How To Check If Water Pump Is Bad

5 Signs Your Water Pump May Be Failing

The fact that you need to replace your oil and check the oil level in your car on a regular basis to ensure that it runs smoothly is common information, but did you know that the water pump is just as critical to the smooth operation of your automobile as the oil pump? While it may not be as evident as the engine or brakes, your car’s water pump is extremely important in keeping you and your passengers safe on the road. Your car’s engine contains a plethora of components that, while in operation, generate an enormous amount of heat and friction.

The absence of a properly functioning water pump may cause your engine to overheat during the summer and freeze during the winter months.

Maintaining your water pump with the same level of care that you do your vehicle’s oil can help you prevent these types of big and expensive repairs down the road.

5 Symptoms of a Failing Water Pump

It’s critical to get familiar with the telltale indicators of a failing water pump in your home. If you don’t do something, you might not notice the problem until it’s too late. If your water pump malfunctions, you run the danger of causing irreversible damage to your engine, which is a costly issue that should be avoided at all costs. These five indicators might assist you in determining whether it is necessary to bring your vehicle in for an examination and possibly water pump repair.

1. Coolant Leaking

Having a puddle of coolant on the ground where you’ve parked your car is one of the first symptoms that your water pump may be malfunctioning. The pump is comprised of a number of different gaskets and seals, all of which will ultimately dry up, crack, or fail over time. When this occurs, the coolant will leak from the pump’s reservoir. Immediately take your vehicle to a repair shop if you see an orange, green, pink, or blue pool of liquid after pulling out of your driveway after it has been sitting for a long period of time.

2. Rust or Deposit Build-Up

When there is a little leak in the water pump, there will be a progressive buildup of muck or rust on the pump’s internal parts. Use of incompatible coolant or a faulty pressure cap that enables air to enter the system can both result in this condition occurring in the engine. In either case, your pump’s efficiency in moving coolant through the engine will deteriorate, eventually leading to full failure of the system. An excellent routine involves lifting your hood and inspecting the inside of your engine.

You’ll be able to identify issues as they arise, rather than having to wait for the dreaded “check engine” light to illuminate. The water pump in your automobile should be changed if you see any corrosion, pitted spots, or build-up surrounding it. Bring your car in to get it checked out.

3. Noise

Is your automobile making a whining sound as you accelerate? This irritating, high-pitched sound might be created by a loose accessory belt, which could be the source of the problem. Loose belts are frequently the consequence of a misaligned pulley or worn out bearings, which must be repaired or replaced. It’s important to get your car checked out if you hear a whining sound coming from the front of the engine to prevent the possibility of a failing water pump and a much more expensive replacement.

There are various belts in your engine, including a serpentine belt, that can cause catastrophic damage to your engine if they slip, break, or snap.

It will save you from being stranded on the side of the road if you have your belts replaced according to the maintenance plan for your car.

4. Overheating

Is the temperature gauge in your vehicle increasing in temperature? It’s possible that your water pump is on its way out of commission. Overheating your automobile poses a threat to you and other drivers since it increases the likelihood of engine failure. Whenever you detect that your vehicle is overheating, take it to your technician for a check right away. If you find yourself in an automobile emergency, it’s crucial to know what measures to take in order to reduce the danger of injury to yourself and other drivers, as well as to your vehicle.

Pull over, contact for a tow truck, and get your car diagnosed as soon as possible.

5. Steam

In the event that you notice steam coming from beneath your hood, it is a warning that something major has gone wrong with your vehicle. When a water pump breaks fully, it is no longer able to flow coolant through the engine, resulting in the engine overheating as a result. If you notice steam coming from your engine, pull over immediately and contact your technician for assistance. Continuing to drive with an overheated engine can cause significant damage to the engine, which may necessitate a total engine replacement.

What To Do About A Leaking Water Pump

If you see any of the five warning signals listed above, contact your local mechanic to have your car inspected. Being proactive when it comes to automobile maintenance is essential. By paying close attention to your vehicle’s look and performance on a daily basis, you will be able to identify when something needs to be fixed. Preventative maintenance is a far more cost-effective element of automobile ownership than repairs in most cases. You may save time, money, and aggravation if you identify the problem early on.

We’ll do all we can to get you back on the road as fast and safely as we can!

6 Signs You May Have a Bad Water Pump On Your Hands

There are several elements of a car that, when they fail, do not require urgent replacement, such as the transmission. A water pump is not one of the components on this list. Because of the critical role the pump plays in cooling the engine, if it fails to function properly, there will be immediate consequences, including the possibility of complete engine failure.

Although repairing a broken water pump is a time-consuming task, it will spare you from the more difficult task of replacing your engine. Understand the indicators that indicate that you have a faulty water pump on your hands.

Unhealthy Circulation

The water pump circulates coolant through the radiator and around the engine, dissipating heat that has accumulated. Metal pieces that are rapidly moving and closely coupled create a great deal of friction and, as a result, heat. Overheating can result in components that are twisted, melted, fused together, shattered or otherwise structurally damaged (see illustration). The auxiliary drive belt, serpentine belt, or timing belt is typically used to operate the water pump, which is a pulley-driven device.

An impeller is located within the system, and it is responsible for keeping the system circulating.

Cavitation can also cause the impeller to deteriorate, resulting in the impeller’s inability to effectively pump coolant.


Water pump failure can be detected by a noticeable coolant leak that is directed toward the front end of the car, among other things. If you leave your car parked overnight and observe an orange or green puddle on the ground (depending on the type of coolant you’re using), you should question the pump. However, don’t make the mistake of assuming that a lack of coolant on the ground means you don’t have a water pump leak. The oil dipstick should be checked if the coolant reservoir is running low but there is no obvious coolant leak.

