Tired of Bad Water Pump Symptoms? Get Started With Solutions Today

To make sure you are cool inside your ride on those hot days of the year, you need your vehicle’s water pump working fine. However, bad water pump symptoms can arise anytime.

The water pump is an integral part of an automobile’s cooling system. It ensures you have cool air circulating inside your car, plus keeping the engine at a constant temperature.

But like any other piece of machinery, a failing water pump is a cause of concern. Below we will talk about what a water pump is, symptoms of a bad water pump, and solutions that you can follow to avoid such an issue.

So let us get started.

Before we begin our learning of water pumps & the symptoms of water pumps going bad, there are some terms that you need to make yourself familiar with.

It is time to educate yourself and learn more about the water pump of your car.

– Cooling System

The cooling system of a vehicle is a part that works to provide you cool air inside your cabin plus maintains the temperature of your engine despite the external temperature. It comprises components like a thermostat, radiator, and water pump.

– Coolant

The coolant used in automobiles is a mixture of water and various chemicals like ethylene glycol. Its purpose is to remove heat from the engine and dissipate it out into the surroundings.

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One can even use pure water as a coolant, but its tendency to bring out bad water pump symptoms makes it less than ideal for daily use.

– Serpentine Belt

The serpentine is a long strap that powers different parts related to your vehicle’s engine. The parts include a water pump, alternator, power steering pump, air conditioning compressor, and more.

What is a Water Pump?

A water pump is a crucial part of a vehicle’s cooling system. Its main purpose is to keep your car cool. 

In other words, the water pump continuously circulates coolant from the radiator to the engine block to prevent overheating.

The sole purpose is to maintain an ambient temperature under your car’s hood. The average lifespan of a water pump is around 60,000 miles to 90,000 miles, but bad water pump symptoms can occur anytime.

What Does A Car Water Pump Do?

A water pump is responsible to maintain the temperature of your vehicle. It works on moving water or coolant from the radiator via the engine and back. 

The pump helps in ensuring that the engine remains at a constant temperature. If your engine does not hold the specific range of temperature, specified by the owner’s manual, it can lead to huge problems, even hazardous soon.

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To avoid such a situation, the water pump needs to be in good working condition. If the pump goes bad it will ruin your engine, and you will end up with a busted car, pickup, or SUV.

But like any other mechanical device or part, failure of a water pump is inevitable. It generally occurs as a long-term process like corroding. You may not generally consider it until it is too late.

The only solution to get rid of a water pump that is worn and torn over time is to replace it. However, to make sure you do not come to such a scenario, it is better if you learn to recognize water pump going bad symptoms.

Top 5 Bad Water Pump Symptoms

symptoms of a bad water pump

Ending up with bad water pump symptoms is similar to ending up with a dead battery out of nowhere and then desperately trying hard to jump-start your car.

To ensure you do not end up with a busted luxury car, you need to learn about the different bad water pump symptoms. Below we have a list of symptoms that will answer what causes a water pump to go bad.

So let us begin.

1. Overheating

One of the prime symptoms that causes a water pump to go bad is the overheating engine. A damaged water pump is unable to circulate coolant through your vehicle’s engine which will lead it to overheat.

The hotter the engine gets, the more are the chances of serious damage occurrences. So if you encounter your vehicle running too hot, avoid driving it.

2. Steam

If you encounter steam blowing out from the under of your car’s hood, then it is a clear sign of bad water pump symptoms. 

The water pump failure means there is no medium to circulate coolant within your car thus, leads to heating up.

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So if you end up with steam coming out of your car, pull over immediately and call for a mechanic service for further assistance.

3. Coolant Leaks

A coolant leak from a water pump is a common bad water pump symptom telling you to have your vehicle checked.

Coolant move through various gaskets and seals inside the engine. If anyone of these parts loosens, cracks, or wears out, will cause the radiator fluid to leak plus damaging your car. 

Generally, the coolant is red, green, or orange.

4. Corrosion & Deposit Build Up

Over the years of usage, it is common to have deposit build-up. If you have your vehicle properly maintained, it is not going to be an issue.

However, if you do not maintain your car well, you will never know of it. Air seeping through the defective pressure cap, dirty engine coolant can lead to corrosion and deposit build-up.

