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2004 Forester X
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a 2004 Forester, no turbo or anything special. What's a ballpark estimate for a professional water pump replacement? Mine is beginning to leak a bit after longer trips.
 

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Premium Member
2008 Forester X Premium 5MT
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8,070 Posts
All depends on the shops hourly labor rate. It is the same process as a timing belt. I have seen quotes from $600-1800:shrug:
 

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Administrator
2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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18,957 Posts
What's your mileage? Timing belt replacement is due at 105k miles, and most of us opt to replace the water pump and other stuff in there at the same time. It's a lot cheaper than opening things up for each separate item, and failure of most anything in there can break the timing belt, which in turn can break the engine.

I think your best option would be to open things up and replace the whole works. There's a link to a suggested list at this sticky in the New Member Introductions Forum. Even if you're not quite up to 105k miles, this will do wonders for the longevity of your Forester, and put the next timing belt job way off in the future.
 

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2004 Forester X
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I am only slightly over 60K (and of course just outside the warranty period) so between the water pump and AC work that needs to be done it's pretty hefty bill for a car that's not that old Thanks for the info. I'll consider the whole package of repairs if that saves a few bucks down the road.
 

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2004 Forester X
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
After trips I can smell a pretty strong coolant odor so I dropped it to the local dealer (who has done all my basic scheduled work) and he told me that it's starting to leak. I believe he mentioned a 'weep hole'? The cost to replace it just struck me as high but I have no point of reference on this car. That combined with the air conditioner repair was nearly 25% of the vehicles worth. So I am thinking some things through right now.
 

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Administrator
2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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18,957 Posts
25%? Wow! Either you got a real bargain when you bought the Forester, or your AC was messed up really bad. I paid about $1100 for timing belt, water pump, etc. in one job. The most expensive piece IIRC was the timing belt tensioner.

In a perhaps related observation, the occasional whiff of coolant odor is not an uncommon phenom. Most of us simply write it off unless it's extremely strong and persistent.
 

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2004 Forester X
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
The 25% figure comes from the total estimate for both the water pump and AC repairs, with tax, relative to what the probable wholesale of a 2004 Forester is worth. I am just not sure it's worth that to me, maybe better to move on.
 

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Registered
2004 Forester X
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Well, to close the loop on this one I went ahead and OK'ed the water pump repair and also had the timing belt done a the same time because it was very reasonable to do so. They agreed to waive the diagnostic fees on both jobs so I can't complain. Thanks to all who responded so quickly with great info. It really helped me make a clear and informed decision.

Now, about that air conditioning...
 

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Administrator
2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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18,957 Posts
Glad to hear it worked out so well for you, and thanks for the feedback. You're good for 105k more miles now! Be sure to keep the records in the event that you should decide to sell and buyers question the timing belt situation.
 
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