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Can You Drive a Car With a Bad Water Pump?

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A water pump is an essential component of a car’s cooling system, and it is responsible for circulating coolant throughout the engine. But can you drive a car with a bad water pump?

Yes, you can drive a vehicle with a bad water pump. However, this is not advisable, and it’s best to fix it as soon as possible.

In this blog post, we will discuss what to do if your water pump goes out and how to prevent it from happening.

What is a Car Water Pump?

A water pump is a vital component of a car’s cooling system, responsible for circulating the coolant fluid throughout the engine. The crankshaft from the engine drives the water, and it consists of a series of impellers that spin inside a housing.

Mechanic holding water pump for car

As the impellers rotate, they draw coolant from the radiator and pump it through the engine block. The coolant absorbs heat from the engine and helps to keep it running at a consistent temperature.

Types of Car Water Pump

There are two types of car water pumps: mechanical and electrical. Mechanical pumps are driven by the engine and use a belt to turn the pump. Electrical pumps are powered by the car’s battery and are usually found in newer cars.

Both types of pumps work to circulate coolant through the engine to keep it from overheating. The main difference is that electrical pumps are less likely to overheat than mechanical pumps.

In general, electrical pumps are more expensive than mechanical pumps, but they may be worth the investment if you live in a hot climate or do a lot of stop-and-go driving.

How Water Pumps Work

The water pump is usually driven by a belt from the engine’s crankshaft, and it consists of a series of impellers that spin inside a housing. As the impellers rotate, they draw coolant from the radiator and pump it through the engine block.

The coolant absorbs heat from the engine and helps to keep it running at a consistent temperature. In most cars, the water pump is located near the front of the machine, and it is usually made out of aluminum or cast iron.

Signs of a Bad Water Pump

If your water pump has failed, you will likely see one or more of the following signs:

Engine Overheating

If the water pump is not circulating coolant properly, the engine will start to overheat. In some cases, an overheating engine can lead to severe damage.

Leaking Coolant

A lousy water pump may develop a leak, and you may see coolant leaking from the front of the engine.

Squealing Noise

If the bearings in the water pump are going bad, you may hear a squealing noise coming from the front of the machine.

Check Engine Light

A failing water pump will trigger the check engine light in some cases.

Temperature Gauge Reading Higher

If the water pump is not circulating coolant properly, the engine will overheat. It will cause the temperature gauge to read higher than usual.

Can You Drive a Car with a Bad Water Pump?

Yes, you can drive a car with a bad water pump, but we don’t recommend it.  A water pump is an integral part of a car’s cooling system, and it is responsible for Circulating coolant throughout the engine.

If the water pump fails, it can cause the engine to overheat, leading to severe damage. However, a water pump typically fails gradually, and several warning signs indicate that it is starting to fall.

For example, a car with a failing water pump may produce steam from the radiator or overheating engine. If a water pump is starting to fail, it is essential to have it replaced as soon as possible to avoid further damage.

However, it may be possible to drive a car with a bad water pump for a short distance in some cases. If the car does not overheat and there is no evidence of leaks, then it may be safe to drive to a nearby service station.

Therefore, it is essential to keep an eye on the temperature gauge and be prepared to pull over if the engine starts to overheat. Ultimately, driving with a bad water pump is not advisable and should be avoided.

HOW to Fix a Bad Water Pump

If your water pump has failed, you will need to replace it. Fortunately, this is a relatively straightforward process, and a few steps will complete it.

car mechanic holds in his hand an old removed car engine water pump
  • First, you will need to remove the old water pump. You can do this by disconnecting the negative battery cable, draining the cooling system, and removing the drive belt.
  • Then, you will need to remove the water pump pulley and the water pump bolts. You can install the new water pump once the old water pump is out by reversing these steps.
  • Finally, you will need to refill the cooling system and bleed the air. Once this is done, your car should be back to normal.

How to Drive a Car with a Bad Water Pump

If you’re driving a car with a bad water pump, you should keep a few things in mind.

  • First, be sure to keep an eye on the temperature gauge. If the engine starts to overheat, pull over and turn off the engine as soon as possible.
  • Second, be aware of any leaks coming from the front of the engine. If you see coolant leaking, towing the car to a nearby service station is essential.
  • Finally, listen for any squealing noises coming from the front of the engine. It can be a sign that the bearings in the water pump are going bad and may need to be replaced.

Conclusion

A bad water pump can prevent your car from running correctly. The pump is responsible for circulating coolant throughout the engine, and if it fails, the machine can overheat.

In addition, a bad water pump can also cause the engine to drive roughly or stall completely. If you suspect that your water pump is failing, it’s essential to have it checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible.

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