Water pump replacement – Auto Repair 85016

When is a good time to replace your water pump?

I have at least 2 cars a month that need a water pump replaced ASAP. If a water pump is leaking, you risk over heating your engine. An overheating condition can destroy an engine in less than couple of minuets.

If the engine over heats from coolant loss, repair costs can get ugly fast.

leaking water pump

This leaking Nissan water pump was changed before engine damage could happen, the leaky pump was noticed during the oil change service. Regular service visits can prevent bigger failures.

The best time to replace a leaking water pump is before engine damage occurs.

This is a no brainer. At least we would think that is the case.

On the web, you can find many auto forums that say, do not get ripped off by replacing parts before they break. Yes and No. Most forums are 50% helpful. Populated by wannabe mechanics or shade tree D.I.Y. guys and you can get advise that will cost you more in the long run.

So are you getting ripped off if you can prevent a bigger failure?

water pump failure causes timing belt and related engine damage audi a6

This mess is from an Audi A6. The water pump failed and caused the engine to over heat. The repairs totaled $6,400.00 because a $86.00 water pump failed at 39,000 miles.

Sometimes it is Ok to replace a part before it is 100% broken.

Would you fly in an airplane, if you knew the ground crew waited till an engine part was 100% broken before they replaced it?  > No! <

If I knew the airplane could break down when it was at 30,000 feet, I would never want to fly at all.

Preventative maintenance is just what it implies. Fix it before it fails.

I have a BMW client that comes in every 45,000 miles to replace the water pump, upper radiator hose, thermostat and coolant. This is because the water pump life span is about 50,000 miles and the client does not want to have any breakdowns. The above repair is only $590.00, but an engine replacement is around $9,000.00. The client understands the value and loves his car.

Volvo s80 water pump impeller failure

Water pumps do not have to leak to cause engine damage. This Volvo S80 water pump has a broken impeller. Repairs for this condition can range from $550.00 to $6000.00. It all depends on how hot the engine gets.

Yes, I know cars do not fly, but many states have safety inspections to keep cars in a safe working order. Brakes, tires, lights, steering, suspension and drive train parts must be in good working condition. If the car needs repairs, you do not drive the car till it pass’ inspection.

I do not like to wait till my car is broken down on the side of the road to take action. Maintenance is required to keep everything ship-shape and ready for the road.

leaky water pump removed from engine

This water pump caused over heating damage and the engine needed replacement because the over heating melted the pistons to the cylinder walls. The car was only 2 years old with 47,000 miles on the clock.

I like to see our clients in at least twice a year for service, but they can stop in anytime to get free air in the tires. Our clients know they are welcome to stop in anytime for a quick under hood check. A quick look costs nothing, but could save you big.

You do not have to wait till the next oil change to pop the hood.


It’s all good under the hood. Anthony Xavier ASE Master Technician

copyright: All rights reserved @ HeyAnthonyAZ.com 2013


Want a quickie?

Every body want’s a quickie. Plastic head lamp lens polishing.

hazy plastic head lamp lens

This head lamp lens was very hazy. Both head lights looked the same way, hazy. The driver did not notice the lights being dim. Once I sold him on a quickie polish, he liked that the front of the truck looked new again. The next day he called me. He was in shock, he noticed right away, that the lights worked better.

Many of today’s head lamp lens’ are made of plastic. The plastic may become discolored and fade after many years of service. Hazy or yellowed head lamp lenses will reduce the light coming out of the head lamp fixture. The Hazy condition acts like a diffuser, making the light travel less distance down the road. A yellow lens condition will diffuse and change the color of the light. Both conditions will reduce the distance your head lamps can project down the road.

Hear at the shop, I have three levels of lens clean up.

2 Step Quick Polish: Clean the surface and polish the lens with a cleaning wax.

4 Step Polish: Clean the surface, polish with cutting paste and then fine polish plus apply a wax sealer.

8 Step Sand & Polish: Clean the surface, sand plastic in 3 steps, polish in 3 steps and then apply a wax sealer.

Most of the time a 2 step quick polish is all most cars need. The 4 step is for very heavy hazy and yellowing. The 8 step polish is for pitted and scratched lenses. Some times very deep damage will require lens replacement.



It’s all good under the hood. Anthony Xavier ASE Master Technician

copyright: All rights reserved @ HeyAnthonyAZ.com 2013

My tires are worn out? Why are they worn out?

I just replaced my tires last month. Well, sort of.

The client in question, did replace the tires on this month, but it was 3 years ago this month. Time just zips by, and I have this happen to many clients, they lose track of when they last visited the shop. That is why we mail out reminders to clients, so they come in for service regularly.

I see 4 to 5 cars a week that need tires. So why do drivers wait till the tire fails? Why wait till you are on the side of the road.

I blame it on an old school idea, the myth is that Abraham Lincoln’s head is a good judge of tread depth. In the last couple years I have seen many automotive articles on tire wear and when it’s time to replace the worn out rubber.

Penny vs Quarter for checking tire depth
Penny @ 2/32″ of an inch vs a Quarter @ 4/32″ of an inch.

When you use a penny to judge the tread depth, you are waiting too long to replace your tires. Waiting till your tires are at 2/32″ of an inch to replace them puts you at risk of hydroplaning in wet conditions.

