Coolant leaks and Water Pump Replacement

 Back in the good old days before the coolant water was used as the 'coolant' hence the name water pump. The purpose of the water pump is to circulate the coolant. The pump gets its rotational power from the serpentine belt described here. The pump is a pulley connected to the belt system along with other pulleys like as those of the alternator , fan , power steering pump etc. So consult the repair manual or guide for your car to identify the water pump pulley. The pump is usually located behind the pulley and is mounted to the engine block by a few bolts. The pump goes bad in a couple of different ways. The gasket that mates between the pump and the engine block can develop a leak. Or the bearings of the pump can go bad and will yield a grinding noise. Either of these events will lead to a coolant leak and potential for a heat damage to the engine. So you should plan to getting it replaced at the earliest. It is a good idea also to check online for your cars make and model to see when others notice the pump to go bad.

When you buy a new pump , ensure the right gasket comes along with it as well.

Here is the basic steps for a water pump replacement.

1.) Drain and collect the coolant

2.) Remove the Serpentine Belt so that the Pump's pulley is isolated

3.) Remove the pump pulley bolts - some times you may have to remove the passenger side wheels

to access the bolts.

4.) Detach the pulley from the pump axle.

5.) Remove the water pump itself - it will stick to the body and might need a small tap.

6.) Clean the gasket mounting surfaces on the engine body nicely - Take your time ,use only a plastic scrapper  don't use any metal blades. When I am done I usually run the area with some rubbing alcohol on a lint free cloth.

7.) Run your finger along the edge you scrapped to observe the smoothness, just to ensure a good "mating".

8.) Grab the new pump and gasket and work the reverse steps

9.) Make sure to torque all bolts to recommended specifications

10.) Fill the coolant as described here.

Go for a drive and inspect for any leaks.  Inspect again in 2-3 days of driving.