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Q: My car's water pump failure is causing my engine to overheat

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Traveling on interstate in Texas at 70 mph. Water pump failed. Engine then overheated. Wondering how long it takes for the engine to overheat once the water pump has failed. How much time do I have to find a safe place to pull over before it affects the engine?

My car has 46000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission. It has regular maintenance at the dealership where purchased. It is a 2010 Toyota Corolla

A: An engine will overheat within minutes, oft...

An engine will overheat within minutes, often within 1 minute, once the water pump stops circulating coolant. Of course, the practical concern is how much overheating (how high a temperature) does it take, and for what duration, before permanent damage is caused to the engine? Generally, with an aluminum cylinder head and a cast iron block, the engine, particularly the head gasket seal, will be damaged within a handful minutes, or even less, if you operate the car with the temperature gauge registering in the red "danger" zone.

If it is overheating but below the red danger zone on your temperature gauge, you greatly heighten the risk of engine damage, but whether damage occurs or not will depend on the temperature that was reached, the duration, and other variables. In all events, the standard advice is if you know that your car's engine is operating above the normal temperature range, simply do not operate the engine until the problem is diagnosed and repaired. That is the only way you can be sure of avoiding, or minimizing, engine damage. If you would like a certified mechanic dispatched to your location to repair the overheating problem by all means follow up with YourMechanic.

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