Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2001 pt cruiser leaking antifreeze

Large puddle of antifreeze under car. Mechanic recommends along with replacing the water pump to replace the timing belt and the following related items due to the car having 96,000 miles: water pump seal, cam seal, crank seal, valve cover gaskets, spark plug seals, intake caskets, timing cover, tensioner at a cost of about $2,000. Said replacing the water pump alone would cost about $1400, 1/2 labor and 1/2 parts. Car has been well maintained, looks good, runs great. Would love to keep it even is the blue book value is low. Am I being quoted fair prices? Is now the time to have all the other items repaired? Thanks.

I might question some of that list, but other’s just make sense. For example, it is generally easy and cheap to replace the water pump when you are doing a timing belt as much of the work will only need to be done once, otherwise when the part you did not replace the first time goes out, you get to pay that same labor again.

As for your price being fair, I don’t know but you could get a second estimate from someone else.

As Jospeh mentioned when doing either a timing belt or water pump replacement it’s usually good to do both at the same time. However, I couldn’t tell from your post if you actually took it to a mechanic or just called one. There are other thingsthat can cause you to lose antifreeze, it could be as simple as a lose hose clamp or damaged hose. Some of the items make sense to do at the same time, but some of them I question:

  • water pump seal, usually there’s a gasket or o-ring between the water pump and engine block that would normally get replaced when the water pump is replaced. Is this an additional seal? If not, that seems like it should be included as part of a water pump job.
  • cam shaft and crank shaft seal. I’ve never replaced them when I did my timing belts, although if they are leaking now would be the time to do those. It may be good practice to do those as well, but others on this forum would be able to tell you better than me if they should be done.
  • valve cover gaskets, I’d only replace if they are leaking. From my experiance they don’t take nearly as much effort to get to as the timing belt/water pump so unless they need to remove the valve cover to get to do the water pump I’d leave them alone.
  • spark plug seals - I don’t kow what those are, maybe someone else here can enlighten both of us.
  • intake gaskets, again, not sure why you would need to do those now unless there is a vacum (or some other) leak.
  • timing cover, why? is the current one missing or damaged?
  • tensioner, yes, a good idea since additional labor would be minimal.

$1400 seems high just for a water pump replacement, plus I’ve never heard of a $700 water pump. Granted there would be cost for new antifreeze, but still it seems really high. This was a couple of years ago, but Toyota quoted me a price of $1200 - $1400 for a timing belt, tensioner, idler pully, water pump, drive/acessory belts.

Hopefully others with more experience will chime in and correct me if I said anything wrong.

spark plug seals could be the plug gaskets, and in that case the plugs will be changed, because the gaskets come with the plugs, are crush type, and one use only. the other plug seal is the rubber ones on the ends of the plug leads, and they come with the leads, so the leads would need to be replaced to change those. I am not aware of any other plug seals, but then I’m old school and dont know much about details of cars built after about 1990, ha ha.

when doing a timing belt/water pump replacement at our place of business, it is standard practice to replace cam and crank seals while there. however we dont do a v/c gasket or replace plugs or reseal intake as part of this. Of course the plugs on this model are supposed to be replaced every 30k and to do that the upper intake has to be removed. Two grand even to do all that work you mentioned sounds quite pricey.