How does a water pump work?
The water pump is an engine accessory that assists in keeping your motor cool. By using belts and chains, the water pump pushes water from the motor to the radiator, where it can cool down. Once the water has cooled off in the radiator, the pump then pushes the cool water back out to the motor. This cycle repeats over and over as you operate your vehicle.
The water needs to cycle through the engine to keep it at an optimum temperature, and the water pump is a vital component of that process.
How do I know if my water pump needs replacing?
You’ll know pretty soon if you need a new water pump. Like a lot of other car parts, water pumps can deteriorate with age. Signs to look out for include:
- Water leaks around the pump’s weep hole. The weep hole is a small opening located at the bottom of your water pump. If it is leaking, that probably means it’s time to get your pump checked out.
- Grinding or rough noises. If you hear a low grinding noise while your engine is running, it could be coming from your water pump. These noises signal that the pump’s internal mechanisms have worn out.
- Temperature warning light. When this light goes on, your engine is too hot. Your water pump could be causing the issue.
How does a water pump replacement service go?
A mechanic will replace your water pump by completing the following steps:
- Allow the engine to cool down
- Drain water pump
- Remove components in the way of the pump, like the belt and chain that feed directly into the water pump
- Unbolt and remove the water pump and gaskets
- Clean the pump mounting area and gaskets
- Bolt and calibrate new water pump to the engine
It’s very common for the water pump to be connected to and driven by the timing belt. It takes a lot of work for the mechanic to dig out these parts, so next time you’re having your timing belt replaced ask them to check on the water pump as well. This could save you from having to make two trips to your local mechanic, not to mention you could save some money!
How important is it to replace the water pump?
Hugely important! If you suspect something is up with your water pump, don’t put off getting it fixed. An overheated engine is never safe to drive, and putting off this service can cause more costly damage in the long run.
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