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You'll know when your losing a water pump in these. Usually the tell tale signs are:
Weeping pumps that drip on serpentine belts that sling coolant
Antifreeze smell
Grab the pump pulley, give it a few good tugs back and forth(towards and away from the windshield). If it moves the bearing is probably wasted. This is also accompanied by a few different sounds, most that are embarrassing when heard in public.

I've been working on cars for a very long time, and I've never seen an idle change with a bad pump.
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