CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Leak water pump or hose?

My 1995 Jeep Cherokee sport is leaking antifreeze. Filling the radiator at the cap, the liquid leaks about as fast as i can put it in. It is leaking right at the connection of the lower hose and the waterpump. Is it possible that it’s just a hose, or will the waterpump leak that fast without the engine running? I can’t get a clear look to see.

If it is really “leaking out as fast as you put it in” then the lower hose must have a hole in it. If so then the engine can’t hold enough coolant to run safely. You’re not running this engine, are you?

No, not running the engine at all.

Yes, a shot waterpump can leak that fast without the engine running. It can downright pour water. My old pickup did exactly that when the pump went, as did also my old Camry. It is not uncommon.

The sad part is that when I’d last changed the timing belt on the Camry I opted not to change the pump because I didn’t plan on keeping the Camry. Then I decided to give the Camry to my son and the pump blew! I’m so ashamed. Not one of my better decisions.

You could have a busted hose, but my money’s on the pump.