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Old 11-30-2007, 01:27 AM   #1
SaturnManiac
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Default How long do I have on my water pump?

About how long do you think I could get by on my water pump that I'm pretty sure is failing. I'm having weird noises coming from under the hood. And when I crank my car it is making a water sucking/splashing noise. So, I'm pretty sure it's the water pump. Haven't seen any visible leaks, but I have had to add coolant to my reservoir a couple of times already....maybe once every couple of weeks or something, whenever the low coolant light comes on. It just started making the weird noises this week, yesterday or day before, so that's when I figured what was causing my coolant to go.

How like can I ride this out til I can fix it?

Haven't had any overheating, and everyone knows I wouldn't let that happen to Sexy

...
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If you're a car begging for your life, wouldn't you want someone to add fluids?

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Old 11-30-2007, 01:33 AM   #2
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Default Re: How long do I have on my water pump?

Honestly i think id rather get it done sooner than later. its $40 at Advanced auto, and doesnt take long to put it in at all. Its getting to be winter out now, and i know i wouldnt wanna have to turn the car off or risk the overheating and all the issues that come along with it

...
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: How long do I have on my water pump?

Or worse complete failure on the highway. Leaks can be lived with for a short period as long as coolant level is maintained, noise is the sign of imminent failure, change her out quick.

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Old 11-30-2007, 07:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: How long do I have on my water pump?

Whats this noise that they make? Never heard it.

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Old 11-30-2007, 07:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: How long do I have on my water pump?

If you are confident it is the pump, replace it as soon as you can. You can't predict how long it will last once it starts to go. My '95's water pump went from no obvious leak (i.e., no puddle under the car or obvious new noises) to gushing 2 quarts per mile around the bearing as I tried to limp home in a matter of 6 miles. Other have gone for days with a minor leak and no problem. But a tow is no fun, even if covered by your insurance or an auto club membership.

Check the pump carefully (from the passenger side wheel well) for evidence of a drip. Maybe remove the belt and feel for play in the shaft. With the weekend coming, Saturday might be a good day to do the deed.

You pays your money and takes your chances.

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Old 11-30-2007, 12:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: How long do I have on my water pump?

I'd like to fix it myself, but asking my dad to borrow the garage or his tools, I'll have to hear him whine for hours.

I know they aren't that expensive, unless you buy it from Saturn and have them do it. I wonder how much they would even charge.

Well, I have to wait regardless, if I get stranded, oh well, I have to have time, money isn't really an issue here.

Then when I tell my dad, he's gonna be like he always is "you broke something again."...LOL...I didn't break anything, LOL.

...
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Old 11-30-2007, 01:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: How long do I have on my water pump?

The water pump isn't hard to replace. Just a pain in the butt to get to through the wheelwell. It's at the mid bottom of the Serpentine Belt Route and is held in with 10MM? or 14MM? bolts. Can't remember at the moment.

New one cost me $75 from the dealer in 2006. The hardest part is getting the Serpentine Belt back on, because you have to pull back on the Belt Tensioner to get it routed (at least I had to). I had one arm going through the top of engine bay,and my right arm going through the wheelwell to pull back on the tensioiner to get the Serp Belt in place after I had replaced the Water Pump. You almost have to be a contorsionist...

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Old 11-30-2007, 01:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: How long do I have on my water pump?

10mm bolts. Need something to hold the pulley still so you can take those 3 off...then you get to work on the 6-8 that hold the pump in. Block of wood works good, even better if you've got a helper. The paper that came with mine mentioned painting the mating surfaces so they don't rust together, which I did, but as long as you've got the block of wood there I wouldn't worry about it...

My friend's water pump went from a small leak (drops here and there) to coolant being flung everywhere withing ~100-200 miles, '97 SL1. This was at the same time the driver side of the radiator split so the miles estimate may be off.

Oh, I paid $30 for a new NAPA pump, my friend paid $18 + ~$10 core for a reman NAPA pump.

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Old 11-30-2007, 03:15 PM   #9
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Default Re: How long do I have on my water pump?

A splashing sound? That wouldn't have anything to do with the water pump.

Sounds like you have bearings going on something. It might be the water pump, but it also might be the alternator or tensioner pulley or A/C compressor.

I think you need to investigate further before you replace the water pump, and maybe not fix your problem.

-Bob C.

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Old 11-30-2007, 10:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: How long do I have on my water pump?

There have been several posts by people complaining of sounds like running/splashing water and none of them were the water pump. I agree with bobc455 a little more diagnosis is in order. I seem to remember one of them solved the problem by draining the coolant and refilling it with the car jacked up in the front.

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Old 12-01-2007, 01:15 AM   #11
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Default Re: How long do I have on my water pump?

the water pump on my 94 SL2 went out about the same mileage as Sexy has now, but I don't recall it making any noise at all, just coolant all over. Fortunately, that happened in the driveway. Whew! I have had that sound of water gushing/gurgling, but turned out to be air in the system, and it was in the upper radiator hose. Weird. Guess the air hit there and gurgled. Had it happen just the other day when I replaced the radiator, and I had pushed on the hose to try and get it out of the way to get to the transmission line. Cap was off and it made that noise as I 'pushed' the coolant around. Saturn told me to take the cap off and run the car to warmed up (fan just on) to bleed the system, so maybe try that? You'll see/hear it burp if there's air in there. Is the light coming on at all, even for a moment, when it's warmed up? Mine did with that air in there, even tho the level looked fine.
Get a hose or something and use it like a 'stethoscope' to see if the pump is making that noise?
Oh, and get your dad to help with that serpentine belt, he'll either shut up or blow a gasket. lol I hate that thing!

