Can the Water Pump Break My Timing Belt?


My water pump went bad and caused my timing belt to break and when it did it bent my valves, can this really happen?
John T.

Well John T, bad news my friend YES that can happen.

Most vehicles that run on a rubber timing belt have the water pump placed inside the timing cover and the timing belt drives the water pump. Like the pump in my picture, which is rusted, the bearings inside the pump have seized up because of this rust and the rubber timing belt which is now unable to turn the water pump breaks!

When the timing belt breaks internal engine damage can occur. I have seen engines that were not “interference” (meaning if the belt breaks the valves should not come in contact with the pistons and do serious damage) and were not supposed to have cause internal damage …….but they DID!

You can see the rust trail near my finger that indicates this water pump has been leaking for sometime and SHOULD have been noticed by the driver or the last oil change mechanic, so this costly valve job repair could have been avoided with some simple maintenance and driver awareness.

It is usually recommended that the water pump be changed even if there are no problems just to prevent potential future problems like this.
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Austin C. Davis

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."