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Failing water pumps and faulty A/C systems

Autotech sponsor febi bilstein discuss failing water pumps and faulty A/C systems.

Water pumps are sometimes overlooked during routine maintenance, but they can, and will, fail if left untouched for a long period of time. To keep an engine healthy in both hot and cold conditions, it is vital that the engine has a healthy supply of coolant and the water pump is the core component responsible for this circulation. 

Symptoms of a failing water pump might be water leakage or the engine overheating. When the water pump starts to leak, it can often be due to the gasket or bearing deteriorating where the pump and engine block joins. If the pump fails completely, it can prevent the supply of coolant to the engine, causing the engine to overheat. Broken off or corroded impellers within the pump is another reason they fail. 

When faulty, the pump can loosen and create screeching, high pitched sounds. This is often caused by the bearing operating the water pump, which starts to wear out. It is important to replace this part if this symptom occurs, as once bearings fail inside the water pump, it often means the unit cannot be repaired, and a complete replacement would need to be carried out. Worst case scenario, the engine can completely fail if not provided with the substantial amount of coolant, directed by the mechanism of a water pump. 

If any of these symptoms occur, it is advisable to replace the water pump and use recommended coolants. 

Popular Reference: 104480, OE Number: 11 51 7 548 263 SK1 

To fit: BMW 5 Series (F10, F11), 6 Series (F12, F13), 7 Series (F01, F02, F04), X5 (E70), X6 (E71, E72) 


The first sales for the Škoda Octavia started in 1998 and since then, its popularity has grown, making this model one of the biggest cars in its class. febi bilstein supply over 1,300 parts for this vehicle; including steering, rubber-metal and electrical components. All of febi’s vehicle components are manufactured in OE-matching quality to provide longevity, safety assurance and optimum performance. 

Popular parts in the range include:

Part Number


OE Number



Clutch Master Cylinder

5Q0 721 388



Throttle Body

03G 128 063 Q




1K0 959 263 A



Blower Motor

1K2 819 015 C



Wiper Switch

1K0 953 519


The heater blower motor resistor, part number 102584, is a popular reference for this model, managing the speed variances of the blower motor. Without this part, the speed of the airflow from the blower motor cannot be changed or may not work at all. If the resistor is faulty, it’s likely that the fan will only work on the highest speed. The fan speed is adjusted very frequently, undergoing a huge amount of stress which, over time, can ultimately lead to failure. A failing Blower Resistor can cause many problems with the heating/air conditioning and would indicate the need for replacement.

If the fan is stuck on high, it’s likely the heater blower motor resistor is worn or faulty and should be replaced. All relevant electrical circuits need to be fully inspected to verify a faulty resistor. Other symptoms of failure may be that the blower motor stops functioning (no air leaving vents), or the blower motor only operating at two speeds, instead of four.

Note: The highest speed setting may still work because in most cars in the highest fan speed settings, the current bypasses the blower motor resistor.

The febi product brand is part of the bilstein group, which also incorporates the strong SWAG and Blue Print brands. Its entire range of parts can be found at:



About Autotechnician
Autotechnician is a magazine published nine times a year, delivering essential information to independent garage owners and technicians in the UK. Delivered both digitally and in print, autotechnician provides readers with technical, training, business advice, product and news, allowing our readers to keep up to date with information they need to run and work within a modern workshop.
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