Some Ford Duratec V6 engines, particularly those with a timing chain cover, are susceptible to coolant leaks inside.


Over time, a gradual leak will develop a buildup of muck around the pump’s internal components. Look for coolant trails running down from the pump, as well as a type of gelled coolant deposit around the outside of the vehicle. The presence of a “weep hole” beneath the pump’s shaft indicates that the internal seals have worn out, which is a solid symptom of a defective water pump, and that the pump is malfunctioning. You may also see a significant amount of rust surrounding the pump, as well as pitting (corrosion that causes microscopic holes in the metal) or cavitation (creation of cavities in a liquid) on the mounting surface if you examine carefully enough.

While this may not result in an instant failure, it will cause a low-coolant state (which is extremely dangerous) and enable the lubricant protecting the moving components within the pump to escape, both of which are extremely dangerous (which will ruin the bearing).


A slack auxiliary belt will make a whining noise that will become louder as the vehicle accelerates. It may be as easy as tightening the belt, changing the belt, or replacing the belt tensioner to correct the situation. If, on the other hand, you hear a grinding or growling sounds coming from the front of the engine, this suggests a faulty bearing.

There are other bearings on the front of the engine that might fail, but in any event, you should take it to a technician as soon as possible to have the problem diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible.


As soon as the pump fails, your engine will begin to overheat. If you haven’t detected any other symptoms of approaching failure, this is one to keep an eye out for. Add coolant immediately if the ” Low Coolant ” light illuminates, and check for a severe leak if the light does not illuminate. If the temperature gauge begins to climb over normal or if the temperature warning light illuminates, pull over and contact a tow truck for assistance. Once the water pumps fail, there is no safe period of time that you can keep the engine running without risking catastrophic damage to the engine.

The best course of action is to park it.


Smoke or steam coming from your radiator or from under the hood indicates that your engine is overheating and has likely already sustained significant damage to the internal combustion engine. Pull aside and ask for assistance as soon as possible. Keep your hands away from the engine until it has cooled down before digging about. You’ll be dealing with scalding-hot coolant and other potentially dangerous situations. Apart from being overheated, your cooling system is also under considerable pressure.

  • Near other cases, accessing a broken water pump may need extensive engine disassembly since it is positioned in the front of the engine, behind the fan, or squeezed close to a strut tower.
  • Prevent your engine from being damaged by paying close attention to the warning indications when they appear.
  • Consult with a trained specialist at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS shop for further information on whether you have a faulty water pump.
  • Antifreeze, coolant, cooling system, drive belt, featured, overheated, radiator, radiator fan, serpentine belt, timing belt, water pumpCategoriesMaintenanceTagsantifreeze, coolant, cooling system, drive belt, featured, water pump

Blair LampeView All

Blair Lampe is a professional mechanic, blogger, theater technician, and wordsmith residing in New York City’s Flatiron District. Backpacking anywhere her boots will take her, rock climbing, experimental theater, a fresh rosé wine, and showering love on her 2001 Sierra truck are some of her favorite pastimes in her spare time.

How to Tell if a Water Pump is Bad

When you realize that your water pump has failed and that you must pay for repairs or replacement, it is the last thing you want to happen to you. Or, even worse, experiencing the effects of a faulty water pump while on the road and in the driver’s seat.

It’s a good idea to be aware of how to detect whether the water pump is malfunctioning and to inspect and repair it before the relocation, if required. During this lesson, we’ll go over the symptoms and indicators of a failed pump.

Can a Bad Water Pump Cause a Blown Head Gasket?

The water pump, despite the fact that it is buried deep within the engine and that we don’t tend to think about it, is an essential component of the engine and of the vehicle in general. In this case, failure to diagnose and cure the problem might result in irreversible damage to the engine and the vehicle. Failure to repair or replace the malfunctioning water pump on your vehicle in a timely manner may result in the damage to your vehicle becoming more serious over time. As a consequence, you may expect to see scorched pistons, fractured cylinder heads, and even a burst head gasket, which will result in thousands of dollars in repairs, and even more for some of the most costly automobiles on the market today.

Best Not Ignore The Signs of a Bad Water Pump

If you purchase a product after clicking on one of our affiliate links, The Drive and its partners may get a commission. More information may be found here. You put a lot of demands on the water pump in your automobile without even realizing it. The expectation is that you will get in and drive for several years and thousands of trouble-free miles, but the adage “out of sight, out of mind” is only effective when it comes to items that cannot do catastrophic harm. Just as it is in the event of a malfunctioning water pump!

A extremely colossal sum of money.

The water pump will begin to malfunction at some time throughout your arduous and thankless existence, alerting you to the fact that something is amiss.

Let’s get this party started.

What Does A Water Pump Do?

The water pump is an extremely important component of your vehicle’s cooling system. It is in charge of transporting water from the radiator through the engine and back again to the radiator. The pump contributes to the engine’s ability to maintain a steady operating temperature.

What Can Make A Water Pump Fail?

Similar to the turbocharger, the water pump employs an impeller blade and centrifugal force to move water around in the vehicle’s cooling system to keep it cool. The pump can fail if the bearings that are housed within it get worn or broken. This is one of the most common causes of water pump failure in automobiles, and it is also one of the most expensive. The belt tensioner, which is another common site of failure with water pumps, can be a significant source of failure.

The failure of a belt tensioner, which is the device that maintains the timing belt or serpentine belt taut, might result in a failed water pump since the water pump is powered by either the timing belt or serpentine belt.

What Are The Signs Of A Failing Water Pump?

Nobody has to be a mechanic to know when their water pump is about to fail. Here are a handful of the most often encountered.

