How to Replace a Car Water Pump

Removing an inspecting the water pump to your car may be the only way to diagnose problems in the cooling system. The job of water pump is to circulate coolant from the radiator to the engine, and back to the radiator where absorbed heat is allowed to dissipate. If the component malfunctions, coolant will be unable to reach the engine. Heat will continue to rise until the assembly seizes, possibly causing substantial damage. Before we start make sure the car's engine is cold and the car is located on level ground with the parking brake set, also make sure you are wearing protective gloves, eyewear and clothing.

1. First release the hood latch cable located under the dash on the drivers side on most cars, then disconnect the negative terminal from the battery. Note: radio presets will be lost. So make a note of them to re-enter them after the job is complete.

2. Raise the car to gain access to the underside of the car. Always lift the vehicle according to the vehicle's manufacturers instructions. Use jack stands to secure the automobile.

3. Remove plastic covers under the engine compartment to gain access to the radiator drain valve or lower radiator hose. Position a coolant drain pan under the radiator to catch the engine coolant. Loosen the drain valve or lower radiator hose the release the coolant. Once this process is complete move to the topside of the engine compartment.

4. Remove any plastic covers and shields to gain access to the main pulley to water pump bolts. Loosen these bolts two turns but do not remove them. Next remove the main drive belt. On some models you may need to remove the upper radiator hose and brackets to gain access.

5. Remove any obstructing brackets or accessories needed to remove the water pump mounting bolts. Remove the water pump mounting bolts. Use the leverage bar and carefully pry up on the snout of the pump, this will break the gasket seal and allow the pump to be removed.

6. Once the pump has been removed use the gasket cleaner to remove any excessive gasket material or old sealer. The gasket sealing surface needs to be as clean as possible to ensure a good seal for the new water pump gasket.

7. Before installing the new water pump match the old part to the new part, make sure the bolt holes and mounting flanges are exactly the same. Once confirmed that in fact we do have the right part install the water pump gasket. Some water pumps require gasket sealer while others do not. Typically water pump that uses an o-ring seal do not need gasket sealer.

8. Reinstall the water pump and hold it in place by installing one or two mounting bolts tightened by hand. Next, install the remainder of the mounting bolts, Tighten the mounting bolts evenly and to the recommended torque tightness.

9. Once he new pump is on and secured reinstall all mounting brackets and hoses.

10. Reinstall the main cooling fan or water pump drive pulley.

11. Install fan shroud and plastic valances as needed.

12. Reinstall the serpentine belt, make sure the belt is aligned with the pulley groves.

13. Reinstall the upper radiator hose and double check all bolts and cooling hose connections.

14. Remove the radiator cap and pour the recommended coolant mixture until full.

15. Start the engine and allow to idle, Keep adding coolant as needed until the engine is running at operating temperature. You will know the engine is at operating temperature because you will able to notice coolant moving inside the radiator and the radiator will get hot. You can also reference the engine temperature gauge. Reinstall the radiator cap and check the level of the coolant reservoir, add if needed. Also after the engine has been running for a few hours allow the engine to cool completely and recheck the engine coolant level.

It is a good idea once the job is done to inspect the under carriage for leaks and the engine compartment for funny noises to ensue the job it done correctly.