What your Water Pump’s Job Is
Your water pump is like your heart. It pumps the vital fluid through your engine. The engine is cooled by coolant/antifreeze mixed with water. This mixture circulates around the engine, absorbing some of the heat. This heat is used to warm up your cabin and defrost the windshield. The coolant then flows through the radiator where air cools it down for the return trip back through the engine. Your vehicles water pump is what drives this process.
Cooling system problems are the number-one mechanical failure in New England. So the water pump plays a pretty important role. You can’t get very far in New Hampshire or Maine without a water pump.
After all those miles and years of pumping coolant, water pumps just wear out. You might notice a whining or grinding sound coming from the water pump. Or maybe see coolant leaking from the pump itself.
The precise location of the water pump varies depending on the vehicle. Some have the water pump attached to the outside of the engine where you can see it. With these, the water pump is driven by the serpentine belt.
Some have the water pump driven by the timing belt. The timing belt cover often hides the water pump with this setup, so you can’t see the pump without removing the cover.
Corrosion is the number one cause of water pump failures so you should be proactive and take care of flushing your coolant system regularly.
When you have Auto Care Plus replace the water pump on one of these, you really should replace the timing belt at the same time. We’ve already gotten things taken apart and besides, the belt’s likely been contaminated by coolant. And timing belts usually need to be replaced every 60 to 90,000 miles anyway so it just makes sense to do both jobs at once. We also require replacement of the radiator hoses and the hose clamps at the same time.
The opposite is true too; when you change the timing belt on this type of engine, replace the water pump while you’re at it. The water pump will eventually fail and getting to it is an expensive project. For not that much more you can take care of both the timing belt and the water pump at the same time.
DID YOU KNOW?
The water pump’s like the heart of your cooling system, circulating the fluid throughout. It’s a small pump that’s driven by the engine: usually by belt, but sometimes by a chain or gear. The water pump only operates when the engine’s running. Water pump failure is pretty routine for vehicles on the road. Some start failing at around 40,000 miles, but most fail by 100,000 miles. Consult your owners’ manual or Auto Care Plus to see what’s recommended.
Since a water pump either works or it doesn’t, you need to change it when it fails. Water pumps fail in one of two ways: the bearings fail or they begin to leak. It’s possible to have a leak from a cracked water pump, but it usually leaks at the gasket where it attaches to the engine. For a cooling system inspection, call Auto Care Plus at one of our 9 New England Locations.