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Water Pump

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Just replaced the front brakes on my 2005 RX330 with 45,000 miles at a Lexus dealership. While doing this repair, the technician noticed some pink residue around the water pump and diagnosed it as a leak. His recommendation is to replace the water pump. Since it was delivered in March of 2005, the car is out of warranty . Cost: $862.00. Price at other repair shops is between $350.00 and $700.00.

Have any of you experienced what I consider an early water pump failure?

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Just replaced the front brakes on my 2005 RX330 with 45,000 miles at a Lexus dealership. While doing this repair, the technician noticed some pink residue around the water pump and diagnosed it as a leak. His recommendation is to replace the water pump. Since it was delivered in March of 2005, the car is out of warranty . Cost: $862.00. Price at other repair shops is between $350.00 and $700.00.

Have any of you experienced what I consider an early water pump failure?

Guy must have checked you bank account to see how much money you had in there. What I want to know is how did he see your water pump to see that it was leaking? It is completely covered! How did he see it when doing the brakes??? X-ray eyes maybe??? To top it off, I have changed those pumps and they are the finest engineered and built WP I have ever seen in my life. When I changed the WP on my DIL's RX at 120+K mi. while trying to determine what was causing a minor "squeal" at start up. The water pump was definitely the original and looked absolutely new! I even cut it apart with a die grinder and thin cut-off blade and the bearings, seals and all were absolutely new! It has the most secure and elaborate seal system I've ever seen in a WP. I can't even imagine how one of those could ever leak. I THINK (been a while since I did it) that it had 3 different type of seals in there. You can purchase the OEM AISIN WP online for about $80., possibly less. That's what you call more than a little pricey at over $850. I WOULD NOT USE ANYTHING BUT OEM AISIN WP though!

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Agree with code58, as for that price i would have taken it to an independent and for that price you could get the timing belt, and water pump done....Do you have any coolant on the ground under the car?

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Just replaced the front brakes on my 2005 RX330 with 45,000 miles at a Lexus dealership. While doing this repair, the technician noticed some pink residue around the water pump and diagnosed it as a leak. His recommendation is to replace the water pump. Since it was delivered in March of 2005, the car is out of warranty . Cost: $862.00. Price at other repair shops is between $350.00 and $700.00.

Have any of you experienced what I consider an early water pump failure?

Guy must have checked you bank account to see how much money you had in there. What I want to know is how did he see your water pump to see that it was leaking? It is completely covered! How did he see it when doing the brakes??? X-ray eyes maybe??? To top it off, I have changed those pumps and they are the finest engineered and built WP I have ever seen in my life. When I changed the WP on my DIL's RX at 120+K mi. while trying to determine what was causing a minor "squeal" at start up. The water pump was definitely the original and looked absolutely new! I even cut it apart with a die grinder and thin cut-off blade and the bearings, seals and all were absolutely new! It has the most secure and elaborate seal system I've ever seen in a WP. I can't even imagine how one of those could ever leak. I THINK (been a while since I did it) that it had 3 different type of seals in there. You can purchase the OEM AISIN WP online for about $80., possibly less. That's what you call more than a little pricey at over $850. I WOULD NOT USE ANYTHING BUT OEM AISIN WP though!

Thanks for your reply, code58. I also wondered how he just happened to spot the water pump since it is not visible while working on front brakes. He used a light to show me some pinkish looking residue at the end of the water pump (it appeared like dry powder to me) and said that indicated a leak. No coolant was in sight. I'll keep an eye on the supposed leak and use an independent shop if it is indeed leaking. I am also a fan of OEM parts. Thanks again.

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Agree with code58, as for that price i would have taken it to an independent and for that price you could get the timing belt, and water pump done....Do you have any coolant on the ground under the car?

Thanks, lenore. No coolant on the ground or anywhere on the car. I'll keep an eye on the "leak" and use an independent shop if the water pump needs replacing. Please look at my response to code58 for more detail.

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SRX,

I never have exactly figured it out, but the T/L products with aluminum engines (block AND head) seem to lose a VERY slight amount of cooant. That would be the determining factor most of the time, does it use coolant, even a small amount? My DIL's '99 RX has always used a SMALL amount from the day they got it. And by a small amount I mean about a 1/2 to 1/3 pint a year, maybe less. My wifes '02 Camry (1st year they used an all aluminum engine in the 4 cyl.) used about 1/4 pint (per year) from the beginning. Our grandson has had the car for over a year now and it continues the same. That is a VERY SMALL amount of loss, but it is not ZERO. I am absolutely certain there was NEVER a leak in either of the vehicles. I have proper leak pressure testing equipment. I will say that while I said the WP in the '99 looked new (it indeed did) that there was a slight pink trail from the weep hole, but was bone dry AND NEVER MADE IT PAST THE END OF THE HOLE! Meaning obviously that did not explain even the small amount that it leaked in a year, only a small part of that small amount. With the seal system they use I can't even imagine how those few drops got that far. One thing I did notice on the RX was that when I was under it to change the rear A/F ratio sensor, there was DRY indication of coolant making it past the head gasket on the firewall side of the engine. I have often wondered if there is at times MICROSCOPIC seapage because of the higher rate of expansion and contraction on aluminum, and especially because these are ALL aluminum engines. T/L designs outstanding gaskets, like all the rest of the parts, so I don't think that's the problem, per se.

