I took my VW Caddy in for an early timing belt replacement (at the 105000km service). When I drove the car out of the workshop there was a rattling in the engine compartment. The mechanic came to have a listen but couldn't hear it because it could only be heard from the inside of the cab. Soon after the coolant needed to be topped up every couple of thousand km. I eventually took the car in after having driven a further 6 000km to get checked out to determine the reason for the water loss and the rattle.

Is it possible that the water pump failure resulted from some error by the mechanic when replacing the timing belt?

  • Deluxe timing belt kits come with a new water pump, they are the only kind i buy when working on customers vehicles. They short changed you on that job.
    – Moab
    Jun 6 '18 at 15:44

It is common on many vehicles to replace the water pump at the same time as the belt since it takes only a few minutes extra once access to the belt is achieved and can same time and money later...

Did you get the mechanic to listen from inside the cab at the time?

The pump needs to be replaced and there is not much the mechanic could have done to it while replacing the belt originally.

  • I unfortunately didn't get him to listen inside the cab. Good to know for future to replace the pump at the same time
    – Iain Kerr
    Jun 6 '18 at 14:29
  • Some mechanics will suggest it, but it sometimes gets taken as they are "creating work" and some customers don't like that... However, it does depend on mechanic and customer relationship...
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 6 '18 at 14:40

Is it possible that the water pump failure resulted from some error by the mechanic when replacing the timing belt?

Anything is possible. The next question is who is providing a warranty on a 105000km water pump? I can't imagine ANYONE who would. If it was damaged during the normal course of performing service I don't think the mechanic is going to assume responsibility. If the mechanic purposefully damaged it, it might be a little difficult to prove, economically.

The upshot, if a mechanic sold me a timing belt service and never even mentioned changing the water pump, I would find new mechanic immediately. I definitely wouldn't allow them to work on my car again.

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