How a Cooling System Water Pump Works

a silver car with greenery in the background

The cooling system water pump is a very important part of your vehicle. This pump is what pushes the coolant throughout the entire system. The pumps on most vehicles are belt driven. If the pump is not working properly, you will find that your car overheats and this can cause major problems for your vehicle.

The Parts of a Water Pump

The main parts of the water pump include the body, the flange, bearings, impeller, seals, and the gasket that seals it into the engine block. As the RPM of the car increases, the flow rate of coolant through the water pump increases as well.

The water pump, mounted at the front of the engine, works whenever the engine is running. When the water pump is turning, the coolant flows and keeps the engine at a proper temperature. The body is made of iron or cast aluminum. The device has a seal that keeps any coolant from leaking. Depending on the vehicle, different belts are responsible for the water pump. It may be a fan belt, a serpentine belt, or the timing belt.

An impeller on the water pump pulls the coolant from the radiator hose and sends it through the engine. The fluid travels from the radiator through the water pump and into the engine. From the engine, the coolant then travels to the cylinder head and back into the radiator. The process repeats as long as the engine is running, and this is what keeps the engine cool so that your vehicle does not overheat. The thermostat regulates the amount of coolant that flows through the system.

Detecting Problems with the Water Pump

It is important that all of the parts of the cooling system are working properly. If you have a problem, such as a leak, in the radiator, the coolant may not enter the engine at adequate quantities. You need to ensure that the hoses are all intact and that they do not have any leaks as well. Make sure that the thermostat is working also. If it is broken or faulty, you will not have enough coolant flowing through the engine.

When the cooling system water pump is not working properly, you will often notice a rattling sound or a squeaking sound coming from the area. You might also notice that your car or truck is not keeping cool. If you have a water pump that is not working correctly, you will want to have it replaced right away. Failure to take care of a problem will cause greater engine troubles down the road.

How Long Does a Water Pump Last?

Most of the cooling system water pumps on the market today will last for 60,000 to 100,000 miles. If you have a problem with your water pump, you may be able to take care of the repairs on your own, as long as you have the right tools and knowledge. If you do not have the equipment to make the repairs, you will be able to find a professional in your area that will be able to do the work for you.