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Pelican Technical Article:
Coolant Pump Replacement

Nick Czerula

 
Time: 3 hours
Tab: $200
Talent:  
Tools:
Set of sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers, two M6 bolts
Applicable Models:
325i (2006)
325Xi (2006)
330i (2006)
330xi (2006)
328i (2007-2009)
335i (2007-2009)
Parts Required:
Water pump, hoses, engine coolant, electrical connector seal.
Hot Tip:
Work with a cool engine.
Performance Gain:
Car will cool down again and repairing coolant leaks.
Complementary Modification:
Change serpentine belt, radiator hoses.
 
   

   

Check out some other projects in this series: 

Need to buy parts for this project?
Click here to order parts for your BMW from our parts catalog
   
     When a coolant pump begins to fail, you’ll notice that the car tends to overheat at low engine speed, such as sitting at a stoplight. When you accelerate, the engine temperature will drop. Now, this is not always indicative of a coolant pump failure, but a good starting point. You may also want to try squeezing the top radiator hose with the engine warmed up and running. You should feel pressure build up on the back of the hose and surge once it is released. If you feel no pressure, it’s a fair bet that the coolant pump is failing. BMW updated E90 models with an electronic water pump. This means you may replace your coolant pump due to electrical failure. The most common problem with these pumps is a fault code for coolant pump volume. If you remove the water pump from your E90 and plan on reinstalling it, store it with coolant inside, otherwise it will corrode and fail shortly after reinstalling it. Always replace aluminum fasteners each time they are removed and never reinstall a questionable coolant hose.

     This can be a tough part to change as it is tucked away and behind many components. I like to remove the radiator when I have to replace a water pump, it adds time to the job, but makes it a lot easier. If you have an all wheel drive E90 or one with active steering, you’re going to have to remove the radiator anyway. So I say just go for it and make your life easier no matter which model you own.

     In this article, I’ll go over the steps involved with replacing the water pump on BMW E90 models. Be sure to work with a cool engine and confirm the cooling system lacks pressure before opening cooling system.

     Remove engine splash shield. See our tech article on splash shield removing.

     Drain cooling system. See our tech article on cooling system draining and filling.

     Remove thermostat. See our tech article on thermostat replacing.

Figure 1
Working at the back of your water pump on right side of engine, loosen both hose clamps (green arrows)
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Once the hose clamps are loose, remove the hoses from the water pump.
Figure 2
Once the hose clamps are loose, remove the hoses from the water pump. Be ready to catch any dripping coolant when hoses are removed.
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Next you have to disconnect the electrical connector.
Figure 3
Next you have to disconnect the electrical connector. It is located at the bottom of the water pump. (green arrow) The release tab is on the back side.
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Disconnect the water pump electrical connector by pressing retaining tab and pulling off.
Figure 4
Disconnect the water pump electrical connector by pressing retaining tab and pulling off. (green arrow)
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Now it’s time to remove the water pump fasteners.
Figure 5
Now it’s time to remove the water pump fasteners. Start at the top front of the water pump and remove the E12 fastener. (green arrow) Throw this fastener away, it is aluminum and cannot be reused.
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Then remove two remaining E12 fasteners at the bottom of the water pump.
Figure 6
Then remove two remaining E12 fasteners at the bottom of the water pump. (green arrows) Throw these fasteners away, they are aluminum and cannot be reused.
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Once all the fasteners have been removed, remove the water pump from engine.
Figure 7
Once all the fasteners have been removed, remove the water pump from engine. Install new water pump and evenly tighten fasteners. Install coolant hoses and tighten clamps. Connect water pump electrical connector. Pay close attention to electrical connector. Once you think it is installed, try to pull it off. I found that the seal inside the connector can swell from oil contamination; this inhibits the connectors ability to fully seat and lock into place. If it will not lock into place, replace the seal on the electrical connector. It can be replaced separately from connector. Install thermostat, radiator and cooling fan. Install splash shields and fill and bleed cooling system. Remember to check cooling system for leaks and top up coolant when complete.
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Comments and Suggestions:
06 325 xi Comments: I can share my experiences from changing the water pump on my 2006 E91 325xi. No active steering.
- Did remove cooling fan, did not remove radiator.
- Dropped the sway bar.
- It is really tight to access some of the hose clamps! Attack some from the front, some from the back, remove water pump bolts holding it onto the engine to make it possible to wiggle it back and forth to reach clamps.

