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Old 04-24-2013, 08:46 PM   #1
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Example of how a water pump failed

I've seen a few postings now and then on what to look for in regard to a failing water pump and thought I'd share my experiance.

My first indication was driving in town about a month or two after I bought the car and noticing the temperature was on the back of the 0 in the 180 instead of the back of the 8 of the 180 on the termerature dial.

My second indication was a slight smell of hot antifreeze and the need to top off the coolant tank. Only took a couple of cups and after a few more weeks a couple more. After that it held steady for several months.

My third indication was the slight smell of coolant when I got out of my car yesterday evening and the indication of a slight liquid trail in front of my garage. I checked the fluid and it had no smell so I assumed it was the AC. Might have been too since there was no smell or color to it when I put my finger on it, but thought I would mention it anyway. Maybe I should have tested it tiwh a paper towel to see if it indicated any color.

My forth indication was starting the car the next day. I heard a slight squeal (bearing maybe) that I thought might just be the secondary air pump as it stopped after a 10 - 20 seconds. I'd never heard it before on a startup, so should have paid more attention to it.

My fifth indication a puff of white vapor from the passenger side vent at a stop sign.

My sixth indication was the blinking red light on my temperature gauge indicating low coolant.

My seventh indication was when I stopped and looked at the trail behind my car and the slow puddle appearing under it.

In between the fifth and sixth points my temperature guage was just after the 0 in the 180 mark and at this point I put on the heater. The temp went up past the 0 by about 4 or 5 needle widths then backed on back down to the 0 on the 180 mark. At no point did my car reach the maximum temperature or the red light go on solid.

I had my car towed to my house on a flatbed (thanks AAA) at no cost. Ordered the replacement pump and cap from Suncoast and some replacement spark plug tubes and spark plugs from Pelican Parts (I decided afterwards that I might as well replace them since I was going to be there anyway). This weekend is the weekend to fix it.

1999 Boxster Zenith Blue Metallic/Savanna Beige

Last edited by AKnowles; 04-25-2013 at 07:16 AM. Reason: Forgot a sign ...
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:53 AM   #2
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Check the condition of the pump that failed. If a lot of the impeller vanes are gone, consider reverse flushing the entire cooling system. The pump pieces can clog the very small cooling passages in the head leading to localized overheating and cracking of the head.

Also consider replacing the motor mount. If the car has any serious mileage, it's probably gone and once you get the motor mount out, replacing the water pump is much easier.
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Last edited by san rensho; 04-25-2013 at 04:55 AM.
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:17 AM   #3
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Thanks. I'll keep that in mind. How does a home mechanic reverse flush the system though? Or is it even possible?
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:29 AM   #4
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I was scheduled to go in for the pump replacement one week. Got busy and had to put it off for the following week. And of course it look go that weekend. After 80+K miles... it came down to a few days.

I even stopped by the mechanic's shop to see if he could make out what this new feint sound coming from the engine was. I should have just left it there. I think the fact that the sound was getting louder as the revs were going up should have been an indication that the wp was one of the possible culprits.
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:47 AM   #5
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You got your money's worth out of your old pump!
+1 for doing the motor mount. You are right there and it is not tough to do. You won't believe what a difference it will make!

Spark plugs and tubes are a good idea but kind of a different effort than doing the WP. Not really a "while I'm in there" effort.

What is a "while I'm in there" effort is to consider changing your fuel filter if it hasn't been changed in awhile.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:16 AM   #6
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My water pump is getting replaced this weekend too... Where are you going to get the motor mount? OEM? or aftermarket?

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