Time limit for water pumps - andrew4
Does a water pump have to be replaced after a certain period of time? i.e. Are they prone to fail at some point?

The reason I say this is that my water pump acts as a tensioner for my timing belt, so if the pump fails then this could ruin my engine?
Time limit for water pumps - RogerL
Fit a reconditioned water pump whenever you change the cambelt. The pump will probably outlast the belt but you might as well do both at the same time, for one labour charge.
Time limit for water pumps - Caveman
How long is a piece of string? As RogerL suggests, change it when you change the cam belt.
Time limit for water pumps - Bilgewater
I remember my father having a cambelt break on starting his early 80's Ford Escort. He was lucky as it caused no damage to the engine. The local Ford dealer replaced the belt but not the water pump.
Two weeks later he was overtaking a truck when the engine started making a loud screaming noise there was a big bang and
he came to a halt in a cloud of smoke.
The water pump bearing had siezed, stripping the teeth from his lovely new cam belt.
Unfortunately he was not so lucky this time as the valves and pistons met each other at high speed with the usual expensive result.
Time limit for water pumps - andrew4
Bilgewater

Do you think that the new belt may of been tensioned more than the previous belt thus ruining the pump bearings?

Or was it just coincidence?
Time limit for water pumps - eMBe {P}
>> ..The local Ford dealer replaced the belt but not the water pump. Two weeks later he was overtaking a truck when the engine started making a loud screaming noise there was a big bang and
he came to a halt in a cloud of smoke. The water pump bearing had siezed, ...>>

This is more evidence for my file on bodged cambelt changes and resultant engine damage. See my comments at
www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=16956
Time limit for water pumps - Gazza
When should you change the belt if you have a chain-cam engine?
Time limit for water pumps - wd 40
if you've got a chain-cam enginge, you dont have a belt.

the clue is in CHAIN-cam

Time limit for water pumps - Dizzy {P}
I assume Gazza was referring to vee and polyvee belts, i.e. what we commonly call 'fanbelts', not timing belts. We hear a lot about changing timing belts but little about fanbelts even though the timely(!) replacement of these is also very important.

I usually inspect fanbelts at the normal engine service intervals and change them if they are showing signs of cracking or layer separation. If the belt is off the engine, turning it inside-out usually shows up any cracking quite clearly.

On engines without automatically tensioners, the belts could be getting close to failure when they start to need tightening due to stretch, even if they haven't cracked.
Time limit for water pumps - John F
If it works, don't mend it.

My old Passat GL5 water pump failed at 130,000 so I thought I might as well change the original cambelt which drove it - it looked as good as new.
Old Audi 100 water pump and cambelt still going strong at 145,000 when I sold it.
Current 94 Passat 2.0GL water pump [not driven by cambelt] failed at only 30,000. Replacement [and incidentally original cambelt] still going strong at 226,000.

A pump will usually give good notice of failure - whine, rattle or bit of a leak. Observe and inspect regularly.
Time limit for water pumps - Dizzy {P}
John F, this is a bit like ignoring the warning that smokers have only a one-in-three chance of an early death from their habit. I'd sooner play safe!

Likewise your assurance that a pump will "usually" give good notice of failure. I would replace "usually" with "sometimes". All too often the failure is sudden and catastrophic.
Time limit for water pumps - Dynamic Dave
If it works, don't mend it.


So you aren't a believer in preventitive maintenance then John?

1. I would sooner change the pump at the same time as the belt to avoid a possible repeat labour charge.
2. If the pump is changed at the same time as the belt and subsequently lets go within the warranty period, you'll get your engine fixed under that warranty as that component caused the damage to the head / valves / pistons.
3. Who wants to be stranded at the side of the road at the most inconvient time waiting for a breakdown truck to recover you.
Time limit for water pumps - John F
Dyn.Dave, I am a great believer in preventive maintenance, but to the best of my knowledge you cannot maintain a water pump.
I would feel very hacked off if I had changed it for a unit which would fail after 30,000m like mine did.

2.[as I have to buy my own car with my own money I rarely buy one still in the warranty period - depreciation these days is far more expensive than the occasional repair - and anyway, the warranty usually insists upon servicing at main dealerships at horrendous cost]
3. Has only happened once when I bypassed a fuel line rusty patch with a rubber hose from an old washing machine which was a good fit. Ho hum!
Time limit for water pumps - Dynamic Dave
JohnF,

I am not refering to the car's warranty. When you buy new parts, most of them will come with their own warranty. That's the one you claim on if failure occurs. If that failure also damages something else, then you also should be able to claim for that as well.
 

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