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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Along with a bad front wheel bearing, whiny trans, bad CAT, bad driver door window motor, I now have a bad water pump. All of this for a 2008 with 74k. The TIS manual says remove the engine to replace. I have got an hour into pulling the pump and am wondering where to go next as it looks like more needs to come out. Anyone ever have a water pump replaced? Did it require the engine to come out. Personally I think that is insane....

Last Toyota for me for a long time...
 

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Window motor is a wear item. I've lost plenty of driver side window motors in various vehicles. Funny that the other '3' windows never had issues. I spend too much time in the drive thru!

Front wheel bearing failure is common enough. But, I would think that road quality and driving style adds to the issue. It could also be a bad bearing from the factory! They either last forever or die early. Its a wear item.

Whiny trans is normal enough. I know that if it was under warranty, the dealer might've replaced it. Whiny trans tends to be caused by poor maintenance. So, if you haven't completely changed the ATF twice already, its expected. 15k partial drain/refills or 30k complete flushes is what EVERY transmission needs.

Bad cat. Depends on failure. I've hit road debris that has destroyed cats. And, all it takes is some bad fuel quality to ruin a cat.

I change my coolant every couple years or 30k. Hope it prevents a water pump issue.

I am not bedazzled by ANY owners' manuals. ALL mechanical devices require maintenance. The owners manuals recommendations should be tossed. Common sense should prevail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Deadrx7, with all due respect your post had nothing to do with my issue. Keep in mind this car has 74k on and is less than 3 years old, NONE of these issues should be present regardless of maintenance which i do religiously.

If you have an answer the will assist me with my defective water pump feel free to share. It sounds more like you work for Toyota and are defending them then trying to assist me.








Window motor is a wear item. I've lost plenty of driver side window motors in various vehicles. Funny that the other '3' windows never had issues. I spend too much time in the drive thru!

Front wheel bearing failure is common enough. But, I would think that road quality and driving style adds to the issue. It could also be a bad bearing from the factory! They either last forever or die early. Its a wear item.

Whiny trans is normal enough. I know that if it was under warranty, the dealer might've replaced it. Whiny trans tends to be caused by poor maintenance. So, if you haven't completely changed the ATF twice already, its expected. 15k partial drain/refills or 30k complete flushes is what EVERY transmission needs.

Bad cat. Depends on failure. I've hit road debris that has destroyed cats. And, all it takes is some bad fuel quality to ruin a cat.

I change my coolant every couple years or 30k. Hope it prevents a water pump issue.

I am not bedazzled by ANY owners' manuals. ALL mechanical devices require maintenance. The owners manuals recommendations should be tossed. Common sense should prevail.
 

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You do have the tire and fender liners off, right?
Move the engine aside a little by supporting it on jacks and removing the mounts.

You don't need to remove the engine to replace the water pump. You do need to have some advanced mechanical skill and foresight.
 

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You know stuff happens with all brands but not to all cars in the series. I just got rid of a Nissan Murano with 86K miles. I had a wheel bearing go, a fuel damper, an oil filled engine mount and some oil filled bushing on the front end. I wasn't too happy about it and I sold it but many of the other Murano owners are as happy as clams without any of my issues. I am just going for some hope that my HL will not be as troublesome. Sometimes it's just dumb luck on all these cars. I'm sure if we scan a BMW or Audi board, we will hear much of the same complaints.
 

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I don't believe if you can prevent water pump failure with coolant flushes on 3 year old car. I had not heard that water pumps are problematic on 3.5L V6 Toyota engines but anything mechanical can break down. I wouldn't be too surprised to have problems on 3 year old car with 74K. Cars made from metal and plastic and don't last forever. Get the shop manual and follow the directions for pump replacement. I really doubt you need to remove the engine to get to the water pump and if it is indeed so then don't overestimate your mechanical abilities and take it to the shop.

BTW. Whiny transmission is not normal, you should have taken care about it while car was on the warranty. I had a Nissan Maxima with whiny and jerky transmission and it drove me nuts for years till I sold it and got a HL.
 

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Shop manual wants you to remove the engine. Engine doesn't need to be removed. You just need access to the WP to replace it. Camry/Rav4 also claim engine removal for WP replacement.

Driving style and maintenance help determine component life. Try driving 74k miles without an oil change? But, we practice 5k intervals because of the dash oil change reminder and we don't touch any other fluid until AFTER the warranty expires.
 

