Unless you have an air-cooled system, your engine's cooling system will rely upon a water pump. This is a vital component that keeps coolant pumping through the engine in order to maintain consistent operating temperatures. Without it, your car will overheat and your entire engine could fail.
Today's more technologically advanced water pumps and cooling systems are designed to last a long time, but they are still vulnerable to problems. The older your vehicle is, the more you should be concerned about your water pump failing and causing major engine problems. It's important to be aware of common signs that you may have a water pump issue. If you notice any of these in your vehicle, you'll want to get the engine, cooling system and water pump inspected by a professional auto repair technician like those at San Francisco Automotive Solutions.
Here are the common signs of a failing water pump:
1. Leaking Coolant
If you see bright yellow/green liquid leaking underneath your car, that's your radiator coolant (also known as radiator fluid or antifreeze). The water pump has multiple gaskets that help maintain consistent pumping pressure, so a leak could mean one of these seals is failing. It's best to get it checked out by an expert. Replacing a worn gasket is a simple fix that could save you hundreds—if not thousands—of further damage if left unrepaired.
2. Whining Sounds
You may hear a loud whining sound coming from your engine compartment while you are driving. This may just be a loose belt or pulley. It could also mean the bearings inside the water pump are wearing out. Again, it's best to get this inspected before it leads to bigger engine and/or cooling system problems.
3. Overheating Engine
If you see the temperature warning light on your dashboard come on or you actually see steam/smoke coming from under your hood, then your car is overheating. You may just be low on coolant, you may have pushed the car too hard on a hot day or uphill grade, or you may have an issue with your water pump. Be careful dealing with an overheated engine and call for roadside assistance if you don't want to risk further damage to your vehicle.
If you are experiencing overheating or any of these other symptoms, bring your vehicle into San Francisco Automotive Solutions. Our ASE Certified auto repair technicians will inspect your engine and cooling system. We'll get to the root of the problem and let you know what needs to be fixed. The key thing is to have it checked out at the first sign of a problem. Otherwise, a bad water pump or failing cooling system component could lead to much more significant (and expensive) engine damage.
Call San Francisco Automotive Solutions today at (415) 523-0515 or schedule a service appointment online.