Tips on Identifying Water Pump Failure
The average water pump moves 700,000 gallons of coolant per 100,000 miles. To put it in perspective, that’s enough coolant to fill about 78 semi truck tanker trailers. And, it’s 140 times more liquid than the fuel pump moves over the same distance.
Anything mechanical that works that hard can wear out. Hopefully, those little bits of information will help calm down a customer who’s unhappy about their failed water pump.
When water pumps begin to fail, they usually start making noises. Most of the time, you will end up replacing the water pump, but not always. Sometimes another problem causes a similar noise.
Of course, you need to be sure what the problem is before you start making repairs. Here’s a list of the most common water pump noises and how to deal with each one:
- Whining or Groaning Sound
Most likely cause: Bad pulley or loose belt.
The pulley is driven by the serpentine or V belt. If an incorrectly sized V belt was installed in the past, the pulley could be damaged. Rust has been known to cause cracks in pulleys. Either kind of damage can result in a groaning or whining noise.
But you also may hear a whining or groaning sound if the belt is loose. Be sure to check the belt tensioners. It is common for these to wear out at the same time the water pump wears out.
- Squeaking, Grinding or Clicking Sounds
Most likely cause: Bad bearings.
You may be able to hear a grinding or squeaking sound when the engine is idling. If you’re uncertain about where the sound is coming from, use a mechanic’s stethoscope to check the pump when it’s running.
Another way to check the pump is to shut the engine off and loosen a belt tensioner. Spin the water pump by hand. If you hear clicking, or feel that the rotation is not smooth, the bearings have failed.
Most likely cause: Bent or Broken Impeller Shaft; Damaged Impeller
A rattling noise coming from the water pump likely means that the impeller shaft is bent or broken. A shaft could be bent due to over tensioned belts, or perhaps due to un-repaired collision damage. Shafts rarely break. When they do break, it’s most likely that someone waited way too long to get the water pump replaced after the bearings began to fail.
A Tip For You
Always check the belts and belt tensioners before pulling the water pump. If these parts are worn, they can cause overheating because they are not turning the water pump fast enough.
This article is brought to you by: GMB
For more information, please visit: https://www.gmb.net/water-pump-failure-causes/