Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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

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.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  • Home
  • Questions
  • My water pump went out, I drove the car about 10 more miles before stopping, did I create additional engine damage?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Where is the grinding noise coming from?

Hello. If this only occurs in one direction, then I usually check inside of the fender well for shinny spots. If there are any shinny areas, that would mean that there is something rubbing, such as the tire rubbing. If...

Q: Not shifting into higher gears - 2009 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

It sounds to me like your are having a bit of transmission trouble. First, check the level and condition of the transmission fluid. If the fluid is dark and burned, there may be a mechanical failure inside the unit. If...

Q: Can I replace my pump myself

The water pump requires the replacement of the timing belt at the same time as the water pump is replaced due to coolant leaking onto the timing belt may cause damage to the belt and cause premature belt failure if...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.