How to Install a Water Pump in Chevrolet Cars

by Contributing Writer

The Chevrolet car has several configurations, shapes and sizes to navigate when replacing the water pump. It's important that you inspect your engine's parts before beginning this repair. Just remember that the water pump in every Chevrolet car is mounted in some way on the front of the cylinder block. To get to it, you must disconnect several pieces, that vary depending on the engine size.

Under The Hood:

 How to Install a Water Pump in a Chevy Malibu

Remove the old water pump. Start by removing the fan belts, if applicable. Next, remove the hoses that attach to the pump with a pair of pliers (crimping hose clamps), or a screwdriver (screw-style clamps). Collect old coolant into the drain pan. The water pump will have three or four large bolts holding it to the front crankcase that must be removed. Once these bolts are out, the pump will be freed, and can be pulled away from the motor.

Drain the coolant from the system. Many water pump failures can be caused by debris or old coolant that has clogged the old pump, or has lost the ability to cool effectively. To prevent this from happening to the new pump, fresh coolant must be added when changing the pump. Malibus have a drain plug on the radiator, usually on the lower left side, that can be turned counter-clockwise to release the coolant. Collect the old coolant into the drain pan.

Install the new water pump. The new pump will come with a gasket that separates the pump from the crankcase, and it must be aligned correctly. Bolt the pump into place, then connect the hoses to their respective locations. Replace the fan belts, if applicable.

Add coolant to the system. Tighten the drain plug, then fill the radiator with coolant. Crank the engine up, and add coolant to the radiator until it cannot take any more. Replace the radiator cap, and add coolant to the reservoir tank.

Drive the vehicle, and check for leaks.

Items you will need

  • Socket set

  • Drain pan

  • Coolant

  • Pliers

  • Screwdrivers

 How to Install a Water Pump on a Duramax Diesel

Disconnect the negative battery cables on both batteries. Place a drain pan under the radiator and remove the radiator drain plug. Once the coolant has drained from the radiator, replace the drain plug.

Remove the fan shroud and the inner fender liner on the left-hand side. Loosen and remove the nut holding the fan assembly and pull the fan out, being careful not to damage the radiator. Remove the fan clutch pulley. Use a large breaker bar to loosen the bolt holding the crankshaft harmonic balancer. Slide the balancer off the shaft and set it aside.

Remove the thermostat housing crossover to gain access to the water pump housing. Remove the nuts holding the oil cooler to the water pump cover and then remove the oil cooler. Loosen the lower radiator hose from the water pump. Loosen and remove the three water pump housing bolts, making a note of their different lengths. Remove the water pump housing and gasket. Remove the water pump housing cover to reach the water pump. Remove the water pump. Install a new "O" ring onto the new water pump and install it back into the water pump housing. Re-tighten the water pump housing bolts.

Re-attach the water pump housing to the engine block. Make sure you thread the bolts into the correct holes, as they are different lengths. Re-attach the lower radiator hose to the water pump. Install the oil cooler using the original attaching nuts. Re-install the thermostat housing crossover.

Re-install the crankshaft harmonic balancer and the fan assembly. Replace the left-side inner fender liner and the fan shroud. Re-connect the negative battery cables. Refill the radiator with a 50/50 coolant and distilled water mix. Close the radiator and start the vehicle, letting it run for several minutes. Re-tighten the connections if any leaks are detected. Re-check the coolant level and top off the radiator, if needed.

Items you will need

  • Metric wrenches, assorted sizes

  • ¾ inch Drive breaker bar

  • ½ inch Drive socket set

  • ½ inch Drive ratchet and extensions

  • Pliers

  • Water pump kit

  • Coolant

  • Distilled water

  • Drain pan

 How to Install a Water Pump in a Chevy Impala

Take Out the Old Pump

Disconnect the negative battery cable by unscrewing the coupling on the cable to the battery with a screwdriver. Pull the cable away from the battery.

Engage the parking brake, place cinder blocks behind the back wheels and then jack up your Chevy Impala. Use the jack stands to help support the jack.

Discharge the pressure in the radiator by unscrewing the cap. Remove the drain plug located underneath the radiator. Catch the coolant in a resealable container. Clean up any spills.

