Last Updated on June 01, 2020
A new car usually comes with a brand new water pump which allows the coolant to freely circulate throughout all the engine’s components. You must know already that a vehicle’s engine produces so much heat that if not properly regulated could lead to permanent damage on the engine itself. Before we move to the big question, how much is a water pump for a car, we need to understand the symptoms of a failing water pump.
You must understand the main symptoms of a bad water pump since you do not want to end up buying a new engine. Car engines are very expensive and cost almost as much as the car itself. Replacing car engines will certainly cost you a lot of money and in most cases, you may not be able to afford it. Learning when your water pump is failing and need replacement is therefore very critical.
How Much is a Water Pump for a Car In Depth Guide
1. Overheated engine
This symptom should be the most obvious and the easiest to identify. A bad pump will prevent your engine from cooling down since the coolant won’t circulate properly throughout the different components of your engine. Cars have a temperature gauge located somewhere on the dashboard that drivers need to observe regularly whenever using the car. When the engine is overheated, the temperature gauge will rise. There is also a temperature warning light designed to illuminate once the engine is overheated. It is also right there on the dashboard to ensure the driver does not miss it.
Once you notice that your engine is overheated, you must stop driving the vehicle. This will give your engine time to cool down on itself before you proceed to the nearest garage for an engine checkup. Driving a vehicle with an overheated engine is very risky and it will lead to permanent damage. Like we said early on, replacing a car engine is very expensive and you do not want to burden yourself. You could also call the nearest towing company to take your vehicle to the nearest garage or have a mechanic come to you.
A buzzing or whining noise coming out of your car’s front area could be due to a loose belt. This belt makes the weird sounds while circulating. There are two most common reasons that could be making the belt lose; worn out bearings in the water pump or a loose pulley. When it comes to oil pumps in cars, it is not possible to replace the bearings. You need to buy a new water pump and replace it with the old one. Should the whining noise somehow persist and become louder on acceleration, then you need to seek the help of a professional right away.
Not all noises coming from the front of your car are associated with the water pump or belt. Ensure you inspect your vehicle properly and check for all possible reasons for the weird sounds. This is why it is important to get your car serviced by a professional often. You must highlight all the issues to the professional during servicing however small they might seem at the time.
3. Radiator steam
Another indicator of a heated engine is steam coming from the front side of your car. When your water pump is not functioning normally, water will not be able to circulate the radiator properly and cool it down. This water will heat up and produce steam which will come out the front end of your vehicle. When this happens, you should have a professional look at your engine immediately. If you keep on driving for a long period, you will certainly damage your engine.
Steam coming out of your vehicle is a clear sign that your water pump is completely damaged. You will have to buy a new one and have it installed in your car. Quality water pumps bought from licensed dealers usually last a long period. You must buy all your car products and parts from authorized dealers with years of experience. Also, try to make a habit of visiting the same car repair shop and have a specific mechanic look at your vehicle each time. In this case, the mechanic will have a good understanding of your vehicle.
4. Fluid leak
The water pump is designed with a weep hole to ensure the coolant never leaks out into the shaft bearing. If, for example, the coolant leaks into the shaft bearing, then the serpentine belt will be thrown off and the vehicle will be immobile. When the vehicle is running and you notice a leak which stops immediately the vehicle stops, then the water pump is faulty if you had your coolant replaced.
Repairing water pumps is rather difficult and is never a permanent solution. You need to buy a new water pump immediately you notice the leakage and have it installed in your vehicle. You must have your coolant replaced every fifty thousand miles to ensure it does not start leaking. With vehicles, you will always need expert advice before repairing or replacing anything. Ensure you always seek advice from a qualified vehicle mechanic should you encounter any problem.
5. Bouncing off of the temperature gauge readings
When your entire cooling system is functioning normally, then the temperature gauge will remain constant at its normal reading. However, if the water pump in your car is failing, then the temperature gauge reading needle will shift from hot water pump to normal and vice-versa all the time. Yes, this could be caused by a bad radiator but a bad water pump could also be a probable cause.
The temperature gauge itself could be having mechanical damage but it is always a good idea to have the water pump checked. It is quite risky to have a faulty temperature gauge because you will not be able to know when your engine is heated. You may, therefore, end up permanently damaging your engine which is quite expensive to replace as we stated earlier.
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Cost of replacing a bad water pump
Water pumps are usually replaced at a reasonable cost if you go to the right places and take advantage of the available discounts. Dealers usually charge more for water pump replacements when compared to the good mechanics. Yes, some mechanics may take advantage and rip you off, but a good mechanic will always give you a discounted price.
Earlier on I talked about going to the same dealership and mechanic when it comes to all your vehicle needs. Doing this will help you create an understanding with your mechanic and you will always be charged fairly. If you haven’t been going to the same mechanic then you need to ask around from friends and family.
Depending on the type of car you have, you are looking at an average cost of between 150 dollars and 800 dollars including labor. High-end car models usually cost a lot since their water pumps are specially designed by the manufacturers. Do not, however, pay more than 800 dollars regardless of the model or make of your car.
While replacing your water pump, it is vital that you also replace your timing belt to save on expenditure since the labor cost will constitute a higher percentage of the payment. Your mechanic will have to drain coolant from your vehicle then remove the timing chain and drive chain. The two chains usually obstruct your mechanic from accessing the water pump. The mechanic can then simply go ahead and replace the water pump together with the drive or belt chain should they be defective.
Ask your mechanic for an estimate before having any work done to ensure you keep track of the labor cost. You must keep track of leaking coolant to ensure you get your vehicle to the right mechanic. Once you don’t keep track of the leakage, then you might end up with an immobilized vehicle which will mean both the drive and timing belt will have to be replaced. This may turn out to be rather costly that undissipated.
You could also buy the water pump separately and it should cost you roughly around 40 dollars. However, the labor cost will be significantly higher than the cost of buying a new water pump for your car.
A functional water pump is essential to your vehicle because it protects the engine. Buying a new water pump to replace a faulty one is not as costly as buying a new engine. However, you should never replace your vehicle’s water pump personally unless you are a professional mechanic. It is quite difficult to change the water pump and you might end up causing more damage.