- 1 4 mistakes even professionals can make when installing a water pump
4 mistakes even professionals can make when installing a water pump
Water pumps are usually quite reliable. On a modern engine, a water pump often lasts longer than a car.
However, despite their reliability, craftsmen often recommend replacing the water pump during routine maintenance. It is considered cheaper to replace the water pump than to let it fail. When replacing a water pump, even the most experienced technician can make a mistake that causes the pump to fail prematurely.
Here are the most common mistakes even a professional can make when installing a water pump.
1/ Dry rotation of the pump.
“Mechanical” sealing inside the water pump is created by the constant flow of fluid inside the pump itself. When the coolant flows through the water pump without air bubbles, this mechanical seal remains intact. Introducing pauses or interruptions in the coolant (usually air) can damage or overheat this mechanical seal, which can cause a chain of other problems.
For this reason, when re-filling the coolant circuit after replacing the pump, many owner’s manuals recommend manually cranking the pump until it is completely full. This “charging” of the circuit can reduce the chance of losing the mechanical seal.
2/ Bad seals.
Faulty seals are the most common cause of failure. Improper seating, a misaligned gasket, or a damaged seal can mean the water pump is operating inefficiently or, worse, experiencing excessive stress.
Another common problem is improper installation. Also can cause immediate leakage from the mounting surface.
Usually the handyman will use the manufacturer’s recommended o-ring, and then can “top it off” with a set of gaskets or sealing paste. It is important to remember that the reuse of old seals is not allowed.
Be sure to follow the recommendations: sealing of the tube, proper application, and allowing sufficient time for the seal to dry are major factors in success. Failure to do so can lead to seal problems. If excess sealant is applied to the gasket and it gets into the coolant system and pump shaft seal, it can cause seal damage in seconds.
3 /Incorrectly aligned belt components.
A misaligned belt that does not fully engage the water pump pulley is another problem because it can put excessive pressure on the pulley and shaft.
The drive belt for the water pump can be the timing belt/chain for the car or the serpentine/auxiliary belt. If any of these are not installed correctly, if other components that are driven by the belt are jammed or have rotation problems, the water pump performance can be affected! Eventually lead to failure.
4/The coolant does not match.
Improper coolant, or poor quality coolant, which is more common, can cause water pump problems. Contaminated coolant or coolant with the wrong chemistry can cause seal damage, corrosion and more. Abrasive particles and engine oils are the most common contaminants that damage the water pump. When flushing the coolant, it is important to drain it completely and use the proper replacement fluid.