Hydroplaning; “Verb”  To slide uncontrollably on the wet surface of a road : a motorist whose car hydroplaned and crashed into a tree.

Many tires may still have tread in the center, but may be worn at the edge, or worse. Your tires could be age cracked, or have cuts on the side wall from hitting curbs.   You must look at the condition of the entire tire, not just the thread thickness.

I know, I live in Arizona. It never rains in Arizona, right? Well the fact is, yes, it does rain in Arizona just not very often. But when it does rain, all the oil in the road rises to the top of the wet surface. That makes the road very slick. Any tire at 2/32″ of an inch will slip, slide and lose traction very easy in that type of wet condition.

So I like to use a Quarter, I keep one in my pocket to show clients how important thickness is when the road is wet. A Quarter will give you 4/32″ or 1/8 th of an inch of tread thickness. I use 4/32″ of an inch as a guideline for tire wear. Many tests have shown that tires worn to 4/32″ of an inch will still grip the wet road and bring your car to a safe stop.

The video below is showing a tire that is worn too much, it needs replacement now. If you look at the center of the tire you can see the tread is still thick enough that it could give the owner the idea the tire is still good. The client did not think the tread was that bad till I showed him up close how cracked and worn the tire was. In fact all 4 tires looked just like the one in the video clip. He only came in to get the fluids checked and the tires aired up because he was going on a trip in the morning.

So as your tire wears down below 4/32″ it will start to lose traction when the road is wet. Tests on tires looking at tire wear vs wet traction showed that at 3/32″ of an inch the wet stopping distances starts to increase by 15 to 50%.

At 2/32″ of an inch almost all the tires tested showed the cars using over double the amount of distance to stop. That is almost 100% more stopping distance needed when the road is wet. Replacing your tires at 4/32″ is a good idea. Think safety first.

By the way the client was very happy we found this before he had a break down. With 4 new tire an oil change and new wiper blades he was ready for his trip.

It’s all good under the hood. Anthony Xavier ASE Master Technician

copyright: All rights reserved @ HeyAnthonyAZ.com 2013

DTC P0300 Random Engine Miss Fire Condition

DTC P0300 is a Random Engine Miss Fire Condition

An engine miss fire feels like a bumping sensation. Most of the time, this is noticed by the driver when accelerating. A miss fire condition may cause the Check Engine Light to turn on or start flashing at you.

Carbon tracking on a spark plug

This is a spark plug with carbon tracking. The dark black lines running left to right in the center of the image is a carbon trail caused by a faulty spark plug wire. This type of condition will cause a single cylinder miss fire.

If an engine miss fire condition is causing poor tail pipe emissions, the check engine light will start to flash on and off.

When you see the check engine light flashing at you, do not continue to drive the car. Get it in for repairs right away. The catalytic converter maybe damaged if you continue to drive the car with the check engine light flashing.

catalytic converter failure core melted

A Catalytic Converter damaged by a miss fire condition. A miss fire condition will melt down a converter very quickly.

A catalytic converter is not chump change. On a Nissan Pathfinder, I just replaced both front catalytic converters on the Nissan and it was related to a miss fire condition. It was over $1,400.00 just for the dealer cats.

Worn spark plugs, causing engine code P0300

This set of worn spark plugs was causing a DTC P0300 on a Ford 4.2 V6. The plugs are 8 years old with 102,000 miles of use. The engine needed more parts than just spark plugs. This set of plugs also shows oil build up, the engine was due for a valve job on top of all the other needs.

If the check engine light is flashing, get it in for repairs!

OBD2 cars today can store a code that will direct the mechanic to look at a specific area.

A good example of this is when you have a DTC P0302 miss fire detected on cylinder #2, you have a place to look (cylinder #2 has a miss fire). You just have to look at things that would affect cylinder #2.

Oil fouled spark plug

Oil fouled spark plug, this plug was causing a single cylinder miss fire. (DTC P0304)

On a DTC P0300, this is a random miss fire condition that could be caused by anything. Anything that changes the air/fuel mixture to all of the cylinders in the engine at the same time.

A dirty MAF sensor can cause this type of change to all the cylinders.

MAF: Mass Air Flow Sensor, is a sensor that takes reading of the incoming air into the engine and sends a signal to the computer. The signal is used to make fuel system, cam timing and ignition timing adjustments.

The driver may not feel the engine miss fire with a DTC P0300, but the driver should see the check engine light turn on. Other things the driver may notice. The engine may feel like it is not responding crisply or the driver may notice that the fuel economy has been poor.

A couple other things that can cause a DTC P0300. Poor engine compression or an engine that is out of time due to a faulty timing belt or timing chain. A large centrally located vacuüm leak or a restricted exhaust system.


DTC P0300 Defined: Random Cylinder Miss Fire, this condition could be caused by any parts attached to the engine or parts inside the engine. You have to look for any condition that will change the air/fuel mixture, spark or compression to all the cylinders at the same time.

DTC P0301 Defined: Miss Fire on cylinder #1 or any cylinder that the code lists. (P0301, P0302, P0303, P0304) The last number in the DTC is pointing to the cylinder that set the code.


It’s all good under the hood. Anthony Xavier ASE Master Technician

copyright: All rights reserved @ HeyAnthonyAZ.com 2013