How to Replace the Water Pump on a 1997 Chevy Lumina Ls 3.1 V6

by Jamie Ratliff; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Adjustable wrench

  • Gasket scraper

  • Screwdriver

  • Pliers

  • Torque wrench

  • Engine coolant

<p>The water pump on the 1997 Chevy Lumina circulates water and coolant throughout the engine to keep the engine from overheating. The water pump is connected to the drive belt and is operating while the engine is running. The water pump can fail due to excessive wear or rust buildup in the coolant system. Failure of the water pump can lead to extensive engine damage due to overheating. Replacing the water pump as soon as a failure occurs is important to extending the life of the engine.</p>
<p>Disconnect the negative battery cable with an adjustable wrench. Allow the engine to cool completely before continuing.</p>
<p>Place a drain pan under the radiator. Locate the drain plug on the bottom of the radiator and turn the plug counter clockwise with pliers to open. Drain the coolant into the drain pan and dispose of it properly according to local regulations. Disconnect the coolant overflow hose from the radiator with pliers. Remove the mounting fasteners from the coolant reservoir with a socket wrench and remove the reservoir from the work area.</p> <p>Loosen the bolts on the water pump pulley with a socket wrench. A screwdriver may be needed to keep the pulley from spinning. Remove the drive belt. Rotate the belt tensioner counterclockwise with a socket wrench to create slack in the belt. Slip the belt off the tensioner and remove it from the other belt accessories. Remove the pulley bolts and remove the pulley. Remove the water pump bolts with a socket wrench and remove the pump from the work area. Clean any gasket material from the engine with a gasket scraper.</p> <p>Install the new water pump and gasket using your fingers to get the bolts started. Tighten the mounting bolts with a torque wrench to 89 in-lbs. Install the water pump pulley and tighten the bolts with a socket wrench. Use a screwdriver if necessary to keep the pulley from spinning. Rotate the belt tensioner counterclockwise with a socket wrench and install the drive belt. Release the belt tensioner to tighten the drive belt.</p> <p>Install the coolant reservoir and tighten the mounting bolts with a socket wrench. Install the overflow hose to the radiator with pliers. Tighten the radiator drain plug with pliers. Fill the radiator with coolant until the reservoir reaches the full line. Connect the negative battery cable with an adjustable wrench. Start the vehicle and make sure coolant is not leaking and the water pump is working properly.</p>

Warnings

Make sure the engine is cool before beginning this procedure.

References

About the Author

Jamie Ratliff has been writing since 2002, primarily in the information technology and small-business fields. He has written for "Victoria Business Magazine," a regional magazine with special focus on local small-business news and tips.

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