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How much can I expect to pay to replace the water pump?

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Old 11-15-2010, 02:23 AM
thaddy1978 thaddy1978 is offline
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Default How much can I expect to pay to replace the water pump?

I am generally a DIY'er and don't hesitate to do much of anything, but this time I am not sure about that. The water pump on my 97 Stratus (2.4) went out today and it needs to be changed. I saw some videos online on how to do it, but it just looks too difficult and I don't have the time nor all of the appropriate tools. How much can I expect to pay a shop to do something like this? I will be providing the pump and timing belt. Or perhaps I should ask, how many hours would it take a professional mechanic to do the job?
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:16 PM
aquaman420 aquaman420 is offline
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I can say this, I had the EXACT same problem yesterday with my '97 Dodge Stratus. Engine running hot, was leaking anti-freeze so I filled it... still hot. Added oil... still hot. Took it in to the shop, they said it's the water pump and that it's a tricky, time consuming and, best of all, expensive job. They mentioned that they couldn't even do it because of the lack of proper tools, etc. Rough estimates that they through me for parts and labor were around $1000! Yikes, since the thing is only worth $1500-$1600? Now, I'm hoping that's not accurate, but what do I know...
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:47 PM
castlenut castlenut is offline
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Yes. That is rite! It is an expensive job. It is around the same man hours as doing a timing belt. Reason being is that you literally have to take off the timing belt, tensioner and pulley to get at it! Not to mention everything else. How do you know it's the pump? Do you see it leaking were the pump is? The pump has a weep hole were it will leak from when it's busted. Take a look under the car and see were its leaking from. Get down underneath the engine and clean it up real well with some new shop towels. Try to locate the leak if any. Could be something else. Could be a stuck thermostat too. By the way nothing is too difficult. You can do what any man can do with the proper knowledge and the rite tools. I did my belt on my 2.4L and it seemed daunting at first. But if you have the manual and you follow the steps one at time you can do it! Just go down the line of things you must accomplish before you get to the belt. Good luck let us know!
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:09 AM
thaddy1978 thaddy1978 is offline
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Yikes, $1000???????? I believe that I would shop around a few different places and get different quotes. $1000 just seems too high. I called yesterday morning and got a quote for $270...but I had my own parts, which places don't normally like to use, but I know the shop owner. Price your parts from Autozone or some place like that and double the price, that is about what they will charge you for parts (generally). For that year and engine, the pump was around $60 and the timing belt was around $30 or so. They say to always replace the timing belt when replacing the pump...while its already off.

The truth of it is, I would have done the job, but I am living at my in-laws at the moment and did not want to tie up his garage.

It does really hack me off though, when a shop tells you they don't even have the right tools for something like a water pump. It doesn't take any specialty tools that I am aware of. On the same 97 stratus, my exhaust manifold was cracked. Took it to a shop I trusted. They told me it was hours and hours of work and a lot of time just looking around, trying to figure out what tool to use that would best work. That got me mad! I replaced it and a power steering hose on my gravel driveway...it took ME hours and hours, but I didn't have a lift and had far less tools than a shop had.

There is a guy on you tube that has several 3 to 5 minutes videos, showing how to replace a water pump and timing belt...he shows pretty much everything and he is showing how to do it on a +/- 97 Stratus. I can send you the link if you want to DIY. As said, I would have attempted it, but I wasn't about to tie up my father-in-laws garage or do it outside in the snow.

Also, I am pretty sure mine is the pump...I heard it squealing the other day and after two days of that, it started "peeing" from the water pump area. I am sure if its not, the shop will call and let me know.

Last edited by thaddy1978; 11-16-2010 at 11:12 AM..
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:36 AM
castlenut castlenut is offline
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Yeagh shop around I'm sure you can get a much lower price! Good luck let us know how you make out!!
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:03 AM
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Labor is four to five hours, plus parts. Also on some timing belts, there is an updated belt and cover for some cars.
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:42 PM
thaddy1978 thaddy1978 is offline
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Default Do they have to take off the timing belt too?

Just got the car back from the shop and it feels like it missing like crazy at very slow speeds, but evens out with higher speed.

Also, they charged 75 bucks for the belt...I provided the belt--this was in addition to the $260 for the water pump change. Don't they have to have the belt off anyway to do a water pump? Does it require another $75 worth of work for the belt?????

And on top of everything, I get in it from the shop and it felt as though it was missing...running real rough. When I accelerated, everything smoothed out. But with foot on the brake lightly and letting the car roll forward, it started to lunge. Whats the deal? No check engine light. Is it possible to have the timing gears off a tooth or something?

Last edited by thaddy1978; 11-17-2010 at 11:31 PM..
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Old 11-19-2010, 04:24 PM
castlenut castlenut is offline
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Yeagh they should have the belt off to do the pump. I wonder if your timing is off? Can you take the top timing belt cover off to look at the alignment marks? Maybe its off a tooth? I think all you need to take the covers off is a 10 mill socket and don't over tighten when your ready to put it back it on. Those things strip easy. Trust me I know. Good luck and let us know...

Last edited by castlenut; 11-19-2010 at 04:33 PM..
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Old 11-20-2010, 01:42 AM
thaddy1978 thaddy1978 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by castlenut View Post
Yeagh they should have the belt off to do the pump. I wonder if your timing is off? Can you take the top timing belt cover off to look at the alignment marks? Maybe its off a tooth? I think all you need to take the covers off is a 10 mill socket and don't over tighten when your ready to put it back it on. Those things strip easy. Trust me I know. Good luck and let us know...
Yeah, The shop realized their error and are refunding me the price for the belt. As for the other stuff, I took the car back after changing the oil, plugs, and wires. I was thinking that all of them needed to be changed after over heating. The plugs and wires made no difference. Took it back to the shop...they tore it down again and double checked, timing was find, but 3 of the 4 cylinders were misfiring. Compression went something like, 155, 152, 157, and 140 in the cylinders. End result: it smoothed out and they said they didn't really do/change anything. I don't get it! I haven't driven it yet, since getting it back the second time, but we'll see. I suppose it is possible that he realized it may have been a tooth off and fixed it and then told me they don't know what caused it...which doesn't bother me, so long as it works now! With the misfiring though, as I accelerated, the misfire seemed to go away. They also said it may be a fuel injector issue. My issue with that, is it didn't misfire at all until after they did the work. I told them, "I hate to be the guy that comes in here and tells you it wasn't doing this before I brought it in, but..." Any other thoughts?
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Old 11-20-2010, 08:53 PM
castlenut castlenut is offline
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I know from my own personal experience that it is very difficult to get the timing rite on that engine. So I wouldn't put it past them to have rushed through the job to get it done. It took me several tries to properly align my sprockets correctly after I realized what exactly was happening. But in the end I managed to align them perfectly! It was a learning experience for sure. Let us know when you get it back! Good luck!!
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Old 11-20-2010, 08:53 PM
 
 
 
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