My wife's car has developed yet another psychiatric symptom :)
Especially noticeable at low rpms in idle, there is what I could best
describe as a scraping noise in the engine, like a bearing that's
intermittently sticking. The noise is coming from the area of the
items driven by the serpentine (alternator, AC, PS). Any idea what
this is likely to be? Fluid levels are all good, with the exception of
the AC, which is uncharged (it developed a leak and isn't worth
fixing). I am wondering if this noise could be coming from the AC
3.0? likely its the water pump. The bearing wears eccentric and the
impeller starts to scrape on the housing internally. It may not leak
or leak very little when this happens. But sooner or later, it will
completely fail and dump the cooling fluid. I would change the water
pump and the hoses if you have not done so recently.
Its Cheap insurance.
Yep, 3.0. I was sitting here thinking "coolant pump" with my fingers crossed
hoping nobody was going to say pump or tensioner :) The noise I hear is 100%
consistent with the failure you describe.
This car gets driven very little; one 2mile roundtrip once a week to the
supermarket and one 70mile roundtrip once a week. Is this something I should
immediately take the car off the road and wait till I have the money, or is
it likely to survive for a 2-3 more weeks to my next paycheck?
Also, what's a ballpark price for an independent shop to do this? Couple
Thanks for the good info, as usual, Bob, Rob :)
You make it all sound so simple but it's not. I have never changed a
water pump on a V6 FWD before but I have attempted it on a L4 FWD and
found it near imposible with hardly any room around the engine
components to fit a broomstick. Much less my arm/hand and wrench.
Get a second opinion first before you try replacing an imposible to
replace water pump that is OK to begin with.
Near Impossible on a 3.0? No. I have done two. Any shade tree with
a few tools and lots of patience can do it. Access is not great, but doable.
The hardest part is scrapping the old gasket material off the motor
pump housing mount. And mounting and dismounting the lower
radiator hose on the pump.
For what a garage would change for the opinion, you could do it yourself.
I am not recommending replacing parts that don't need it, but it is a common
wear item on this motor. So you spend $30 or $40 on parts and do it
yourself. What's a tow going to cost you if it breaks?
What were the other choices, alternator and tensioner? And do you think those
The key words here were scrapping noises. Usually a failing alternator
bearing does not sound quite like that. An impeller scrapping on the
To he original OP: Good luck on whatever happens.
If you cannot do it yourself, i hope you have an honest mechanic.
Yeah, your description of the impeller/bearing issue is absolutely
consistent with what I hear, so I'd happily take the risk of $40 to try it
Thanks... Well, the jury is still out. I can't find my stethoscope (trip to
Autozone tomorrow I think!) and the shop where it had its safety inspection
today says it sounds like it COULD be the water pump but they can't be sure.
I *would* attempt doing it myself - I see the pump on ebay for $9.99 - but
we moved since I did my last round of repairs, and now we have no off-street
parking. So I don't have the luxury of being able to slam down the hood and
leave it for a week if I get stuck or frustrated. (It took me several days
of evenings to replace the broken body parts after I had my accident.. thank
God for underground parking and the unassigned spaces on both sides of mine.
VERY frustrating work).
Looking at where the pump is, I guess it will probably be about 2 hours'
work for a mechanic, plus probably $60 for the part, so probably around $200
total. Sound realistic?
Sounds ballpark. Make sure the radiator hoses are changed while your at it.
One of the hardest parts is getting the lower radiator hose off the water pump
if you do it yourself. It helps to use degreaser and hosing it off if you do it
yourself. That's kind of an underneath and through the fender well thing.
You might call around to a few garages,. Tell then what exactly you want
done. Then get a price quote.
I forgot to mention, try slipping the belt off & spin the different
pulleys by hand. If you have a bad water pump bearing it maybe difficult
to turn freely by hand., it may drag a little, get tighter then loosen
up, get tighter, etc... there may even be a slight grinding noise as you
try spinning the pulley. A really bad worn out bearing may have enoguh
play in it that the impellar may be scrapping the water pump housing.
Try grabbing the pulley to see If you can move it up and down.
1991 Pontiac Bonneville LE
Listen you, don't give me that arrogant bullshit. What I want to here
are the facts. Not mearly oppinions that can cause this poor fellow
to have his car offline for a month since he stipped a bolt on his
water pump and can't get it off.
You are so full of yourself, I have never known anyone so sure of
themselves and as arrogant as you are. Heaven forbid if you should
a) I'm not a child to be led by the hand, and I don't think anyone in a.a.f
is some kind of mystic visionary with the answers to my problems. I'm not
going to go dump $1000 on random part replacement based on the
recommendations of ANYONE on Usenet who hasn't actually seen the car. I'm
here for advice, not expecting to speak with the Automotive Oracle, dammit.
b) I have a pretty good idea of my own capabilities. I'm not about to strip
down the engine on the assumption/hope that I'll be able to complete the job
and get it all together again. I've looked at the hardware involved and made
the decision that I am not comfortable trying to remove any of the
accessories powered by the serpentine. I just don't like my chances of
getting it all back together.
What I was looking for was plausible explanations of what could be causing
the scraping, partly so I can have a decent bullshit filter installed when I
talk to a local mechanic. So far, the most likely candidates seem to be the
water pump or the tensioner; although the alternator is a possibility the
noise just doesn't seem to be coming from there. I appreciate Bob's advice
and don't see why you're getting so hysterical about it.
