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5,402 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
yeah I figured that too- with the 4 cyls pump being attached to the Timing belt or something like that.
Thus her mentioning it was the V6 a 2nd time. Price didnt change.

I would think that a person manning the Service desk would be familiar with the 4 and 6's in a very popular model.

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9 Posts
... then a dealer charge for this job should be something like $300-$400?

That sounds too cheap to me. Betcha there's a "book minimum" of two hours labor - which would run the tab all the way up to $500+ (for the V6).


The ProDemand Mitchell guide for this vehicle has the Water Pump time to remove and replace set at 3.5 hours. This would be what the dealer uses.
Using their "average" labor rate puts this at almost $600. Maybe they quoted the OEM cost of the pump at $600?? ($600+$600=$1200)

Still, I second that this is a great how-to guide for those that are not afraid to turn a wrench!

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2011 Equinox 1LT V6 3.0L FWD 179k miles
4,632 Posts
I don't understand these "book minimum" labor charges.

If rbarrios, a non-professional, "home"/"shadetree"/"layman" mechanic (albeit, a very good one) says he could do this job in 1.5 to 2.0 hours (which I believe), then how is it that a professional mechanic, with all his tools right there at the ready (including hydraulic lifts, and power-everything), is given 3.5 hours to do the same job? The estimate is vehicle-specific, right?

Sorry, but that just looks like greedy dealership markup to me (yet again).

RockAuto has the AC Delco Water Pump for $70 (retail). What does the dealer get it for ... less than that, I'm sure. Let's call it $50. So OK ... you want to mark it up to $150 (which is criminal), but OK. Then two hours of labor at $150/hr (worst case). It's a $450-$500 job at the dealership, tops!

But in keeping with the typical dealership "reputation" ... just give the worst-case quote of $1200 (for the I-4) ... and what (?) ... see if you can get away with it? Or would the Service Manager put the stopper on that, ultimately bill the customer "only" $500, and tell him, "I saved you $700 today"?

You can't tell me the dealership doesn't know how to quote a lousy water pump job.
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Well written w/great pics of a "How To". Thanks.

This should be made a stickie for easy to find for others.. Do you do stickies here ?

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1,740 Posts
Alldata for my '16 says

Labor Information Skill Level Mfg. Warranty Standard
Water Pump B 3.2 4.5

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1 Posts
This should apply to the 3.0 also.
Doing my checks- I noticed a very light drop in the coolant level in the reservoir. I know what that means.
So I checked and sure enough I could see the signs of a slow leak.
I had my wife call a dealer. She told them this was for a V6 Equinox.
She tells me $1200, because its in a hard place to get to.

$1200!!! I yell... Tell them this is the V6.. not the 4. She repeated they said because its hard to get to.

I asked her to call a 2nd dealer... well call you back with the estimate.... they never did.

I found a video on youtube with little details. But enough info that I said- Im doing it myself. Have a long weekend in case I run into trouble.
Went out and bought a Gates water pump and belt. Also bought 2 bottles of Dexcool 50/50 premixed coolant.
Total in parts was $113.99.

1st picture shows 1:22. Last picture when cleaning up timestamp 5:22
4 hours.. though I had visitors come by.... chatted a bit.
My 8 yr old also helped. He took parts and cleaned them. I also took the time to clean up the area around the water pump.

If I did this with out the chit chat- and extra cleaning.. - probably 1.5 to 2 hrs.
93,529 miles on engine.

Signs of a leak. under car. (never saw drops in driveway).

Signs of coolant being flung by the pulley

I lifted vehicle and placed 2 jacktands on each side.
Then removed the pass side wheel.
Put down plastic/tarp.
Then removed a small plastic shield in the wheel well area.
I then use my spring clamp tool to loosen the clamp and slide off the lower radiator hose.
(I didnt even bother with the drain valve).
Coolant was clean/clear

I proceeded to disconnect the connectors on the TB and MAF
Removed engine cover. Air filter cover, air tube, and 2 fasteners and the lower part of the air box comes out.

I then loosened 3 bolts on the motor mount piece (I marked them 1, 2, 3) . Just so I could put them back in the same spot.
I then took my jack- and a piece of 2x6 and placed it under the oil pan- and lightly raised the engine. Just enough to take the weight off the motor mount.
I then undid the 2 large nuts on the black mount shown below.
This assembly then lifts up.
Once this is out of the way- there are 2 large bolts holding the aluminum brace to the engine. I also numbered these 1- 2- 3. For my sanity. The brace can then be removed.

