Water pumps work very hard to maintain a good working temperature and often succumb to wear and tear over time and will need to be replaced, especially with older engines that have high mileages. We’re going to look at the costs tied up in water pump replacement and signs to look out for that you might need a pump replacement.
How much should a car water pump replacement cost?
When you pay for a replacement water pump you’re not just paying for parts but also for the mechanic to diagnose the issue and fix it. Let’s break down how these costs add up.
Water pump price
On average, a replacement water pump will cost between $50 and $300.
The cost of the water pump replacement itself will vary depending on your car model. For example, a Toyota will have cheaper part costs than a BMW. You should have a good idea of the cost depending on the make of your car.
Water pump repair cost
Calculating the full water pump replacement cost will be difficult until a mechanic has diagnosed the extent of the issue.
The mechanic will charge for diagnosis, the parts required for the fix, removal of the faulty water pump, and the replacement with a new one, as well as replacing any coolant that has leaked and shop supplies. Mechanics on average charge around $80/hour.
If a faulty water pump has caused any damage to the engine this will increase the cost of diagnosis and repairs.
The fix will vary from as little as $200 up to $700, the extent of the damage to the cooling system or engine and the requirement for extra parts will drive the cost up.
Water pump replacement labor hours estimation
Diagnosing a broken water pump earlier will take less time to do, usually taking a competent mechanic no more than two hours. The replacement will generally take no less than an hour and up to three or four hours.
However, if the water pump failure has caused more damage to the car then the mechanic will need more time to assess the extent of the knock-on issues and to fix all of the issues.
How much does it cost to replace both the water pump and belt?
The timing belt helps to synchronize the crankshaft and camshaft in a car engine, meaning that the valves move smoothly and the engine functions properly. A timing belt usually runs for 60-100,000 miles before it will need to be replaced.
If the timing belt malfunctions this can hurt the water pump.
The cost of a water pump and timing belt replacement will vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle and the extent of the damage but a full replacement can cost anywhere between $500-$2,000.
Signs it’s time to replace your car water pump
Let’s go over some signs that may indicate you need to replace your water pump or timing belt, so you can fix the issue before it causes any lasting damage.
Look for leaks
The pump is made up of a set of different seals and gaskets that after time will crack or wear out. After this happens you can expect to see coolant leaks from the cooling system.
To help diagnose the problem, set an old rug or a bit of cardboard down underneath where the water pump sits in your car and leave it overnight. If there has been a build-up of green, pink, orange, or blue liquid, take your car to the shop as soon as possible for further inspection.
If your car is whining when you are accelerating this could be a symptom of a failing timing belt or bad water pump. It’s possible that either has come loose and will need tightening or replacing.
It’s possible that it may not be the pump but one of the many belts in your vehicle’s engine. The serpentine belt for example can cause massive damage if it slips or snaps, so if you hear an uncharacteristic whining it’s best to have it seen to ASAP.
If the water pump leaks then there will be a build-up of rust or gunk on the pump. This can either be caused by a defective pressure cap or by using non-compatible fluid. If left unsolved this can make lead to water pump failure as it becomes poor at moving coolant, eventually causing full engine failure.
This is easy to diagnose by lifting the hood and inspecting the car’s cooling system. If you see any strange build-up or rust around the water pump gasket, then it’s time to get your water pump replaced.
If you’ve noticed the temperature gauge rising this could be a sign of a bad water pump.
An overheating car is dangerous to both you and other drivers as it’s impossible to say how immediate and catastrophic the danger is until a professional inspects it. As soon as you notice it’s overheating you should take it to the shop to be diagnosed.
Can you replace a car water pump yourself?
This all depends on how competent you are around machines. If you are not so sure or have a complex, high-end car model, it’s advisable to take it to a professional.
While attempting it yourself may save on the water pump replacement cost, taking it to a professional will save you from getting the replacement wrong.
However, if you’re competent with mechanical fixes then replacing a water pump is a straightforward task.
Where to find a car water pump repair service near you
Any respectable and reputable car shop near you will employ people who can accurately diagnose and fix a bad water pump.