How to Check to See If Water Pump Is Bad

by Jennifer Patterson
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Water pumps push coolant through a vehicle's cooling system, using a fan belt or a timing belt. Water pumps can become faulty over time. There are usually signs that it's going bad. If the problem is fixed in time, you can avoid costly repairs. You can check for a bad water pump in a few simple steps.

Signs of a Bad Water Pump

Step 1

Look for leaks from under the vehicle. When a water pump is going bad, one of the first signs is leaking coolant. Inspect the areas around the radiator and hoses for signs of leaking. If there is leaking, consult a mechanic immediately.

Step 2

Determine if there is overheating. Overheating is a sign that the water pump is leaking and needs immediate attention. Check the temperature gauge on the dashboard to see if it has risen into the hot zone. Also check to see if steam is rising from the engine.

Step 3

Look for pools of green fluid under your vehicle. This is another sign that the water pump is bad. After pulling out of a parking spot, check to see if a green fluid is on the ground underneath the vehicle.

Step 4

Listen for unusual sounds coming from the vehicle while driving. If you hear a whining sound coming from the heating or cooling vents, that indicates that there is a problem with the water pump.

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