How to Install a Water Pump in a Nissan Altima

by Contributor

Even the most fuel-efficient cars can overheat as they near the 100,000 mile mark. Some do so even sooner, depending on the driver's habits behind the wheel. Overheating and coolant leaks from the engine are signs that your Nissan Altima's water pump has failed. You can replace this part with relative ease to save yourself money over taking it to the shop.

Removing the Worn Out Water Pump

Drain the Nissan Altima's cooling system by opening the cap on top of the radiator and unplugging the drain plug underneath the radiator. Position a large container under the drain hole to catch the coolant.

Disconnect the negative battery cable with a screwdriver. Jack up the car using an automotive jack.

Remove the components that lead to the water pump, using an adjustable wrench. Lay them out in the order removed. These parts include: upper and lower engine covers, coolant reservoir, Power Distribution Module (PDM), passenger front wheel, engine ground, drive belt, radiator hose and alternator.

Disconnect the water pump. Remove all three gaskets. Scrape away any remnants with a tool like a plastic paint scraper.

Installing a New Water Pump

Spread a small amount of sealant on the water pump, on the areas the mount to the engine. Place the gasket on the sealant. Position the water pump onto the engine.

Insert the new water pump bolts. Tighten each with a torque wrench to 16 foot pounds of torque. Re-install the other components in the order removed with the adjustable wrench.

Insert the drain plug back into the underneath of the radiator. Lower the Nissan Altima to the ground. Remove the jack.

Refill the radiator with coolant according to the instructions in your owner's manual. Screw on the radiator cap. Attach the negative battery cable to the post. Close the hood, start the car and check underneath for leaks.


  • check A 3.5L engine has different water pump repair instructions. The Nissan Pathfinder has this type of engine, so follow the instructions listed in "How to Install a Water Pump on a Nissan Pathfinder" under related eHows.

Items you will need

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