Jeep Grand Cherokee Water Pump Problems: Troubleshooting Guide

The water pump of the Jeep Grand Cherokee controls the flow of coolant to make the temperature of the engine remain at the optimal level. However, there are some issues that create a problem for the water pump to function properly. The water pump can get worn out or corrode when the coolant gets dirty or leaks. 

Moreover, there can be an issue with the pulley or the seal of the water pump. When the pulley vibrates or the seal gets damaged, it reduces the efficiency of the water pump and it can fail over time. Besides, the water pump of the Jeep Grand Cherokee will completely stop when the serpentine belt of the pulley is broken or torn. 

What Are the Symptoms of Jeep Grand Cherokee Water Pump Problems?

The symptoms that you will likely experience when a Jeep Grand Cherokee has water pump problems such as temperature signal gauge moving to red, smoke coming on the hood, and coolant dripping on the ground. 

Temperature Indicator Signal: The temperature indicator signal displays how much is the current temperature of the coolant on the dashboard screen of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. It gets into the middle between heat(H) and cold(C) when the temperature is optimal, but when it gets heated up due to the water pump, the indicator moves to the red that shows H. 

Smoke Coming on the Hood: The white smoke will appear on the hood from under the engine compartment, and it usually happens when the Jeep Grand Cherokee is overheated and the coolant leaks from the water pump and contacts hot engine components. 

Coolant Dripping on the Ground: The coolant will drip on the ground from the coolant overflow tank after parking the Jeep Grand Cherokee and, thus, indicates that the vehicle is overheated and there is a leak on the water pump. 

symptoms of jeep grand cherokee water pump problems

What Are The  Causes of Jeep Grand Cherokee Water Pump Issues? (Solutions)

Here are some of the causes that create issues on the water pump of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, like Dirty or leaking coolant, the water pump pulley vibrating, or the seal being damaged and the serpentine belt being broken. 

1. Dirty or Leaking Coolant

Coolant regulates the engine temperature by absorbing heat to prevent the Jeep Grand Cherokee from overheating. The coolant becomes dirty when it is degraded and loses its efficiency due to long-time usage or exposure to high temperatures. So, as it degrades, it will not absorb the heat effectively causing the water pump to corrode or completely wear out. 

Moreover, when the coolant of the Jeep Grand Cherokee is leaking from the radiator, hose, or even from the water pump, the coolant becomes low which causes the vehicle to overheat and  as a result, it puts pressure on the water pump and eventually the water pump fails or malfunction. 

Solution to Dirty or Leaking Coolant:

You have to flush the coolant when it is dirty. In order to do that, you have to drain the dirty coolant by removing the cap from underneath the radiator and from the reservoir with a pipe by siphoning method.

After draining, mix the coolant with distilled water in a 50:50 ratio in a bucket. Then, vacuum the radiator and the reservoir to dry them completely. Fill up the radiator and the reservoir with new coolant and run the engine. Make sure to observe the air bubbles in the radiator which will get low slowly when the water pump circulates and fill it up to the fullest and close the radiator cap. 

In case of a leaking coolant, find out from where the coolant is leaking. It can be from the hose, radiator, or water pump, change them from a certified service center of Jeep Grand Cherokee with the help of a professional. 

Brands such as Prestone and Zerex are making high-quality coolants, but make sure to check if they are compatible with the Jeep Grand Cherokee. It comes within a price range of $20-$30. 

2. Vibrating Water Pump Pulley or Damaged Seal

The water pump pulley helps to power the water pump with a belt that is attached to the pulley and the timing chain. It can vibrate or wobble when the bearing or the bush of the pulley is worn out, hence decreasing the efficiency of the water pump and resulting in complete failure. 

Also, the water pump housing and the engine are sealed with each other to prevent coolant from leaking out of it. The seal can be damaged when it is improperly installed or the Jeep Grand Cherokee has been sitting idle for too long. When it is damaged, the coolant will leak from the water pump, and excessive air from outside can lead to a reduction or corrosion of pump efficiency. 

Solution to Vibrating Water Pump Pulley or Damaged Seal:

In both cases, you have to replace the water pump with a new one. Most of the water pump of the Jeep Grand Cherokee comes with a pulley and a complete seal. You can follow the steps given below for changing the water pump.

  • Drain the radiator and the reservoir completely, push down the tensioner using a wrench and remove the belt with your hand.  
  • Remove the pulley bolts with a socket wrench and it will come out by itself. 
  • You should also remove the engine block and water pump blocks using a socket wrench. 
  • Remove the old water pump and place the new water pump and the pulley by tightening the bolts to their places with a socket wrench. 
  • Reattach the belt by pushing down the tensioner again by adjusting it. 
  • Make sure to fill up the coolant on the radiator and the reservoir before starting the engine. 

The water pump of Jeep Grand Cherokee comes within a price range of $50-$150.

3. Broken Serpentine Belt

The water pump of the Jeep Grand Cherokee can have an issue when there is a problem with the water pump serpentine belt. It is connected to the water pump pulley and the timing chain. The water pump will not function at all if the serpentine belt is broken or torn off. 

Solution to Broken Serpentine Belt

You have to change the serpentine belt, it is not repairable. The process is simple and you follow the steps below to change the serpentine belt from the water pump pulley.

  • Pull down the tensioner with a wrench and remove the belt from the pulley. 
  • Grab the new belt and place it on the pulley, start the engine to check if the belt is working fine or not. 

The price range of a Serpentine belt of Jeep Grand Cherokee comes between $20-$60. 

Causes of Jeep Grand Cherokee Water Pump Issues

Should You Repair or Replace a Water Pump?

It is advisable not to repair the water pump of the Jeep Grand Cherokee because it will not assure longevity. It is better to replace it with a new water pump. The new pump will provide a warranty of 5-7 years, and there will be no issue within these years if you maintain your vehicle properly. 

How Much Cost for the Jeep Grand Cherokee Water Pump Replacement?

The cost of water pump replacement of the Jeep Grand Cherokee will actually depend on how you are going to replace it.

For DIY repairs, the cost will come only from the price of the water pump which is around $50-$150. In the case of a professional mechanic, they would charge around $200-$300, including the parts and labor costs. 

Can You Drive With a Faulty Water Pump?

You can drive with a faulty water pump with low rpm(revolutions per minute) for a short distance but not for a long distance. A faulty water pump will not cool down the engine, and the engine can hit up within a short period of time while driving. There is a risk of engine seizing if the vehicle gets overheated. 

It is recommended to change the water pump immediately if you use the Jeep Grand Cherokee for your regular driving.

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