View Full Version : Questions about water pump replacement

12-23-2010, 12:43 PM
Took my car in to a local shop so they could tell me where my small coolant leak was. They said it is the water pump, and are asking $1200 to replace it and all the hoses. I don't think the hoses need replacing, as the car only has 49k miles and looked fine to me.

I looked up how to change it, and I should be more than able to tackle it. Autozone shows a duralast on its site for $135. Anything else I need?

I would like to get ALL the coolant out, including from the block so I can fill it up with completely fresh dexcool pre-mix.

Can anyone give me any tips or pointers?
Specifically to get ALL coolant out?


12-23-2010, 07:31 PM
Its going to be very difficult to get ALL the coolant out short of removing the engine and turning it upside down. The best way to do this in the car is to remove the block plugs. It takes an extremely large allen head socket (17mm).

Otherwise just pull the water pump off and jack up the rear of the car as much as you can, remove petcock valve from bottom of radiator...this will get a lot of it out without having to track down a hard to find 17mm allen head socket that you will use maybe once.

Water pumps are pretty straight forward. Easiest to pull the throttle body off to allow more access. Also, dont use the paper gaskets, use the metal/rubber ones for 99 and newer cars. Now would be a good time to change the thermostat too.

12-24-2010, 11:21 AM
Thanks for the reply. I think when I get everything put back together, I am going to run a bunch of distilled water through it, drain it, and put fresh 50/50 dexcool in it. Should be sufficient. Car only has 49k miles, and coolant thats in it now is nice and clean and don't see much deposits looking down into radiator.

As long as it isn't do stressful, I will feel like I saved a lot of $ lol

12-24-2010, 12:07 PM
^^Where are these block frost plugs? After taking them out (difficulty?) is there a procedure to putting them back in? Sealant on the screws /bolts? Torque specs so as to not crack the block? I need to change my coolant this spring and would like to get more of the old stuff out. Thanks

12-24-2010, 02:42 PM
Bump for a quick immediate question!

The stock water pump didn't have full sized gaskets just orange rings that are seated in the block. Should I remove them and use the gaskets supplied w/ the new water pump?

12-24-2010, 03:11 PM
Can you post pictures of what you are talking about?

12-24-2010, 03:29 PM
I just put the pump back on, and about to start re-connecting all the hoses. Guess i need to wait 24hrs for sealant to set... Rather start it up right when I get it all put back together for a quick test.

12-24-2010, 09:36 PM
I just put the pump back on, and about to start re-connecting all the hoses. Guess i need to wait 24hrs for sealant to set... Rather start it up right when I get it all put back together for a quick test.

Sealant is not to be used with these gaskets. The orange o-rings you are referring to are the old seals that tore of the actual gasket...often they stick to the block and destroys the old gasket. Remove all gasket meterial from the block and install new gaskets without sealant.

12-25-2010, 04:12 PM
Wow, that's a lot to charge for a water pump replace. I replaced one a couple of years ago and it's pretty straight forward - has a good writeup. I also ran distilled water through the system and stopped when clear and then added dexcool.

12-26-2010, 11:03 AM
You are working too hard on this one. Don't worry about running distilled water through the coolant system or pulling the block plugs to get all the old coolant out. Just drain, replace the pump, fill with 50/50 Dexcool, bleed the air and call it a day.

12-26-2010, 11:06 AM
Gonna have to redo the work anyway... Still leaking a little. Going to try and find the gaskets mentioned above that were like the stock ones.

12-26-2010, 01:27 PM
like the other guy said, those orange o-rings you saw were parts of the old stock gasket. hopefully your pump came with the metal gaskets and not the paper ones. that would be el-cheapo!

i'll be back in town tuesday if you still need help.

12-26-2010, 01:37 PM
there are 2 block drains, the easy one is above the starter and takes a 5/16" allen key. You'll need that on a socket with a mini breaker bar on your ratchet handle because sealant is used on the plug and it's glued in there pretty good. Also disconnect the battery and drop the starter out of the way otherwise you'll be draining coolant all over the starter.
The other is on the block behind the alternator, takes a 16mm key. A 5/8" will be too small and will strip out the hex in the brass.
according to owner's manual the cooling system holds 11.9qts for the m6, 11.8qts for an auto trans, and i'm not sure if that includes the overflow tank.

12-27-2010, 08:01 AM
1200$........WTF!!! i am in the wrong business......took me 2 hrs to do pump AND hoses were less than 200$

12-27-2010, 03:51 PM
^^ Thanks for the extra info, 1 FMF, I'll look for these plugs. What kind of sealant is on the threads? I guess after reinstalling the plugs and the sealant, the sealant has to set up for awhile prior to refilling/ starting the engine?

12-27-2010, 07:19 PM
Your making it more difficult than it needs to be. do not remove the block plugs because it is not worth the trouble. Drain the radiator. Remove the pump. That will remove 80%+ of coolant in the block. Whatever is left is not a sufficient amount to worry about. All gasket material needs to be removed from the face of the block to ensure a proper seal for the new gaskets. DO NOT REMOVE THE FREEZE PLUGS, THAT IS NOT WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT. if you wish to flush the engine with water to ensure the removal of all the coolant, which would be the best way considering your skill level, i would recommend add pure dexcool instead of a 50/50 mix. with all the added water in the block you may have too much water and not enough coolant. I would add 1.5 gallons of pure dexcool and top off with water after that. $1200 is a rip off and no where near the going rate for a water pump. Most of the time allowing the sealer to setup before starting is not needed. With the radiator cap off, as your bleeding the cooling system, there is no a sufficient amount of pressure to cause a leak and the added heat from running the engine will actually cure the sealer on its own.

12-27-2010, 08:39 PM
^^^Agreed. I didn't even bother with the plug removal because draining it is possible without the extra wrenching and besides, even with the plugs removed you still won't get 100% of the old coolant out...