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William B
William B, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 393
Experience:  Associate Degree Automotive Technology, Master ASE, Master BMW, Master Mazda, 30+ years experience
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Hello, My sons1999 Mazda 626 V6 water pump has gone out and

Customer Question

Hello, My son's1999 Mazda 626 V6 water pump has gone out and he can't afford to take it to a repair shop soI want to fix it for him. Can anyone please list the order of steps to remove the water pump and can it be done while on car ramps? Thanks
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  William B replied 8 years ago.
Hey brakeman thanks for the question,

The replacemnt of the water pump on this engine also requires the removal of the timing belt, so if you look in your Haynes manual or any manual for the procedures to replace the timing belt you might get better pictures and you will definetly want to follow timing belt replacement procedures for this repair. Labor for timing belt replacement is 3.6 hours and just another .6 tenths of an hour to replace the water pump once the timing belt is removed. (Total labor for water pump replacement is 4.2 hours.)

Check in the Haynes manual for special procedures and part removal for this repair. Also you will need to be able to slightly lift and secure enigine since the right front upper motor mount will need to be removed to do this repair as well.

This job would require the removal of the right front (passengers side) tire and the inner and lower splash shields to gain access to the front of the motor, so no you can NOT do this job on car ramps. Also with any timing belt removal and replacement there will be special tools and procedures to follow to insure the engine starts and runs normal after work is done.

I know money is tight and such, but this is a fairly complcated repair if you do not have proper tools and prior experience in timing belt work this might be a handfull.

Hope this helps, let me know if you need more information. Please click accept for payment, all comments and feedback appreciated.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Hello, Have you ever changed the water pump on a 99 Mazda 626 V6? The Hayes manual I have in generic for several years including 4 cly and I don't recall it saying anything about taking off the tire and inner fender wells. Some of the pictures show cars that had slightly different design changes from earlier models so they are not accurate. I would like to see pictures from an actual Mazda repair manual if possible.


I was looking for more info like

Step 1) Jack up car and remove right tire

Step 2) Remove right splash guards.

Step 3) Support upper motor mount


all the way till the water pump is removed. Is there anyway you can do this for me?

Expert:  William B replied 8 years ago.
Hey brakeman,

I have done this repair many times over the years and like I said naturally this work is a lot easier if you have the ability to lift the car up and down versus working off the ground on jackstands. I assume you have a large floor jack and high quality jackstands with a clean level concrete surface to work off of before you start this work.

I do not have factory Mazda repair information, and copywrite laws prevent the transfer of that information, but on web sites like ALLDATA you can get that information for a fee, but even then these sources of information might not have every exact sequence of repair, they assume that you will realize some obvious procedures, if, in this case, you are working on the front of the engine you will not be able to do some of the work without removing the right front tire and inner splash shield, so all repair information to some degree has general statements like " remove the drive belt" or "support the engine" something that might not be exact in detail. Naturally I think a person should have the best repair manual or information available for any car or truck they own, especially if they intend to do any indepth, technical work on it. Especially for a job like this, since if you have not done the work before you will need to refer back to the information many times during repair. I can give you general steps, but again if you do not know or have the tools to do the work it will be difficult to do this repair.

Have you ever put an engine at TDC with all timing belt marks lined up on a V6 engine? Do you have a bench vise that has atleast 6 to 8 inches of travel? You will need a big vise for the job as well, to compress the timing belt tensioner before you reinstall it. Naturally you will need torque wrench, big metric sockets, breaker bar, spanner wrench and large floor jack, creeper, etc.You will also need to drain and catch the anti-freeze before starting the work and follow coolant refilling procdures once the work is done, this information would be found in the cooling system section of your repair information. I ask these questions since if you do not have the tools to do this job I would not recommend starting this job if it can not be finished.

I ask these hard questions because no matter how much information a person has, if they do not have the tools and a place to safely do a job like this it can be a big problem, if not impossible to do the work.

Do you have the tools to safely do this job?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

William, I just got back into town from a trip to Louisville, KY.


I have all the necessary tools to do the job (ie: floor jack, jack stands, vise, torque wrench, sockets, air compressor, etc. I am one that just works better with detailed steps and pictures on something I have never done before since I am used to working on old V8's and not much on front wheel drives.


I have not done TDC alignment on a FWD V6 but have on a V8. Nor have I replaced a timing belt on a FWD yet but have done lots of other repairs on my vehicles. Do you have to take the belt covers off before you can see the timing marks on the belt gear?


