The proper operation of an automobile’s engine relies heavily on its water pumps. The engine will quickly overheat if it doesn’t have it, and that could lead to expensive and lasting damage. Many car engines have trouble with their water pumps, which is unfortunate. Especially on older, high-mileage engines, a water pump takes a lot of abuse and frequently needs to be replaced. Many motorists must pay for a new water pump in the end.
So, how much does it cost to repair a water pump? What do they do and why are they so critical to the operation of your car’s engine? We’ll look at the cost of a new water pump, answer some frequently asked questions, and provide some useful information.
What Is A Water Pump?
The term “coolant pump” can refer to both the water pump and the one that removes coolant from the engine. An engine’s cooling system would not be complete without one. The water/coolant mixture in an internal combustion engine is pumped around by water pumps. A belt and pulley system attached to the crankshaft powers most water pumps. To keep the engine cool, an impeller inside the water pump is spun to keep it moving.
After that, the coolant and water return to the radiator via the engine. The radiator aids in cooling the water/coolant mixture prior to the water pump and engine being used again. The water pump is as simple as that. Coolant circulates through the engine via a housing with an impeller driven by a belt.
Electric Coolant Pumps
For the most part, water pumps are powered by a belt drive, as are most motors. Electric water pumps, on the other hand, are used by some engines. The crankshaft is not used to drive these. They are, instead, powered by electronic means. Many BMW engines, especially those built between 2005 and 2015, use this design.
We won’t go into all the details here, but one thing is for sure. The fact that electric water pumps are electrically driven means they have an additional point of failure. They’re also usually more expensive. When we talk about how much it costs to replace a water pump, we’ll come back to this.
Bad Water Pump Symptoms
Engine water pump failure symptoms include the following:
- Coolant leaks
- Whining, buzzing, squealing sounds
One of the most common signs of a failing water pump is excessive heat buildup. If your car’s engine starts to overheat, you should stop as soon as possible and find a safe place to park. Otherwise, keep an eye out for steam coming from the engine bay or any other obvious coolant leaks.s.. When the water pump fails, it’s not uncommon for the coolant/water mixture to “boil” out of the tank cap.
The belt or pulley on the coolant pump can also fail. You may hear strange whining, buzzing, or squealing noises if your accessory belt is worn out. Depending on how old the water pump is, it may only need a new belt or pulley.
Can I Drive With A Bad Water Pump?
A lot depends on how bad the water pump failed. Failures of some water pumps aren’t as severe or as disruptive as those of others. You should be able to drive in most situations as long as your engine has coolant and isn’t overheating. Even if you avoid driving excessively, you should still address any water pump issues as soon as you notice them.
However, if the water pump fails completely, all of the coolant will be lost. When this happens, the engine quickly overheats. As soon as you can, find a safe place to stop. Leaving the engine to overheat and resulting in damage to the head gasket is common.
There’s also the possibility of more extensive damage, which will cost more money. Point is, get yourself and your car to a safe place and arrange for towing.
How Long Do Water Pumps Last?
A coolant pump’s life expectancy can also differ greatly. Coolant pumps typically last between 80,000 and 150,000 miles. The water pumps on a few of our BMWs failed before they reached 60,000 miles. Other vehicles in our fleet had water pump lifespans of over 200,000 miles before failing. That just goes to show how drastically different water pumps’ lifespans can be. Especially when it comes to things like the brand, model, year, and so on.
One more thing to consider is the pump’s lifespan. When changing a timing belt on a car engine, it’s a good idea to also replace the water pump. This means there is a lot of duplication of effort because they are often in the same location. Repairing both the water pump and the timing belt at the same time is recommended for models with a less expensive water pump.
Cost of Water Pump Replacement
Finally, we’ll get to the meat of the article. How much does it cost to replace your water pump if and when it breaks down? Again, this is highly variable based on the specific make, model, and year of the vehicle in question. The data and average costs are still available, however, to provide a good estimate. The average cost of a new water pump is around:
- High – $800+
- Average – $450-650
- Low – $200-400
Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and other high-end German automakers command a premium price. BMW water pump replacement costs are not uncommon to be in the $750-1,000+ range. The majority of cars made in the United States and Japan, on the other hand, are rated as being below average.
It’s not always cheaper to buy a certain model of car from one manufacturer than another. A car’s performance is frequently determined by the type of water pump it utilizes and where it is located in the engine bay.
Some are simply easier to get a hold of and can be swapped out more quickly. Also, some water pump replacement parts cost more than others. Regardless, the average cost to repair a water pump ranges between $300 and $700.
Water Pump Repair Cost Breakdown
Water pump replacement costs are heavily influenced by labor and parts. Costs for each of these are summarized in the table below:
- Parts: $100-300
- Labor: $160-500
*Assuming hourly labor costs of between $80.00 and $100.00
It’s worth repeating: prices are subject to wide variations. A retail price for the fuel pump is likely to be charged if your German car is taken to a dealership for repairs. As a result, water pump parts could cost as much as $400 or more.
If they’re charging $125+ per hour by the book, the same logic applies. Some dealerships have quoted parts and labor costs of over $1,000.
Anyway, the cost of a water pump for a typical car engine ranges from $100 to $300, with installation taking anywhere from 2 to 5 hours. At an average hourly rate of $80-100, that’s about $160-500 in labor costs.
Those who can replace a water pump on their own will be able to save a lot of money. Inexperienced mechanics are better off taking their car to a professional repair shop.
Coolant Pump Summary
Cooling and engine operation are made possible by the use of water pumps. In a sense, it’s the beating heart of the cooling system. An engine that doesn’t have a working water pump will quickly overheat and suffer major damage. Unfortunately, many car owners will need to replace their water pump at some point.
Bad water pumps can overheat, steam, leak coolant and make strange noises from the belt or pulley. Overheating is a major symptom that necessitates an immediate stop in a safe location. Before you continue driving, you’ll have to get the water pump fixed.
When it’s time to replace your water pump, the cost can range anywhere from $200 to over $800. Water pump repairs typically cost between $450 and $650 for the majority of vehicles. German vehicles, on the other hand, can easily cost upwards of $800, whereas other vehicles cost as little as $300.
Are you familiar with water pump failures and problems?
How much did it cost you to replace your water pump? Identifying information such as the year, make, model, and so on
Send in a comment to let us and the rest of our audience know what you think.
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