Really appreciate the guides and the time you spend answering comments on here! Amazing!

November 19, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Awesome, thanks for sharing your experience.

..and for the kind words. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
E90 330XI Comments: It should be noted within the write-up that BMW's with the X-drive all wheel drive system require the front passenger wheel and inner plastic lining to be removed in order to access the two worm gear hose clamps on the back of the thermostat. It would also be helpful to lower the sway bar out of the way.

Excellent write up otherwise. On behalf of BMW owner's all over the world, Thanks. We appreciate these tech articles.
November 19, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: right on, a bit harder to access everything on the all-wheel drive models.

Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
BMW E90 Comments: My E90 325 starts overheating if I drive over 200km/h for more than 10min, under normal driving I don't have overheating issues, stopped to let the car cool off then continued with my journey and alarms cleared. Is this a water pump problem? Coolant level was okay
September 14, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be, sounds like a restriction of flow problem. Check out our bleeding procedure for your vehicle. If there isn't a steady stream of coolant out of your reservoir bleeder hole, the pump may be faulty. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Gustavo Carcano Comments: my electrical water pump is damaged, could your help me to send the price for this part, it is for a BMW 325i 2008 Mexican or 2006 for US, the part number front is 11.51 7 545 201 -04. thanks for your prompt response
September 2, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
xavinoo Comments: Nick, thanks for your response to the previous question I posted. It's been about two weeks since I replaced the water pump and thermostat and everything was going well until today. Exiting my car I heard my cooling fan absolutely wailing like the car was overheated and noticed some coolant drops in the engine bay. I'm troubled because after I let the car cool down to check the coolant level which was still at max I attempted to circulate the pump to get the air out of the system and I am not hearing the new pump circulate any coolant through the system i.e. placing my ear on the expansion tank to hear the air bubbles exiting the system. I should say that after the initial replacement I was still getting a P1028 code which indicated that the coolant temp was too low! I ruled out a bad thermostat because it was brand new.

I am stumped because this is a brand new pump and thermostat!! There should be no way that the pump has failed me already! I don't know what to do or how to diagnose the problem now. I can assure you that all electrical connectors were cleaned before the install of the new components and that the pump initially circulated the coolant like a champ. There were no leaks in the system because I left the engine cover off to check for any leaks form the hose connections for about a week after install! Now I have no flow at least from the expansion tank and my thermostat amber light has come back on! I'm in need of some help because I certainly do not want to have to buy a new pump and thermostat.

I have now plugged in my battery charger to leave my car charging overnight to see if maybe my battery was too low on juice to run the pump properly and try again in the morning. But if that doesn't work I certainly don't know what to do next! I don't want to be stranded again with my 4 month old son and wife... and don't want to blow a head gasket either....or have to buy new parts! Do you have any suggestions for how I should proceed?
July 14, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would confirm the coolant level is correct. Then try bleeding the cooling system again. If there is no air trapped, turn on ignition and listen for the water pump. You may have to have a friend turn ignition on while you listen. If the pump is faulty, you may hear a ratchet type sound as it tries to turn, then it will stop. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ed Comments: What's the part number for the electrical connector seal? I'd like to have it on hand so the process can be done in one go.
Thanks!
June 30, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Ed Comments: Is there any significant difference when doing an xdrive e90?
June 21, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The X-drive system makes it tight. So you will have less room to work. But that is all. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
xavinoo Comments: I popped one of the retaining clips when removing the one of the cooling hoses linked to the Thermostat. It's the smaller of the two retaining clip thermostat hoses... I'm waiting for my parts to arrive but was wondering what the best way and orientation to reattach the retaining clip? I see that the ends of each clip are pointed in different directions and didn't know if I had to slide the retaining clip over the hose or insert the ends first than slide over the hose? I obviously don't want any cooling system leaks! Thanks for your fantastic tutorials and hopefully the reinstallation of the thermo+pump is successful... At least it was for my valve cover gasket!
June 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: When I pop one off, I place one side on, then pop the other over the hose end. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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  Applies to: 325i (2006), 325Xi (2006), 330i (2006), 330xi (2006), 328i (2007-2009), 335i (2007-2009)
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