Author's Note

Knock on grounded chassis metal, I've never had a piece of clothing get caught by a running engine's accessory belt and have it suck me into the biting metal parts below. But lots of people have and suffered serious injury. The moment I first laid eyes on a running auto engine, at age three or four, I thought, "how beautiful...and dangerous!" Since then, I have skinned numerous knuckles and shouted many words unsuitable for this Web site in wrestling with aptly named serpentine belts. Later in your vehicle's life, belts can become a real pain. They crack. They fray. They glaze over and make embarrassing "skeeeeweee!!!" noises when you start your car. Mechanical water pumps use a belt. Mechanical water pumps themselves also break. I, for one, would not mind seeing the wholesale electrification of water pumps and other under-hood accessories as standard equipment. In fact, I predict that's exactly what we'll witness over the next decade or so. This was a fun article to write because it reminded me once again how cars are evolving into more intelligent, electrical machines in order to solve the limitations of pure mechanical approaches. Whether you love or hate the idea of all-electric cars, electrified cars are here to stay -- and the electric water pump is just one more reason why.

Sources

  • Daviescraig.com. "Electric Water Pumps (EWP) FAQs." (March 19, 2012) http://www.daviescraig.com.au/Electric_Water_Pumps__EWP-content.aspx
  • Heath, Jay. "LT1 Electric Water Pump - High Volts Low Temps Redux." Vetteweb.com. November 2008. (March 17, 2012) http://www.vetteweb.com/tech/vemp_0811_corvette_lt1_electric_water_pump/viewall.html
  • Superchevy.com. "Pumping Losses -- Is Your Water Pump Costing You Power?" February 2009. (March 17, 2012) http://www.superchevy.com/technical/engines_drivetrain/accessories_electronics/0408sc_pump/viewall.html