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Water Pump Bearing gone at 95,000km... normal?


dave262

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It's been a while since I've been on (literally have had no time for many months)... but had a fairly catastrophic failure of the water pump this morning with zero warning at any time previously! :mellow:

Had the car serviced on it's usual schedule about 3 months ago - the 90,000 km major service. No leaks reported, no abnormal noises, no cooling issues found. Back on the 50,000 km service during my usual fluid checks, I had however noticed a sudden drop in the coolant reserve reservoir; but at the service shortly after I found that - neither Toyota nor myself could find any sign of a leak, so we put it down to possibly air pocket in the coolant system that had suddenly cleared out.

Yesterday I came back from a trip from Phillip Island, only approximately 2 hours drive from Melbourne of mostly freeway driving, and no issues at all. No cooling issues, no leaks, no noises. I started the car this morning, and was immediately greated with a very loud and consistent squealing noise, which lasted approximately 3 minutes before completely disappearing as the car warmed. I tracked it down to the area on the front end of the engine; and seemed to be one of the pulleys. I couldn't see any wobbling pulleys or any indication of leaks (there was no sign at all, no water under the car etc.) - and given the heavy rain yesterday afternoon, I figured it was just water on the belt that was making it slip. The coolant reservoir was also at its normal level, middle.

I drove off to do my grocery shopping (about half an hour after a 20 minute drive), and came back to find the car resting in a pool of pink coolant approximately 1m wide :excl: Overflow reservoir was almost empty now, and when I shone a torch down the side to the water pump pulley, there was clear signs of coolant everywhere on the splash guard along with oily white residue splattered up on the side of the induction box... :blink: As there was still coolant in the system, I jacked up the heater to max, and turned on the aircon to force the fans on the radiator on; and carefully made my way to the nearest car shop to get some coolant. By the time I made it to the car shop, while the car was idling I checked under the bonnet again to see the condition, and to my alarm the water pump pulley was wobbling around erratically and gushing coolant from behind. By this point, the coolant reservoir is completely empty. I topped up the reservoir and let the car idle for a couple of minute while it sucked in the coolant, during which time I had to top it up again twice (it was obviously leaking heavily while driving, despite me keeping it under 2k RPM).

So I limped it back to the nearest Toyota dealer, where it is currently waiting on the street until they open tomorrow and I can get it inspected. I had to top up the coolant 3 times in the 15 minute drive there... so it is a very serious leak for certain.

What I am wondering (sorry about the long story!), has anybody else had the water pump fail at only 95,000 km? And if not, how long should it typically last? :g: My suspicion is Toyota overtightened the belt at last service, which buggered the bearing and thus broke the water seal (I hope there is no oil seal connected to the timing chain too? I forgot to check the oil colour under the cap for signs of moisture). It has been about 6000km since the service, and a heavily overtightened belt I can see causing a bearing failure in that time... as I have had this experience in the past with other cars.

I really, really don't want to be spending $1k or whatever it may cost to fix the pump if it is Toyota's service dept who caused the premature failure...

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Bumped into a Toyota tech parking in front of my car, looking at the pool of coolant under the car, and shaking his head with a concerned look. I asked him to check and confirm it is indeed the pump, and confirmed the pump is 100% gone. No coolant in the reserve again today, and after reviewing my extended warranty, my original dealer will send a tow truck to pick up the car.

After speaking with the service department, without warranty is a 3 day job and approximately $2000! Most of this is due to the horrendous location of the pump right next to the frame, so the engine needs to be dropped (although the tech I spoke to reckons it can be done with the engine still in place). Either way, there are no hire cars available, so it looks like I will be getting lots of exercise until next week when they have time to look at the pump...

I am told the pump is only about $155, so for anybody who finds a failed pump without warning... unless the car is still under warranty, a pump replacement is a very, very expensive replacement activity in an aurion!

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Bad luck mate i cant believe the costs $2000 and 3 day job can't be right for $155 pump, maybe you overheated the motor and done other damage

If i were you I'd be going else where

I've seen second hand motors less then that.

