Do Teslas Have A Water Pump?

It is fairly obvious that a Tesla is almost entirely different from a standard internal combustion car. Obviously, they don’t have an internal combustion engine and therefore don’t require as large of a radiator that cools it, but what about the rest of the cooling system? That leads us to the topic of this article.

Do Teslas have a water pump? All Tesla models do have a water pump. In fact, there are multiple water pumps on a Tesla that work to cool various components on the vehicle. The main water pump is responsible for circulating the coolant through the battery pack, which generates heat through usage.

You may or may not be familiar with the term water pump. What exactly is that? Let’s begin by talking a little bit about your cars cooling system. On an internal combustion engine car, your engine produces a ton of heat. As such, fluid is used to take heat out of the engine so that engine doesn’t overheat and remains at an optimal temperature.

This coolant must then be cooled as well so that it can be reused without just putting heat back into the system. This is done using air. The critical component here is your radiator. The radiator is a finned heat exchanger. It is mounted at the front of your car and allows the air to flow through it as you are driving. Inside of the radiator, your coolant is flowing and the heat is transferred from the coolant to the air. So what exactly does your water pump do?

Your water pump is the heart of this entire system. The water pump is what pumps the coolant through the engine and through the radiator. It is what gets the coolant moving. Generally, your water pump is driven directly by the engine. Your serpentine belt will wrap around a pulley that turns your water pump. So if your Tesla, doesn’t have to cool an engine, then why does it have a water pump?

Do Teslas Have A Water Pump?

As we’ve previously mentioned, yes Teslas do have a water pump. Why is that? First off, while a Tesla may not have to cool an internal combustion engine, it does still have other critical components that it needs to cool. A radiator really is just a heat exchanger, and these can be used for a lot more than just cooling an engine.

As such, your Tesla has multiple radiators. These are used for things like cooling the and maintaining the temperature of your electric battery and for heat exchange in your HVAC system. Each separate cooling system requires some sort of power source that provides the circulation of fluid. The water pumps are what make this possible. So, not only do you have a water pump on your Tesla, but you have multiple water pumps.

As we’ve discussed, a Tesla is very different from a standard internal combustion car. The entire powertrain is completely different between the two. While there are huge differences between the two, a lot of similar technologies are shared between the two. For example, the radiator. There is a reason that radiators are still used in internal combustion cars today and have been used for decades.

That is because they are extremely efficient at transferring heat and utilizing the air around the car to do so. Because the technology works so well, it is a no brainer to also incorporate it into an electric car even if it’s to serve a very different purpose.

What Does The Water Pump Do In A Tesla?

So, what purpose does the water pump serve in a Tesla? As we’ve described, the purpose of a water pump is just to circulate coolant. This could be done for a variety of different reasons but it’s entire purpose is just to circulate fluid. 

In the earlier days of internal combustion cars, the engines were cooled using just water. Instead of engine coolant like we have today, pure water was used. This was a cheap and simple solution but it offered several problems. First off, water freezes when it gets cold out. Your engine coolant freezing can cause damage to components from expansion and contraction and also prevent coolant from flowing while frozen.

Secondly, water can be pretty corrosive. Against certain materials, water can lead to rust and corrosion that can weak and cause components to fail. It was determined that something better needed to be implemented. And so anti-freeze was born. Antifreeze would not freeze at cold temperatures (as the name suggests) and was much kinder on the objects that were exposed to it. Today, cars are recommended to use a mixture of both water and engine coolant.

These early days of cars are what led to the name water pump. It literally was a pump for circulating water. Nowadays, the fluid that it is circulating isn’t necessarily water, but it serves the exact same purpose. It just continually circulates coolant throughout any given cooling system.

How Often Does A Water Pump Need To Be Replaced And How Much Does It Cost?

So, exactly how frequently should a water pump be changed out? Fortunately, water pumps last quite a long time on a Tesla. This is attributed to several factors. First off, your coolant doesn’t get nearly as hot in an electric car as it does in an internal combustion engine. As such, not only does your water pump last longer, but all of the other components in your cooling system including the coolant itself.

Secondly, your water pump is usually moving much less fluid than the water pump on an internal combustion engine. This reduced flow can put less stress on the water pump. Tesla water pumps should make at least 100,000 miles before needing to be replaced. A really good water pump could last you much longer than that as well.

So how much will it cost you to get the water pump replaced? This will vary from model to model, year to year, and depending on which water pump you are replacing. Teslas have both belt driven water pumps and electric water pumps. If one of the electric ones goes out, it will cost you a lot more money than for a belt driven one.

So, about how much will it cost you? Depending on which one failed, you will be looking at paying between $375 and $800 to get the water pump replaced. That includes the parts (water pump, seals, new coolant, etc.) as well as the labor to switch it out. While it is not outrageously expensive to get one replaced, it can still be quite a bit more expensive than on a normal internal combustion engine car. You will want to shop around though and see what prices are at the shops near where you live. 

Signs Of A Bad Water Pump In A Tesla

So, how exactly can you tell when your water pump is going bad on your Tesla? Tesla water pumps are actually very robust and last quite a long time. Although, nothing can be perfect, they will eventually start to fail. There are some signs that you can notice that will tell you when it’s time to replace it.

The first and most obvious sign of a failing water pump is a puddle of coolant. You can see these collect on the ground underneath your car. While a coolant leak doesn’t necessarily mean that the water pump is the problem, it very well could be. You will need to take a look at your cooling system to determine where the leak is coming from. It could be coming from the radiator or radiator hoses as well.

The second sign would be that your coolant temperature is getting hotter than normal or even starting to overheat. Again, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the water pump is the culprit but it is a sign that something in your cooling system isn’t working right. It is likely time to take a look at everything and try to figure out what is going on.

Lastly, you may notice a sound from your water pump. This is generally the hardest sign to notice. If a bearing were to wear out and start to fail, you may start to hear a whirring or grinding sound as the water pump is turning. This likely won’t be extremely loud but it can be loud enough to hear if you listen closely. This would be a sign that it’s time to replace your water pump.

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