The pulleys and drive belts on a car help to ensure that everything is getting the power it needs. Without these components working properly, a car will usually not be able to run at all. The water pump pulley on a car helps to provide the power that this part needs to push the coolant through the engine. Every time that your car is cranked, the water pump pulley will have to spin freely in order for the car’s cooling system to work properly. Without a freely spinning pulley, it would be impossible for the water pump to do the job that it is intended.

The water pump pulley on a car is intended to last a lifetime, but there are a variety of issues that can lead to this part having to be replaced. There is usually a pressed bearing in the middle of the water pump where the water pump shaft will go. In some instances, the guard that is over this bearing will bust loose and cause all of the grease inside of the bearing to leak out. This will lead to the bearing completely seizing up and being unable to spin with the pulley. Rather than trying to replace just the bearing in the pulley, it will be much easier to have the whole pulley changed out.

Attempting to do this type of repair on a car without the right level of experience can create a variety of additional issues. Taking notice of the warning signs that your car will give when there is a problem with the water pump pulley will help to reduce the amount of damage that is done.

Here are some of the warning signs that you may notice when there are problems with your water pump pulley:

  • The drive belt on the car is showing sudden signs of wear
  • There is a screeching noise when the engine is running
  • Pieces of the pulley are missing

If any of the above symptoms are present with your vehicle, have a certified mechanic replace the bad water pump pulley to eliminate any further complications.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does a Water Pump Pulley Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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