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

Water pump replaced then engine sounds like helicopter

I was driving on the highway at about 80 mph when my car made a thunk noise and then the mph dropped to 40 mph. The car was hesitating but I continued to drive it to gas station. At this point steam was coming from passenger side engine front. The coolant was coming out now my car was overheating to the extreme. I drove it to shop. Next day he changed the thermostat and water pump. But he said it took him a while to get air out / bleeding it?! The day I drive off with my repaired car it still sounds loud eventually it sounds like a helicopter!!! Next day take it to Infiniti dealer they say I need a new engine. Internal engine failure! Could this have happened because the water pump wasn’t replaced correctly?

“Could this have happened because the water pump wasn’t replaced correctly?”

More than likely, this happened because you continued to drive the car while it was “overheating to the extreme”.

There are two situations that require the driver to pull over and shut down the engine as quickly as possible in order to avoid catastrophic engine damage:

Any indication of overheating
A lit-up warning light for low oil pressure

Continuing to drive when the engine is overheating can lead to a warped cylinder head, scored bearings and cylinder walls, and other types of very expensive engine damage. From afar, nobody can diagnose the cause of the current problem with 100% certainty, but based on your own statements, I believe that you killed the engine by continuing to drive under these conditions. In the future, try to remember to pull over at the first road shoulder that is wide enough for safety, shut down the engine, and phone for a tow truck.

Many modern engines do not take well to overheating, and apparently the engine in your mystery model/model year Infiniti is one of them. But, just for the sake of accuracy, please ask the folks at the Infiniti dealership about what specific engine damage they believe has taken place. Then, come back to this thread and give us those details. If we have some additional details, we can be more accurate with our opinions. Additionally, it would be helpful to know the model, model year, and odometer mileage of your Infiniti.

My Guess Is That It Happened When “The coolant was coming out now my car was overheating to the extreme.”

Key words: extreme, overheating

As soon as a car begins to overheat it needs to be shut off ASAP to avoid doing damage.

My other guess is that the reason your mechanic stated that " . . . it took him a while to get air out / bleeding it?! " was because the damaged engine had a compromised cooling system (blown gasket, cracked part, etcetera) that was allowing air into a normally closed system.

As soon as a car begins to overheat it needs to be shut off ASAP to avoid doing damage. It’s in the Owner’s Manual.

What is the vehicle make, model, and model-year ?


Why don’t car makers add a simple cut off system when the Temp exceeds a certain value?

@Jackie911 I don’t know how hot your engine is getting now . . .

But that helicopter noise is almost certainly your engine fan. The only way you can blame that on the water pump repair is if the fan attaches to the water pump and the mechanic screwed that up.

But in all likelihood, the fan is doing its job and working overtime to cool that damaged engine.

To go along with what db stated, it’s possible that the extreme overheating warped the plastic fan blades and they’re hitting the radiator.

If the blades are warped and the engine is trashed it’s not because of any water pump installation; it’s due to continuing to operate the car with a known overheating problem.

The only thing I fault the shop for is not considering the possibility of a wiped engine before installing a new pump and thermostat and checking for the possibility of warped fan blades; IF warped blades are the cause of the noise.

Another possibility about the noise complaint could be a poor running engine with a cylinder misfire.

It would be interesting to know exactly what the OP told the first shop about the overheating and why the car was take to the dealer the next day instead of returning to the shop that installed the pump.

My car is a 2006 Infiniti G35x, 96k miles. I live in CT & initially when car broke down it was in MA. The thermostat and water pump were replaced in MA. The Infiniti dealer where I purchased the car is in CT. That’s why I didn’t go back to small MA shop.

There was no visual light warning prior to the car going from 80mph to 40mph. I’m trying to get to the root of the problem, why this happened? Then service engine light came on after the thunk" noise. I think the overheating was secondary. I panicked and was not mentally prepared to be stranded on the highway.

“couldn’t handle stress”? How does $7k new motor make you feel? Trade in time. Son has same car. Been looking online for parts and am surprised to see used engines in the $500 range. Pretty nice motors but low used prices. Of course install is another $1000-1500 so that needs to be added

I have paid $4600 total for used motor with 72k miles on it (1yr warranty)new compression rods, new battery and new rear brakes. The Infiniti dealer quoted me $7200. Had work done by a big dealership in MA.

Hmm, my 7k was right on. Yes, used motors can be in the 2500 range plus install so 4k or so is acceptable. I think ur motor is chain driven cams? So water pump u had done before was probably not too expensive. I ate it when u fix motor and it dies next week.

Start simple, analyze why it sounds like a helicopter.

It could be something simple that is causing the helicoptor sound, as mentioned above, like the fan blade. Ask the shop to check for a simple explanation for the sound by turning the fan blades, turning other pulleys. Esp ask them to turn the water pump pulley to make sure it is turning freely and noiselessly. I expect though that the engine overheated and something important (like a main engine bearing) has failed and the engine is now kapuut. A replacement engine is probably in your future. These replacement engines are surprisingly inexpensive sometimes. Ask around, get some bids from inde shops. Best of luck.

OP says the repair has been completed:

I have paid $4600 total for used motor with 72k miles on it (1yr warranty

$4600 seems like a pretty good deal to me. The 1 year warranty should be enough time to uncover and fix any existing engine problems.

BUT, if ur water pump fails on new motor, please pull over.

My new used engine had a broken coolant hose and car over heated. I was in MA and had car towed to the dealer. I was given a new Buick lacrosse to drive. I’m hoping this is all for now. Thank you to those who made positive non sarcastic comments they were helpful.

Jackie–If you are telling us that the new (used) engine also overheated, all I can say is that I really hope that this time you pulled over a.s.a.p., and that you shut down the engine promptly.
If not, another replacement engine is likely in your future.

No, this is not a sarcastic comment.
I am expressing a sincere hope that you benefitted from the advice that I gave you in an earlier post.

@Jackie911 engines don’t generally get supplied with coolant hoses. Perhaps yours did . . .
But I’m inclined to believe the hose that failed was the one originally in your car. Since one hose failed, it may be wise to replace them all at this time. I also suggest replacing the thermostat on that “new used engine”

Better safe now than sorry later.

Maybe whoever installed that used engine failed to make sure a coolant hose clamp was in its proper place and the hose blew off.

The comment is not made in a sarcastic vein but any time an engine oil light illuminates, an oil pressure gauge drops to zero, or the temperature gauge starts heading to H you must stop immediately. A few seconds or minutes here and there, depending upon the situation, can mean the difference between saving an engine or frying it.