What Does a Water Pump Do in a Car?

December 4, 2023

A water pump is one of the most vital cooling system components in your vehicle. They work to circulate coolant throughout the engine and radiator so your car's engine doesn't overheat. It is a simple centrifugal pump that draws coolant into the center of the pump and uses the force from spinning vanes to fling the coolant outward toward the edges. The coolant travels through the engine block and cylinder head, into the radiator, and back to the water pump. This happens every time the engine is running.

Typically, your serpentine belt or accessory drive will spin the pulley on your water pump. This causes the bearing to move and the internal impeller to spin. Coolant is drawn in through the water pump's inlet and passes through an impeller that flings it around your car's engine and radiator. As the liquid travels, it is cooled and sent back to the water pump to begin the process again.

Your engine needs to be circulating its coolant continuously in order for it to remain at a normal operating temperature. When your car's water pump fails, it will not be able to do its job and the engine could overheat. This can lead to cracked cylinder heads, bent valves, or even complete engine damage if not corrected quickly.

The water pump is a fairly complicated component that requires professional replacement to ensure your vehicle has a smooth ride. Our Fair Price Estimator can provide you with a water pump replacement estimate that is honored at thousands of repair facilities nationwide.


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