-- Lewin A.R.W. Edwards (http://www.zws.com /)
Learn how to develop high-end embedded systems on a tight budget!
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
What's a matter? You get up on the WRONG side of the bed?
You must not work on your own cars. Or have OWNED a number
Facts: I have owed 4 first and second generation taurus. All 3.0's.
And worked on many others that were not mine. Even junked a few.
I do my own maintenance. I bought the manuals. I have done the repairs.
(Including two water pumps). Most all the repairs i suggest or comment on
i have personally done myself. Fought the battles. Won or lost the wars.
So i talk from a car owner who happens to work on his own cars
perspective. Not a shop owner who may have other motives.
No, i am not right 100% of the time. But i have seen enough things to
see trends develop. And water pump failure was one. Actually, you can add
another one to the list because
i just helped my brother in law change one
on a 93 taurus.
There has been many other good suggestions posted here too. Sure, the
alternator, A/C clutch, tensioner
all could fail and make noise. It just sounds
like the Water pump in this case. And i have personally heard that noise
when mine have failed. And i studied the failed parts to see what had
happened to them. And yes, i ask questions too to help me fix mine.
Personally, i believe in preventative P/M. Especially with parts that
could leave you stranded. I believe the water pump falls under that category.
So does a lot of parts under the hood of a Taurus. If you don't think like that,
be my guest and pay for the tow trucks. If your driving the 2002 you posted
about, its a little early for you. You drive a 10 year old Plus taurus with 100K
plus, the dynamics of the situation changes.
You already stated you never worked on the water pump on a FWD
V6 car. And you don't even have the balls to post with your name.
You can call me whatever you want (I will just call you MR. X)
I try to help people fix there cars. Most of the time, what i say helps
people fix them or make a decision. Or the other informed people
here as well as some of the mechanics that post here help also.
I will agree with you that there is nothing wrong with getting a second opinion.
But if you take it to two or three shops that are charging you a diagnostic fee,
You could have done it yourself (if your able) for the price of one diagnostic
fee. What's a ford dealer charge for diagnosis now, $75 or so?
I am fighting a problem with my S10 now. I am getting a Air intake temp error.
Had it scanned for codes
for free at autozone. So rather than take it
to a mechanic, i bought a $15 IAT sensor to try. The mechanic would
have replaced it anyway and charged over $100, so its just another step
in the trouble shooting process.
A lot of people take their cars into these chain store garages and get ripped
off one way or another. Maybe intentionally, maybe because if ignorance.
It pays to be informed as possible on a problem. It could save you money latter.
There are a lot of good
mechanics out there. But there is no guarantee
there at the place you randomly select. If you find a good small shop you trust,
your lucky. If you want to pay the Ford dealer the big bucks, be my guest.
I will buy the product, but i am not going to take a 10 year old car in for them
to maintenance. Not cost effective.
If your the kind of guy that lives in a suit and doesn't own any tools except for
a single screwdriver, by all means take it somewhere and have it fixed.
I hope you have a good honest mechanic. There is no way i could have afforded
keeping all my old taurus on
the road without doing most of the
maintenance myself. And there is only one way to do that: Buy the manuals,
ask a lot of questions, and get under the hood.
So Mr. X, have a nice day. I have fixed my taurus this week by replacing
the starter. My wife bitched at me a said it took too long. But you know what?
I got the job done and the car runs. And i saved a LOT of money.
(and a tow too since the car would not start in the driveway)
What have you fixed this week? And for your arrogant "Breed"
comment, yes, my three children appreciate they could be taken
to school in our family taurus wagon after i fixed the starter this week.
Not to familiar with Fords at all, but going by what others have said (
ie, Water pump, Alt, Belt tensioner ) I would try using one of those
automotive like stethoscopes used for listening for noisy bearings. A 12
inch long socket ratchet extension works just as well. While the motor
is running set the end of the extension on the front and back of the
alternator case, the water pump housing, tensioner housing & power
steering pump. A bad bearing noise will travel up the rod to your ear.
There all going to make a certain pitch , but a really bad bearing will
really sound bad.
Another trick is to put a wrench on the the tensioner while the car is
running and slowly loosen the tension off the belt. If the pitch of the
noise changes or goes away then whatever the noise is is definitely
driven by the belt.
Having a second person listening with an extension as you loosen tension
on the belt also is helpful.
Make sure you have a good grip on the tensioner nut or square drive so
you don't slip off. And be careful aroung the moving parts
1991 Pontiac Bonneville LE
Thanks for the tips! The car had to go in for oil change and state
inspection today, so I asked the guy to have a quick look at the problem
area if he gets time during the day. If he can confirm it, that would be
very helpful. Otherwise I will listen around with a stetho as you suggested.
This job will have to go into a shop anyway to get this problem fixed, as I
don't really have any place to work on it. But I would like the diagnosis
confirmed before making a decision on how to proceed.
=========================It could be alot of things, A/C clutch draging, It makes a scraping noise.
If the noise quits when the AC is on thats the problem. Water pump, If it is
the impeller hitting the cover there will be alot of play in the pulley of
the pump. Loosen the belt and see if it wiggles. The easiest way is to
pinpoint the noise with a stethoscope or a long screwdriver or the like.
hold one end to your ear and the other to the expected noise maker. If you
find it you will know. Be careful and use some common sense around the
moving parts and you will be ok. If you dont think you can handle this
approach, you are probably better off paying someone to do it rather that
replacing everything till it stops making noise. :) GL
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com ).
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.