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I just looked at maintenance schedule and it calls for coolant change at 100K or 120 months. You can replace at at 90K if you want to be proactive but couple years/30K is overkill, and Toyota long life coolant is not cheap. It is good to know that there is a way not to remove an engine for water pump change but I believe OP is looking for step by step guidance of doing so.
 

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Its not overkill if you have to replace a worn out water pump at 74k miles.
2 gallons of antifreeze at 30k and 60k = $100 ($40 if you use Zerex Asian). Knowing that the cooling system is squeaky clean is priceless.

Look also at the neglect the transmission, rear end, transfer case.... get. Its no different. By the time you have a problem that could be prevented with maintenance, your warranty already expired.

Automakers spend money on cost accounts and statisticians too. Not all the budget is engineering. And, the marketing/ad department love these so-called maintenance free vehicles. I love how the maintenance schedule uses the word "inspect" liberally. WTF, 'inspect' means nothing. You can't see how well a fluid is with "inspect". You need a chemical analysis. And, a fluid change is cheaper than analysis. Maintenance is the gamble that I haven't lost on.

Wait 'til a number of these hit 120-170k miles and 'other' components start failing. I've seen clogged radiators in Toyotas. Mine won't be clogged. My rear end won't fail. My transmission won't fail. My transfer case won't fail. My waterpump will last at least 150k. This is what I've seen by practicing maintenance in multiple vehicles over 100's of thousands of miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Please tell me then what could i have done to prevent my wheel bearing from failing at 40k? Is there a zerk fitting I missed? Should I have not rolled my window down when it got hot to prevent the motor from going bad?

All this back and forth is going nowhere. My issues were not caused by neglect, but poor quality. Toyota has been in the media for quality issues lately and worse for hiding from them initially. My point is I am dissapointed with Toyota's quality evidenced in my recent purchase. I have had more than 10 cars from all manufacturers and have yet to have this amount of trouble with the others with this little mileage as I have on this vehicle. The point of this forum is to share experiences to help others and learn from others experiences as well.

With that said, TIS states to remove the engine to access the water pump. I think that is absurd. I have gotten all 16 bolts out of the water pump but still have not gotten it off yet. I was hoping to hear from someone who can tell just how much more I need to remove beyond the water pump bolts and pulley, the tensioner and idler pulley, and the crank pulley. There is still the thermostat housing which is attached to the pump along with additional cooling lines. However they are buried under the upper engine mount. I am hoping to learn just how much more of the upper engine components I need to remove before I can get it out. I dont want to go overboard If it can be squeaked out easier.

Thanks!
 

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Go overboard!

Don't hit pot holes or drive on poorly paved roads. I smacked a curb lightly in my friends VW. 2 days later, I was replacing the wheel bearing. I also had out-of-balance tires on my Mazda. Guess what, lost the wheel bearing there too. Mildly bent rim on my Nissan and lost the bearing there also.
Tire pressure and alignment can help with your wheel bearing. Do you check and top off your tire pressure 4-6 times a year? do you get a yearly alignment? Love those NJ roads.
Don't leadfoot drive like the typical speed demon NewJerserer.

Pull your door panel off and add some lube to the mechanicals of your new power window motor/tracks/screws.... I also like using some silicone lube on the window seals. Your window drags. Prevent the drag in the window tracks with some lube.

Yep, definite poor quality. But, I can take the worst quality and improve on it with choice maintenance intervals with choice products most of the time. Can't fix a bad driver. Can't fix abuse or neglect. Can't fix Toyota's pathetic maintenance guide.
But, I can prevent. Vehicle worked great new. Do what you can to keep it new = prevention.

Religious maintenance is futile if you think your owners manual is the bible. The maintenance guide is an insult. Real maintenance requires a thought out effort beyond any manual that Toyota created. 100k disposable car and engineered as such. But, so are all the others!
 

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e-How's description on removal of the water pump in a HL is this:

1. Disconnect the negative cable on the car battery before you begin.
2. Place a drain pan underneath the radiator. When the engine is cool, drain the cooling system from the radiator into the pan.
3. Take out the alternator.
4. Loosen the water pump pulley bolts and take out the water pump pulley.
5. Remove the water pump from the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the post, e-How is hilarious. All dealers I spoke to said it is at least a 9 hour job for $1200+. I can confirm it is a beast. The engine doesnt need to come out per the dealer but it needs to be dropped from all the engine mounts which means dropping the sub frame/engine cradle. I am negotiating with Toyota now since I have had so many problems with this vehicle.
 

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Thats good. I hope that the negotiation with Toyota works out in your favor.
Toyota has had too many slip ups trying to be numero uno in volume and quality seriously slipped.

