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Water Pump Puzzle

While car was in the shop to replace broken engine mount, the mechanic advised replacing water pump too. Car is a ’99 Toyota Avalon XLS with 110,000 miles. I’m the original owner, car has been well maintained mechanically. Does the water pump need to be replaced even though there have been no signs of trouble? Or should I have a new water pump installed to prevent an unexpected breakdown. Thanks for your advice.

Is he recommending this in conjunction with a new timing belt? If so, the answer would be yes.
If he’s recommending the pump out of the blue then I have no idea why he’s doing this but the point could be made that changing the pump only does eliminate a potential failure in the near future.
The same could be said for a number of other things on the car though.

The mechanic may have noticed a small amount of coolant leaking from the weep hole on the water pump while installing the engine mount. If so, the shaft seal on the water pump is starting to leak. And that type of leak can only get worse.


You don’t mention if the timing belt was replaced recently. Any good mechanic would have recommended that the water pump, idler(s) and tensioner be replaced at that time. The car is 13 years old so it probably is close to needing its second timing belt by time and possibly by mileage. As ok4450 commented the water pump, timing belt, idler(s), and tensioner are replacement items that improve the reliabilty of vehicle.

Hope this helps.

This car was supposed to have the timing belt changed at 90,000 miles, pf that was done don’t replace the water pump unless it is leaking.When you need either one you should replace both because 90% of the labor is the same.