8 Signs of A Bad Water Pump (How To Know and What To Do)

The water pump is a very important part of the vehicle. Its main work is to control the coolant flow within the engine. It does this in order to maintain the required temperature that is within a specific range. The water pump may become worn out after some time and may therefore require to be replaced after sometime.

There are quite a number of ways on how to tell if a water pump is bad. These symptoms of a bad water pump will then guide you on what next to do. You need to have the problem sorted immediately since using a bad water pump can be quite detrimental to your safety. This is especially because a bad water pump could lead to overheating of your engine.

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

The engine in any vehicle has to operate within a temperature range that is very specified. This particular range of temperature is usually specific based on the manual of the vehicle. For this reason, it is important that the engine temperature is maintained. This is done using a system that ensures a coolant flow of air around the engine, for cooling it down in case the temperatures shoot.

The main purpose of the water pump, therefore, is to maintain the engine’s coolant flow. If you happen to have a bad water pump, the engine will be unable to maintain the required operating temperatures. Understanding the water pump problems is very significant, as they may lead to a total failure in the engine.

To avoid this, you must get to know the signs of a failing water pump as early as possible to avoid complete engine failure. This will help you avoid incurring high costs for repair charges. Even for vehicles that are relatively new, the water pump can get spoilt at any point. This is because the water pump may experience some wear and tear over some period of usage. Discussed in greater details below are some of the signs of a bad water pump.

8 Signs of a Bad Water Pump

In order to keep your engine system from problems such as overheating and other self-destruction issues, you have to ensure that your water pump has no significant issues whatsoever. One of the sure ways to avoid water pump failure is to be on the look out for any symptoms of a bad water pump.

That way, you’ll be able to avoid so much damage by taking care of the problem as soon as you can. The good thing about vehicles is that you will be able to know beforehand when a component is going to fail, way before they do. The water pump is one of such components.

Below are some tips on how to tell if the water pump is going bad.

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

This is one of the most outstanding signs of a bad water pump. If you notice that you have any liquid leaking from your vehicle, you have to take immediate action. The reason as to why the leakage happens, in most cases, is mostly because the components of the pump tend to wear out, break, and crack after a long time of usage.

You can tell for sure that the leakage is one of the signs of a failing water pump by check the exact color of the puddle of fluid, forming under the vehicle. If the color of the leaking fluid is either red or green, then that is the coolant from the vehicle. This is one of the ways on how to tell if a pump is bad.

The solution for this is trying to flush the system for cooling thoroughly. Also, you could try and get the system refilled with the right coolant from the vehicles’ manufacturer.

2. Significant Rise in Engine Temperature

This is also another of the very many bad water pump symptoms. This is so because the main function of the water pump is to maintain a cooling flow continuously around the engine. Any changes in the temperatures could therefore signify a problem with the water pump.

If the temperature gauge shows a significant change in the temperature of the engine in terms of an increase, then this is a sure way on how to tell if your water pump is bad. Issues to do with overheating of the engine are quite sensitive. The latter must therefore be treated as soon as possible, or else you may end up spending so much in dealing with the repairs.

You may solve this particular problem mostly by overhauling the whole system for the water pump and getting a replacement.

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

There are some cases in which the coolant may begin to leak, as a way to show the water pump failing. You should thus check around for the pump for water pump car symptoms such as cavitation and pitting that may be caused by the leak, and that might bring about rusting of the pump.

This rusting is often a result of the constant rusting and it may be one of the signs of water pump going out. This symptom of a bad water pump can be dealt with by flushing the entire cooling system thoroughly, before replacing the water pump.

4. Strange Whining Sounds

Engine Noises Listening by Professional Car Mechanic

When you start hearing some sounds of whining, this will be a great indicator of the many signs of water pump failure. This whining sound is often a great indicator of the fact that the pump pulley has issues. Though in a general view, any unusual sound should be an indicator of the fact that your vehicle has issues.

Most of the time, the symptoms of a bad water pump are signified using sounds that are high pitched, that often come off like a buzzing or whining sound. This is an easy way on how to tell if you have a bad water pump. The water pulley is affecting because it may become quite loose after some time. This is actually what exactly leads to the whining sound.

In the event that the bearing of your water pump wears out, it may be one of the signs of a failing water pump; in which case you may be forced to get a new replacement.

5. Low Coolant Levels

This is another of the symptoms of a bad water pump system. It is a very sure way on how to tell if your water pump is bad. When your coolant begins to slowly leak, at first you will actually not notice that your pump is failing. So, you may ask, how do I know if my water pump is bad? One of the signs of a water pump going out is when the vehicle begins to run low on coolant.

The problem of low coolant is quite dangerous and could lead to very gruesome damages to both the engine and the pump. You have to take care of this problem by getting a professional mechanic to either fix it or get a new water pump altogether.

6. Steam coming out of the Vehicle’s Alternator

Severe overheating of the engine can be indicated by the presence of steam coming out of the front part of the engine system. This is one of the most common bad water pump symptoms. Operating with an engine that is overheated can be quite dangerous since it could lead to further damage to the car, through a self-destruction mechanism.

If your vehicle develops any signs of a bad water pump that is related to overheating as signified by steam, you must look for a mechanic to check out the underlying issue.

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

Another great way on how to know if your water pump is bad is by looking at any formations on holes on the dry part of the water pump. This happens mostly because when a pump gets older, the outer part of the seal tends to start breaking apart because of deterioration.

Therefore, when you look at the side of the pump that is dry, you will begin to notice that some holes form. The formations of these holes is a sure way to know how to tell if my water pump is bad and needs a replacement.

8. Cavitation

Old pump of the engine cooling system car, isolated on white

This is often signified by the presence of some cavities which appear like bubbles. This is often brought about by a collapse in the cooling system that is as a result of an explosive force from the pump. This will lead to pockmarking of the individual components in the pump, which then leads to these areas being corroded as a result.

All this is caused by the formation of bubbles at the inlet in the pump that is meant for cooling. For this reason, any formation of bubbles is a symptom of the bad water pump. You can take care of this issue only by getting a new replacement for the water pump system.

The Cost of Replacing a New Water Pump

If at all you have experienced broken water pump symptoms, then the next thing you are supposed to at least think about is the plan to get a new one. The general cost of replacing a new water pump is something between $300 and $750; inclusive of the cost for labor. However, if you want to buy only the parts for replacement, then the cost is roughly about $50 and $100.

For most mechanical personnel, the costs are often divided between the labor costs and the cost of the parts. Though the pricing for the spare parts of the water pump may be quite constant, the cost for labor varies significantly depending on the mechanic. You may think of going to a small repair shop in order to save up some cash.

However, the truth is that you may need to consider a professional mechanic who is well experienced so that the problem is fixed permanently. This is especially important, in the event that you have a luxurious car. You may spend quite some money is getting that water pump fixed, but it will take you a long way. This is better preferred as opposed to having to keep spending more money on constant repairs in the future.