Some parts of a car are easily more critical than others. Pat Goss has advice on how to keep a key component from letting you down!

PAT GOSS: We’re joined once more by our online parts expert Mr. Tom Taylor.  Tom welcome back to Goss’ garage.

TOM TAYLOR: Thanks for having me back.

PAT GOSS: Alright, when you come to visit you tell us about the inner workings of some of these parts where you know in my business we deal with them as a whole unit you see some other things. What do you got here?

TOM TAYLOR: Today I have a water pump, and this is a part that’s small but it’s crucial. It circulates the coolant through the radiator and the engine to keep the engine cool. And one way it commonly fails is this is the little wheel that pushes the coolant around, um coolant starts leaking past the seal, the spring loaded seal, that keeps the coolant in the system and gets into this space here. And when it gets there, there’s a hole, a small hole in the water pump called a weep hole that lets that drain out. And you might think you have to add coolant to the radiator periodically just because it’s old, well no it’s leaking out of here and it will likely just get worse. And it might get a lot worse and leave your stranded or overheat the engine and damage the engine. So if you see a stalactite of goo coming out here or a spot of coolant on the ground, it’s time to replace the water pump.

PAT GOSS: We take that a step further in my shop, we look at all of them and even if there isn’t a complaint of a loss of coolant, we look for a white stain coming out of that hole down the front of the engine and that tells us the pump may not be physically leaking onto the ground or anything like that, but the seal is bad and we recommend replacement.

TOM TAYLOR: Sure, yeah, for a while it could just be evaporating away before it gets to the ground. 

PAT GOSS: The other thing we come in contact with of course a water pump like this, this one is driven by the timing belt and of course it’s behind the timing cover and so on, some of these, not all of them, some of them it’s hard to see the weep hole.      

TOM TAYLOR: Right, so that would be something you just replace as part of routine maintenance, versus because by the time you see fluid coming out it’ll be a lot of fluid.  And you’ll be in trouble.

PAT GOSS: And that’s too late. We recommend when we do the timing belt we do a kit with the water pump.     

TOM TAYLOR: Right, they’re considered as part of the timing belt really.


TOM TAYLOR: All of the tensioners and water pump are part of the timing belt replacement.

PAT GOSS: Tom, thank you very much. And if you have a question, or a comment, drop me a line. Right here, at MotorWeek.