Your car, truck or SUV’s water pump plays a vital role in the operation of your vehicle. This belt or chain-driven part is bolted to your engine, where it circulates coolant to reduce the engine’s temperature. It does so by pumping this fluid through cooling system passages of the engine block and cylinder head, then into the radiator for temperature reduction. This cooled fluid then recycles through the pump and repeats the process.

Water Pump RepairWhen Must I Replace My Water Pump?

Multiple signs indicate you need your pump replaced. These signs include:

Coolant Fluid Leaks or Overheating of the Engine
A bearing supports the pump impeller shaft. If this bearing or seal wears down, a leak or damage to the impeller often results. If such a leak occurs, you need to replace your pump.

Noise or Roughness
When the shaft of the pump does not smoothly turn, this often causes noise that indicates the bearing is too worn and you must replace it.

Timing Belt Replacement
When a timing belt drives your vehicle’s water pump, you should replace the pump when replacing the timing belt and vice-versa. An automotive service technician must remove multiple parts to reach this part of the engine. This means it costs much less to replace both parts at once, than to have each replaced at different times.

How Your Water Pump Is Replaced

Your mechanic must access the pump where it is usually bolted to the engine’s front. The actual steps to remove it depend on whether your vehicle’s timing belt, serpentine belt or timing chain drive the pump. But a rough outline of steps to remove and replace your pump include:

  • Draining engine coolant on a cold engine, to a point below the pump
  • Removing components obstructing reach to the pump, including the timing belt or chain responsible for driving the pump
  • Removing bolts holding the pump in place
  • Pulling the pump from the engine
  • Cleaning the gaskets and inspecting the pump mounting surface
  • Installing new gasket, rubber seal or RTV sealant, if needed
  • Installing the new pump
  • Torquing bolts in sequence using a calibrated wench

When the timing belt drives the pump, the timing belt must first come out of the vehicle. This usually entails crankshaft pulley, timing belt covers and tensioner removal, too. Installing a new pump also requires replacement of coolant and bleeding of air from the cooling system.

After all of these steps, your auto service technician runs the engine and checks for leaks when it achieves normal operating temperature.

Can I Drive With a Bad Pump?

If your vehicle shows signs of a pump problem, you should not drive it. It is not safe, unless your car, truck or SUV only suffers a minor leak. But even a subtle leak can quickly worsen, causing the pump bearing to suddenly seize. This causes the engine to overheat and it then becomes dangerous to drive your vehicle because of how doing so damages your engine.

When replacing your pump, also remember that you should replace your cooling system thermostat at the same time. This is particularly important when you have an aging or original thermostat.

You should also have your ASE-certified technician flush the cooling system when replacing the pump, whether before or after the pump replacement process. Typically, your technician does this and also inspects the cooling system, including rubber hoses and other parts with limited life span.

Cost Of Cooling Pump Replacement

Replacing this vital cooling pump varies in cost, according to the make, year and model of your vehicle. These factors all come into play, when it comes to accessibility of the pump and whether your vehicle features a timing belt or timing chain. Often, small engine pumps are more difficult to reach and cost more for replacement than in larger engines or luxury vehicles.

A failed pump also often relates to other failed parts in your engine’s cooling system. Examples of related parts that typically fail include the engine thermostat, head gasket or radiator.

Water Pump Replacement And Other Car Repair And Truck Repair In Yadkinville, NC

In Yadkinville, North Carolina, you can trust the friendly, ASE-certified technicians of Yadkinville Automotive for water pump repair and replacement. Call to schedule your service at +1 336-679-8622.

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