How to Install a Water Pump in a Kia Spectra

by Contributor

With a little mechanical knowledge and the right tools and replacement parts, installing a new water pump isn't too difficult. Kia Spectra manufacturers also recommend that you replace the timing belt at the same time, because the timing belt uses the water pump as a pulley. Thus, when one is worn out, the other probably is, too.

Take Off the Old Water Pump

Step 1

Disconnect the negative battery cable by opening the hood and using a screwdriver to unscrew the clamp that connects the negative battery cable to the battery post. Jack up the Kia Spectra, using the jack stands to stabilize the vehicle.

Step 2

Twist off the radiator cap slowly. Do the same with the drain plug located underneath the radiator. Put a container under the opening to catch the coolant. Wipe up any spilled coolant to avoid slippage.

Step 3

Take off the parts leading to the water pump on the Kia Spectra using an adjustable wrench. In order, these include: the drive belt, timing belt, power steering pump (don't unhook the fluid lines), water pump inlet and bypass pipes. Remove and discard the o-rings on these parts.

Step 4

Lay each part out, with its bolts, in the order disconnected. Set the power steering pump out of your way, but you mustn't disconnect it completely.

Undo the bolts securing the water pump to the engine. Remove the gasket. Clean off the mount, using a shop rag. Inspect the area for cracks.

Connect the New Water Pump

Step 1

Unwrap and inspect the new Kia Spectra water pump. It should be identical to the old pump, clean and free of any metal splinters. The surface that mounts to the engine must be smooth, without bumps or dips.

Step 2

Arrange the new gasket onto the water pump. Place a bead of sealant around the area where you removed the old pump. Hold the gasket in place on the new water pump as you mount the entire assembly on top of the sealant.

Step 3

Keep the water pump in place as you secure it with four new bolts. Tighten each in any order with 14 to 19 foot pounds torque. Reassemble the rest of the parts in the order you took them off the Kia Spectra. Place new o-rings on the water pump bypass pipe and the water inlet pipe.

Step 4

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

Start the car and check for leaks. Dispose of the drained coolant. The old radiator fluid is a hazardous material. You may need to contact your local sanitation department for disposal options like recycling.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver
  • Large container
  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Shop rags
  • Water pump
  • Gasket
  • Water pump bolts
  • High temperature automotive sealant
  • Torque wrench
  • 2 o-rings
  • Coolant

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