What’s The Water Pump Do?
Internal combustion engines run hot by their very nature and it is the job of the water pump to ensure that your engine never runs too hot. In order to stay cool the engine needs a constant flow of coolant from the radiator to cool the engine block. The water pump facilitates this flow and without it, your engine will surely fail.
While modern water pumps are built to last, they are not indestructible and like any mechanical part, they will wear out over time. Typically, there are warning signs if your water pump is about to fail, you just need to know what to look for:
Signs That Your Water Pump Is Failing
1) Coolant Leaking Near Front of Vehicle
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 fail. When this happens, coolant will leak from the pump and pool on the ground, typically in the front-center of the engine bay.
If you notice a green (or sometimes red) liquid leaking from the front of your engine, it is quite possible that your water pump has sprung a leak. This is nothing to procrastinate about. You should inspect your water pump as soon as possible.
2) High-pitched Whine From Front of Engine
A high-pitched whine emanating from the front of the engine might indicate a loose drive belt. A loose drive belt is often the result of the water pump pulley coming loose. It may also indicate that the water pumps bearings are wearing out. In either case, you will want to inspect the water pump, drive belt and tensioner.
3) Engine Running Hot
As was stated earlier, the water pump is responsible for circulating coolant throughout the engine and thereby maintaining proper operating temperatures. Without this critical component, your engine will overheat.
If you notice that your engine s consistently running hot, the water pump is a likely suspect. You should have this issue addressed as soon as possible, as an overheating engine can result in significant engine damage.
4) Steam Coming From Your Radiator
If you see steam rising from your car’s engine compartment, you should stop your car and shut down your engine at the first safe opportunity. As was stated above, an overheated engine can result in severe engine damage in the form of cracked cylinder heads or engine blocks. Shut the vehicle down, let it cool, and call a mechanic.
What Should I Do?
If you encounter any of these signs, it is important that you determine the cause and your water pump is a good place to start. Also, bear in mind that a failing water pump may be indicative of other damaged engine components. Be sure to inspect timing belts, pulleys, tensioners , etc. to ensure proper operation.