because the cam-belt was changed at the same time. Very depressing as I tried to tell people how reliable Alfas were these days!

I'm very surprised that that wasn't covered under the extended warranty, I bet if you'd pushed alfa uk they would have paid something towards it???
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Hi SlyFox,
My 159 is on a 06 plate, I'm not sure though if that makes it the 'old' engine or not.
Shinyred
A timely post and lesson. We went over this a while back.

The cam belt and water pump should be changed by 5 years. Less if cold weather or lots of town driving.

So essentially I would say to anyone that you change it BEFORE 4 years anniversary regardless of mileage.

I changed mine at 31k and just over 3.5 years. It had wear and could of lasted longer but it's out of the way now. I'd say if you have an 06 or 07 and it's never been done. Get it booked in today.
08 plates look to sort soonish maybe next year.
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Sadly I have had the car serviced by a local garage so I do not think Alfa would wear it. The mechanic said it is a common thing even at lower mileage if the age is there. Mine is a 2007, so I am not best pleased compared with my 10 year old Freelander whose worst and only failure is a bonnet catch and which to my surprise has marginally better fuel consumption - perhaps because I tend to drive it more gently!
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alfa garage salesman told me himself diesel is a alfa/fiat one exchanged for the GM petrol V6 as it was less smokey than alfa's

i have booked mine in for cambelt/water pump and full service. i lost my 1st car to a cambelt failure and gave me a chance to check the water pump which was squeeling when turned by hand, a sign bearings were on the way. i never taken the same chance since and wouldn't recommend it. I have noticed when i leave engine idling on my 159 (yr 07 53k miles on clock) and i do hear a constant squeel noise. not sure what it is anyone else has the same but guessing water pump. would be interesting to know if this stops when i get it done.

i would say when you have done 40k to 60k miles have a quick check, listen for unusual noise and get both things changed. its all part of regular maintenance that keeps car reliable
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Sadly I have had the car serviced by a local garage so I do not think Alfa would wear it. The mechanic said it is a common thing even at lower mileage if the age is there. Mine is a 2007, so I am not best pleased compared with my 10 year old Freelander whose worst and only failure is a bonnet catch and which to my surprise has marginally better fuel consumption - perhaps because I tend to drive it more gently!
alanP

Well you'd have needed the cambelt changing in about the next 6 months anyway so realistically this hasn't actually cost you anything over normal servicing (this is how to make you feel a bit better!!!!) ... especially as you caught it "early" and didn't keep driving it when it was over heating
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Response to Chris - 159 water pump failure

Thanks Chris - that does make me feel better!!
Do you happen to know what the failure is - have the blades fallen off the impeller? The reason for asking is that the main symptom at first was a non-working heater and yet no signs of the pump seized, i.e. no squealing or anything obvious, and it was only the motorway run and turning off to pick up some items on the way to Yorkshire last Sunday that overheating occurred. I had been watching the temp guage like a hawk.
For some reason we still have not got the car back from Wessex - they said an item was missing from the parts delivery and it should be ready some time this morning, so I may quiz them further if the collection is not too fraught.
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