Q: The dealer wants to change the timing belt and tensioner on my '04 Jetta. They also say the water pump should be replaced as well

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The dealer wants to change the timing belt and tensioner on my '04 Jetta. They also say the water pump should be replaced as well, not necessarily b/c it's bad, but because it should be done when the belt is replaced. Do you concur? Total cost is $1,300.

My car has 110000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hi and thank you for contacting YourMechanic. You are only required to change the water pump if it is leaking or if the bearing is going out. They may say this is preventative maintenance, but you could hold off on the service if it’s not absolutely necessary. However, by doing a water pump replacement with the timing belt, you would be saving labor costs down the road on the water pump, since it is removed anyway during a standard timing belt replacement.

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