How to Remove & Replace a Water Pump

by Giselle Diamond

Replacing the water pump in a car can be very expensive. Some car repair places charge 500 or more dollars to get the job done. Since the water pump is such a necessity for almost all cars, it is essential that the problem be fixed. However, there is an alternative to paying the high cost of repairs at the mechanics. With the right tools and knowledge, it is possible to replace a water pump yourself. This project will take anywhere from 3 to 6 hours to complete.

Collect all the materials and tools necessary for this project. Consult the list of things you will need to make sure you have everything. Replacing the water pump is a big project, so it is important to have all of the necessary tools. Place a large sheet of cardboard under your car to catch drips.

Detach the battery so that the car is no longer operational. Remove the air filter from the vehicle. Loosen hose clamps and unclip the tabs holding the filter in place. Drain all of the coolant out of the radiator. Use the catch pan for this.

Find the water pump. It should be attached to the radiator at some point. Find the bolts holding the pump into place, and remove them with the ratchet. Wipe away the grease and sealant with the rag. Remove the old pump. Find the old o-ring connecting the old pump to the pipe leading to the radiator. Remove it and throw it away. Replace it with the new o-ring.

Spread some sealant on the surface where the old pump was attached to the engine. Place the new water pump into the old water pump's place. Make sure to line everything up so that it is easy to bolt the pump into place.

Bolt the new water pump into place. Make sure to tighten very tightly. However, it is also important to not over-tighten. 105 pounds of torque per inch is a good amount to tighten. Attach the different pipes and accessories where they belong the way the old pump was attached. Make sure the drain pipe reaches the radiator.

Fill the radiator back up with coolant. Re-attach the battery. Turn the car on to make sure everything is working properly. Make sure nothing is leaking under the car, and that the temperature of the car is where it is supposed to be.


  • check Some professional quality tools can be rented or borrowed to make this project easier. Ask your local car repair shop if they rent tools for the day.


  • close Never attempt this project while the battery is still connected. Electrocution may occur. Be sure to dispose of the old coolant properly. It is considered a hazardous material, so it can't just be poured down the drain.

Items you will need

About the Author

Giselle Diamond is a freelance writer and has been writing since 1999. Diamond is experienced in writing in all genres and subjects, with distinguished experience in home and garden, culture and society, literature and psychology. Diamond has a Master of Arts in English and psychology from New York University. Diamond has articles published on both eHow and LiveStrong.