Signs of a Bad Water Pump

Your engine produces a large amount of heat through constant combustion and friction, and this heat needs to be drawn away from the sensitive components. In modern vehicles, this is accomplished through the use of coolant (AKA antifreeze), a fluid that runs through the engine past various components and conducts the heat away from them. 

After absorbing all this heat, the coolant is then looped through the system again to be cooled by the radiators, which expels the heat into the atmosphere. This process is repeated indefinitely to keep your vehicle’s temperature in check. 

Without this cooling system, your engine would build up heat until it begins to crack and warp the internal components and overheat the engine. It only takes a few minutes for overheating to cause irreparable damage to your engine, so you can imagine how important it is for this system to maintain operation every time you drive. 

One of the most common causes of a faulty cooling system, an inoperable water pump can completely disrupt the flow of coolant in your car. Here’s what to know about the water pump, what it’s used for, and the signs of a failing water pump. 

What is The Water Pump

Contrary to its name, the water pump is responsible for pumping antifreeze through your cooling system. While water used to be a common choice for cooling vehicles, specially designed coolant has taken its place, but the name of the component stuck around even after most manufacturers had switched. 

Coolant within your lines doesn’t do much good when it’s not moving anywhere. Instead, the water pump takes coolant from the radiator and pumps it through the engine to draw heat, then back to the radiator where that heat is dissipated, and sent through the pump again. 

Most water pumps are belt-driven, meaning they’re connected to the accessory belt and run their impeller off of the engine’s power. 

Signs of a Failing Water Pump

Leaking Coolant

Coolant can leak from a variety of places, from the radiator to the engine itself. However, if you see a puddle of coolant under the front of your engine, there’s a possibility it may be due to your water pump leaking coolant. 

Water pump leaks often occur due to failed seals and gaskets between the pump and the engine block or coolant lines. Most water pumps use a “weep hole” to expel any coolant that has leaked past the seals and prevent it from reaching the bearing, meaning this is a common place for the leak to occur.


Okay, maybe this one’s a little self-explanatory. Without the flow of coolant to your engine and back, your vehicle will overheat quickly. 

Of course, there are so many different possible causes of an overheating engine, but a failed water pump is guaranteed to result in a dangerous temperature. If you see your temperature gauge reach a high level, you should stop the car immediately to avoid further damage and have it inspected by a trusted repair facility as soon as possible. 

Squealing/Whining Noise

If you hear a high-pitched whine while driving, it may be due to a bad pulley or bearing on your water pump. As these components wear down, they won’t rotate as smoothly when pulled by the accessory belt, leading to rubbing and friction that emits this whirring sound. 

Though the noise is annoying, the real issues start when the bearing or pulley fails, and prevents the pump from running properly. After internal bearing failure, the pump is likely not salvageable and will require replacement. 

Rust and Corrosion on Pump

If your coolant is old or contaminated, the fluid may begin to corrode internal components of the water pump like the impeller. Ensuring clean coolant is running through your system is not only important for maintaining optimal temperatures but also for protecting these essential components from unnecessary wear and corrosion. 

If left to rust, the pump will eventually fail, and prevent the proper amount of coolant from reaching your engine. 

External coolant leaks may also leave noticeable corrosion on the outside of the pump, a telltale sign you have coolant leaking from that area. 

Cooling System Services in Summerlin, Las Vegas

If you’re experiencing overheating in your vehicle, trust the expertly trained technicians at Red Rock Repair in Summerlin. Whether it’s a water pump issue or something completely unrelated, our team has the experience and equipment to properly take care of your vehicle and return your cooling system to full operation! Don’t let overheating issues linger and damage your engine, take your vehicle in for diagnostics and repair at Red Rock Repair today! Give us a call to speak with our friendly and knowledgeable service advisors on the next step for servicing your cooling system.

Better Service Starts Here!

We know just how impotant it is to have a repair shop you can trust. Red Rock Repair offers a level of service you wont find anywhere else in Las Vegas!

DIRECTIONS (702) 385-7887

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