Does Your Car’s Water Pump Need Replacement?

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We recommend using VR-12 so your water pump and other parts of your cooling system will never be damaged. However if you have not used it yet you may find helpful to know if your water pump needs to be replaced.

Your car’s water pump is one of the most important parts in your vehicle. It is the part that continually pumps water and coolant to your vehicle’s engine so that it doesn’t overheat. A leak or a faulty bearing can cause serious damage to your car’s engine. As a car owner, you must be on the lookout for malfunctions that require repairs or replacement. Puddles of coolant or water underneath your vehicle or high temperature readings may be signs that your water pump needs replacing.


  1. Let your car sit overnight, parked in a garage with a clean concrete floor. If it’s not possible to park it inside on a clean concrete surface, place a piece of light-colored cardboard underneath your car directly under the motor.
  2. Examine the cardboard the next morning. If it appears to be wet from water, you have a leak somewhere, possibly in your water pump or the gasket. If you notice green liquid on the cardboard, it’s antifreeze. This means you have a coolant leak somewhere.
  3. Check the water pump pulley. Find the round part of your water pump that the belt is around. Attempt to push the pulley back and forth. If it seems to be loose, it may be time to replace it, because the bearing is going bad.
  4. Listen to your car. Start your car’s engine with the hood up. If you hear a low-pitched grinding noise, it may be an indicator that your bearing is going bad. You can often hear it plainly if it’s gone bad.
  5. Look for leaks around the water pump and gasket. If you see droplets of water or a small stream, you have a leak.
  6. Notice if your thermostat warning light comes on. If your car is not getting enough coolant due to a leaky or malfunctioning water pump, your engine’s temperature is going to increase, triggering the warning light.
  7. Observe if your low coolant light is glowing. This can be an indicator that your coolant reservoir is leaking or that you have a bad water pump. One other alternative is that there is a leak in the coolant system.
  8. Pay attention to your car’s air conditioner. If your air conditioner fails to operate properly, the water pump may not be doing its job.

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki that is building the world’s largest and highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Tell if a Car’s Water Pump Needs Replacement. Content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons License.

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