I believe that mechanic was LOOKING for some work, and it wasn't because you NEEDED a WP!

Our '11 Camry is about 14 mo. old and I don't see hardly any sign of loss of coolant.

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I concur with code58's assessment of these vehicles "using", not "leaking" a very small amount of coolant as part of their normal operating procedure. We've owned my wife's current 2004 RX330 AWD since late January 2007. She's put approximately 75,000 miles on the vehicle during that timespan. No coolant leaks have ever been evident. But at the end of every summer with its 95 to 100-degree daily highs here, I have to top off the coolant expansion tank with perhaps 3 ounces of fresh coolant. I've always believed that it is due to evaporation since this system is not truly sealed. But as code58 surmised, it may be very slight seepage which then evaporates quickly due to the heat in the engine compartment....

So top off your coolant expansion tank, and simply keep an eye on it. No need to spend any money on a new water pump at this point....

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SRX,

I never have exactly figured it out, but the T/L products with aluminum engines (block AND head) seem to lose a VERY slight amount of cooant. That would be the determining factor most of the time, does it use coolant, even a small amount? My DIL's '99 RX has always used a SMALL amount from the day they got it. And by a small amount I mean about a 1/2 to 1/3 pint a year, maybe less. My wifes '02 Camry (1st year they used an all aluminum engine in the 4 cyl.) used about 1/4 pint (per year) from the beginning. Our grandson has had the car for over a year now and it continues the same. That is a VERY SMALL amount of loss, but it is not ZERO. I am absolutely certain there was NEVER a leak in either of the vehicles. I have proper leak pressure testing equipment. I will say that while I said the WP in the '99 looked new (it indeed did) that there was a slight pink trail from the weep hole, but was bone dry AND NEVER MADE IT PAST THE END OF THE HOLE! Meaning obviously that did not explain even the small amount that it leaked in a year, only a small part of that small amount. With the seal system they use I can't even imagine how those few drops got that far. One thing I did notice on the RX was that when I was under it to change the rear A/F ratio sensor, there was DRY indication of coolant making it past the head gasket on the firewall side of the engine. I have often wondered if there is at times MICROSCOPIC seapage because of the higher rate of expansion and contraction on aluminum, and especially because these are ALL aluminum engines. T/L designs outstanding gaskets, like all the rest of the parts, so I don't think that's the problem, per se.

I believe that mechanic was LOOKING for some work, and it wasn't because you NEEDED a WP!

Our '11 Camry is about 14 mo. old and I don't see hardly any sign of loss of coolant.

Thanks for the additional input. Lexus Customer Satisfaction has agreed to replace the water pump as a warranty item even though the vehicle is beyond the warranty period.

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I concur with code58's assessment of these vehicles "using", not "leaking" a very small amount of coolant as part of their normal operating procedure. We've owned my wife's current 2004 RX330 AWD since late January 2007. She's put approximately 75,000 miles on the vehicle during that timespan. No coolant leaks have ever been evident. But at the end of every summer with its 95 to 100-degree daily highs here, I have to top off the coolant expansion tank with perhaps 3 ounces of fresh coolant. I've always believed that it is due to evaporation since this system is not truly sealed. But as code58 surmised, it may be very slight seepage which then evaporates quickly due to the heat in the engine compartment....

So top off your coolant expansion tank, and simply keep an eye on it. No need to spend any money on a new water pump at this point....

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I concur with code58's assessment of these vehicles "using", not "leaking" a very small amount of coolant as part of their normal operating procedure. We've owned my wife's current 2004 RX330 AWD since late January 2007. She's put approximately 75,000 miles on the vehicle during that timespan. No coolant leaks have ever been evident. But at the end of every summer with its 95 to 100-degree daily highs here, I have to top off the coolant expansion tank with perhaps 3 ounces of fresh coolant. I've always believed that it is due to evaporation since this system is not truly sealed. But as code58 surmised, it may be very slight seepage which then evaporates quickly due to the heat in the engine compartment....

So top off your coolant expansion tank, and simply keep an eye on it. No need to spend any money on a new water pump at this point....

Thanks for sharing you thoughts. Lexus Customer Satisfaction has agreed to replace the water pump as a warranty item even though the vehicle is beyond the warranty period.

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