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Author Topic: How to spot a water pump failure- with pics.  (Read 30172 times)
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rbarrios
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« on: February 05, 2012, 08:02:28 PM »

You can spot a slow leak by looking for signs of dexcool leaking and drying on the timing chain cover.
Heres an example- note the trail of dry coolant (white residue).


Another thing to look for is the signs of coolant being flung by the spinning water pump pulley.


Another sign to look for is drops of coolant that has not dried.


Another sign of the leak is a little more severe- drops of coolant on the floor. (the other spot was much bigger- about 8 inches wide).
This is only 1 drop


And- if you have a much bigger leak- signs of coolant on the vehicle.









here are shots-- with the wheel turned outward-- you can clearly see coolant




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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2012, 08:15:52 PM »

Most people report no failure until theyre in the shop for something else- and the dealers tells them its leaking.

Others- will leak for a while- and suddenly fail. Some leak- and are pressure tested and pass- only to fail a while later.

In my case- it was pretty quick.
Mileage- 39,400.

From one of the pics above its possible it has leaked for a few days.
But it cant be more than a week old. I checked it (visually) last week- yup- I get down and look at that area often.
I drove the vehicle about 100 miles yesterday- and there was no coolant on the driveway. I also smelled nothing.

Today I visited my sister- and strangely- we HEARD the failure. It sounded like bad bearings. Like an alternator going bad(if anyone is familiar with that sound). It lasted for about 30 seconds- went away- and then came back....
At that point I popped the hood- and looked under the car- to see the 2 round signs of coolant- oily looking spots (at 1st I thought- PS pump?).
The noise then went away. I drove home about 2 miles and took the pics above.
The coolant reservoir was at the FULL mark.
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2012, 08:27:38 PM »

Sorry to read about this.  Thanks for the information and as always your photographs are perfect!  You rbarrios ROCK!  thumbs up
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2012, 10:17:51 PM »

That's too bad.  That is definitely an early failure.  Is the the water pump is covered under the 5yr/100,000 warranty right? 

I'm sure you will keep us posted on the details of the repair.  Not something I want to read 1.5 weeks before I embark on a 5,000km trip.
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2012, 10:48:31 PM »

I just topped up my coolant this weekend.  The Traverse had sat for 2 days without being driven, so I did my fluid checks.  I added about 1/2 a cup to the overflow tank.  Not much, but where did that 1/2 cup go? 
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2012, 10:58:37 PM »

By the way....you had me going there for a minute....I was really certain these were some pics you dug up on the internet....there is no way rbarrios Traverse is that DIRTY underneath!!! Must have been a rough week!  Grin
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2012, 11:31:34 PM »


 not sure if the water pump would be covered under the 5year/100,000 mile warrenty

rbarrios excellent pics of the leak on your water pump leak , hope GM covers this small item under their warranty
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2012, 11:46:10 PM »

my traverse got dirty- when I drove up to the snow about a month ago. didnt drive thru snow- but there was alot of dirty water/muddy leftovers.

The water pump should be covered under the powertrain...100K
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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2012, 09:10:45 AM »

Nice info
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2012, 12:45:39 PM »

Well- they must be driving it to a service bay or something---
I Just received my Onstar email.... so I know the vehicle has been started.

I dropped the car off at the dealer at 530-545 am.
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2012, 02:26:07 PM »

just got a call. 11:15 am.
Water pump fixed. 
I dropped it off at 545 am.
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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2012, 03:36:44 PM »

my traverse got dirty- when I drove up to the snow about a month ago. didnt drive thru snow- but there was alot of dirty water/muddy leftovers.


Can you imagine what happens to the vehicles that HAVE to drive through snow and salt!

In freezing temps.

You have it SO GOOD, count your blessings.
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2012, 11:02:24 PM »

Complaint- Cooling Concern, Customer states vehicle leaking coolant.
Cause- Vehicle leaking coolant, Pressure test cooling system. Found water pump leaking.
Correction- Replace water pump.

The pump that was removed was GM 12566029 As stamped on the pump- visible in pics.
Paperwork shows the replacement pump as part # 12637479.

Heres the failed part--- the weep hole is visible. I spun the pump- felt smooth.  So I dont know what the noise I heard was?





