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
- 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.
Hella vs. Bosch: Who Makes the Better Vacuum Supply Pump?
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.
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
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
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 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.
Choosing a Vacuum Supply Pump
Are your car locks acting up again like they're possessed by some unholy auto ghost? Well, you can set superstition aside because you probably just have a faulty vacuum supply pump. This component helps you manage your ride's central locking system. When it malfunctions, your locks become difficult to deal with, remaining shut when you need to open the door and popping back open after you've locked them. This can be very stressful and rather unsafe for your ride. To remedy this problem, have your busted vacuum supply pump replaced right away. Here are some things to take into consideration before buying.
Things to consider
There aren't many factors that come into play when shopping for a new vacuum supply pump. You do, however, need to ensure compatibility between your vacuum supply pump and your vehicle. Some vacuum supply pumps are designed for certain models or even solely for European cars. So when buying a new pump, check with the manufacturer whether or not the part you're getting will fit and work with your ride's make and model.
In line with compatibility, check for product location before buying. Vacuum supply pumps may be placed under the spare wheel well, under the rear seat, or in the left side of the trunk. So be sure to take this into consideration because you wouldn't want a pump meant for the wrong location.
Also decide whether you want a brand-new one or a remanufactured one. The latter will definitely be more affordable, but it isn't guaranteed to provide superb performance. Either one will do the trick, but we recommend a new one given its reliability.
With such a small component, you'll want to go by brand names and stick with the well-known ones. We've provided a short list of other awesome brands to consider.
Other brands to look into
Replacing your Vacuum Supply Pump
Your vacuum supply pump helps control your ride's central locking system. This component allows you to lock and unlock all doors with the flick or a single knob. This small component is very simple, but is crucial to vehicle safety. After all, should your doors not lock after having been activated, then you'd open yourself up to car thieves. Unfortunately, a vacuum supply pump can wear over time, resulting in erratic and unreliable lock behavior. If this is the case with your motor vehicle, then you should replace your busted supply pump right away. Doing so won't be difficult and won't require any heavy tools. In fact, you can do this job by hand in just a few minutes. So follow these easy steps and you'll have your door locks functioning perfectly in no time.
Difficulty Level: Easy
What you'll need:
- Safety gloves
- Shop rag
- Cowl Hood
- Replacement vacuum supply pump
Warning: Always wear safety gear (gloves, glasses, closed shoes) when working on your vehicle. Gloves are especially important when dealing with electronic items.
Step 1: Pinpoint your stock vacuum supply pump. Location may vary depending on your vehicle's year, make, and model, so refer to your vehicle's service manual. Vacuum supply pumps are commonly found in the trunk. In this case, open your trunk and find the supply pump.
Step 2: The supply pump is attached to a wiring harness and tube. Detach your vacuum supply pump from the wiring harness and tube.
Step 3: Remove the old pump and plug in the new one. Wipe off the new vacuum supply harness with a shop rag and then plug the wiring harness and tube into it.
Step 4: Place the replacement component in the same location that the stock pump was in and close the trunk.
Step 5: Test out your locks if they respond properly, or if they still act erratically. If so, you may need to adjust the wires of the vacuum supply plug or consult a mechanic. If everything checks out OK, then you're all set.