See also:  Why Is My Fish Tank Filter Not Pumping Water

Coolant Leak

The water pump is equipped with a number of gaskets, any of which might become broken or worn over time. It is possible that coolant will leak and trickle beneath the car if this occurs. A green or red colored fluid beneath the front center section of your car indicates that the water pump needs to be serviced or replaced.

Whining Sounds

As soon as a belt gets unfastened or begins to slip, it can emit an obnoxious whining or chirping sound. If you hear a noise and there’s no way you can ignore it, it’s time to call a professional to inspect your vehicle. One of two things is wrong: either the belt has to be changed or the water pump’s bearings are worn out and the pump needs to be replaced entirely. Neither of these issues is one that can be ignored.

Engine Overheating

The water pump’s principal function in life is to circulate water through the engine in order to cool the engine down. Overheating can occur when the pump is unable to perform its function. No matter what the source, an overheated engine is not a problem that should be put off any longer. Heat-related concerns can result in issues such as broken head gaskets, burned pistons, and fractured cylinder heads, among others.

Water Pump Terms You Should Know

Learn more about it.

Serpentine Belt

A serpentine belt is a lengthy belt that provides power to a number of engine-related components, including the alternator, water pump, power steering pump, air conditioning compressor, and other components.

Cooling System

The radiator, a thermostat, and a water pump are all components of a vehicle’s cooling system, among others. The system is designed to circulate air and coolant fluid throughout the engine to maintain a consistent operating temperature, regardless of the outside temperature or weather conditions.


Automotive coolant is composed of a mixture of water and various compounds, such as ethylene glycol, to keep the engine running cool. The purpose of coolant is to transport heat away from an engine and to assist in dissipating that heat into the surrounding environment, among other things. Pure water can also be used as a coolant, but because of its proclivity to produce corrosion, it is not recommended for frequent usage.

FAQs About Water Pumps

If you have questions, The Drive has the answers!

Q:How Much Does A Water Pump Replacement Cost?

A:Water pump replacement can range in price from a few hundred dollars to around $1,000, depending on the vehicle. The part itself is generally less than $100, therefore the labor charges account for the great bulk of the total cost of ownership.

Q:How Difficult Is It To Fix Myself?

A:Removing the pump isn’t extremely difficult in and of itself. The timing belt and serpentine belt are the most common sources of concern for most individuals. If you’re familiar with those components and feel comfortable doing so, by all means go ahead; but, if you’re unsure, it’s preferable to hire a professional to complete the task.

Q:Can My Coolant Leak Be Caused By Something Other Than The Water Pump?


A faulty water pump is only one of the many possible causes of a coolant leak in your vehicle. Some of the other possible causes are a blown head gasket, a hole in the radiator, broken or worn hoses, and corrosion of the cooling system components.

Q:Can I Stop A Leak With An Off-The-Shelf Product?

A:There are a variety of items available for the treatment of coolant leaks, but none of them will be able to correct any significant problems with your cooling system. Depending on where the leak is occuring, a stop-leak for the radiator or one of the several hoses that make up the cooling system may be required.

Let’s Talk, Comment Below To Talk WithThe Drive’sEditors!

We’re here to serve as your go-to resource for everything and anything connected to How-To. Make use of us, give us compliments, or shout at us. Comment below and let’s have a conversation! You may also get out to us on social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram; here are our accounts. Jonathon Klein may be found on Twitter (@jonathon.klein), Instagram (@jonathon klein), and Facebook. Tony Markovich may be found on Twitter (@T Marko), Instagram (@t marko), and other social media platforms.

How to Tell if a Car’s Water Pump Needs Replacement

Article in PDF format Article in PDF format The water pump in your automobile is an extremely crucial component of your vehicle. It is the component responsible for continuously pumping coolant into your vehicle’s engine to prevent it from overheating. A leak or a defective bearing in your car’s engine might cause significant harm to the engine. Puddles of coolant beneath your car, as well as excessive temperature readings, may indicate that your water pump needs to be repaired or replaced.


  1. 1Allow your automobile to sit overnight in a garage with a clean concrete floor, preferably in the driveway. If it is not feasible to park your automobile indoors on a clean concrete surface, lay a piece of light-colored cardboard below your vehicle, just beneath the motor, to protect it. Please keep in mind that water pumps are more likely to leak when the vehicle engine is running, thus using the engine running as a reference is not the best method for discovering a leak
  2. 2Examine the cardboard the next morning. If it seems to be wet from coolant, you have a leak somewhere. It’s possible that the leak is in your water pump, but other potential sources of leaking coolant include radiator hoses, heater hoses, freeze plugs, gaskets, and the radiator. To restrict the search down even more, consider placing the cardboard exactly below the water pump’s intake valve itself. This is antifreeze, which can be seen as a green liquid on the cardboard. This indicates that you have a coolant leak in some part of your system. Advertisement
  3. s3 Check the pulley on the water pump. The spherical component at the front of your water pump that the belt is wrapped around is where you’ll want to start. Pull on the pulley and try to rock it back and forth. If it appears to be loose, it may be time to replace it since the bearing is beginning to fail
  4. 4pay attention to your vehicle. Start the motor of your automobile when the hood is up. Your water pump bearing may be failing if you hear a low-pitched grinding noise when using the pump. If it’s gone bad, you’ll typically be able to hear it clearly. Your air conditioning compressor, power steering pump, and alternator all have bearings that are similar to each other, so you must be able to concentrate on pinpointing the source of the noise, which is difficult to do while the engine is running
  5. 5Check for leaks around the water pump. A leak can be detected by the presence of drips of water or a little stream. Many water pumps are equipped with a weep hole in front of the seal, which allows water to escape if the seal fails
  6. 6 Keep an eye out to see if your temperature warning light illuminates. Because of a leaking or faulty water pump, the temperature of your car’s engine will rise, resulting in the illumination of the warning light. Check to see whether the low coolant indicator is illuminated. The presence of this indication may indicate that your coolant reservoir is leaking or that your water pump is malfunctioning. Other possibilities include a leak in the cooling system or a clogged radiator. Advertisement

