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Q: Water Pump

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Went to a local mechanic because my car was over heating, even when driven a short distance. They replaced my radiator, a thermometer and gasket all new parts. Then proceeded to say my water was also leaking that I would need a new timing belt and a new water pump. Is it safe to drive?? I need a second opinion.

My car has 15000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: If the overheating problem was not resolved...

If the overheating problem was not resolved with the new radiator and thermostat then it is not safe to drive the car simply because overheating will damage the engine. If, however, the overheating problem was resolved with the installation of a new radiator and new thermostat, whether it is safe to drive it depends on how bad the leak at the water pump is. Water pumps will "weep" to some limited extent in normal operation but if the leak becomes significant, it's time to replace the pump. So, the question may be how soon do you have to replace the water pump and that just depends on how significant the "weeping" from the pump weep hole is. The reason the timing belt was mentioned is because that belt often drives the water pump pulley and/or is in the vicinity of the pump so it is convenient to replace the belt while that area of the engine is opened up for service anyway. It's sort of cheap insurance because timing belts do not last forever. If you would like a second opinion as to the condition of the water pump and the necessity of changing the timing belt, YourMechanic can dispatch a certified professional to conduct an inspection.

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