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How to Change a Water Pump on a PT Cruiser

by Cayden Conor; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Drain pan

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Lug wrench

  • Set of sockets

  • Set of wrenches

  • Crankshaft pulley puller No. 1026

  • Crankshaft pulley installer No. 6792

  • Insert for puller No. 6827-A

  • 1/8-inch Allen wrench

  • 6-mm Allen wrench

  • Dielectric grease

  • Torque wrench

The water pump on a PT Cruiser needs to be changed when it leaks or if the pulley grinds or squeals. When the pulley grinds or squeals, the bearings on the pulley are going bad, and they are not serviceable. The bearings will eventually lock up, causing the pump to not turn, and this could destroy the belt and overheat the vehicle. Since the water pump is in with the timing belt, and the PT Cruiser has an interference engine, severe internal damage could occur should the water pump lock up.

Take the PT Cruiser to a certified air conditioning repair shop. Have them evacuate the freon. Explain that you are doing a water pump, and ask them if they will “hold” the freon for you until you finish changing the water pump. Ask them up front how much it will be to remove the freon and refill the air conditioning system.

Slide the drain pan under the petcock on the radiator. Loosen the petcock and allow the coolant to drain. Discard the coolant in an appropriate manner if it is dirty or more than five years old. If the coolant is clean and is less than five years old, you can reuse the coolant.

Raise the front of the vehicle with a floor jack, and support it with jack stands. Remove the right front wheel, using the lug wrench. Remove the right, inner splashguard. Loosen the accessory drive belt tensioners and remove the accessory drive belts. Using a socket, remove the crankshaft pulley bolt.

Remove the crankshaft pulley using tools 1026 and 6827-A. Disconnect the exhaust system from the manifold, using the appropriate sockets. Unplug the air compressor pressure switch wiring harness. Disconnect the air compressor pipes from the connector block on the back of the air compressor.

Slide the floor jack under the engine and jack it up until it touches the bottom of the engine. Remove the lower torque strut, right engine mount, right engine mount bracket, upper torque strut and the upper torque strut bracket, using the appropriate sockets.

Unbolt and remove the power steering pump and its bracket, but do not remove the lines on the back of the pump. Lay the pump out of the way. Unbolt and remove both timing belt covers, using the appropriate sockets and wrenches.

Turn the crankshaft clockwise until the timing mark on the crankshaft is at the 1 o’clock position, and the timing mark on the right camshaft (as you are looking down at the engine) is at the 9 o’clock position. The arrows and “UP” marks on the camshaft sprockets should also be facing up.

Push a 1/8-inch Allen wrench into the tensioner pulley, then use a 6-mm Allen wrench to turn the tensioner counterclockwise until it locks into position. Remove the Allen wrench, then lift the timing belt off the pulleys.

Remove the camshaft sprockets using the appropriate sockets. Remove the rear timing belt cover using the appropriate sockets. Unbolt and remove the water pump. Pull the O-ring off the block, if it sticks to it. Clean the water pump mounting surface of all gasket material.

Coat the new O-ring with dielectric grease. Press the O-ring into the water pump, making sure it is properly seated in its groove. Install the water pump and tighten the bolts by hand. Turn the water pump pulley to ensure that there is no resistance. Tighten the water pump bolts to 105 in.-lbs. of torque.

Reinstall the rear timing belt cover and the camshaft sprockets, ensuring that the “UP” marks are in position and that the timing marks are lined up. Turn the crankshaft sprockets clockwise until the timing marks are 1/2 tooth apart.

Install the timing belt – it’s best to replace the timing belt, unless it is less than two years old – on the sprockets and pulleys, starting with the crankshaft pulley and working counterclockwise. Route the belt over the water pump, behind the idler pulley and over the top of the camshafts, keeping the belt taut on that side. Route the belt down behind the tensioner pulley.

Turn the camshaft sprockets until the mark on the right camshaft is at the 9 o’clock position. Remove the Allen wrench from the tensioner and allow the tensioner to put tension on the belt. Turn the crankshaft slowly, two turns, until the timing marks are lined up again.

About the Author

Cayden Conor has been writing since 1996. She has been published on several websites and in the winter 1996 issue of "QECE." Conor specializes in home and garden, dogs, legal, automotive and business subjects, with years of hands-on experience in these areas. She has an Associate of Science (paralegal) from Manchester Community College and studied computer science, criminology and education at University of Tampa.

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