water pump on nissan vanette
Hi, (hope this is in the right forum by the way...)
I have recently bought a 1998 nissan vanette cargo with 109k on the clock and I have just taken it for a service.
The garage say that it needs a new water pump as it is leaking, and that it will be a £340 job (or £440 if it needs a tensioning kit which they'd 'try and get away without'), this is mainly labour as it involves dismantling the engine to get to it and taking the cambelt off and fitting a new one.
I've told them I can't afford to get it done, and they've said it'll be ok as long as I keep checking the water level in the header tank and the radiator. This I've done, and in the 200 miles I've done since the service it hasn't gone down at all. Neither have I seen any patch of water dripped out onto the floor underneath it like they've said it might.
This presents me with an issue, because I now don't know whether they're trying to take me for a ride, or giving me the best advice possible which will keep it running smoothly for a long time (and miles) to come.
Their mechanical work seems excellent - they've changed a brake cylinder and adjusted the handbrake which is now perfect, they've also fitted a new exhaust which seems good. However I've no idea if they're talking bull or not by overstating the work that needs doing with the water pump in order to drum up trade as I know some garages do.
They say that it might not leak too much now because they've left the fan belt a bit slack which means there will be less stress on the water pump, but if this causes it not to leak what's the disadvantage of having it like this?
Also is there any way I can confirm for myself what state the water pump is in, not least so I know how to spot it before buying in future? Not that I'm unhappy with my purchase even if the water pump does need replacing, but just to have as many strings to the bow of mechanical knowledge the better.
I'd like to keep the resale value high if I can, but as long as it serves the purpose I got it for then I don't plan on changing it - in other words I don't plan to keep it for say 3 years and then sell it for something else, so therefore long-term mechanical soundness is more important than minimizing total cost of ownership (i.e. depreciation + service and repair costs).