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I have a 2011 Camry. 2.5L, 4 cyl, gas, not hybrid. The pump feels gritty when rotated by hand, and it makes a whirring noise that varies in pitch with the engine RPM.

I bought a pump locally from Carquest, and it came with a paper gasket. The dealership was open today, so I went in for some oil, coolant, etc. Turns out their pump gaskets were pretty cheap too, so I bought that. The tech said not to use sealant because it's metal instead of paper. Ok, understandable.

But will it leak if I use the metal OEM gasket with the Carquest pump? The pump was only half as much as OEM, so did they choose a paper gasket to make up for the tolerance differences by filling in gaps? Or is it just cheaper to make? The flat side of the pumpin contact with the engine looks like it's milled. I can see the grooves.

Gasket: Gasket

It's not completely flat, the inner loop is pressed in: Gasket stamped

Water pump: Pump

Pump grooves and scratches: Grooves

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Do the OEM gaskets have a rubber portion to the metal gaskets? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Aug 21 '18 at 0:14
  • Thanks! I just made an edit, I realized I can see the machining marks on the pump. And no, it doesn't seem to come with a rubber portion. The very inside edge of the gasket seems to be stamped in though, by ~1-2mm – Alex Aug 21 '18 at 0:18
  • I'm seeing two different gaskets ... one is pump to block and the other is pump to housing. Did you get both of them? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Aug 21 '18 at 0:20
  • And, you only see metal on the gaskets? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Aug 21 '18 at 0:20
  • Yeah, it's literally a thin sheet of metal. The tech pulled it off a new pump 'cause they didn't have any pump only ones in stock. We were talking as he pulled it, and it's indeed in the same profile as the pump, so I know it's the gasket for it – Alex Aug 21 '18 at 0:22
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I don't think I'd be afraid of using the paper gasket with the aftermarket pump. I would, however, be cautious of using the metal gasket with it. If you use the paper gasket along with a very thin, skim coat of sealant (like Permatex), I think you'd be in good shape. If you keep the sealant thin and not globbed, plus ensure everything is bolted up in short order, you should be in good shape. This is what experience is telling me I'd do in your case. Considering the aftermarket pump does not have a machined face, I'd be deign to use the metal gasket ... I just don't think it'd seal correctly.

  • The tech said the metal gasket has better life, and that was enticing to me. It made sense to me. Paper would degrade faster exposed to the coolant, heated, cooled, etc, but how much longer? No idea. I'm definitely using paper if the pump I pulled out doesn't have all those grooves on it – Alex Aug 21 '18 at 0:43
  • I took some pictures. If you laid the gasket down flat, the inner loop is pressed in, there's an elevation difference. So if it were clamped down with all the bolts, the gasket would press back on the 2 sides of the pump and engine. That makes me feel a bit better, but still, definitely paper gasket would be the safest route – Alex Aug 21 '18 at 0:44
  • @Alex - I think you're going to be golden either way. We've all used paper gaskets for ever and they last longer than the pump itself will. I don't think you'd have an issue with the metal gasket now that I see both it and the pump. Run it as I described in the answer, or use the metal gasket and call it a day. I think you're golden. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Aug 21 '18 at 0:52

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