How to Install a Water Pump in Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Water pumps are what keep gasoline combustion engines from overheating. The water pump circulates water through the engine to keep the internal components from overheating and seizing. As is typical of all Honda car vehicles, the Honda car does not require a great deal of maintenance. However, if you find that your Honda car is no longer cooling as it should or that your engine light is coming on under load, it may be due to a bad water pump.

Under The Hood:

 How to Install a Water Pump in a Oldsmobile Alero

Remove the Old Pump

Remove the negative battery cable. Using a screwdriver, loosen the screw that connects the negative battery cable to the battery post. Pull the cable away from the post.

Lift the car using a jack. Support the Oldsmobile Alero with jack stands and the engine using a lift or some other engine support device.

Drain the Oldsmobile Alero's cooling system by opening the cap on top of the radiator and unplugging the drain plug underneath the radiator. Position a large container under the drain hole to catch the draining coolant.

Disconnect the components that lead to the water pump with an adjustable wrench. Lay them out in the order removed. In order, these parts include the automatic transaxle (if equipped), front wheel on the right side, splash shield, water pump sprocket and the access plate to the timing cover.

Use the access plate bolts to secure the water pump sprocket holding tool to the engine cover. Remove the pump bolts, front cover, thermostat housing, water pump feed pipe and two engine bolts using the adjustable wrench. Lift off the water pump.

Remove the bolts that secure the water pump to the block. Take off or scrape away the gasket. Remove and discard the o-ring between the water pump inlet pipe and the pump.

Install a New Water Pump

Spread a small amount of sealant on the water pump, on the areas where it mounts to the engine. Place the gasket on the sealant. Position the water pump onto the engine.

Insert the new bolts into the water pump. Torque the bolts to 89 inch pounds torque. Reconnect the other components in the order removed using an adjustable wrench.

Re-insert the drain plug into the radiator. Remove the engine support and jack stands. Lower the Olsmobile Alero to the floor.

Refill the radiator with coolant according to the instructions in your owner's manual. Screw on the radiator cap. Attach the negative battery cable to the post. Close the hood and test the car.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

  • Large container

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Engine support

  • Adjustable wrench

  • J43651 sprocket holding tool

  • Plactic or metal scraper

  • High temperature automotive sealant

  • Gasket

  • Water pump

  • Water pump bolts

  • Coolant

 How to Install a Water Pump in a Hyundai Santa Fe

Detach the Old Water Pump

Prop open the hood. Using a screwdriver, unscrew the clamp that connects the negative battery cable to the battery post. Secure the cable away from the post.

Unscrew the radiator cap to release the pressure. Locate the drain plug underneath the radiator, on the right side. Remove it. Catch the coolant in a clean container and immediately clean up any spills.

Use an adjustable wrench to undo the bolts to the water pipe inlet. Loosen the bolts on the water pump pulley and then remove the accessory drive belt. Next, remove the timing belt cover and tensioner.

Remove the water pump pulley and undo the five bolts securing the water pump to the Hyundai Santa Fe engine. Remove the alternator brace and then you can take off the water pump and gasket.

Clean off the mount after removing the pump, using a shop rag. Gently scrape away any dried sealant. Inspect the area for cracks.

Attaching the New Water Pump

Place the new o-ring in a position that coordinates to the o-ring groove. Dampen it with water.

Fit a new gasket onto the new Hyundai Santa Fe water pump. Hold the gasket in place as you mount both pieces onto the o-ring groove, where the old water pump sat.

Hold the water pump in place as you reconnect the alternator bracket. Insert five new bolts. Tighten them with 14 to 20 foot pounds torque in any order.

Install the rest of the parts in the order you took them off the Hyundai Santa Fe. Reinstall the timing belt using your marks as a guide, if you made them or aren't replacing it with a new belt.

Put the drain plug back in the bottom of the radiator. Refill it with coolant as specified in your owner's manual. Screw the radiator cap back on.

Attach the negative battery cable to the post and tighten the screw on the clamp. Start the Hyundai Santa Fe engine and check for leaks. Then, close the hood and clean up any spilled coolant.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

  • Large container

  • Adjustable wrench

  • Shop rag

  • Water pump

  • O-ring

  • Gasket

  • Water pump bolts

  • Torque wrench

  • Coolant

 How to Install a Water Pump in a Honda Civic

Determine if the water pump is the problem. Locate the thermostat on the top of the radiator lid. Pull the thermostat and start the car. With the thermostat removed, the coolant should circulate continuously, making it harder for the engine to warm up.

Turn the Civic off and locate the water pump on the lower portion of the engine. Loosen the belt-retaining bolt and pull the belt off of the pump. Spin the belt drive with your hands to see if it rolls smoothly.

Remove the bolts on the hose clamps on either side of the water pump. Slide the hoses off of the pump and use the socket wrench to remove the two mounting bolts holding the water pump in place.

Pull the old water pump out and insert the new water pump in its place. Slide the hoses back in place and replace the timing belt cover.

Items you will need

  • Antifreeze

  • Liquid catch pan

  • Socket set

  • New water pump

  • Flathead screwdrivers

 How to Install a Water Pump in a Toyota Corolla

Remove the Damaged Water Pump

Place a drop cloth underneath the car to protect the floor or ground from coolant spills. Designate an area to lay out each part alongside its bolts and connecting hoses and wires. Use a drop cloth here as well, some of the parts will have traces of grease and coolant.

Jack up the car and support it with jack stands or drive it up on wheel ramps. Place a large container under the drain hole under the radiator to catch the discharged coolant. Open the cap on top of the radiator and unplug the drain plug underneath the radiator.

Allow the Toyota Corolla's cooling system to drain completely. Undo the negative battery cable with a screwdriver.

Locate the water pump, commonly mounted on the front of the engine block. Remove all of the engine components in front of the water pump, which includes the accessory drive belt and water pump pulley (use a J-43651 holding tool for removal).

Remove the three bolts and two nuts that secure the water pump to the block. Take off or scrape away the gasket. Remove and discard the o-ring between the water pump inlet pipe and the pump.

Install the New Pump

Position the gasket on the water pump and the pump onto the engine, where it meets the engine mount. There's no need for sealant here. Insert the new bolts into the water pump. Tighten to 11 foot pounds torque.

Reassemble the rest of the parts in the order you took them off the Toyota Corolla. Replace any parts that appear worn or damaged, if needed.

Re-insert the plug into the radiator. Lower the Corolla to the ground. Remove the jack and drop cloths.

Refill the radiator with coolant. Replace the cap. Place the clamp back onto the battery post and tighten it with the screwdriver. Close the hood and test the car.

Items you will need

  • Drop cloths

  • Large container

  • Screwdriver

  • Jack and jack stands, or wheel ramp

  • Adjustable wrench

  • J-43651 holding tool

  • Plastic or metal scraper

  • Water pump

  • Gasket

  • Water pump bolts

  • Torque wrench

  • Coolant

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.