Water Pump Pulley Noise – Some Signs To Realize The Damage

A water pump performs a really important task that guarantees your automobile’s engine runs as smoothly as possible.

In other words, when the water pump dies, the car engine will work abnormally and get damaged.

That’s why if you find any water pump pulley noise, you should try to find the reason for the sound. After that, it is necessary to take timely action to repair it before it leads to other related problems.

Let’s scroll down to find out more about this issue!

What Does The Water Pump Pulley Do? 

water pump pulley noise
Water Pump Pulley

The automobile engine generates a lot of heat, readily damaging internal parts.

The engine must maintain the optimum temperature to guarantee efficient operation and prevent locking (known as the operating temperature).

Engine coolant plays the main role in this process.

Throughout the car engine, coolant circulates, collecting heat and carrying it to the radiator, where it is cooled by air before starting its journey back through the engine.

The water pump works to push coolant through the engine with impellers. Your engine drive belt moves a pulley, which in turn rotates a pump.

The driving belt may come off the pulley, and the water pump may stop turning if the pulley is damaged, deformed, or seized. The engine will overheat in that case.

A water pump is made up of several tiny components that come together to form a functional mechanism. The hub/pulley, body/house, bearing, impeller, and seal are essential.

So does a bad water pump make noise? Yes! Scroll down for more.

What Is The Water Pump Pulley Noise?

The water pump noise is one of the best and most obvious ways to identify the issues with the pulley. They can be rattling, squeaking, clicking, groaning, or whining.

Each type can help to indicate a different problem.

However, it’s conceivable that the pump will have issues if one of your customers’ water pumps makes odd noises.

But, other components may malfunction similarly, so you must confirm that your car has identified the issue accurately.

Rattling Noise

The most frequent reason for water pump failure is worn bearings. A bad water pump bearing noise may be a rattling sound.

After unfastening the belt, you should manually spin the pump to check whether it rotates smoothly.

Due to improper belt tension, impeller shafts may bend. If an impeller shaft breaks, you probably overlook the water pump issue for a long time.

Squeaking Or Clicking Noise

Worn-out bearings may also produce a squeaking or clicking sound. After turning off the engine and releasing the tensioner, you might be able to hear them more clearly.

They can also manually rotate the pump while listening for sounds. Yet, sounds after turning off the car can happen for many reasons.

Groaning Or Whining Noise

A moaning or groaning sound typically indicates that the water pump pulley is damaged or that a drive belt is loose.

As a result, the pulley might bend slightly while spinning, which produces annoying noise. Moreover, incorrectly sized or over-tightened belts can harm V-belt pulleys.

A belt may be loose due to worn belts or belt tensioners. The engine may overheat when the water pump is not rotating as quickly as it should. That’s how your pulley creates the noise.

Other Symptoms Of A Failing Water Pump Pulley

bad water pump bearing noise
Signs Failing Water Pump Pulley

Physical Damage

In case the water pump pulley is physically destroyed, it is the most evident evidence of a problem.

This metal part can sustain damage in various ways, including installing a water pump belt that is the wrong size or is not set properly in car accidents or issues with the internal bearings.

While changing your oil filter or engine oil under your automobile, oil repair experts can notice this symptom.

If a professional advises you that the pulley on your water pump appears broken, don’t wait for it to mend by itself.

Before the water pump pulley seriously harms your car’s engine, have a local technician repair it.

Extensive Wear

When you or a mechanic inspects the underside of your car and discovers significant wear on the belts that come into contact with the pulley, that is another sign of a broken water pump pulley.

The water pump belts may vibrate and generate additional heat if the pulley is loose.

While the majority of these belts are made of nylon and rubber strands for strength, when this happens, the belts may literally rip or fracture.

It is probably an issue with the water pump pulley if it is found that the water pump or serpentine belt is wearing out earlier than it should.

Grinding Noise

A water pump pulley’s issue almost always stems from its internal bearings rather than the pulley itself.

A metal-to-metal grinding sound (even at idle) is produced when a bearing wears out and is frequently caused by inadequate lubrication or a defective bearing.

It is quite difficult to detect this sound while driving, but if you hear it when your automobile is idling, pull over, open the hood, and pay particular attention to the engine front.

Yet, when you hear a grinding noise all the time, shut the hood and drive home carefully. Have a mechanic examine the issue and, as a precaution, replace the water pump pulley.

Overheat Engine

An issue with the coolant system is immediately obvious if the engine temperature operates in the “red zone” on the dashboard temperature register.

Any issue, whether it be a low coolant, a radiator, a fan, or a water pump issue, should be looked at as soon as possible by a qualified technician.

Unexperienced mechanics frequently misdiagnose problems by presuming that the water pump is damaged when, in reality, the problem is with the water pump pulley.

Can You Drive With A Loose Or Failed Water Pump Pulley?

does a bad water pump make noise
Is A Loose Or Failed Water Pump Pulley Dangerous

Yes. You can continue to drive with a broken water pump pulley as long as the belt is still attached and not shattered entirely.

If this component leaks, depending on your luck, you might be able to keep driving the car for weeks or months, provided you take great care to make sure you add fresh coolant before the level goes low enough for the engine to run hot.

Although you can drive the vehicle as usual, we highly advise against doing so unless there is an emergency or you are taking it to a mechanic to get the problem fixed.

The engine’s coolant cannot be circulated if the water pump malfunctions. It will lead to the engine overheating.

This way, other related components can be damaged, and you need to suffer more dangerous situations as well as a significant repair cost.


This article has provided some water pump pulley noise that indicates the problems of this component. Thus, you should pay attention to any annoying or strange noise while driving or idling.

Make sure to contact a qualified ASE-certified technician as soon as you hear or notice any of the warnings mentioned above so they can check, diagnose, road test, and fix your automobile before it sustains any more harm.

Replacing a water pump pulley can be affordable while you detect the problem timely. Otherwise, you may spend a lot of money to fix or change other related components.

If you still have any questions or problems, simply leave your comment here. Our experts will help you to solve it with detailed instructions.

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