A water pump is a device that is found in motor vehicles like cars, trucks, buses, and trains. This pump distributes the heat that is produced by internal combustion engines. The heat is actually the end form of wasted energy produced when these motor engines work. Without the water pump, the heat can build up inside the engine causing the engine to overheat. If this process continues, the engine will eventually be destroyed. In simpler terms, a pump keeps the temperature at acceptable levels by dissipating the heat. It is crucial to have a proper functioning water pump in every vehicle and this is why every automobile users need to know about water pumps.
What Does a Water Pump Look Like?
The water pumps look like a disc. It has a circular shape and is made of a combination of steel and aluminium. The inner part of this device is also circular with chambers. A spindle is located in the middle with several protrusions which look like a paddle for small boats.
Where is the Water Pump Located in a Car?
It is usually found in front of the car, which is normally in front of the engine. It can be bolted against the engine or on the mounting of the engine. Keeping the water pump bolted will keep it in place even during rough drives. A hose is used to connect this device to the radiator. At the same time, another set of hoses is used to connect the pump to the engine in a closed circuit. A fan belt is then utilized to connect the central spindle of the pump to the engine output.
How Does a Water Pump Work?
The fan belt only turns when the engine is running. At this point the central spindle of the pump also turns. When the central spindle turns, the paddle-like protrusions also turn and utilize the centrifugal force, it creates suction. This allows the pump to get water from the radiator and then sends it to the engine via the hoses. The water then absorbs the heat being generated by the engine and goes back to the radiator where it is cooled.
The water pump which plays a crucial role in the cooling of the surrounding components is normally composed of six blades and can also increase the flow of coolant by attaching a shroud to the bottom of the impeller, although this depends on the kind of car. To ensure a long life, the water pump must be designed and manufactured precisely to minimize friction and resistance while maximizing the flow.
What is the Purpose of a Water Pump?
At the most basic level, a car’s water pump is essentially the heart of the cooling system. Its purpose is to continuously circulate engine coolant throughout the cooling system. The cooling system runs from the radiator to the engine and back to the radiator. It is the system which allows drivers to enjoy a nice comfortable, cool car ride. The pump is powered by the engine and typically operates through a belt and pulley system, although a gearing chain could be used as well.
The most important component of a pump is the impeller. The impeller's job is to spend and circulate the cooler throughout the car. Visually it is similar to a propeller that makes a boat move. The impeller can only be effective when it operates on a sealed bearing. If the seal bearing begins to leak then the water pump will quickly wear out.
What are Water Pump Weep Holes?
What many people don't know is a vehicle’s water pump has a weep hole. There are two holes in the water pump’s casting which are referred to as weep holes. The top weep hole acts as an air vent which allows air to evacuate the casting system and prevent a build-up of humidity around the bearing. It also leverages atmospheric pressure to keep the seal intact. The lower weep hole exists to allow any fluid which is collected around the pump to drain out. This protects the integrity of the bearings.
Causes of Water Pump Fails
If a pump fails it is most often because a seal failed, not because the impeller has stopped working. There are several variables which typically cause premature seal failure. The most common is high temperatures. Mechanical seals rely on spring-loaded assemblies to ensure the carbon seals remain intact. If the engine consistently runs hotter overseas it may disintegrate the rubber parts. Electrolysis is another common cause of pump failure. It creates a film or crystallization over the seal face which will allow moisture to enter the weep chamber. The final common reason a water pump will fail is because of additive gels. There are a number of chemical additives on the market designed to promote good cooling system health. Unfortunately, many of these gels actually damage the seal around the pump.
How to Replace the Water Pump
Once the water pump is damaged, it is crucial for you to get a new one for replacement so as to ensure the proper working of your car. Below are the essential steps which would assist in replacing the water pump appropriately.
- The first thing that you have to do is to find a water pump that is suitable for your car. Then, you should turn off the engine of your car. Make sure that the engine has cooled down completely when you are about to start replacing the pump. Then you should locate the car battery. In this case, make sure that you disconnect the battery's ground.
- The second thing that you have to do is to set up a drain pan beneath the engine. Then, you should drain the contents of the cooling system. In this case, you should make sure that the cooling compartment is perfectly drained.
- The third thing that you have to do is to find the alternator mounting brackets. Then you should loosen them to remove the drive belts. To unfasten them, you can use sockets with the appropriate size and lift them away. Then, you should clear any clutter or accessories out of the water pump's path. Then, you should access it by removing the pulley, fan and fan shroud of the engine.
- After that, you should disconnect the hoses of the water pump. To do this, you can use a socket or wrench. You should loosen the screws and remove the water pump from the engine. Place it away from your work area. Look at the engine block and perform an inspection to it. You should clean it up if it needs cleaning by using a rag.
- The fifth thing that you should do is to change the gaskets of the water pump if you find that they are damaged or broken. Then, you should line up the new water pump and place it in the old previous place of the old pump. In doing it, you should consult the manual to double-check so that you can do the correct thing. Then, you need to bolt the water pump at a certain pressure properly.
The next thing that you should do is to reconnect the water pump hoses. You should also put anything else that you have removed back. In this case, you have to make sure that the belts are properly adjusted to the car's tension specifications.
The last thing that you should do is to refill the car cooling system. In this case, you can upgrade to a better coolant product or antifreeze. Then, you should plug the battery back and start your car. Make sure that you perform an inspection in order to ensure you that everything is running well. With these you will be able to replace your water pump appropriately.
In the wrecking industry it is very common to get asked for a second hand water pump, especially if its a super expensive one like a electronic one of a BMW, my advice to you is to always buy water pumps brand new, if they are to expensive new genuine you can always try place like HSY auto parts, Imparts, Welch or Unique Auto Parts.
If you have more main stream vehicles like Ford, Holden or Hyundai you can find cheaper options at big franchise companies like REPCO or BURSONS.