Fix A Water Pump That Is Leaking Coolant: 6 Steps!

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A car’s water pump functions as the heart (vital member) of the cooling system. The impeller vanes inside the pump force the water through all the passages in the engine, to the radiator, and back through a continuous loop. Some pumps experience internal failure and show signs of premature malfunction from leaks or general overheating. Read this post to the end and learn how to fix a water pump that is leaking coolant.

Water pumps almost never fail suddenly. They wear progressively and show external signs. A self-observing owner can spot the signs of water pump problems early and manage repairs before the situation worsens.

How to fix a water pump that is leaking coolant

Fix a Leaking Coolant Water Pump
Fix a Leaking Coolant Water Pump

There are several steps you can take to prepare for a leaking water pump, just do the following:

1. Locate on the run

Put the vehicle in park position and activate the emergency brake. Make sure the engine is not running. Open the lid and locate the front of the water pump. Look for any signs of leakage at the edges of the pump casing flange where it connects to the engine block. Make sure all the water pump mounting bolts are intact and none are damaged or missing.

If a small leak appears in this area, you can retighten the bolts according to the manufacturer’s specifications. This can stop a very small leak. As an added precaution, make sure the heater hose and lower radiator hose clamps are tightened securely, using the appropriate screwdriver or small socket.

2. Engine functionality and drip

Run the engine until it reaches operating temperature, then turn it off. Use the floor jack to raise the vehicle and place two jack stands under the frame near the front wheels. Slide it under the front and examine the bottom of the water pump.

Most water pumps have a “sewer system“, or a bypass hole that allows water to flow through it in case the pump bearings and seals have failed. Dripping water or a rusty appearance in this location indicates a pump shaft or seal failure.

You can also move the water pump shaft back and forth, feeling for excessive play. This indicates that the axle bearings are bad. If any of these conditions exist, the water pump must be replaced.

3. Drain coolant

Open the float valve at the bottom of the radiator and proceed to drain the coolant into a pan without letting it spill, use a bucket. Remove the fan cover (if equipped) for better access to the front of the pump.

Loosen and remove any pulley belts in front of the water pump pulley, including the water pump pulley belt. Consult your owner’s manual for the correct removal procedure for your particular vehicle’s make, model, and year.

4. Disconnect the pump

Disconnect the lower radiator hose and the heater hoses on the water pump side, using a screwdriver or the pliers. Remove the fan pulley (if included) and the water pump shaft pulley, using the appropriate sockets.

5.Remove the water pump

Remove all bolts from the water pump housing with the correct socket. Pull the pump from the surface of the block and use a gasket scraper to clean the mating surface of the gasket on the engine block. Make sure no old gasket material remains.

Apply gasket adhesive to the mating surface of the block and install the new water pump gasket on it. If you’re going to fit a new pump, line it up with the mounting holes and use your fingers to drive in the mounting bolts, the same if you’re just fitting the old pump. Tighten mounting bolts to torque specifications (refer to user manual).

6. Install the components

Install the components in the reverse order you removed them, or in whatever order is most convenient. You can start with the hoses first, followed by the fan pulley. Put the belts back on their respective pulleys and adjust the belt tension according to the specifications in your manual.

Replace the fan shroud on its mounting brackets and close the radiator float valve. Now fill with coolant. Start the engine and look for any leaks at the pump housing or hose locations. If you can’t find the leaks anymore, perfect, you’re done!

Advice

This is how to fix a water pump that is leaking coolant. Remember that a leak at the “drain” hole, or a leak under the water pump, will indicate a faulty water pump.

You should know that there is no quick fix for this water pump problem. For this symptom, a new replacement of the water pump must be carried out, since there will possibly be no remedy to stop this type of leak.

