Mechanics

ALTERNATOR BELT AND WATER PUMP

1999 Mazda 626

Engine Cooling problem
1999 Mazda 626 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 110000 miles

Hello! My 1999 Mazda 626 died last week. When I got it to the shop, they said that the alternator belt had burned off. They recommended getting the water pump replaced as well, because they said that's usually the problem with Mazdas. A year ago I took it to these guys and they replaced all my belts and hoses and spark plugs, so I don't understand why a new belt would burn. I had noticed a squealing spinning sound under the hood when I would first start it, which would squeal for about 30 seconds until the car got in gear. I asked them to check that out too, and they said it was just a squeaky belt and not to worry. Well, now that the alt. Belt has been replaced, the car does not make that noise, so obviously it was a problem because the belt burned off. Now the car drives really really hot, so I basically don't drive it because I'm afraid it will overheat. My O2 sensor has been faulty for a while and my check engine light comes on and off intermittently. They told me at the shop it's about $200 to replace, but that I didn't need to do it right that minute, so I just let it go. I'm saving up some cash to pay to get the repairs, and I want to make sure I'm spending my money on the right solution. Do you think this sounds like the water pump, or the AC compressor? Did the faulty O2 sensor contribute to this perhaps? They charged me $125 to replace the alt. Belt and want to charge another $400 to replace the water pump. Does this sound right? I saw on an autoparts website that water pumps are under $100, and alt. Belts are under $50. Should I just buy the parts online and have them put them in? Thanks for your help!
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Rmyover
August 2, 2009.



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