You may have noticed lately that your car tends to overheat, especially while sitting at a traffic light. If so, look for the following signs that your car's water pump may be failing and should be replaced with a new one.
1. High-Pitched Noise Coming From the Motor
One of the first signs you may notice is a high-pitched noise coming from the motor. This noise will often become louder whenever you step on the gas to accelerate.
When you hear this sound, it does not necessarily mean that your water pump is failing. The problem could be caused by something else, such as a loose or wet fan belt that keeps slipping.
However, if this noise is coming from the water pump, it is caused by worn-out bearings inside the part. When the bearings start to wear down, they are no longer able to keep the pump running smoothly.
If you suspect that the sound is the pump, have someone else sit in your vehicle with the brakes on, and stand at the front of the car with the hood up. If the noise comes from the front of the engine, and your fan belt does not seem to have any problems, the water pump is likely the culprit.
2. Puddle Under the Front Center of the Vehicle
When your car's water pump starts going out, it will start to leak coolant. You may notice that your coolant level is constantly low and that you need to keep filling up your radiator.
If the coolant is leaking, you will also find a puddle under the front center of your car whenever you are stopped. You can check for this by sitting in your driveway for a few minutes with the car running.
Then, look under the car to see if you find a puddle or see a drip. Don’t run your air conditioner, as the AC pump drips condensation during and after it is in operation. This scenario may give you a false result when trying to find out if your water pump is bad.
3. Erratic Readings on Temperature Gauge
Along with strange noises and puddles under your car, you can also determine whether your water pump is failing by looking at the temperature gauge on the dashboard. When the pump is working properly, the temperature stays constant no matter how hot the engine gets or what the temperature is outside.
However, when the water pump is failing, it doesn’t circulate coolant through your car's engine in an effective manner. The pump will fail intermittently, and you will see a jump in the temperature. This jump in the temperature is the result of little to no coolant reaching the engine. The time during these jumps is when your car is in danger of overheating.
To check the temperature gauge, leave your car sitting while running for a few minutes. Then take a drive along a route that has multiple stops.
Stopping and accelerating causes a lot of heat to build up under the hood, so doing this can give you a good idea as to the condition of your water pump. As you drive, keep checking the temperature gauge to see how it reacts, especially when you are stopped. If the gauge readings are erratic, you probably need a new water pump.
If you observe one or more of the above signs, you most likely have a failing water pump that should be replaced as soon as possible to avoid an unexpected breakdown. Contact Palmer Brothers Auto Parts today to discuss your options for getting either a new, used, or rebuilt water pump.