when replacing water pump how do I know if the housing should be replaced, I can't afford a new timing belt do I have to worry about the Pistons coming up and smack n valves if this belt goes south
How many miles on the car?
What engine do you have?
If you can't afford a timing belt, then continue to drive the car till you have enough money to repair it. You didn't specify which engine, I think the 1.8L is an interference engine and if the belt does break your looking at repairing more than just a timing belt. It's your call.
The waterpump housings don't usually fail...the o-ring where it mates to the engine block can eventually age to failure. If you have enough accessories removed from the engine, replace the housing o-ring at the same time as the water pump for good measure.
I have 160,000 miles 4 cylinder engine, 1.8
Looking for a Used Jetta in your area?
CarGurus has 29,763 nationwide Jetta listings starting at $1,100.
Search Volkswagen Jetta Questions
Volkswagen Jetta Experts