'97 RAV4 water pump replacement causes noise


I had the water pump replaced less than 2 years ago by my mechanic (I’ve done the work myself in the past but can’t anymore). It developed a small leak, so I brought it back in. He replaced the pump again. When I went to pick the car up I noticed a whining sound when the car was in park and I gave it a little gas. More gas more whine. I hear nothing when its idling or going down the road. I immediately bring the car back, since it wasn’t making that noise when I dropped it off. His son first tells me its nothing and then that it sounds like a dry bearing. Doesn’t sound like a bearing to me. Any ideas as to what it could be? The belt was replaced with the last water pump job and the timing belt tensioner(s) about 3 months before that…


Can you carefully put the end of a long screwdriver on the water pump housing and press the handle against an ear? This might prove it. A water pump failing can sound like a bearing.


When you replace the water pump, you have to remove the serpentine belts.

These belts have tensioner/idler pulleys.

Disturbing these tensioner/idler pulleys while the belts are removed can cause the bearings within these pulleys to begin to make noise when the belts are reinstalled.

A mechanics stethoscope can usually pin-point a noisy bearing in these pulleys.



Ok, no serpentine belts on this model. I got the car back Monday. Mechanic states that he loosened the timing belt slightly and he thinks the timing belt may have been rubbing on the timing belt cover. Noise is gone, now I have a new problem. Even once the car reaches operating temp when I give it the gas (this doesn’t happen all of the time) The car vibrates as if I’m driving on a rough road. I can feel it in the steering wheel and the gas pedal. It seems worse when I’m in a turn or climbing an overpass (although this morning it did it on the downside of an overpass). Car seems to be running fine otherwise, with good pick-up. I checked the one motor mount that the mechanic needed to disconnect to remove the timing belt in order to replace the water pump. All bolts are there and tight. Any ideas??? All motor mounts were replaced just over a year ago,


New problem apparently was a vacuum hose either knocked loose or left disconnected. My guess is that he knocked it off while checking the two coolant hoses connected to the throttle body. I reconnected the vacuum hose and all appears to be well now,


Glad you are back on the road and your car is purring smoothly. Good for you. Thanks for the update!