How Far Can I Drive With A Blown Water Pump

How far can I drive with a blown water pump? Not very far. Let’s find out why?

Even though it is legal to drive with a defective water pump, it is exceedingly risky. A faulty water pump prevents you from driving long distances. Depending on the extent of the water pump damage, you may be unable to operate the vehicle at all.

We’ll look at whether you may drive a car with a bad water pump in this article. We’ll also tell you how far a broken water pump will bring you. 


How Far Can I Drive With A Blown Water Pump

What Is A Water Pump?

The water pump in an automobile is a vital component. This component controls the flow of coolant around the engine. It keeps the temperature within the desired range. 

It ensures that coolant circulates throughout the engine block, radiator, and hoses, keeping the engine optimum operating temperature. All of these components are at risk if the water pump fails.


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How Does It Work?

The motor of an automobile water pump suctions water from the radiator and pumps it back to the radiator. The water from the radiator heats up as it passes through the motor. It ensures that your engine maintains a constant temperature regardless of the weather. 

As a result, if your car’s water pump malfunctions, it will cause damage to numerous parts of the engine.

Is It Safe To Drive A Car With A Broken Water Pump?

Of course, you may drive a car with a broken water pump. However, you should not drive the vehicle for long because it will cause more problems and necessitate more expensive repairs. Start the car and take it to a mechanic or an auto repair shop to replace the water pump. 


A car with a faulty water pump may heat up and cause irreparable damage to your engine if you drive it for a long time like that. And the last thing you want is for something like this to happen to you. As a result, operating a car with a faulty water pump is not advised.

If you’re heading to a mechanic or repair shop, though, you’re free to go as long as it isn’t too far away. 


How Far Can I Drive With A Blown Water Pump

Engine Damage

Overheating can be caused by a defective water pump, which can harm the engine and lead it to shut down. As you may be aware, repairing a broken engine is costly. In most circumstances, you’ll need to replace it with a new one or purchase a used engine from another vehicle.

An automobile with a broken water pump will start and drive usually, but it will be unable to travel very far. With a faulty water pump, you may encounter engine misfiring and other problems.In other words, you may drive a car with a defective water pump. If the pump is not serviced promptly, the automobile will continue to drive but the engine will fully stall.

How Far Can A Car Go With A Faulty Water Pump? 

To begin with, driving a car with a defective water pump isn’t advised. If you find that your water pump is malfunctioning and causing you problems, you should immediately take your vehicle to a professional or auto repair shop. 

The timing belt, coolant, and engine temperature are all elements that affect how far you can drive your car. You should not drive your vehicle if the timing belt breaks, the coolant leaks, or the engine overheats.

You’ll not only end up causing severe damage to the car, but you’ll also end up putting your life in danger. The following factors impact how far a car with a broken water pump can be driven.


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Vehicle Type 

Overall, the condition and type of vehicle dictate how far a car with a failing water pump may travel. The majority of pre-2000 car brands and models can drive a considerable distance.

The latest air-cooled car models, on the other hand, may only be able to travel a few miles before having to stop. An older Volkswagen or Porsche, for example, will travel further than a newer model of the same make and model.


The ambient air temperature, the cooling effects of the immediate environment, and the engine’s operating temperature are all considerations. The car may travel a reasonable distance if the air temperature is below -40°C and the engine is suitably cooled while maintaining the highest gearto lowest engine turnover ratio. 

A vehicle with a defective water pump, on the other hand, will not travel very far in the desert on hot days if it is driven in low gear with quick revolutions.


How Far Can I Drive With A Blown Water Pump

Without Water, How Far Can You Go, And How Long Will It Take?

An automobile with a damaged water pump can drive for 5 to 20 miles, depending on the extent of the damage. However, it will be dependent on the time of day and the terrain of the route. If it’s early in the morning, you can even drive for 20 miles.

If you go in the afternoon when it’s hot, however, you might only go 5 miles. The idea is to keep the engine from overheating by keeping it cool. You can stop every 2 miles or so if you travel in the afternoon. This is the equivalent of ten minutes of driving. 

