The water pump is a crucial cooling system part. It takes the water/coolant/antifreeze mixture out of the radiator and circulates it through the engine. It helps prevent your engine from overheating in the summer and freezing up in the winter. This part has an average lifespan of 60,000 miles to 90,000 miles. Hummel’s Automotive Diagnostic & Repair lists five signs below that the pump is failing.
Many things can cause a coolant leak, including a rusted radiator or holes in the radiator hoses. The pump uses gaskets and seals to ensure coolant does not leak out of it. If you notice coolant leaking in the front-center of your automobile where the water pump is located, it could be coming from it, especially if the pump is old.
Corroded Water Pump
If the coolant leaking out of the pump is orange when it shouldn’t be, the pump is probably corroded and rusted. This can happen over time to both the water pump and the radiator. In fact, corrosion and rust are what cause holes in the bottoms of radiators. Another cause of corrosion is a defective pressure cap.
Whining sounds, usually high-pitched squeals, are caused by a handful of things in your vehicle’s engine, including loose belts. Your water pump uses a pulley that can come loose and whine and also has internal bearings that can wear down and whine. If you hear any strange sound coming from your engine, it’s best to have it inspected ASAP.
Naturally, if the water pump is malfunctioning and cannot push coolant through the engine the engine will overheat. Although other things can make an engine overheat, such as the fuel pump motor or dirty motor oil, cooling system problems cause an overheated engine most of the time. A dying or dead water pump is one of those problems.
Finally, you should never see steam or smoke coming out from underneath the hood. If you do, find a safe place to park quickly and turn off your automobile. Steam indicates the engine has already overheated and the radiator cap could explode. Smoke could mean an engine fire. Both are quite dangerous, so please stop driving and call for a tow.
Located in St. George, UT, we are Hummel’s Automotive Diagnostic & Repair, and you can call us if you’re having cooling system problems. We’ll inspect the system and if it is the water pump, we’ll replace it.