Very Slight Leak from Gasket on Newly Replaced Waterpump

Recently, I bought a new-to-me 1994 Jaguar XJ6 which had a small laundry list of things that needed work. Amongst them was to have the waterpump and belt replaced. Long story short, after getting it back from the shop (I’m a repeat customer) and 50 miles down the road, I checked things out under the hood. I saw that there was a small bit of coolant sitting on top of the pump where the mating surfaces meet. It appeared that was some weeping from the gasket.

I’m a little perplexed because this shop hasn’t done wrong by me before, but there’s a first time for everything. Is it possible that the cold weather in North Dakota (routinely -10) is a factor? It doesn’t appear to be a catastrophic leak by any means, but I intend to keep my eye on in it. In the mean time, I made sure the bolts nearest the leak were adequately tight and put some red RTV sealant where it was leaking.

Is it possible this problem will “go away” or do I have to try to shake down the shop and get them to re-check it/fix it? Frankly, I’d rather not have to deal with them again, but I paid them good money to get it fixed. Any input would be appreciated, thanks.

I would keep an eye on the leak because they generally do not “just go away”. The shop may have missed a small bit of the old gasket and that usually causes a leak. I would remove the RTV sealant because it may be covering up a problem. It’s probably something simple but it needs attention.

It won’t go away by itself. Take it back. If the shop is any good at all they will gladly correct their mistake at no charge.

Is it actually leaking that you can see with the engine idling, as you are looking in that area? If yes, take it back immediately. Take it back anyway.

Coolant NEVER leaks, unless there is a problem.


A small leak can become a very expensive problem. The shop needs to be made aware of the apparent leak and given the opportunity to correct it or satisfy you that there is no problem. If they dismiss your concerns and there is a measurable loss of coolant get the problem corrected at another shop and send the bill to the first one and hope for the best. And,simply tightening the mounting bolts in the wrong order can cause the gasket to leak.

RTV applied to the outside of the seam will not begin to stop the leak at the 16 PSI or so that the cooling system pressurizes to.

If the coolant gets on the belt(s) it will degrade them.

If you don’t keep up with the coolant loss, major engine damage could occur.

Take it back and get them to fix it correctly. The water pump will have to be removed and the mating surfaced cleaned and inspected for pits. A new gasket and possibly some sealant may be required. These things happen. Give them a chance to make it right.

Why didn’t you just call the shop when you discovered the leak?