A failing water pump usually happens when you need your car the most: driving to work or church with the family, for example. BMWs are built with the finest materials and processes, giving them a long life to their owners, but you cannot forget that they are machines. They will tend to break down if not properly maintained. We will discuss the reasons your BMW’s water pump fails and who to call in Kalamazoo for diagnosing and repairing the failure.
The Purpose of a Water Pump
Your BMWs water pump serves an essential function. It is a type of centrifugal pump that is powered by your car’s engine and driven by a belt. Fan style blades inside the pump drive the water and coolant mix throughout the engine and transmission cooling lines to keep your car from overheating.
If your BMWs water pump fails, the engine’s temperature will continue to rise from friction until the engine seizes. The importance of stopping and turning your car off as soon as you find any overheating can not be overstated. Once a BMW engine seizes, you have turned a several thousand dollar motor into a large paperweight.
Luckily, most BMWs come with a reactive display that lets you know right away when the temperature rises past a safe point.
Signs of Water Pump Failure
Water pumps normally fail over a long period of time. There is one exception we will discuss, but for the most part, there are ways to know if your water pump is failing in plenty of time to have it replaced.
- Grinding Noises: Each water pump is equipped with a bearing that allows the fan portion to turn smoothly. When the bearing begins to fail, you will hear a grinding sound from under the hood.
- Temperature Rise: If a temperature rise triggers your high temp alarm, you may very well have a water pump issue. At this point, the only way to tell is to have a trained BMW technician complete an inspection on the car’s cooling system to determine the root cause of overheating.
- Steam from Radiator: Steam rising from under your hood is a sure sign you have a cooling problem. In older BMWs, this might be your first warning of a problem.
Why Water Pumps Fail
Water pumps have a simple design and typically last for years. Normal wear and tear will eventually cause a water pump failure. BMW recommends the water pump needs replacing every 80,000 miles on most models. Some BMW water pumps have plastic components as part of their design that can lead to these parts wearing faster than other types made of metal.
Some vehicles last longer, and some a shorter time. The care of scheduled maintenance will impact the longevity of water pumps. Below are a few reasons for a water pump failure.
- Contaminated Coolant: The coolant in your BMW needs inspection and replacement as a scheduled service. Once coolant becomes contaminated with small grains of shavings and other debris, it will damage a water pump.
- Drive Belt Too Tight: Having a drive belt too tight is the one factor that will cause a water pump to fail. If the water pump’s bearing has too much pressure placed on it, it will fail in a short period of time.
- Warped Housing: A water pump housing and even an engine can slightly warp if it has ever overheated enough. This can cause a water pump to leak as a tight seal will not happen between it and the engine.
Have Your BMW Serviced
Prolonging the life of your water pump and other BMW components is not a form of magic. Simply adhering to the manufacturer’s preventive recommendations will add years to your BMWs life. Trained and certified technicians provide inspections during servicing that will find problematic issues with your water pump before they become a serious and expensive repair.
If you think your water pump shows signs of failure or if you wish to place your BMW on a service plan to catch issues and keep your car on the road, contact us at Master Mechanics Auto Repair. Our excellent staff provides quality and professional repair services in the Battle Creek, Portage, and Kalamazoo, MI area. Call us today for an appointment.