Simple Answers from Town Hill Auto Sales and Service in Bedford: Water Pump

Image of a water pump  - Auto Repair Service in Bedford PAWater Pump Question:

I was driving on the freeway in PA when my vehicle engine started to get hot. I turned off my air conditioner and was able to drive the short distance to my meeting. After my meeting I drove my car the short distance to Townhill Auto Repair in Bedford. My technician informed me that that my water pump was leaking. It cost me many hundreds of dollars to get it fixed. What could I have done to avoid this?

Town Hill Auto Sales and Service in Bedford’s Answer:

This guy’s story really did have a happy ending. When you continue driving on an overheating engine you risk a catastrophic engine failure. It really is a good idea to pull over and let your vehicle engine cool down before driving again. If you add water or coolant, be sure your engine is cool or you risk serious burns.

Now there’s no way for Bedford drivers to predict when their water pump will fail – they just wear out. This fellow’s water pump replacement was more expensive because his water pump is driven by his timing belt. That requires a lot of hours to get to the water pump and then put everything back on the engine.

So what can I do?

A money saving tip from Town Hill Auto Sales and Service in Bedford: if your water pump is driven by your timing belt – replace the pump when you have your scheduled timing belt replacement. This may seem to be an unnecessary added cost; however, by doing it this way a technician already has most of the work done and you don’t have to pay for it twice, because the other part fails soon after the first one is replaced.

Did you know that all of the service professionals at Townhill Auto service in Bedford are ASE Master certified mechanics? These dealer trained technicians really know their cars. Certified in all makes and models these professionals can easily diagnose and repair anything; from the smallest leak to a major repair. Back that with being a Napa Certified Service Center you can have peace in mind that every repair uses the highest quality parts with industry-leading warranties. Check with your friendly and knowledgeable professionals at Town Hill Auto Sales and Service about when your timing belt and water pump should be replaced.

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Why does the location of the water pump affect the repair cost?

Image of a mechanic working on a water pump - Auto Repair Service in Bedford PA

My water pump went out and it cost me a lot more to replace it than ones I’ve had replaced on other cars. Max, my technician at Townhill Auto Service in Bedford,said it’s because of where it’s located. Why does that make such a significant difference in the cost?

Town Hill Auto Sales and Service in Bedford’s Answer:

Some water pumps are driven by the serpentine belt and are bolted on out in the open with the alternator and air compressor. Replacing this type of pump is as simple as removing a couple of bolts and bolting a new pump in. Other water pumps are driven by the timing belt. These water pumps take a lot of labor to access and replace. I suspect your current vehicle has a water pump that is driven by the timing belt.
 
Water pumps are devices that circulate engine coolant/antifreeze around the engine and out to the radiator. Like any mechanical device, they eventually wear out. Although having a cooling system service done on schedule at Town Hill Auto Service in Bedford will extend the life of your water pump and its seals and gaskets – it will eventually fail and need to be replaced.

The water pumps that are driven by the timing belt (the belt that controls when your engine intake and exhaust valves open) are attached directly to the engine block. The timing belt system has protective cover. The serpentine belt and all the accessories are located over the timing belt cover. So getting to the water pump requires your technician to remove a lot of parts – which then need to be replaced.

Is there a way I can prevent problems to help save money in the future?

When the water pump must be replaced, it is a good idea for to go ahead and also replace the timing belt, timing belt tensioner and idler pulleys. There are a couple of reasons for this:
  • The timing belt may have been contaminated by leaking coolant;
  • There is a schedule for replacing your timing belt and you might as well make the modest additional added expenditure while everything is taken apart to avoid the same labor cost down the road.
By the way, the reverse is true as well: When you are replacing your timing belt on schedule go ahead and replace the water pump at the same time. It would be a shame to make the investment on one of these replacements only to have to do it all over again in a few months because the other part needs replacement. Do them at the same time and start the clock over for both.
 
Did you know that all of the service professionals at Townhill Auto service in Bedford are ASE Master certified mechanics? These dealer trained technicians really know their cars. Certified in all makes and models these professionals can easily diagnose and repair anything; from the smallest leak to a major repair. Back that with being a Napa Certified Service Center you can have peace in mind that every repair uses the highest quality parts with industry-leading warranties.
 
