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Chevy Cavalier
Water Pumps
1995-2005 Chevy Cavaliers

How do you replace the water pump on a 1996 Chevy Cavalier?

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2015-07-16 19:25:49
2015-07-16 19:25:49

If a 1997 Cavalier is the same:

(I don't know how to technically drain the coolant system, as my car was doing that on its own...but do that first)

FIRST, remove the serpentine belt (note its existing route): Locate the idler pully...it's near the top of the engine in between the alternator and the power steering pully. Using a socket wrench (15mm) (hard to fit in there..I used a small breaker bar) or box wrench on the nut in the center of the pully, turn the pully clockwise. This will release the tension on the belt enough to remove it from the alternator. Be careful letting the idler pully go back as it will go much farther back than where it was without the belt on it. Now move the belt out of your way.

SECOND, remove the three bolts that connect the pully onto the water pump. I believe these were 13mm. Again, sockets are hard to fit in there. Remove the pully. This will give you better access to remove the next four bolts (I learned this the hard way). Now, remove the four bolts that hold the water pump on. They're all fairly easy to get to, except one...farthest down, but you should be able to do it. Wiggle the pump out and remove. More coolant will come out.

THIRD, and this is probably one of the most important things, remove the old gasket. After all, a new gasket or pump won't be too good if the gasket can seat well. Mine had 160,000 miles of time to bake itself on there (not fun). I found swearing did not help, but a screwdriver, file, sandpaper, etc will. Clean up the area and all the junk you don't want inside your coolant system.

FOURTH, put on new gasket or new pump and gasket....pump was only about $20, so why not change the whole thing while you're there.

I don't have the torque specs or know the proper way to refill the coolant system, but the above got my car working. Good luck!

-Dave

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