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Thread: Water Pump Life ?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Cressida's Avatar
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    Default Water Pump Life ?

    Last week I had the second failure of the water pump on my 3.4L engine in a Chevy Venture. I had just returned from a 400 mile trip so lucky it got me home before it let go. I believe my A-body still has the original water pump which is going on 25 years now. A search of these forums doesn't find many post about others replacing water pumps so I thought I'd ask:

    Have you replaced the water pump on your 3300 or 3100 engine, and if so, at about what mileage ?

    Is there any merit in replacing what still is a good, but old pump as preventative maintenance - or leave it alone until it fails because the aftermarket pumps that are often coming from China may not be better than the old unit still on our cars ?
    1993 Olds Ciera S, 3300 - 100K - Sapphire blue leather interior

    98 Chevy Venture 3.4L 180K



  2. #2
    Senior Member Keiths1976's Avatar
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    My old girl was 65k on the original but she sat a lot my wife’s grand parents only went local driving . I took ownership and put the second one in and it lasted 12 years 100k lol cause at 175k the wheep hole was leaking and had shaft play but that was a Autozone what ever brand . Now I put a good one in but not complaining tho since mine is never sleeping she’s always going to the Depths of Florida and back lol .

  3. #3
    Senior Member Keiths1976's Avatar
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    Honestly I would think of replacing the original it’s cheap enough and easy , you would want the pump to fail internally as u drive cause the actual pump blades stops spinning while your driving and you would overhear and not know a thing cause she will be still running . You take the pump out of the housing and the pump blades are sitting inside apart from the shaft .see that happened on the newer 3100-3400 motors but I am sure lack of taken care of could have lead to that .

  4. #4
    Senior Member CorvairGeek's Avatar
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    At least we have the advantage that it takes longer to drain and refill the cooling system on the 3100, and surprisingly the 3300 too, than to change the water pump, in an A-body!
    Jerry

  5. #5
    Senior Member Keiths1976's Avatar
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    My friend I agree there with the draining and refilling .

  6. #6

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    Just checked all my dad's old car records for his 1990 3300 V6 that died in 2006 with 228,912.8 miles and found no record of his water pump ever being replaced at a shop. Serpentine belt was replaced at 170K in 1999 and alternator replaced a few times. Radiator once or twice. He changed the oil like every 10-12K using cheap conventional oil.... I do know that somewhere between 2003 and 2006 the water pump failed and snapped the belt as he was pulling into work. We replaced it and belt in the parking lot with one from Advance Auto. I beleive he said at the time that he hadn't had it replaced on that car, so his original water pump apparently lasted 13-16yrs and somewhere between 195k and 225k miles....

    I do not suggest following my dad's maintenance schedule, but it appears that the original water pump is capable of reaching well over 100k miles.

    The nice thing about the 3300 is that unlike my Honda, the water pump is run by the drive belt, not timing belt/chain.

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