Use the adjustable wrench to undo the bolts securing the Chevy Impala's accessory drive belt guard. Loosen the bolts on the water pump pulley to get to and remove the accessory drive belt.

Remove the water pump pulley and undo the four bolts securing the water pump to the engine. Clean off the mount after removing the pump, using a shop rag. Inspect the area for cracks.

Put on the New Pump

Squeeze a bead of high temperature automotive sealant on the new water pump and place the new gasket on the pump. Smear some of the sealant around the mounting area on the engine block. Carefully hold the gasket in place on the pump as you mount it on the engine, where you removed the old pump.

Place the new bolts into the holes in the Chevy Impala's water pump in any order, using a torque wrench while the sealant is still wet to obtain a better hold. Tighten to 89 foot pounds of torque.

Replace the rest of the parts in the order you took them off. When installing the pulley bolts, use a torque wrench and 18 foot pounds of torque on each bolt. Inspect the accessory drive belt and replace it, if needed.

Attach the negative battery cable to the post and tighten the screw on the clamp. Replace the drain plug and refill the radiator with the amount and type of coolant specified in your owner's manual.

Move the jack stands, release the jack and remove cinder blocks. Start the Chevy Impala's engine and check for leaks before you shut the hood. Again, clean up any spilled coolant immediately.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

  • Cinder blocks

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Adjustable wrench

  • Resealable container

  • Shop rags

  • High temperature automotive sealant

  • Water pump

  • Gasket

  • Water pump bolts

  • Torque wrench

 How to Install Water Pump on Chevy Astro

Disconnect the air intake from the air filter housing.

Remove the air filter housing from the engine.

Unscrew the bolts near the bottom of the shroud and remove it. At this point the water pump will become visible.

Place a large empty fluid container on the ground under the radiator drain plug.

Unscrew the drain plug and drain the system of coolant.

Use a serpentine belt tensioner to loosen the belt around the water pump then remove the belt.

Remove the radiator hose attached to the water pump.

Unbolt the old water pump and remove it.

Bolt in the new water pump.

Reattach the radiator hose to the new water pump.

Screw the drain plug back into place and dispose of the old liquid properly.

Place the belt onto the new water pump and use the serpentine belt tensioner and a serpentine belt tension gauge to set it to the correct tension.

Screw the shroud back into place.

Place the air filter housing into its original position and secure it in place.

Reattach the air intake hose to the air filter housing.

Refill the cooling system with coolant.

Items you will need

  • Ratchet wrench

  • Standard size sockets

  • Socket extension

  • Serpentine belt tensioner

  • Serpentine belt tension gauge

  • Large fluid container

  • Coolant

 How to Install a Water Pump on a 2004 Chevy TrailBlazer

Park the TrailBlazer on a flat surface and set the parking brake. Open the hood and disconnect the battery.

Place the drain pan underneath the radiator drain plug, on the passenger side of the radiator. Remove the drain plug with a socket wrench, and allow it to drain completely. Replace the drain plug and tighten it down.

Loosen the hose clamps on the upper radiator hose with a screwdriver. Remove the upper radiator hose.

Remove the two radiator fan shroud bolts with a socket wrench. Disconnect the fan clutch clip. Squeeze the sides of the fan clutch clip and wiggle it back and forth while pulling on it to disconnect it.

Loosen the fan clutch bolt with a crescent wrench. This bolt can be very difficult to break loose--use a hammer or a torsion bar if necessary. Remove the nut. Push in on the fan and pull upward on the fan and shroud at the same time to remove them as a single unit.

Loosen the bolt in the center of the tension pulley with a socket wrench. Adjust the placement of the pulley so the serpentine belt can be removed. Remove the serpentine belt.

Move the drain pan under the water pump. Remove the five bolts that hold the water pump to the engine. Remove the water pump and old gasket. Scrape off any stuck gasket pieces with a screwdriver.

Install the new water pump and gasket. Replace all the parts in reverse order, exactly as they were removed.

Fill the radiator with coolant. Start the Trailblazer and let it idle so that coolant can run through the hoses. Top off the radiator.

