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How To Replace A Water Pump

When your engine is on, the water pump circulates coolant, or antifreeze, in the cylinder head and the engine block to cool the engine down. After the coolant passes through the engine it's sent back into the radiator to be cooled before entering the engine again.



Parts you'll need:

  • Jack and safety stands
  • Socket set
  • Wrench set
  • Garden hose
  • Vinyl gloves
  • Oil absorbent
  • Thread sealant or medium strength Loc-Tite
  • Water pump
  • Hoses (if needed)
  • New hose clamps
  • RTV silicone
  • Coolant
  • Radiator flushing chemicals
  • Radiator flush tee
  • New radiator cap (if needed)
  • Distilled water



Removing a water pump

  1. Locate the radiator drain plug, put a drain pan under it and open it up to drain the radiator.
  2. Once the radiator is drained, remove the hose going to the water pump and drain the remaining fluid from it.
  3. Loosen the tension on any belts driving the water pump, and remove the belts.
  4. If your water pump is driven by the timing belt, be extra careful to not turn the crank or camshafts while the timing belt is off. If you have a double overhead cam engine, use a cam locking tool to lock your cam gears together BEFORE removing the timing belt.
  5. Remove any brackets attached to the water pump.
  6. Loosen the water pump pulley bolts then remove the pulley from the water pump.
  7. To make life easy, remove any components that may get in the way while you're removing the water pump like fan shrouds, plastic panels, fan, etc.
  8. Loosen and remove the water pump bolts, then remove the water pump.
  9. Remove any leftover gasket material still on the engine. Clean the sealing surface until you have bare metal to ensure the new gasket will seal properly.



Installing a water pump

  1. Place a small bead of RTV silicone on the engine side of the new water pump gasket, and on the sealing surface of the new water pump; this will help seal it better and hold things in place during reassembly. Not too much though! You don't want it getting into the cooling passages once you tighten the water pump bolts later on. 

REMEMBER: If your water pump uses "O" rings instead of gaskets, do not use silicone. Just remember to clean up ALL the surfaces that the rings will seal against. You don't want any leaks when you're finished!

  1. Let the RTV silicone cure for about 10 minutes, then install the water pump and gaskets so they're situated exactly the same as the parts you removed earlier.

  2. Before installing the water pump bolts, use a thread sealant or medium strength Loc-Tite (blue) on the bolts to make sure there are no leaks or bolts loosening later on.

  3. Install the water pump bolts, and torque using proper torque technique and specifications for your application 

    Always use the right torque settings when installing anything with a gasket. If you over tighten (this is easy to do), you can wreck the gasket before you even start the car. If it's not tight enough, you'll get leaks.

  4. Reinstall any brackets and hoses you removed, and always use new hose clamps.

  5. Reinstall or retighten anything you removed or loosened when you removed the water pump (ie. plastic panels, fans, shrouds, etc.)

  6. Close the radiator drain and fill the cooling system.

  7. Reinstall the radiator cap and start the engine.

  8. Check for any leaks and you're done.