Dodge challenger water pump problems

Dodge challenger water pump problems DEFAULT

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Water Pump Replacement Service

How much does a Water Pump Replacement cost?

On average, the cost for a Dodge Challenger Water Pump Replacement is $280 with $166 for parts and $114 for labor. Prices may vary depending on your location.

CarServiceEstimateShop/Dealer Price
2013 Dodge ChallengerV8-6.4LService typeWater Pump ReplacementEstimate$604.04Shop/Dealer Price$725.06 - $1052.11
2015 Dodge ChallengerV6-3.6LService typeWater Pump ReplacementEstimate$561.40Shop/Dealer Price$674.29 - $967.89
2010 Dodge ChallengerV8-6.1LService typeWater Pump ReplacementEstimate$542.82Shop/Dealer Price$653.81 - $946.22
1978 Dodge ChallengerL4-2.6LService typeWater Pump ReplacementEstimate$449.75Shop/Dealer Price$545.68 - $806.50
2010 Dodge ChallengerV6-3.5LService typeWater Pump ReplacementEstimate$1173.97Shop/Dealer Price$1430.44 - $2138.88
2016 Dodge ChallengerV6-3.6LService typeWater Pump ReplacementEstimate$561.40Shop/Dealer Price$674.29 - $967.88
2018 Dodge ChallengerV6-3.6LService typeWater Pump ReplacementEstimate$642.78Shop/Dealer Price$777.78 - $1144.98
2015 Dodge ChallengerV8-5.7LService typeWater Pump ReplacementEstimate$642.62Shop/Dealer Price$775.26 - $1129.36

Show example Dodge Challenger Water Pump Replacement prices

What is a water pump and how does it work?

The water pump is a belt or chain-driven engine accessory bolted to the engine above the crankshaft pulley. The pump housing has an impeller that circulates engine coolant through the cooling system passageways in the engine block and cylinder head, on to the radiator, where the coolant temperature is reduced. . The lower temperature coolant then flows back to the water inlet on the engine and the water pump continues the cycle.

When to consider replacing the water pump:

  • Coolant leaks or overheating. The water pump impeller shaft is supported by a bearing. Eventually, the bearing or seal can wear and leak or damage the impeller. Many water pumps have weep holes near the pump bearing. If you see significant leakage from that weep hole, it is time to replace the pump.
  • Bearing roughness or noise. If the water pump shaft does not turn smoothly or the pump is noisy, the bearing is excessively worn. Pump replacement will be necessary.
  • Timing belt replacement. In engines where the water pump is driven by the timing belt, it is a good idea to replace the water pump at the same time the timing belt is replaced. The extensive work explains why it is always recommended to replace the water pump whenever the mechanic already has these components removed for regularly scheduled timing belt replacement.

How do mechanics replace the water pump?

  • The water pump is usually bolted to the front of the engine. The replacement procedure will vary depending on whether the pump is driven by the timing belt, the serpentine belt, or chain.
  • On a cold engine, the engine coolant is drained to a level below the water pump.
  • Components that require removing to access the water pump are removed, including the belt or chain that directly drive the pump.
  • The bolts holding the pump to the engine are removed and the pump is pulled out.
  • The gasket surface must be cleaned and the pump mounting surface inspected. A new gasket, rubber seal, or RTV sealant, as required, is installed and then the new pump. The bolts are torqued in sequence using a calibrated inch pound torque wrench.
  • For applications where the water pump is driven by the timing belt, the timing belt must be removed. Typically, this requires removal of the crankshaft pulley, timing belt covers, and timing belt tensioner. Once the new pump is installed, new coolant is added back while bleeding the cooling system of any air. The engine is then run and brought to normal operating temperature to check for leaks and ensure normal operating temperature.

Is it safe to drive with a water pump problem?

No. Should the water pump only leak a little bit, you can drive the car. However, a small leak could suddenly enlarge or the pump bearing might unexpectedly seize. Either circumstance would likely cause engine overheating. If a defective water pump causes the overheating, it is not safe to drive because of the damage to the engine.

