How to replace a water pump to keep your car running cool

Automotive engine repair can be daunting at times, but replacing the water pump on your car’s engine is not a task to be feared. A quick video from ChrisFix outlines just how simple it can be, giving you the confidence to tackle the job next time—and possibly save a bunch of cash.

The subject for this driveway project is a 2003 Jaguar X-Type, a nearly 190,000-mile example that is pushing coolant out from the water pump’s weep hole—meaning the bearing seal has gone bad. Looking under the hood of a modern car is intimidating, but after a few steps, it becomes clear why this is a good choice for a DIY project.

Even Hagerty Redline Rebuild expert Davin agrees, saying, “It’s really an ideal first step into working on your own car, since there is relatively little to screw up. Disassemble, clean, reassemble with new parts. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

That is exactly what ChrisFix outlines. The water pump on this Jaguar is located high in the engine block, which allows removal with only a small amount of coolant loss. Typically, replacing the water pump is the perfect excuse to flush the cooling system, but if that has been done recently, one can try to get away with removing the pump without draining the system.

Also, this Jaguar has a very simple, two-pulley belt system to drive the water pump. Many other modern engines have a relatively complicated serpentine belt system that needs to be routed properly to ensure the engine runs correctly. Most cars have a diagram on the radiator support that shows the serpentine routing though, so don’t be intimidated.

Overall, working on your own car is a rewarding and fun experience in most cases. ChrisFix quoted this water pump replacement with a dealer and got an estimate of more than $800. A quick trip to a local parts store and a little over an hour of work saved him $783 and he has the satisfaction of knowing it is done correctly. Seems like a good deal to us.