How to Replace the Water Pump on a 1999 Mazda Protege

by Nicki CallahanUpdated November 07, 2017
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Items you will need

  • Set of wrenches

  • Drain pan

  • Ratchet and sockets

  • Shop rags

  • Water pump

  • Pump gasket

  • Torque wrench

  • Coolant inlet pipe gasket

  • Antifreeze

  • Water

The water pump is an extremely important component of your 1999 Mazda Protege's engine. While the engine is engaged, a belt rotates an impeller blade in the water pump. This impeller circulates coolant through the engine and maintain a proper temperature in your vehicle. Over time, the bearing on the impeller shaft can wear out, causing water pump failure. A water pump repair can be accomplished by the adventurous do-it-yourselfer and may save you a nickel or two in the process.


Shut off the engine. Open the hood and disconnect the battery by removing the negative cable. Use a wrench to loosen the battery clamp.

Position a drain pan under the radiator drain plug and drain the coolant. Unscrew the plug by turning it counterclockwise and allow the coolant to collect in the drain pan. Close the drain by tightening it when the fluid has stopped draining.

Locate and remove all timing belt cover bolts, using a ratchet. Remove the timing cover. Once the cover is off, remove the timing belt.

Remove the bolts securing the coolant inlet pipe. A ratchet should do the job. Remove the pipe and its gasket.

Remove the belt and idler pulleys that are attached to the water pump. Be sure to keep all coolant and grease away from this belt.

Remove the mounting bolts from the water pump with a ratchet and remove the pump. Inspect the gasket seating area and remove all dirt with a clean, lint-free rag.


Install the new water pump and be sure to use a new gasket on the mating surface. Install the mounting bolts and torque them to 14 to 18 foot-pounds. The bolt that connects the alternator bracket to the water pump needs to be torqued to 23 to 38 foot-pounds.

Reinstall the idler pulleys and belt. Tighten them down with a ratchet.

Replace the gasket on the coolant inlet pipe with a new gasket. Install both items and torque the retaining bolts to 14 to 18 foot-pounds.

Slide the timing belt back on and reattach all timing covers. Tighten bolts on them with a ratchet.

Refill the engine with a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water. Bleed the air bubbles out by massaging all coolant hoses with your hand.

Reconnect the battery. The negative cable clamp should be tightened with a wrench.

Start the car’s engine and allow it to warm up. Inspect for leaks.


If you spill coolant, clean it up immediately and thoroughly as it is toxic to animals. Dispose of all used coolant properly. Do not pour it into a drain.

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