Routine maintenance is a must if you want your car to last for a few years beyond its warranty period without significant trouble. On the other hand, regular oil changes and brake replacements will fall short if your goal is to keep your vehicle for the long haul. Owning a car to 100,000 miles and beyond requires stepping into the world of preventative maintenance routines.
Preventative maintenance is a straightforward concept: replace failure-prone parts before they break and leave you stranded. While this might seem like a clear violation of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," it's one of the best ways to avoid potentially costly repairs on a high-mileage vehicle. Here are three reasons why your car's water pump should be an essential part of any preventative maintenance routine.
1. High Cost of Failure
The average cost to replace a water pump is around $500. This price might not seem too steep, but it hides a much higher cost of failure. Your water pump is a critical part of your car's cooling system. Without a functional water pump, coolant will stop flowing between your radiator and engine, leading to the potential for rapid overheating.
Your engine must maintain a safe temperature at all times. Modern engines typically can't survive overheating for even a few seconds, so a failure on the road can lead to catastrophic and wallet-busting internal engine damage. Waiting for your water pump to fail is likely to cost far more than replacing it preventatively.
2. Infrequent Replacements
Although the lifespans vary, you can usually expect your factory water pump to last around 100,000 miles. Replacing your old pump with a genuine or OEM part means that you'll get about the same amount of life out of your replacement. In other words, unless you intend to keep your car forever, you're unlikely to replace your water pump more than once.
Since you won't be making frequent replacements, the cost of installing a new pump is relatively low when amortized over the life of your vehicle. This low cost over time, combined with the potentially high price of failure, makes it a great candidate for preventative maintenance.
3. Overlap With Routine Maintenance
If your car uses a timing belt, there's a good chance the water pump will be nearby under the timing cover. Replacing your water pump simultaneously with your timing belt can save you money on labor costs, allowing you to take care of necessary routine maintenance at the same time as some critical preventative maintenance.
While you might be reluctant to replace a part that's still working, adding your water pump to your preventative maintenance checklist can save you time, money, and frustration in the future.
If your vehicle needs preventative maintenance, make an appointment with an auto shop, such as Gregs Japanese Auto Parts and Service.