How to Tell If My Water Pump Is Going Bad?

First, what is a water pump and what does it do?

Your vehicles water pump pushes the coolant through the engine, radiator, and hoses to keep the engine at a consistent temperature that will allow it to perform at its best. The pump, which is normally mounted to the front of the engine is driven by the serpentine, or timing belt which drives an impeller inside the pump that uses centrifugal force to move the coolant system. Although water pumps are relatively straightforward components and can last many years, they can fail. When they do it is imperative to have the repaired as the consequences can result in significant engine damage or even failure. But like many other components in your car, there are warning signs that can tip you off before you end up with bigger problems.







What are some of the common symptoms of having a bad water pump?

Leaks—look for that orange or green fluid under the front of the car, particularly after being parked overnight. Throw a couple pieces of paper under the vehicle to give yourself a better visual in the morning. Find your water pump and examine the area around it for coolant trails leading down from the pump. Also, check the pump itself for gelled coolant deposits (See Photo) rust and pitting or cavitation on the surface of the pump. These could be indications of a slow leak that could result in a failure down the road or a low coolant condition that will eventually cause a failure or worse.

Noises—whining or growling belts could be an indicator of a bad belt, pulley or the water pump itself. In any event, this type of noise should be checked out by a certified mechanic to determine the source and resolution.

Warning Lights—it may be “low coolant” or “temp light” or the little thermometer image or a temperature gauge, but whatever light shows up on your dash, it is a good idea to pay attention. These are “Signs” and have been triggered for a reason, it is time to be diligent looking for the source or just take your vehicle to a certified mechanic to inspect.

Steam—this is the 21st century, steam coming out of your vehicle is never a good sign and could be a result of a failed water pump, hose or radiator. It is a good idea to shut the vehicle down, let it cool off and see if you can determine the source of the leak. Note, it is never a good idea to drive an overheating engine as you can do significant damage to it, so call a tow truck and get it to a certified mechanic to inspect and repair.

Fifth Gear Automotive Can Help

Fifth Gear Automotive is all about your vehicle performing at its best and our ASE Certified Mechanics perform a thorough inspection of all vehicles with each visit to ensure it that. If you are thinking your water pump, or any other part of your coolant system is needing attention, call or go online to schedule an inspection today at the link below:

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Fifth Gear Automotive

We are a family owned independent automotive repair shop; Fifth Gear Automotive has over 100 years of experience with all domestic and import makes and models, specializing in European auto repair since 2004, serving Lewisville, Highland Village, Flower Mound, Lantana, Double Oak, and the surrounding communities.

We have one goal; Complete Customer Satisfaction on all your auto repairs.