Best Water Pumps For Dodge Ram 1500 – Top Picks

| Last Updated: June 25, 2021

When you’re pushing your Dodge Ram 1500 to the limit by towing or racing, you need a water pump that’s up to the task. Without it, you risk overheating or even damaging vital engine parts.

Thankfully, you have an abundance of options to replace or upgrade your current water pump. Here’s a look at a few tried and true water pumps for your Dodge Ram 1500. 

Comparison of the Best Water Pumps For Dodge Ram 1500

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Genuine unit is sturdy and reliable
  • Package includes gasket, tube, nipple, sensor, and plug
  • Can be used in 4x4, 4x2, and HEV 4x4 vehicles
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  • Gasket is included - all brand new parts
  • 30 day return with 1 year warranty policy
  • Interchangeable with Airtex AW6341 and GMB 120-4430
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  • Comes with a 12 month / 12,000 mile warranty
  • Provide Japanese and Domestic engine parts for trucks and cars
  • 30 years of experience speaks for itself
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  • Durability and bearing noise has been tested
  • Designed to match the OE coolant pressure and flow rate
  • Simple installation - all the necessary hardware has been included
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When is it Time to Replace My Water Pump?

Because the water pump is essential to keep your Dodge Ram 1500 running smooth, you should always be aware of when the time comes to replace it. In an ideal world, the water pump should last around 100,000 miles based on Dodge’s specifications. However, it may only last 60,000 to 90,000 miles in some instances.

As a result, it’s important to be familiar with the signs of a faulty water pump. This list may include:

  • Constant engine overheating

  • Coolant leaking from the front-center of the vehicle

  • Steam billowing from the radiator

  • A whining noise near the location of the water pump

In some cases, you may want to replace the water pump before it goes bad if it’s nearing the end of its useful life. However, this scenario will typically only arise when you take the timing cover off your Dodge Ram 1500 to conduct other repairs. If you already have this piece off, make sure to check your water pump and replace it accordingly.

If you fail to replace the water pump when these symptoms arise, your Dodge Ram will almost certainly overheat. Beyond that, the lack of coolant or water in the system can crack cylinder heads, damage gaskets, or burn pistons. Therefore, the importance of replacing the water pump will not only keep your vehicle in tip-top condition but also help you avoid costly repair bills.

Mopar 5.7L V8 68346912AA

How to Choose a Water Pump

Like with any replacement part in a vehicle, you should first refer to the Dodge Ram 1500 manual to ensure you purchase the correct or recommended component. Once you’ve done this, shopping around will ensure you get the highest quality water pump at the lowest price possible. In addition, you should also look for these aspects when selecting a product.

Durability

One major factor in choosing a water pump is durability. The best way to determine this life span is by choosing a water pump made from high-quality metals. Cheaper parts may use flimsier metals, which can lead to problems at just 30,000 miles or less.

OE and Mopar Specifications

Another facet of a top-notch water pump is that it adheres to OE and Mopar specifications. Again, cheaper water pumps won’t have these qualities, leading to a shorter life span or fitment issues.

Electric vs Mechanical

One of the latest advancements of water pumps is an electrical option. Whereas a mechanical water pump runs on the power of an engine via a pulley or crankshaft, electrical water pumps run on battery power. Thus, mechanical water pumps must be located in a specific area near a mechanical course. Electric water pumps, on the other hand, are easily installed in places more distant than a mechanical pump.

Review of the Best Water Pumps For Dodge Ram 1500

Like most aftermarket parts, you have plenty of choices to replace the water pump for your Dodge Ram 1500. So whether you’re on a budget or you just want the best part money can buy, here are some of the top water pumps for your vehicle.

Best Overall:
Mopar 5.7L V8 Water Pump

2009-2019 Chrysler Jeep Dodge RAM New Electric Belt Driven Water Pump Mopar OEM

PROS

  • Long life span
  • Perfect fitment
  • Electric water pump
  • Comes with all parts for easy installation
  • Genuine Mopar part means the water pump is the exact same as the original

CONS

  • Short warranty compared to competitors
  • Some users report a shorter life span than advertised

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers report that the part functions exactly like the original, operating without a hitch. In addition, the perfect fit made installation easier, despite water pump replacement often is a time-consuming process.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Mopar 5.7L V8 Water Pump is an electric water pump that provides many advantages over mechanical variants. Not only does it fit just like the original, but the electric component may improve your gas mileage and provide more power when you need it most.

Bottom Line

In a world of subpar aftermarket parts, this water pump from Mopar is as close as you can get to the original without wrenching one out of a truck on the lot. However, a high price tag may cause budget buyers to consider other options.

