Car Running Hot? Why It Could Be Your Pump

Posted on: 10 November 2021


If your car or truck is beginning to overheat, your mind may immediately turn to the radiator. While this is the largest component of the automotive cooling system, the whole process is more likely to break down if you have issues with your water pump. How does this work, and what are some of the signs of an issue?

Keeping Cool

Did you know that the internal temperature of an internal combustion engine can sometimes reach 2500°C? It's no wonder that the cooling system is so important, and you need to ensure that it is always in good condition.

How It Works

The system has many separate parts, but essentially, water is pumped through chambers that sit within the engine block, absorbing heat and transferring it to the forward-facing radiator. The water will then be cooled as the vehicle is driven down the road and as air flows across the radiator's fins.

Pump in Action

Nothing will happen until the water is forced through these chambers, which is the pump's job. This component will sit towards the front of the engine in between the radiator and the block. Inside the water pump casing is an impeller that turns at high speed to create the pressure necessary. This impeller is attached to a spindle, which is, in turn, driven by a serpentine belt. When the engine is running, and the crankshaft is turning, the belt will move and will spin up the impeller.

Signs of Failure

Given time, the water pump casing may begin to deteriorate. Tiny holes can appear, and should this happen, you will undoubtedly notice water on the floor beneath the unit. Sometimes, the seals that keep everything in place will also begin to perish, especially if there is any sedimentation within the water system. This can also happen if certain metal components inside the pump begin to deteriorate. While a manufacturer may introduce corrosive inhibitors to try and avoid such problems, a chemical reaction over time will inevitably make them less effective.

Avoiding Impurities

It's always a good idea to use purpose-made coolant or, at the very least, distilled water within this system. This will cut down on the number of impurities within the solution and may also help protect the water pump and other ancillaries.

Best Practice

If your vehicle's pump needs to be repaired, always ensure that you take it to a qualified mechanic. They will also have a good look at the entire system to ensure that it is as functional as possible. Contact a local auto repair shop to learn more.