How to Replace the Water Pump on a RAV4

by Nathaniel Miller

The Toyota RAV4 is a solid 4-wheel-drive performer that comes with a host of standard features that belie its $21,500 base price tag. As is typical of all vehicles in the Toyota stable, the RAV4 does not require a great deal of maintenance, but certain systems need regular maintenance checks. One that is critical to vehicle operation is the cooling system. If you find that your RAV4 is no longer cooling as it should or your engine light is coming on under load, a bad water pump may be the culprit. Replacing the water pump on a RAV4 is not difficult.

Step 1

Park the vehicle on level ground in a safe area so that you have full access to the undercarriage of the car. Crawl under the right side of the RAV4 and locate the timing belt cover--the metal, oblong silver or black cover--on the lower front portion of the engine. Use the socket wrenches to remove the mounting bolts of the timing belt cover.

Step 2

Slide the timing belt cover off the studs and locate the water pump directly behind the cover. Use a screwdriver to remove the bolts on the hose clamps on either side of the water pump.

Step 3

Slide the hoses off the pump and use the liquid catch pan to catch any liquid that runs out. Use the socket wrench to remove the two mounting bolts holding the water pump in place.

Step 4

Pull the old water pump out and insert the new water pump in its place. Secure the mounting bolts and then slide the hoses back in place.

Step 5

Replace the timing belt cover and then turn the car on. Be sure to run water from a hose into the radiator to assist in bringing the coolant level back to a safe level.

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