“Do I need to change water pump with timing belt?”
This is a common question asked by drivers going to change their car’s timing chain. Well, mechanics often advise you to change the water pump along with the timing chain, especially if the timing chain has been bad for a long time before you decided to change it.
The water pump is part of the peripherals driven by the timing belt. So, there are higher chances that the water pump could be affected if the timing chain fails. Notwithstanding, it is not compulsory to change the water pump and timing chain simultaneously; it’s only a recommendation.
Relationship Between Timing Belt and Water Pump
The timing chain is a long belt-like chain used to connect the crankshaft to the camshafts; however, in between, the timing belt also connects and moves quite a number of pulleys, which includes the water pump. If the water pump fails, the timing chain would have to be removed before the failed water pump can be replaced.
So, the timing chain and the water pump seem to be working hand in hand, even though they carry out different functions; the timing chain is there to ensure synchronism of the crankshaft and camshaft movements, while the water pump is part of the cooling system – it helps to ensure that the engine runs in normal operating temperature and don’t overheat.
Both the water pump and timing chain have an estimated lifespan of about 60,000 – 100,000 miles, which means you should have them changed at specific intervals – even if they haven’t failed yet – to ensure your car’s engine keeps running optimally and efficiently.
Well, you may check your car’s manual to see the specific time you need to have these components changed.
Furthermore, if the timing belt cracks or breaks, the engine won’t run; similarly, if the water pump fails, the engine would overheat excessively, which could lead to timing belt failure or failure of another crucial component, and then again, the engine won’t work. So, you see, both components are pretty related and very important.
Do I Need To Change Water Pump With Timing Belt?
A lot of people would recommend you change the two at the same time, but this is not compulsory. If the water pump in your vehicle seems very good and doesn’t show any sign of failure, there’s practically no need to have it changed alongside the timing belt.
Another reason why most people advise changing the water pump and timing pump at the same time is to save future costs.
This is especially advised when the timing belt has been bad for a long time before the repair was to be initiated; hence, there are higher chances the water pump has been affected too, so replacing the two would save you future (labor) costs to replace only the water pump when it finally fails completely.
That said, changing the water pump and timing belt is not compulsory, but you should consider doing so if your car is already showing signs of a failing water pump – along with the bad timing belt symptoms.
You’d be spending roughly $1,000 – $1,500 to replace the timing chain and water pump at the same time; the cost of the parts should be around $1,200, while the rest is the labor cost. Instead of paying labor costs two times – probably within a short span – it is best to pay it once and fix the two components.
However, if your car uses a timing belt instead of a timing chain, the cost would be half what we estimated above. It is also important to note that the cost mentioned above is not standard; you may pay lesser or higher depending on various reasons.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Timing Chain the Same As Timing Belt?
Most modern cars use timing chains, but some cars are built with timing belts; whether your car comes with a timing chain or belt, the function is the same. The major difference is its lifespan; apparently, timing chains last longer than belts. Similarly, the cost of replacing timing chains is higher than what you’d pay to replace timing belts.
Can Water Pump Break Timing Belt?
Water pump seizure is a critical situation; depending on how the seizure occurred, the timing belt may be affected because it runs through the water pump to connect to other peripherals that make the engine run.
Can You Replace Water Pump Without Timing Chain?
Yes, you can. If the timing chain isn’t showing any signs of failure, you can just replace the failed water pump, and your vehicle’s engine will be running fine once again. Notwithstanding, it is advisable to replace both the pump and timing chain at the same time.
If you’re asking the question, “Do I need to change water pump with timing belt?” The answer is pretty simple – choice and situation. It is a “choice” if you choose the replace the two at the same time to save upfront labor costs, and it is a “situation” if you have to change the two because they are both in bad shape.