In your car there is a water pump which is made of aluminum and iron and is an important part of keeping your car cool when the engine is running. It has an impeller, that thing that looks like a fan and it circulates water and coolant in your car in the circulation system. This is key to keeping your engine from overheating. The water pump is near the engine, and in order for it to work, it must turn, thus circulating. The drive belts or the timing belt ensure that your water pump does this. As you can see, your water pump is integral, for if it doesn’t turn, then your engine will overheat and sustain lasting and often fatal damage.
One way to check for a failing water pump is to look for coolant underneath your car. You can also have your cooling devices in your car inspected, checking for leaks. When a water pump begins to break, its seals will start to lose coolant which is easy to see. It is key to get your coolant replaced regularly, too. You will want to do this every 50,000 miles, as part of maintenance on your vehicle. You will have some clues if you need a new water pump. They include the following list of potential symptoms that your water pump is broken.
- coolant is leaking (this is a red, green, or yellow liquid)
- your car is overheating
- your car will not start.
Thankfully, it’s possible to get your water pump replaced for a reasonable cost if you look in the right places. The video below also provides a full overview of what to look for in a leaking water pump.
A good mechanic will charge you much less for a water pump replacement than a dealer will, and make sure you ask around and find someone honest, who is not seeking to rip you off. Depending on your vehicle’s make and model, you can pay anywhere from $150 to $800 for a new water pump, including labor. This is why it is highly recommended to have the timing belt replaced at the same time since the labor cost is the majority of the total price. Do not pay more than $800! There are some things that your mechanic will do. They will drain your car of coolant, first. Then, they will remove the drive chain and timing chain that may obstruct access to the water pump. They will replace the water pump and coolant, and they may even need to replace the timing belt and drive chain, if they need to be.
Make sure, if you can, that you obtain an estimate from your mechanic before getting any work done. This is why it is important to keep an eye out for coolant leaking, so that you can choose which mechanic will perform the work for you, instead of getting stuck with an immobile vehicle. If your mechanic has to repair the fan belts and the seals in your cooling system, you can expect to pay more, just as you can expect to pay more if you have a newer model, higher end vehicle. It is suggested that unless you have experience with mechanic work, you do not change the water pump yourself, for it is difficult to do.
If you want to buy the pump separately, you can perhaps find one online or through connections for as low as $40. But you should expect the labor to be much more expensive than your pump if you want your car back reasonably soon. Good luck with your car, and remember to watch for leaking coolant!