Call some local independent repair shops. Labor rates vary by state and community. Depending on which engine you have, 400 bucks for a water pump is either way over-priced or a fairly good deal. A serpentine belt from the dealer costs around $45.00 for most engines. It can take a half hour or more to replace them on '96 and newer models. It takes about five minutes on the older models.
No idea what is meant with the evaporator. Replacing one requires removing the steeing column, dash assembly and heater box. The AC system must be pumped into a vacuum, then recharged after service. This repair typically takes the better part of a day. It will not cause the Check Engine light to turn on.
April, 14, 2010 AT 10:18 PM
The car has a 3.8L V6 L OHV (MFI) engine and I am in NJ.
April, 14, 2010 AT 11:35 PM
I was hoping that was what you had. 400 bucks is way too much for a water pump unless there is some other additional service they're going to do. To put things in perspective, I replaced dozens of these on the similar 3.3L engine in the early 1990s. They caused a loud buzzing noise due to noisy bearings and were replaced by the supplier under warranty. Since the cooling system didn't need to be flushed, the entire procedure including refilling the system took less than a half hour. It helped that I had done so many of them that I knew exactly which tools to grab. Most mechanics won't get done quite so fast unless they've done a bunch of them before.
Once the car is on a hoist, the pump is right in the open and easy to get to. I don't know what the cost is for the pump, but I would guess $150.00 should cover the pump and the labor, maybe a little more if it's time to replace the antifreeze.
I can't help you with typical shop labor rates. Where I am in central WI, it is well known rates are much lower than in the rest of the state as are wages. The only thing that is fairly consistant are the high taxes.