Fixing a water pump leak may sound simple when you first see drips of coolant under your car but depending on the water pump location it could be a relatively difficult job. If your vehicle has a timing belt, there is a good chance the water pump is actually driven by that timing belt so changing the water pump includes removing timing components which is always a tricky job with disastrous consequences if you don’t get things back together correctly.
If you’ve got a truck or rear wheel drive vehicle then there is a good chance your water pump is connected to a mechanical cooling fan. If this is the case you will need a special tool to hold the fan and water pump pulley stationary while you loosen the nuts holding the fan onto the pulley.
Water pumps can leak from 2 different places; the shaft seal or the water pump gasket. If the water pump bearings are starting to wear out they will allow the shaft to wobble and coolant will leak out. If the gasket fails either from age or damage from dirty coolant you will see a leak where the water pump bolts to the block or timing cover. In either case, it’s smart to replace the water pump because you are already going through all the work of removing it either way.
Water Pump Leak Repair: Water Pump Removal
- Flush cooling system if necessary
- Drain coolant
- Remove engine belts
- Remove other components to gain access to water pump bolts
- Remove the water pump
- Replace gasket or o-ring and install new pump
The first step to doing any work on your cooling system is to determine if your system needs to be flushed. If your coolant is dirty or you suspect scaling in your system it is a good idea to flush your system before replacing any components to make sure old coolant or contamination doesn’t damage your new components.
With a clean and empty cooling system, you can go about removing your water pump. Purchasing a vehicle repair manual will help you find the correct procedure for removing your water pump and it will also provide the correct torque values for installing your new pump.
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