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Hi, this is an odd scenario I know. I was coming back from lunch yesterday and when I turned right I heard a growling like noise and then steering was real tight. I got parked and when looking back at car it was pouring liquid from the underneath front. I called dealership and they said more than likely it was power steering pump -- stated that for Power Steering Pump and Pulley with labor would be $700.00 I was told not to drive it if it was leaking that bad. So I called tow truck to take to my local mechanic shop. They investigated today and said it was full of power steering fluid - that fluid was I was leaking was coolant from the water pump -- that when pump went out it could've thrown water on the belt and caused it to slip/stretch which made it difficult to steer. So, now they're needing to replace Water Pump, Serpentine Belt and Coolant to a tune of $301.00.. Is it normal for Water Pump to just go out at once like that? Don't get me wrong, I am blessed that it did it in my work parking lot and not be stranded on the highway running hot, etc. Just wondered if anyone else had experienced any of this.
 

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What likely happened is the dealership misdiagnosed your issue as it was only over the phone and they couldn't see it, where the mechanic was able to look into it. Luckily, what you need fixed is cheaper to get done! As to what happened, the seal on the water pump could've cracked, or the pump itself could've cracked, causing the issues you described. Water pumps on the Nitros seem to be a pretty common thing to have replaced. I replaced mine not too long ago due to leaking and overheating.

Hope your problems get resolved quickly and you're back on the road!
 

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I had the same issues with my o7... Water pump blew out at local hardware store, getting the belt wet causing lose of power steering. Was only 5 miles away so was able to limp her home and get it up to the shop for replacement. Sadly i had parts on order from rock auto but they were 3 days out. Ended up returning and using parts at the shop for the repair.
 

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Does the harmonic damper have to come off? I'm planning a long summer trip. With 108,000+ miles, I may replace the water pump before my trip.
 
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