Water Pump Function and Water Pump Replacement Costs (USA Average)

Water Pump Function and Water Pump Replacement Costs (USA Average)

The water pump is a centrifugal force engine, which consists of the following parts:

  • main housing body
  • main shaft
  • impeller
  • bearings
  • flange
  • seals
  • gasket

This engine is driven by a belt that connects the crankshaft to the engine, and its main function is to pump coolant when the engine is running in order to prevent excess of heat.

As it leaves the pump, the coolant first flows through the engine block and to the cylinder heads, then it goes to the radiator, and finally returns back to the pump.

The reason why the water pump is of extreme importance is because the engine alone can reach up to 4,500 oF (2,500 oC) inside the engine chamber.

Areas around the exhaust valves are especially crucial to keep in safe temperature levels, as a result, all of the space inside the cylinder heads around the valves that are not needed for structure are filled with coolant.

A failure in the water pump function can enormously affect the engine performance causing seizures when the metal has actually gotten hot enough for the piston, causing it to weld itself to the cylinder, leading to the complete destruction of the engine.



The average replacement cost of a water pump function in the USA is around $300.

A major factor that weighs in the replacement cost is labor cost, which is the time required to process the entire replacement job. This time can approximately be as long as three and a half hours.

Furthermore, depending on the damage, there can be additional parts that need to be replaced, those being:

  • the timing belt,
  • the camshaft seals,
  • the belt tensioner,
  • or the coolant and fan belts

In addition to that, the overall cost of replacement will vary according to the car model.

The pump price range will fluctuate between $50 to more than $200.

If you include all the previous expenses, like

  • labor cost,
  • average replacement cost of a water pump

This will give a total average of $300.

Keep in mind that prices may vary, from $150 to more than $600, depending on the car model, location, amount of work involved, and labor charges incurred.

Water Pump Replacement Processwater pump

The process you pay for consists of:

  • Waiting until the engine is cool before performing any procedure
  • Removing the belt drive components following the vehicle’s specifications
  • Removing the hose attached to the water pump
  • Loosening the bolts to remove the old water pump
  • Removing the old seal/gasket
  • Cleaning the insides and inspecting whether the other cooling system service parts are in good condition:
    • coolant hoses,
    • thermostat
    • pressure cap(s)
  • Installing the new water pump properly (replacing old gaskets and seals)
  • Tightening the bolts evenly to the manufacturer’s specifications
  • Re-attaching the hose
  • Refilling the cooling system with the recommended coolant
  • Rotating the pump and ensuring it rotates freely
  • Ensuring the good condition of the belt drive system that will drive the new water pump
  • Performing a final visual inspection to ensure there are no leaks after the cooling system refills
  • It is expected that some leaks will become obvious when the engine is cold, but others only when it is hot.

What’s Next

Keep in mind that the average water pump handles 1.7 million liters of coolant in a four-year timeframe, which equals to 100,000 km (62,000 miles).

Nevertheless, it is important to check the water pump at each service interval.

The ‘standard time’ for installing a belt kit usually includes the adjustment of a water pump. Therefore, a decision to change the belt now, but not to replace the water pump at the same time, assumes that the water pump will last for another complete duty cycle of the belt.

It is recommended to change water pumps whenever belt kits are fitted as well as having the old gaskets replaced with new ones.

Your local mechanic can do a simple test that takes a reading of your transmission fluids to let you know if there is a problem with it or if it is time to change it. Expert technicians can also help you determine if your transmission fluid needs to be changed, or if your transmission needs a more specialized kind of service.

Each car can be compared to a whole world, so if you still have any doubts that are more specific in regards to your car’s water pump function, please visit our website so we can help you out with providing further information and recommend a specialist near your area.


Bryce Newell is an automotive enthusiast who loves to write about the latest news, products, and DIY projects. While Bryce is an amateur in the field, he is passionate about cars and has been since he spent weekends in the garage helping his dad rebuild a 68 Dodge Charger as a kid.

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