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How to Replace the Water Pump in Honda Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

A car's engine generates a great deal of heat as the pistons move up and down and valves open and close. This heat can build up, increase and destroy some of the interior parts of the engine. To counter this, it is necessary to have a system that cools these areas of the vehicle. The water pump in a Honda car circulates the water and coolant to these parts of the engine. Occasionally, the water pump needs to be replaced due to normal wear and tear.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Water Pump in a 1994 Honda Accord

Turn the car off and disconnect the negative battery cable before turning the engine so that the timing marks align with each other. Have a friend help you with this process. Once turned, set the first cylinder to TDC on the compression stroke. Do not attempt to move or shift the engine after this has been done.

Place an empty container beneath the pump and drain the engine coolant, wiping up excess and spills immediately and cap the container.

Carefully remove the splash shield and timing belt. If you do not have experience on how to do this, ask a professional or consult your owner's manual. The process is time consuming and critical to replacing the water pump.

Remove the bolts securing the water pump in place and make note of which bolts go where so that you can make sure to reinsert them correctly on the new pump.

Lift the water pump and O-ring out of the engine and perform any necessary cleaning or flushing before installing the new pump.

Reinsert the O-ring and the new water pump and then tighten down the mounting bolts to fasten the pump into place. Make sure the O-ring does not slide or warp during this process. Mounting bolts should be tightened to 9 ft. lbs. If you have the V-6 engine, then the 8mm bolts should be tightened to 16 ft. lbs and the 6mm bolts should be tightened to 9 ft. lbs.

Replace your timing belt, refill the coolant mixture, and reconnect the negative battery cable to complete your installation.

Check to make sure you have properly installed the water pump by turning the car on and letting the engine idle for a few minutes, checking to make sure there are no leaks or indications of the belt rubbing on the covers.

Bleed the system by letting the coolant drain from the bleeding screw until there are no bubbles. Tighten the screw back into place and shut off the engine. Replace the splash shield and clean up the bled coolant.

Items you will need

  • Empty container with a lid

  • Rags

  • 1994 Honda Accord water pump

  • Wrench

 How to Replace the Water Pump on a 1992 Honda Accord

Removing the Water Pump

Open the hood to disconnect the negative cable from the battery.

Place the bucket under the radiator, directly below the drain plug. Loosen the plug and drain all coolant from the engine.

Draw a line on the engine block and the timing belt. These lines will be used during installation to make sure you install the timing belt correctly. The timing belt is the belt closest to the engine block, and it is attached to the water pump.

Turn the adjuster bolts on any belts that will need to be removed to access the timing belt. To do this, turn the bolts counterclockwise to loosen them. Remove the drivebelts.

Remove the timing belt from the pulley system.

Loosen the four bolts on the water pump. They are located along the top and bottom of the water pump.

Pull the water pump from the engine block. Compare the old water pump to the new one to be sure they are identical.

Remove the O-ring from the engine block. Use a gasket scraper and acetone to make sure you remove all residue from the O-ring and the gasket sealant.

Installing the Water Pump

Place a thin coat of RTV sealant in the groove on the engine block where the new O-ring will go.

Install the new O-ring into the groove on the engine block where you will be installing the new water pump.

Install the new water pump onto the engine block and replace the water pump bolts. Tighten the water pump bolts to 108 in.-lbs., using a torque wrench. Turn the torque wrench a 1/4 turn at a time to avoid over-torquing the bolts and damaging the water pump.

Replace the timing belt, making sure the marks on the belt and the engine block line up. Once this belt is in place, the rest of the belts can be replaced. Tighten all belts.

Fill the radiator with coolant before starting the engine. Do not place the cap on the radiator until you have run the engine at its normal operating temperature and allowed any air bubbles to escape through the radiator.

Items you will need

  • Bucket

  • Socket set

  • Marker

  • Gasket scraper

  • Acetone

  • RTV sealant

 How to Replace the Water Pump for a 1996 Accord

Drain the water and coolant from the radiator by removing the drain plug located underneath the radiator. Set a bucket underneath the hole to catch the coolant and water mixture, remove the drain plug and then remove the fill plug on the radiator. The vehicle must be cool to the touch before you remove the radiator cap or drain plug. You could injure yourself or damage the engine. Clean up any spills immediately as the sweet-smelling antifreeze may induce animals to eat it. Antifreeze is toxic and can kill pets.

Disconnect the negative battery cable from the negative battery terminal. Set the cable where it cannot touch metal. You will be unplugging electrical components and will need to prevent an accidental short in the electrical system.

Inspect the water pump while it is still in place for indications of leakage. These indications will be stains that will seep from the area around the pump gasket or any seams in the pump. These leaks mean that it is the actual pump that has become defective. There may be problems with a broken or bent fan or fan clutch that would damage even a new water pump if installed.

Loosen the tensioner on the timing belt with a ratchet. Honda recommends replacing the timing belt any time another component that is run by the belt is being replaced. Failure to do so can result in a damaged water pump. Carefully remove the timing belt over and around the pulleys and gears it operates and set it aside.

Remove the parts necessary to get to the water pump. For the 1996 Honda Accord, this includes the fan, the plastic covering over the fan called the shroud, shaft spacers and the viscous drive clutch. Use a ratchet and appropriately sized socket to loosen the bolts of these parts in a criss-cross pattern beginning from the center and going outward. Remove the electrical connectors by simply pushing in the lock tab and pulling.

Unbolt the water pump from the engine block and carefully lift the pump. The thin metal piece located under the pump is the old gasket. Typically, these old gaskets have cracked and rusted to the point of becoming stuck in the grooves of the water pump. Stuff the hole vacated by the water pump with a clean rag to prevent broken off pieces of this gasket from falling into the cooling system. Scrape the remnants of old gasket from the connecting hole and discard them.

Coat the new gasket with waterproof sealer and slip it into place under the new water pump. Bolt the new water pump and gasket into place using a staggering pattern until they are tight. You do this to help prevent premature cracking or breakage of the new gasket and pump.

Reinstall all parts you removed in the reverse order in which you removed them. Bolt them in using a criss-cross pattern to prevent damaging these parts. Reconnect the electrical connectors to each part your removed them from. Install the new timing belt over the gears and pulleys you removed the old one from.

Replace the drain plug and fill the radiator with the antifreeze and water mixture according to the directions on the antifreeze bottle. Replace the radiator cap and reattach the negative battery cable to the negative battery terminal. Start the accord and check the water pump for leaks.

 How to Replace the Water Pump in a Honda Accord

Disconnect the negative battery cables and drain the coolant from the cooling system.

Remove the drive belts from the engine, along with the water pump pulley. Remove anything that is connected to the front of the engine.

Break the crank pulley bolt loose with a 400 lb. electric impact wrench. Take out the pulley and the plastic covers as well as the valve cover. Replace the pulley after removing the valve cover.

Make sure that the timing mark on the cam pulley is pointing up and remove the timing belt.

Loosen and remove the three 10mm bolts to the water pump and remove the pump from the engine. Remove the old gasket from the block by scraping it off.

Install the new pump with a new gasket into the engine and tighten the bolts.

Replace the old timing belt with a new one.

Reinstall all components in the same order as you removed them, reconnect the negative battery cable and refill the coolant. Start the engine and check for leaks when it reaches normal operating temperature.

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.

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