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Water Pump Failure Symptoms




The water pump is a vital part of your vehicle. It continually pumps coolant to your vehicle’s engine so that it can prevent the engine from overheating. In case of a faulty bearing or a leak on the water pump, this can lead to grave damage to your car engine and the vehicle won’t perform well. The water pump functions by circulating the coolant throughout the whole cooling circuit and hence regulates the coolant flow rate. There are various signs that might show the water pump is in bad shape which is as follows:

Noise emanating from the engine when driving

Noise, which is heard in form of squeaking or grinding sound, occurs when the water pump bearings go out. This is as a result of the shaft bearing attempting to lock up in the pump housing. The bearing failure is because of the pressure being applied by the belt. Other engines are made up of a chain that moves the pump. The noise is generated as the water pump turns and the shaft is forced to turn upon the bearing rollers that are not turning.

A leaking coolant

This is a major sign that your water bad is spoiled. The water pump is created with a weep hole to permit coolant to leak from its housing prior to reaching the shaft bearing which will lead the shaft to lock up and cease turning. When the shaft locks up it makes the belt gets thrown off which will put the vehicle in bad shape and unable to perform. This forces the driver to change the entire water pump for it to be effective again.

Overheating of the engine

The role of the water pump is to cool the engine. So, when it is damaged, this isn’t possible and the pump has to be replaced for it to function well again. The water pump is designed to push the coolant through the radiator, block and cylinder head. If it’s not able to perform this, then the engine overheats. This can be easily seen by the driver with an elevated temperature gauge reading or a temperature warning light showing up.

Rust and corrosion

Another good sign of a dysfunctional water pump is when rust and corrosion develop on the surface of the water pump. The corrosion of the impeller fins turns the pump to be ineffective in turning the coolant. The rust and corrosion that develops on the pump are a result of contaminated coolant, mixing coolants, or bad pressure cap that causes air bubbles.

Misalignment of the pulley

The moment the pump bearings are going out it will permit the water pump pulley to shift and create a squeaking or grinding noise during operation. For you to observe the bearing state, take a view down the pulley and check the alignment of the pulley with the other pulleys of the engine. The pulley should be tight and in place instead of shifting. Get it replaced if it wobbles as it will mean that it is damaged.

Deposit formation

When deposits and sludge form on the inside resulting in clogging of the water pump, this should be a clear sign of a bad water pump. As a result, it hinders the proper functioning of the water pump and thus the engine is not cooled as needed. The deposits form due to a contaminated coolant or mix up of coolants of varying chemistries.


Noticing one of the above signs quickly can save your engine from serious damage by repairing it quickly. It is hard for the water to be damaged but nothing can be ruled out. If you see one of these symptoms, then you should know that your water pump needs to be repaired right away.


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