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N52 Engine Water Pump Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

N52 Engine Water Pump Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$200

Tools:

Set of sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers, two M6 bolts

Applicable Models:

BMW X3 Sport Utility (2007-10)

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.

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 it's 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 late X3 models with an electronic water pump. This means you may be required to 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 X3 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 cooling fan when I have to replace a coolant (water) pump, it makes access a lot easier. Working from just below can be a real pain.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with replacing the water pump on BMW E83 X3 models with an N52 2ngine. Be sure to work with a cool engine and confirm the cooling system lacks pressure before opening cooling system.

This can be a tough part to change as it is tucked away and behind many components.
Figure 1

This can be a tough part to change as it is tucked away and behind many components. I like to remove the radiator cooling fan when I have to replace a water pump, it makes access a lot easier. Working from just below can be a real pain.

The red arrow points to where on the engine the water pump is located.
Figure 2

The red arrow points to where on the engine the water pump is located.

Remove engine splash shield.
Figure 3

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 the radiator cooling fan (red arrow). See our tech article on radiator cooling fan removing.

Remove thermostat (red arrow).
Figure 4

Remove thermostat (red arrow). See our tech article on thermostat replacing. Once removed, let it rest on the left side of the subframe (blue arrow) until the water pump is ready to be removed as well.

You will be working from below the engine, behind the subframe.
Figure 5

You will be working from below the engine, behind the subframe. Working at the back of your water pump on right side of engine, loosen both hose clamps. Start with the easy to access large hose (blue arrow), you do not have to remove this hose until the water pump has been removed. Then loosen the harder to access small clamp (red arrow). I like to use a flexible 6mm nut driver. You can also use a long flathead screwdriver. Once the hose clamps are loose, remove the hoses from the water pump. Be ready to catch any dripping coolant when hoses are removed. If you can't get them off, you can wait until the water pump is unbolted, you may have better access then.

Next you have to disconnect the electrical connector.
Figure 6

Next you have to disconnect the electrical connector. It is located at the bottom front of the water pump (red arrow). The release tab is on the back side.

Disconnect the water pump electrical connector by pressing retaining tab and pulling off.
Figure 7

Disconnect the water pump electrical connector by pressing retaining tab and pulling off. Photo shows connector removed for improved view of release tab (red arrow).

Now it's time to remove the water pump fasteners.
Figure 8

Now it's time to remove the water pump fasteners. Start at the top front of the water pump (below the a/c compressor (blue arrow)) and remove the E12 fastener (red arrow). Throw this fastener away, it is aluminum and cannot be reused.

I like to use a long extension and a universal socket adapter (red arrow).
Figure 9

I like to use a long extension and a universal socket adapter (red arrow).

Then remove two remaining E12 fasteners at the bottom of the water pump (red arrows).
Figure 10

Then remove two remaining E12 fasteners at the bottom of the water pump (red arrows). Throw these fasteners away, they are aluminum and cannot be reused.

Once all the fasteners have been removed, remove the water pump from engine toward the radiator (red arrow).
Figure 11

Once all the fasteners have been removed, remove the water pump from engine toward the radiator (red arrow). When removing, pull the wiring harness out of the wiring harness clip on the pump body. Lay harness aside, note routing direction.

Working from above, remove the old water pump (red arrow).
Figure 12

Working from above, remove the old water pump (red arrow).

With the old water pump removed, install the hose on the new pump that connects to the rear of the pump as it was installed on the old pump.
Figure 13

With the old water pump removed, install the hose on the new pump that connects to the rear of the pump as it was installed on the old pump. Use the line on the hose (blue arrow) and the line on the pump (red arrows) to get the hose orientation correct.

Then transfer the wiring harness clip over to the new pump (red arrow).
Figure 14

Then transfer the wiring harness clip over to the new pump (red arrow).

Install new water pump and evenly tighten fasteners.
Figure 15

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 connector's 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. Be sure wiring harness is in clip and routed as it was previously. Install thermostat 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. When bleeding, expect a steady stream (red arrow) to flow from the bleed hole in the reservoir. Turn ignition ON (do not start engine), set temperature controls in vehicle interior to full warm and blower fan speed to Low. Press accelerator pedal to floor and hold down for ten seconds. Electric coolant pump will run for about 12 minutes (cycling on and off) to circulate coolant and bleed air from cooling system. Once pump has run the cycle, check level of coolant in expansion tank and adjust as needed. Start and run engine at idle until it reaches operating temperature and check cooling system for leaks. This stream will start and stop as the water pump cycles during the bleeding process.

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Page last updated: Sat 4/29/2017 03:18:03 AM