3 Things To Know About Your Car's Water Pump

Posted on: 28 May 2020


Your car's water pump plays a vital role in your cooling system. Although these parts can last for well over a hundred thousand miles, many mechanics recommend replacing them along with your timing belt as a preventative maintenance measure.

By replacing your old water pump before it fails, you can save yourself from costly labor changes or the severe internal damage that can come from allowing your car to overheat. Here are three things to know if you are getting ready to replace this critical component.

1. Impeller Material Matters

The rotation of your water pump's impeller creates the pressure that pushes the coolant through your system. If you imagine a fan, then the impeller serves the same role as the blades. If your water pump's impeller fails, coolant will no longer circulate through your system. Some manufacturers produce impellers from plastic or composites, while others use all-metal impellers.

When selecting a new water pump, consider the impeller material. Metal impellers often last longer, but plastic and composite impellers can be long-lasting, as well. Some quick research should reveal if other owners consider your car's stock water pump impeller to be durable. If not, consider upgrading to an aftermarket model that uses a more robust material.

2. Timing Belts and Water Pumps Work Together

If your car uses a timing belt (as opposed to a timing chain), then you should almost always replace your water pump alongside it. In most cars with this configuration, the timing belt directly drives the water pump. Since you will be removing the timing belt anyway, there is very little additional labor required to replace the water pump.

Additionally, most manufacturers recommend timing belt replacements at around 100,000 miles. Since water pumps also typically last a little over 100,000 miles, this is a good time to kill two birds with one stone. 

3. Quality Is Important

Although you should always choose to use quality parts for any replacement, selecting the right water pump for your car is particularly crucial. Replacing a water pump requires a non-trivial amount of labor, and so early failures can be costly. Choosing a quality replacement ensures that your new water pump can continue to keep your engine running cool for years to come.

When choosing a pump, favor genuine or OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts. If you select an aftermarket part instead, be sure to research the manufacturer thoroughly. In many cases, aftermarket water pumps only make sense if you are choosing a pump with an upgraded impeller or other improved features.

Because your water pump is so essential to the long-term reliability of your car, you should always do your homework before deciding on a new part. A high-quality replacement will help to guarantee that this is a job you will rarely have to perform more than once. Look for a shop near you that provides car parts