Runner-up:
OAW Engine Water Pump

OAW CR4430 Engine Water Pump for for 09-18 RAM 1500 2500 3500, 09 Chrysler Aspen Dodge Durango V8 HEMI 5.7L

PROS

  • Quick shipping
  • Affordable price
  • No problems with fitment
  • Comes with a replacement seal
  • Each water pump is brand new, not rebuilt or refurbished

CONS

  • Some buyers report problems with customer service
  • Some buyers report leaks after 5,000 to 10,000 miles, but could be due to their installation

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers report generally favorable reviews of the OAW Engine Water Pump, praising its easy installation and the inclusion of seals and gaskets. Although unknown whether due to product defect or faulty installation, other buyers report heavy leaks or total failure within a few thousand miles of the installation.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Made by Olympia Auto Parts, OAW Engine Water Pumps provide an affordable alternative to more expensive options. And with gaskets and seals included, there’s no need to buy extra parts. A one-year warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee also put the buyer's minds at ease.

Bottom Line

Although some buyers report substantial problems with leakage, most buyers are satisfied with their purchase, even after tens of thousands of miles. If you’re looking for an affordable aftermarket water pump, this one fits the bill. Those that want extra peace of mind may want to look at more well-known manufacturers.

Best for the Money:
DNJ 5.7L Engine Water Pump

DNJ WP1163A Water Pum for 2009-2015/ Chrysler, Dodge, Ram / 1500, 2500, 3500, Aspen, Durango, Ram 3500/5.7L / OHV / V8 / 16V / 345cid

PROS

  • Brand new, not rebuilt
  • Made from durable, high-quality metals
  • Comes with gaskets for easy installation
  • A solid 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty
  • Perfect fit without any necessary modifications

CONS

  • Some buyers had to use a file to get the fan clutch on
  • Other buyers report damage to supplementary parts during shipping

What Recent Buyers Report

Made from high-quality metal and from a reputable brand, most users are more than satisfied with the performance of the DNJ 5.7L Engine Water Pump. However, some users also state that the part may need some modifications to properly fit.

Why it Stands Out to Us

With over 30 years in the automotive parts and water pump business, DNJ is a reputable manufacturer and vendor with a reputation for excellence. Every water pump manufactured meets or exceeds OE standards, making the DNJ 5.7L Engine Water Pump a solid choice for a replacement part.

Bottom Line

With an attractive price and a few issues reported from buyers, this water pump is an excellent value buy. Plus, each part comes factory-tested, ensuring quality performance, excellent flow, fitment, and installation.

Editor's Pick:
GMB OE Replacement Water Pump with Gasket

PROS

  • Highly durable
  • Zero problems with fan clutches
  • Exact same fit as OE water pumps
  • Includes all hardware for easy installation
  • Tested at the factory to ensure the correct OE flow rate and pressure

CONS

  • More expensive than comparable aftermarket water pumps

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers of the GMB OE Replacement Water Pump with Gasket report satisfactory review overall. Not only does the water pump look identical to the OE, but it also bolts into place without any reported problems. Contrarily, some buyers report leakage around the seals and gaskets within a few thousand miles of driving, even with installation from an ASE-certified mechanic.

Why it Stands Out to Us

GMB is a trusted name in the aftermarket auto parts industry, touting over 70 years of experience. But it’s more than just a name. Each water pump consists of durable materials, including cast iron and pressed steel for maximum durability. Like the DNJ Water Pump, the GMB OE Replacement Water Pump with Gasket comes with a one-year, 12,000-mile warranty to cover manufacturing defects. 

Bottom Line

Few other aftermarket water pump manufacturers have as strong of a reputation as GMB. However, this Japanese company specializes in parts and water pumps for Korean and Japanese vehicles, which may make American-made enthusiasts a bit leery. But for the money, few others can beat the craftsmanship and performance of a GMB water pump.

Honorable Mention:
AC Delco Professional Water Pump Kit

ACDelco Professional 252-995 Engine Water Pump

PROS

  • Bearings come sealed and lubricated
  • Aluminum impeller for longer life span
  • Durability and longevity due to coated seals
  • OE style for quick installation and easy fitment
  • Heat-treated shaft to provide longer durability and superior strengths

CONS

  • Expensive compared to other alternatives
  • Some buyers report that the sensor wouldn’t fit the vehicle, but many do not have this issue

What Recent Buyers Report

Found in many local retail stores as well as online, the AC Delco Professional Water Pump Kit was easy for many buyers to find and purchase. Buyers also praised the generous 24-month, unlimited mile warranty that’s unmatched in the industry. However, some users also state that the pulleys begin to vibrate shortly after installation. While this doesn’t cause any vibration, it does have a whine that’s similar to a faulty water pump or one that’s at the end of its life span. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The AC Delco Professional Water Pump Kit is the top-of-the-line offering from one of the country’s most trusted automotive part manufacturers. While buyers could go with the less expensive Silver product line, this part is of the highest quality thanks to heat-treated metal, an aluminum impeller, and sealed and lubricated bearings. Although expensive compared to some alternatives, AC Delco parts have a strong reputation that can handle the workload of towing and hauling in the Dodge Ram 1500.

Bottom Line

Few other brands can boast the reputation and quality that defines AC Delco water pumps. And with a warranty that’s the best in the industry, buyers can rest easy knowing they’re protected from any manufacturer defects. However, the high price point that’s similar to Mopar may be off-putting to some buyers. As a result, those searching for true OEM parts and the budget-conscious may want to look at other replacement water pumps.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Before you choose one of the water pumps on this list, you should still weigh some considerations before pulling the trigger. The following considerations will help you weigh the pros and cons of each water pump, and how it may perform according to your expectations.

