Q: How can I tell when my water pump is going to fail?
A: Every water pump has something called a weep hole. Normally the weep hole is sealed by a gasket, but as the water pump begins to wear, the gasket will erode. As a result coolant will begin to dribble out of the hole. This is very serious and indicative that the water pump is no longer able to do its job. If coolant should leak out of this hole while the engine is idling, you're best course of action is to head to the closest mechanic immediately. You risk overheating your engine and doing irreparable damage to it otherwise.
The water pump operates on centrifugal force. In the center hollow of the pump is the axle on the inside of the pump, connected to a series of vanes, which turn along with the axle. This turning motion creates suction, pulling water from the radiator. The water reaches the pump and is thrown against the exterior walls of the pump by the power of the vanes which are generating the centrifugal force. As the water circles against the outer wall, it presses down a drain, which sends the water into the engine block. From there it passes into the cylinder heads, and drains back into the radiator for the process to repeat itself.
Using the Correct Fluids in Your VehiclePosted May 8, 2012 10:05 AM
Today's post focuses on using the proper fluids for your vehicle. Big advances in automotive technology have lead to the development of high-tech fluids to keep pace. Some because of engineering advances and others are advances in the materials used to build vehicle's automotive systems.
A simple example of this is the cooling system. For decades it was primarily made out of iron, steel, and rubber hoses. There was one kind of coolant that protected these components from corrosion.
Now cooling system components are made with various metal alloys and plastics. These materials require different additives to protect them from corrosion. Since the materials used vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, we now have a number of different kinds of coolant.
And it’s important that Tucson car owners use the right coolant. If you pour in the wrong kind, it won’t protect the cooling system and may even void the warranty. Check your owner’s manual for the correct fluid for your vehicle. Of course, your BRAKEmax Car Car Centers advisor will know the proper coolant to use as well.
Brake fluid is confusing for some drivers. Back when we opened shop in 1997, most vehicles used Dot 3 brake fluid. Now we have Dot 4 and Dot 5. Some Tuconans mistakenly think the higher numbers are an upgrade. You know, if 3 is good then 4 must be better. That’s not how it works. They are different formulations to meet the demands of differences in brake systems. Only one of them is recommended for your vehicle and normally cannot be interchanged.
Transmission fluid is the same thing. For decades there were two basic types of tranny fluid used at BRAKEmax Car Car Centers: friction modified or not. With the tremendous engineering advances in automatic transmissions, there have been several new types of fluids developed to protect and lubricate them.
Nowhere are the advances in automotive fluids more evident to motorists and BRAKEmax Car Car Centers professionals than in motor oil. Many new weights and formulations have been created to meet the demands of today’s modern engine design. Modern engines have more parts and much tighter tolerances. Every year, engines make more power and get better fuel economy. And with all the complication and sophistication, they still have to be durable.
That’s where the new grades of engine oil come in. They have to be formulated to lubricate, protect and clean all of those engine parts, big and little. The oil has to be thin enough to get into little passages, yet resistant to vaporization.
At BRAKEmax Car Car Centers, we believe that in some ways modern automotive fluids are just as great feats of engineering as the new engines. Because weights of oil and types of coolant and transmission fluid are so carefully matched to the vehicle, take care to always use the proper fluid if you are topping off at home.
Check your owner’s manual or ask your service advisor. The wrong fluid can cause damage. If you drive a car or truck with 75,000 miles or more, consider high mileage formulations. These fluids contain extra detergent to clean dirtier older engines as well as additives to condition seals and gaskets. That’ll help prevent leaks. Always be sure that the high mileage fluid is the same weight or type of fluid recommended for your vehicle.