Back in the day, vehicles used water alone to cool engines down. This is where the term water pump comes from. Today, many vehicles around the world are now made with engines cooled by a mixture of both water and antifreeze, especially in colder environments when freezing is highly likely. That being said, the water pump’s importance and function remains the same.
Here is how a water pump works and how to know that yours may be failing.
How it works
Once an engine reaches its optimal running temperature, the excess heat has to be removed to avoid overheating. This is where the water pump comes in as it sucks water or the water/antifreeze mixture from the radiator and into engine to cool it down. In most cases, the water pump is driven by something called a serpentine belt, which is pulled by the pump’s pulley system. The belt and pulley work together to move the water or water/antifreeze mixture around.
How to know if it is failing
Here are a few simple ways to know there may be an issue with your vehicle’s water pump:
- Coolant (water or the water/antifreeze mixture) is leaking onto the ground
- Your ‘Low Coolant’ warning light comes on
- If your vehicle’s temperature gauge shows that your car’s engine is running hotter than normal
- If you hear grinding or a high-pitched whining noise coming from the engine compartment