Maximizing the Lifespan of Your Water Pump
The water pump is the heart of your engine’s cooling system, and keeping it in tip-top shape is important to the lifespan of your car. Manufacturers design water pumps to last the life of the vehicle, so as long as the regular maintenance is performed, it should stick with you until the end of days.
To make sure this happens – or to at least ensure that the water pump lasts from one timing belt change to the next (a common water pump replacement interval) – there are several things you can do.
The #1 way to keep your water pump healthy is to have regular maintenance performed on your cooling system. Here’s what’s included in this inspection:
- A visual inspection of all cooling system components: belts, hoses, radiator, and water pump.
- A radiator cap pressure test to be sure that the cooling system is running at expected pressures.
- A thermostat check to make sure the system is functioning at the right temperatures.
- A pressure test and/or dye test to check for leaks in the system.
- A cooling fan check in to ensure proper operation.
Your engine’s coolant should be changed at regular intervals. Manufacturer recommendations will usually range from 3 to 5 years or 50,000 to 100,000 miles. In areas with more severe hot or cold weather, that interval may be more frequent. Check your owner’s manual for specifics, but the flush of your coolant should coincide with a thermostat, radiator pressure, or other test (as above) for simplicity.
Use Quality Coolant
Finally, be sure to only use quality engine coolant and to mix with distilled water (not plain tap or hose water) when replacing your antifreeze. When flushing your cooling system, use only distilled water as well. This avoids any heavy minerals that are present in non-distilled water, which can cause corrosion or build-up in your cooling system. Deposits on your water pump, for example, can damage the shaft seal and cause it to fail early.
If your water pump doesn’t manage to make it through the life of your vehicle, make sure you get an OEM quality replacement, like one sold by GMB.