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Replacing a Water Pump

Replacing a water pump is one of those auto repairs that many people avoid doing because they think it is a lot more difficult than it really is. In truth, replacing a water pump is not the simplest auto maintenance job, but it isn’t as complicated as you may think. Although it's not as important as safe driving and accident avoidance, it's still an important maintenance project. Just follow some simple steps and you can probably pull it off with no sweat.

Purpose of Car Water Pump

The water pump in a vehicle ensures proper flow of coolant through the coolant system of a car. If you see that the pulley bearing on the pump is no good, or if you see that the gasket is leaking on the pump, it is time to replace the water pump. You can do this on your own and save some money.

The first step is to find the right replacement part for the job. There are a few different ways you can do this. Either visit the neighborhood auto parts store, or order one online. Either way, make sure to get the right part specific to your exact make and model.

Removing the Old Water Pump

Turn off the engine of the car and let the engine cool before you do any work on it. Once you are ready to begin, find the ground on the car battery and disconnect it. Next, you will need to drain the cooling system. Set a pan underneath the cooling system and drain it completely. It has to be totally drained before you proceed.

Next, find the mounting brackets or the alternator and loosen them so that you can take off the drive belts. Choose the right size socket for this task and lift the belts out of the way. Take a look at your path to the water pump and clear out anything that is in the way: this could possibly include the engine pulley, for example, the fan or the fan shroud. Make sure you give yourself access to the water pump.

Next, disconnect hoses attached to the pump. You will need to loosen the screws that hold the pump in its place and take it out of the engine. Put the old pump aside and out of your way so you can proceed. Next take a look where the old pump was and inspect that area visually. Clean it up with a rag and appropriate cleanser while you have the opportunity. Inspect the pump gaskets as well, and switch them out if they are broken or otherwise damaged.

Installing a New Water Pump

Get a new water pump lined up and lay it in place. Check on the torque specifications for your car to make sure you get it bolted in at the right level of pressure. This is the only way to ascertain that it will remain secure. Once the pump is in place, connect the hoses up to it. At this point, you will work backwards on your way out.

If there was anything else you had to move out of the way to get to the water pump, replace it now and make sure it is firmly attached. Put the belts back in place and check to make sure they are adjusted to the tension specs for the car. Now it is time to refill the cooling system. Upgrade to better antifreeze while you’re at it. Reattach the ground on the battery, and perform a last visual inspection to make sure everything is in place. The final step in replacing a water pump is to start the car and run it to make sure there are no leaks and that everything looks right.


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