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Well, just had it replaced today after being told I wouldn't have it done till next week, and best part - it was 100% covered by my extended warranty! Thankfully as I long ago learned the tricks of the trade (aircon and heater etc.) - the engine has no damage at all, as the temperature never went above normal operating temp B)

Initially I thought the price was ridiculous too, but after looking at the location, the pump is ridiculously close to the frame, and I cannot see from a glance how it would be easily removed short of basically suspending the engine in some way... no way I would want to do that myself, just far too much potential for damage or issues with connections! I spoke to about 8 different dealers, and they all said the same thing, it's around $2,000 job due primarily to the labour involved. My regular dealer was willing to do a bit better as I have only ever had my servicing done there since day 1; but thankfully I never had a need to negotiate, as the warranty covered everything :clap:

I was told I would be car-less until next Friday, but had a call today saying they had some guys work overtime last night to get the car done this week, and as a result - I can pick it up tomorrow! Will be great to have it back, since the 30 minute walk to and from public transport uphill is somewhat ridiculous once the temperature cracks 30...

I did also ask to take a look at the failed pump tomorrow, as I am very curious as to how catastrophically the internals failed. Hopefully I can grab some pictures of it, which might serve as a warning to others of what actually happens. Keep in mind, that I literally had perhaps 30 minutes of warning between when I heard the squealing from the pulley, to when I lost a large amount of coolant... seems whatever failed, went really fast. Pics to come with any luck...

Oh... and I was told these pumps typically last from about 100,000 - 200,000 km; but rarely have been found as failed recently - but they do fail once in a while. SO for most, it probably won't be an issue for a long time... but best to be weary once you are in that "danger" zone!

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It;s not normal but I have seen it happen before. The 2AZ-FE's I have seen needing a new water pump in as little as 35k km.

As for the engine being pulled, here in the US you were supposed to pull the engine for the 2GR water pump, BUT, all the Techs here know how to do it with the engine still in the car.

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It's a 2007 model, but almost 97,000 km on the clock now. Just picked up the car today, and I suspect the bearing must have been a bit funny for a while... much of the funny rattling and knocking noises I had heard from the front are now gone. Curious...

The dealer is actually near Dandenong, and I personally have never had an issue with them. I actually travel halfway across Melbourne to get there... Regular Service from day one was always there, and I never had a need to question their work, pricing, or attention to detail. From my experience, sticking with those you know is always a good idea, and sometimes leads to a good result like in my case!

Anyway, I had a look at the old pump, and it is very surprising how perfectly clean it was and the overall condition it was in. The impeller and pulley had heaps of play though, so clearly it was stuffed. The actual coolant was coming from a drain hole just behind the bearing, which is where all the leaking was from and not actually around the shaft. It was explained to me that without that drain, if the bearing completely seized due to the coolant direct contact, the entire structure could shatter - so just as well that drain is there, which also serves the useful purpose of clearly showing there is a major fault! :P

Either way, car runs beautifully again, and I was told that the actual job was only 7-8 hours (most likely they did the trick you mentioned ASG14 to remove without dropping the engine). Hopefully this pump doesn't fail any time soon, or the next time I might be up for the $2000 bill once the warranty is expired!

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Hope it;s good from now on. Glad it;s all fixed free of charge for ya.

The new water pump designs are total ****. Even the 1NZ (1.5L in Yaris and Prius) have the same issues.

You now know for sure one way to tell the water pump is going bad (the noise).

The other way you can sometimes tell (espetially with the 2.4L 2AZ-FE) is that some coolant will drip onto the belt, and be flung up onto the black bonnet liner. So if you ever see a red/pink line on the bonnet liner, you know the water pump is going bad that way.

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  • 2 months later...

My Aurion is sitting at 155k and at my last service, the dealer indicated that the waterpump had a slight leak and they will monitor it. I wonder at what point do I need to replace it? Anyone know if it will just get worse over time or just have a small leak which I can ignore.