I went home and looked over the job-
I figured they had to somehow drain or suck out the coolant so it wouldnt leak when they removed the water pump.
there was no sign of a massive leak from the pump- from it being removed. But there was signs of coolant in the area below the radiator cap. (could be they overfilled? or some was spilled while removing it.... but this isnt of concern. Ive drained out coolant before and also end up with similar results. This will probably wash away with tommorrows rain). This is looking from the top of engine down.. and from the bottom looking up



To get to the radiator cap- they have to remove the big plastic shield. You can see the fasteners were removed.
This one took a little bit of damage. scuffs.



the pump installed. You can see the white sealant on the pump




So I always thought they removed the tire and wheel well liner completely to do the pump...But upon closer inspection of the fasteners...
theyre all dirty-- no signs of them being removed.





But I finally figured out how they did it. towards the bottoms- theres a piece of plastic that is bent... these fasteners showed signs of being removed
So it appears that if the vehicle is on a lift--- the person working from undeneath- can remove these fasteners- and have access to the pump.
(I think if youre at home-- you would have to remove tire and wheel well--- or remove tire and sort of follow their example of loosening the flap).



In this shot- you can see that theres signs of the Lower A-Arm getting 'cleaned'-- proabably by their shirt as they performed the repair. (leading edge).



I then sprayed a little simple green- and wiped down the area- so that I can have a reference- in case more coolant leaks.



the reservoir was past the Full mark by about an inch. I suspect most will get sucked back in as any air in the system is expelled.

I also asked if they performed any work on the OLM. The service adviser said there was no outstanding recalls on my vehicle. So nothing else was done to the vehicle. I had not asked for anything else- so only the pump was done.

As I drove home- vehicle shifted normally and I had no sense of engine operating differently. Ill monitor the OLM to see the rate drop.

They also performed a multipoint vehicle inspection. All was ok. They list the tires at 7/32 on all 4.
Brake linings where checked. they show up as the fronts at 5mm and rears at 6 MM.

When I got home- I loosened the front pass tires lug nuts and torqued them to 140.
Ill have to do the other 3 tommorrow.
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« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2012, 11:19:09 PM »

Wow that pump is small, I'm used to the one's I've replaced on my trucks.  They also attach to the hoses though and this one does not.  Great pictures.
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« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2012, 09:15:53 AM »

To bad that you had the premature water pump failure Rbarrios, but I have to say, as small as that thing is, it's no wonder why they replaced it so quickly. Looks like a couple hour job at most for a good mechaninc. Definitely something I would do myself if the need arises and we aren't under warranty.

Great pictures as always.  thumbs up
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« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2012, 11:37:58 AM »

nothing like those older water pumps on the 350 chevy engines- where hoses connect to it etc.

But yeah- I inspected the rims this morning-- no signs that I could see that the tire was even removed. I was looking for hand prints no the brake dust.
I didnt see any.

But if this happens again- past 100K.... Im definitely doing it myself. The serpentine belt has to be removed- but thats easy too- as the tensiones is right there by the pulley.
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« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2012, 09:32:03 PM »

good ol waterpumps with hoses and a thermostat in the top i cant belive that little thing in your pictures is our waterpump wow that is amazing
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« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2012, 02:20:58 AM »


But yeah- I inspected the rims this morning-- no signs that I could see that the tire was even removed. I was looking for hand prints no the brake dust.
I didnt see any.

But if this happens again- past 100K.... Im definitely doing it myself. The serpentine belt has to be removed- but thats easy too- as the tensiones is right there by the pulley.

When I saw these pics - I almost thought you took a picture of my garage floor and Outlook this past weekend... but 1st, according to the Service Manual, drain coolant, remove drive belt, remove Right Engine Strut Mount, remove Right Engine Strut Mount Bracket, remove pulley, and remove pump... I maybe skipped a step or two, but for the most part, sounds relatively straight-forward to remove and install the pump.

So onto my story - it has been a bad week for Lambda water pumps... my Outlook w/49k miles was wetting the garage floor with a few drips of coolant - no other noises.  Like you said earlier, I thought it was PS fluid, as well.

So not only did the dealership find a leaky water pump, but I also complained about a groaning PS pump, and they replaced the PS pump AND found a leak under the bellows of the PS rack (steering gear).  So in one service, a new water pump, power steering pump, and steering rack... whew! 

And I have MajorGuard coverage.
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« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2012, 11:25:33 AM »

Yeah- looks like the guys at the shop have done enough of these- that they can do it without removing the strut.
Wonder if the strut for wheel is the same as the right engine strut mount/bracket.

Anyways- it appears that they probably raise the car enough- then lower it to where they can stand under- and easily access the pump area?

To me- the less they they apart the better.
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« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2012, 12:48:16 PM »


To me- the less they take apart the better.


I agree  thumbs up
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