Posted: December 28, 2013 at 3:30 a.m.

DEAR TOM AND RAY: When driving down the freeway, I heard a scraping sound, shortly followed by my car slowing down, no matter how hard I pushed on the gas. I barely made it to the service road without getting hit by other traffic. When the tow truck driver came, he noticed green liquid (coolant) leaking out. The mechanic towed the car and said my water pump had frozen, and that broke my timing belt. He said it was the first time he had ever seen it, and he doesn’t know of a way I could have avoided it. I need to know if it was something I did, that I can avoid doing in the future. I am paranoid about the situation and worried that it will happen again. — Joanna

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