VW Golf Water Pump is Leaking – How Do I Tell?

Reader Question Austin,

I have a 1997 VW Golf, CL 1.8 Lt. Your basic car. I bought is brand new off the lot in 1997. And I still have the car.

In 2003 I had the water pump and Timing belt replaced. I can’t remember how many kms I had then. I think it was at the 100,000 km mark, maybe a bit less.

I took the car in for an oil change (to a VW dealer) and they are telling me that I need a new water pump. Does it make sense that I already need a new one? It will be 3 years in August. I have about 168,000 kms on my car now.

Should I get a second opinion? The dealership told me not to drive the car until I got this fixed as if the water pump broke, my car would be useless.


Thanks in advance for answering my question.


Hey there neighbor….Dallas…..Austin haaha

I would like to know what is wrong with the water pump, is it leaking antifreeze, is it noisy like a bearing is about to go out, or is there something else that brought it to their attention?

If it’s leaking antifreeze or noisy….yes, replace it. And it might be a good idea to replace the timing belt…..again….just because they will be working in the area, and it will only cost you a few bucks more to replace it at that time rather than wait longer and pay the labor again to replace the timing belt. The belt drives the water pump, so it is easy to change when they replace the pump.


Austin C. Davis

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