A water pump ensures that the coolant keeps running through the cooling system so that the engine operates at an optimum temperature. A broken-down water pump hinders the flow of the coolant, causing the engine to overheat. Replacing a water pump is an easy task; all you need is a ratchet along with a new water pump, and you are good to go. However, you might need to follow some additional steps before you can get to the actual replacement part. Read along to learn how to replace a water pump and get the cooling system to work efficiently.
Signs of a Faulty Water Pump
Before you get to know how to replace a water pump, it is essential that you know the signs of a faulty water pump.
- One of the first signs of a bad water pump you will notice is a growling or rumbling noise from the engine area due to worn-out bearings. You might also hear a whining noise that changes pitch with engine speed change.
- Another sign of a faulty water pump is the coolant leakage around the water pump. Coolant could be seen trickling down or in the form of crust deposits on the pump.
- Water pumps have impeller blades inside them. Most water pumps nowadays are built with plastic blades. These blades are prone to damage if they come in contact with hot coolant from the engine. The damaged blades cause the water pump to stop pumping and produce high vibrating sounds.
Replacing a Water Pump
Replacing a water pump requires minimal effort once you know how to go about doing things.
Things You Will Need
Following are some of the things you’ll need for the whole process of replacing a water pump
- A draining pan
- A ratchet
- A scrapper
- A new water pump
- A new gasket
- A sealant
- A new coolant (if required)
Checking and Emptying the Cooling System
First, the cooling system needs to be checked for any coolant leaks other than the water pump. Check the hoses and radiator caps since they are subjected to most wear and tear. In case of a leak, you can use a stop antifreeze leak or replace the damaged component once the coolant has been drained out of the cooling system.
Using a car lift, check the radiator for any signs of rust from underneath as well. In case you spot rust on the radiator, use a rust converter or a radiator stop leak immediately to prevent further erosion. If the radiator has started to leak, then it is better to replace it with a new radiator.
Once you have ensured that there are no further leakages, replacements are necessary. You can now drain the cooling system completely. Open the draining valve on the radiator and use a draining pan to collect the coolant and avoid any unwanted spillages when removing the water pump.
Cleaning the Cooling System
To clear any unwanted debris from the system, you can flush the engine and the radiator with a good radiator flush once the coolant has been drained out.
Removing the Old Water Pump
Now that coolant has been cleared out of the system; you can work towards removing the old water pump from your car.
Disconnecting the Attached Components
You need to disconnect all the components attached to the water pump before accessing it and replacing it easily.
- Firstly, start by disconnecting the battery by taking off the battery connections.
- Now you need to remove the fan belt.
- Next, you need to detach the radiator hoses connected to the water pump.
- Using the ratchet, unbolt the shroud and the fan inside it to get better access to the water pump.
- Now you need to unbolt the driver pulley mounted on the water pump.
- Unbolt and remove the old water pump now.
Note: The bolts that hold the water pump vary in length. Make sure you observe the length of the bolts as you take them out, so you can put them back in the same order.
- Using a scraper, scrape off any remains of the old gasket from the mounting surface of your engine.
Adding the New Water Pump
Once the surface has been cleared, you can now prepare the new water pump for the replacement procedure.
- Start by applying the sealant on the edges of the water pump evenly and place the gasket on the top. Ensure the gasket is properly set in place so that no coolant leaks out of the water pump.
- Place the water pump back on the engine mounting and put the bolts back in the same sequence you took them out.
- Now you need to bolt back the driver pulley.
Tip: Before reattaching the fan, make sure it is working fine. If not, you can use this opportunity to fix the fan or replace it with a new fan.
- For the next step, attach the fan and the shroud back.
- Now reconnect the radiator hoses but make sure you do it carefully. Hoses are extremely prone to damage; overtightening the clamps can tear the hoses and cause the coolant to seep out.
- Place the fan belt back on.
- Before reconnecting the battery, test it to see if it is working fine. Check its leads and connections also to make sure everything is in order. Now reconnect the battery.
Refilling the Coolant
Now that the water pump is in place, you can now top the cooling system with an antifreeze and water mixture in the recommended proportion mentioned on the antifreeze bottle. Check the overflow tank for adding the right amount of coolant. But before you add the antifreeze coolant mixture, ensure that the draining valve underneath the radiator is shut.
There you have it, an easy guide on how to replace a water pump on your own. Overheating can cause serious damage to your car’s engine. Doing regular maintenance and routine checkups can not only save you large sums of money and unnecessary trips to the mechanics but also helps ensure that your car remains in great condition.