Flush to prevent water pump failure

Gates examines the necessity of the correct coolant

Published:  24 September, 2014

Proper flushing is one of the most critical elements of cooling system maintenance, yet it is often the most neglected service item in the workshop today. Inadequate flushing can lead to premature failure of newly installed parts, resulting in warranty problems and frustrated customers. Read all about how flushing the cooling system will positively affect the performance of the cooling system.

Coolant deterioration

Mixing coolants

Inorganic additives are used to plate cooling system surfaces as they form a thick protective layer but deplete over time. They are not very selective, which means they cover all surfaces regardless of what these surfaces are made of. Organic additives form chemical bonds with vulnerable surfaces, making a thin though extremely stable protective layer offering longer protection. They are selective, targeting only the areas that need protection.

Coolant selection would be easy if all vehicle manufacturers developed their systems with the same materials. But as that is not the case, each manufacturer develops a factory fill coolant based on the cooling system component materials it contacts. So, choosing the proper replacement coolant is impacted by the cooling system design. That is why Gates recommends always replacing the vehicle's coolant with the coolant recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.

How to flush properly

Make sure the flush is complete with the old water pump still in place. Flushing after the new water pump is installed can lead to premature failure due to particulates getting caught in the seals during the flush.

Related Articles

  • A slippery situation 

    There is more to oil than simply putting it in the filler cap and making sure the levels are correct. It lubricates, reduces friction and helps an engine to perform at the peak of its power.

  • It's all in the timing 

    A job I was recently asked to look at had a bit of an odd symptom; it would run (apparently quite well), as long as the camshaft position sensor was unplugged. The previous history on the vehicle, a 2009 2.5 TDI VW Transporter, was very limited. During my initial inspection, I noticed that the vehicle was suffering from a slightly extended cranking time, which is quite normal for a cam sensor related issue, as the engine ECU cannot easily calculate which TDC is which.

  • Bearing in mind 

    Wheel bearings are a component of the vehicle where friction is detrimental to their activity. The bearing must remain free and smooth in its workings in order to ensure the wheel can rotate without impediment.

  • Staying in control 


  • Tools that build trust 

    Matt Lamming, Diagnostic Product Specialist at Snap-on, explains how storing and sharing vehicle fault code data can ensure repeat business


Sign Up

For the latest news and updates from Aftermarket Magazine.


Where should the next Automechanika show be held?


©DFA Media 1999-2018