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Just another thing I should replace now too with my 2007 Sportivo with 311K on the clock with original pump still working. I do remember with my MCV36 it was replaced at the 300K timing belt change , regardless if it was worn out or not. Something to tthink about seeing the 2GR-FE has a timing chain, and the waterpump can be forgotten.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 months later...

Bumped into a Toyota tech parking in front of my car, looking at the pool of coolant under the car, and shaking his head with a concerned look. I asked him to check and confirm it is indeed the pump, and confirmed the pump is 100% gone. No coolant in the reserve again today, and after reviewing my extended warranty, my original dealer will send a tow truck to pick up the car.

After speaking with the service department, without warranty is a 3 day job and approximately $2000! Most of this is due to the horrendous location of the pump right next to the frame, so the engine needs to be dropped (although the tech I spoke to reckons it can be done with the engine still in place). Either way, there are no hire cars available, so it looks like I will be getting lots of exercise until next week when they have time to look at the pump...

I am told the pump is only about $155, so for anybody who finds a failed pump without warning... unless the car is still under warranty, a pump replacement is a very, very expensive replacement activity in an aurion!

Hi Dave262,

You said your extended warranty covers replacing of your water pump.

Which state are you in?

I have been told that my aurion water pump needs replacing since is leaking. But looks like it won't be covered under extended warranty. So know getting more details to argue my case.

Also been told radiator needs replacing too, so does water pump and radiator goes hand in hand

Thanks,

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My 2008 Sportivo has just had its 105,000 service and the local dealership has quoted me in excess of $3000 for a water pump replacement. I've been trying to get a second opinion, however everyone appears to be of the same conclusion. My car's history is a QLD Police Pursuit vehicle, would this have a strong effect on the life of the pump?

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  • 2 months later...

Have just had to replace the water pump in my car, 2006 model with only 120,000klms.

Cost .... $1200 most of which was labour as the job take 8-9hrs apparently. Toyota wanted $1800!!! So worth shopping around.

They said it was tricky but were able to leave the engine in place, so I guess if Toyota drop the engine that's why it costs more.

Anyway the signs were a slow drop in the coolant level, a bit of bearing noise on start up that went away after 30 secs or so and a few white flecks of coolant on the brake fluid reservoir.

So all in all a bit disappointing due to the low klm's and being well looked after and serviced regularly.

I would think that due to its location you would put a fairly strong water pump in.

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Seeing the above replies, seems this is quite a common issue. I suppose though given the pump is always used, it is going to be wearing quite fast in general. In particular, given the pump is tied in with the crank I would expect in theory it will wear out faster with extended high speed driving, since it will be running faster for extended periods.

In the case of my pump, I did also have the white flecks of coolant splattered around the front end of the engine on the brake reservoir too, but the leak was pretty catastrophic as the seal had been snagged by a burr which shredded the seal then seized and disintegrated the bearing due to the coolant causing corrosion. if I looked at the pump while the engine was running, the pulley and belt were flopping all over the place and coolant was streaming down from behind the pulley. What was quite concerning is there was no prior warning; just squealing bearings in the morning but no loss of coolant or leaks. After a 30 minute drive however it was a catastophic problem - so if you get the squealing bearing in the morning, it is probably best to not drive it and just limp it to the dealers with caution, since if it is the pump - it seems to degrade rapidly. If you see the pump once its removed - it is a very basic design, and literally once the seal leaks - it will fail rapidly.

I am based in Vic, but got the extended warranty as a dealer extended warranty. I was lucky as I had only 3 months left of that warranty when the pump finally went, so they covered the towing, parts and all labour associated with the repair. They only needed a day to deal with it, so clearly they are perfecting the replacement without dropping the engine entirely.

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you dont need to drop the engine out to get to the water pump. There are bits that you need to take off to be able to get it out as it os a tight squeeze (also take off engine mounts to be able to get enough room to take it out)

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  • 2 weeks later...

you dont need to drop the engine out to get to the water pump. There are bits that you need to take off to be able to get it out as it os a tight squeeze (also take off engine mounts to be able to get enough room to take it out)

Good to know for when the time comes.

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