Should I replace a good water pump?



My Mom sold me Dad’s old truck, a 2000 Ford Ranger, 2WD, 3.0 liter, auto tx, a/c. Lately it has been slowly leaking coolant onto the driveway. I got under there and looked, saw wet coolant on the side of the water pump where it mounts to the engine. Appears to me that the gasket is leaking. I checked the weep hole on top of the water pump and it is dry. My temp gauge stays in the mid range area after warmup, even on long trips. I check the coolant each week or so and add a little antifreeze to make up for the loss. I am reluctant to replace the entire water pump and gasket, seems like a waste. And the old water pump on there is probably better than the new one that’s now made somewhere on the other side of the earth. I called my local Ford dealership and those rascals want $480 to replace the water pump and gasket. And independent garage charges $360. I checked the parts places and a new water pump is about $40, includes the gasket. Is there some magic chemical I can pour into my radiator to stop the gasket from leaking? Did you guys ever use something called “liquid glass” for coolant leaks? On the plus side, this winter I won’t have ice or snow on my driveway due to the antifreeze I am applying daily. What’s my best option on this coolant leak?


Additives should only be used to squeeze a bit of extra life out of a beater. They are a bandaid, not a repair.

Can you do the work yourself? If you’re willing but not sure, pick up a Haynes manual at the parts store, read through the prcedure, and see if it looks too tough. This is a good DIY starter project.


Pour about a teaspoon of black pepper into the radiator. Report back and let us know if it works or not.

And yes, I’ve heard of liquid glass. But pepper’s cheaper for your application.



I’m tempted to try replacing it myself. I have a couple of friends that are weekend mechanics if I needed help. My original question though (I didn’t state it very well) was could/should the water pump be removed, replace the bad gasket and rebolt the original water pump back on? I don’t like the waste of replacing a water pump when it isn’t bad - it’s the gasket that failed.


I’ve even heard someone say that you can put a raw egg in the radiator. Seriously, is the idea that the small pepper flakes will flow into the gasket crack and block the leak? Is that how the old “StopLeak” product worked? What’s the downside to using the liquid glass stuff?


Liquid glass (sodium silicate) costs about $20.00 a bottle and has to be ordered from a pharmacy. Black pepper is in your kitchen cabinet.

I don’t keep any kind of stop-leak product in my shop. But there is a can of black pepper and a bottle of sodium silicate there.



I would check if there is a piece of gasket missing if not I would loose the nuts/bolts and TORQUE it right, this is one of the causes of leaks on gasket installs.


here is where you can purchase sodium silicate on line


Whenever I open a cooling system I put a “Pioneer” cube in with the new coolant as insurance. I have used it on such leaks as yours with great success. Liquid glass is great but it must be used as instructed. If you take the pump off to replace the gasket there seems to be a demon in there who will soon haunt you. Way too many perfectly good water pumps fail within a month of pulling and re-installing them for some reason. I blame it on the seal drying out.


I blame it on allowing the water pump bearing to move from it’s happy place and then reapply the belt tension.



I’ll add the teaspoon of pepper and see what happens. Thanks!


i have had water pump leaks before ---- and small radiator leaks. i used this product called STOP LEAK ----IT DOES WORK… it comes in a small tube like container with aluminum chips- i think that’s what they are??? it worked for quite a while.BUT IT STARTED TO leak down the road again. i added a little more and it didn’t leak again---- i sold the car in Feb. by the way are you sure it isn’t the hose that’s leaking. that has happen to me . best of luck and have a great holiday


ok I’ll bite - what is a “Pioneer” cube? (I tried googling it but didn’t see anything related)


I don’t think it is a hose. The lower radiator hose is on the other side of the engine from where the leak is coming from on the passenger side. And when I looked at the other hoses they all looked dry. I tried wiggling the water pump fan blades and it seemed tight, so I figured the pump bearings were ok, especially since the weep hole wasn’t leaking. Truck only has about 72,000 miles on it, low for 9 years old. That’s why I hate to throw out a good water pump.


I’d be inclined to pick up both a gasket and a pump, then when I get the pump off if it’s leaking replace it and if not just replace the gasket and return the pump for a refund. Pumps for this are likely to be a stocked item rather than special order, so returning it should be no problem.


Personally, if I had to remove the pump, I’d replace it with a new or rebuilt one. It will need to be done anyway sometime.


It’s not neccessarily a ‘good’ water pump, it’s an OLD water pump.


If you’re paying out labor to go through all that procedure to get to, and replace a gasket…
you are paying the exact same amount as you would to replace a pump !

Buying the pump to put on while they’re in there is the cost efficient method here.

Here’s another angle on the ‘‘leak in an old truck’’ situation.
Once that leak is fixed and the system pressures up…the next weakest point will be rear it’s ugly head. Put the pump on now and save the inevitable additional work.
Been there - done that on my 79 chevy pickup. Replaced leaky radiator hose, pressured up system…water pump leak.
Replaced water pump, pressured up system…radiator pin hole.
Got radiator fixed…finally ok.


I added a teaspoon of pepper to the radiator a few days ago and the leak has stopped. Thanks Tester!

Not sure how long this will last but it is saving me on antifreeze. Is the reason you don’t add much pepper is to prevent clogging of the heater core?


The reason you don’t add much black pepper is because it doesn’t take much for it to work. Don’t worry about it plugging up anything else. If it did that, I’d stop using it.



Most public library’s have a database ( usually Chilton’s ) that you can access for free that will give you step by step instructions - your job doesn’t look too bad.