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The water pump is an important part of your vehicle with a vital role in the engine’s cooling system. The main task of the water pump is not only to cool down the engine with coolant, also assists in making sure the engine does not overheat.
Engine overheating is a very dangerous thing for your car and could eventually lead to engine failure. By understanding how the water pump works in the engine’s cooling system, it is easier to know why your car’s water pump may be failing.
The following key signs indicate that a water pump need to be replaced.
The water pump is comprised of multiple gaskets and seals that keep coolant contained which in turn ensures that a consistent flow of coolant is delivered from the radiator to the engine. There are chances that these gaskets and seals will wear out, dry up, crack or break entirely over a period of time. There are chances of bad water pump when Coolant drips under the part of the vehicle that houses the water pump.
Contaminated coolant, non-compatible coolant or mixing coolants of different chemistry result in Rust and corrosion on the surfaces of the water pump. In addition to this, a defective pressure cap causing air bubbles, accelerates the rust process.
Improper water pump installation or improper use of seals/gaskets or sealant would result in seepage, drips or large coolant bleed marks on or around the mounting surface or on the housing
A misaligned belt would cause excessive wear and an over-tensioned belt imposes a powerful bending force on the shaft that results in shaft bending or early shaft fracture. Excessive vibrations may be due to lack of maintenance. A clean break indicates that “instantaneous” fracture is caused by sudden overload or imbalance. If the broken shaft is discoloured (usually blue), the damage was gradual, indicating excessive heat build-up before the shaft broke.
Water pump will not be able to circulate coolant through the engine block, when it fails completely which in turn will result in an overheating situation. If this not repaired or replaced quickly, this could cause additional engine damage like cracked cylinder heads, pushed head gaskets, or burnt pistons.
Check the condition of the bearing by looking for any side-to-side play at the shaft making sure that engine is off. There should be no play at all when you apply hand pressure. Also, rumbling or screeching noises coming from the water pump indicate a worn bearing. A misaligned belt would cause excessive wear. An over-tensioned belt will cause overload on the bearing, accelerating wear. There will be coolant leakage through the bearings which will wash away the lubricator because of damaged mechanical seal.
Over a period of time, you might hear a high pitched sound that comes from the front of the motor. This is typically caused by a loose belt that creates a harmonic buzzing or whining sound as it circulates. The loose belt is commonly caused by the wearing out bearings that operate the water pump assembly or a pulley that has become loose. The bearings failing inside the water pump is a clear indication that the unit cannot be repaired and will need to be replaced entirely.
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