Water Pump

What is a Water Pump?

In the internal combustion engine, the burning of fuel generates a lot of heat. For an engine, a little heat is a good thing, as it helps to vaporize the fuel, burning it more efficiently. Too much of a good thing starts to cause problems, if unregulated, so the engine cooling system transfers heat from the engine to the atmosphere, also the cabin on cold days.

It is the job of the coolant, a blend of water and alcohol, to accomplish heat transfer. In the engine, by the cylinders, engine coolant absorbs heat, which it releases through the radiator, but it doesn’t flow on its own. The engine coolant pump, typically referred to simply as “water pump,” keeps coolant flowing to manage heat transfer and engine temperatures.

How Does the Water Pump Work?

When the engine is running, the water pump is usually driven by one of the accessory drive belts or the timing belt. The water pump is a centrifugal pump, producing high flow but little pressure. Coolant flow is regulated by the thermostat to keep the engine within a safe and efficient temperature range. At idle, the water pump can move a half-gallon of coolant per second. At its maximum operation, it can move over two gallons per second!

The water pump works a little differently in hybrid cars and electric vehicles. Because the engine isn’t always running in a hybrid and there is no engine in an electric vehicle, these use an electric water pump to manage coolant flow and component temperature, such as in the electric motors-generators, battery packs, and hybrid battery. Ignoring water pump problems, such as fluid leaks or abnormal noises, could lead to expensive engine or component failures.

What can Dobbs Tire & Auto Centers Do for You?

When it comes to maintaining your engine cooling system, including the water pump, hoses, and radiator, Dobbs Tire & Auto Centers has the tools and experience you need. If you’ve noticed a coolant leak, abnormal noise, or you are experiencing temperature problems, a quick inspection could be all that’s needed to determine the cause and come up with repair options. Taking care of water pump problems right away can save you time and money in the future.

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