Can You Drive a Car With a Bad Water Pump?

water pump

So, Just How Long Do Water Pumps Last?

Cars run on fuel right, so how important can a car water pump be? Is the car water pump and timing belt both important to a car functioning? For a person that isn’t mechanically inclined or knowledgeable, these questions aren’t surprising.

Until they have experienced their car water pump broken, they may never understand the importance of a car water pump, or how that the car water pump and ac work together to keep the interior cool. To that end, we have answers to a few question the unknowing person may ask:

Original equipment car water pumps can last up to100,000 miles, even longer. The factors that can affect this is how you drive, how much you drive, and if regular professional maintenance is performed on the car.

When it comes to replacement car water pumps, those same factors can affect the lifespan, but the quality of the water pump will affect it as well. A cheap brand of car water pump replacement may only last up to 30,000 miles, or even less before the car water pump is leaking.

Can a Water Pump Go Out Without Leaking?

Anything is possible, but car water pump will usually start leaking as it begins its descent to quitting. The car water pump’s internal mechanical has a seal on the shaft near the cooling circuit. It protects the bearings by blocking coolant from getting to the bearing assembly.

When a car water pump is new, it is normal for the weep hole to have some seepage, this typically doesn’t last more than ten minutes of the car motor running. However, a car water pump with definite seepage drips from the weep hole or a large coolant bleed indication around the weep hole is abnormal and needs the attention of a professional mechanic.

How Do You Know if Your Water Pump Is Going Bad?

There are a few parts of a car that when they are failing, immediate repair or replacement isn’t necessary. A car water pump isn’t one of those parts.

The car water pump has an important role in the operation of your engine. It is what sends water and coolant to and through the engine. When the car water pump stops functioning, the consequences come fast and furious, often a total engine failure. Replacing a car water pump takes a little time, but the cost is less than replacing the entire engine. Here are the indications of your car water pump is beginning to fail:

  • POOR CIRCULATION: A car water pump moves the coolant and water through the radiator then around the engine, dissipating heat buildup. Because there are metal parts connected within a car engine that move rapidly, they generate a lot of heat. When there is too much heat, the engine parts may fuse together, melt, or become warped, in other words, they are structurally compromised. The drive belt pulls the car water pump which make an internal impeller work that keeps the coolant and water circulating.
  • LEAKING: As we mentioned above, a leaking car water pump is an indication that the water pump is about to or already is failing.
  • ICK: Gunk will build up around a car water pump when it has been leaking slowly over time. When you notice trails of coolant coming from the car water pump, or a gelled-like substance of coolant or rust around the car water pump exterior, you need to have it checked by a mechanic.
  • NOISEY: A whining noise when you accelerate that gets louder with the acceleration could be a loose belt. However, a grinding or growling sound at the engine front is usually a bad bearing. This bearing could be in the car water pump and you should have your mechanic inspect the sound and determine the problem.
  • OVERHEATING: Once the car water pump has failed, the engine overheats. Your car is now to the point of getting towed to your mechanic. Stop driving it as soon as it overheads or a ‘low coolant’ light comes on.
  • STEAMING: When smoke or steam comes from the car radiator or even from under the hood, is an indication the engine has overheated. It may have serious damage already, so pull over, call a tow truck.
sound made by water pump

What Sound Does a Bad Water Pump Make?

Any high-pitched sound, or an increasingly loud whining sound as you accelerate is usually coming from the car water pump. The same sound happens when a belt is loose, or the bearings are bad. No matter which of these it is, getting your car to the mechanic is a must.

Okay, several important questions have been answered, except, how long can you drive a car without a water pump? The mechanic’s answer, don’t. However, you may be able to drive a week with a bad car water pump, or it may go out unexpectedly if you haven’t noticed any of the indications we’ve discussed in this article. Need water pump service for your car in Marietta and Atlanta, GA? Call (404) 920-4252 today.

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