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Q: Noisy bearings in the water pump that has no leaks

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What causes noise bearings in the water pump that doesn't leak? What is the average lifetime of the car's water pump in miles?

The bearings inside of the water pump are sealed from the outside air by a rubber seal. They are also sealed from the inside water by a rubber seal. If they weren’t, the water would get on the bearing and then rust and fall apart. So the reason they make noise is because, generally, if it happens too soon, it is just a cheaply manufactured water pump.

I’ve had Toyotas that have gone 200,000 miles and still had the original water pump. Also, I’ve seen cars like Chrysler that have had water pump wear out after 40-50,000 miles. Most of it has to do with the design of the engine.

Now, of course, you’d want to change the antifreeze regularly like you are supposed to. When I was a kid, that was every 3 years or every 36,000 miles because it wasn’t that good. It was the old green stuff. But today, they have a long-life antifreeze. Some of it is 7 years or 150,000 miles.

So buy the longest extended life antifreeze as you can. That way, when you change it, you don’t have to worry about the water pump going out because you are not getting dirty fluid that gets under seal, which then eats the seal off and the coolant gets into the bearings and eats them up. There is no average life time, because there are so many different designs out there, but if you take care of them like that, you are going to get the most lifetime you can.

If the noise gets progressively worse, you may want to have the sound inspected and diagnosed by a certified mechanic. A technician from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to listen to the sound and let you know what needs to be done.

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