Water pumps are a crucial piece to maintaining the mechanical environment of your car, and if not cared for properly can lead to costly repairs. If you notice the performance of your BMW dropping as it ages, then the water pump may be a likely suspect. With this in mind, let’s explore why your car’s water pump is so crucial to your motor’s function, the most common problems that cause it to fail, and what warning signs to watch out for.
Water Pump Failure
One of the most common problems that BMW owners encounter is water pump failure. This is due to BMW using an electric water pump in their cars rather than a traditional mechanical water pump.
Water pumps help your engine keep from overheating by circulating water around a sort of “water jacket” surrounding the motor. Without it, the metal pieces of your engine will expand from the unchecked heat causing pieces to grind or even weld together.
Traditional mechanical water pumps are powered by your timing belt, which enables the water pump to move the coolant around the system. Because of this, mechanical water pumps tend to sacrifice some of your car’s horsepower and fuel efficiency.
BMW uses electric water pumps in their vehicles, which are actually superior to their traditional counterparts. Electric water pumps run off of your car’s battery and help you maintain your car’s horsepower and fuel economy. Typically, electric water pumps are seen in racing cars, but including them in their cars is simply part of the luxury of the BMW brand.
Wear and Tear
The most common cause of water pump failure in BMW cars is simply from age and heavy use of the vehicle. Over time, most parts in a car start to break down through constant wear and tear. Since the water pump is made of plastic, it will slowly degrade over the lifetime of your vehicle.
It is recommended that you have your water pump looked at and replaced in your BMW around the 80,000 mile mark to avoid more costly repairs later on.
Since the water pump is in charge of keeping coolant constantly moving around the motor to avoid overheating, a lack of coolant can cause serious problems. With a lack of coolant or pressure in the system, the water pump cannot do its job, which will lead to strain on the pump and an overheating engine.
If your engine overheats too much, it can seize up or even destroy the engine. It is far better to take your car in for regular maintenance and checkups for the water pump than to have to deal with the costly repair of replacing the entire engine.
Even if the water pump is working great and the coolant levels are perfect, you may still run into problems without careful maintenance. Over time, your car’s coolant can get old or contaminated with debris, such as rust, making the coolant less effective.
For this reason, you want to make sure to have your coolant flushed out and filled according to the guidelines in your owner’s manual or the recommendations of your local auto repair service. For many BMWs, this ends up being about every 30,000 miles or 2 years, whichever comes first.
Recognizing Water Pump Failure in BMW
Now that you know the most common causes of water pump failure, it will be easy to notice the symptoms in your BMW. Since the water pump deals with moving fluid around the engine to keep it from overheating, common signs of failure are an overheating or hot engine, leaking fluids, or steam coming from the engine.
Cerrone’s European is Here to Help
If you notice any of these signs, you will want to take your BMW to your reputable service shop specializing in BMWs to get it checked out right away. Cerrone’s European in Redwood City, CA not only specializes in BMW, but other foreign brands such as Jaguar, Volvo, Land Rover, and Mini Cooper. We are the leading experts in your BMW and know how to keep it running smoothly on the road for many years to come.