Overheating? It may be time for a new water pump
The Garage Tech Question:
I was driving on the freeway in BC and my sedan engine started to get hot. I turned off my air conditioner and was able to drive about 80 miles to my meeting and then found a shop in Vancouver. It turns out that my water pump was leaking. It cost me many hundreds of dollars to get it fixed. What could I have done to avoid this?
The Garage Answer:
This guy’s story really did have a happy ending. When you continue driving when your engine’s overheating you risk a catastrophic engine failure. It really is a good idea to pull over and let your sedan engine cool down before driving again. If you add water or coolant, be sure your engine is cool or you risk serious burns.
Now there’s no way to predict when your water pump will fail – they just wear out. This fellow’s water pump replacement was more expensive because his water pump is driven by his timing belt. That requires a lot of hours to get to the water pump and then put everything back on the engine.
A money saving tip from The Garage in Vancouver: if your water pump is driven by your timing belt – replace the pump when you have your scheduled timing belt replacement. That way most of the work is already done and you don’t have to pay for it twice.
Check with your understanding The Garage service advisor about when your timing belt should be replaced.
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