...
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Old 12-01-2007, 03:11 PM   #12
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Default Re: How long do I have on my water pump?

I just thought of something, and I really hope it's not my water pump, I haven't seen any coolant leaks, just disappearing.

I tried to flush my coolant and it didn't take as much coolant as it should've, so I'm thinking maybe that noise was air pockets coming out, and my coolant got lower because the air came out, and needed coolant. I'm seriously hoping this is the case, even though I flushed it back in September, but who knows. Sexy's weird as hell sometimes. I love him but sometimes I just want to fight him and whoop his @$$, LOL. He'll do the strangest stuff and it'll just go away and you'll be like WTF. Maybe he likes seeing me make strange faces when he does the weird crap, LOL.

...
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If you're a car begging for your life, wouldn't you want someone to add fluids?

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Old 12-01-2007, 04:22 PM   #13
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Default Re: How long do I have on my water pump?

Yep, same thing happened to me, so hopefully that's all that's wrong with Sexy. My ex had put the water pump in mine and refilled the coolant, but never started the car to circulate it and get the air out. I assumed he had. Later on, I kept getting the light flash, but the level was up. One time, it almost overheated on me! In worse traffic and a hotter day, it didn't, and I was confused. Finally he told me he never warmed it up with the cap off <rolls eyes>. I actually ended up draining all the coolant and refilling, and I was short some coolant. As it warms up, you can actually see it burp a time or two in the tank if there's air. The lower hose is down near the pump, so it could be hard to tell where it's really coming from, too.
I'll park mine at Pull A Part, get out and point. "You do NOT wanna go in there! Trust me!" It runs home better. lol

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Old 12-01-2007, 06:25 PM   #14
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Default Re: How long do I have on my water pump?

Usually when there's a water pump failure caused by the bearings, you will hear a "rumbling" or "grinding" sound.

You can buy one of those Chinese water pumps for about $20 from A1 Cardone.

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Old 12-01-2007, 07:36 PM   #15
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Default Re: How long do I have on my water pump?

I just replaced the waterpump on the '99 today, and its been about a month since it first started losing coolant. It took a couple weeks to get to the point where adding coolant once a week wasn't keeping up with the dripping, and then it got progressively worse and was clearly wet all the time behind the pulley. Hopefully you will find out yours is just air in the system and not a leak, but if you do end up having to change the pump, its not nearly as tough to get at as I thought it might be. The worst part of the job was getting the pulley bolts loose, well, that and working in the cold snowy driveway.

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Old 12-01-2007, 07:40 PM   #16
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Default Re: How long do I have on my water pump?

It sounds like you may have found the problem, air being in the system. However it wouldn't hurt to pull the serp belt and feel the pullies just to make sure. I just did my water pump ($36 Napa) 2 weeks ago, 94K. Not too bad of a job, however that contorsionist stuff is true. I ended up doing the whole job from the top, I moved the AC compressor to the side, it gave me a lot more room. Then I flushed the system 3 times to clean it out really good. I got lucky, it sealed first try and no air in the system.

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Old 12-05-2007, 02:28 AM   #17
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Default Re: How long do I have on my water pump?

Quote:
Originally Posted by teenytaurus View Post
I'll park mine at Pull A Part, get out and point. "You do NOT wanna go in there! Trust me!" It runs home better. lol
Don't think I wanna try that with Sexy, I've put him through enough, don't want turn him into Christine. I'm supposed to protect him from abuse, not abuse him like everyone else, LOL. I find being nice works with him, like no one has ever said anything nice to him, LOL...but I know the feeling, I've never really been complimented much either, my whole life growing up was what I didn't do right and got yelled at for everything, occasionally my mom would compliment me, but she'd still find reasons to bring out the bad. Me and Sexy could relate on having a crappy life before we met each other, LOL...come to think of it, we could relate on a lot of things.

He's been inside the junkyard before and seen wrecked cars and Saturns before...cause the one yard we went to wasn't a pick and pull and the driveway down to the office you had to see some of the cars and the Saturns happened to be right there at the entrance. He's also been parked at a pick and pull before...well on the other side, not near where the junked cars were. Funny thing is those two times was my friend looking for parts, not me, LOL.

I think my friend even said something about him belonging in a place like that one of the two times I took him to the junkyard, and I got mad and wanted to hit my friend upside the head, LOL.

...
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R.I.P. - My 2000 Saturn SL2, "Sexy" - 11/24/99-8/05/08

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Old 12-07-2007, 04:05 PM   #18
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Default Re: How long do I have on my water pump?

Sexy is at Saturn right now getting his water pump fixed along with some other problems.

Will be ready tomorrow.

Being without a car sucks, especially being without Sexy, LOL.

...
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If you're a car begging for your life, wouldn't you want someone to add fluids?

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Old 12-07-2007, 06:17 PM   #19
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Default Re: How long do I have on my water pump?

I've never did a R&R on my water pump. But, from the posts here, it is pretty straightforward to do so. I was wondering why u didn't give it a try?

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Old 12-07-2007, 09:45 PM   #20
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Default Re: How long do I have on my water pump?

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I've never did a R&R on my water pump. But, from the posts here, it is pretty straightforward to do so. I was wondering why u didn't give it a try?
Well if I had jackstands and a jack, I might've been able to. But I don't really have much time to do so. My car needed other things done, and since I have coupons for Saturn I figured why the heck not. I also don't have any of my own tools, or very few, or really a place to do it. Of course, I'd rather do it myself, but this is just more convenient. I needed roughly 6-7 hours worth of work done, and after that I'll still need more. Fixing him up one thing at a time pretty much. Of course, this is costing me out the you know what, but hey, I don't have many options. When I have my own place things will change.

...
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