So if you think your vehicle is acting up, try looking under the hood look for the exterior of the water pump. If you see the build-up, it needs to be fixed.

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5. Unwanted Noises

The final bad water pump symptom that you can come across is the unwanted noises coming from your engine.

If the noises are frequent, it means the water pump is about to give up completely. 

The pump uses a pulley or belt to work. But if the pulley is loose, it will make uneasy sounds. Thus, unwanted noises are also one of the symptoms of a bad water pump pulley.

What Are The Consequences Of Failed Water Pump?

A failed water pump will affect the heart, that is, the engine of your vehicle severely. Forget about the main body. It can even damage the smaller components of it.

Having cracked cylinder heads, burnt pistons, and pushed head gaskets due to the temperature rise is obvious.

And if the worst comes to worst, your engine can even catch fire while you are driving, creating danger to your life and the passerby’s as well.

What Are The Solutions To Deals With Failing Water Pump Symptoms?

The final solution to overcome the bad water pump symptoms is to have it replaced as soon as possible. But it does not mean you cannot access the situation early and tackle the issues beforehand.

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Following, we have some solutions that you can apply to deal with the different symptoms related to the damaged water pump in your vehicle.

1. Have the overheating engine inspected

If you find your engine getting overheated now and then, it is a sign and has it fixed immediately. Have a mechanical expert take a look at your car.

If you fail to do so, it can cause more harm by damaging the internal working and seals of the pump.

2. Replace the coolant regularly

Replace the coolant after a specific interval of time as it is common for dirt & debris to build up, which eventually damages your pump and other parts of the engine.

Also, if you encounter any coolant leaks, have a mechanic fix it for you, as any carelessness on your part will do more harm than good. 

To learn more, check out our article about what happens if you don’t change the oil in your car.

3. Buy high-quality pump

Quality always matters. No matter what you do, never opt for cheaper versions for your vehicle’s mechanical parts as they will end up killing your ride.

So, always buy high-quality pumps & related parts. Cheaper ones may scream savings, but they’re guaranteed to wear out way before the quality ones.

4. Replace timing belt

If you find a problem with your pump and will replace it then it is wiser if you have the timing belt replaced as well.

This makes sense as the damaged pump may have led the coolant to come in contact with the belt, which could easily hurt the rubber’s strength.

They work as a pair, so have them fixed in one as well.

5. New water pump

If any of the mentioned solutions are not working well for you, the only way is to have the water pump fixed along with all the related parts.

Top FAQs About Symptoms of a Bad Water Pump

What are the symptoms of a malfunctioning water pump?

Symptoms of the bad water pump are:

  • Overheating
  • Steam
  • Coolant Leaks
  • Corrosion & Deposit Build Up
  • Unwanted Noises
How much does it cost to replace a water pump?

In America, the average cost for having a new water pump installed in your vehicle will cost you around $1,000.

Generally, the part costs around $100-$200, but the labor changes take up the major part of the expense.

What does it sound like when your water pump is going out?

When your water pump is going out, you will hear awful whining or chirping noise.

Can you drive with a bad water pump?

If the damage to your water pump is not severe you can drive it. However, if the damage is severe, it can harm you & the vehicle badly.

So it is better suggested to have it fixed.

What are Ford 6.0 bad water pump symptoms?

The brand has nothing to do with the internal mechanical parts. The water pump in all the vehicles serves the same purpose.

So failing water pump symptoms that are seen in a Toyota will be seen in a Ford as well.

What are the symptoms of a broken water pump pulley?

If you keep hearing a clicking sound while driving, it means the timing belt is loose and is interfering with the engine running.

It happens if the pulley is not properly aligned.

Can I fix it myself?

You can try it if you like. Removing the water pump is not a tough job. It’s the timing & serpentine belts that require expert skills to be removed and placed back so that your engine works smoothly.


Not taking proper care of your automobile can leave you with a busted ride and an empty pocket. 

The water pump is one of the crucial parts of your engine, so it is your job to learn better about the bad or failing water pump symptoms.

We hope our list of symptoms and solutions related to the bad water pump help you in taking better care of your ride.

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