Mistakes made while replacing water pump (still leaking around it)...

AshleyQuick

Buick Newbie
31
1
6
Virginia
Buick Ownership
2003 Buick LeSabre
A few days ago, this 2003 LeSabre threw off the serpentine belt because the water pump/pulley was rattling and spinning unevenly. Fortunately, this happened a block away from an Advance Auto so we were able to get it to their parking lot.

I bought a new water pump and installed it without properly draining the coolant. They weren't open at the time so It basically just drained out onto their lot as I was removing the old pump (mistake).

I was able to scrape off the old gasket with a metal wire brush so that I had a clean surface and installed the new pump, reinstalled the pulley and the belt and then filled with nearly a gallon total of new coolant and distilled water. I had no idea how much was in the system AND I filled in the overflow tank (assuming this was another mistake?).

So I then started with the overflow tank cap open and let it run for a few minutes with the heat on. The pump/pulley was now spinning properly but after several minutes, coolant was seeping out from the pump. I tightened everything down with the new gasket so what could possibly cause this new leaking? I just turned off the vehicle and came home to post this before further proceeding.
 

Thunderhawk09

Active member
173
82
28
Buick Ownership
2005 Buick LeSabre Custom
I never do a water pump without using a sealant too with the gasket you need to pull pump back off and use something like black permatex RTV sealant on bolt sides of gasket. I do this with all thing like that such as t stat changes oil pan gaskets do not rely on gasket to seal cause more than likely it will not alone I never take that chance anymore cause doing same job twice sucks
 

2004CSOTP

Member
30
20
8
Buick Ownership
2004 Buick Lesabre Custom
Did you use a gasket sealer? When I replace water pumps, I use a thin layer of gasket sealer and torque the fasteners to specification. Also, sometimes aftermarket parts just don't work. The parts stores typically offer a few choices of water pumps ranging from lowest to highest quality, but most people buy the cheapest and that is what they typically have on the shelf. If you come in with an emergency, that is most likely what they will sell you.

A cooling system pressure tester would come in handy to figure out where the leak is, but most people don't have one. I would look around at anything in the engine you took apart is leaking. If all is well, try a new gasket with sealer. If it still leaks, it may be a bad water pump.
 

2007LucerneCXL

Full Member
6,156
2,020
113
Illinois
Buick Ownership
2007 Lucerne CXL. and 1995 Lesabre currently, past 1973 Riviera, 1968 Riviera
Bunch of these on YouTube so take a look and if you see something different than what you did it's probably time to revisit the water pump. If by chance you banged into the elbows and they are original high mileage ones it could also be a source of a leak, just a FYI.
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AshleyQuick

Buick Newbie
31
1
6
Virginia
Buick Ownership
2003 Buick LeSabre
Thank you all. I wound up removing, cleaning the old, worthless paper gasket and replaced using these two
 

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