When replacing the water pump keep in mind:

  • It is best to install a new cooling system thermostat when you install a new water pump, especially if the thermostat is old or original.
  • Completely flushing the cooling system is a good idea when you replace the water pump. Flushing can be done before or after pump replacement.
  • The rest of the cooling system should be inspected too — particularly rubber hoses, which have a limited lifetime.

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Water pump

The water pump is the heart of the cooling system for any engine. It works to pump coolant through the engine in order to remove the heat. It also pumps coolant into the radiator to remove heat throughout the engine. This component is as critical to the cooling system as the oil pump is to the lubrication system. Unfortunately, the water pump operates in a slightly harsher environment than its lubricating counterpart, which may result in water pump issues over time and miles of operation.

Aside from material (many water pumps now use aluminum castings as opposed to cast iron), not much has changed with water pumps over the years. Basically, it’s an impeller inside of a housing that circulates the coolant through the engine. In popular inline 4-cylinder overhead cam (OHC) engines, the water pump is driven by the timing belt, while on V-style engines, it is driven by a V-belt via a pulley mounted on the pump shaft flange.

A centrifugal water pump (1), such as the one used on HEMI® V8 engines (see Figure 1), circulates coolant through water jackets, passages, intake manifold, radiator core, cooling system hoses and the heater core (this allows the passenger compartment to be heated). The pump is driven from the engine crankshaft by a single serpentine main drive belt.

The impeller (2) is pressed onto the rear of the shaft and it rotates on bearings pressed into the housing (3). The housing has two small holes to allow seepage to escape. The water pump seals are lubricated by the antifreeze in the coolant, eliminating the need for additional lubrication. The water pump is mounted directly to the timing chain cover. It is equipped with a non-serviceable integral pulley.

If the coolant temperature rises above normal, a problem with the water pump may become evident. While the water pump might not necessarily be the source of the problem, it’s not a bad place to look first. So, start by checking for cracks in the housing, and then look for coolant leaks.

When a water pump fails, it is likely that the shaft seal is bad. If the shaft seal is bad, a trail of dried, thick deposit of glycol on the pump body is a tell tale sign. When the leak is severe, the coolant will find its way onto the ground under the vehicle. When coolant is found on the ground, don’t assume that the water pump is bad. Check to make sure. The coolant leak might be from a coolant hose or a hose connection.

If the primary weep passage is plugged, coolant might leak through the secondary weep hole and collect in the valley of the engine. This coolant will eventually run out the backside of the engine. A leak of this type might give a false indication that an engine block core plug might be leaking on the backside of the engine. If this condition is found, clean the primary weep passage of debris.

Note: It is normal for the water pump to weep a small amount of coolant from the primary weep hole; this will look like a black stain at the weep hole; this is not a sign of pump failure; the trail of thick deposits is the sign of seal failure which requires pump replacement.

Other types of water pump failure are (1) the impeller rubbing on the inside of the cylinder block and (2) an excessively loose or rough turning bearing. Both of these conditions are a sign of failure that requires pump replacement.

Water pump replacement is more straightforward on the HEMI V8 engine due to the fact that this particular engine is not transverse mounted, as is the case with many other models with 4- and 6-cylinder engines. As a result, access to the water pump is less cluttered, making the replacement procedure much easier than it would be on transverse-mounted engines.Close up of HEMI engine water pump

While the replacement procedure is straightforward, several components must be removed in order to gain access to the water pump. First, remove the air cleaner body, the resonator-mounting bracket and the cooling fan assembly. Next, drain the cooling system and then remove the serpentine belt. Remove the heater tube bolt and disconnect the engine coolant temperature (ECT) sensor wire harness connector.

Refer to Figure 2; remove the upper radiator hose from the thermostat housing (1) and move to the side. Remove the bolt and the idler pulley (5). Next, remove the belt tensioner assembly (4). Remove the lower radiator hose from the water pump and move it out of the way. Remove the upper stud bolt (2) and the water pump mounting bolts (6). Carefully remove the water pump (3) from the cover while removing the metal bypass tube.

