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  • How to change your water pump


Automotive Water pump

Difficulty: Medium to difficult
Duration: Depends on your engine's design
How often: When changing timing belt or if pump failed

Why change your water pump?

The water pump is a vital part of your vehicle's cooling system. If it develops a leak around the shaft, or the hub wobbles and is loose or noisy, it should be replaced. Likewise, the fan clutch should be replaced if there is a fluid leak, noise or roughness when turned by hand, the unit won't turn, or the leading edge of the fan moves more than 1/4" from front to rear.

Generally, the water pump is located on the front of the engine. A drive pulley is mounted on the pump hub, and the fan is attached to the pulley. The fan clutch, if used, mounts to the pulley with bolts through the flange. The fan mounts on the back side of the clutch with separate bolts or studs.

These instructions will help you replace the water pump and fan clutch on conventional front-engine/rear-drive vehicles. In most cases the water pump can be removed from the top. However, in some smaller front-wheel-drive vehicles, the engine is turned sideways, and accessory drives can be difficult to reach or hidden from view. In these cases the water pump must be removed from under the vehicle. As well, some small vehicles require removal of the timing belt and/or special torquing procedures when the water pump is replaced.

Check your vehicle carefully. If you have an Escort, a Lynx, a Chrysler 1.7-litre engine or other installation that looks tricky, get an appropriate repair manual with detailed instructions for your vehicle. Consult an appropriate manual or make a drawing of the routing of any belts or hoses that must be removed or loosened to gain access to the water pump. Many newer vehicles use serpentine drive belts that drive different components from both sides of the belt.



  • Sockets and wrenches
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Drain pan
  • Rags
  • Gasket sealer
  • Antifreeze


Proper maintenance and service procedures are vital to the safe, efficient operation of all motor vehicles, as well as to the safety of the person performing the work—you.

Whenever you are working on your vehicle, we recommend that you follow these important safety rules:

  • Do have a first-aid kit handy.
  • Do be careful when working around hot or sharp objects.
  • Do follow the manufacturer's instructions for all products.
  • Do use safety stands under the frame or drive-on ramps if you must raise your vehicle.
  • Don't run the engine without proper ventilation.
  • Don't smoke when working around the engine.


READ these instructions completely before you begin.

Step 1

Figure 1   Figure 2

  • Get the correct water pump and, if necessary, a clutch fan for your vehicle. Also get a water pump gasket, some gasket sealer and antifreeze. Check with your local NAPA Auto Parts store for the specific parts you need.
  • Gather together all the necessary tools.
  • Let the engine cool.
  • Disconnect the battery ground.
  • Drain the cooling system. Follow the precautions in NAPA's Maintaining Your Cooling System "Do-It-Yourself Guide".

Step 2

Figure 3   Figure 4

  • Loosen the alternator and other accessories at the adjusting brackets and remove the drive belts.
  • Remove the fan, pulley and radiator shroud (if so equipped). If you're removing the fluid fan drive, set it aside with the flange UP to prevent fluid from draining into the bearings.
  • Remove any brackets or accessories that interfere with removal of the water pump.
  • Remove all hoses attached to the water pump.
  • Remove the retaining bolts and then the water pump.
  • Clean the mounting surface on the engine.

Step 3

  • Install a new gasket and gasket sealer between the water pump and the engine mounting service, and install the pump.
  • Reconnect all hoses to the water pump, and replace any brackets or accessories removed previously.
  • Replace the fan, pulley, radiator shroud (if so equipped) and drive belts.
  • Adjust all belts to the proper tension, and fill the system with a 50/50 antifreeze/water mixture.
  • Reconnect the battery ground cable, start the vehicle and check for leaks.


  • Follow these instructions carefully. Read and be sure you understand them before you begin.
  • Gather all your tools and supplies before you begin.
  • Allow plenty of time to do the job so you don't have to hurry.
  • Remember that these are general instructions. For more detailed instructions pertaining to your specific vehicle, consult an appropriate repair manual.
  • Safety is important whenever you're working around machinery. Beware of hot objects, sharp instruments and hazardous materials.
  • Don't substitute tools unless you're sure you won't compromise either your safety or the performance of your vehicle.
  • If you have any questions about repair and maintenance, contact your local NAPA Auto Parts store.Find the nearest NAPA Auto Parts location.