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Timing Belt and Water Pump Question

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so I bit the bullet and did my own timing belt this weekend. I don't know where this car (2012 2.5i premium) was before I bought it, but I swear it was in a flood because there is rust EVERYWHERE!


I was taking the timing belt cover off and the bolt that was attached to the water pump was completely rusted and I couldn't even get any socket on it. I ended up snapping the timing belt cover. How vital is the cover to the engine operation? Only the bottom 1/10 of the cover is missing right over the water pump... I am ordering a replacement, but can I drive it while I wait?


Also, I torqued the bolts for the water pump and one screw (of course the one on the bottom) just turns and doesn't tighten. I don't see a leak, but I am concerned over time. Should I re tap the hole?


I have been working on cars for years, and because of the rust on this job, it was really difficult. Even the bolts that hold the radiator bracket on were rusted. When I was getting replacement parts for my son's 1993 Impreza, they weren't nearly as rusted as my car.

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