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Water Pumps

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Water Pump Replacement: $100 to $300 (Prices good for most domestic or import cars and light trucks)
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WATER PUMPS

Most cars on the road today are water cooled. This means the heat from the burning fuel is absorbed by a "water jacket" around the cylinders and the dissipated by the radiator. In order for this to work, a water pump must circulate the water through the engine and radiator.

How Water Pumps Fail

Water pumps fail in two different ways: Water leakage and bearing failure.

Check bearings like this: Wiggle the fan blade (on rear wheel drive, belt driven water pump applications) There should be very little play in the water pump bearing. On engines with electric fans, wiggle on the drive pulley to the water pump. There shouldn't be play (looseness) in the shaft.

Checking Water Pump Leakage

Check leakage like this: Water pumps usually start leaking slowly: occaisional need to add water and spots of coolant on your driveway after a hot day can be from the water pump, especially when you can see no obvious other leak (like a hose or the radiator). When you can get to it to see it, there is always a little hole behind the pulley which drives the pump. This hole is to allow the tiny amount of water which normally comes past a seal (a few drops per year) to get out rather than wash through the water pump bearings. When seals fail, water pours from this hole. Often you'll see stains on the pump housing by this hole on a leaky pump.

I've seen pumps with no play in the bearings leak, and I've seen pumps with totally shot beaings not leak a drop, so it pays to check this if you've got more than 60,000 miles on your car.

Many autos today use the timing belt to drive the water pump. If you have one of those cars, it's a good idea to replace the water pump when you replace the timing belt as a maintenance item.
See "Car Killers: the water pump is one of THEM! On cars with water pumps driven by the timing belt you often can't even see them, much less check them for leaks. In those cases, look for coolant leaks on the front of the engine, or a gradual coolant loss that you can't find the source of.


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Thank you for visiting the ECONOMECHANIX WEB SITE. Please feel free to comment. We also serve the surrounding communities of Alachua, High Springs, Hawthorne, and Newberry! Gainesville has been my home since 1974, and I've loved Gvl and the Gators since I came here in the fall of 1974 to attend the University of Florida. I loved it so much I stayed and opened my car repair business. Originally it was out of the back of a 1963 Chevrolet wagon, but in 1977 a fellow mechanic and I opened an auto repair shop with actual walls, etc. I stayed in the same location for 26 years, and recently moved my operation to property I bought 15 miles east of Gainesville. I am doing most all the repairs myself now, having reduced my overhead from $1500 per month to practically nothing. I do work by appointment only. I mostly work only on my established customers cars, but I will occasionally take on new clients. E-mail me and I will either make arrangements to look at your car, or I will recommend you to someone who will.

George G. Scott, Jr.


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Auto, Car, and Truck Article List

A
ABS: Anti-Lock Brake Systems
ADVANCE: Car ignition timing
ALTERNATORS and Car Battery
AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSIONS
B
BAD CAR DESIGNS
BATTERIES: Auto, Car or Truck
BELTS AND HOSES
BEARINGS
BODY AND BUMPER REPAIRS
BRAKE REPAIRS: Car or Truck
C
Car Washing and Care
CARBURETORS:Car & Truck
CHECK ENGINE LIGHT
CLEANING: Engine Cleaning
CLUTCH REPAIRS: Car & Truck
COMPRESSION: Car Engine
COMPUTER CAR CONTROLS
CV JOINT OR CV AXLES
D
DISTRIBUTORS (IGNITION)
E
ELECTRIC WIRING REPAIR
ENGINES: Car & Truck
ENGINE CLEANING
EXPANSION PLUGS
F
FREEZE PLUGS
FUEL AIR MIXTURE
FUEL INJECTION: Car & Truck
FUEL PUMPS: Car & Truck
G
GAGES AND "IDIOT LIGHTS"
GASKETS AND SEALS
GLASS: WINDOWS AND WINDSHIELDS
H
HEADS & HEAD GASKET
HOSES AND BELTS
I
"IDIOT LIGHTS" AND GAGES
IGNITION TIMING: Car & Truck
J
AUTO JACKS: lifting cars safely
K
L
LEAN "Car runs lean"
LIGHTS: WARNING OR "IDIOT LIGHTS"
Limp Home Mode
M
MIL Light
MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS
N
NO START: Car Won't Start
O
OIL CHANGES
OIL: What's right for your car?
OIL LIGHT ON OR GAGE LOW
P
PCV Valve
Q
R
RADIATORS: Car and Truck
RICH: Car runs rich
S
SEALS AND GASKETS
SERVICE ENGINE SOON LIGHT
SPARK PLUGS
STARTERS: Auto, Truck
T
THERMOSTATS
TIMING: IGNITION TIMING
TIMING BELT & TIMING CHAIN
TIRE REPAIR
TRANSMISSIONS: AUTOMATIC
TRANSMISSIONS: MANUAL
U
V
VACUUM ADVANCE
WARNING LIGHTS OR "IDIOT LIGHTS"
Car Washing and Care
W
WATER PUMP REPAIR
WINDOWS AND WINDSHIELDS
WIRING REPAIR
X
Y
Z

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