Oil Pump Replacement in 5 Easy Steps

January 27, 2012

Engine lubrication is the lifeblood of your automobile, so if you're faced with the task of an oil pump replacement, don't hesitate. The oil pump works by pressurizing the motor oil stored in the system and distributing it throughout the moving parts. It is usually powered by the camshaft, and it uses a gear or a rotor to pressurize the oil.

Warning Signs
If your car's oil pressure gauge indicates that your oil pressure is low, this may simply mean you need to add oil, but it could be more problematic. If it's an oil pump leak or a failing oil pump, it will have to be replaced as soon as possible.

Pressure is vital to the inner workings of an internal combustion engine. The oil pump pressurizes oil and sends it throughout the engine, while the fuel pump draws gasoline from the tank into the carburetor or fuel injectors. They are vital pieces to a car and should be maintained at all costs.

Don't compromise the health of your car by delaying fixing an oil pump. If it needs replacing, doing so promptly will save you a load of money you would otherwise spend on replacing the engine should the oil pump quit functioning altogether.

Tools and Materials

  • A complete set of hand tools
  • A gasket scraper
  • An oil drip pan
  • A car jack and jack stands
  • A new oil filter and new oil
  • The correct oil pump for your particular vehicle
  • A new gasket

Find a Dry, Clean Area
Ideally, it is best if the work is done indoors, such as in a garage. The area should be as clean and dry as possible. The place should be big enough for you to work around the vehicle and also to keep all your tools within arm's reach.

Secure Vehicle with a Jack and Stands
Place a jack under the axles to get your vehicle off the ground and then secure it with jack stands. This will help to ensure that you are safe while working underneath the vehicle.

Position the Oil Drip Pan and Remove the Bolts
The oil drip pan should be placed directly under the plug that you will pull out of the oil pan. Any debris or other objects that could prevent the plug from being pulled should be removed or cleaned away. After ensuring that the drip pan is in place, pull the plug and allow the oil to drain out of the pan. All of the bolts in the oil pan are ready to be removed now. You may have to tap on the oil pain to loosen up the bolts and remove them. Make sure that you don't damage the oil pan while tapping on it.

Replace the Old Oil Pump
The oil pump is located in back of the motor and has a pickup tube and a filter to pull oil out of the pan and into the pump. There will be one or two bolts that secure the pump in place. Simply remove these bolts and take the old pump off. Put the new pump in place, and reattach the pickup tube and filter to the new oil pump. Use the bolts to secure the pump in place.

Seal the Oil Pan and Reinstall it
Using a gasket scraper, scrape off any old gasket material and clean the oil pan. After the pan has been cleaned, add new sealant. It is important to avoid using too much sealant. Put the oil pan back in its proper place. Wait at least 30 minutes for the sealant to harden and set. Then, cut holes for the bolts in the sealant. Bolts should be installed at opposite corners from each other. Make sure that the bolts are not over-tightened. Put the plug back into place in the pan. Take the vehicle off of the jack stands and add fresh oil to the car.

You have now successfully changed the oil pump in your vehicle and performed the necessary car engine repairs.

Where to Find the Best Deals on Oil Pumps

Your options when you are looking to replace the oil pump are new and used. A rebuilt oil pump can be just as good as a new part. A discount oil pump is not only cheaper, but because it is remanufactured, oftentimes its quality is better because it was not mass produced but remade by hand.

Rebuilt Oil Pumps
Rebuilt oil pumps can be located in numerous places. Auto parts stores are probably not the place to look. Auto junkyards, mechanics, service stations and online are all good avenues to explore for a rebuilt oil pump. You might be able to find a practically new oil pump from the same make and model car at a junkyard. You simply have to remove it and then pay for the part. Sometimes these places employ mechanics to do the work for you, and they might even sell rebuilt parts.

Ask your mechanic if they sell rebuilt parts. Most mechanics have at least a small collection of parts from cars they pull from, and many of them sell rebuilt parts such as oil pumps.

Online community bulletin boards and auctions such as Craigslist and eBay are two other options. You have to be careful with Craigslist sometimes. Be sure you buy locally so you can check the part out before you hand over your money. eBay relies heavily on positive reviews, so sellers have an incentive to please their customers. Chances are you'll be able to find the exact part to fit your car and may be able to buy it outright.

New Oil Pumps
Brand new oil pumps can be purchased from dealerships, wholesalers and auto parts stores. Some makers like Cummins sell both new and remanufactured parts. A Cummins oil pump is a good choice for a diesel engine. They are a trustworthy brand that builds and sells quality parts. Consult with your mechanic to find the best places to purchase a new oil pump, or simply call around to various auto parts stores after doing some basic Internet research.

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