Before installing the new water pump, clean and inspect the mating surfaces of the timing chain cover. Again, refer to Figure 2. Install the new water pump (3) and tighten the bolts (6) to the proper torque specification. For our subject vehicle, a 2014 Dodge Challenger, the correct torque for the water pump mounting bolts is 18 ft.-lbs. Install the upper stud bolt (2).

Next, install the lower radiator hose to the water pump, then install the upper radiator hose to the thermostat housing (1). Install the belt tensioner assembly (4) and tighten that bolt to 30 ft.-lbs. Install the idler pulley (5) and tighten that bolt to 21 ft.-lbs. Connect the ECT wire harness connector. Then, using a new O-ring, install the heater tube.

To complete the installation, install the serpentine belt, the cooling fan assembly and the air cleaner body. Evacuate the air from the cooling system and refill it with the proper coolant. Start the engine and bring it to normal operating temperature. Check for any cooling system leaks.

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Water Pump Problems of Dodge Challenger

1 Water Pump problem of the 2014 Dodge Challenger

Failure Date: 08/20/2020

Car shuts off at apporximately 45mph. Almost wreck and then flickers back to normal operating and drive home(5)minutes and park. Will not start back up. Towed the car to a Dodge dealer who replaced the alternator recall and tells me to pick it up. I go pick it up and now it will not change gears, over heats in dealership parking lot and fans will not operate. Dealer keeps car and says it's a bad water pump and thermostat. At this point I do not trust dealer and replace the water pump, thermostat, idler pulley, temp sensor, belt tensioner myself. Start car and sounds great but overheats again. Now will not start at all. I see many many complaints about this and Dodge does nothign because it is out of warranty. Note to self. . . . Goverment still not protecting the little guy. Side note. . . . Will never buy another Dodge!.

See all problems of the 2014 Dodge Challenger 🔎.

3 Water Pump problem of the 2015 Dodge Challenger

Failure Date: 07/10/2016

The motor was making a groaning noise, it was taken to the dealership for diagnosis. The dealer claimed the water pump was defective but the car was still able to be driven. The dealer reported a back order on the replacement part and allowed me to take the car and continue driving until the part came in. Within 200 miles, the motor developed a squeaking noise and the engine would surge uncontrollably. The car was returned to the dealer. The dealer determined the squealing and surging as the water pump had failed and the car was determined not safe to drive. The part has been on back order in excess of one month.

See all problems of the 2015 Dodge Challenger 🔎.

4 Water Pump problem of the 2010 Dodge Challenger

Failure Date: 08/14/2013

Engine stalled in traffic. My wife ,a nurse lives 3 miles from work. The air conditioning has always been poor while driving in the city an more efficient on the highway but never really cold. Her car has had the water pump replaced for leaking shaft seal. Engine shut off in traffic. The engine showed hot. Took to dealer, and again the water pump gasket was leaking. They said that was the reason the air conditioning was not up to specifications. No codes in the computer. After changing the orfice tube. Still not cooling. Now changing the dryer an condenser. Still doesn't cool. Freon has been drained an refilled now 5 times during trouble shooting. Come to think about it. The car has stalled twice on me turning out of the parking lot at my lodge. This engine stalling is a concern for me because she is not strong enough to handle the steering an brakes. I see it's an issue with other owners. This needs to be looked into before a major injury happens.

See all problems of the 2010 Dodge Challenger 🔎.

Other Common Engine And Engine Cooling related problems of Dodge Challenger

Dodge Challenger timing belt water pump part1

Your Dodge Challenger’s water pump is one of the most crucial parts of the engine.  If it doesn’t pump water through the engine, it’s going to overheat and do a lot of damage.  Typical signs of a bad water pump include overheating, white smoke, a bad smell, rough idle, and more.

P0118 Dodge Challenger

A water pump works by pumping water through the engine.  If nothing turns it, it can’t pump any water.  Taking a look at the health of the drive belt is always a great place to start if you are trying to figure out if your Challenger’s water pump is bad.

