Bad Water Pump Symptoms (9 Things To Be Aware Of)

Your engine requires a constant flow of coolant fed from the vehicle’s radiator throughout your engine in terms of running cool on those summer days.

Of course, the primary element in charge of sustaining this flow is the water pump. Your vehicle will take you wherever you need to go when it’s working correctly, maintaining a constant operating temperature.

So, join me in discovering more about bad water pump symptoms!

Bad Water Pump Symptoms

1. Coolant Leakage From Your Vehicle’s Front-Center

Many seals and gaskets make up the water pump, which keeps fluid contained and guarantees a steady coolant flow from the vehicle’s radiator to your engine.

Unfortunately, these seals and gaskets will eventually deteriorate, dry out, fracture, or completely fail.

In addition, coolant will leak from your water pump and fall to the ground, usually towards the front and middle of the engine.

So, contact a skilled technician to examine the issue if you discover a coolant leak beneath your vehicle’s front center.

Commonly the leak will seem to be green or occasionally crimson. Most of the time, technicians can fix a water pump leak before it worsens.

2. Deposit Buildup, Rust, And Water Pump Corrosion

A variety of minerals will accumulate around the pump as a result of gradual leaking over time.

If you look under the hood, you can find corrosion on the surface of the pump caused by polluted or incompatible coolant combinations or by a faulty pressure cap that allows too much air in.

Additionally, using the incorrect coolant can result in deposit building within your vehicle’s pump, slowing the engine’s cooling operation.

Further, you could also observe tiny holes caused by metal corrosion or cavitation, which is the process in which vapor droplets in the coolant liquid burst violently and leave cavities on the surface.

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Therefore, if you have these symptoms, you must replace the pump immediately.

3. The Pulley On The Water Pump Is Loose And Whining

A high-pitched noise that occasionally emanates from the motor’s front may be audible. It is often brought on by a loose belt, which, as it moves about, makes harmonic noises or whining sounds.

Generally, a loose pulley or worn-out bearings in the component that powers the water pump are two typical causes of the loose belt.

Of course, when the water pump’s internal bearings malfunction, it will be impossible to repair the device, and have to be replaced entirely.

So, contact a professional immediately to get your car looked at if you hear a loud whining noise coming from your vehicle’s front of the engine that becomes louder as you speed to avoid further issues.

4. Engine Is Overheating

The engine block’s coolant cannot be circulated if the water pump is fully damaged.

As a result, the engine overheats, which, if not promptly fixed or replaced, may result in pushed head gaskets, cracked cylinder heads, or burnt pistons, among other engine problems.

In addition, it’s more probable than not a water pump issue if you observe that the engine temperature indicator frequently reads high.

Therefore, let the expert check this issue and repair the water pump if necessary.

5. Your Radiator Is Emitting Steam

Your Radiator Is Emitting Steam

If steam is coming out from under your hood, your vehicle has likely had a catastrophic malfunction.

For example, if a water pump is damaged, it cannot circulate coolant over the engine, which overheats it. So, if you notice steam, stop driving immediately and call a mechanic for help.

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Because if you keep going, an overheated engine will eventually damage it and need to be entirely replaced.

6. Filthy Circulation

The water pump circulates coolant around the engine via the radiator to relieve heat buildup. But, of course, metal components moving quickly and coupled provide too much friction, which causes heat.

In addition, components exposed to excessive heat often become twisted, melted, fused, shattered, and structurally weak.

Typically, the serpentine belt, auxiliary drive belt, or timing belt drives the water pump’s pulley. If the belt is worn out, your water pump may not run as efficiently as it should.

So, an impeller inside the system keeps the system turning. Pollutants in the coolant over time might cause the impeller to deteriorate.

Therefore, the impeller may deteriorate due to cavitation and functioning as a coolant pump.

7. Weep Hole Leakage

Muck will accumulate around the pump due to a gradual leak. Look for coolant deposits around the exterior or coolant trails that emerge from the pump.

One telltale indicator of a damaged water pump is the presence of a “weep hole” behind the pump shaft on some water pumps.

Generally, this hole allows coolant to leak once the inner seals are wholly worn out. In addition, a significant amount of rust may also be present surrounding the pump.

So, if you look closely, you may notice cavitation forming cavities in a liquid or pitting corrosion that results in small openings in the metal on the surface. All of this points to a slow leak.

While this won’t cause an instant failure, it will cause a poor low-coolant state and enable lubricant protecting the pump’s moving components to escape, ruining the bearing.

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8. Damaged Bearing

Look for a side-to-side motion at the shaft when the engine is off to inspect your bearing’s condition. To ensure that there is no play at all, apply hand force.

Additionally, vibrations originating from your vehicle’s water pump that rumble or shriek point to a damaged bearing.

Moreover, belt misalignment results in severe wear. An overtightened belt places excessive stress on the bearing, hastening wear.

As a result, the lubricator can be washed away by coolant leaking via a faulty mechanical seal and through the bearings.

9. Broken Or Damaged Shaft

Its shaft is damaged or bent. An “instantaneous” breakage brought on by a rapid imbalance or overload is indicated by a clean break.

So, if the fractured shaft is discolored (often blue), the impact was gradual and suggested an excessive heat buildup before the shaft broke—belt misalignment results in severe wear.

Therefore, the shaft is subjected to a strong bending strain from an over-tensioned belt, which can cause shaft bending or initial shaft fracture—excessive vibrations brought on by poor upkeep.

To know more, you can also read our posts on ATV bad ignition coil symptoms, Audi A4 ignition coil failure symptoms, and car AC compressor symptoms.


Overall, when a part of car malfunctions, it’s not always necessary to replace it right away. Unfortunately, a water pump is not one of them since the water pump is essential to keep the engine cool.

Therefore, understanding the symptoms of a faulty water pump is very crucial in avoiding a more severe problem.

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