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How to Replace a Water Pump

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Is it Time to Replace Your Car or Truck's Water Pump?
You can install a new water pump

New Water Pump Ready to be Installed

photo by John Lake, 2012
Your car or truck's engine relies on the continual circulation of coolant to keep the extreme temperatures your engine creates down to a controlled minimum. All of that combustion going on inside your engine's cylinders creates a serious amount of heat, and not all of it can be carried out via the exhaust. The most common answer was to envelope the engine in what is called a "water jacket," basically a series of passages that soak up all that hot heat and carry it away to the radiator where it will be whisked away into the air. The key element to all of this fluid circulation is the pump, called simply your water pump. This water pump uses engine power to run via a belt. Sometimes your engine stops circulating water simply because you have suffered a broken water pump belt, serpentine belt, or V-belt. If this is the case, you're lucky. It's a 30-minute fix. If you're less lucky your water pump has failed and you have to replace the entire unit. Before you panic, this isn't too bad a job. It will take a while, but you can save serious money by doing it yourself. Unlike some jobs, this one isn't at all tricky and doesn't require a bunch of special tools. It just takes some time. As usual, I say go for it and save that money for a rainy day.
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