5 Symptoms To Detect water pump failure On 7.3 Powerstroke

Water pumps push coolants through the system to the engine and back to the radiator to regulate temperature. However, with time the pump fails due to various causes, including corrosion and wear, which is evident in the 6.0 Powerstroke engine. But what are the symptoms of a failing 6.0 Powerstroke water pump?

Symptoms of water pump failure for a 6.0 Powerstroke engine include overheating caused by reduced or lack of coolant circulation. The engine sometimes produces steam, evident when driving to signify overheating. Other symptoms include leaking coolant and a corroded water pump.

The water pump failure doesn’t only affect the engine performance but also poses a threat to other vehicle parts. The 6.0 Powerstroke engines manufactured since 2003 have several telling symptoms of a water pump failure, as in the following table.

6.0 Powerstroke Water Pump Failure SymptomsQuick Fix
Engine overheatingOverheating is due to reduced cooling activities.
Engine temperatures higher than 220° F (104°C).
Coolant leaksLeaks are signs of corroded or unfitting pumps.
GunkGunk in the bell housing or the engine valley area
This signifies a slowly leaking coolant.
Whining NoisesWhining sounds from the water pump.
The sounds might be from a loose pulley belt or a worn-out cog.
Smoke or SteamSmoke from under the vehicle’s hood
This signifies overheating and lack of coolant circulation.

6.0 powerstroke water pump failure symptoms – (with solutions)

Since a vehicle has many mechanical parts prone to failure, it’s crucial to know the symptoms. This is to be able to provide the necessary diagnosis and fix as soon as they are realized.

The 6.0 Powerstroke engines manufactured since 2003 have several telling symptoms of a water pump failure, as in the following table.

For a heavy engine like the 6.0 Powerstroke, during these fluid transfers, the water pump can develop various problems listed below.

#1. Corrosion

Corrosion happens if the pump is cracked or damaged, allowing moisture. The three corrosion agents include metal, moisture, and an oxidizing agent known as an electron acceptor thatcauses pump corrosion.

When this happens, the solution is to replace the faulty pump. Using water and rust-resistant material will help avert the problem. You could also paint the surface to shield it from water damage and corrosion.

#2. Unfitting pumps

Two different-sized pumps can cause coolant leaks leading to a pump failure.

To correct the mess and prevent a recurrence, use a pump and a horse that fits your 6.0 Powerstroke engine. Mismatched items can cause coolant leakage.

#3. Lack, or poorly installed belt

If the belt is defective, it can interfere with the coolant supply and risks overheating the engine.

Use fitting belts to minimize slippages and failures interrupting operations. Most times, the timing belt replacement happens during the water pump replacement to ensure their lifespan match.

#4. Wear and tear

Worn-out pump cogs, or other automotive pump parts can fail. Since this is a machine like any other, wearing out is normal. Lubricating the mobile parts may help, but wear and tear will still occur at some point.

In most cases, replacing the worn-out parts fixes the problem. If the damage is beyond repair for the entire system, you’ll need an entirely new pump. A new water pump for a 6.0 Powerstroke engine costs $195 – $250. However, plus installations, the price can range between $350 – $800.

#5. Using old or wrong coolant

The old or wrong coolant can upset the coolant-to-water ratio and fail to cool the engine.

The antifreeze should have an equal water-to-coolant ratio of 50:50. Ford 6.0 Powerstroke engine uses Motorcraft Gold or compatible antifreeze that meets Ford specifications.

#6. Neglect

Regular maintenance goes a long way in keeping your water pump functional. If you don’t emphasize regular maintenance, you’ll be surprised to see your water pump collapse when you least expect it.

Some problems, like a slow leak, are hard to notice and require regular monitoring. Regular check-ups also ensure most problems are diagnosed earlier and fixed.

For any engine to operate normally, the cooling system must be effective. The 6.0 Powerstroke engine, which has a horsepower of 350 hp and an rpm of over 2600, requires cooling for performance.

What Are the Effects of a Failed 6.0 Powerstroke Water Pump?

While some failures have less impact on the vehicle, most especially those related to the engine can be catastrophic. The 6.0 Powerstroke engine replaced the 7.3L one so as to comply with the emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles and engines.

Unfortunately, it developed a few problems, which is the reason we have this subject. The following are the possible effects of a failed water pump on the 6.0 Powerstroke engine.

1. Damaged Parts

Since the cooling system involves several parts dependent on each other, a failure of one can affect others. Leaking coolant can cause the engine’s head gasket to blow.

2. Damaged Engine

Lack of coolant circulation exposes the engine to extreme temperatures; the engine block can crack. Also, if coolant fluid gets into the engine, it can cause costly damage.

3. Spoilt Coolant

With the increased heat, if the coolant’s temperature goes above 112° C, it risks damage. A quality coolant is costly to buy and repair.

4. Interrupted Driving

Due to the increased temperature, the engine will fail regularly and interrupt driving. The engine also risks overheating and completely failing mid-journey.

Usually, the faster you respond to a faulty water pump, the better because you stop the problem from extending. 

bad water pump symptoms related (FAQs)

The following are the related questions to this topic and their answers. We believe you will find them resourceful.

Is It Possible to Drive with A Damaged Water Pump?

Though it’s shortsighted to drive with a damaged water pump, it is possible and done in some race cars. However, the distance you can cover is limited and dependent on the vehicle. Also, the weather in which you drive can determine the distance you can cover by cooling the engine.

How Long Does A 6.0 Powerstroke Engine Water Pump Last?

Despite being a heavy-duty engine, a 6.0 Powerstroke engine water pump can go over 60,000 miles. Most water pumps cover distances ranging between 60,000 – 100000 miles before requiring a replacement. However, some get damaged before this distance depending on the credibility of other cooling system parts.

7.3 Powerstroke water pump issue >> Check out the video below:


While the 6.0 Powerstroke is a good engine; it has various problems. These problems include failing cooling systems that would cause engine damage leading to expensive repairs and recalls. Luckily some failures like water pumps can be realized and fixed before causing extensive damage.

The 6.0 Powerstroke water pump failure has symptoms like overheating, causing steam from the hood. Coolant leaks are another symptom evident due to the corroded or mismatched parts allowing leaks. Regular checkups are crucial to help identify and fix water pump problems as early as possible.

Here are other powerstroke related articles you might like:

7 Most Common Symptoms Of Bad Injector On 7.3 Powerstroke

6 ICP Sensor 7.3 Powerstroke Symptoms (With Solutions)

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Mahir Ahmed


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