Replacing a Bad or Failing Water Pump

Does your Water Pump need replacing?

The water pump is a primary component of the engine’s cooling system. When it works properly, your vehicle will maintain a consistent temperature and run smoothly. When the water pump begins to show signs of wear, or fails, it can lead to complete engine failure.

Common signs of wear include shaft leaks at the front-center of the car, loose water pump pulley, an overheating engine, and steam rising from the radiator.

How it Works

The water pump circulates coolant between the engine and radiator in order to keep the engine from overheating.  Your water pump is an impeller pump designed to increase pressure and flow of water throughout the system. The impeller is mounted on a shaft supported by the pump housing, and typically located towards the front of the engine. It is operated by the engine’s drive belt, and as the belt turns, the pump turns.

The blades on the pump power coolant through the engine and back to the radiator to be cooled by a forced cooling fan.

The importance the pump plays in cooling the engine, can not be overstated. If it stops working, there will be consequences, including an all-out engine failure. 

Signs of Wear & Tear

Coolant leak at the front-center of your car: The water pump contains multiple gaskets and seals to keep coolant contained and to ensure that coolant is being properly delivered from the radiator to the engine. After a time, these gaskets and seals may crack, wear down, or break entirely. When this happens, you will notice coolant leaking from the water pump and dropping to the ground.

Heat damage:  Too much heat results in components that are warped, fused, melted and damaged. Because the water pump is pulley driven by the drive belt, internally, damage to the impeller will affect the systems performance.

Engine is overheating: When the water pump fails, coolant will not circulate through the engine block. This results in an overheating engine and if not addressed quickly, can cause serious engine damage like cracked cylinder heads, damaged head gaskets, or burnt pistons.

NoisyA loose accessory belt will cause a whining noise that gets louder and more frequent with acceleration. If you hear a grinding or growling noise that indicates a bearing problem.

Steam: If you notice steam coming from the front of your motor, that is a sign of an overheated engine. If your water pump is running correctly, your engine will hold a consistent temperature  circulates water to a functioning radiator. Steam is not a good sign for your engine.

Replacing a bad water pump isn’t an easy job, but having an experienced technician do the work could save your engine.

Orange County Automotive Services

At Saddleback Automotive Service Center, we strive to provide you with an alternative to dealerships by providing the vehicles, and you, with excellent service and the best possible repairs.

We are continually updating and upgrading all of our diagnostic equipment in order to serve our clients confidently, knowing that despite all the changes in technology, we are prepared for any automotive challenges that come our way.


We have been proudly Serving the Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, and the Orange County community for over 30 years! Schedule a free consultation today.





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