Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

3.8 waterpump issue on Chrysler

I have a 2000 Town and Country with a 3.8. I have been hearing unpleasant sounds from under the hood and thought it was the AC compressor clutch. The serpentine belt is torn up, the pulley on the front of the water pump is sitting crooked and coolant is pouring out.

How hard is this thing to change. The van is on a parking lot 25 miles from home. Would I be crazy to try it to avoid having to call the tow guy?

I suppose You Could . . .

. . . I wonder if the people who own the lot would mind. I’d ask. Liability and coolant spillage could be a concern.

From my experience, whatever extra tool or other item I need when I start working will be the one I forgot to bring. I have free towing on my car insurance policies.

Should you go for it, take a jack. One place I looked said that besides draining the coolant, you should jack up the van, remove the right front wheel and the lower fender shield in order to access everything.

Good Luck,

I thought about that antifreeze issue, too. A lot of it escaped and I’ve poured water in, but whtn the pump comes out, there’s likely to be more. I have the “free” towing too - and discovered the company that insures me counts it as a claim! (They raised my rates for using it a couple years ago. I’d never seen that before.)

This is a self-serving request. Anyone there who has changed a water pump on this engine in a mini-van? How hard is it?

I would have it towed free by AAA to a good local shop and get it properly repaired. This exact thing happenmed to me on a Caprice. I picked up the car 3 days later and was out $250 or so.

I hope you got it fixed by now. I haven’t been on the site for some time. I’ve owned 7 or 8 of these things, all but one with either a 3.3 or 3.8 engine. It is a tough job - pulleys to remove, etc. As much as I hated to, I hired it done. You should too.

A sure sign of old age is when you start talking to yourself.

Replacing the water pump on the 1996-2000 Caravan is not a difficult job, the labor time is less than 2 hours. The 2001-2007 Caravan is a little more difficult, they moved the water pump location to the right side of the engine.

1 Like