Broken water pump & possible head gasket issues

  • 1990 MAZDA 323
  • 189,000 MILES
The water pump in my car has a huge leak and needs to be replaced. However my mechanic is unsure if the head gasket has been damaged due to overheating of the car. He thinks (because of the sound of the engine etc) that there is a total loss of pressure in one of the cylinders, but we are unable to carry out checks to assess the damage without replacing the water pump. The water pump is going to cost approx $500 and also the car is up for a new timing belt, which you would do at the same time as the water pump, but the thing is there is such a risk that the car will still be no good after replacing the water pump, however its worth nothing in the state it is currently in - a bit of a catch 22. I was just wondering if you knew how robust the old mazda engines are in terms of overheating etc. If I was to spend the money on it what do u think are the chances of it being ok to drive, I know its a really hard call without seeing the car. I would be happy to spend 1200 if I could get another 6mth out of it, as im finishing up university and cant afford a new car at the moment. I dont know what to do, was just looking for advice or somebody's opinion. Such a hard decision.
Do you
have the same problem?
Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 AT 3:17 PM

1 Reply

A compression test can and should be done. This wont cause overheating on a cold engine. Disable the fuel pump before cranking.
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Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 AT 3:42 PM

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