Why does the location of the water pump affect the repair cost?

Image of a mechanic working on a water pump - Auto Repair Service in Bedford PA

My water pump went out and it cost me a lot more to replace it than ones I’ve had replaced on other cars. Max, my technician at Townhill Auto Service in Bedford PA said it’s because of where it’s located. Why does that make such a significant difference in the cost?

Town Hill Auto Sales and Service in Bedford’s Answer:

Some water pumps are driven by the serpentine belt and are bolted on out in the open with the alternator and air compressor. Replacing this type of pump is as simple as removing a couple of bolts and bolting a new pump in. Other water pumps are driven by the timing belt. These water pumps take a lot of labor to access and replace. I suspect your current vehicle has a water pump that is driven by the timing belt.
Water pumps are devices that circulate engine coolant/antifreeze around the engine and out to the radiator. Like any mechanical device, they eventually wear out. Although having a cooling system service done on schedule at Town Hill Auto Service in Bedford PA will extend the life of your water pump and its seals and gaskets – it will eventually fail and need to be replaced.

The water pumps that are driven by the timing belt (the belt that controls when your engine intake and exhaust valves open) are attached directly to the engine block. The timing belt system has protective cover. The serpentine belt and all the accessories are located over the timing belt cover. So getting to the water pump requires your technician to remove a lot of parts – which then need to be replaced.

Is there a way I can prevent problems to help save money in the future?

When the water pump must be replaced, it is a good idea for to go ahead and also replace the timing belt, timing belt tensioner and idler pulleys. There are a couple of reasons for this:
  • The timing belt may have been contaminated by leaking coolant;
  • There is a schedule for replacing your timing belt and you might as well make the modest additional added expenditure while everything is taken apart to avoid the same labor cost down the road.
By the way, the reverse is true as well: When you are replacing your timing belt on schedule go ahead and replace the water pump at the same time. It would be a shame to make the investment on one of these replacements only to have to do it all over again in a few months because the other part needs replacement. Do them at the same time and start the clock over for both.
Did you know that all of the service professionals at Townhill Auto service in Bedford PA are ASE Master certified mechanics? These dealer trained technicians really know their cars. Certified in all makes and models these professionals can easily diagnose and repair anything; from the smallest leak to a major repair. Back that with being a Napa Certified Service Center you can have peace in mind that every repair uses the highest quality parts with industry-leading warranties.
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