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Water Pump

Joined
5 June 2008
Messages
19
What is the story about water pumps needing to be changed? I have a 1995 with 36000 miles. Do I need to changes the water pump becouse of the age?
 
Usually the water pump gets changed along with the timing belt, which is 90,000 miles or 72 months; whichever comes first.

Your '95 should be just about due for its third timing belt and water pump.
 
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Water pump replacement is not part of the maintenance schedule but is commonly done when the timing belt is done.

I posed the question about not changing the WP when doing the belt because my labor is free and if the WP fails after 2 or 3 years after the TB is changed, it would be close enough to change them both for the second cycle for the belt. Most of the responses were less than supportive, but I still somewhat question whether a WP fails anywhere near as frequent as the TB. If I'm dropping 8 hours of labor at $95 / hour it makes some economic sense, but the "Replace on Failure" mindset I've lived with in the last 10 years with the Navy has taught me sometimes we replace perfectly working items.

Miner
 
I would strongly suggest replacing the water pump. Aside from the fact that there's no additional labor I really see it as ~$200 of insurance over the course of the next 90K miles. IOW if one chooses to skip the WP at the 90K service interval they're really only saving ~$200 over the course of 180K miles or 14 years. That doesn't make much sense to me.

I believe the reason we don't hear more WP failure stories is because most WPs are replaced at the 90K service interval preventively. Whether or not they can last more than 90K miles or 7 years I would not really be comfortable asking my WP to last for 180K miles or 14 years which is exactly what one would be asking it to do if it's not replaced during every 90K service. They have failed in the past, presumably with less than 90K miles or sooner than 7 years. In addition, the WP is TB driven. If it fails the engine will likely suffer extreme damage. For ~$200 over 180K/14 years that is an insurance policy I would take out every day of the week. You might even want to consider replacing the crankshaft pulley and/or installing Titanium Dave's pulley shield. As with the WP there's no additional labor and they have failed in the past causing major engine damage.

If you're still on the fence about it see this thread regarding arguments for and against replacing the water pump during the 90K service.
 
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There are still some moron mechanics out there who don't change it with the TB as it never failed while doing the TB THEY SAID. I know of WP ABOUT TO FAIL and these were units which weren't changed at the last TB service. You don't want to wait until it fails (leaking is only the minor problem...). :D
 
I have replaced many water pump that have been leaking. The older version makes it impossible to see it until you take it apart. I have had them with coolant stains inside the plastic cover, but showing nothing outside. For me, it is not an option, I always replace the pump while I am in there. It is quite a bit of labor to get to it, but 20 minutes to change it, once the engine is all apart.

If you do this yourself, ALWAYS pressure test the coolant system immediately following the pump installation, prior to continuing to install the timing belt, etc. It would really be bad to have to do it over if it leaked. And don't ask me how I know;).

Regards,
LarryB
 
First of all, consider the reasons for doing preventive maintenance. You do it to prevent larger repairs from resulting from a lack of maintenance. And you do it because it's a lot more convenient to arrange an appointment and take it to a shop, than to have something break down unexpectedly on the road where it will cause you substantial inconvenience and possible safety problems.

In deciding on the best interval for maintenance, you have Honda's recommendations (in both the owner's manual and the service manual) as a guide, and you can add some common sense to those.

You should consider the water pump replacement as one of three items for simultaneous replacement: (a) the timing belt, (b) the water pump, and (c) the cooling system hoses. Let's look at each one.

If the timing belt fails, it can cause MAJOR engine problems, possibly resulting in the need to replace the engine. That's why it's recommended for replacement on a regular basis. Honda recommends replacing the timing belt every 90K miles or 6 years, whichever comes first, on the '91-96 NSX, and every 105K miles or 7 years on the '97-05. That is fact. If you have a '95 NSX, it should have been replaced twice already. If your timing belt has not been replaced in your car (to your knowledge, at least), you have a 13-year-old timing belt; that is like a ticking time bomb in your car, ready to fail and destroy your engine at any moment. You need to replace it, as soon as possible.

The reason the water pump is replaced at the same time as the timing belt is that it requires the same extensive labor to gain access to both parts (as well as the fact that both items can fail, as noted above). Replacing the timing belt and water pump generally costs around $1500. Most of that is labor; the parts are only a few hundred dollars. If you spend all that money on the labor to replace one and not the other, you are risking the need to do all the labor over again, duplicating the charges, if the other one fails. That's why most people replace the water pump along with the timing belt.

Cooling system hoses can also fail, especially after 13 years. They can leave you at the side of the road with coolant smoke coming out of your engine bay. What's worse is, if you keep driving after a hose fails, your engine can overheat and this can destroy your engine. You can avoid this by replacing your cooling system hoses periodically. I recommend doing so at the same time as replacing the timing belt and water pump, i.e. every six years (or 90K miles). Not only is it a suitably long interval, but it saves labor and coolant when you do this at the same time as the water pump replacement.

