Water pump

I replaced a water pump on my 1999 Town and Country last year. How long should it last? Also, how long should a radiator cap last?

I think I was ripped off!

There is no easy answer to your question, except that water pumps should last many years–unless you have too much tension on the belt. Over tightened belts are a leading cause of water pump failure. A radiator cap should last longer than a water pump. I don’t remember replacing one.

Good advice on the water pump.

Radiator caps (the rubber parts especially) deteriorate, and then the cap won’t hold its rated pressure. Give it a visual inspection; if it looks good, it can also be pressure tested. If it fails to hold rated pressure then replace the cap. HTH.

If you religiously maintain you cooling system and chsnge the colant on time you can expect 15,000-160,000 miles before the water pump gives out; usually by leaking through bearing. As pointed out, too tight a belt will shorten the life, as will no coolant changes, since antifreeze contains a water pump lubricant and rust inhibitor.

Correction! That’s 150,000 to 160,000 miles before failure.

I’ve seen cars with nearly 200K miles that still had their original water pumps. This does not mean that ALL vehicles have water pumps that last that long. When the water pump needs to be replaced, it needs to be replaced, regardless of the mileage.

Why did your water pump require replacement, and why do you think you were ripped off? Your original post doesn’t give many details.

Radiator caps are not expensive. Replacing them every so often is a good idea, and cheap insurance. I’d replace the cap any time a new water pump is installed. They work together.

Thanks for all of the replies!
I think I just lost my reply or am about to repost…
The car has 200K miles on it…I love it and will continue to drive it. I had the water pump replaced with the air conditioner about 10 months ago. I suspect I got bad parts. I no longer use that mechanic because everytime they touched the car, something else would break bad.
I may try to recover some of the loss, but I’ll probably wind up letting my new and very trustworthy mechanic do the work.
thanks again!

Hmmmm. The water pump on my GM 3800 went out on Friday. It had 95K on it. I checked the last three that I put in and they are were around the 100K mark. That’s for new not rebuilt. Rebuilts in a 3800 last mayber 35K. Just depends on the engine though but if you get over 80-100K, I think you are pushing it.

One thing you have not done is spelled out the symptoms that cause you to think you were had. What’s it doing or not doing?

Bing, I don’t know if it’s relevant or not but I’ve replaced a number of pumps on the 3.8, including 2 that failed prematurely on my son’s car. The last failure on my son’s car was a pump that was only about a year old and both replacement pumps were new, not remans.

A friend who lives close to me went through a couple of pumps on his Buick 3.8 in the first 4 or 5 years of car ownership. I suggested a new pump and conversion to green coolant (he was doing the work himself, he’s very mechanical minded) and that car was free of pump problems for the next 7 or 8 years until he sold it and bought a new Impala.

The common denominator on the failures was DexCool. The current pump on my son’s car has been on there now with no problems for almost 5 years.
I don’t know if you use DexCool or not, but sometimes I wonder if the DexCool does not have the lubricity of the green since every failure involved either the pump seizing or wobbling out the housing. None of them ever just flat leaked.

Just an offbeat theory that I’ve not spent a lot of time researching.

I’m on my third new, not rebuilt water pump on my 2003 t and c. The bearings/seal in the front went after only 24000 miles. The first replacement was installed (by the dealer) and failed in 500 miles. The second replacement (number 3) was installed and continues to perform after 30,000 miles. Dealer said it was a factory defect. I’m very suspicious of the quality of Chrysler parts.

Thanks OK. Just use the green stuff. This one went and popped the belt off and luckily found a place a few blocks away to hobble to (its very cold in MN). He did say that the coolant needed to be flushed even though it was only a year old. I plan to do that this weekend and save $100. I thought 100K though was pretty good for those little pumps.

The odds of a factory defect on a new OEM pump is pretty darned slim; near zero IMHO. My feeling is that if the pump failed in only 500 miles then the installation could have been the problem. Probably an overtightened drive belt.
That was a common problem in 80s era Subaru water pump failures. The belts were overtightened and soon the aluminum pump housing would be wallowed out, followed by the shaft breaking or seizing and snapping the belt.

I use the green in everything. Maybe DexCool is fine for some but I’ve never had a green coolant caused problem and the green is worry free IMHO. My son went through 2 water pumps in about 40k miles. Flushed it out, converted to green, and the current pump (a reman) has about a 140k on it with no problems at all.

Funny you should say that about the water pump and Dexcool OK.

My Silhouette has 73k miles on it with the original pump.

No doubt you’ve seen different happenings concerning Dexcool, but maybe I’m just lucky.

Yeh, My IMG went too, but after the new kit went in so did new engine oil/filter and Dexcool.

One just has to pay more attention to the concerns of Dexcool.

My '02 Tahoe has 124k miles with the original water pump/Dexcool as well. Go figure.

Today the water pump on most cars get replaced every 60,000 miles when the timing belt gets replaced. So I think it is safe to say it should last at least 60,000 miles. I think the same goes for the radiator cap, but that is pretty cheap and if it failed I would just go buy another.

Good point about replacing the water pump with the timing belt. On many cars, like my Camry the work to get to the belt is the same as for the pump. However, the last time I had a belt changed the dealer wanted to charge me twice the labor for doing the pump and belt. The only reason they gave was “that’s the way we charge for this”.