If you have been using Toyota coolant and distilled water, the water
pump should be fine until 120,000 miles. Generally with a Toyota water
pump, the failure mode will begin with weeping at the seal so you would
have advance notice.
Water pump usually fail slowly. It first starts leaking coolant, and
then the corrosion takes out the bearing. So if the car isn't using
coolant and you don't have air in the radiator, it should be fine for
Some mechanics skip the water pump every other timing belt change if it
turns smoothly and doesn't appear to be leaking at the 60K interval.
But some Toyota pumps, well maintained with OEM coolant and distilled
water, would start leaking coolant and giving the frequent "mysterious
coolant use" problem many have posted about. I have seen both.
My take is that the 4 cyl pump is about $35 (Beck Arnley,
www.rockauto.com) to $57 (Aisin, the OEM pump). Toyota or the new
Prestone Extended Life coolant and distilled water no more than $15.
Just change it every time you do the timing belt, because it takes 3-4
hours to get at the pump at the book rate.
Water pump bearings make an awful squeel as they are failing. I drive
until this happens (or it's time for a timing belt replacement) and head
for the repair garage at that time.
Labor will far exceed the cost of the hardware. They will probably ask
for 2 hours at $80 each.
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