Engine Mechanical problem
1999 Toyota Avalon 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 64K miles
I have a 1999 Avalon with only 64K miles. I wanted to change the belts, which have never been done, but the dealer said I should also replace the water pump at the same time. The cost then would be almost $1000. Do you think I should do so? Their argument is that a new timing belt puts more pressure on the pump's bearings, and it would likely fail quickly.
For a high mileage engine, the dealer is correct. However at 64 k miles, the mileage is too early for the water pump to be failing, unless coolant is not used or is in bad condition.
There is no guarantee that the water pump is going to last and I have seen them giving way after 20 k of belt replacement, ie if the pump is not replaced. The onus is on you to take the risk. At a higher mileage, I would definitely recommend changing it.