Are 1.8T's JUNK????

matt matt at
Sat Dec 25 02:49:38 EST 2004

Speaking of 1.8T waterpumps...and plastic waterpumps failing..

our ATQ (2.8 30V) B5 passat, mY2k, had the water pump on the way out.  My
wife called me while i was out of town telling me a bad sound was coming 
from the front of the engine, so i told her to drive the car as little and as
gingerly as possible, and to schedule a service appt w/ the local vag
dealership (car still had powertrain warranty left).

The waterpump shaft was vibrating in the pump housing (that was the sound).
The water pump was on the way out.  on the 30v v6, this is apparently a common
problem, and when the water pump goes, with it goes the timing belt and about 
30 valves.

The dealer was very thankful we brought the car to them pre-catastrophe.  We
got a new water pump and a new timing belt, and had the car in and out of 
there in 1 day.

This was with roughly 30k miles on the motor.

Note that suck-ass water pumps are not unique to VAG.  If anything, while 
V6 waterpump failure is a "known" issue, water pump failure on the BMW M50
series engines is a take-it-to-the-bank sort of affair.  Every E36 3 series
with a 6 cylinder engine will have its plastic impeller explode.  If you're
really really lucky you figure out somethingis amiss before you overheat and
warp your head.  Then you fish bits of plastic out of the cooling system 
and put in the metal waterpump from later cars.  That one also fails, but
for a different reason.  Go to any BMW go-fast place and they have 
completely new waterpump assemblies that have nothing to do with factory parts,
including a new waterpump housing made of metal instead of plastic.  

Note also that the plastic radiator necks are a huge sore point w/ bmw owners.

The E36 3 series cooling system is just generally suspect - radiator, waterpump,
thermostate, and waterpump housing all want to be replaced as a group and
as a regular maintenance job.  Some are suggesting every 60k miles to be on 
the safe side.

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