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How To Tell If Water Pump Is Bad?

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The water pump in cars is one of the crucial parts which performs an essential function by keeping the heat away from engine parts. Thus, it helps to keep the engine cool and process properly. The failure in the water pump system create issues; thus, we need to fix the situation as soon as possible. For this, you must have the knowledge to identify the faulty pump. Hence, our article will help to learn and examine how to tell if water pump is bad or not. So, let’s begin with the discussion.

How does A Water Pump work In Car?

The car water pump has a standard and simple design but with efficient strategies. It uses an impeller that pushes the coolant through the engine, cylindrical head, radiator, heater core, intake manifold, connecting hoses and lines. Thus, it regarded as one of the essential components of your vehicle.

It consists of a central shaft having a pulley on either end, supported by two or more bearings to transfer rotating force to the impeller.

However, the type and model of the car also determines the way the water pump runs, as if through a serpentine belt, drive belt, or timing belt. There are conditions when the water pump fails and results in coolant leaks and various symptoms recognizing its failure.

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How To Tell If Water Pump Is Bad?

For maintenance and smooth working of the vehicle, you need to change the oil and check its level regularly. Similarly, the water pump plays a crucial role in keeping you safe by ensuring that everything is kept under control and at an average temperature.

However, in some instances, the water pump fails to perform its functions and various issues. But no worries, as there are some common signs or symptoms that help you analyze the faulty water pump. So, let’s have a few of them in the discussion.

1. Coolant Leaks

It is generally regarded as the first sign to determine the fault in the water pump. Whenever you observe a coolant leak in your car, it is evident that the time has come to replace the pump. The pump made several different and unique gaskets and seals, which either dry out, crack or break.

Soon, with time you will notice under the centre of your car. The coolant leaked can be of either colour, orange, pink, green, or blue. We would recommend you bring your vehicle as soon as possible to the mechanic or any repair shop as the condition worsens with time. Also, it may result in severe damage to other parts of the vehicle.

2. Rust Or Deposit Build-Up

As we know, when the moisture comes in contact with metal, it results in rusting. Similarly, when the water pump leaks or faces any damages related to coolant leaks, there will be a gradual build-up of gunk and rust on the pump itself.

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As a result of using a non-compatible coolant or a faulty pressure cap that allows air to enter the cooling system, soon you will notice that your pump becomes less efficient with time and cannot perform the coolant circulation as previously. Thus, causing the failure of the water pump.

So, if you experience or observe rust or pitted areas around your pump, it signifies replacing the water pump in the car to avoid further damages and problems.

3. Water Pump Pulley Is Loose And Makes Whining Sounds

Suppose you are experiencing the timely high-pitched noise from the front of the motor. It is the faulty water pump pulley. The sound produced in this situation is due to loosening the belt in the pump, creating a harmonic buzzing or whining sound as the fluid in it circulates.

Whenever you notice that the whining noise increases (i.e., loud whining sound) while accelerating the vehicle, consult a mechanic quickly to inspect your vehicle.

Once the bearing connected to the water pump’s pulley falls inside the pump, it signifies that now you cannot repair your pump. It would be best if you replaced it, thus install a new water pump. Hence, we suggest you visit the garage to avoid such heavy expenses.

4. Engine Is Overheating

As the failed or faulty water pump cannot circulate the coolant through the vehicle thus, it causes overheating the engine. With time, the overheating of the machine would increase, resulting in severe damage to other parts of the car.

It may also cause a cracked engine block, damage to the cylinder, piston and head gaskets if not treated in time.

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We also recommend you not to drive your vehicle if the engine is facing too much heat as it is a pretty risky task which could even compensate for our life.

5. Steam Coming From The Radiator

It is one of the severe signs or symptoms of a faulty water pump. In this case, you will observe the steam coming out from the front of the motor as you come to a stop.

As we know, the engine will maintain an average temperature when the water pumps correctly and circulates water to a functioning radiator. But if the situations are against, then the overheating from the engine increases with time thus, a risky sign.

Hence, it is better to stop your vehicle on the side and call the mechanic to deal with the other situation.

How To Fix The Bad Water Pump?

Repairing the water pump in time is mandatory to avoid the initiation of uninvited problems. We could do this by following ways, like flush the cooling system if necessary, drain the coolant, remove the engine belt, remove the water pump, replace gaskets, or remove other components to gain access to water pump bolts. The approximate time needed to repair or replace the faulty water pump is about two to three hours.


The steps, as mentioned earlier, methods, and fixation will help you know about the faulty water pump. You need to follow the instructions as discussed above, and soon, you’ll reach your desired solution.

We hope all the readers are pleased by the matter and now you know how to tell if water pump is bad or not. If your doubts persist, comment below, and we’ll soon answer all your questions.