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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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  Jim Grant's Tech TipsJim Grant's Tech Tips
Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

Water Pump and Timing Belt?

Q: I just took my car to Pep Boys and they just found a leak in my water pump. I don't really think that it just happened because I just had it in the shop about two weeks ago. But they told me that to replace the water pump, that I "HAVE" to replace the timing belt and all this other stuff with new parts. I want to know if that is true. Also what can I do until I gather enough money to repair the car?

A: What can you do until you gather enough money? Avoid driving the vehicle. Overheating an engine is a sure fire way to empty the check book. You did not mention what type of vehicle you own so it is not easy to tell you what you can and cannot get away with. It is not uncommon on today's vehicles for the water pump to be driven by the timing belt. To service the water pump on a vehicle with this type of configuration requires removing the timing belt. As my Grandfather use to say you're on the edge of ruining a nickel pocket knife to shave a penny off a (can't print that part). You do not have to replace the timing belt when this work is being done. But all you're saving is the cost of the timing belt. All the labor money is tied up in replacing the water pump. There are also some oil seals that are ideally serviced while the timing belt is off as well. Many manufacturers have recommended timing belt service intervals between 60k and 90k. If your timing belt has that kind of mileage on it do yourself a favor and have it replaced while the water pump is being serviced. If the timing belt has low mileage, then don't replace it if monies are tight. The bottom line? You call the shots, it's your car and your money. If all you want is a water pump, and understand fully the possible additional costs you may face later by not performing the suggested repairs, just do the water pump.

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