Inquire about something There are 200 characters remaining. Include your email address so that you may be notified when this question has been resolved. SubmitAdvertisement


  • Look for a small hole in the ground
  • This is the weep hole, and it will leak if the water pump is malfunctioning or failing. On a hot day, a pool of water noticed beneath your automobile may not be indicative of a problem with the water pump or cooling system. Consistent use of your vehicle’s air conditioning system results in the formation of condensation. Despite the fact that condensation comes from beneath your automobile, it is quite natural. Some vehicles may have no leakage and no bearing noise, but everything else, such as the fans, belts, hoses, thermostat, radiator, heater core and cap may still be in good operating condition at the time. Apart from when it overheats, it is common to see steam pouring out of the cap, which is due to the fact that the cap is meant to relieve excess pressure as a fail-safe for the other sections. Coolant is corrosive once the additives in it have worn away, and some water pumps include plastic impellers that circulate the coolant (you should change your coolant every three to seven years to avoid engine damage when the additives in your coolant wear away). When the impeller of the water pump wears out, it is no longer able to move coolant around, and your car overheats. In order to put this to the test. Perform a cold start with the radiator cap off
  • You should see some movement of the fluid in the radiator after a few seconds. If this is the case, there is a significant likelihood that the internal water pump blades have been destroyed or that just a tiny portion of them remain. This test, on the other hand, is pointless if you have a thermostat installed in your vehicle, as cooling will not take place until the thermostat is opened at working temperature, and you would surely not want to open the radiator cap at that degree.


  • If your coolant is low and your automobile is currently or has just been running, allow it to cool completely before adding any water or coolant. Addition of cool water when the engine is running hot can cause the engine block to break as a result of the dramatic difference in temperature, converting a minor expenditure into a major expense. Do not fill your car with 100 percent coolant
  • Doing so may cause it to run hot and perhaps overheat. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, which are typically 50/50 mixtures, however certain vehicles may accept up to a 70/30 blend. Because the boiling point of pure water is too low for current engines, it should never be used.

if your coolant level is low and your automobile is currently or has just been running, allow it to cool completely before adding more water or coolant Addition of cool water when the engine is running hot can cause the engine block to break as a result of the dramatic difference in temperature, converting a modest expenditure into a significant expense. Never fill your car with 100 percent coolant; this may cause it to run hot and perhaps overheat. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, which are typically 50/50 mixtures, however certain vehicles may require a 70/30 blend.

About This Article

Summary of the ArticleX Checking for leaks is the most straightforward technique to determine whether or not a car’s water pump needs to be replaced. Place a piece of clean cardboard right below the motor of your automobile after it has been parked on a level surface. Allow the vehicle to sit overnight before examining the cardboard. If the cardboard is damp, it is probable that there is a leak somewhere in the engine. Try to put the cardboard exactly beneath the water pump and look for traces of green liquid on the cardboard, which is generally an indication that antifreeze is leaking from the pump.

If you see any of these signs, you should replace the water pump. Continue reading for more information, including how to check for leaks in the water pump. Did you find this overview to be helpful? The writers of this page have together authored a page that has been read 1,388,643 times.

Did this article help you?

Having a faulty water pump might result in a variety of issues with your automobile. If you’re wondering “how to tell if my water pump is faulty,” it’s likely that you’re already experiencing some of the issues that come with it.

What does a water pump do?

In order for a car’s cooling system to function properly, the water pump is the primary driving force behind it. All modern automobiles are equipped with a radiator located at the front of the vehicle, which is responsible for cooling the antifreeze in your vehicle. Water pumps are found in most cars and are responsible for drawing coolant from the radiator and pumping it into your engine block, cylinder heads, and any other components that need to be cooled such as an oil cooler, throttle body, and/or turbocharger, if your vehicle is equipped with one.

  • If the water pump in your automobile breaks, the driving power for the coolant is quickly depleted, causing the water in the engine to heat up extremely quickly and your engine to overheat, perhaps causing serious damage.
  • First and foremost, a catastrophic failure of your water pump is possible, but not probable.
  • This form of water pump failure is the most hazardous, despite the fact that it is quite unlikely.
  • A damaged motor belt or engine noise might accompany this situation in your car, but your engine temperature gauge will almost certainly rise swiftly as a result of this.
  • The failure of a bearing in your engine’s water pump is a more likely cause of water pump failure.
  • Due to the fact that your water pump bearing is either a sealed bearing or is lubricated solely by coolant, it has the potential to wear out far more quickly than the oil-lubricated bearings in your engine.
  • Occasionally, you may be able to see the pump pulley or belt swaying when your engine idles in the most extreme situations.

If this is the case, the most straightforward solution is to just replace your water pump.

This might comprise the shaft seal as well as the seal connecting the water pump to the block.

If the shaft seal on your water pump has become worn and is leaking, the most cost-effective solution is to replace the pump entirely.

Significant amounts of stress are placed on the region around your water pump as a result of the heating and cooling of your engine in that area, and it is therefore susceptible to cracking.

You may quickly and simply repair any leaks caused by broken blocks near your water pump by using BlueDevil Radiator and Block Sealer, which is available at most hardware stores.

It is possible to seal the leak in your block without blocking or hurting any other part of your cooling system using BlueDevil Radiator and Block Sealer!

