Water Pump: The Heart of Your Cooling System

Your cooling system is an important part of your engine. It circulates coolant through the radiator and engine to protect your car from overheating. There are five main components to the cooling system, the radiator, the radiator cap, the hoses, the thermostat, and the water pump.

The water pump is a small pump that is driven by the engine with a belt, chain, or gear.  The water pump only operates when the engine’s running. Water pumps can fail, usually within 100 thousand miles.  Some start failing much sooner. Consult your owners’ manual or speak with your local Kalispell service technician to figure out the recommended maintenance schedule for your cooling system.

Water pumps fail in one of two ways. The bearings fail or they begin to leak. It’s possible to have a leak from a cracked water pump, but it usually leaks at the gasket where it attaches to the engine. If you can hear a low-pitched grinding sound coming from the water pump, you know your pump is damaged. If you notice that coolant has spilled out in that area, you know you have a leak.

Most vehicles today include timing belt that drives the water pump. The water pump might be covered by plastic, which means you can’t see it. Look for coolant on the driveway. If you see some, you will need to bring it into Loren’s Auto to have it inspected and potentially replaced. Most timing belts need to be changed at 60 thousand miles. It’s a good idea to change your water pump at the same time that you have your timing belt replaced, because 90 percent of the work is already done once the timing belt is removed. If you wait to change the pump and develop a leak later, you will have to change the belt again anyway. Leaking coolant contaminates the timing belt.

You can replace your water pump with a new one or with a rebuilt pump. A rebuilt timing belt can save you a decent amount of money, but it’s a good idea to consult with your technician to see what he or she thinks. Your water pump will wear out eventually, one way or another, and with preventative maintenance you can avoid causing more damage than necessary.



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Steve Waatti
Steve Waatti
17:44 05 Apr 18
Best Shop in town. Very clean and well organized. No extra BS charges or anything fishy. Full vehicle inspections with oil changes. Very knowledgeable crew. I bring all my personal and company vehicles to Loren's. Highly recommended.
Ricky Chevy
Ricky Chevy
21:04 15 Jan 18
Excellent service!! We are from Wisconsin and found Loren's on the web. They were able to fly in a new front axle and get us on the road in just 3 days at a very reasonable price. A quick follow up visit for adjustments allowed us to continue our vacation as planned. Absolutely recommend them. Mark was personable and knowledgeable, they offered a shuttle service and John was a great technician for our Xterra!!
Hallie K
Hallie K
02:04 06 Jan 18
This was the best car repair shop I have ever done business with. For being a young woman, who honestly doesn’t know a ton about cars, they were very thorough in explaining things and I trusted that they weren’t trying to rip me off based off my lack of knowledge or me being a young girl. Too many times have mechanics/car maintenance men try and rip me off. Once someone tried to charge me $180 for an oil change! Ridiculous. But not with these guys. They were awesome. My car broke down at a horrible time when I was busy with work and about to go on vacation. I had my car towed there and didn’t have time to stop by. They inspected it very soon after that, and got ahold of me. Then I was out of town for a couple weeks and they let me keep my car there. Even when I got back they had put it in the shop the night before so all the snow would melt. They were very friendly and even have a complimentary shuttle service when needed. I wish I could give the names of all the people who helped! Chad was awesome and answered all my questions and my dads when he called from a state away haha! The young girl who picked me up from the shuttle was super nice and has good people skills. If I ever have car problems again they will definitely be who I go to. Thanks guys!
Monica Taylor
Monica Taylor
21:37 08 Nov 17
Lorens never disappoints! They continually meet above my expectations. They met competitive rates, they have been upfront with charges and even gave me a loaner vehicle while doing their repairs. I will only ever use this shop. Mark at service desk is amazing and very knowledgeable!
Erika Myhre
Erika Myhre
14:03 29 Aug 17
I'm out here in West Glacier on vacation. During the trip, we hit a pothole and the exhaust started making a loud noise. We figured a hole had rusted open or something similar. We called Loren's Auto Repair to get it checked out, and they were awesome with recommendations. They let us explain the issue and then confirmed what we thought it was. They weren't able to get us in before we left, but they were kind enough to suggest a mechanic in town that possibly could squeeze us in. This conversation was a sign of trust and good business. The prices they quoted were fair and had excellent customer service. Thanks!
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