No matter what the temperature is outside, it's important for your vehicle's engine to remain cool, calm, and collected. Well, cool, anyway. If your vehicle has a gasoline engine, it's powered by a bunch of explosions involving spark plugs, pistons, gasoline, and air. And the by-product of all those things working together? HEAT.
There's a whole cooling system to keep everything at a tolerable temperature for your engine's parts, and a key part of that is the water pump. Technically, it's pumping more than water. It should actually be called the "coolant" pump since the liquid that circulates through the system is a mixture of water and coolant.
Basically, the water pump keeps this coolant moving through your engine, where it picks up the engine heat, and then is pumped into the radiator where it gets rid of that heat. When a water pump fails, the engine heat can build up. When you get a warning light on the dash (either a gauge or a light) that shows the temperature is too high, it could mean a bad water pump.
They can fail for many reasons. They have bearings in them that wear out, as does the seal between the pump and the engine. They're often driven by a belt or chain that can go bad. Corrosion can spell the end of a water pump, too.
If a technician determines your water pump has failed, it's time to replace it. In addition, other components of the cooling system will be inspected. The best way to avoid a water pump failure is regular maintenance of your cooling system which includes regular draining and flushing of the coolant.
Just like it's important for you to keep your cool, the same goes for your vehicle's engine.
West Service Center
904 Cavalier Blvd
Chesapeake, Virginia 23323