The good news is, once you've replaced these items, you won't have to do it again for another six years or so. Or 90K miles, whichever comes first.
 
I have replaced many water pump that have been leaking. The older version makes it impossible to see it until you take it apart. I have had them with coolant stains inside the plastic cover, but showing nothing outside. For me, it is not an option, I always replace the pump while I am in there. It is quite a bit of labor to get to it, but 20 minutes to change it, once the engine is all apart.

If you do this yourself, ALWAYS pressure test the coolant system immediately following the pump installation, prior to continuing to install the timing belt, etc. It would really be bad to have to do it over if it leaked. And don't ask me how I know;).

Regards,
LarryB

That's good to know you've actually seen leaking WPs. I have replaced a half dozen timing belts and water pumps over the years and the only WP that was leaking was due to a manufacturing defect. It was only 3 or 4 years old by the time I had to replace it so I did the belt at the same time (it had been replaced by a shop along w/ wp). I totally agree it is good insurance to replace the WP along with the belt, but wonder how many WPs would have made it for the life of the car or a second belt replacement?

Once I get settled after my move back to south Texas I'm going to change the belt, pump and probably hoses. Then it will be time for the 6 speed swap. I wonder if my old 5 speed will fit in my 02 TL?

Miner
 
I totally agree it is good insurance to replace the WP along with the belt, but wonder how many WPs would have made it for the life of the car or a second belt replacement?

I don't wonder about that at all.

Sure, it would be great to have some definitive lifespan figures for the WP but that's just not feasible. Just like no one really knows exactly how long timing belts last.

The bottom line is that you're asking a part that has been known to leak or fail before 90K miles/7 years and that will result in catostrophic engine damage in the event it fails on the car to last twice as long as it is normally expected to.

For ~$200 over the course of 180K/14 years it would be insanity not to replace the WP unless there were very unusual circumstances such as an ultra-low mileage vehicle or the WP had been replaced separately before the 90K service interval (in which case the TB would have been replaced as well).

If the WP wasn't TB driven there would be far less argument regarding it's replacement but since the WP is something that simply cannot be allowed to fail it should be considered exactly the same kind of service as the TB. The case could be made to reactively replace the WP as opposed to preventively. But to save ~$200 over 180K/14 years? Come on. That's three months of gas and an oil change. :rolleyes:
 
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FWIW, if your down to the WP/TB replacement, you might consider looking at the cam position sensor as well. I'm quite anal about small things like this so it's just personal for me.:rolleyes: Mine has leaked some of the moisture proofing tar out on to the garage floor. I don't know how big a deal it is but it's a big job replacing it. Larry or Rob may can give better advise on this but I'm a long way from TB/WP so I have to live with it. Just my .02.:smile:
 
No I don't think it's critical, but if your torn down to that point it may not be a bad investment. Again, I'm a tad anal.:redface:
 
No I don't think it's critical, but if your torn down to that point it may not be a bad investment. Again, I'm a tad anal.:redface:

Nothing wrong with that. :wink: IMO doing the TB consists of the TB ifself, the tensioner, the WP and some seals and adjusting the valve clearance. Things to inspect are the cam plugs/seals, the harmonic balancer (installing the (titaniumdave's?) preventive metal plate in the case it breaks). Those two may have to be changed every 2nd or 3rd TB job.

I still would appreciate some input on the cam position sensor.
 
Thanks for all your help, one more thing, I live in Maryland and just got a quote from the Acure Dealer in Annapolis for $2,552.00 this looks hi to me. What is a fair price?

Help.
 
I've asked this question some months ago and we agreed that it's not a critical part. So no change periodically recommended or are there any news on this?

I would say the news is there are very few failures. I only know of one. I have never had an issue with the cam position sensor on an NSX I have repaired. Yes, they drip the potting material down the block from the heat inside the covers, but I have never had one fail, personally.

My $.02
LarryB
 
That is good news to me. I only replaced it on my first TB service. My second one I planned not to get one as it still works.
I would say the news is there are very few failures. I only know of one. I have never had an issue with the cam position sensor on an NSX I have repaired. Yes, they drip the potting material down the block from the heat inside the covers, but I have never had one fail, personally.

My $.02
LarryB
 
Thanks for all your help, one more thing, I live in Maryland and just got a quote from the Acure Dealer in Annapolis for $2,552.00 this looks hi to me. What is a fair price?
Is that only for the timing belt and water pump replacement, or does it include other work as well?

Here are typical prices these days:

$1500-1700 for replacing the timing belt and water pump
$300-600 on top of that for replacing all the cooling system hoses at the same time
$900-1400 for the 30K/60K/etc service, including fluids (oil, transmission, brake), filters (oil, air, fuel), valve adjustment, and spark plugs (60K not 30K)

So depending on what's included, that could be a great price, or a terrible price.

Is there a way you can tell that the water pump was replaced?
On a 1994 NSX, it should have already been replaced with the first timing belt, which is now due for its second replacement.
 
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