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Q: Loud bang and engine shuts off

asked by on

When headed home, driving around 35 mph in the city, there was a loud bang and my car’s engine shut off. I put the car in neutral and rolled to the side of the street. After getting it to the repair shop, I found out that the water pump had fallen apart and that action had destroyed the timing belt and the engine head. It was so fortunate that I had been driving at a slower speed when it happened. There are a lot of reports online about this make/model/year having this trouble and causing catastrophic engine failure, but VW denies knowing about this widespread problem. The dealership told me that no new part would replace the water pump and that they were putting the same water pump back into my car. They said they replaced the engine head, belt, misc. bolts, etc. I am totally concerned that this car is not safe to drive any more. Please advise me as to what I should do in order to get my car fixed properly and safely.

A: Hello. If the dealership replaced the head,...

Hello. If the dealership replaced the head, belt, and associated components, the vehicle should be safe to drive. Water pump failures are actually a common occurrence on that vehicle, due to the original water pump pulleys being manufactured out of plastic. Newer designs are available that come with a metal pulley to avoid this issue. I would discuss the issue with Volkswagen, especially if the vehicle is still under warranty. If they cannot help you, I would recommend at least [having the water pump replaced](https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/water-pump-replacement] with an updated design by a certified technician from YourMechanic, in order to avoid this issue from occurring again.

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