How to Replace a Water Pump on a Beetle

Replacing your water pump can be expensive. But driving with a bad water pump will cost you more because if it’s ignored long enough, a number of engine problems will crop up.

However, you can save quite a bit of money if you replace your Beetle’s water pump at home because you don’t have to fork over about $100 per hour for labor. Replacing a water pump may sound intimidating. But we promise that it’s easier than it sounds as long as you have some mechanical ability, a car lift (or jack stands), and a few basic tools. The only thing you’ll have to spend money on is a replacement OEM water pump.

How to Find the Right OEM Replacement Water Pump For Your Beetle

Beetle pump

Thinking about getting an aftermarket water pump? We strongly advise against it. OEM water pumps are much more reliable because they’re built with the following factors in mind:

  • Exact fitment
  • Quality
  • Longevity

Volkswagen ensures that its water pumps are built to the highest standards. They will fit perfectly and perform optimally with the Volkswagen model they’re designed for. It’s quite easy to find the right OEM water pump for your car. All you have to do is to visit our OEM parts catalog and do a search on your Volkswagen Beetle to find the right part number.

You can also see if it’s listed in this list of our best selling water pump assemblies for VW Beetles:

How to Replace Your VW Beetle Water Pump

Beetle engine

Image Credit: kmestc

As the timing belt has to be removed to get at the water pump, it's a really good idea to replace it at the same time. When removing and replacing the timing belt, you have to make sure the camshaft and crankshaft are lined up with their respective timing marks.

Here’s a basic overview of the process:

  1. Make sure your engine is off. Open the hood.
  2. Remove the top and side engine covers.
  3. Lift your Beetle.
  4. Drain the cooling system. (There is a drain valve to make this easy.)
  5. Remove the front right wheel.
  6. Remove the lower shield (under the car).
  7. Remove the intercooler pipe. To do this, remove the 10mm bolt on the hose clamp and then remove the clamp first.
  8. Remove the inner fender shield.
  9. Remove the eccentric belt tensioner.
  10. Remove the crank pulley.
  11. Remove the motor mount.
  12. Lower your car. Be sure to support your engine with a floor jack and a block of wood.
  13. Flip the coolant hoses out of the way (you may need to remove the clamps first). Then remove the coolant reservoir bottle to free up some room for you to work on the water pump.
  14. Remove the second timing belt tensioner and the timing belt.
  15. You should be able to see the water pump now. Put a bucket on the floor underneath the pump to catch the coolant as it leaks out while you remove the pump.
  16. Remove the 3 water pump mounting bolts. With a pry bar, gently pry out the water pump.
  17. Install the new water pump (and reinstall the other parts) in the reverse order.

The entire process should take about an two to four hours, depending on your expertise. There are a few YouTube videos available that will also be very helpful to you. Please contact us if you have any questions.