Signs of a Bad Water Pump: Can You Drive a Car with a Bad Water Pump

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A bad water pump can be a cause for concern to many car owners and so in today’s article, we are going to look at the signs of a bad water pump. This will help you learn how to tell if water pump is bad in your vehicle.

I will also respond to the query “can you drive a car with a bad water pump”?  and some other common questions relating to water pump problems and failure.

So let’s get started and we are starting off the post with, what does a water pump do in a car?

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What does a water pump do in a car?

The water pump in the car is very crucial as it is responsible for supplying liquids from the radiator to the engine. The essence of a water pump in the car is to maintain a consistent operating temperature. When the water pump is bad, the engine overheats, which can cause further damage to your vehicle.

So let’s get started with this article

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Signs of a Bad Water Pump: Can You Drive a Car with a Bad Water Pump?

When a water pump is bad, there are signs it comes with. Once these symptoms surfaces, it time to change the water pump in the car. The bad water pump symptoms should not be neglected however before replacing your water pump, want to know how far you can drive with a blown water pump so you are sure not to be causing more problem to your car.

Can You Drive a Car with a Bad Water Pump?

Now, the big question is can you drive a car with a bad water pump? The answer to this question is not an emphatic yes and no answer. And that is because it is possible to start the car, run it or move it to the nearest auto engineer fix. However, it not advisable to keep driving a car with a bad water pump because it can lead to overheating which will eventually result in complete damage of your car engine. if this happens you can no longer turn on and more beside fixing an engine problem is not something your wan to be doing. usually, it will require you to buy a new engine, perform an expensive repair on the engine by an expert mechanic or buy a fairly used engine to replace the damaged one.

A car with a bad water pump can start and move but, cannot cover much mileage. With a bad water pump, the engine misfires, and you get to see other issues associated with a bad water pump.

With a bad water pump in a car, certainly, the car will move but, if you do not act fast by replacing it, it can cause the engine system to fail.

When the water pump fails, the force for coolant goes away thereby allowing the water in the engine to heat up very quickly causing the engine to overheat and finally fail.

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How to tell if water pump is pumping

It is not normal for a car engine to suddenly start overheating. When the engine’s cooling system is not working optimally, the car will start experiencing engine overheating.

Signs of a bad water pump| Bad water pump symptoms

When you notice any of below bad water pump symptoms or signs, know that it is time to take your car to an auto shop for water pump change or you can do it yourself. You watch the video below see how you can water pump yourself.

so here are the common symptoms of a bad water pump:

  • #1. Smoke or steam coming out from the radiator.

The first signs of a bad water pump are smoking or stream gushing out from the radiator. This is a common symptom of a bad water pump. Smoke from the radiator happens when the damaged engine near the fan of the pump is not working. Smoke coming out from the radiator is quite serious. When this happens, do not try restarting the car. Allow the engine to cool off before further actions would be carried out. You may be wondering if a bad water pump can cause white smoke?  Well the answer is yes. Sometimes the type of smoke from radiator could be white in colour or the normal dark smoke.

  • #2. Engine overheating:

One of the obvious signs that a water pump is not working is engine overheating. A bad water pump is a big concern as it will never allow the engine to cool off, therefore causing it to overheat.

  • #3. Temperature gauge not normal.

The next bad water pump symptom is an irregular temperature gauge. Basically, the temperature gauge is supposed to keep things in check. A bad water pump will never allow the temperature gauge work fine. Through the temperature gauge is where you can easily check if the engine cooling system is intact. When the needle in the temperature gauge is running back and returning front, that means, the temperature gauge is not working which usually happens when the water pump is damaged.

  • #4. Coolant leak at the front center of your car:

A coolant leak happens when the gaskets and other seals start wearing out or are completely damaged. Ideally, these gaskets and seals ensures that the flow of coolant is consistently delivered from the radiator to the engine. A coolant leak is a common symptom of a bad water pump. Once you notice there is a coolant leak, they appear in either green or red in colour, quickly visit an auto mechanic to get your water pump replaced.

  • #5. Unusual sound:

And the signs of a bad water pump is unusual sound coming out from the car. When the water pump pulley is loosed, it begins to make some strange sound. The sound occurs when there is a loosed belt or the bearings fails inside the water pump. When the bearings fail inside the water pump, it requires you get a new water pump ASAP.

There are very common symptoms to show that a water pump is damaged or has started wearing out. However, some signs might not be a symptom of a bad water pump but, can cause anxiety. One of the signs is a check engine light. A check engine light comes on for a reason. When the check engine light is on, it indicates something is not functioning well and needs to be fixed.

So will a bad water pump cause the check engine light to come on?

There’re different reasons for a check engine light to display on the car dashboard. One may then ask will a bad water pump cause check engine light.

When the car engine is overheating, it can cause engine misfiring and a check engine light to turn on.

A check engine light is not completely caused by a bad water pump. When the check engine light is on, it is important you run proper diagnosis to decipher the exact problem. Although a check engine light is an indicator, sometimes, the light could be a minor issue. Taking your car to an auto mechanic or using a computer to run a proper scan will be able to rule out if the check engine light is caused by a bad water pump. see this article for more details of what could bring about check engine light coming on.

Can a bad water pump cause overheating

A good water pump ensures that the cooling system operation is normal. When the water pump is good, it draws the coolant out of the radiator and pushes it to the engine. A typical bad water pump will cause overheating. Driving an overheating engine can be hazardous and can cause more damages.

Conclusion on bad water pump and signs of a bad water pump

The water pump in a car is an important component, driving a car with a bad water pump is never encouraged. Symptoms of overheating and smoke/steam coming out from the radiator, requires immediate action. When the engine system overheats, it might get the top gasket damaged. Sometimes, if the water pump is completely bad, it may lead to a complete engine failure.

Replacing a bad water pump in a car is the solution and not thinking of managing the condition. When replacing a bad water pump, it is advisable you seek the services of an auto mechanic that will not only fix the water pump but, also run checks on the entire engine system.

So the question goes back to you, can you drive a car with a bad water pump?

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