Mopar or Other Aftermarket Company

To many owners, a Dodge Ram 1500 is their proverbial baby. If you fall into this category, only Mopar water pumps will do. But for others on the fringe, don’t rule out aftermarket parts. Many of these are still high quality and manufactured by reputable companies, typically at a fraction of the cost.

Electric or Mechanical

Depending on the age of your Dodge Ram, you may have either a mechanical or electric water pump. The main difference is that electric water pumps deliver a constant flow rate while mechanical variants scale depending on the RPM of the engine. Plus, mechanical water pumps have been proven to degrade the overall performance of the Dodge Ram 1500, giving up precious horsepower when the engine is put to the test.

If you’re interested in upgrading to an electric water pump, it’s entirely possible. The part will be more expensive, but you can reap benefits such as less wear and tear on the engine and possibly better performance and gas mileage.

OAW CR4430

Cost

Similar to other aftermarket parts, water pumps have a wide range of prices. Mopar is typically the most expensive; others vary upon company reputation, quality of materials, and other factors. But a higher price tag doesn’t necessarily equate to the improved operation or enhanced durability.

Thus, you should read the above reviews, search online automotive forums, and gather other information to get a strong idea of the best water pump for your budget.

How to Change Water Pump on Dodge Ram 1500

Whether it’s your first time replacing a water pump or you need a quick refresher, follow these steps to ensure quick and correct replacement.

  1. Remove cover underneath vehicle access to the drainage bolt.

  2. Drain into a suitable container.

  3. Remove the main cooling hose.

  4. Remove plastic cover that covers radiator and fan.

  5. Take the fan off from underneath.

  6. Remove the belt/pulley.

  7. Take the other three hoses off the water pump.

  8. Loosen bolts and remember where they’ll fit in the new water pump.

  9. Lightly pry up the sensor with a flathead screwdriver to remove.

  10. Remove the old water pump.

  11. Replace with the new water pump.

  12. Complete the previous steps in reverse order to complete the installation.

If you’re more of a visual learner or you need a recap of these steps, refer to the video below:

Don’t Be a Chump, Replace Your Pump

A lot rides on the performance of your water pump. Without a durable water pump from a reputable brand, you can suffer from huge repair costs when a simple replacement would have done the job. So if you notice any signs of a failing water pump, address the issue promptly. Your Dodge Ram 1500, your well-being, and your wallet will thank you.

People Also Ask

Before you purchase a water pump for your Dodge Ram 1500, you may have some additional questions about time, costs, and installation. Here are a few of the most common questions that people also ask about water pump replacement.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Water Pump on a Dodge Ram 1500?

To have an ASE-certified technician replace the water pump on a Dodge Ram 1500, expect to pay between $300 and $400 on average for parts and labor. If you buy the water pump on your own, you may save some cash on the repair.

What Are Signs of a Bad Water Pump?

Signs of a bad water pump may include:

  • Constant engine overheating

  • Steam coming from the radiator

  • A whining noise near the location of the water pump

  • Coolant leaking from the front-center of the vehicle

How Many Hours Does it Take to Replace a Water Pump?

In most cases, a water pump replacement takes two to three hours. However, novice mechanics may take longer due to a steeper learning curve.

Do You Need to Replace the Thermostat When Replacing the Water Pump?

Replacing the thermostat isn’t necessary. But since you’ve already drained the system, some mechanics and DIYers recommend a replacement due to the ease of installation and low cost.

Meet the Team!

Drive55

Who Chose These Products?

Our Product Expert

Steve has been maintaining and modifying vehicles for over ten years. He grew up like most of us did: progressing from Hot Wheels & Legos to racing games like Gran Turismo, eventually taking everything apart just to see what made it tick. His career path was pretty clear early on!

Steve is currently a Certified Auto Repair Technician who graduated top of his class; he's rebuilt engines, transmissions, suspension, and everything in between. Steve also runs his own Youtube production covering hot automotive topics called Cars Simplified. He currently terrorizes the streets of New England in an iconic American classic: the Pontiac GTO.

Who Wrote This Article?

Damaso Sig

Our Automotive Journalist

Damaso has been in the automotive world since he was 14 years old when his father bought an auto repair shop. Years later, his passion for electronics, computers, and automotive mechanics motivated him to graduate in Mechanical Engineering and venture into the sales of automotive equipment.

For years Damaso worked as a technical advisor assisting car dealerships, tire shops, and even the plants of Toyota and Mitsubishi that operate in his country. He has over 25 years of experience reporting on topics ranging from DIY jobs, technological analysis, automotive news, and more. He is a wealth of information and a valued member of our team.
@damasosanoja

An ex-salesman of industrial equipment, Shawn used to drive nearly 60K miles a year just commuting to clients. He also has a little project Miata build going on the side. Safe to say, Shawn has slain a few tires in his days. He knows all about horrid road-noise, hydroplaning risks, and how much damage a bad alignment can do to your wallet. He enjoys helping us out and Chris always values his opinion when designing something new for the website.