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Total water pump failure can lead to devastating problems, including engine failure. The best approach is to be aware of the signs of failure and replace the water pump right away. If an engine’s water pump is failing, there are two replacement options to consider: a rebuilt/remanufactured water pump or a brand-new one. Before choosing, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option.

Rebuilt/Remanufactured Water Pumps


The biggest pluses on the side of rebuilt/remanufactured water pumps are:

  • They are often (but not always) cheaper in terms of price of the part
  • Some shops are equipped to do most of the rebuild themselves rather than paying for a rebuilt unit off the shelf

These two things can mean significant up-front savings.


While saving money on parts is important, be sure to consider these details before purchasing:

  • Does the pump have a warranty? Some rebuilt/remanufactured parts come with a nominal warranty, if any at all.
  • Some water pump remanufacturers use sub-standard kits to keep costs as low as possible, affecting which parts are replaced and acceptable tolerances.
  • Rebuild kits often have oversized bearings meant to compensate for wear on the shaft and housing, but this increases the risk of failure.
  • The process used to clean the pump housing can cause pitting and premature corrosion.

Rebuilding a water pump with a few new materials isn’t the same as replacing the damaged pump with a brand new part. Up-front savings on a rebuild may not end up being the most economical option. Compare costs and shop around before choosing a replacement water pump.

New Water Pumps

Replacing a water pump with an OEM-quality part may cost slightly more up front, but the odds of a recurring problem are greatly reduced. Future problems mean additional time without transportation and more repairs—both of which are costly. The truth is, some manufacturers are offering brand-new water pumps at competitive prices.

Considering the possible problems a rebuilt/remanufactured water pump could potentially cause, paying slightly more for a brand new water pump with a warranty is the better choice.


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