Signs You Need To Replace Your Vehicle's Water Pump

While not often talked about, your vehicle's water pump is an extremely important part of the internal components of your car. Like its name would suggest, a water pump supplies water and coolant from the radiator to the engine, which maintains your engine at an appropriate operating temperature. A damaged or malfunctioning water pump can increase the risk of your engine overheating, which can leave you stranded on the side of the road with very little warning. Thankfully, there are several things that you can keep your eye on to determine when you should see a mechanic to have your car's water pump looked at.

Coolant Leaks

A damaged seal somewhere on your water pump, or a physically damaged pump itself, will leak out coolant over time. The easiest way to see if your coolant system is leaking is to inspect the asphalt underneath your vehicle after it has been parked for a few hours. Check the color of the leaked fluid to determine if it is coolant or another fluid from your vehicle. The easiest way to do this is to blot at it with a piece of paper towel to absorb it: coolant will have a blue or green hue to it, while red or black points to transmission fluid or oil leaks, which are a separate problem.

High Pitched Sounds

If you notice that there is a periodic, but not constant, whining or squealing sound that comes from your engine while driving, your water pump may be to blame. This is usually caused by a worn out pulley or belt within the pump, causing a squealing sound as it experiences friction. This may not seem like a serious issue, but it points to an upcoming break or tear somewhere within your water pump, which can cause the entire coolant system to fail. This means you should head to a mechanic as soon as possible to have your water pump looked at.

Engine Overheating

Another clear indication, one that is perhaps the most obvious, is if the temperature of your engine suddenly spikes and overheats. This is especially true if steam is escaping out of your radiator or under your hood, and points to a malfunctioning water pump that is inadequately or completely failing to supply coolant to your engine. If this happens, you should head to a mechanic like Professional Automotive straight away, as your vehicle will not be able to properly function until the pump is replaced.