How to Install a Water Pump in a Chevy Malibuby Eli Laurens
The Chevrolet Malibu, in its many variations, uses a gasoline engine with a water/antifreeze coolant system. This system uses the drive power of the motor to push a mechanical water pump, which can wear out over time and require replacement. The average backyard mechanic can replace a water pump in about an hour.
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.
- Use distilled water instead of tap water, as it has a higher boiling point and will not corrode parts.
Things You'll Need
- Socket set
- Drain pan
- Do not leave coolant in puddles, as animals often like to drink it.
Eli Laurens is a ninth-grade physics teacher as well as a computer programmer and writer. He studied electrical engineering and architecture at Southern Polytechnic University in Marietta, Ga., and now lives in Colorado.