Replace squeaky water pump and fan belts

91 Pathfinder has a squeaky sound coming from a unit (or pulley) on the lower left-front part of the motor. Could this be a bad water pump? The fan belt that raps around the air-conditioning unit is very loose and looks beat up. I would like to replace both these parts myself if warranted and if I can get a ?How to? response from someone.

I looked at both (what I think is) the water pump and the fan belt with an eye for replacing them. I can?t figure out how the water pump is held on?it?s in an awkward place with lots of black grease around it. In order to change the loose fan belt I would have to loosen and remove the fan belt that raps around the water pump?so, here we go again. I need help. I?m not a mechanic but I can follow step by step instructions?Any takers? Thank you.

This is an advisory forum; not a mechanics on-line training centre. For about $20 you can buy a Hanes or other manusl that gives you step-by-step instructions on how to do something like this. However, you have to DIAGNOSE first what the problem is!

From what you describe, the drive belt is likely at fault, but it could also be the belt tensioner, or the water pump. If you just guess and replace what you think is the problem, you will spend more money than by having a competent mechnic diagnose what the problems is first.

Working on a modern vehicle is very difficult because of thee access problems. I trained as a mechanic in the Army , but can’t be bothered spending one or two weekends trying to repair today’s vehicles. The large amounts of grease and guck means your vehicle has seen less than perfect care.

To remove the water pump you’ll have to remove the timing belt. If you can handle the timing belt then taking the next step to remove the water pump is easy.

You’re going to need a decent shop manual that explains the timing belt replacement carefully. It’s NOT a very difficult job. The only special tool you’ll need is a harmonic balancer puller (which you can buy at Sears for about $40). The hardest part of this job is removing the radiator.

Once the radiator is removed…then remove the drive belts and then the timing belt cover bolts. Remove the harmonic balancer (with that new tool you just bought).

This is where a good manual really comes in handy. You’ll need to find the timing marks on the cams and crank. Find them and get them aligned according to the manual. Once aligned mark them with a white stick so you’ll be able to see them better. Now loosen the timing belt tensioner and remove the old belt.

There are about 8 bolts for the water pump. Remove the bolts and the pump. Clean the area on the block of any gasket material left behind by the water pump. Install a the new pump and gasket. The new pump should come with a bolt torque sequence. Follow it.

Now reinstall the timing belt aligning the marks on the new belt with the ones on the cams and crank. Once in place tighten down the tensioner (follow the directions in the manual for proper tension).

Then reinstall the parts you removed in reverse order.

As long as you’re going to replace the water pump and timing belt…you might as well replace the and crank seals and the thermostat. Also replace the radiator hoses and all the drive belts.

This is NOT a very difficult job…just time consuming. It’ll take a few hours. Take your time and don’t get frustrated. Check and re-check your work to make sure you don’t screw anything up. This is an interference engine and if not done properly you could destroy the engine. But the directions are simple and if you take your time you CAN do it.

Thanks for taking the time to help me understand the complexities involved in simply changing a water pump on this SUV. Normally, I would thrill in the adventure of a task like you describe. Unfortunately, I’m in a special situation and don’t feel I can take the risk and the time. I think I’ll join AAA and wait for the water pump to go.

Is there a way of tightening the loose fan belt?

The belt I refer to seems to be the longest of the three belts and goes around a pulley near the top of the engine block. I couldn’t identify a function for this pulley other than possibly being part of a mechanism for adjusting this belt’s tension. Is that possible? This pulley is bolted to a metal frame attached to the block and there’s, what looks like, an adjusting screw on this frame ? very accessible, just above the pulley. Would this be the way to tighten the loose fan belt?

If it’s just a drive belt that’s squeaking then just replace that drive belt. Replacing the drive belts isn’t that difficult. If it’s the one I remember the top pulley it’s on is the tensioner. To loosen it you first loosen the bolt in front then on top of the bracket the pulley is on there’s a screw that you turn that will loosen the pulley. I think you also have to remove both other belts just to get to this belt. It’s a little tricky with the radiator in place, but not too bad.