Once the brace is out of the way, I loosened the 4 bolts on the water pump pulley-- while the belt was still on.
I then used a ratchet and pipe to move the tensioner to one side to give the belt some slack and remove the serpentine belt.
Note that on the tensioners pulley- you will have to bend/turn the belt to get it between the pulley/engine cover.
Note-- that you may have to test several ratchets... as some have thick heads- and wont fit between the frame and tensioner. I luckily have 3 ratchets and one fit. ( or use a tensioner/belt tool).

I then proceeded to clean up the area.
Then I loosened the water pump bolts.
Place another container under this area. When you remove the water pump more coolant will spill out.
Then proceed to clean what was left of the gasket material.
I used several paper towels to absorb coolant that kept coming out.
Once it stopped- thats when I installed the pump.

I then reinstalled the pump. Using the NEW bolts included with pump.
I believe these are called torque to yield bolts.
There was also a bulletin released. Says to tighten the bolts in a particular sequence- @ 89 IN/lbs.
then go back and repeat. Then go back and turn each bolt an additional 45 degrees.
I also then used a watering can to to wash down the pulleys. Get the coolant off of them. didnt want coolant residue on the pulleys. Cleaned up the area in general.

I then used my air compressor to help blow off and dry the area.

the sequence.

Before the belt came off- I took pictures of the belt routing.
I ended up googling the 3.6 LFW, and found a picture of the belt routing.

then reinstall the parts.
For this- I do not have torque specs on these bolts. I did it by 'feel'-- if you know what I mean.
I raised the engine a bit to get the parts to be very close together and bolt right up.

reattach the air box and the 2 plugs that were removed.

Reconnect the lower rad hose. Reatach the small plastic shield.
I then put wheel back on.
Lower vehicle

Pour coolant into the reservoir until it stops dropping.
I then removed everything from under car and made sure I didnt leave tools in bay.
Restarted car.
In my case- my fans came on HIGH.
I know thats the result of me removing those connectors.
While the engine ran, I connected my scanner and pulled 2 pending codes...
P0113- Intake air temp sensor 1 circuit high.
P2228- Barometric Pressure Circuit Low.

I cleared the codes. Restarted car. Fans were now off.
(Note that this also cleared all my Emissions readyness monitors. So if you you have a smog check due... youll have to wait till all tests have taken place).
Youll need an assortment of sockets. 10mm 18 mm. Some extensions too.
Sorry, I didnt write down which I used.
But they were all readily available in my tool set.

Great pics best tutorial I've come across for this thanks! I might just give it a shot now.

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Does anyone have the specs on the torque-to-yield bolts for the water pump? Or a part number of some kind? The replacement pump comes with a gasket but it's not clear whether the bolts are included. I'm having a lot of trouble finding out which ones to use.

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3,106 Posts
Does anyone have the specs on the torque-to-yield bolts for the water pump? Or a part number of some kind? The replacement pump comes with a gasket but it's not clear whether the bolts are included. I'm having a lot of trouble finding out which ones to use.
89 lbs in plus 45 degrees included in the 1st post with all the pics.
Also in the first post is the sequence to tighten the bolts.

The better quality water pumps include the bolts and gasket.
It's a special bolt so make sure you get the right torque and length, you will need six.
Try a larger auto parts store or dealer if you have to.
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Colt Hero posted these steps to refilling the cooling system.

Well, I just looked in the Helm manual for my 3.0L V6 (LFW), and there's nothing earth-shattering in there. I also have just the "surge tank" on mine ... no radiator cap. The Manual just says:

(NOTE: I've trimmed this procedure from the Helm Manual for conciseness):

1.) Remove the cap from the Surge Tank, then raise the vehicle

2.) Drain coolant out the Drain Cockk (NOTE: others prefer to pull the lower radiator hose for fear of breaking the plastic Drain Cockk). Collect the coolant in a large drain pan.

3.) Inspect the coolant ... if "discolored", then perform a flush, otherwise just continue (to refill)

4.) Reinstall Drain Cockk to 2 Nm (18 lb in) ... (or reattach radiator hose), then lower the vehicle

5.) Fill the Surge Tank with 50/50 DEX-COOL/Water mix until the level reaches the base of the Surge Tank

6.) Wait 30 seconds for level to stabilize, then continue filling until the level stabilizes for at least 2 minutes

7.) Idle the engine in PARK or NEUTRAL (with Parking Brake engaged)

8.) Continue slowly filling the Surge Tank until the level stabilizes at the base of the tank.

9.) Re-install the pressure cap on the Surge Tank

10.) Raise engine RPM to 2500rpm for 30-40 seconds

11.) Shut the engine OFF

12.) Allow engine to cool

13.) Remove pressure cap and repeat steps 5-11 until coolant level has completely stabilized within the Surge Tank

14.) Use a Coolant and Battery Fluid Tester ("J 26568") to test the concentration of engine coolant

15.) Top off the Surge Tank if necessary, and always do a final inspection for leaks.
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