By September 3, 2012 Read More →

Water Pump Replacement Cost

Hi Mr. Davis…
I have a quick question. My mechanic said that I need to remove the timing chain to install a water pump on a Chevy Cavalier. It’s a 4 cylinder, 2.2 engine (I think).

He said it has to be taken out and then put back in (extra work… extra $$) to install the water pump.
Can you please let me know if this is right or do you think I’m being scammed just because I’m a woman?
Thanks for your quick and honest response!!!! :)


Hi there Jennifer,

To the best of my recollection your engine does have a metal timing chain and not a rubber timing belt like most Japanese vehicles use. Usually if there is a rubber timing belt the water pump is driven by that belt, so if you replace the timing belt it is a good idea to replace the water pump…and vice versus.

With a metal timing chain engine, you usually do not replace the chain periodically like you would a rubber timing belt and the water pump is usually not driven by the chain, so you can replace the water pump without having to remove the timing chain.

I honestly do not remember ever having to remove the timing chain on a Cavalier to replace the water pump, but some year models do differ from others and some repair times can differ greatly among year models of the same vehicle.

I don’t have a repair manual for your exact vehicle handy to me at the moment, so I would HIGHLY suggest you call 2 more repair shops and get an estimate from them for replacing the water pump.

I would also HIGHLY recommend you take the vehicle to another shop for a second opinion on a faulty water pump to begin with.

If you are leaking coolant/antifreeze you need to have a “cooling system pressure test” performed, which just about any repair shop or quick lube place can do for you while you wait. If this mechanic is wrong with his repair procedure he might also be wrong with his diagnosis.


Austin Davis

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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."

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