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mike, BMW Technician
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 1162
Experience:  bmw master tech ase certified
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the water pump on my 2000 bmw 323i just went while driving.

Customer Question

the water pump on my 2000 bmw 323i just went while driving. how bad is this? what can I expect? As soon as the pump went, the temp gauge shot up, the coolant warning light went on and the check battery light also went on.

I got the car off the road and let it cool down, then checked and added coolant. I noticed the v-belt had fallen off, but was able to start the car -- granted I did not move it. I had it towed to the nearest service station and right now I am awaiting their call.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: BMW
Expert:  mike replied 8 years ago.
Hi well you will need new belt , new water pump, you should and very reccomeneded to replace the thermostat. If it has not happened yet. Normally after we repair what I have stated above the car come back with the expansion tank cracked also common. You also want to ck the top rad hose the break off from the rad. You can go to. to get an idea on parts prices. water pump and thermostat 2.5 to 3 hours labor. It all depends what else is needed. Thanks mike
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks Mike.

The mechanic is taking some more time to fully assess, which worries me.

He said the cooling system of the 3 series can be problematic and costly! They want to check the head gasket for damage as well as tensioners and the pulley that holds the belt.

They said at the very least they will have to replace the water pump as well as the thermostadt (as you indicated!)

What has been your experience? Do you think I am really in for major costs?

I checked the site you linked me to for idea of cost on parts. Do they have to used genuine bmw parts? I have seen third party parts for bmw online like here:

They are still a few hours away from fully diagnosing and giving me an estimate. I just want to be prepared!

Thank you ever so much!
Expert:  mike replied 8 years ago.
Hi you do not have to use factory parts if you do not want to. If the car has not been overheated before and when it did just now you shut it right down you should be fine. There is always a chance of a headgasket issue. If it does come to that there are other things that need to be cked first. But really they need to put the water pump and thermostat on and bleed the system correctly. Then ck it from there. Is this car at a reputable shop?? I would do the parts we know it needs first. There is no reason to take more hours to diagnose???? Are they doing a compression test already?? Mike
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I am the second owner of the car, so I have no idea if it had overheated before. The car was driven about a mile out of traffic when this happened. Unfortunately, I was in a spot where there was no place to stop.

The shop is reputable. I have used them before for my other car (not a bmw).

They will likely look to get the parts from the local BMW dealer, but I will advise them to get elsewhere if money can be saved that way. I have shopped around and found 2000 bmw 3-series water pumps for around $60 and thermostadts for around $80.

I am praying there is not a problem with the head gasket!
Expert:  mike replied 8 years ago.
Hi normally not. Just never know. Let me know what they come up with Mike
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hey Mike:

Well, I got the estimate. $500 labor and $800 for parts, but they were looking to get the parts from the local BMW dealer as I suspected. I told them they are likely being charged top dollar for them. So, they gave me the list of parts needed and told me they had no problem with me getting the parts and then the shop doing the labor.

Here's what they are saying needs replacing:
- OEM DRIVE BELT - Serpentine Belt - Alternator
- OEM DRIVE BELT - Serpentine Belt - AC
- OEM DRIVE BELT TENSIONER - Serpentine Tensioner - Mechanical Tensioner - AC Belt
- OEM - Serpentine Idler Pulley
- OEM RADIATOR HOSE - upper hose
- OEM RADIATOR HOSE - lower hose
along with some less pricey items such as hex bolts, washers, etc.

The tip off for me is when they quoted me for $130 for the water pump and I had seen the same for about half that online - third party equivalent of course.

Does this sound about right?


Expert:  mike replied 8 years ago.
Hi without seeing it hard to say. Never see to much with the hoses. The neck on the rad usally breaks off. Same for the tensenor not sure if they think that is what made the belt come off or what. Belt came off from the wobble of the water pump. Have replaced some. The rest is pretty good yeah look around for cheaper prices. Like I said before we have done repairs just like this and the car comes back with low coolant or a coolant leak from the coolant expansion tank cracking. Keep that in mind also. Mike