Do I Need to Replace My Water Pump?

January 5th, 2015 by

water pump coolant leak new water pump
The water pump plays an important part in keeping your car’s engine cool. “The water pump endures constant use inside an engine and allows the engine to endure the intense heat that internal combustion produces,” according to HowStuffWorks. “When your engine is on, the pump circulates coolant, or antifreeze, in the cylinder head and the engine block to cool the engine down. After the coolant passes through the engine it’s sent back into the radiator to be cooled before entering the engine again.”
Without the water pump, your car’s engine can be seriously damaged, but there are ways to diagnose a bad pump before it is too late. Water pumps generally last between 60,000 and 90,000 miles, according to HowStuffWorks, and are typically replaced when the timing belt is serviced. However, look for the following signs to know if you’ll need a new water pump.

How to Tell if You Need a New Water Pump

There are several signs that may indicate that it’s time to install a new water pump. A functioning water pump is critical to the overall performance of the engine.

  • Coolant Leaking around the Water Pump The pump will “weep” or leak when it is going bad, according to About Autos. Weeping occurs when the bearings inside of the water pump begin to fail. This serves as a warning that the water pump will need to be replaced soon.
  • Listen for Rubbing, Grinding, or Whining Water pumps don’t generally make very much noise so if you hear any sounds coming from it then it might be an indication that the bearings inside the pump are failing. Noise can also be an indication that the impeller is not working properly or is defective. The impeller is designed to circulate water.
  • Check the Water Pump Pulley The water pump belt “drives the pump pulley. If the belt slips or has become disconnected, the water pump can no longer force coolant through the system.” According to eHow, if you can push the pulley back and forth then it may be time to replace the water pump because the bearing is going bad. If the water pump belt is slipping or worn, it will need to be replaced.
  • Overheating If your thermostat warning light comes on, it might be an indication that your engine is not receiving enough coolant. A malfunctioning water pump may be to blame. If this is the case and there are no leaks, then the impeller may be damaged. If there are leaks, then you may need a new water pump.
  • Check the Air Conditioner WikiHow suggests that if the air conditioner isn’t working properly, then there may be a problem with the water pump that is worth looking into.

Call Fisher Auto in Boulder, Colo., at 303-245-6414 with questions, to schedule an appointment to have your water pump looked at, or to have a new one installed.