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4 Signs Your Water Pump is Failing

The water pump is a critical component of your vehicle’s cooling system. It’s usually mounted on the front of the engine and driven by the serpentine belt. In other vehicles, it is inside the timing cover and driven by the timing belt. 

As this component is critical, you must be aware of signs that you have a failing water pump. As it no longer pumps out hot water and pumps in cooler water, it may cause the engine to overheat. If left unchecked, the situation could lead to more damage, like a blown gasket or warped heads.

Here are some signs of a bad water pump you should pay attention to so you can immediately do the needed repairs.

4 Signs Your Water Pump is Failing | Little Wolf Automotive in Waupaca, WI. Image of an old, rusty water pump of a car in the hands of a mechanic.

1. Squealing and Grinding Noises

It’s often hard to tell if it’s the water pump or something else is squealing or grinding. 

You can sometimes isolate the noise by listening carefully to each pulley. However, the serpentine belt makes things more problematic as it touches most or all the pulleys. It transfers the noise, making it harder to hear where the sound is coming from. 

If you can’t isolate the noise, bring your vehicle to Little Wolf Automotive. Our expert technicians can diagnose the problem and make the appropriate cooling system repairs.

2. Water Leaks

The difficulty of locating a water pump leak depends on its location and how much “stuff” is in front of it. 

If the water pump is internal (inside the timing belt cover), you will likely not see a leak unless the cover is compromised. For external pumps, it’s easier—you can look for leaks around the sides or from the weep hole. 

If you are losing water but can’t find a leak anywhere else, bring your vehicle to our full-service auto shop in Waupaca, WI, and we’ll diagnose and repair it appropriately.

3. Rust

Rust on a water pump allows water to seep out of the pump. If the rust and corrosion are bad enough (depending on location), you could have a significant leak, especially if the weep hole or the edges along the gasket are rusted. 

The bigger the rusty patch, the more likely it could cause an unexpected blowout. This can cause loss of all the coolant, usually manifested as a puddle of colored liquid on the floor.

4. High-Temperature Readings

Lastly, watch out for high-temperature readings from the water gauge or an illuminated engine water temperature light on the dashboard. These are triggered whenever the water pump malfunctions and can’t pump enough coolant through the engine. 

Need Cooling System Repairs? Contact Little Wolf Automotive in Waupaca, WI

If you notice any of the above symptoms (even if the vehicle has not overheated yet), do not drive the vehicle until you have a professional done some checks. At Little Wolf Automotive in Waupaca, WI, our technicians can diagnose the situation and determine whether it is indeed a problematic water pump or other issues with the cooling system.

Call us now at (715) 258-0200. Or visit our full-service auto repair shop at 323 S. Western Ave., Waupaca, WI 54981.