The BlueDevil Radiator and Block Sealer is available for purchase through the banner link provided below. BlueDevil Radiator and Block Sealer may be purchased at any of our participating local auto parts retailers, including the following:

  • AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, Bennett Auto Supply, CarQuest Auto Parts, NAPA Auto Parts, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Pep Boys, and Fast Track are just a few of the auto parts retailers. Genuine Auto Parts Stores
  • Bond Auto Parts Stores
  • DYK Automotive
  • Bumper to Bumper Automotive Parts
  • Consumer Auto Parts
  • S E Quick Lube Distributor
  • Fisher Auto Parts stores
  • Auto Plus Auto Parts stores
  • Hovis AutomotiveTruck Supply Stores
  • Salvo Auto Parts stores
  • Advantage Auto Stores
  • Genuine Auto Parts stores
  • Bond Auto Parts stores
  • Tidewater Fleet Supply
  • Any Part Auto Parts
  • Bumper to Bum
See also:  How Long Does A Rheem Water Heater Last

ooiphotoo – Licensed by Getty Images for use in water pump.jpg –Original Website picture of a water pump pulley by AppleEyesStudio, used with permission from Getty Images. –Original Website

119 responses to “How to Tell if my Water Pump is Bad”

Among the most vital components of the car is the water pump. Its primary function is to regulate the flow of coolant through the engine. It does this in order to keep the appropriate temperature within a particular range. After a period of time, the water pump may become worn out and may need to be replaced. There are a variety of techniques to determine whether or not a water pump is functioning properly. These signs of a failing water pump will then lead you through the rest of the process.

This is especially important since a faulty water pump might cause your engine to overheat.

Understanding the Main Role of a Water Pump in an Engine System

Any vehicle’s engine must work within a fairly specific temperature range in order to function properly. If you have a car handbook, you can typically find out what temperature range is appropriate for your vehicle. The engine temperature must be maintained as a result of this requirement. This is accomplished by the use of a system that assures a coolant flow of air around the engine in order to cool it down in the event that temperatures rise too high. As a result, the primary function of the water pump is to maintain the flow of coolant through the engine.

Understanding the causes of water pump difficulties is critical because they have the potential to cause the engine to fail completely.

This will assist you in avoiding the incurring of expensive repair expenses.

This is due to the fact that the water pump may encounter some wear and tear over a period of time of operation.

8 Signs of a Bad Water Pump

If you want to avoid difficulties with your engine system, such as overheating and other self-destructive concerns, you must make sure that your water pump is in good working condition. One of the most effective strategies to avoid water pump failure is to be on the lookout for any signs of a malfunctioning water pump. That way, you’ll be able to prevent causing as much harm as possible by addressing the problem as soon as it occurs.

The advantage of automobiles is that you will be able to predict when a component will break, and you will know about it long before it happens. For example, the water pump is one such component. Here are some pointers on how to determine if your water pump is in need of repair.

1. Leakage of the Coolant at the front part of the Vehicle

This is one of the most noticeable indicators of a malfunctioning water pump. If you detect that any liquid is seeping from your car, you must take action as soon as possible. The majority of the time, the reason for the leakage is due to the fact that the components of the pump tend to wear out, break, and fracture after a prolonged period of operation. In order to determine for certain if the leak is caused by a failed water pump, you need examine the precise color of the pool of fluid that has formed under your car.

This is one of the methods for determining whether or not a pump is defective.

Additionally, you might try to get the cooling system replenished with the proper coolant from the vehicle’s manufacturer.

2. Significant Rise in Engine Temperature

This is only another of the numerous signs and symptoms of a damaged water pump. This is due to the fact that the primary job of the water pump is to ensure that a constant cooling flow is maintained around the engine. It is also possible that any fluctuations in the temperatures are indicative of a problem with the water pump. This is a definite technique to identify whether your water pump is malfunctioning if the temperature gauge indicates a considerable shift in the temperature of the engine in terms of an increase.

The latter, on the other hand, must be addressed as soon as possible, or else you may wind up paying a significant amount of money on repairs.

3. Rusting of the Pump as a result of Coolant Leak

There are various instances when the coolant may begin to leak as a means of demonstrating that the water pump is malfunctioning. Cavitation and pitting, which may be induced by the leak and result in rusting of the pump, should be checked for surrounding the pump to ensure that it is not rusted. This corrosion is frequently caused by the continual rusting, and it may be one of the symptoms that the water pump is about to fail. If this is an indication of a faulty water pump, it is possible to resolve the problem by completely cleaning the whole cooling system before replacing the pump.

4. Strange Whining Sounds

When you begin to hear whining sounds, this will be a wonderful indicator of the numerous indicators of a failing water pump in your home. It is common for this whining sound to be an excellent sign that the pump pulley is malfunctioning. Despite the fact that, in general, any strange sound should be interpreted as an indication that your vehicle is experiencing problems. A high-pitched buzzing or whining sound is commonly heard as an indication of a malfunctioning water pump. This is a simple method for determining whether or not your water pump is functioning properly.

Actually, this is exactly what causes the whining sound to be heard. If the bearing in your water pump begins to wear out, it may be one of the indicators that your water pump is failing, in which case you may be compelled to purchase a new one.

5. Low Coolant Levels

Another indicator of a malfunctioning water pump system is a gurgling sound. It is a fairly reliable method of determining whether or not your water pump is malfunctioning. When your coolant begins to slowly leak, it is possible that you will not realize that your pump is malfunctioning until it is too late. So, you might wonder, how can I tell if my water pump is malfunctioning? When the vehicle’s coolant level begins to drop, this is one of the symptoms that the water pump has failed. The problem of low coolant is quite serious, and it has the potential to cause extremely severe damage to both the engine and the cooling pump.

