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What are some top bad water pump symptoms in a vehicle

What are some top bad water pump symptoms in a vehicle

Overheating of the engine is common issue drivers face and yet not enough precautions are taken against it. An oil change is something that gets much more attention from drivers and it is an important issue to look after. But what people often ignore is the water pump, which is almost equally important as the oil is for an engine. This is why often bad water pump symptoms get ignored by drivers, because they are unaware or not that concerned about it.

The role of a water pump is crucial in making the engine work appropriately. The question here arises, how do you know if your water pump is bad? Some obvious and some not so obvious symptoms might indicate to you regarding the condition of your water pump. The primary role of the water pump is to keep your engine and your car cool and away from excess heat. Due to unidentified reasons, the water pump may not cool the engine properly, hindering your car’s performance.

Before we get into that, there are two different ways, an indirect way where you notice a few symptoms while using your car. And a direct way that might occur when you or your mechanic is inspecting your car for any problems and notice something amiss about the water pump. There are different symptoms in both these cases, let’s look at them individually.

General symptoms you might encounter

These are symptoms you may encounter directly while driving or when your car is in use. This is without any inspection on the cooling system too.


One of the most common symptoms, and the one that might be the result of any of these other symptoms as well. When the main task of circulating coolant through the engine doesn’t take place, the engine overheats and stops working in extreme cases. Usually, there is an indicator sign within your car’s display that informs you about the engine overheating on time.

Unusual noises

The inner workings of your car’s engine include a belt and pulley that make the cooling system work. If you find your car’s front making unusual, whining noises, sometimes high-pitched as well, it might have to do with the belt or pulley. It is a sign that you should check with your cooling system’s motor immediately.

Coolant leak

There’s usually a leak following overheating/unusual noises coming out of your car’s front, it happens due to a broken coolant seal. It is another one of the common bad water pump symptoms and it means the coolant in your water pump is leaking and requires repair.

Steam coming out

Usually, this immediately follows the overheating or is one of the indicators that tell you the car is overheating after your car signal. Do not waste any time before taking your car to see a mechanic or bringing a technician in to have a look. Because this means you ran your engine without a proper cooling system for a while enough for it to heat up and produce steam/smoke.

Symptoms to detect in your cooling system

The symptoms that you might come across during your car’s engine and cooling system assessment.

Corrosion or rust

If you notice any kind of corrosion or rust on your water pump, it indicates that your coolant is not right for the pump and you should get a new one. You might need a new replacement for your pump since this one is contaminated, and clean your cooling system before putting in the new coolant.

Damaged shaft

The belt drive system in your cooling system includes a shaft, which is prone to damage if the belt is working improperly. It can occur due to overload or imbalanced load, either way, it’s bad news. It can cause a hindrance to your water pump, so if you find a damaged or broken shaft, it’s time for repairs.

Damaged bearing

Usually, a direct symptom such as strange noises coming from the engine indicates issues with the bearing or pulley. If you notice the bearing making noises when inspecting the water pump, it means the worn-out bearing is causing issues with the pump. Being part of the belt system, it will damage the entire belt, and release coolant through the seal. Inspect the entire belt and pulley system before getting a replacement.

Leakage in weep hole or mounting surface

A weep hole is what keeps the coolant away from the bearings and keeps it sealed. At first, a minor leakage is normal when the water pump is new, but continued leakage can indicate a damaged water pump. It is a sign that you may notice through leakage marks on the weep hole. Or if you notice the same leakage marks around the mounting surface, it indicates your water pump is not installed correctly.


Last but not the least, contaminated coolant piles up in your water pump and clogs the system. This clog results in your water pump being damaged without any space for repairs. You will need to replace your water pump and clean your cooling system free of any contaminated or improper coolant before you get the correct one.

We thought it would help to address the different bad water pump symptoms that you may find with or without inspecting your cooling system. When people ask ‘what are the symptoms of a bad water pump’ they are usually left with the obvious symptoms. But it is important to learn about the other more appearance-focused symptoms within the cooling system. This helps you identify that your water pump is not working properly or needs to be changed when inspecting your car.

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