Do I Need to Replace My Water Pump?
Most seasoned truckers and fleet operators know that when your engine is working at peak performance, life is good. But when something is off, it’s not something that can be ignored. Your engine system is made up of multiple components that keep everything running smoothly, and the water pump is one of those parts.
If you’re not familiar with what the water pump does, don’t feel bad. Contrary to what the name suggests, this essential component is responsible for circulating coolant from the radiator throughout the engine. This keeps your vehicle at a consistent operating temperature. But although water pumps are built to last, they wear out just like any other part does, and knowing the early signs of water pump failure can help you avoid full engine failure.
1. Inefficient Coolant Circulation
As the water pump moves coolant around, it dissipates the heat buildup in the engine. When left unchecked, this heat can potentially generate a lot of friction and result in components that are warped, fused, melted, broken, or compromised.
If you’re starting to notice that your engine’s running a little hotter than usual, your water pump may not be circulating coolant properly should be checked out to avoid further damage.
2. Coolant Leakage
One of the tell-tale signs of a faulty water pump is visible coolant leakage near the front of your vehicle. Depending on the type of coolant you use, the puddle may be orange, green, or red. There are multiple gaskets and seals within the water pump that keep coolant contained, and as this component begins to break down, the coolant can begin to leak out.
While it may be your instinct to simply add more coolant if you notice that levels are low, keep in mind that a leak may also be responsible, and that leaking coolant is a sign that your vehicle needs immediate servicing.
3. Pump Gunk
Not that you’re looking at your water pump every day, but there can also be noticeable signs of early component breakdown on the pump itself. When a water pump develops a slow leak, it can cause a buildup of gunk, or a gelled coolant deposit, to form around the outside of the component.
Evidence of a slow leak won’t necessarily cause engine failure but having low coolant levels can eventually cause more damage, and a slow water pump leak can also compromise the lubrication that protects the moving parts inside the pump.
4. Noise from the Engine
This is one of those symptoms that could come from multiple different parts, but it can also be associated with a water pump assembly that’s wearing out. Hearing a whirring or buzzing noise from the front of the motor could be a sign of a loose water pump pulley or worn out pump bearings.SHOP MATCH MADE NOW
If the noise you’re hearing gets louder as you accelerate, it’s worth bringing your vehicle in before the entire water pump assembly, or your entire engine, needs to be replaced entirely.
When your water pump is completely failing, it’s not able to circulate any coolant through the engine block. This inevitably leads to your engine overheating, and in this situation, you should pull over immediately before any further damage is caused or before you find yourself in a potentially dangerous situation on the road.
When an overheating engine is not addressed quickly, additional engine block damage such as cracked cylinder heads, pushed gaskets, and burnt pistons can occur, so the faster you get off the road and into a service bay, the better.
6. Radiator or Hood Steam
Before your engine starts overheating to the point of failure, you may also start to notice steam rising from the front of your motor as you’re driving or when you come to a stop. It’s not safe to continue driving an overheated engine, no matter how much steam is coming out of the vehicle.
In a situation where everything seems to be okay but you’re noticing steam, it’s still a good idea to pull over into a safe area and arrange to get your vehicle looked at as soon as possible. Your delivery schedule might be off but replacing a water pump vs. an entire engine can not only save you money but also reduce the amount of downtime you have to deal with.
High-Quality Replacement Water Pumps
Whether you need a replacement water pump now or soon, don’t just settle for the cheapest buy online. Low cost doesn’t necessarily equal high value, but there is a way to invest in a brand new, quality component without paying the high sticker price for a big brand.
We Recommend: Match Made Water Pumps
Built for long life and high load capacity, Match Made water pumps feature:
- A two-year, unlimited mile warranty
- Bearings that are built tough on the outside and flexible on the inside
- Endurance during cooling system imbalances and vibrations
- Precision-machined surfaces for better leak prevention
- Compliance with industry standards for performance and durability