What is the Water Pump Pulley all about?
Your car’s engine produces a great deal of heat, which can easily damage internal components. To ensure that your engine runs properly and doesn’t lock up, it needs to maintain the right temperature (called the operating temperature). This is done in large part with engine coolant. Coolant circulates through the engine, absorbing heat and then transporting it to the radiator, where the fluid is cooled by air, before once more beginning the journey through the engine. The water pump is responsible for pushing coolant through your engine using impellers inside the engine. The pump is turned by a pulley, which is in turn moved by your engine drive belt. If the pulley is damaged, bent, or seized, the drive belt can come off the pulley and the water pump will cease to turn. If that happens, the engine will overheat.
Keep in mind:
- Water pump pulleys rarely fail. Most problems are generally with the bearings behind the pulley, or the water pump itself.
- Consider replacing the water pump at the same time as you replace the pulley/pulley bearings.
- A failed water pump pulley or bearings will cause your water pump to be inoperable and lead to engine damage.
How it's done:
- The hood is raised and supported
- The drive belt tensioner is loosened and belt is removed from the water pump pulley
- The defective pulley is removed from the water pump shaft
- The new pulley is installed and tightened to the water pump
- The belt is reinstalled around the new pulley and the tensioner tightened
- The engine is started and the vehicle is road tested for proper operation
The water pump pulley does not require servicing, and is not a common point of failure. If you suspect a problem with the water pump pulley, have one of our expert mechanics diagnose and replace your water pump pulley if necessary.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Water Pump Pulley?
- Engine drive belt or serpentine belt shows excessive wear
- Grinding or screeching noises while the engine running
- Pieces of the pulley visibly missing or damaged
How important is this service?
If the water pump pulley is broken or damaged and the water pump is not circulating coolant, heat levels in the engine quickly build up to the point that they can damage your engine. It is essential to get your water pump pulley replaced as soon as possible. Do not drive the vehicle until it is repaired.