- radiator cap
- water pump
The water pump is literally the heart of the system. Just as your own heart keeps your blood circulating through your body, the water pump keeps coolant circulating through your engine. The water pump is driven by a belt, chain or gear and only operates while the engine is running. Water pumps can fail in two ways:
- they can spring a leak
- their bearings can fail
Leaks can come from a cracked pump but usually develop at the gasket where the pump attaches to the engine. Bearings can simply wear down. All water pumps have a limited life span and sooner or later will have to be replaced. Many water pumps aren't visible because they're under a plastic cover, so you may have to take your vehicle to Auto Repair Service to know if the water pump has failed.
If your water pump is run by the timing belt, then it may need to be replaced with the timing belt, even if it is not damaged. Our ASE Certified Master Technicians can inform you on this. Most timing belts need to be replaced around 60,000 to 90,000 miles. The labor for replacing a timing belt is about 90% the same for replacing a water pump, so it's cost-effective to take care of them both at the same time. On the flip side, if your water pump is powered by the timing belt and develops a leak, you may have to simultaneously replace the timing belt since contamination by coolant fluid damages the belt. It just makes sense for St. Paul residents to replace both of these parts whenever either one needs it.
Check your owner's manual to find out how long your water pump should last and come into Auto Repair Service so we can assess how your water pump is functioning to avoid an emergency situation which you may not be ready for, whether it be that you are on the road when it fails, or that you are not financially ready when it decides to break down.