Furthermore, traveling through the mountains puts a lot of load on the engine. As a result, you’ll go a shorter distance than you would on a flat or sloping road. Keep an eye on the coolant temperature while driving to avoid irreversible damage to the engine. 

Keep the coolant temperature below 112 degrees Celsius if you don’t want to spend money on repairs.

How Far A Car Can Go If The Red Light Is Turned Off?

Even though it may appear strange, you may drive a car with a broken water pump if the red light is switched off. Because the problem is escalating, a red warning light warns that you should act fast.

The engine is overheating and about to overheat, as indicated by a red light. If this light appears on your dashboard, pull over and wait for the car to cool down. If you’re in the middle of nowhere and need to get to a car repair shop or mechanic, you can drive through it. All that’s left to do now is wait for the engine to cool before getting behind the wheel. 

A malfunctioning water pump, on the other hand, maybe present in some vehicles. It could even be for your protection. Before driving through the water pump, inspect it beforehand, as you may end up with costly repairs. 

The vast majority of mechanics advise against driving after a red light has illuminated. 


How Far Can I Drive With A Blown Water Pump

How Far A Car Can Go Until The Engine And Cooling System Have Reached High Temperatures?

Another way to figure out how far you may drive a car with a bad water pump is to monitor the engine and cooling system. Make sure to inspect the engine and cooling system after a few miles. For instance, after every 3 miles. 

If the engine and cooling system grow too hot, you should come to a halt. You can either contact a tow truck or wait for the engine to cool down before proceeding on your journey. This is a dangerous technique since it may harm other parts of the cooling system. You also run the danger of destroying the engine. This might be pretty costly.

Driving a car with a defective water pump is risky in general. As a result, you must be ready if your engine cannot keep up. You should hire a towing vehicle if you are concerned that the water pump may be seriously damaged unless you want to deal with a blown head gasket, a fractured cylinder head, and burnt pistons.


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How far can you drive with a broken water pump?

It depends on many factors. These are some considerations.

  • Ambient air temperature.
  • Operating temperature of the engine.
  • Cooling effects of the immediate environment on the engine block.
  • Air, Oil, or water-cooled systems.
  • Distance covered without water and time frame.

Suppose the air temperature is below -40°C and the engine is cooled by adequate airflow while maintaining a [low-stress temperature] highest gear to lowest engine turnover ratio. In that case, it may be possible to cover greater distances than on hot days in the desert in low gear and high revs.

In my experience, 5 minutes is enough to ruin the engine and 7 to destroy it. If you extend your drive for upto ten minutes, the engine is going to say bye for ever!. I am assuming here that you started the engine at normal room temperature, and it had good ventilation around it. How far you can travel would be dependent on the engine. You can move about 1000ft, then stop for a few minutes, and then continue for another 1000 ft.


How Far Can I Drive With A Blown Water Pump

Can I drive with a bad water pump?

You can as long as your coolant is safe, but still not for a long run, just until you find the place to replace it.

What happens when the water pump goes out while driving?

If the water pump fails, coolant will not be able to circulate through the engine block. If not repaired or replaced promptly, this causes overheating, resulting in further engine damage such as fractured cylinder heads, pushed head gaskets, or burnt pistons.

What are the signs of the blown water pump?

  • Coolant Leaking
  • Rust or Deposit Build-Up
  • Noise
  • Overheating


Wrap Up

Even if you may drive a car with a broken water pump, you must be aware of the problem. Make a list of the signs that suggest a faulty water pump before taking your car to the technician. According to various symptoms, the water pump has been severely damaged. 

You should not drive if steam is coming out of the radiator if the engine is overheated. These signs suggest that the water pump has been significantly damaged. You risk causing more damage to your vehicle or perhaps engine failure if you drive through them.

On the other side, you can drive through warning signs like unusual noises or coolant leaking. However, because driving is dangerous, it is preferable if you do not drive. Overall, driving with a broken water pump is risky, and you should get professional help as soon as you see any warning signs.

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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