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Vacuum Supply Pump

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Installing a Vacuum Supply Pump

Despite its diminutive size, the vacuum supply pump provides the vacuum needed by several essential car components-including the brakes and the air-conditioning system-in order to work. This is why once the vacuum supply pump in your car finally gives out, it has to be replaced immediately. Good thing is, installing a new vacuum supply pump is relatively easy; it requires only an hour or so of your time as well as some basic repair tools.

Required skill level: Novice to Intermediate

Needed tools and materials

  • Socket wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Flexible ratchet spanner
  • Preparing your car

    The vacuum pump is usually located deep inside the engine compartment, so removing a faulty pump and installing a new one might entail getting a few components out of the way first. The parts that have to be temporarily removed for vacuum pump replacement vary from vehicle to vehicle; in some trucks, for example, the grille and the radiator have to be removed first in order to gain access to the vacuum pump.

    Locating and removing the pump

    Vacuum supply pumps vary in size, although they usually have a black color and have a red or orange plug. Once you've spotted the pump, remove the plug by squeezing the tabs at the sides until they come loose. If the plug is also secured by a harness, remove that as well. Next, remove the vacuum pump nuts that hold the pump in place. Some of the nuts may prove difficult to access, so have a flexible ratchet spanner on hand to help you on those hard-to-reach nuts. Once the nuts have been removed, take out the rubber vacuum hose and the pump itself.

    Installing the new pump

    Clean the pump housing of any oil and dirt and bolt the new pump over the studs. Depending on the cam's position, there may be some tension on the drive rod as you tighten the nuts. In which, the nuts must be tightened gradually and carefully. Be careful not to over-tighten or you'll end up damaging the studs. You can refer to the user manual for the nuts' exact torque setting.

    Putting them all back together

    With the new vacuum supply pump in place, re-install the components you've removed earlier. Make sure that all of the bolts, screws, and other fasteners are secured properly.

    Vacuum Supply Pump Articles

    • Hella vs. Bosch: Who Makes the Better Vacuum Supply Pump? 11 January 2013

      The vacuum supply pump provides the vacuum necessary for the A/C system, power locks, windshield wipers and other components in most vehicles, so it is only right that once the vacuum pump fails it should only be removed and replaced with a comparable pump. And when buying a replacement supply pump, it is important to purchase the best one for your vehicle. And right now, two of the most popular brands right now for vacuum supply pumps - Bosch and Hella - are clamoring for the distinction as the best replacement vacuum supply pump. So we took these two pumps and tried it on a 2000 Ford Taurus to determine which one is better at handling the pressure and which one is bound to lose air.

      Installation

      We got a little confused with the plugs and couplings with the Bosch vacuum supply pump, but once we figured out the connections the pump worked out just fine. The Hella pump was installed without a hitch, although it could be because we were already familiar with the connections at that point.

      WINNER: Bosch and Hella

      Performance

      Since they were designed to match OE specifications, we didn't expect much from Hella and Bosch vacuum supply pumps aside from providing the same performance as the factory-installed pump. We tried the power locks on the Taurus several times with the engine off, and the locks worked perfectly every time for both pumps. The same can also be said when we turned on the A/C. Overall, both brands performed well as expected.

      WINNER: Bosch and Hella

      Price

      Bosch vacuum supply pumps usually costs around $340 and comes with a 1-year or a 12,000-mile warranty, while a Hella vacuum pump can set you back with $240 to $250 and has a 1-month/12,000 mile warranty.

      WINNER: Hella

      The verdict

      The Bosch and Hella vacuum supply pump are basically identical in performance, although you can get the Hella vacuum pump at a much cheaper price. However, do keep in mind that the price of vacuum pumps vary from one vehicle to another, so don't base your judgement on price alone.