Although the Vauxhall Zafira II was based on the contemporary Astra platform, it is important to be aware that there are three different versions of wheel bearing kit for the front axle.
The 1.9 CDTI 150bhp and 2.0i Turbo 240bhp versions use a heavy-duty bearing. Both of these engines are also available with lower power outputs, but these, along with all other engine variations, use the standard bearing options, which are dependent on chassis number.
It is important therefore to confirm which bearing kit is required for the vehicle before ordering.
During an oil change, it is important to use high quality filters such as those in the Borg & Beck range that utilise the correct filtration media and feature other necessary requirements such as anti-drain back valves, which prevent the oil draining away from the pickup and therefore ensure the engine is not starved of lubricant on start-up.
The 1.7TD-powered versions use an Isuzu derived engine, which has slight differences on the water pump shaft length. It is a similar story with the 1.9TD engines as these have slight differences on the pulley height.
On these units, the timing belt also drives the water pump and it is not uncommon for pump failure, generally caused by bearing seizure, to derail the belt and severely damage the engine.
It is therefore recommended that these engines have their belts, tensioners, pulleys and water pumps replaced before they are four years old or by 50,000 miles.
There are however sometimes warning signs that the pump is about to fail. As the pump is driven by the smooth ‘back’ of the belt, the driver may be able to hear a slight squeal as the belt ‘slips’ against the pulley as it begins to seize. If the owner sees the engine temperature raising and hears this squeal they should pull over immediately and switch off the engine before any damage is done.