The role of the water pump and when to change it
The purpose of the pump is to circulate the engine coolant to maintain the correct operating temperature (cool the engine). The principle is simple, the rotational movement of the pallets positioned obliquely pushes the coolant into the engine and into the entire cooling assembly. In the classic version, the water pump is driven by the movement of the crankshaft.
Usually the water pump changes at intervals when the timing belts is replaced. There are other cases when it fails ahead of time, but there are other factors involved. If the water pump is gone, you have to tow the car, you have to disassemble the timing belt again, change the pump and then pay for the labor twice !!!!!!!!
The water pump has been designed to operate and last as long as the life of the car distribution belt. If your car has a belt change of 60,000 or 90,000 km then the water pump must be replaced with the timing belt, tension rollers, guide rollers or accessory belt.
Types of water pumps and fittings
Generally, the mechanically operated water pump is mounted in the middle – lower part of the engine. The movement of the pump is given by the timing belt or by the accessory belt for the cars that have timing chain.
For Start / Stop or Hybrid cars, the water pump may only be electric. In addition to the mechanical pump, we also find a electrically operated one, which, when the engine is switched off, still provides cooling. On some cars the electric pump is positioned near the expansion vessel. For electric cars, the water pump is only electrically operated so that it can better control the temperature of the battery pack and the engine.
What parts may fail on water pump?
Like many mechanical parts, the water pump tends to wear out. Wear can be exacerbated if there is only water instead of antifreeze, the antifreeze level is too low or there are impurities in the coolant. See below what might fail:
- The bearing may break
- The rotor or clamp may break
- Shaft play caused by wear
- Antifreeze infiltration on the bearing
- Rust or impurities that destroy the blades
What are the symptoms of a faulty pump?
The pump usually shows signs of failure when it makes strange noises or has small leaks. If you notice any signs, go to the first service. Other symptoms include:
- Rapid rise in engine temperature (thermostat may be blocked)
- No heating inside the car
- Leaking antifreeze around the water pump until the system is empty
- Permanent sounds in the form of buzzing
- Timing belt vibration from the shaft being lose
There have been cases where the water pump shaft failed to actuate the timing belt, causing the belt to slip off the camshaft and stall the engine! Don’t save money where it’s not worth it.
To prevent water pump damage, it is advisable to use quality antifreeze, in no case only distilled water. Always make sure you have a proper level of fluid level between the minimum and maximum. Make sure there are no leaks or other elements in the cooling system to keep it permanently clean – this can be most easily seen in the expansion vessel.
What are the manufacturers and what are the prices?
The most important aftermarket manufacturers are: ContiTech (Continental), MAHLE, HELLA, Valeo, MagnetiMarelli, Gates, SKF, Bosch, HEPU. They all offer quality products and the prices start at 30 € and can go up to 180 € for a water pump. Distribution packages are now available which, in addition to the timing belt, have included in the package all the accessories that need to be replaced: tension rollers, guide rollers, oil, filters and antifreeze.
WHICH MANUFACTURER DID YOU CHOOSE WHEN YOU CHANGED THE WATER PUMP?