Its definitely an overboard PITA job but can be done with engine in the bay.
 

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Wow, that's a ridiculous number of problems for such a new and low mileage car. :rolleyes: Good luck getting it sorted out with the dealership. BTW RAV4s have the tranny whine and water pump failure issues too. Our 2002 Highlander has had practically zero issues in its 8 years and 90k miles of service thus far *knock on wood*. They don't make them like they used to apparently.
 

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RYKOHL, I didn't see anywhere in your post where you had neglected your vehicle's maintenance, and you are right, you are having an insane amount of problems with a Toyota that is only a 2008 model with 74k miles. I respect the other folks' comments, but the problems you have described are happening way too early. For instance, on our '98 Sienna...
* I replaced the driver's side power window motor at 183,050 miles
* wheel bearing change was done at 220,794 miles
* I changed the o2 sensors at 260,810 miles when P0420 popped up, but am still running on the original CAT. Well, its heat shield fell off this summer, ....darn.

The transaxle was replaced under warranty at 67,055 miles due to pinion gear failure, but the vehicle now has 277,700 miles which means the trans has 210,645 miles on it, and it shifts like factory-new. It is church-mouse quiet and does not whine. I've changed the ATF on average every 24,421 miles.

Water pump is factory OEM. I may change it as a PM when the next timing belt change is due at 317,000 miles. Coolant has been changed on average every 31,734 miles.

I heard you loud and clear when you said, "NONE of these issues should be present regardless of maintenance, which I do religiously". I couldn't remain silent after it was suggested these problems are due to your neglect. You are indeed experiencing an unacceptable amount of problems with a Toyota.
 

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Sorry about your problems. Is the water pump not covered under warranty? I have sold a number of pumps for the Toyota 3.5 which may point to an emerging problem area.
 

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First, I have to say, this site is great, offering a lot of information.
So much so, it prompted me to check my water pump.
Sure enough, evidence of leakage.
My dealer took care of it under warranty as I only have 42k on the clock.
Kudos to them because I called them this morning and got the car back this afternoon.

IT WAS NOT A 9 HOUR JOB AND $1200 for me.
The charges on my repair order added up to a little over $400, covered under warranty.
The service advisor said it's about a 2-2 1/2 hour job.

Just some FYI.

Also: I've had my share of work done:
transfer case and transmission for the 'whine' @ 12k (transmission fixed it)
dash rattle
driver's door panel/arm rest replace

I still like the car.
First model years usually have some issues, IMO.
 

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Water Pump Failure at 50K Miles

First of all, what is WRONG with deadrx7conv? Is he still living in the 1950s when a car always required a complete engine tear down & overhaul at 50K miles? I'm the king of maintenance and do all my own servicing...BUT you don't need to flush & fill current HOAT/OAT coolant every 30K miles. Maybe deadrx7conv works for Valvoline, Prestone, etc and just wants to sell as many automotive fluids as possible...

Now that that is out of the way, I just had the water pump on my 2008 HL start leaking from the weep hole at 50K miles. Shouldn't happen on a very well maintained vehicle but just another case of Toyota quality not being what it used to be. Just want to make sure people know:

A) No official TSB yet

B) This IS covered by the 5 year/60,000 mile Power train warranty, so no cost to have the water pump replaced (a BIG labor cost/small parts cost)


I'm sure deadrx7conv will start flaming me shortly and I'm sure he'll look back at my DIYs for errors...Go nutz!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Here is the official scoop: Toyota TIS says flat out the engine needs to come out at the tune of 11 hours. Even Toyota corporate follows this declaration. At 74k they were willing to pay half of the repair which was quoted at $1300 from 3 different dealers. I was not about to pay even $650 to replace a water pump that I got in town for $50 brand new. I did the job on my '08 Limited Highlander 2GRFE V6 in less than half the time Toyota quoted (around 4hours). Knowing how to tackle it now I am sure I could even save more time if I had to do it again. It was actually fairly easy just time consuming since there are 16 bolts on the water pump alone AFTER you get to it.

Obviously I should never have had to replace the water pump at 74k. Mine wasnt even leaking, the bearing was totally shot and was screaming. Toyota stepped up a little and agreed to pay for half after the warranty was up. Regardless, the time they quote is completely WRONG and you will still overpay even if Toyota covers half. FYI, Toyota will ONLY reimburse if you get it done at the dealer under their time estimates.

None of this has anything to do with maintenance. It was a bad bearing, just like the one in my front wheel.
 
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