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What does a water pump do in a car?

What does a water pump do in a car?

The water pump is part of your car's engine. It circulates coolant through the cooling circuit, helping to reduce engine temperature and prevent overheating. Its primary function is to keep the engine at optimum operating temperature. If the water pump fails, you risk engine failure.

What is an automotive water pump?

Cars with internal combustion engines, which means that combustion takes place inside the engine, have water pumps. Why these specific cars? Simply because combustion takes place at very high temperatures. Engine parts must be cooled to protect them from damage.

This is the job of your cooling system, which includes the water pump. It circulates coolant and prevents your car's engine from overheating. There are several parts involved in the water pump:

  • A propeller, which is part of the housing;
  • A body that attaches the water pump to the engine;
  • A turbine;
  • A pinion or pulley;
  • Bearings that turn the shaft;
  • A shaft that connects the turbine to the pinion;
  • A rotating seal that seals the water pump.

By regulating and accelerating the circulation of coolant in the system, it helps maintain the engine at optimum operating temperature (75 to 95°C). To accomplish its mission, the water pump consists of a propeller connected to a pulley, which in turn is mounted on a bearing. For optimal operation, the water pump requires energy. Depending on the car model, it draws its power from the timing belt or the accessory belt (power from the engine). The pulley is the link between the pump and the belt.

Car water pump: life expectancy and signs of wear

Is your water pump part of the timing belt or accessory belt set? If so, depending on its condition, it may need to be replaced every time the kit is replaced, i.e. every 100,000 km. This is optional, as the pump wears out much more slowly than the timing belt or accessory belt kit. However, it may wear out prematurely, in which case you can't wait.

What to do if a water pump fails?

When a water pump fails or shows signs of failure, it's best to act before the engine fails.

The best thing to do in such cases is to replace the water pump, for the simple reason that these are often worn-out components that will undoubtedly lead to further failures in the future. What's more, it's easier to replace the part than to repair it, and the cost of repair is often more expensive than simply replacing it with a spare part. However, the latter must be replaced with an original pump.

Beware of the temptation to buy used parts. Although this phenomenon is very fashionable because parts are available at very attractive prices, it's a good idea to check their origin. Used water pumps must be of good quality, with low mileage and no obvious defects.

How much does a water pump cost?

A water pump is not a very expensive part when compared to other mechanical parts of the vehicle, such as the engine. A water pump costs between $30 and $70. This also depends on the car model. To this price, you must add the cost of labor if you want to have your pump replaced.

Replacing the water pump alone can cost between $60 and $200. If you need to replace other parts, such as the entire timing system, you'll need to budget between $300 and $1,000.

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