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Old 09-16-2009, 09:31 PM   #1
doox00
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2003 VUE 3.0L
Default 2003 V6 2WD Water Pump

Curious if its a relatively easy job to replace the water pump on a 2003 Vue V6? Car has 67k miles on it and the water pump as just started leaking. Also need to replace the drivers side front wheel bearing as that started to go out just a couple days before the water pump leak, ack!
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Old 09-16-2009, 10:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2003 V6 2WD Water Pump

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Originally Posted by doox00 View Post
Curious if its a relatively easy job to replace the water pump on a 2003 Vue V6? Car has 67k miles on it and the water pump as just started leaking. Also need to replace the drivers side front wheel bearing as that started to go out just a couple days before the water pump leak, ack!
Others - with practical experience on this engine - are your best bet for quality assistance. However, if you would also like to have repair manual instructions - PM an email address and I'll send to you.
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2003 V6 2WD Water Pump

Bad timing for your water pump - usually they will recommend replacing it at the 100,000 mile service/timing belt replacement, because you have to take a lot of stuff off to get to it. I guess you have to start thinking about what you're going to do with the VUE or what you're going to be driving two years from now. In other words, if you're getting rid of it in a year or so, just fix the water pump. If you're keeping it, do the timing belt, accessories belt, water pump and thermostat at the same time. I'm keeping mine, so that's what I'd do.
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2003 V6 2WD Water Pump

yeah we will be keeping it, just bought it 3 or 4 months ago. I have a friend who is a mechanic.. think I will have to pick up some beer and parts and make a night of it
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Old 09-17-2009, 02:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2003 V6 2WD Water Pump

The water pump is not that hard of a job. While you would replace it while replacing the timing belt, it's no great loss doing it as a separate job. Takes about 1.5 hours.

You can do it without the service manual since it's mostly intuitive but the manual certainly helps. You have to remove the timing belt cover so in essence you have to remove everything that allows you to remove the cover. Have a jack under the engine so you can pull the upper engine mount to allow the belt to be removed. The accessory belt tensioner (the pulley nearest the firewall) can be a little tricky. You'll want to remove one bolt on that and run the other bolt until it's almost out. This will allow you to pivot the tensioner out of the way of the cover. The other pulley, the idler, is just popping the plastic cap off and removing the axle bolt. You have to remove the crank pulley. Not much to this other than removing all the torx bolts holding it on. Once you have all the stuff blocking access to the cover, you remove the bolts holding the cover and there you have it. The pump is fairly easy to get to but may take a little persuasion to knock off the block.

There is no need to replace the thermostat unless you are throwing a P0128 code. It shares no common parts for removal (there's nothing you remove for the pump replacement that you have to remove for a t-stat replacement or that makes one or the other easier to do) and doing the thermostat is three to five hour job on this engine. You also don't need to replace the timing belt as long as your pump hasn't been leaking a lot or over a long period of time.
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Old 09-17-2009, 04:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2003 V6 2WD Water Pump

Quote:
Originally Posted by doox00 View Post
Curious if its a relatively easy job to replace the water pump on a 2003 Vue V6? Car has 67k miles on it and the water pump as just started leaking. Also need to replace the drivers side front wheel bearing as that started to go out just a couple days before the water pump leak, ack!
The waterpump on my 03 V6 went out at 72,000 miles. I had the dealer replace it. It was a $400 job, with most being the labor to get to the pump. (Have to take off the intake manifold).

One problem a poster alerted me about was the danger of prolonged exposure of the antifreeze (leaking from the pump) onto the timing belt. The antifreeze can cause degradation of the "rubber" in the belt. That's bad...

I caught mine early. At the 100K service I had the tech show me the timing belt. It was worn from use, but no problems from the antifreeze.

So, I guess prolonged exposure would cause a problem. If you have caught it early, you are OK.

If you do elect to jump into the engine, you may wish to consider changing the belt anyway. You've got 8 years on your 02 belt. Since you will have the whole thing apart, you would have all the access you'd need.

Just HMO.
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2003 V6 2WD Water Pump

It started leaking two days ago, if its not much more trouble then I plan on changing the timing belt as well. Are there any idlers or tensioners that should be replaced also? I had my vw passat tb job done a few months ago, with that it was a tensioner, couple idlers, water pump, tstat, cam seals, belts etc to do a complete job on that one.
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: 2003 V6 2WD Water Pump

Quote:
Originally Posted by VTchemist View Post
One problem a poster alerted me about was the danger of prolonged exposure of the antifreeze (leaking from the pump) onto the timing belt. The antifreeze can cause degradation of the "rubber" in the belt. That's bad...

So, I guess prolonged exposure would cause a problem. If you have caught it early, you are OK.
The service manual completely agrees with VTchemist ... an extract follows:

NOTE: When a vehicle is diagnosed to have coolant leaking inside the timing belt cover, a visual inspection of the timing belt should be completed. If there is any indication that coolant has leaked onto the timing belt (i.e. wetness, staining, etc.), the timing belt should be replaced. When replacing the water pump, coolant will be spilled onto the timing belt. Replacement of the timing belt due to coolant spillage on the belt is not necessary.
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