Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Long Does a Water Pump (Auxiliary) Last?

Auxiliary Water Pump

Your car uses coolant for a number of purposes. It’s essential for keeping the engine within operating temperatures, as well as protecting the block from freezing temperatures. It’s also used to operate your car’s heater. While most vehicles only have a single water pump, some have a second pump, called an auxiliary water pump.

An auxiliary water pump differs from the primary pump in a number of different ways. First, it’s electronic, rather than belt driven. Second, it only works to pump extra coolant through the heater core. Here, it’s used to warm the air that blows into the cabin. Really, the only time the auxiliary water pump should operate is after you’ve turned the engine off but need to warm the cabin. The pump will run with the key in the on position, providing warmed coolant to the heater core.

In theory, your car’s auxiliary water pump should last the life of the car. However, it is an electronic component, and it is subject to failure at any point. Anything from a blown fuse to damaged wiring to a seized pump motor can render it inoperable.

What’s more, there is no set inspection for this pump. It’s not part of any regular maintenance service, and it is also not part of manufacturer specified scheduled services. With that being said, they are subject to wear and tear, primarily to the brushes in the motor. The cooling circuit itself may also be subject to damage (wiring damage, for instance).

Of course, if your pump fails you may not even notice it since it’s not part of normal vehicle operation. The only time a failed pump might present problems is during severe winter weather. Even then it won’t keep your vehicle off the road, but it could definitely lead to an uncomfortable experience if you attempt to work the heater without the engine running.

Obviously, you need to know a few signs and symptoms of impending failure (or if the pump has already failed). These include:

  • Pump does not operate with the engine off and the key turned to on while the heat is running (you can’t hear the pump switch on)
  • Coolant leaking from the auxiliary water pump
  • No hot air from heater with the engine off and the key on

Having a failed auxiliary water pump isn’t a problem that will keep you off the road, but it does need to be addressed. Having a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, replace the auxiliary water pump is a simple convenient fix that will keep you warm during those cold winters.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...
P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance Related Trouble Codes: P2158: Vehicle Speed Sensor B P2160: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Circuit Low P2161:...


Related questions

Q: i think its the water pump

Be sure the drain plug on the bottom of the radiator is closed and secure. There are a variety of potential leak points in the cooling system. If, using a mirror, you can see coolant leaking out of the water...

Q: Advice on Winter Prep

Hi there, thanks for writing in. I'd be happy to provide you with my suggestions to prolong the life of this car, especially for the cold winter in Michigan. First, here are some tips for driving an SUV in the...

Q: Water pump gasket leaking

Removing the water pump on your vehicle is a 6 hour job and consequently involves pages of procedures, torque specifications, and a lot of detail. Due to the amount of time involved, it is not worth it re-installing the old...