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"Different" sound identifed!

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Ok, part II, there was a whirring sound coming from the front of the 92 Regal, 3800 V6, with almost 260,000 miles, that changed with the rpms but did not affect drivability nor economy.

I had written down stethoscope for athis Saturday morning's errand. No need. (I was intially thinking pulley, alternator, water pump, p/s pump, or even a minute exhaust leak)

Today, driving home from the rail station, the low coolant light came on and off. In fact, last night, at Borders, I noticed some drips in front the car, but no temperature issues.

No temperature issues today, either, but that can/will change real soon. There is a coolant leak under the water pump area. That water pump has gone for about 140,000 miles.

Ok, so some questions now:

(1) UNBELIEVABLE - when I lifted the hood, there was a small linear gash in the under-hood blanket. Then I noticed that the edge of the serpentine belt appeared torn. It was about 10,000 miles old. WTF!!! How does that happen? (I was really lucky last night, driving home from a rural area about 35 miles away when I heard a weird noise).

(2) Chicken or egg? Belt (replacement) about 10,000 miles ago affected water pump, or water pump affected belt?

(3) Water pump repairs - can't/won't do this on my own. How much is the average R&R for a water pump at (a) a dealer, (b) Firestone/Goodyear, (c ) Pep Boys...or anyone else you recommend. Not having had a repair in about 2 years, I don't have a regular mechanic where I now live.

Your advice/input is sought.

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R&R can be done in under an hour, part can be as low as $30-40 all the way to over $100 at a dealer. Depending on what labor charges are and if you need new hoses to go with it you're looking at somewhere between $100-$200.

As for the belt, the water pump could have seized a few times and the belt could have been slipping on it. I can't imagine a belt damaging a water pump.

Thanks, Joe, I was sort of thinking the same thing about the chicken/egg conundrum.

Also, I know if anyone around here knows their way around the 3800, you would be at the top/toward the top of that list!

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When the belt is removed, double check that all the pulleys/accessories don't move or wobble. Also double check that you have the correct belt.

My '89 GMC van from my father has a belt eating habit, and I've been damned to find it... the belt is VERY tight and it destroys the belt roughly every 10K.

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