6. Steam coming out of the Vehicle’s Alternator

The appearance of steam flowing out of the front section of the engine system indicates that the engine is experiencing severe overheating at the time. Another one of the most prevalent signs of a broken water pump is a low water pressure. Operating a vehicle with an overheated engine may be extremely risky since it can cause more damage to the vehicle through a self-destructive process. If your vehicle exhibits any indicators of a malfunctioning water pump that is associated with overheating, such as the production of steam, you should seek the assistance of a technician to determine the source of the problem.

7. Formation of Holes on the side of the Water Pump that is Dry

Another excellent approach to determine whether or not your water pump is functioning properly is to search for any forms on holes on the dry section of the water pump. This occurs mostly as a result of the fact that as a pump ages, the outer portion of the seal begins to deteriorate and break away. As a result, if you look at the side of the pump that is dry, you will find that some holes are beginning to appear. The creation of these holes is a certain technique to determine whether or not my water pump is malfunctioning and requires repair.

8. Cavitation

This is frequently indicated by the existence of certain holes that appear to be bubbles on the surface of the skin. Typically, this is caused by a cooling system collapse that occurs as a result of the pump exploding with explosive power. In turn, this will result in pockmarking of the separate components of the pump, which will subsequently lead to corrosion of the corroded regions as a result. All of this is generated by the production of bubbles at the entrance of the cooling pump, which is intended to chill the water.

You can only resolve this issue by purchasing a new water pump system to replace the one that is already in use.

The Cost of Replacing a New Water Pump

If you have encountered any of the above-mentioned signs of a malfunctioning water pump, the next thing you should do is at the very least consider replacing it. Labor costs are included in the cost of replacing a water pump, which ranges between $300 and $750 in most instances. However, if you merely want to purchase the components for replacement, the cost would be between $50 and $100, depending on the quantity purchased. For the majority of mechanical workers, the expenses are frequently split between the costs of labor and the costs of the items they use.

Going to a tiny repair business in order to save some money can be something you consider doing.

This is particularly significant if you drive a high-end automobile.

You may have to pay a significant amount of money to have that water pump repaired, but it will be worth it in the end. To avoid spending more money on continuous repairs in the future, it is preferable to go for this option now rather than later.

How to Check to See If Water Pump Is Bad

Image of a car engine by itsallgood obtained from Coolant is forced through a vehicle’s cooling system by water pumps, which are driven by either a fan belt or a timing belt. Over time, water pumps might develop malfunctions. There are generally indications that anything is wrong. If you catch the problem early enough, you might prevent having to spend money on pricey repairs. In a few simple steps, you can determine if your water pump is malfunctioning.

Signs of a Bad Water Pump

Check for leaks coming from below the car. One of the first symptoms that a water pump is failing is the appearance of coolant leaks. Make a visual inspection of the area surrounding the radiator and hoses for evidence of leakage. Any leaks should be addressed as soon as possible by a technician.

Step 2

Check to see if there is any overheating. It is necessary to address any overheating as soon as possible since it indicates a leaky water pump. Check the temperature gauge on the dashboard to determine whether the temperature has increased to the hot zone setting. Check to see if any steam is coming out of the engine as well.

Step 3

Overheating should be investigated. Water pump leakage is indicated by excessive warmth, which must be addressed immediately. Check the temperature indicator on the dashboard to determine if the temperature has risen into the hot zone yet. Examine the engine to see if any steam is coming out of it.

  • When replacing a water pump, make sure you check all of the coolant lines. Replace the drive belts when you replace a water pump, since this will ensure that the water pump operates properly.
  • When opening the radiator cap, proceed with caution since the hot fluid from the radiator can inflict significant burns if touched. Always let the car’s engine to cool down before starting it.

Biography of the Author The year 2008 marked the beginning of Jennifer Patterson’s writing career as a freelance writer, supplying how-to articles and other pieces to a variety of websites. She is a specialist in the fields of computers and health care, and she graduated from Miami-Dade Community College with an Associate of Science in computer science in hand. She is married with two children.

More Articles

Coolant is just as vital as any other fluid when it comes to maintaining the proper level in your vehicle. It keeps your engine safe from extreme heat as well as frigid weather. The water pump circulates coolant from the radiator throughout the engine, collecting heat and dissipating it into the surrounding atmosphere as it goes. When your water pumps fail, it causes your engine to overheat, which can result in a variety of problems for you. While water pumps are meant to span the lifetime of a vehicle, it is very conceivable that they will fail before that time period has passed.

So, how can you determine whether or not your water pump is malfunctioning?

Indications of a Faulty Water Pump

When the water pump is out of whack, your automobile will alert you to the problem. Keep an eye out for the following signs:

Leaking Coolant

If you see a pool of fluid below your engine, it might be an indication that your water pump has failed and is leaking coolant. This occurs when the following conditions are met:

  • The water pump has not been fitted appropriately on this occasion. A defective installation might be caused by deformations, overtightening, or a broken bearing
  • The body is shattered as a result. This is a common occurrence during installation, and it can even occur during transportation
  • The bearing seal has been compromised. Coolant leaks through the weep hole, which can be caused by rust, silt, and other impurities that circulate throughout the cooling system. While some seepage happens on new water pumps while they are being broken in, excessive leaking indicates tainted fluid and the probable failure of the water pump in question. A leak exists someplace in the cooling system that is not related to the water pump. You may have a leak in your radiator or one of the hoses in your system if you’re losing coolant for a cause that hasn’t been listed above.
See also:  How Much Is A Water Heater For A House

If a leak is not repaired promptly, your engine will almost certainly overheat if the water pump is not replaced as soon as possible after discovering the leak.

