A few years back, I chose to purchase an older Toyota 4Runner. The vehicle looked as nearly new on the surface, and it was well-maintained; at least, I thought so! Three weeks after buying it, I pulled into a hotel after an extended road trip and discovered the coolant was pouring from underneath the vehicle. I got it towed to the closest mechanic, and it took them a couple of minutes of testing to discover that I had a serious car problem. My pump had failed. Typically, pump replacement costs anywhere from $350 to $1000+ and may vary due to certain factors such as:
- Car Brand/Year
- Engine Orientation and position
- Engine Design
- The cost of car parts
“My pump change cost me over $1000!” That was mostly because of the poor design of my vehicle’s engine and, therefore, the extreme amount of labor that it took to replace the pump and associated componentry.
This text will focus on what a pump does and what the standard repair process seems like for a mechanic. We’ll also discuss what makes a pump difficult or easy to repair on commonly owned vehicles.
What Is A Water Pump?
The pump may be a crucial part of your vehicle’s engine cooling system. Since heat may be a necessary component of the internal combustion engine – it’s imperative that your vehicle’s engine cooling system is working at peak efficiency. Any failure in your vehicle’s cooling system will quickly make your vehicle useless.
A pump uses impellers and force to maneuver coolant throughout your vehicle’s engine. Modern combustion engines have ports that surround the cylinder block and are crammed with refrigerant (which is commonly known as antifreeze). Most industrial machinery uses some pump to chill down heated components, and your vehicle’s engine is not any different.
The pump is activated by a belt that’s connected to the engine crankshaft. Your crankshaft has what’s called a serpentine or accessory belt. Other standard items driven by the serpentine belt include the facility steering pump and, therefore, the alternator. Your vehicle’s engine not only moves the car down the road but also drives these various components of the system.
Once the coolant is going through your vehicle’s engine, it’s moved to the front of the car, where a radiator allows the refrigerant to be chilled by air that’s produced by the vehicle’s progress.
What Causes A pump To Fail?
Water pumps are a bit of componentry on your engine that’s under constant use. If you fail to take care of your vehicle effectively, the seals and parts of the pump can fail thanks to foreign bodies or maybe rust within your system. Coolant can additionally serve as a lubricant for your pump, so if there’s not enough coolant or the coolant is dirty, it can cause significant issues.
Over time, rust can form within your vehicle’s cooling system or your vehicle’s radiator. Typically, your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends that you change the coolant at pre-described intervals. The purpose of that is to flush out your cooling system of dust particles and other debris, which will damage components just like the pump.
Many times the pump is just a part of a poorly engineered cooling system! My mother-in-law drives a Chevrolet Cruze, and its fuel pump went out due to some cheap plastic componentry within the cooling system. This plastic would heat during the engine cycles and then cracked after repeated engine cycles long before it ever should’ve done so. That would cause a fluid leak, which would then decrease lubrication, and therefore the system would fail.
How Do I do know if My pump Failed?
There are a couple of critical scenarios that would typically indicate the failure of your vehicle’s pump.
The temperature gauge on your vehicle may suddenly rise to an unsafe level, and your vehicle may begin to notify you if there’s a drag with alarms or chimes.
You may begin to ascertain smoke pour out from underneath your vehicle’s hood. That often happens due to a coolant leaking out of a pump and onto your hot engine. The smoke is typically white.
When you move your vehicle after it’s been parked for a few times, you’ll see it dripping or puddles of coolant on the bottom. The cooler water pump indicator on your car can signal either green or orange and release a distinctive smell.
You may also hear strange sounds or feel weird vibrations when your vehicle features a pump that has failed or is close to failing. That typically happens due to poor connections, broken impellers, or failed bearings.
Of course, it’s best to act right away if you notice any of those conditions regarding your vehicle! Leaking coolant isn’t something you would like to ignore because it’s usually indicative of some more significant problem that, if left untreated, will cause severe consequences during a short period of your time.
What Else Should I Replace Besides My Water Pump?
Once you’ve got a failed pump, it might be wise to exchange several other components of your vehicle’s cooling system. As noted above, the method of removing and replacing a pump often includes removing other pieces of your vehicle’s engine and cooling system. Often, these parts are very low in cost, according to Cashcarsbuyer. But, the entire repair is usually expensive because of the labor value. If you’re already paying for your pump repair and your engine isn’t working, don’t hesitate to spend a couple of more dollars and stay safe.
Here’s an inventory of all the components that ought to replace during a pump repair:
- Timing belt or timing chain
- Rubber hoses and connections
- Accessory drive belt
- Front gasket seals and gaskets
Being proactive about these repairs can cause your vehicle to operate at peak efficiency for longer! You’ll also make sure that the repair you only did on your pump won’t be in vain, thanks to the failure of other vital components.
How does Repair Process look Like?
We will break down the entire process of replacement into a couple of steps. If you would like more detailed information for your specific vehicle regarding the process of replacing the pump, please consult reputable internet resources or devour a Haynes manual.
The procedure looks like this:
1. Drain all coolant from your engine.
2. Remove the accessory belt from your vehicle’s engine.
3. Remove all hoses that are attached to the pump.
4. Loosen the bolt that’s holding the pump to your vehicle’s engine.
5. Remove the old seal and gasket between the pump and your vehicle’s engine and clean 6. them effectively with appropriate chemicals.
7. Before installing your vehicle’s pump, it’s best to examine the remainder of the components of your vehicle’s cooling system, just like the hoses and thermostat. Since you have already put a considerable amount of work into removing failed parts, you’ll need additional skills to replace these components quickly.
8. Reattach a replacement pump vehicle’s engine and follow the exact instructions for torque sealant.
9. Reconnect all hoses and accessory drive belt to the front of the pump.
10. Refill the cooling system with the appropriate coolant for your vehicle.
11. Turn your pump together manually to make sure that it is spinning and operating correctly.
12. Perform a radical visual inspection and stir the vehicle’s engine to look for any visible signs of leakage. It’s essential to keep there’s that anything could happen to your water pump you’ll if you see a minor leakage. Still, any increased leakage indicates part failure or improper installation.
13. Recheck from time to time, to make sure the proper seal is maintained.
The pump repair process is quite complicated and can take a whole day to finish it. The biggest challenge of replacing a pump and its associated components is the difficulty of accessing the vehicle’s accessory drive belt. The part itself is generally very inexpensive.