Water pump and cooling system maintenance
The water pump functions
The water pump, also called coolant pump, circulates coolant through the engine. It is the most important part of the system. The engine is cooled by a coolant antifreeze mixed with water. This mixture circulates around the engine absorbing some of the heat. The coolant then flows through the radiator, where air cools it down for the return trip back through the engine.
The location of the water pump varies depending on the vehicle. Some have the water pump attached to the outside of the engine where you can see it. With those, the water pump is driven by the serpentine belt. Some water pumps are driven by the timing belt. The timing belt cover hides the water pump, so you can’t see the pump without removing the cover.
Check out our different water pump or visit a NAPA AUTOPRO Service Centre.
What are the signs indicating faulty water pump?
You can’t get very far without a water pump. After all those kilometres and years of pumping coolant, they wear out. You may notice a grinding sound coming from the water pump, or maybe you will see coolant leaking from the pump itself.
When your vehicle is overheating, you’ll notice that the needle on the temperature gauge will be in the red zone or the warning light on the dashboard will illuminate. If this happens, it’s important that you turn off your vehicle immediately and wait for the engine to cool down. If you don’t, you could seriously damage your engine. Check the level of coolant and top up the expansion tank if necessary. Getting a tow to a NAPA AUTOPRO centre may be your best option.
Hoses in the circuit can get inflated or punctured, or even crack. Lastly, a minor collision or even normal wear and tear may cause the radiator to leak. In any event, it’s always wise to bring your vehicle in for an inspection or repairs by a certified NAPA AUTOPRO technician.
How often do you need to maintain your water pump?
Prolong the life of your water pump with regular coolant service. Maintaining your cooling system requires several steps. A certified NAPA AUTOPRO technician can periodically (once or twice a year) check the level of ethylene glycol or antifreeze in the system and take the necessary corrective measures. According to the manufacturer’s recommendations, they should be changed every 100,000 km.
Learn more about the water pump from our NAPA AUTOPRO experts in the video below: