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Car Water Pump: Functions

How do water pumps function?

A car’s engine needs a water pump to keep the coolant flowing through the engine block, cylinder head, hoses, and radiator and to maintain the engine’s ideal operating temperature. Typically, a belt from the crankshaft pulley or sprocket is used to drive it.

The water pump in a car circulates coolant through the various tubes and hoses that make up the cooling system using impeller blades and centrifugal force.

After the coolant circulates around the engine, it is transported by hoses to the radiator, which is typically located at the front of the vehicle. Here, the heated coolant is cooled by air passing over the radiator’s fins. After that, it leaves the radiator and returns to the water pump, where the process began.

What is a car's water pump (and what does it do)?

How can a car water pump break?
Water pump bearings that are worn out will make a grinding or rumbling noise. Although the bearings might be able to be replaced, it’s likely that the seals will also need to be replaced. Since they’re not that expensive, it’s usual to replace the entire pump for peace of mind.

If the water pump is leaking coolant, it may be because the shaft seal or the gasket between the pump and the engine has failed. If the problem is the shaft seal, the complete pump must be replaced; however, if the problem is the gasket, the old pump can be taken apart, a new gasket installed, and the old pump can be replaced.

Modern water pumps occasionally damage their plastic impellers (fan blades). This causes vibrations, which ultimately result in the pump failing. Additionally, even though the impeller appears to be in good condition, it may become loose on the shaft and cease to function.

How can I prolong the life of my car’s water pump?
Remember that the timing belt is frequently used to drive the pump. If so, the pump and belt both need to be replaced at the same time. In fact, some manufacturers advise renewing the pump each time the belt is changed.

Making sure the engine coolant is in good shape and contains the right amount of antifreeze and specifications will help you maintain a healthy water pump. In addition to acting as a rust inhibitor and keeping small particles from breaking off within the engine and wearing the pump’s parts, the latter prevents the water from freezing in cold weather.

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