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What Does a Car Water Pump Do?

The water pump plays a vital role in the safety and functionality of your vehicle, so it makes sense to ensure that it's in good condition and working well. Here we take a look at what a water pump is and why it's so important. We also list the symptoms that could indicate there's a problem with your water pump, enabling you to seek assistance before your engine sustains permanent damage.

What is a Water Pump?

The water pump is a belt-driven pump that works by harnessing energy from the crankshaft.

What Does a Water Pump do?

Because an engine consists of numerous parts that move together rapidly and repeatedly, it generates a considerable amount of heat. The water pump acts to push coolant around the engine from the radiator. The coolant removes heat from the engine, enabling it to operate at a safe temperature.

If the water pump isn't operating correctly or fails completely, the engine will overheat. This can result in components warping and buckling, or failing. An engine that's become severely overheated may require large-scale repairs. In some cases, it will be so badly damaged that it will need to be replaced.

How do I Know if my Water Pump Needs Replacing?

Common signs that your water pump needs replacing include:

  • A coolant leak. You will spot a puddle of coolant beneath the vehicle, towards the front. Coolant is easily recognized because it's usually brightly colored. Depending on the brand, coolant may be green, pink, yellow, blue, orange, or purple!
  • The engine overheats.
  • Noise. If the belt that powers the pump is working loose, you may notice a whining noise. The whining gets more urgent as you accelerate.
  • Steam. Steam coming from underneath the hood is never a good sign! In some vehicles, it could mean your water pump has failed.
  • Pump build-up. You may notice "gunk" around the pump.

If you see one or more of these signs or need your water pump repaired or replaced, our skilled team of auto repair shop technicians will be happy to help.

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