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How to Know If a Water Pump Is Bad

Time: 2010-11-12 10:09:21

The water pump is responsible for circulating coolant throughout a car's cooling system. It is a simple device that can wear down because of a bad bearing. While a water pump is not expensive to replace, it can cause significant damage to other parts of the vehicle because of a coolant leak or when the engine overheats.

Check for leaking coolant. Look under your car for puddles of coolant. A puddle of 3 inches or wider is considered to be a serious leak and may require immediate attention.

Make a note of any strange smells coming from the fan or air conditioner. When you turn on the fan or air conditioner, can you smell coolant? If so, your water pump may be damaged or worn down and is leaking coolant into the car.

Check the fluid levels in your reservoir. After the car has cooled down, open the hood and locate the radiator and coolant reservoir tank. If fluid levels continue to be low even after you have replaced them with coolant, there could be a coolant leak from a damaged water pump.

Check the water pump pulley. Locate the pulley behind the timing belt. Gently rock it back and forth to make sure that it is tight and secure. If it is easy to move the pulley, it means the bearings are wearing out and you will need to replace the water pump.

Listen for a grinding noise. If the bearings on the pulley are going out, you will hear a low pitched grinding noise coming from the water pump. This indicates that the water pump and belts may need to be replaced.

Monitor your temperature gauge. If the car is constantly overheating, this may signify a coolant leak because of a failing water pump.

 

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