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COOLING SYSTEM – Water pump

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PURPOSE
The water pump is designed to circulate water around the cooling system when required.  The water pump is usually driven by a pulley that’s connected to a fan belt and it may also have a fan blade attached to it.  The water pump is usually cast aluminium and designed to operate under a temperature parameter of 13-16 lbs per square inch (psi) at normal operating temperature. 

THINGS TO LOOK FOR
A water pump, over time, may start to leak at normal operating temperature or it may leak several hours after being switched off with no or low pressure.  These are signs not to drive the vehicle and replace the water pump ASAP.  The bearing inside the water pump may fail causing the water pump seal to leak.  This is an urgent sign that it needs repairing as the pump shaft may end up towards the radiator causing more damage to the cooling system.  If the shaft bearings collapse then the whole shaft may move away from the water pump and end up with the fan in front of the radiator.

IS IT EXPENSIVE TO REPAIR?
Replacing the water pump may be expensive if the pump is connected to a timing bell or behind several brackets, it could cost up to $300.00.  But if it’s an easy water pump to get to it may only cost around $150.00 provided that no bolts snap and some bolts may be corroded.  The cost will also vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle.

TEMPORARY REPAIR AND LONG TERM REPLACEMENT
If a water pump is leaking from a pin hole then it may be welded but this could affect the seals as it’s being welded.  But it’s worth a try if the pump costs around $300.00.

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