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Q: I have a leak in the coolant system that I have narrowed to I believe is the water inlet tube off of the lower radiator hose.

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The timing belt and water pump were replaced within the year. I have had the engine mount replaced as well. The shop that has done all of the work on the car said that the leak was the radiator, and the thermostat housing leaking. I knew of the thermostat housing leaking a little but had never seen any signs of the radiator leaking, so I decided to replace these myself. The radiator had no issues, but I went on and replaced it anyway as well as the lower and upper radiator hoses, thermostat and filler neck. The leak drips down from the area of the water pump, behind the timing belt cover. I have not pulled the radiator again to get a good look at the inlet water tube to determine if this is the problem. Before I do, would replacing the inlet water tube require pulling the timing belt and cover just as the water pump does?

My car has 130 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

First off, I would say it would be best to pressure test the cooling system to verify where the coolant is coming from. With the complexity of repairs to the cooling system on this vehicle, it may be worth the time spent to pressure test the system before tackling the replacement. Now then, as far as replacing the o-ring seal on the water pump inlet tube, it should really only require the removal of the bypass hose, lower radiator hose, and the two (or three, depending on manufacturing changes) mounting bolts that hold the inlet tube to the block. I personally would go ahead and replace the tube while I was there, instead of just the o-ring. Granted, this doesn’t mention what it will take to get down to the inlet pipe, but this is all it should take once you have access to it. If this is something that you feel you could use a hand with, consult with a certified mechanic, like those available at YourMechanic.com.

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