Grinding Noises

Some water pump failures, including the following, are characterized by grinding sounds; they are listed below.

  • A deteriorated bearing seal. When coolant leaks, it will gradually destroy the protective layer that surrounds the seal, causing it to overheat and ultimately fail. A collapsing bearing WILL have a direct impact on your engine. A body that has been broken. The corrosion might be caused by coolant degradation, or it could be caused by a loose water pump pulley. This is typically a warning that a bearing is about to fail. Photograph courtesy of Pete through flickr
  • A faulty impeller that has been detached from its shaft. In order for the cooling system to function properly, the impeller must be kept running at all times. If the impeller were to fail, overheating would result.

Engine Overheating

Because of a failed water pump, your engine will overheat, which is not a good thing. In order to avoid a catastrophic engine failure, keep an eye out for the following indicators of an overheated engine caused by a failed water pump:

  • A thermometer that fluctuates in temperature. A normal temperature gauge in your car should provide a consistent reading that falls between chilly and hot in most cases. A malfunctioning impeller is most likely to blame if coolant is not being circulated through the system as it should. The temperature gauge needle will rise as a result of this. There’s a check engine light on. Overheated coolant will cause the dreaded check engine light to illuminate, signaling that it is imperative to pull over immediately.
  • Coolant that is dirty and cloudy. A polluted coolant in your system might have an adverse effect on the system’s capacity to keep your engine running cool. Keep an eye out for indicators of unusually unclean coolant. Typically, coolant is a brilliant color (the color of the coolant cap varies from one car to another), and it should not include any oil or dirt.

Buying a New Water Pump

A defective water pump has the potential to cause the engine to shut down completely. That alone should be sufficient justification for only purchasing a water pump from a reputable OEM-quality manufacturer. GMB has been in the business of manufacturing high-quality water pumps for many years. Among our clientele are a number of automobile manufacturers, well-known national parts distributors, and premium aftermarket brands. When we produce water pumps, we pay close attention to the different components to ensure that the entire unit fulfills our high quality requirements.

As a result, you’ll receive the ideal fit each and every time.

6 Symptoms Of A Bad Water Pump (Function & Location)

The engine of a car operates at a specified temperature. In order to prevent the engine from overheating and causing catastrophic damage, this temperature must be maintained. Consequently, it is critical to replace your water pump before it fails completely. However, how can you tell when your water pump is likely to fail completely? Let’s start with a short review of the warning indicators to look out for: One of the most prevalent signs of a faulty water pump is coolant leaks under your automobile, which are often accompanied by an overheated engine.

Unstable engine temperature is another issue that frequently occurs.

Here is a more in-depth look at the six most prevalent signs of a malfunctioning water pump: 1.

Bad Water Pump Symptoms

When the water pump fails, it may cause leaks from the axle sealing or any other gasket in the system. Gaskets are used in the water pump to guarantee that the coolant remains sealed and that the flow of water continues uninterrupted. These gaskets, on the other hand, might degrade and become entirely ineffective with time, resulting in the coolant leaking out from under the water pump. In the event that you see a pool of water or coolant underneath the front end of your vehicle, you are most likely dealing with a water pump failure, and you should consult with a technician.

2. Squealing Noise

Because coolant can seep into the water pump’s bearings when it fails, it can cause the bearings to dry up and make a screaming noise while driving, which can be heard when the engine is running.

The water pump should be replaced right once if you hear a loud screeching noise. If you continue to drive while the water pump is malfunctioning, it might be fatal to your engine. This is especially true if the water pump is powered by the timing belt.

3. Water Pump’s Axle lose

There is a serpentine or timing belt that turns the water pump and pumps coolant through the system. If the water pump axle becomes worn out, it may result in the belt becoming loose. If this occurs, you will be looking at a total replacement of the water pump in your home. You must first remove the serpentine or timing belt in order to determine whether or not the water pump’s axle is loose. If you notice any play in the axle, it should be replaced as soon as possible.

4. Overheating Engine

The major function of the water pump is to circulate coolant throughout the system in order to cool the engine. If the water pump malfunctions in some way, the temperature indicator on the dashboard will begin to rise rapidly. A number of factors, like thermostat failure or short electrical wiring, might cause this to occur; nevertheless, you should always get it checked thoroughly by a qualified technician. Otherwise, you risk extensive damage to the head gasket, the cylinders, and the pistons, all of which can shorten the overall life of your vehicle’s engine.

5. White Smoke From The Radiator

If you notice white smoke pouring out of your radiator, you are most likely dealing with a water pump that is not working. An overheated engine, which can occur if the water pump is not functioning properly, produces the steam that collects in the radiator. When confronted with this situation, it is preferable to remain safe and pull over, wait for the engine to cool down, and make every effort to contact your mechanic.

6. Unstable Engine temperature

Water pump difficulties can also occur intermittently because the impeller may be loose on the water pump axle, which can cause the water pump to malfunction. This will occasionally cause the car to overheat, but it will also cause it to function great for a couple of weeks at a time. When it comes to water pumps, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, so if you suspect that yours is broken, repair it immediately.

What is a water pump?

The water pump is critical in maintaining the proper operation of the engine’s cooling system. The amount of coolant that is pumped into the engine is controlled by the pump. Its role is to ensure that the engine is continually supplied with fresh and cold fluids from the radiator in order for it to function effectively. However, if the water pump malfunctions, as it does on a regular basis, the engine will not receive the proper quantity of coolant and would overheat as a result. That is simply how water-cooled engines operate: if there is no water, the engine will not function properly.

Some indications will manifest themselves if the engine fails, and this will encourage you to consult with a professional to check that the engine is in proper working order.

