In order to run cool on those hot summer days, your engine needs to have a consistent flow of coolant supplied from the radiator throughout the engine. The water pump is the primary component responsible for maintaining this flow. When it works properly, your car will maintain a consistent operating temperature, run smoothly, and take you anywhere you need to travel. When the water pump fails or is beginning to wear out, it can lead to complete engine failure.
Although the water pumps in most modern cars, trucks, and SUVs will last a long time, they are by no means indestructible. Like any other mechanical device, they will produce a few warning signs of wearing out, so that car owners can contact a local ASE certified mechanic to replace the water pump before additional engine components are damaged.
Here are some common symptoms of a bad water pump:
1. Coolant Leak at the Front-Center of your Car
The water pump is comprised of multiple gaskets and seals that keep coolant contained and ensure that consistent flow of coolant is delivered from the radiator to the engine. Eventually, these gaskets and seals will wear out, dry up, crack or break entirely. When this happens, coolant will leak from the water pump and drop to the ground, typically in the front of your car and in the center of the motor’s location.
2. Rust, Deposit Buildup, and Corrosion of the Water Pump
Gradual leakage over time will cause different minerals to build up around the pump. Check under the hood, and you may notice rust on the pump’s surface from contaminated or non-compatible coolant mixtures or a defective pressure cap that lets in excess air. The wrong coolant will also cause deposit-buildup inside the pump, which slows the ideal process of engine cooling. In addition to these signs of wear, you may also notice small holes from corrosion in the metal, or cavitation – vapor bubbles in the coolant liquid that collapse with enough force to create cavities on the mounting surface. Should you notice these symptoms, replacement of the pump should be sought out immediately.
If you notice there is a loud whining sound coming from the front of your motor that increases in volume as you accelerate, contact a mechanic as soon as possible to inspect your vehicle.
3. Engine is Overheating
When the water pump fails completely, it will not be able to circulate coolant through the engine block. This results in an overheating situation and if not repaired or replaced quickly, can cause additional engine damage like cracked cylinder heads, pushed head gaskets, or burnt pistons. If you notice the engine temperature gauge runs hot on a frequent basis, it’s more likely than not a problem with the water pump..
4. Steam Coming from your Radiator
Finally, if you notice steam is coming from the front of your motor as you drive or come to a stop, it is an instant sign of an overheated engine. As discussed above, an engine will maintain a consistent temperature when the water pump works correctly and circulates water to a functioning radiator. If you notice steam coming from the front of your motor, you should pull over to a safe area and contact a mechanic as soon as possible.
Anytime you notice any of these warning signs, contact us at Chapman Auto Repair so they can repair or replace the water pump and get your car back onto the roads without delay.