Q: Engine lost power and EPC light came on

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While headed to work and on the interstate, I was driving around 70 mph when my car’s engine lost power suddenly and the EPC light came on. I pulled to the shoulder of the interstate since I could not get the engine to respond at all. Then I called roadside assistance and my car was towed to the dealership. I was told that the water pump had seized and had seriously damaged the engine. The problem was caused by the water pump pulley. They let me see the engine and there was a huge hole in the side of it. They would have to order new piston heads, rods, and other parts, plus they realized that repairing or rebuilding the engine would not work. The mechanic working on my car said the engine would have to be replaced and one was ordered. I have researched and this is a very common problem with this make/model. My greatest concern is that even with a new engine, this will happen again. What can you tell me that I should look into in order to find the safest fix for this?

Hello. If the dealership follows the proper rebuild procedures there should be no real cause for concern, however there are a few things you can do to protect yourself from a repeat failure. Primarily, you can choose to have the water pump replaced with an updated design. 2012 Jettas, as well as a few other models, are notorious for water pump failures due to their use of a plastic impeller. The engine can be retrofitted with an updated design that uses a metal impeller that is stronger, and therefore less susceptible to a similar failure. I would recommend having the water pump replaced with an updated version by a certified technician from YourMechanic, if that was not done when the engine was rebuilt.

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