Water Pump Location

Keeping the engine running at peak performance is critical to its long-term health. The amount of coolant that enters the engine is controlled by the pump. To ensure that the engine operates effectively, it must be regularly supplied with fresh and cold liquid from the radiator. When the water pump breaks, as it does on a regular basis, the engine will not receive the proper quantity of coolant and will overheat. That is simply how water-cooled engines operate: if there is no water present, the engine will not function properly and will fail.

As a result, a well operating water pump is critical. A number of symptoms will manifest themselves if the engine fails, which will encourage you to seek assistance from a professional to determine whether the engine is in excellent working order.

Water Pump Diagnosis & Replacement

Automobile Repair Library, Auto Parts, Accessories, Tools, Manuals and Books, Car BLOG, Links, and more. Index byLarry Carley (c)2019 All rights reserved. Located at the core of the cooling system is the water pump. Coolant is circulated between the engine and radiator by the pump, which helps to prevent the engine from overheating. The impeller, which is made of metal or plastic and has blades, is located inside the pump and is responsible for pushing water through it. The impeller is installed on a shaft that is supported by the pump housing and is equipped with a bearing and seal assembly to ensure that the pump operates properly.


There are two main ways in which water pumps fail: either the shaft seal fails and allows water to flow out, or the impeller within fails and comes free, or the blades erode and wear down (which is more of a problem with pumps that have plastic impellers). When a water pump begins to leak, coolant will begin to flow out of the cooling system. If the leak is not identified and repaired, the loss of coolant will eventually cause the engine to overheat and shut down. It is possible that the driver will not notice anything incorrect until the temperature warning light illuminates.

If an overheated engine is run for an extended period of time, severe engine damage can occur.

In the event that coolant is leaking out of the water pump shaft or vent hole, the water pump should be replaced.


Water pump shaft seals prevent coolant from seeping past the bearing and into the water pump housing. In the cooling system, rust, silt, and other impurities can induce seal wear since they circulate with the coolant in the system. The pump shaft and bearings are also subjected to continual strain, not only from the drive belt or timing belt, but also from the fan on vehicles equipped with mechanical cooling fans installed on the pump shaft or bearings. Eventually, the shaft seal and/or bearing on the water pump wear down, causing the pump to begin to leak.

It is fairly uncommon for leaks to appear after 50,000 or 60,000 miles on the odometer.


Occasionally, a water pump can fail internally owing to extreme corrosion wearing away the impeller blades, or the impeller will come loose from its mounting on the shaft, or the shaft itself may break due to metal fatigue (caused by flexing due to an out-of-balance fan). Plastic impellers are used in many late-model automobiles (Chrysler in particular) to enhance cooling efficiency while also reducing cavitation (drag). However, if the coolant is unclean or includes abrasives, the plastic can become damaged very rapidly.

When the engine is hot and idling, one technique to check for a damaged water pump is to pinch the top radiator line while the engine is running.

If you do not see much coolant moving through the hose when you crank the engine, it is possible that the pump is malfunctioning. The second possibility is a faulty thermostat that is not opening correctly (remove and examine the thermostat), or a blocked radiator (remove and inspect the radiator).


Replacement water pumps are available in a broad range of forms and sizes, as well as a number of shaft lengths, and on some engines, more than one kind of pump may be installed. Finding the correct pump requires matching not only the year, make, model, and engine, but also the VIN or casting number, which is often required. If at all feasible, compare the new pump to the old pump to ensure that it is the proper pump for the job. Some replacement castings are designed with additional outlets, mounting bosses, or bolt holes to allow them to be utilized on a wider range of engine applications, which helps to consolidate applications.

  1. If there aren’t enough outlets and mounting bosses, this is unacceptable.
  2. Remove the radiator from service.
  3. This should be done when the engine is COLD.
  4. Antifreeze that has been used may normally be flushed down the toilet.
  5. It is also harmful to both animals and humans in large quantities.
  6. Disconnect the fan belt from the motor.
  7. Make a mental note of how the belt is routed BEFORE you remove it so that you can restore it appropriately later (draw a picture if there is not a belt decal under the hood that shows how the belt is routed around the pulleys).

Clear the area of anything else that is in the way.



Before you can install the new pump, it is necessary to clean and dry the mounting surface.

Install the gasket on the new water pump, sealing it using gasket sealant or adhesive if necessary, and then attach the new water pump to the engine with bolts.

7.Refill the water in the cooling system.

Many cooling systems contain vent valves that may be opened during a refill to enable air to escape.

A few more notes on the cooling system; if the cooling system has rust or sediment, it is recommended that the radiator and block be cleaned and flushed BEFORE removing the old pump in order to prevent the new pump from being damaged.

Clean and disinfect the cooling system before refilling it with a 50/50 mixture of fresh antifreeze and distilled water.

If your vehicle has a mechanical fan that is mounted on the pump and is controlled by a fan clutch, the fan clutch should be changed at the same time as the mechanical fan.

It is possible that a sliding fan clutch will result in less radiator cooling and consequent engine overheating.

More Cooling System Articles

Finding Identifying and Repairing Coolant Leaks Cleaning and Maintaining Your Cooling System How To Make A Diagnosis A Thermostat Should Be Replaced Your Thermocouple Temperature Warning Lamp is illuminated. What Should You Do in This Situation? Overheating in the engine: What causes it Cures Electric Cooling Fan Problems to Look Out For Troubleshoot A cooling fan is used to cool the room. Clutch Service with a belthose Belts are a good example of this (Serpentine) Belt tensioners are a type of tensioner that is used to tension a belt.

Is There a Universal Coolant?

More information may be found by clicking here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.