The water pump gasket is used to seal the mounting surface of the water pump to the engine block. It will usually take the same shape as the outer edge of the pump and contour to the inside to prevent leaks anywhere around the mounting surface. Virtually all engines with liquid cooling use this item, and have been using it since the invention of the liquid cooled engine. Most water pump gaskets are made of either a paper-like material, or a rubber-fiber or silicone material, but this depends on the brand and which application it's used on. Be sure to check a service manual for the proper part.
The most likely failure for a water pump gasket
is a hole caused by pressure or eventual wear of the part. A mechanic will be able to tell if there's a leak because water will literally be dripping from between the pump and the engine block, leaving a puddle underneath the vehicle. While this may not present an immediate problem while driving, should it continue to develop, eventually the cooling system will experience a loss in pressure and the inability to cool the engine properly. There wouldn't be any noticeable smell since it's just water, however for systems that use special coolants, you may notice an odor if it's leaking. If you notice a puddle under your car, it's best to have the problem diagnosed by a certified mechanic. If it turns out that the water pump gasket needs to be replaced, it's best to replace it as soon as possible. They are usually inexpensive and relatively simple to replace on most vehicles. Delaying the replacement could cause worse problems and more damage down the line. An engine that overheats can cause a high amount of damage and a high cost for repairs.
Replacing the water pump gasket is usually simple and straightforward.
- The first thing you must do is find where this part is located on your vehicle. Typically, it's belt-driven, and it looks like a chunk of metal protruding from the block with a seam in the middle. There is also usually a pulley that rides on the belt.
- The next step in the replacement is to take off the belt. You'll need to loosen the belt tensioner to accomplish this.
- Once the belt is off, unbolt the pump from the block. There are typically several bolts around the perimeter of it. Be sure you've removed them all and place them somewhere they won't get lost.
- Pull the pump away from the block and you'll see the gasket. Take out and replace the water pump gasket with a new one.
- Re-bolt the pump back on and reattach the belt to the pulleys.
With a newly installed water pump gasket, your engine's cooling system will be running at optimum efficiency, unless other parts need to be replaced too, of course. Getting this job done when it's required will provide peace of mind while driving and comfort knowing your engine cooling is in great shape. Car Parts Discount has a wide selection of engine cooling parts, including water pump gaskets, for a wide range of vehicles at the lowest prices possible. Simply enter your vehicle information at the top of the page and browse the Cooling section to see what's available for your vehicle.