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Chris, Technician
Category: Chrysler
Satisfied Customers: 13863
Experience:  30 years certified Chrysler technician, smog license Certified Master Technician
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1996 Chrysler Concorde: driven..trip..poured..from area of water pump

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1996 Chrysler Concorde 3.5- coolant leaking and water pump apparently failed while being driven on a trip. Coolant poured out from area of water pump, and when mechanic tried to replace the pump, he says there is coolant in the oil, and the engine is ruined. Engine still runs, without knocking, etc. Can mechanic be sure engine is ruined- it only has 73,000 miles?

Hello and welcome to just answer Chrysler. If the engine overheated to the point that the head gasket(s) started to leak, then you will probably need to replace the head gaskets and maybe the head(s) themselves. If it overheated enough to crack the engine block then the engine would need to be replaced. Ask your mechanic to tell you where the coolant entered the crank case and then decide what needs to be done.

Hope this information helps. Let me know if you need more assistance with this.



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The mechanic says the coolant entered at the water pump- the seep hole couldnt drain it fast enough and i think he said the bearing and/or seal on the water pump failed. No indication of a head gasket blown- and no cracked block noted- there was no white smoke, and the engine was still running when my daughter turned it off because of the idiot light- she tried to add coolant, and it leaked out at the water pump
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
the mechanic also claims that because of the amount of coolant in the oil, he is sure the bearings, etc have been worn and that they would fail and/or throw a rod if he replaced the water pump and we tried to drive the car home- this happened 400 miles from home while my daughter was on a trip, and I am trying to deal with it at a distance. I think the mechanic is dealing in good faith (at a Pepboys) but I dont know him, dont know exactly how the water pump failed, havent seen the car, etc. I just find it hard to believe that a car with 73000 miles that runs needs a new engine- is a large amount of coolant in the oil always fatal??

A large amount of coolant does not necessarily mean engine death. The oil can be changed a few times to get the coolant out of the crank case and you will probably be ok, however we need to know how the coolant got there. It could be through an intake manifold passage which could be repaired (new gaskets etc.) or it could be a major problem such as cracked block, heads, etc. It is hard to say what kind of shape the bearings are unless the mechanic removes the pan and inspects rod/main bearings. I have seen coolant get into the oil and not cause bearing damage, but you don't know until you inspect them. The next step is to ask the mechanic how the oil got contaminated with coolant and then decide what to do next.



Chris and 3 other Chrysler Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
He claims the coolant got in through the waterpump seal or bearing, not the heads, manifold or block

Then you will probably be ok. Just have the oil changed/flushed after the water pump has been replaced. If there is no strange noises (rod knock etc.) the engine is probably ok.


Thank you for the accept.



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
the mechanic is going to drop the pan and check out the bearings, etc. I will keep you advised, and really appreciate your help

Sounds good. That is probably your best move at this point. let me know,



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The mechanic did as you suggested, dropped the oil pan and said the bearings, etc looked ok- much to his surprise- (he had 40 years experience, including running an engine rebuild shop). He appologized, replaced the water pump and timing belt ($675), and my daughter drove the car home 400 miles without incident. Thank you!

That is fantastic news! I am glad it all worked well and that your daughter made it home safely. Thank you for the bonus and for using just answer!