Q: My water pump went out, I drove the car about 10 more miles before stopping, did I create additional engine damage?

asked by on October 11, 2016

My water pump went out, I drove the car for about 10 more miles, did I create additional engine damage, does this cause rods to lock up?

My car has 190000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there! Yes, that is definitely enough time to do catastrophic damage and seize the engine. With your water pump going out and no coolant circulating through the engine, there is tremendous heat being generated and stored, and with heat there is expansion. What you can do is chock your wheels and place the transmission in neutral, and then use a ratchet and socket, place it on the crank pulley and turn the engine over in a clockwise direction (clockwise direction is determine by standing in front of your car and looking at your engine). If you can turn the engine over, then you might have gotten lucky without any major damage. But remember, the engine was run for a long time without any coolant circulating through it so the possibility of additional problems is definitely there. If you can’t turn the engine over then you know you have major internal damage. If you need help having this checked, a qualified professional from YourMechanic can come to your location to inspect the system and let you know what needs repair.

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