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Old 11-16-2012, 10:14 AM   #1
Francois_
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Default 02 WRX pissing coolant- water pump?

Yesterday, I came home from getting some lunch and as I pulled up to my house, I noticed smoke coming from the hood and driver's side wheel well. As soon as I saw the smoke, I saw the temp gauge begin to rise (to the 3rd notch). I immediately shut the car off and looked underneath and saw coolant dripping pretty rapidly from the driver's side of the engine (thermostat/water pump area). Radiator and hoses were dry and that's not where coolant was leaking from. Shortly after, I had to go to work so I let the car sit and cool off while I got a ride to work from my girlfriend.

Fast forward to this morning- I was able to jack up the car and take a look underneath and coolant was still dripping into the huge puddle that was created under my car. I took a flashlight and found coolant dripping from the exhaust manifold, oil pan, oil filter, and pretty much everything else in that area. The inital leak seems to be coming from the thermostat area right by the oil pan. I also noticed coolant all over the bottom of the timing cover, which scares the crap out of me and is making me think water pump. Which is odd cause it's not that old. I had my motor built in March of last year so it's relatively new, along with my timing belt.

What could cause something like this? I haven't started the car since I shut it off yesterday when this happened. I'm tempted to have it towed to a shop I trust so we can put it on a lift and take a better look. Could it be something as simple as the thermostat or is it definitely something more serious like a water pump?

The car has never leaked coolant up until this happened yesterday.

Let me know if you guys need any more information, thanks for any help!
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:19 PM   #2
Concillian
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sounds to me like water pump is a likely suspect. Not much else that isn't on top that would get the timing cover wet.

If it is, the good news is that it sounds like if you did what you say you did, there's probably no damage to anything else and while it's not a cheap fix to have a shop replace the water pump, it's not a REALLY expensive fix like it would have been if you had run dry for a while before noticing the temp rising.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Concillian
sounds to me like water pump is a likely suspect. Not much else that isn't on top that would get the timing cover wet.

If it is, the good news is that it sounds like if you did what you say you did, there's probably no damage to anything else and while it's not a cheap fix to have a shop replace the water pump, it's not a REALLY expensive fix like it would have been if you had run dry for a while before noticing the temp rising.
Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I mean there's coolant on about everything under there, a little tiny bit in the timing cover but it seems consistent with the seam in the cover so that explains it I guess. Not too thrilled, as I wouldn't expect the water pump to take a **** so soon. But it happens. Car will be going in Monday, I just want it back on the road at this point.

Thanks!
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:13 AM   #4
mod maniac
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I just had a waterpump go bad on a customers car with only about 2k miles.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:23 AM   #5
04SexTI
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Still have the stock radiator? If so, check the top of the radiator (black plastic tank) for cracks. The OEM radiators are notorious for cracking at that plastic tank and will spray coolant everywhere.

Did you try cleaning the engine bay to get rid of all the coolant? If not, you should wash down the engine bay, refill the coolant, start the car (let it warm up), rev it, and look for a leak.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:19 PM   #6
Francois_
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It's not coming from the radiator. Radiator and hoses are dry. I saw the leak (as it was still leaking a day later) and it was coming from the area of the water pump and thermostat. I just didn't know if a bad water pump could drip like that or if it could be a thermostat issue.

Ill be able to look at it on the lift on Monday so until then it'll remain parked
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:43 PM   #7
Jackie leggs
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Sounds to me like a bad water pump.
Not the same car I know, but one went out on my civic last summer and it leaked like a sob.
If I were you, I'd pull the timing cover and check out that pump and see if anything is wet around it under that cover.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:18 PM   #8
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My car did the exact same thing. Coolant where you found it and everything. It was the water pump. Had 65k on it. Just did the belt and all idlers/ tensioners while I was in there. Sounds like you won't have to... so that will save some $$$.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corvallisbattery
My car did the exact same thing. Coolant where you found it and everything. It was the water pump. Had 65k on it. Just did the belt and all idlers/ tensioners while I was in there. Sounds like you won't have to... so that will save some $$$.
I thought about doing the timing belt while I was in there. Motor has about 25k-30k on it. I guess it would just be a waste of money though
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:38 PM   #10
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I would personally just do the w-pump and plan on doing the full service with water pump 10-15k miles past due date assuming everything is inspected and perfect
If you need any idlers or what have you, I have about 10 timing belt changes worth with at least two good sets.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corvallisbattery
I would personally just do the w-pump and plan on doing the full service with water pump 10-15k miles past due date assuming everything is inspected and perfect
If you need any idlers or what have you, I have about 10 timing belt changes worth with at least two good sets.
Yeah that sounds like the better plan. Thanks for your input man, I appreciate it
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francois_ View Post
I thought about doing the timing belt while I was in there. Motor has about 25k-30k on it. I guess it would just be a waste of money though
If the timing belt got soaked with coolant I'd be replacing it.

Joel
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:12 AM   #13
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Yep... belt is cheap. Its the idlers and tensioner that get your wallet.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadianImprezaSTi

If the timing belt got soaked with coolant I'd be replacing it.

Joel
Coolant won't affect a belt, id be more concerned if oil got on it. Petrol products eat up belts.
Just hose the belt off that got coolant on it, if its way under miles.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:58 AM   #15
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Bearings in the water pump were toast. Timing belt looks just fine.
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