Water pump broke & cylinder decompressed? on 2004 Jeep Liberty

The water pump on my Jeep Liberty stopped working causing my battery light to come on. I kept driving, not knowing the water pump had stopped, then lost steering power, steam came out of the engine and the belt came off. They replaced the pump and now state that one of the cylinders has no compression and may have been caused by the engine overheating...is this right? The temperature guage never showed that the engine was hot, just the battery light came on... Help!

Asked by for the 2004 Jeep Liberty
Your liberty has one serpentine belt that runs the water pump, alternator and power steering and thats why the battery light came on because the belt was not turning and it eventually burned through and the steam was cause by overheating because the water pump wasn't turning, probably blew the head gasket and that's why the one cylinder has no compression. the time to replace the one head gasket is 8.5 hrs and to replace both head gaskets is 9.9
Thanks very much Hemicuda, I appreciate the quick and thorough response. Does replacing these head gaskets require that the engine be torn down? and if the repair shop tells me I need to replace the entire engine, I should probably find another repair shop? What's a typical, approx cost for the head gasket replacement?
yes the top of the engine has to be dismantled and the cost runs $1235 to $1703 and depending on what they find when they dismantle the engine it might cost more, Does it run now?
The mechanic invited me to stop by last night so he could show me exactly what's going on with my Jeep, I appreciated this gesture. One of the cylinders on the right side of the engine is completely disfunctional/melted and needs to be replaced - I could even see that when I looked at the head?, laying on the floor in front of my Jeep. All cylinders on the left side seem to be functioning normally as will the new water pump as soon as the head? is replaced...For now the Jeep did not/does not run at all, but the mechanic didn't see anything else wrong and I'm hoping that once the new parts are installed it'll run better than before.
3 answers 5 comments
this isn't really a answer but i looking to see what could be wrong with my jeep and sense i like to work on it i never take it to the shop then i ran across how your jeep liberty broke and that is the same thing that my liberty is doing but you just saved me from going through what you went through. to get on to the point shouldn't have the temp. gauge have gone up because mine doesn't either so sense it doesn't read right shouldn't jeep pay for any damaged parts?
Hi Robert, so glad you caught your Jeep's problem before it progressed to the point that my jeep did, what a nightmare! I think Jeep should pay for the repair, since the gauge NEVER registered hot or anything but normal before the engine seized, but I'm completely doubtful that Chrysler or any other dealer, in the current economic crisis, would accept responsibility for this type of problem and then actually follow through and pay for it... Good luck with your Jeep!
Hey guys, I'm a backyard mechanic myself and have recently had coolant system issues with my 2004 Impala and learned why the temp gauge does not go up, but the hard way. The thermostat is designed to take temp reading FROM LIQUID ONLY. Once there is a leak that drains too much fluid, or steams out, or if there is an air pocket trapped around thermostat, then the stupid piece of crap WILL NOT READ THE TRUE TEMPERATURE OF ENGINE.!!!! Also, no car company will pay anything for that for multiple reasons they can state, like how the leak is what caused it and should have been caught then, routine maintenance, etc,etc. Totally sucks. But that's the answer. Thermostat doesn't read coolant temp unless actually submerged in coolant and the gauge that says temp u see on dash is not actually "engine temp" it is just " coolant temp"
Yes Illegal Lee you are spot on with that. I learned years ago when first started wrenching, water/coolant doesnt heat the same as air. So by the time the air is hot enough to raise the temp gage its too late. When the thermostat is in an air pocket it doesnt open to allow coolant to flow and overheating happens. Its more common when the high point of coolant system is higher than the fill point, it traps air. As for the manufacturer, they are not responsible becuase coolant went low therefore was not properly maintained and thats your job. So if coolant goes low just filling the radiator and resivior isnt enough, you have to "burp" the system. Fill radiator and resevior then leaving the radiator cap off start the motor and allow to warm up. The water level will drop when the thermostat opens to allow flow then you fill up again continue to watch for any further drop and fill as necessary. The level dropped when thermostat opened allowing the air to be pushed from system, when your done put cap on. No the water will not shoot out, it may spill over a little even before it drops so make sure you let it run and fully warm. The water will not shoot out because you have the cap off from the start so there is no build of pressure. Pressure builds when cap is on because its a sealed system, the water is being heated building pressure till its enough to push the radiator cap spring up releasing it into the resevior. Thats why it shoots out when pulling cap off a hot radiator, then scolding hot water burns the person. Hope this helps with understanding what is going on, how it was caused, and in turn helps prevent it from happening again. Always check the manual though because I have heard of constant pressurized systems that are a bi*** to fill, though I havent delt with one. Oh and the manufactures could eliminate this issue by having thermostat and temp gage lower in the system keeping it submerged even when air is present why they dont is beyond me.