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One of the common symptoms of a bad water pump is coolant leaks – dripping from the engine bay. Seeing oil or coolant leak while the car is running is understandable, but will water pump leak when engine is off?
Once the car is turned off, you expect that everything making the car run would stop. However, leaks may not obey that assumption. Yes, a water pump leak can occur even when the engine is turned off. This happens if there’s a crack on the pump or the hose/channels where the coolant liquid passes.
However, when you notice that some liquid is dropping out from your car’s engine bay, you shouldn’t be quick to conclude it’s due to a bad water pump.
Here’s what you need to know!
Will Water Pump Leak When Engine Is Off?
The simple answer is YES, and we’d explain the process. Inside the engine bay, the water pump is one of the most important parts that should be inspected regularly. It connects to many other components in the vehicle and works hand-in-hand with the thermostat.
Although the pump is made from steel/metal material, it is possible to crack. When the water pump cracks, the coolant liquid that passes through it, to get to the engine would leak from the cracked spots. Also, the leak you’re seeing could be from a torn hose or broken radiator cap.
That said, when you see fluids leaking after you turned off your car, carefully inspect the color of the fluid – it may not be the water pump that’s leaking coolant, maybe it’s the engine oil that’s leaking. How would you know what’s leaking?
See the clues below:
- Light Brown Fluid: If the fluid is light brown in color, it could be motor oil or dirty transmission fluid, but if the smell is stinky, it could be the gear lubricant.
- Dark Brown (Black): Used motor oil leaking from the reservoir or oil hoses.
- Orange: If the leaking fluid is orange, it could be the transmission fluid or antifreeze. In some cases, it could be mere AC condensation
- Red/Pink: Could be the power steering fluid
- Blue: Some coolants have blue color
- Clear: Water pump leak, AC condensation or brake fluids.
With this, you can easily tell if it’s the water pump that’s still leaking after stopping the car, or it’s some other component that needs to be fixed. Notwithstanding, the water pump leak should be taken seriously and fixed as soon as possible.
Will the water pump leak when engine is off? Yes, it is possible for the water pump to leak even after the car is turned off. This happens due to cracks, holes, or worn-out sides of the pump itself or another connected coolant system component.
When the water pump in your car starts leaking coolant, it calls for quick attention; you need to get it replaced as soon as possible. Also, you need to check if the bad water pump had already affected the thermostat so you can fix both components at the same time – to save labor costs.