Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, Water Pump Housing in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; I took my STS to have the water pump changed,actaully it had a drip that the repair shop said was ...
I took my STS to have the water pump changed,actaully it had a drip that the repair shop said was probably the water pump. I told them okay to go ahead and change it but mentioned that I've read a special tool is needed and the water pump has to be turned clockwise for removal. Now they call me and they've damaged the water pump housing, broke off a tab and gouged a piece of aluminum out near where the o-ring seals on the water pump. The old pump has several tabs broken off and looks like it was run over by a tank.
Does this seem normal and would you expect that I shold have to pay the approx. $700 for them to replace the housing along with the original $300 to replace the water pump?
Forgot to mention they said it was corroded and that is why they damaged the housing. I tol dthem I would have expected a call if you were having a hard time so as to notify myself that damage may occur to the housing if we proceed. They said soemtimes you have to break things to get the job done!
Damn, that sucks! What year is the car? I've only heard of breaking the tabs when you don't take care in removing the pump. I'd look for a used waterpump crossover housing. I've seen some on eBay, and I have one off a '95 if you're interested.
Sometimes when you want a job done right, you'd better do it yourself.
I'd bet $20 they brute-forced it the wrong way. Anyone else want in?
I think the housing you're referring to is the "water log", correct? You can get those used for <$50, there might even be one on ebay. I don't have much experience with these engines being in the car they came with... But I think there should be ample clearance for an easy removal. $300 is unreasonable, even if the water pump was $200 (which it's not- I think the acdelco part is around $70). $700 also sounds high, but I don't know how much the "log" runs new. I'd guess maybe $3-400, plus a few hours labor would be around $500 or so. But there's no point in buying a new one, it's not a "wear" item.
You might want to consider having it towed to a new shop. Wait for some other opinions first though,
Depending on how the tabs on the pump are bent, it really sounds like they were trying to turn the thing counter-clockwise to remove it when it really has to be turned clockwise. That would definitely cause the damage you're describing, and in that case, it's their fault and they would have to fix it themselves because they didn't look at the freekin' thing before they started pounding on it with a hammer. I can't imagine what kind of corrosion would have to be on there to make it so difficult to remove that they would break off tabs. It sounds like they got some overzealous kid fresh out of tech school working on it and he screwed up. They should fix that in my opinion.
Thanks for the replies, I feel exactly like you've all described, that it would take brute force to to damage the parts the way they are damaged. I know for sure there are 2 tabs broken off the pump, look like they've been sheared off with another couple all bent out of shape. 1 tab in the housing broken out of the housing. As far as the corrosion, there are no pits or missing aluminum on either the housing or the pump so I'm having a hard time buying the corrosion theory.
Awaiting other comments and appreciate the time taken to reply to my earlier post. The car is a 1994 with 62K miles, very low mileage and very well maintaned.
To clarify and get my facts in order I forgot to mention that they were also going to change the water pump belt and add new anti-freeze along with changing the water pump for $300, $298 if I remember correctly. As far as replacing the water pump housing they told me 8 hours labor and $172 for the part, once again if I remember correctly they said they would reduce the labor charge to like $200 plus the $172 for the part, so that's $372 plus the original $300 for changing the water pump. I just knew I should have bought the tool and did it myself. I asked them if it was tight because of corrosion, why didn't you soak it down with something like WD-40 over night and then if there was still a problem, call me and tell me there is a good chance that we may break something if we proceed. I feel strongly that they should have called and said there was a problem getting it apart and explained the problem so that I was the one making the decision to proceed and possibly break another connecting part.
I may have been inclined to have them put the cover back on and either take it to another garage or check into it myself, their reply was that sometimes you just have to break things to get them apart!
The only corrosion I saw was very minimal on the face of the cover, nothing on the pump accept once again on the face of the pump where the o-ring is and that also is only minimal, really nothing more than a little discoloration, no build-up at all. I know the o-ring is either orange or red because it was still in the groove when I looked at it. My thought would be, how could a rubber or sillicone o-ring escape damage when the steal pump tangs or tabs and aluminum tab in the housing were severely damaged.
As far as replacing the water pump housing they told me 8 hours labor and $172 for the part, once again if I remember correctly they said they would reduce the labor charge to like $200 plus the $172 for the part, so that's $372 plus the original $300 for changing the water pump.
Do you have the old water pump? Or do they?
Personally, I would get ahold of it, and see how it's bent. If you can prove they were rotating it the wrong way, you can make them pay for the part and labor.
But isn't it nice of them to cut the labor cost in half for a part they have to replace because THEY broke?
They have the part because I told them to hold onto all the parts. They're really doing me a favor by reducing the cost which also leads me to believe that they know they screwed up, they were to willing to cut the cost even though it's still a lot of money. I would say this, it appears that primitive Pete got a hold of that water pump and those tabs are made out of some pretty sturdy steal. How ole Pete could have sheared a couple off completely and bent up the rest with only that removal tool is beyond me.
Your right, they broke it, without a doubt and I can't believe they are giving me this much grief over it. I have no second car so I've been stuck since last Friday. I took it to them because I thought they were the best around other than going to the nearest Cadillac dealer which is about 40-45 miles away.
Does anyone know if a water pump housing from a 1996 will fit a 1994 Northstar. The dealer said they have a different part number! I ask because there is a 1996 available within a few miles from my home.
Automobile(s): White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
Re: Water Pump Housing
I once had a Chevy dealer do a fuel pump in an S10 Blazer. The fuel lines were corroded and they new they would destroy the line and consequently the sending unit. They called me and got an OK to continue.
As previously mentioned, I would look closely at the remaining bent tabs. They will tell the story as to which direction torque was applied. If you can show them that it was their fault I would flat refuse to pay and threaten them with legal action as well as reports to BBB, local chamber of commerce, etc. If you have a good case and proof (keep the old pump once it is in your hands), they'll probably come around.
Ranger and all who replied, thank you for your comments. Obviously, I agree with all who state that the old pump will tell the story and it does. I'll find out in the morning what they are going to do and if I end up having it towed to another repair facility I'll certainly keep the old parts. As Ranger mentioned I will report them to the BBB and loacl chamber of commerce, not what I want to do and never have but it is only to obvious that they didn't use very good judgement in removing the old pump. To anyone that may be interested, I'll keep you posted on what has turned out to be a very disgusting experience, being without a car since last Friday and a repair bill that would be right at $800 to replace a water pump, assuming the housing can be replaced without further damage to any other parts ( that's what really scares me, what would they break next ).
You don't have to report them to the BBB, et. al. just yet. Give them a chance to do the right thing. They should replace the housing at no cost to you and charge you only for the water pump replacement. I don't think you can ask for a free job altogether, but I don't think they should charge you for anything above and beyond the initial costs of parts, supplies, and labor for the water pump job. The housing, additional supplies, and additional labor are on their dime for their mistake. You can threaten them with the BBB for negotiation purposes, but don't actually report them until you've given them a chance to do right. Just my opinion. I've had to use the BBB on three occasions and I got what was fair from the companies involved after they helped me. The local chamber of commerce might be able to help you resolve it as well.