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Is my cooling system really that important?

Are you aware of just how important your cooling system is? Coolant/antifreeze circulates around the engine, absorbs heat, and then dissipates that heat into the radiator. Cooling system failure can cause extensive engine damage. This article will deal with a couple of ways a well maintained cooling system can help prolong the life of your vehicle, and be sure to check with your auto repair professional at Town Hill Auto Service in Bedford for more info about your cooling system.

Minor coolant leaks

It’s very tempting to put off repairing small cooling system leaks. Topping off the coolant isn’t that big of a deal right? However, there are several problems with doing this.

  • Coolant is messy, It doesn’t just evaporate away. The resulting puddle is harmful to the environment and toxic to pets.

  • You need to keep the proper balance of coolant/antifreeze and distilled water to maintain optimal boil and freeze properties, be sure to check with your auto repair professional at Town Hill Auto Service in Bedford for more info about your cooling system.

  • The cooling system needs to maintain a certain pressure to do its job, and a leak compromises the pressure.

  • Small leaks can unexpectedly become big leaks that leave you stranded.

Corrosion protection.

Antifreeze/coolant contains a package of anti-corrosion additives. These additives coat internal surfaces throughout the entire cooling system. They protect against oxidation, which can lead to leaks, as well as scale that clogs cooling system components. The protective coating is constantly reacting to chemical compounds created by the extreme heating and cooling cycle the coolant goes through. Over time, the coating is depleted and there is nothing left to protect the exposed metal in the engine and in the other system parts.

This is why your vehicle manufacturer recommends your coolant/antifreeze be changed periodically. Even though your old coolant may seem to be doing a good job of cooling your engine, it leaves the engine exposed to corrosive elements that will damage the system. A good practice is to have a coolant exchange performed whenever you replace a cooling system component. For example, when you put in a new water pump it is not protected with anti-corrosion additives. If your anti-corrosion package is already depleted, the new water pump will immediately be exposed to corrosive elements that will significantly reduce its life cycle. If you change the coolant when the new water pump is installed, it will be protected the first time you start the engine.

Coolant Service

Did you know that all of the service professionals at Townhill Auto Service in Bedford are ASE Master certified mechanics? These dealer trained technicians really know their cars. Certified in all makes and models these professionals can easily diagnose and repair anything; from the smallest leak to a major repair. Back that with being a Napa Certified Service Center you can have peace in mind that every repair uses the highest quality parts with industry-leading warranties. When you choose TownHill Auto Service Center in Bedford to perform your coolant service, our highly trained staff will remove the old coolant and accumulated sediment from the system and replace it with a new, high quality Napa coolant designed to exceed the manufacture specifications of the vehicle. We will then give your cooling system a thorough inspection. If you are in need of a cooling system service or suspect you may have a leak then contact us to schedule an appointment today.

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Cooling System Service At Town Hill Auto Sales and Service

My experience at Townhill Auto Service Center

Last week while I was out running errands in Bedford my temperature warning light came on, I was in total panic mode! I pulled over and my car was overheating.

I called Townhill Auto Service Center in Bedford and spoke to Jill Young, the service advisor there, and she was able to work my car in. It didn’t take long for the service team to determine my water pump was leaking and needed to be replaced. Not really knowing a lot about what a water pump was… Jill took the time to show me how it works and where it was… they even had a big screen in the office to show me everything. Awesome!

Full Service mindset

As part of the repair they checked out my radiator hoses, serpentine belt and tensioner and they they looked good, apart from age. It appeared that the water pump went bad because I was overdue for changing my coolant, embarrassingly overdue. I didn’t realize there was a schedule in my vehicle owner’s manual for when to change my coolant. Apparently it had started to congeal and cause premature aging to the bearing in the water pump. She was very polite and courteous in showing me the maintenance intervals for many of the fluid services for my car. I was so impressed I even had them change the oil and do a tire alignment while I was there!

Peace of mind

With my car fixed I was on my way with some peace of mind knowing that all of the service repairs at Town Hill Auto Service Center include a warranty. It feels good knowing my vehicle cooling system is healthy and I don’t need to worry about it.

If you are having a problem with your car, or are simply looking for a friendly, professional place to help you keep your car running great I would highly recommend contacting the people at Townhill Auto Service Center.

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