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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How long should it take to replace the water pump. My mechanic claims that it took 2 guys 3 hours to replace it. I know that he is full of sh*t, however I need to know how long it should take so I can make a legit arguement.
 

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Yeah, one turning a wrench and one holding the coffee cup <LOL>. I don't know why some shops think Saab owners look like a wallet with legs.

Call a Tires Plus, assuming that chain is in NY, or any other national chain and ask. Tires Plus will give give you labor and material separately over the phone for things like water pump, alternator, etc. directly from their quote computer. I have used their quotes in the past to decide what to tackle myself.

My local Saab dealer charges around $500 for a water pump on a 1995-98 900SE, parts and labor, and dealers tend not to be a bargain. I think that would make it around 3 hrs labor plus the part.
 

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Grover said:
How long should it take to replace the water pump. My mechanic claims that it took 2 guys 3 hours to replace it. I know that he is full of sh*t, however I need to know how long it should take so I can make a legit argument.
The possibility exists that you need to find a mechanic who will treat you with respect, more than just a cash-cow...

I would not rate the accessibility of components as good in the Saab 900ng; there is simply too much crammed into too small a space..But, IMO, the Honda Accord is worse...
I'll bet an experienced man can do this in less than two hours - and those are the ones worth the 50% commission of todays high flat rate of 50 to 100 dollars per hour..
Bear in mind, however that many coolant hoses should also be changed at the same time.
Also that, possibly the pulleys and multi-use (serpentine) belts should also be renewed at the same time.
So we have gone from a $250 arduous task to a $500 juicy job. And, as an ex-commission mechanic, I lick my chops at this one; plus, the customer saves some money...
 

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Six hours does sound kind of steep, but it is also true theat the water pump is pretty deeply burried. I could imagine that if they hadn't done this before and didn't look up the directions that it could have taken the two of them 3 hrs. They would need to drain (and eventually refill) the antifreeze which could take half an hour or so. They might have had to remove the smog pump or the ps pump or whatever else is in the way. To be sure 6 hours is a long time, but maybe they're just inept and not corrupt?
 

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This is such a great example of being taken advantage off that I called Tires Plus to make sure I was not misleading anyone... 1.1 hours on a 4-cyl 2.0 SET 900. (I don't advocate that particular chain, I just know they give out labor hours easily).

To get to it, the air box and large hose has to come off. Then the power steering pump is unbolted, but not disconnected. Then the ps pump bracket. The small U-shaped hose is normally replaced at the same time, so are the two o-rings at the pipe adapter, and of course the main pump seal. Lower rad hose if needed. Done. Screwdriver, ratchet, a few sockets. No special tools, no Tech II computer. One trip to the little mechanics room while the coolant is draining.
 

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mine too

I need to replace my leaky pump too. I'm going to do it myself. I think Eeuroparts has the best prices. Anywhere else I should look? Also are there any tricks to the job? It looks easy enough.
 

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JMarkert said:
Wow, so if they are inflating the estimate by so much then they are both inept AND corrupt.
JMarket, he's talking about the NYC area...costs of things in the NYC area are INSANE. Most families need 2 or 3 incomes just to get by. I know because I was born and raised there and moved South 13 years ago. :cheesy:
Grover, if you have another daily driver, do the job yourself. You'll not only save money but get a feeling of satisfaction.
 

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JMarket, he's talking about the NYC area...costs of things in the NYC area are INSANE.
Sure, I know. I don't admit it on this list much, but I very very briefly during a very bleak and dark period of my life lived inNew Jersey . I suppose they could inflate the estimated time, but wouldn't they just inflate the hourly rate instead?
 

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richsurf said:
I need to replace my leaky pump too. I'm going to do it myself. I think Eeuroparts has the best prices. Anywhere else I should look? Also are there any tricks to the job? It looks easy enough.
No tricks, just plumbing. The leaks are often from the o-rings, not the pump itself, but by the time you have the whole mess out, you may as well do the pump. Use vaseline on the o-rings going back in, you don't want to damage them. You may have to loosen and move one of the hard coolant pipes.

Takes a bit of wrestling to move the p/s pump out of the way. The pump bolts don't come out easy, but don't overtorque them going back in. I know I tightened mine too much, probably should have used blue locktite instead. Supposed to be only 15 ft-lb according to the Haynes manual.
 

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I would hesitate to go with someone quoting 1.1 hrs. just like I would someone doing it in 6. When I changed mine out, I was looking at Haynes. It took me 4 hrs to do, running into various problems with removing bolts, re-running the belt, getting the ps pump on, making sure the o-rings were seated correctly. This 4 hrs was removal, replacement, then partial removal again after spotting an incorrectly seated o-ring, and replacement again.


