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Water Pump Replacement Cost Guide (DIY vs. Mechanic Pricing)

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The Average Cost to Change A Water Pump Is $678-$811.

This price range is based on national averages for all vehicles and does not factor in taxes, fees, or your particular make and model. Related repairs or maintenance, such as the timing belt or serpentine belt, may also be needed. For a more accurate estimate based on your make, model, and location, use the RepairPal Fair Price Estimator.

Get a more accurate estimate for your water pump replacement using RepairPal’s Fair Price Estimator:

 

Cost at the Mechanic: $678 to $811

  • Parts: $443 – $515
  • Labor: $234 – $296

The water pump is an integral part of your vehicle, and it keeps the engine running at the proper temperature. A faulty water pump can lead to serious engine damage! 

Cost to DIY: $443 to $515

  • DIY Difficulty Level: Intermediate/Advanced
  • Parts Needed:

Water Pump

Engine Coolant

You can save a lot of money by replacing a water pump by yourself. Be sure to properly install gaskets and tighten bolts to manufacturer specs, and always dispose of the old coolant in an environmentally friendly manner.

Keep in mind: Some water pumps are driven by the timing belt and should not be attempted by most DIYers. Always use the proper coolant that is recommended for your vehicle. When in doubt, refer to your owner’s manual. Or you can visit our detailed guide on how to change your coolant here.

What Is The Water Pump?

water pump

The water pump is a critical component of your vehicle’s engine cooling system, and its purpose is to keep the engine coolant circulating throughout the engine and radiator. Learn everything there is to know about your car’s engine cooling system by visiting out detailed guide here.

The water pump is mounted to the front of the engine (where the drive belts are) and connects to the radiator with a rubber hose. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, the water pump is spun by either the drive belt (such as the serpentine belt) or the timing belt. Its job is to circulate the water using an impeller that is made out of either metal or plastic. 

When replacing the water pump, it’s best to go with a replacement that is as close to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) as possible. So, if your car’s factory water pump came with a plastic impeller, then you’ll want to replace it with a plastic one.

What Is Water Pump Replacement?

Jeep water pump removedWith the water pump removed on this 2006 Jeep Wrangler, you can see inside the engine block where coolant surrounds the no. 1 cylinder.

The difficulty of a water pump replacement is dependent totally on the type of vehicle you own. For most trucks and SUVs, this is an intermediate level repair since access to the water pump is easy and generally doesn’t require the removal of too many other components. Cars can be a bigger challenge since the water pump area is usually more difficult to access. On many newer engines, replacement of the water pump also requires removal of the timing belt – an expert level repair. To help DIY novices, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide on how to replace a timing belt in your own garage.

If your water pump has suffered a catastrophic failure, it is a good idea to perform a coolant flush to ensure any pieces of the bearing or impeller have been removed from the engine block. Learn how to change your coolant by visiting our guide on it here.

What Happens If You Don’t Replace The Water Pump?

If your water pump is leaking or begins to fail, replacing this part should be a top priority. Waiting too long to replace a bad water pump can lead to overheating, which can cause serious internal engine damage. Most modern vehicles will have a warning light (not a check engine light) if the engine temperature is too hot to warn drivers of a potential overheating problem, and you should pull over as safely as possible to prevent any damage. 

How Often Should You Change The Water Pump?

Unlike wear items such as windshield wiper blades or brake pads, the water pump only needs to be replaced when it has failed or is about to fail. A failure can be anything from a minor leak to something more serious like a broken impeller or bearing. While a freak mechanical failure can always happen, not properly maintaining your engine’s cooling system can lead to premature failure of the water pump or other components. Regular coolant changes/flushes, serpentine belt replacements, and proper vehicle inspections should help a water pump last for well over 100,000 miles. A quick inspection of your car at regular intervals will help protect against any unexpected problems. Thankfully, most repair shops will perform a basic 50-point inspection. Learn everything about it here.

Common Symptoms You Need to Replace A Water Pump

  • Water pump leaking
  • Engine overheating
  • Noisy water pump

The following services are commonly performed when you replace the water pump:

Claim Your Custom Maintenance Schedule

Get the FIXD Sensor and free app today for a custom maintenance schedule based on your make, model, and mileage, and never miss important maintenance again with automated maintenance alerts! Set a reminder for a coolant change and/or flush to ensure that the water pump (and the rest of your engine’s cooling system)  

  • Get a More Accurate Estimate for Your Car

See My Cost

 

Jeffrey-Ross

Lifelong automotive enthusiast with a soft spot for offroading. Wrencher turned writer, but I still love to tinker on just about anything with an engine. Dream car: tie between a ‘71 Hemi ‘Cuda and a ’91 GMC Syclone. #GirlDad #SaveTheManuals

We’re here to help you simplify car care and save, so this post may contain affiliate links to help you do just that. If you click on a link and take action, we may earn a commission. However, the analysis and opinions expressed are our own.

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About the Author

Jeffrey N. Ross

Jeffrey N. Ross

Lifelong automotive enthusiast with a soft spot for offroading. Wrencher turned writer, but I still love to tinker on just about anything with an engine. Dream car: tie between a ‘71 Hemi ‘Cuda and a '91 GMC Syclone. #GirlDad #SaveTheManuals

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