Items you will need

The items and tools that you will use for this repair are:

  • Socket and wrench set (metric or standard)
  • Screwdriver (slot)
  • Pliers
  • wrenches
  • floor cat
  • cat stand
  • new water pump
  • drain pan
  • joint scraper
  • Joint adhesive (high temperature)
  • repair manual

A car’s water pump functions as the heart (vital member) of the cooling system. The impeller vanes inside the pump force the water through all the passages in the engine, to the radiator, and back through a continuous loop. Some pumps experience internal failure and show signs of premature malfunction from leaks or general overheating. Read this post to the end and learn how to fix a water pump that is leaking coolant.

Water pumps almost never fail suddenly. They wear progressively and show external signs. A self-observing owner can spot the signs of water pump problems early and manage repairs before the situation worsens.

How to fix a water pump that is leaking coolant

Fix a Leaking Coolant Water Pump
Fix a Leaking Coolant Water Pump

There are several steps you can take to prepare for a leaking water pump, just do the following:

1. Locate on the run

Put the vehicle in park position and activate the emergency brake. Make sure the engine is not running. Open the lid and locate the front of the water pump. Look for any signs of leakage at the edges of the pump casing flange where it connects to the engine block. Make sure all the water pump mounting bolts are intact and none are damaged or missing.

If a small leak appears in this area, you can retighten the bolts according to the manufacturer’s specifications. This can stop a very small leak. As an added precaution, make sure the heater hose and lower radiator hose clamps are tightened securely, using the appropriate screwdriver or small socket.

2. Engine functionality and drip

Run the engine until it reaches operating temperature, then turn it off. Use the floor jack to raise the vehicle and place two jack stands under the frame near the front wheels. Slide it under the front and examine the bottom of the water pump.

Most water pumps have a “sewer system“, or a bypass hole that allows water to flow through it in case the pump bearings and seals have failed. Dripping water or a rusty appearance in this location indicates a pump shaft or seal failure.

You can also move the water pump shaft back and forth, feeling for excessive play. This indicates that the axle bearings are bad. If any of these conditions exist, the water pump must be replaced.

3. Drain coolant

Open the float valve at the bottom of the radiator and proceed to drain the coolant into a pan without letting it spill, use a bucket. Remove the fan cover (if equipped) for better access to the front of the pump.

Loosen and remove any pulley belts in front of the water pump pulley, including the water pump pulley belt. Consult your owner’s manual for the correct removal procedure for your particular vehicle’s make, model, and year.

4. Disconnect the pump

Disconnect the lower radiator hose and the heater hoses on the water pump side, using a screwdriver or the pliers. Remove the fan pulley (if included) and the water pump shaft pulley, using the appropriate sockets.

5.Remove the water pump

Remove all bolts from the water pump housing with the correct socket. Pull the pump from the surface of the block and use a gasket scraper to clean the mating surface of the gasket on the engine block. Make sure no old gasket material remains.

Apply gasket adhesive to the mating surface of the block and install the new water pump gasket on it. If you’re going to fit a new pump, line it up with the mounting holes and use your fingers to drive in the mounting bolts, the same if you’re just fitting the old pump. Tighten mounting bolts to torque specifications (refer to user manual).

6. Install the components

Install the components in the reverse order you removed them, or in whatever order is most convenient. You can start with the hoses first, followed by the fan pulley. Put the belts back on their respective pulleys and adjust the belt tension according to the specifications in your manual.

Replace the fan shroud on its mounting brackets and close the radiator float valve. Now fill with coolant. Start the engine and look for any leaks at the pump housing or hose locations. If you can’t find the leaks anymore, perfect, you’re done!

Advice

This is how to fix a water pump that is leaking coolant. Remember that a leak at the “drain” hole, or a leak under the water pump, will indicate a faulty water pump.

You should know that there is no quick fix for this water pump problem. For this symptom, a new replacement of the water pump must be carried out, since there will possibly be no remedy to stop this type of leak.

Items you will need

The items and tools that you will use for this repair are:

  • Socket and wrench set (metric or standard)
  • Screwdriver (slot)
  • Pliers
  • wrenches
  • floor cat
  • cat stand
  • new water pump
  • drain pan
  • joint scraper
  • Joint adhesive (high temperature)
  • repair manual

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