Best thing to do though IS do it yourself. The pump itself is CHEAP. Just be careful removing the hard pipe from the pump AND with the pump to engine block adaptor.
 

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Hey, I just replaced the water pump on the Vig a week or so ago.

Saab Dealer with 94/hr rate.

3 hours (though the warranty company only allowed for 2.1 because .9 hours were 'diagnosis' even though I had already been to the dealer to have it diagnosed for .5 hrs two days earlier)

$175 bucks for the pump.

IIRC, the cost was somewhere between 350 and 400 bucks for that. Which doesnt make sense.. it should have been more like 450 bucks. Oh well, I guess they forgot to mess me over this time. I aint gonna remind them.
 

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With the use of blue locktight (Lock-Tite), you may never be able to remove the WP screws again. The problem is not loose screws, it is overly tight and corroded fasteners, and that is the reason for torque figures and screwdrivers..

Some dealers (Honda of York for one), really cheat on these labor times.They simply make it a separate time for each task - 0.3 for that little U hose, then another 0.5 to renew the lost coolant, then the 1.1 to change the WP itself, 0.5 to move components out of the way, on and on - this does add up..
 

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bkrell said:
I would hesitate to go with someone quoting 1.1 hrs. just like I would someone doing it in 6.
Agreed. Tires Plus mechanics are on piece work, does not mean they can stay on schedule for every job. They don't have to drain and fill coolant the old-fashioned way, either.
 

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earthworm said:
With the use of blue locktight (Lock-Tite), you may never be able to remove the WP screws again. The problem is not loose screws, it is overly tight and corroded fasteners, and that is the reason for torque figures and screwdrivers..
Oops, I meant blue loctite on the two mounting bolts on the p/s pump, especially the long one which I think I overtorqued trying to get it tight. 15 lbs isn't much with a 3/8 ratchet... The long bolt has the threads at one end, bushing on the other. I can't say what the threadlocker originally was, but I am guessing blue.
 

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I thought I wrote up my replacement.
it's REALLY easy.

remove serp. belt.
Unbolt p/s pump AND bracket as one piece from the motor.
(the trick is to leave the brakcet and pump as one piece)
push them to the side
remove the airbox, and the box-to-turbo pipe.

you should be looking directly @ the pump.
(by now you should have drained the coolant, if you haven't and can make a mess, just remove the big hose off the pump and it'll drain almost all of the coolant.

Remove the other spring-clips and the "U" hose.

there are 3 bolts that hold the pump to the block. I forget, but they're either 13, 14, or 15mm. remove them.
if you can get to it, there's a small 6 or 8mm screw on the side that holds a pipe to the pump. remove it as well.
now, go to the battery-side of the motor, and remove the couple bolts that hold the coolant pipe to the corner of the block.


Now, just pull the pump out, towards the radiator. it should just pop out with a little pull. The little pipe usually seperates itself, too.

You will need a torx bit to seperate the waterpump into two halves.
I used the tool-kit torx-driver. when you seperate the halves, just use a gasket scraper, or razor to clean off the old gasket. re-apply the new gasket, using a THIN layer of ultra-grey on each side.. you can usually do one blob of RTV, and spread it thin with your finger (Assuming it's clean)
re-assemble the pump to let the gasket and RTV adhere/cure.

The last thing you have to do is seperate the neck of the pump that goes into the block. it doesn't look it, but it's actually two pieces.
When you seperate it, you'll find the 3rd o-ring you have to replace.
then pop it back together.

That's it.

re-install in reverse order. the pump might take some wiggling to get it back in correctly.

I like to use worm-clamps instead of the spring-clips, it just makes it so much easier. make sure you connect the little side-pipe and tighten down the 8mm bolt.
 

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I just had mine done...$79 bucks for the pump, hour and half for the labor ($ 90), so less than $200 with the tip, cheap and good mechanic, coudnt be happier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
False Alarm!! Even though he told me 2 guys for 3 hours yesterday I must sheepishly admit that when I came in today to pick up the car (had brakes done also), he ended up charging me a very reasonable price without any need for arguement. In his defense I must also add he allows me to purchase and supply all my parts saving me BIG money. Anyway, my total bill for labor, fluids and tax was $200. Obviously plus my cost of $75 for the water pump. So a total bill of $275 all inclusive for a new water pump aint to shabby.
 

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Yeah, but you know what? Now that we've all picked this over in detail, nobody who reads this is likely to have an issue with being overcharged, and that's if they don't do it themselves.

Happy Friday.

T
 

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Where did you get the new gasket and o-rings? Saab dealer doesn't sell them apart. They only sell the whole waterpump.
 
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