Replacing Timing Belts and Water Pumps

timing belts and water pumps

Timing belts and water pumps require replacement once they are faulty. Depending on one’s knowledge of the engine bay, one may opt to carry it alone or hire an electrician. The need to save on costs and time brings about changing both components altogether. Signs such as excessive smoke from the exhaust, reduced oil pressure, and heavy vibration indicate that timing belts and water pumps require replacement. Although the process differs with different cars, it’s good to follow the below guideline.


Source: Scotty Kilmer

It’s the first step that calls for preparing the car and an area of work. One needs to have specific equipment to facilitate the more accessible carriage of the process. These include screwdrivers, new timing belts, coolant and water pumps, permanent marker or white paint, and a wrench set. The amount the process takes also depends on the skills and expertise of the involved individual.

It first involves jacking up the car’s front to access the engine, which must be cool and gear to avoid spinning. Car manual is essential in locating the pump then having a basket due to coolant gushing. Labeling is necessary for the removed parts with a storage bag.

Timing Belts and Water Pumps : Belts Removal

It first requires fan and steering belt removal to access such areas. The loosening of the bolts while gently holding the alternator helps tighten the belt. Such loosening helps to remove the belts easily. The power belt covers the timing case, which needs its loosening to access them. The crankshaft pulley gives access to the engine after pulling off its bolts.

 It requires using a screwdriver to remove the power steering belt guard. A long threaded bolt applying tension to the PS pulley locks the tensioner track calling for loosening. This bolt is the first to loosen, followed by another going through the head while attaching the pump to the support bracket.

Timing Belts and Water Pumps : Timing Case Removal

It follows after belt removal and loosening of the pulley. Accessing both timing belts and water pumps requires removing the timing case since it covers them. One needs to unscrew the two-bolt that tightens the timing cover. The upper cover holds the pulley and, after the loosening of the bolts, aids its removal. Accessing the location of such parts requires loosening other bolts holding the lower case. 

Cogs Marking

Source: Ramsey Repair

It’s crucial to have white paint or chalk to mark the cogs during pulley loosening and timing belt removal. It aids in easier reassembly of the removed parts while ensuring perfect realigning of the cogs for engine performance. It is possible for some things to slip while removing the belt, therefore the need to mark the clogs. Both top and bottom cam require marking while ensuring proper cog alignment with the gasket. 

Timing Belts and Water Pumps : Timing Belt Removal

It’s the first to remove before accessing the water pump. It requires loosening the bolts holding the tensioner cog while pushing and moving the spring downwards. Since the belt tensioner failure amounts to significant problems, it calls for the belt and pumps replacement. Its failure can lead to bent valves and damaged cylinder heads and walls. It’s followed by tightening the bolt for its lock in place for easier removal. Belt removal requires gentle sliding that lowers the chances of cog locking.

Timing Belts and Water Pumps : Water Pump Removal

It immediately follows after timing belt removal. There should be an available bucket to collect the coolant upon unscrewing the pump. It requires careful loosening of the five bolts holding the pump to pour out the coolant slowly. The bolts need much care to reduce the chances of coolant spraying out violently while giving the system enough drainage time while allowing pump removal. Reduced coolant movement allows bolts and water pump removal. 

The factory gasket holding the pump is made of metal, making it come off so quickly. It’s advisable to apply some gasket dressing to the new gasket surface. The water pump mostly comes with a new gasket removed with a screwdriver which replaces the old one. If one needs to change only the water pump, it requires holding back the T-belt with some wires. 


Source: Car Wizard

After the safe removal of old timing belts and pumps while replaced with new ones happens. It’s crucial to replace both components simultaneously to save costs and time. The need to mark the removed parts makes reassembly easier. The removal of the timing belt requires losing the cog turning it to a new location while repositioning another belt. Aligning the marked areas with the new timing belt ensures tightening and being in the right place. 

The unscrewing of the tensioner to realign them requires losing belts while linking them closely to the marks. Repositioning of the timing belt follows with connecting the timing cover, pulley, and belts. The use of a wrench aids in rotating the new water pump to avoid damaging the seal inside while causing pump failure.

Timing Belts and Water Pumps : Refilling the Cooling System

The last step involves a new coolant replacing the old one. Such coolant need to be the right one to avoid destroying the engine. Wrong coolants form a gel that hinders cooling, amounting to engine overheating. It also fails to protect mechanical seals while allowing particles into the pump. It requires removing the cap while filling the reservoir in the fill line. It’s advisable to carry out some engine tests while the cap is still open to remove available air out of the system. Such a process helps prevent damage to the installed pump. It also detects whether there is adequate filling. Dropping the coolant level requires new filing while voiding irreversible damage due to the dry cooling system. 


Replacement of the timing belt falls under the second most crucial car maintenance. Breakage of timing belts or chains leads to engine failure. The timing belt rotates while controlling valves opening and closing to let fuel out of the engine. Replacing both parts simultaneously helps avoid paying for the exact labor cost when changed. Different car manufacturers indicate when to replace timing belts since it is not easily accessible.

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