I may have to go and buy a Mazda manual for my sons car if it has more detail. The Haynes manual I have covers both MX6 & 626 so there is a variation of pictures from both cars plus 4 cyl. What city do you live in?

Expert:  William B replied 8 years ago.
Well I am always cocerned with the safety of the job, especially since a man just died in the city I live in here in the midwest, the car fell off of the jack he was using.

I assume before you go through all of this trouble you have verified the water pump is leaking with a cooling system pressure test to find the water pump leak? Not easy to do since you can not see the water pump itself. It would be a shame to do all of this engine tear down only to find the water pump is not leaking. A small mineral deposit on the weep hole on the water pump is not a reason to replace the water pump, a large visible leak would be. So if the engine is overheating or losing coolant somewhere else, cooling fans not coming on, thermostat problem, whatever, I would want to be sure the water pump needs replacement before taking anything apart.

But it sounds like you have tools and equipment to do the job, it will just be different from an American V8 engine since there will be the normal timing mark on the crankshaft pulley and also a timing mark on the crankshaft timing belt gear and timing marks on both the front and rear camshaft pulleys as well to line up before you remove the timing belt. Start with engine on TDC number one cylinder before removing the timing belt. Remove tensioner and timing belt so that you can remove water pump, and then start to reinstall timing belt. Once the hydraulic belt tensioner is off, then the tensioner needs to be compressed, a small retaining pin, (I use a small Allen / hex wrench works best) inserted into the hole to hold the tensioner compressed while you install tensioner, then you pull the pin (allen wrench) out, turn the engine over by hand at least two full revolutions clockwise, (NEVER counter clockwise) so that you can recheck all 3 timing marks again, if either of the camshaft timing marks are off, (you always get the crankshaft XXXXX XXXXXned up for reference point) then you will need to go through the same procedure all over again, remove hydraulic tensioner, compress, slightly move camshafts to line up marks and reinstall tensioner, rotate engine clockwise twice, check marks and so on until it is exactly right and you can reinstall of the other outside stuff on the engine. I say this because even knowing how to do this and doing it many times, I have still had to redo the timing belt set up more than once to get it exactly right. It is easy for the timing belt to move one of the camshafts slightly when installing. Any slack in timing belt needs to be on the tensioner side, from rear camshaft to down to cranshaft pulley, where tensioner is located, otherwise all marks can be lined up and when you pull the retaining pin out that you installed when you compressed the tensioner, the hydraulic tensioner will come out, push on the pulley, like it is suppose to, but it might move the timing belt and distrube the timing marks. Again, you will have to go through the whole set up procedure again. That is why I suggest a manual that describes this procedure in detail, because again you will want to refer back to manual, I can only give you tips that I have found to work.

Hope this helps, click accept for payment. All bonuses and feedback appreciated.
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Thanks, my sons car overheated and leaked water it appeared by the radiator. The hose seamed like there was some leaking around it from pressure and at first I thought it might have been a stuck thermostat so I changed it on the road, retightened the hose and then refilled the water and the leak up front seemed to be gone. When he got the car home it puked all the water on the right side of the engine down by the main pulley under where the water pump is so since I can't see the weep hole as you stated I am "assuming" it is the water pump.


I have an old pressure tester but I don't think I have an adaptor that will work for the Mazda. I will take what you have said so far into consideration if I do the repair. Thanks.

Expert:  William B replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for the accept!

You are right to assume the leak in the front of the engine would be the water pump, especially if it is a large leak.

If you have a cooling system pressure tester that fits standard American car radiators you can buy an adapter to work with you pressure tester and the Mazda adapter is the most common one used, most major chain auto parts stores will have them.

In most cases you would drain radiator first and then start the removal of parts on front of the motor, but I would leave coolant in the engine, take off the right front wheel and tire, inner and lower splash shields, drive belt and tensioner, crank shaft sensor, dipstick and tube, crankshaft pulley, then remove the timing belt cover(s) so that you still have view of water pump and coolant in the cooling system to pressure test, or if it is obvious that the pump has been leaking then drain coolant and start to remove timing belt to gain access to water pump.

Sounds like you have a well equiped shop and enough experience to do this job, but like all repairs sometimes you have spend some time and money to verify problem before just taking things apart. Your son is lucky to have a Dad like you, but I am sure he already knows that.

Again, Thanks!