Your vehicle is like you in a way. When it gets hot, it needs to be cooled down. And one of the key parts to keeping it cool is the water pump.
Now, that's a bit of a misnomer. It IS a pump, but it's pumping coolant, not pure water. Cooling off your engine is vital since it builds up heat when it creates power by burning fuel. Your water pump acts as a way to recirculate that coolant. It goes through a series of tubes and hoses through the engine where it picks up heat, then is sent off to the radiator to get rid of that heat. Cooled off, the coolant is recycled through the water pump to start the journey again.
The water pump works by taking mechanical power from the engine, usually from a belt. Obviously, that belt has to be in good condition and adjusted properly or else the water pump won't be able to do its job.
Here are some things to look for that will signal problems with your water pump. If your heat gauge is erratic or showing a much higher than normal temperature, that could be a sign of trouble. Another is if you hear a whine under the hood. And if that gets louder when you go faster, get it checked right away. You may see steam coming out from under the hood or coolant may be leaking.
These signs signal that it's time for you to have a technician check to see where the problem is. Some water pumps are powered by a timing belt. If your vehicle has that design and your timing belt is due for replacement, sometimes it's a good idea to replace the water pump too, even if it's working properly. That's because the labor to replace the timing belt can be expensive and it may be wise to proactively take care of the water pump while it's disassembled.
Your service advisor will explain the options available and offer the best path to keeping your water pump doing its job. Your engine's life depends on it.
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