It is possible for the water pump to last for the entire life of the vehicle.  But it is a simple machine with moving parts, which means that failure will inevitably strike.  The only question is how long will it take to happen.


Bad Water Pump Signs: Dodge Challenger

Here are the most common symptoms of a bad water pump in your Challenger:


1. Noise

A noisy water pump can indicate that it has a bearing that is going out.  The problem with most engine noises is that they are difficult to hunt down.  

If your water pump is easy to reach, you can gently place a really long screwdriver tip against it.  Then, place the handle end of the screwdriver against your ear.  You should be able to hear the noise clearly coming from the water pump.

Be careful, there are a lot of moving parts around the water pump.


2. Leaking Water Pump

Water leaking from around your Challenger’s water pump is a sure indication that the water pump could be bad.  It could be the water pump or the water pump gasket causing the leak.  

You have to pull the water pump to replace the gasket.  Due to the relative low price of a water pump in relation to how much work it takes to get off, we recommend replacing the water pump even if the gasket is bad.


3. Low Coolant Level

If the coolant is leaking out of the water pump from somewhere, you’re going to get low coolant.  The problem is that low coolant can indicate a lot of different problems.  It can indicate a bad radiator, radiator hose, or thermostat housing as well.


4. Overheating and/or Steam

If your Challenger has leaked enough radiator fluid, there won’t be enough left to properly cool your engine, and it’ll overheat.

Steam will rise out of the hood if engine coolant is leaking onto the exhaust.


Bad Water Pump Behavior

Dodge Challenger Bad Water Pump Symptoms

It can be tough trying to figure out if your Challenger’s water pump is bad.  The signs of a bad water pump are the same as a lot of other radiator components.

A water pump that is struggling to function will cause your Challenger to run hot.  If you have a temperature gauge and you see that your Challenger is running hotter than it should be, try parking and revving the engine a bit (in neutral or park).  If the gauge goes down, that would be a very strong indicator that the water pump is bad.


Bad Water Pump Causes:  Dodge Challenger

Here are some of the most common problems that can lead to a bad water pump:


Dry Rotation

Your Challenger’s water pump is designed to rotate with coolant inside of it.  This helps create a watertight seal that can withstand the pressure in the cooling system.

Without water the fluid cushion between the two rings (shaft and stationary) is lost.  These rings will quickly fail and you’ll be stuck with a slow leak from the water pump.

This can happen when you’ve allowed your Challenger to run without coolant, or if you’ve recently replaced the water pump and dry started it without any coolant.


Bad/Improper Seal

Over time, the seal can go bad around the water pump.  It’ll start leaking water and go bad.  A big mistake that people make when they put a new water pump on is to use a bunch of gasket sealer.  Most manufacturers will only recommend a small amount in a few key places or none at all.


Wrong Coolant

It is imperative that you follow the Dodge’s directions when it comes to the type of coolant that you use.  The wrong coolant can eat away at the gasket.

Contaminants in the cooling system can wear down the gasket and seals as well.  Using the wrong coolant can cause internal rust and corrosion.  This corrosion will effectively water blast the water pump.


Bad Bearings

Your water has bearings in the rotating assembly.  They can fail like any other bearing.  If the bearings are bad it usually won’t do so quietly.  A horrible squeaking noise that goes up and down with your Challenger’s engine RPM should be observed.


Serpentine Belt

The serpentine belt can cause the water pump to go bad if it’s been improperly installed, or if there’s too much tension on it.  Here are some common signs that a serpentine belt is bad.  


Conclusion:  Challenger Bad Water Pump Symptoms

A bad water pump has the potential to cause a lot of engine damage.  Getting ahead of it before your Challenger overheats will save you a lot of money.  

Thank you for reading.  We really hope that this helps.  Please feel free to leave a comment below with any questions or concerns that you may have.


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S6 Water Pump Repair on Dodge Challenger \u0026 Cooling System Ops

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