Items you will need

  • Drain pan

  • Socket wrench

  • Screwdriver, standard

  • Crescent wrench

  • Coolant

  • Hammer or torsion bar (if necessary)

 How to Install a Water Pump in a Geo Metro

Water Pump Removal

Use a drop cloth underneath the Geo Metro to protect the floor or ground from coolant spills and to lay out each part alongside its bolts, connecting hoses and wires.

Raise the car off the ground with a jack, adjusting the jack stands to shore up the jack, or drive it up on tire ramps. This allows better access to the parts you're removing.

Drain the coolant system. Open the radiator cap to release any pressure and then unplug the drain underneath the radiator. Drain the coolant into a large, resealable container and dispose of it properly.

Disconnect the parts leading to the water pump on the Geo Metro using an adjustable wrench. In order these include: lower splash shield, A/C compressor belt, drive belt, crankshaft pulley, coolant pump pulley, timing belt, oil dipstick and guide tube and alternator adjusting bracket.

Take out the water pump, removing the bolt that mounts it to the engine block and the gaskets between the engine and the pump. Clean off the mounting area with a shop rag.

New Pump Installation

Place the new gasket onto the water pump along with a bead of high temperature automotive sealant. Position the gasket in place on the new water pump as you mount the entire assembly on the same spot that held the old pump. Insert and tighten the new water pump bolts using 115 inch pounds torque.

Replace the other components in the order you took them off the Geo Metro. Replace any parts that appear worn or damaged, if needed.

Put the drain plug back in place and refill the radiator with the amount and type of coolant specified in your owner's manual. Put the radiator cap back on. Remove the jack stands and release the jack or drive the car off the tire ramps.

Attach the negative battery cable to the post and tighten the screw on the clamp. Crank the engine and check for leaks. Then, close the hood and remove the drop cloths.

Items you will need

  • Drop cloth

  • Jack and jack stands, or tire ramps

  • Large container

  • Adjustable wrench

  • Shop rags

  • Water pump

  • Gasket

  • Water pump bolts

  • Torque wrench

  • Coolant

 How to Install a Water Pump in a Geo Tracker

Remove the Geo Tracker's Water Pump

Spread out a drop cloth underneath the car to protect the floor from coolant spills. Designate an area to lay out each part alongside its bolts and connecting hoses and wires.

Release the pressure in the radiator by removing the cap. Take out the drain plug located underneath the radiator. Catch the coolant in a resealable container.

Open the hood and use a screwdriver to unscrew the clamp that connects the negative battery cable to the battery post. Remove the cable. Use a jack to elevate the Geo Tracker and jack stands to shore up the jack or drive it up on tire ramps.

Use the adjustable wrench to undo the bolts securing the Geo Tracker's timing belt cover, timing belt, water pump mounting bolts, seals located between the water pump and oil pump and cylinder wiring harness retainer.

Remove the oil dipstick and guide tube from the engine block, if you need more room to work. Take off the water pump. Use a rubber mallet and tap the pump to loosen it.

Install the Geo Tracker's New Pump

Place high temperature automotive sealant on the new water pump, in a position that coordinates to the new gasket.

Lay the gasket over the sealant on the pump. Hold it in place as you mount the new water pump on the side of the Geo Tracker's engine in the same place as the old one.

Insert and tighten each bolt in any order with 88-115 inch pounds torque. Install new seals between the water pump and oil pump, with another between the water pump and engine.

Reassemble the rest of the parts in the order you took them off the Geo Tracker. Replace any parts that appear worn or damaged, if needed. Replace the radiator's drain plug and refill the radiator with the amount and type of coolant specified in your owner's manual

Move the jack stands and release the jack, or drive it off the tire ramps. Attach the negative battery cable to the post and tighten the screw on the clamp.

Remove the drop cloth. Start the Dodge Ram's engine and check for leaks. Then, close the hood and clean up any spilled coolant.

Items you will need

  • Drop cloth

  • Large container

  • Screwdriver

  • Jack and jack stands, or tire ramps

  • Adjustable wrench

  • Rubber mallet

  • High temperature automotive sealant

  • Water Pump

  • Gasket

  • Water pump bolts

  • Torque wrench

  • Rubber seals

  • Coolant